Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Fight For Them All

After painting tonight we sat down and watched a show on msnbc about prison inmates ('Lockup: Raw').

We've never seen it before. It's actually really interesting; and heartbreaking -tonight it is, anyway. (Knowing us, some of us would probably not think so)

This show makes us, well, me, miss the many homeless, low-income, and mentally ill people we worked with in one of our previous jobs (the one we got fired from almost exactly two years ago).

People don't respect the homeless, the low-income, people who struggle because of mental illness. Often those people are all part of the same group. Some people play a victim, in their day-to-day life, meanwhile able to manage a semblance of a productive life. The people we've met and knew on a daily basis never did that...they just seemed...lost and trying. Lost and fighting. Lost and being defeated. But they never seemed like victims.

We remember one guy. He was very nice. He struggled with some pretty severe mental illness. As a matter of fact we had met him the first few times while he was going through a schizophrenic episode. Then he got put into medical care.
When he came back he was..."completely normal". While he was "no longer ill" he kept coming back to the facility where we worked for quite a long time. We got to know him, his story, his past; he had been successful in law-enforcement, a father, a husband...he told us about the voices of angels and demons he used to hear.
He had been, and still was, fairly religious.
Eventually he started asking us to go out for with coffee with him, and after repeated "rejection", he came around less and less. We probably will never forget him.

In the short time (almost a year) we worked closely with people who had criminal histories, mental disorders, were high on drugs - from meth, to chemicals they huffed in changed our view of the people who fall through the cracks of society.

We may struggle with mental health issues on a day-to-day basis, like so many in the world; but working closely with those was something special. It was something sobering. It was something that made us want to fight for them all.
We write for them.

Some of us are hard angry bitches.
Thankfully we're not all like that.

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