Moved by “God Know’s Where I am”

grief_1350

My heart is breaking. I just finished watching an interview of Linda Bishop’s family about the documentary “God Know’s Where I am.” It’s a story about a woman who was released from a state mental institution floridly psychotic. She was given no medication, no money and they didn’t even make a phone call to her daughter or sister that she was being released. Turns out even a judge ruled she was sane enough and didn’t need a guardian.

So much for sanity.

Linda left that institution and wondered through the woods where she came upon an empty farm house. She stayed there for four months surviving on apples from a tree and water from the melted snow. She kept account of her daily activities by writing in a journal. Winter came and she eventually starved to death.

She died with all her civil liberties. She died with her rights on. She died an early death. She died a victim of an inhumane mental health care system that fails people every single minute of every single day. Lives are discarded like a piece of trash.

My eyes are watering with tears. I’m not a crier. But I see myself in Linda’s story. I was the inpatient who was released from the hospital floridly psychotic. Fortunately, I was released to my family. But days after arriving home, I took off on the road again only to find myself lost in the wilderness. Wandering lost, cold with frostbitten feet. My life was sparred.

The system failed me. But I survived in spite of it.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t pinch myself with how lucky I am. I am one of those people society gave up on. Thrust into a broken, incompetent mental health care treatment system. But here I sit today. Sad for the people who weren’t, haven’t been or will not be as fortunate as me.

I’m very unsure of what to do with all of my emotions. For many years working as an advocate has served me well. Now, my heart is heavy with all the tragic stories I bear witness to. Feeling helpless against a giant system with no fix in site.

The heavy, dark sadness stirs my soul. I want people to have civil liberties, but I don’t want people to die with those liberties on. We must do something to change this atrocious system.

To watch the documentary “God Knows Where I am” you can find it on Netflix.

 

 

6 thoughts on “Moved by “God Know’s Where I am”

  1. It is truly tragic! Serious mental illness is so complex and frustrating for all! Each person is so different… some recover and some don’t. So hard to watch family trying to recover and never make it, no matter how hard their caregivers try and fight! We are here for you and you are doing your part. We are aloud to mourn and get discouraged. Sometimes you need to let go and cry and turn it back over to God. He will guide you in small steady ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Louise I needed to hear that. This story along with another local one has really bothered me. Usually this stuff doesn’t, but I think I’m in the middle of a “growth spurt!l I feel like there must be some way we can help our local community do better.

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  2. The system failed my son and he died.
    I want so bad to be able to address
    The facts that surrounded his death
    But not sure how. I see what the doctors did to him but forcing him to
    Be on the wrong medication just to
    To get rich from. He only suffered
    From anxiety and the doctor actually
    Told me there is no such thing as
    Anxiety and gave him a heavy dose
    Of antipsychotic meds. A shot that lasted a month and treated all their patients with the same drugs. Called
    Invega. He was never the same.
    Please stay away from Bellaire Hospital
    Mental health .

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  3. People need to have as many rights as possible. We don’t want to go back to the years where a family can have someone committed because they don’t like the way they are living their lives. However there has to be a way to save people who can’t save themselves. I don’t have the answers but I think they should be explorered. I watched the Netflix show and it still haunting my thoughts. I don’t think she wanted to die but her thinking would not allow her to get help. Tragic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you. Going back to the days when anyone could get committed is not the answer…but vulnerable people are falling through the cracks and dying. The system and the laws need changed.

      Like

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