“The Soul Began to March”

The quote above ignited me years ago to begin my writing journey. I do not remember where it came from. If you know, please tell me, so that I can give the author acknowledgement.

Author, Unknown

Today, I’m writing about the data and MY soul.

Maybe stories are just data with a soul.

Brene Brown

Today, I’m giving you the data, which is not that interesting to everyone. I’m also giving you a part of my soul, my story. I hope you read it.

“In 2016, nearly 400,00 inmates in US jails and prisons were estimated to have a mental health condition. Of those inmates, an estimated 90,000 were defendants who had been arrested and jailed but had not come to trial because they were too disordered to understand the charges on which they were detained.” – Treatment Advocacy Center

Here is the cold, hard truth. If my father and my mother’s family did not watch over my middle class, white mother, she would have been one of those statistics. “It’s the family’s responsibility,” you might judge, then say aloud.

Picture this, you have a son who begins to exhibit odd behavior. In fact, the behavior is so odd, that you realize you need to get help for him. You take him to the nearby hospital and try to explain the bizarre symptoms – the delusions, the paranoia about the FBI and the CIA, both of which have absolutely nothing to do with him, his family or his friends. He begins to self-harm or lash out physically to your spouse or another child. The hospital tells you they can do nothing without your 20 something son’s consent and even then, they are powerless to help him.

Thus begins your nightmare. The data and your son, your soul have met. What will you do? He’s harming others. He’s obsessed with the government whom he believes is controlling his thoughts. Your spouse threatens to leave if the behavior does not stop.

This scenario is repeated over and over again. Pete Earley, a former journalist with the Washington Post, has written a book that involves his son who has bipolar.

Not all of us are well known journalist. Thank God Pete Earley is.

If you don’t have time to read a book, please listen to D. J. Jaffe in the youtube video above.

There is a problem. It needs to be fixed somehow and some way. First, we have to acknowledge the problem.

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