I’d like to state up front and candidly, I’m not going to go “red/blue” on this. Okay? If you’re looking for a political “agenda” you’ll find one: I hate both parties for working only to ensure that they both exist and remain necessary. That’s it as far as this discussion. Both parties consume resources, both do nothing but guarantee their own necessity. If you disagree I am wholeheartedly sorry, but not ashamed to feel how I feel. Too much BS is going on that’s unacceptable and it’s coming from both sides of the aisle. This post won’t be a bash on one party or the other. Make no mistake, it will be a bash on the way certain elements of the “way things are” and how the “system” has some pretty glaring problems as I see them. By the way, I apologize in advance for both the length of this post and my language within. I have much to say and I am intensely passionate about this. If a little profanity offends you, you’re not going to enjoy this post much.
It’s not something I take intense pride in, but for the past several months I’ve been having some pretty serious problems mentally. Not just since mom passed, but extending back and getting progressively worse as time wore on and events played out.
One day last summer I had a really rough night, comprised of another failure in my personal life. I took it seriously hard and while sitting in this very chair I seriously contemplated permanently solving all my problems via suicide. Had it not been for my mother’s near total dependence on me to do the things she couldn’t do for herself, I didn’t. That day after I’d dropped her off at her treatment I went to a local mental health center called “Quinco”. Basically, they’re supposed to help people who are dealing with problems. I dipped low enough to have really dark and potentially hazardous impulses, so rather than letting it go unchecked I did something about it. That’s what makes sense to me: don’t let small problems become monsters before you start slaying them.
Quinco? Pardon my French, but it was complete horseshit. I went in the back hoping to maybe get help working through my issues. Nada. Basically they took down my name and basic information, then told me I needed to either pay out of pocket (a non-option option) or I needed to have insurance, or I needed to be turned down for state insurance and bring the denial. I had no insurance and was 99% sure I didn’t qualify for state insurance. Still this left me with absolutely no help at the time. I did my part to try and acquire a denial letter for state insurance…
Still haven’t gotten it. Twenty times since then, I’ve contemplated putting a handful of heart meds down my throat or a bullet through my head. Why haven’t I? My mother relied on me for everything. Then she died, and now my uncle relies on me for everything. I’m a selfish asshole bastard, but I’m not such a selfish asshole bastard that I’d leave people I care for in such a bind. It’s not something good people do. Without me, my uncle’s life would be so miserable and difficult that I sincerely don’t know if he could do it. The life skills he has were perfect for 1985, but in 2017 everything is going to be a struggle. Modern gas pumps are intensely difficult for him. I do not think he’d be able to handle it with all the layers of difficulty beyond that level. This isn’t a shot on him, it’s reality.
I’m living day-to-day putting out fires and keeping this house going so that I can uphold the promise I made to my mother that I would maintain a home for him until his death. If you’ve never served as sole caregiver for an individual with chronic and ongoing medical difficulties, let me educate you on a fact: it is a 24/7 job, 52 weeks a year, no days off. That’s my job, that’s why I don’t end my existence. When my uncle passes away, what then? Who will I live to take care of and help? What reason will I have to exist?
Exactly. It’s for that very reason I went to Quinco: to try and get out of this hole I’m in. To maybe prevent the inevitable. I’m thinking if I’m contemplating suicide with people who rely on me for everything, I better get myself some help before they’re gone and I have no reason not to go through with it. Annnnnnd it didn’t work for shit. Don’t get me wrong, I totally get that every place needs an income, but here’s the rub: if you claim you’re going to help people, if you claim you’re going to serve people, if you claim you care, then by God you care for people, you help people, and you serve people. Not just wealthy people, but all people. If a sumbitch walks up that you can help by doing what you do, you don’t turn him away because he’s poor. You do what you do.
Yes, I know, they’ve had an expensive education. Ever hear of a Stafford Loan? That’s the typical school loan everybody gets at least early on. It’s tax-funded. So basically…tax payers put them through a good part of their education! Without the tax paying public, the grand majority of them wouldn’t have PhD behind their name, they’d have DoD; Digger of Ditch. So, we’re paying for their education, then paying for their post-education services…Exactly who is serving who?
Sorry for the diversion there. Every time you hear of somebody killing themselves, maybe instead of getting mad at bullying, or circumstances, or addiction, or genetic depression…maybe get mad at how much horseshit the average person will face in trying to get a little help. How far beyond help someone has to be before help is made available to them under reasonable expectations. I’m not saying “free all the way” but when I know it’s going to be a hundred bucks for an hour and I’m deadass broke…It’s help but it’s not realistically attainable to me as a person. Sorry to feel this way but if the help isn’t truly present for anyone who really needs it when they need it, then it may as well not be there at all. I’m upholding the obligations I agreed to uphold and am praying every day that I don’t have to put my uncle in a nursing home where sub-standard care can kill him too: I don’t have the time, energy, or physical capability to hold down a job on top of that obligation.
I am, at the end of the day, a human being. Not a great one, hell, I’m not even a good one most days, but I’m a human being. My inability to pull a hundred bucks out of my butt when I’m struggling with something doesn’t make my struggling less valid than someone who rich-beyond-realism. If you’re holding someone’s wellbeing hostage for a big ransom…are you really helping? Or, are you just taking advantage of someone else’s misfortune for your own ulterior motives?
Right now, I cannot estimate the number of people who need mental help and aren’t getting it because some group who claims they give a damn won’t give a damn for less than a hundred bucks an hour. That in itself is sad. Ya wanna know what’s SCARY? They didn’t get that help today. They won’t get it tonight. But tomorrow, they’re going to walk out and get in their cars and go about whatever they have that’s called a “life”, and they’re going to be driving on the same roads we all drive on every day, and in the same parking lots we walk in between our cars and the stores.
You don’t think it might be time to start putting pressure on those in power to actually provide a little help for those who need it before they are too badly in need of help to benefit from it, do you? Sometimes it’s a pretty long walk from the car to the store…