Monday, November 30, 2015

More personal stuff but I'll keep it short this time!

I woke up at a little after 7AM. I’m looking at the clock and it’s 7:16 and already I have pondered a number of things, some of which I really should let out in the blog. Including:

  • The natures of my insomnia(s) and all the harms they do.
  • My health problems and why they are worsening and not being properly addressed.
  • Why I constantly have useful thoughts and revelations which I almost immediately lose.
  • Why this blog is never what it’s supposed to be and what I can do about it.
  • Why my fiction is never what it’s supposed to be and god-knows what I can do about it.
  • Why people have such unhealthy minds.
  • The benefits versus harms in “recreational” drugs.
  • The wisdom in Zappa’s statement that parents make kids weird more so then music, TV, etc.
  • The generally healthier minds of younger people and why I’m generally more drawn to the company of younger people these days.
  • My friendship with Neo and why I’ve so largely failed to pass on so much of the valuable perceptions I wish him to benefit from.

And there’s probably more that I’ve forgotten already

The most useful thoughts I have occur when I have just gone to bed or when I’ve awoken too early and stay in bed praying I’ll be able to fall back asleep. I’m losing stuff. Every day (or night) I lose most of my most valuable thoughts. It’s extremely unfortunate. The job I have carved out for myself in life is to share the benefits of my research and contemplation in terms of the areas which I’ve had rare access to and which offer solutions to serious problems. Clearly the process in not working; is not complete.

This morning I made the very rare choice to give up on sleep after just 4 and half hours of it and grab the laptop and try to write down some of this stuff instead. But my mind flies through so much stuff so fast (as minds do); so infinitely faster than I can type! Plus the action of recording my thoughts drastically interferes with my thoughts themselves! The barriers to making the optimal use of the human mind are staggering. Instincts, illusions, the very undeveloped nature of our infantile consciousness itself. The great barriers to communication; both interpersonal and internal…

I want this blog to be open and intimate and not preachy. I want it to be more useful to people or potentially useful. I often think I should liberate the blog from its own compromised past and start a fresh one, but with anonymity more of a priority. 

How do I know I’m losing stuff (ideas, understandings etc.) if they’re lost? Only because the experience of thinking useful thoughts which I know need to be retained while conceding not to write them down, is such an incredibly familiar one. I remember the constant recognition of this scenario. While the scenario of remembering previously escaped ideas etc. is incredibly rare. That’s not good. And poetic voices have warned of this – in few words – and in the same spaces refer to a need for discipline, both in terms of doing your poetic work every day and in terms of practicing simple focus.

You know, just yesterday a new writer pal (I make one or two every November) was talking about the common dilemma of dividing her time; kids, responsibilities and two hobbies: writing and knitting. She was describing the sort-of tedious experience of knitting and having to focus on something so simple and mechanical because there is great jeopardy if you make a mistake. You’ll discover it later and then have to undo all the work you’ve done since the mistake was made. I found myself suggesting to her that her knitting might be making her a better writer; that such an activity may be strengthening her mind. It has been suggested that the real purpose of alchemy was to transform the alchemist’s mind through the practice of extraordinary discipline. The techniques of the alchemist required immense concentration on menial processes and that the lead to gold thing is largely a metaphor for the transformation of mind.

Anyways… let me recognize that I am in need of a transformation of mind and let me commit here to that pursuit. National Novel Month expires tonight. Let December be National NewDay Getting His Shit Together Month.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Now I'm definitely lost.

I will try to keep this brief.

I’m in the habit of referring to Gramps as an eight-year-old, to people who haven’t met him. I’m referring to his mentality of course and frankly, I wonder often if that’s giving him too much credit. He cannot hang on to any but the simplest concept at once, and for no longer than the space of a sentence. Any concept which requires the understanding of multiple components might be sort-of learned in time (by rote if not actually understood) but cannot be explained by him. As soon as he utters one thought, the only thing his mind can hang on to is the sentence he just spoke. The next thought to come drunkenly staggering out of his mouth will then follow the previous one in some relatively random direction. So if you ask him a question, you have to be prepared to ask it again and again after every sentence unless you win the lottery and he accidentally stays on track.

He knows very well he has terrible communication problems and instinctively battles it by continuing to ramble forever and ever and listener-suicide-inducing ever… hoping that the right words will eventually come out, while he forgets why he started talking in the first place. It is charming and exasperating to witness. Having a conversation with him is like having a conversation with a million monkeys.

The authorities and his therapecutioners absolutely adore this because they let him ramble as long as it takes until something comes out that they want to hear, or can be interpreted as such, and use it for their agenda: which is to keep him basically imprisoned for the rest of his miserable life.

And when Gramps gets lucky and a few sentences flow out that actually contain some narrative they say, aha! You can do it! You don’t have a disability, see! And they pretend that a clock which manages to get the time right twice per day is not broken.

The therapecutioners  deny him advocacy except for the .01% of the time which authorities prescribe it, and they will not allow him to read from anything he has written. When he has tried to bring a journal they tell him that anything he writes will be lies.

