Monday, May 10, 2021

Comments by clwisehart

Showing 1 of 1 comments.

  • Laura, Thank you so much for voicing your perspective. I agree with you that it is wrong to jerk a young person from their home, and everything they know, tell them they are broken, drug them, incarcerate them, then expect them to overcome the troubles that took them there in the first place.
    I say troubles because, even at 14, you seemed to have trouble dealing with your passions and emotions. I don’t know how old you are now, but an adolescent’s brain is still growing and connecting and doesn’t, always, have the capacity to overcome…that same capacity that you found and tapped into, later, to help yourself out of the mental health world.
    I have worked with teens in schools, the juvenile justice system, the Boys and Girls Clubs and in churches. I am a certified parenting instructor. Additionally, I work through hypnotherapy to help people achieve their dreams, whatever they are. I came from a family where my mother had a chemical imbalance (un-medicated), was verbally, mentally and emotionally abused from 6 months until I could stop it in my 30s; a brother who could have used mental health care but turned to 40 years of heroine, instead; and 4 other siblings who have had various bouts with mental health issues. Personally, I went through 12 years of psychotherapy, to deal with a drugged (street) and violent life, prior to finding hypnotherapy (which became my most valuable tool in my healing.)
    Here’s the way I see it, coming from both sides of the fence…yes, the mother clearly shows difficulty with parenting and relationships (or choosing the right relationship for herself.) She could, definitely, use some tools to help parent a boy with as much “passion and energy” as Michael has. But, Michael, himself, could use some help and some tools, too. Any teenager who pulls knives out and threatens the well-being of his family members NEEDS help finding ways to control himself. As you know, when we don’t control ourselves, we leave it open for others to control us.
    Thinking that Michael has the capacity to control himself without the help of mental health professionals (when his mother and schools don’t have the necessary tools) is foolish. The problem is NOT referring our children to mental health professionals. The problem is a broken mental health system and an archaic way of thinking about mental health, in the first place.
    What if, when you got help at 14 years old, someone told you that you were NOT broken. That you were, instead, a unique, creative, passionate thinker and that you needed some tools to help you feel more comfortable in your life. What if they didn’t put you on drugs but looked, instead, at your nutritional levels FIRST? You still needed to go to school and fit into a family and community…you needed tools…tools that you were fortunate enough to find later, through your own searching.
    What if your family and community, your school, and your friends, supported you learning those tools, trying them out and, sometimes, failing? Yet, they still loved you and held you in their hearts.
    What if you had been supported by those mental health professionals with love and compassion…and, when needed, tough love, expectations, responsibility for actions and self-directed discipline when you just weren’t willing to control yourself?
    If that had been your experience, it may have been different for you and you may have found self-control just a little sooner.
    Yes, our mental health system is broken and, as Ms. Long says, it needs to be looked into, reviewed and, even, expanded. We all know that it is broken. But there is a need for a mental health “system.” And suggesting that parents steer clear of the system, when they have no other recourse, is dangerous. Instead, spend your time and energy helping (as someone who as been inside) to revamp and refocus the entire system. THAT is where you passion and energy is needed! Why else would you have had the experiences you had? Why else would you have been passionately shaking when you read Ms. Long’s letter? You are a great communicator…use it to change a much needed system rather than leaving our children to their own misguided choices. You are uniquely qualified to help make changes to the system so that more passionate and highly creative children, with unqualified, uncaring, confused, or frustrated parents can get the support they need to become fully passionate, happy, creative and successful adults.
    I wish you the best as you continue to grow into your strength. Think about the true needs of others and how they can, best, be served…then find a place to stand and move the world.
    With love, clwisehart