Saturday, May 25, 2013

"We're gonna need to go ahead and move you downstairs into storage B."

The title of this entry is from the movie Office Space; if you didn't already know that shame on you!  One of the funniest movies.  Ever.  But what I want to write about is no laughing matter!

Every two weeks we make the drive to Children's Hospital in D.C to the Psychiatric Department where our daughter is seen by one the BEST doctors who specializes in children with Post Traumatic Eating Disorder and everything that goes along with that.   Everything ranging from anxiety, depression, fear, and feeding trauma.

Three years ago when we started this "new normal" with our daughter, psychiatry was on the 2nd floor and her specialist was in the basement.  In the course of remodeling and adding new wings to the hospital psychiatry has moved to the basement and her specialist has gone from the basement, to the 4th floor with a view of all of D.C, to the 3rd floor with a nice view, to the basement with no light.  When discussing these changes with the doctor she said, "There is no money for our department and money talks".  The Diabetes Department now has the 3rd floor with a nice view.

The year is 2013, mental health is still NOT a priority in this country.  I don't want Diabetes research and treatment to receive less funding, I want to see psychiatry receive equal funding as diabetes and all other physical illnesses.  Mental health does NOT belong in the basement; both literally and figuratively speaking.  For years and years people have been taught to ignore their mental health, to hide their depression, to pull themselves up by the boot straps, to move those problems to storage B, so to speak.

We talk about cancer, diabetes, MS, CF, CP, with an urgency in research, cures, funding, and shedding light on the problems.  When we break a bone we get a cast, the world sees we are broken and we even get those casts signed.  When our psyches break there is no visible cast, no one signs their regards, there is no light shed on the problem.  We store those problems until we run out of hiding space.

It is just as important to heal our mental health as it is to cast a broken bone.  Mental health can be, and is, a matter of life or death.  Diabetes and cancer are a matter of life or death so why is mental health still being sent to the basement!!   If anything we need to move mental health to the top floor, the penthouse with the full views, with all of the natural light one can shed on the problem.

Mental health needs funding!  Mental health needs awareness!  Mental health needs to be a priority!  Basements are for storage and hiding unwanted boxes of clutter.  Basements are NOT for mental health.

(I am not editing this post; it just poured out from my heart and my anger, I am not going to make it have rhyme or reason today)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

On my honor I will do my best

Long before I had a son, I vowed we would never participate in The Boy Scouts due to their open policies on anti-homosexuality and anti-atheist/agnostic beliefs.   I have said this before and I will say it again, "never say never".  

Tonight is sign ups for new cub scouts for the next school year.  Tonight we sign up our son.  Tonight we choose to put our own policies and beliefs aside so that our son can experience group activities with his peers, make new friends, become active in our community, and step outside of his comfort zone.  Tonight is the night we learn a new way to teach him to be respectful and tolerant of other's beliefs and lifestyles.  Tonight I may very well become the hypocrite I've fought hard not to be.  

I still do not support the policies or the belief system in place by the Scouts.   But, we do support the scout Law: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.  All of those things we've taught both of our children and we did it without lifestyle or religious influence.  Because you can be all of those things for one simple reason, it's the right thing to do.   

We also have to do the right thing by our son:  let him experience many different things in order for him to find his way in this life.  It is our job to guide him, not make him be something or someone we want him to be.  At the ripe old age of seven he is already accepting of marriage equality, he questions the many theories of religion, and he knows right from wrong.  I cannot let my own internal struggle with the Scout's policies and my beliefs deter him from getting out there and learning.  He may just be the Scout who convinces the Scouts to accept every boy and leader regardless of lifestyle and religion.  Because that's what I've taught him and no one can  undo that!

On my honor I will do my best to parent my son into the right direction; not my direction but, his.