Add his crippling anxiety disorder and all he ever wants to say is whatever the authorities he fears, want him to say. Which is to hang himself. They see him as someone fallen through the cracks who can never be safe outside of prison. But I know him better, and I know this not to be true.

So they keep him isolated for all intents and purposes.

He has acquired a trust in me which he has never experienced in many decades, since his mother probably, who fled to Florida long ago, and there passed away, so he heard. And he will open up to me and honor my advice but everything I do to prepare him for upcoming encounters with authorities, I now see, is a vain ineffectual comfort.

He went into the meeting yesterday with Good Cop and the therapy ghouls and nodded to everything they suggested, committing to maintaining their treatment.

And now I am wholeheartedly and thoroughly fucked.

Because I do not have the patience or the resources, financial or otherwise, to maintain the sacrifices I have been making for another two years, as we counted down toward January 2016 and made all the plans through which we’d get his life in order and my logistical dilemmas in order, all of which depended on escaping this tyranny.

The sad thing is that the light at the end of the tunnel is shining well within reach. Gramps can have a new deal, with a new therapist, and more fair restrictions if he simply had the balls to demand it.

But the authorities control the game. Whoever gets a piece of Gramps last, will get what they want. And Good Cop will make very sure to get at him last. He’s a man of no wisdom but clever to be sure. I cannot win this battle for Gramps without an official recognition of his disabilities and the right to advocacy appointed, and they will not let this happen. They hold all the cards.

Somehow Gramps knows, instinctively, that there will be trouble now, between us and he is afraid to admit to me on the phone that he has sold out. He begs me to come see him in person. He does not understand that that is not a good idea. He needs me to be there when he spills the beans so that I can give him reassurances which are too vital to him to receive by phone. But I cannot give those assurances. I cannot lie to him. And I don’t know yet what the plan will be going forward. How will I ever know?

I cannot maintain this relationship as it stands for another two years. I couldn’t realistically maintain it for the last two years but got cornered into it when paranoid authorities put an end to the only arrangements that made it possible in the first place, which we have not been able to duplicate; a debacle of extraordinary lunacy and false-confession badgering which only reinforces the liability I am no longer willing to endure. The ghouls interrogate Gramps about everything he does with me and knowing now, almost certainly, some degree of my disrespect for them, if not my conviction that they are downright evil, might love to coral Gramps into some confession which implicates me in some way.  I know they always ask about me and hear god-knows-what about me from Munster's meandering lips and they question my ethics and judgement. No offender goes into so-called treatment without dragging his closest associates in with him.

The next two years will undoubtedly be worse. He’ll be filled with self-hate for putting himself in this mess once he regrets it and also for letting me down. And there are pending disasters in therapy. I just recently became aware of figurative landmines which Gramps has planted and might have avoided stepping on for another two months but not for two years.

I don’t know yet what to say to Gramps when he tells me what he thinks I have not yet figured out. That he has sold out and that I must sell out too or else battle him-and-the-world.

I cannot meet with him because I have no response for him. There is no version of the truth soft enough for his fragile psyche to endure.

The truth that I cannot go with him down this road.

And I cannot let him go alone.

I have no answer.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mission Impossible

I’m kind of lost.

I told Grandpa Munster not long ago that after the expiry of the relevant court-order this January 2016, there was no way he was going to have to endure any more interrogation and abuse, which he has endured for many years, from the pair of court-appointed so-called therapists who one lawyer describes as “…more nutty and batty than any of their clients;” a pair of crack-pots who no client in their right mind would ever pay for so-called psychological treatment out of their own pocket, but who have gotten rich from a 25-year Scooterville courthouse monopoly via duped taxpayers, strictly for playing watch-dog with former sex offenders. Watch dogs of the snapping snarling variety, if what I’m told is true from several of their gratefully-former associates .

I’ve watched him cry, rage and panic over these visits for almost three years now; more than the normal time-frame for this court-order, the last set of orders to stipulate mandatory therapy (and 13 other directives) which are traditionally intended to expire, leaving one very reasonable set of orders remaining for life.

A couple days ago we learned that authorities wish to extend the current orders for another two years for reasons which make it fairly clear that they will keep at it indefinitely; reasons which are hilariously bogus. Personally I’m agreeable to the optional orders in theory, if they were managed by authorities in an enlightened way, but threatening to contest said orders in court is probably Munster’s only bargaining chip with regards to escaping his therapeutic torment.

Gramps is sixty-five and appears significantly older due to poor health and medical neglect from living in a government-appointed group home serviced by a rug rat doctor who has probably also never had a client who wasn’t railroaded to him through government contract.

He has a severe learning disability and severe anxiety disorder (which have never been addressed by his therapists) and is entirely stupefied by any contact with authorities, including the therapists themselves who intentionally posture themselves as authorities and take constant liberties, telling him what he can do and can’t do (in the guise of treatment, I presume they would claim, not that they permit anyone to ask).

Gramps has not committed a crime in decades.

Our core strategy was to acquire legal recognition of his disabilities, his inability to satisfactorily represent himself in legal affairs and the right to designate an advocate to speak on his behalf, whether a lawyer or myself.

Confident in all the options and tools I understood to be at our disposal, I made a personal guarantee to Gramps that he would be done with his oppressors in January; that I would not allow it to continue; that I would ensure it was stopped by any means necessary. I knew it to be a grave injustice which weakens, not aids, Gramps’ mental health, making it more difficult, not easier, to be productive and safe in the community; an injustice I was prepared to fight by any means possible, within the law, and possibly beyond.

And one by one, all the tools and options fell apart in the space of one long morning.

We got off the phone with the lawyer yesterday, having a stack of hopes dashed, and sat there feeling quite incredibly alone in the world. We studied the dismal options for a couple more hours, and made the desperate move to put our hopes in one police detective. We literally crossed no-man’s land to seek help from the “enemy.”

I coached Gramps at exasperating length until he summoned the courage. He made the phone call and convinced Good Cop to meet with him without the therapists’ (Bad Cops) presence, but then fell apart trying to arrange my participation in the meeting. He cried for a while and cursed himself for his stupidity and the mess he’d made of his life. I plied him with praise and support. He called back to try again and miraculously Good Cop agreed to let me attend “for moral support,” and added, “But I’m not going to argue with him!”

I coached Gramps for a couple more hours yesterday and again today before the meeting. The strategy was solid:

1 - Find out Good Cop’s intentions regarding renewal of the court-order.
2 - Indicate that you will fight the order in court for the reasons that the therapy is dysfunctional and intolerable. Use firm words: “I can’t take it anymore!”
3 - Don’t talk about cutting a deal yet (accepting the orders with the proviso that a new therapist be appointed.)
And 4 - end the meeting swiftly without mentioning any of our other plans and concerns. “Anything else Good Cop asks, you’re not ready to talk about it yet.”

The three of us sat down, and before Good Cop had anything relevant to say, Gramps fell apart. Every plan went swiftly out the window as he volunteered that he understood he would need a renewal of orders and cautiously suggested that the therapy was not ideal; not comfortable. “Could I please have someone else?” He would go on to volunteer all sorts of ideas which I’d counsel him not to, before I could stop him.

Knowing that police make notes and will use one’s words against you, knowing the great risks, feeling the tremendous pressure of opportunity versus jeopardy, I made the tough decision to jump in and prayed to get away with it. I adopted the posture that I was on Good Cop’s side (having intentionally sat beside him) and began questioning Gramps. “Are you being honest right now?” But every question was designed to push him in the right direction. For the next 45 minutes I interjected constantly: “Didn’t you tell me that they call you a liar when you’re telling the truth…? That you’re scared of them and intimidated by them…? That you hate them…? That you come home from appointments and cry…? And then get angry and take out your anger on other, less fortunate residents…? Didn’t you tell me that getting away from them was the most important thing in your life…? That you’d rather go back to prison then to have to see them another two years…? That you’d rather be dead than see them another two years…? That you wish they were dead!”

Good Cop listened to all this and more as Gramps tediously tried to indicate that I was not wrong and that he opens up to me more truthfully than to anyone else, while still trying to be Good Cop’s loyal lap dog and not be disagreeable with him. It was painful to witness.

Miraculously, Good Cop indicated it was somewhat possible to arrange a different therapist but he was not in favor of it. He indicated it might be possible to remove a couple other stipulations which have become unnecessarily restrictive. He even suggested he could do a one-year order instead of two.

I was thrilled to hear of possible concessions and grateful for his apparent openness. It became apparent to me that Good Cop dearly wished to avoid a court battle over these orders which are normally agreed upon between police and offenders and expedited in court. I knew that Gramps had some power though he had no courage to use it.

It was a long meeting but cutting to the chase: Gramps agreed (to me regret) to meet with he and the therapists tomorrow, without me, to address these complaints and that if they could not be resolved, there would be a further meeting with the same foursome plus myself and one or two officials from the Circles of Support organization (of which I am a volunteer member but currently acting entirely outside that capacity—their mandate does not permit my current level of potentially-adversarial involvement.) I am Gramps’ unofficial advocate who thus far only participates at the whim and mercy of his oppressors.

Was Good Cop as cautiously gracious as he appeared, or is he luring Gramps into the wolfs’ den to be coerced into a reconciliation of some theatrical degree?

I must expect that Gramps will go into the meeting tomorrow, without me, and completely freeze and sell the farm. There is no hope of him standing up to his tormentors to their faces. I know that. I can only pray that he doesn’t sign anything or agree to anything in terms of renewal of supervisory orders, and that whatever great volume of damage he does, playing lap dog to them, I can somehow later undo.

I thought we’d have a lawyer on our side, you see, but it seems that legal aid will not provide such without a potential jail sentence in the equation.

I feel like it suddenly became Gramps and I against the world, but then – just  me against the world, fighting for Gramps, with him somewhere in between, being used against himself.


Looking around, I see that I have failed to warn that it is November and that means National Novel Writing Month and that means little-to-no blogging. Hopefully no one has been wasting their time coming by every day. I assume everyone uses some kind of news feeder to know when there’s a new post?