"Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly." -Albert Einstein

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

From the House Part deux

Hello! How are you this fine Wednesday morning?
I'm just this side of exhausted, but I just finished another cup of coffee a minute ago, so I'm hanging in there.
I thought that I would tell you about another of the residents, here.
There is an older gentleman who lives here named "Mick". Mick is a serious person and very intense. He never jokes (just ask him and he'll tell you, loudly). Mick also is narcissistic as all get out. EVERYTHING is about him. I guess we are all SO incredibly interested in all things Mick that he graciously fills us in on Mick trivia throughout the day: "I am not a criminal" "I have never been on a matress with a male or a female!" "I never finished school, I only got to the 9th grade" "In one year I had 24 different jobs." And it's not in a conversational tone, like, say "Rainman". It's BELLOWED across any great (or small, really) span that has any living person on the other side of it. Mick really just seems to enjoy the sound of his own voice more than anyone I can think of. 
 When his staff person takes him out to the store to do his personal shopping, even though the staff person is clearly nowhere near as old as Mick, or in any other way related to him, Mick often finds it necessary to yell across the store "You are not my wife!"
 Last week, while on the way home, the staff person was going 40-ish on a 35 mile an hour road and Mick called the police and reported that she was trying to kill him. Reckless endangerment!  
Mick has something wrong with one of his eyes, so that it's kind of looking slightly away fromthe other one. An accident, I think, caused this. Anyway, to hear him tell it, THE EYE (often it is pointed at and addressed as if it were a seperate entity-heck, maybe it is) is the reason for most of the things that happen to Mick. Note that it's not a matter of consequences of his own actions. No, no, no. Mick is absolutely a victim here. His brother, who is the legal guardian of Mick's affairs (I can just hear him now VEHEMENTLY denying EVER having had "ANY kind of affair with a man or a woman"), also supposedly abuses Mick. I'm not exactly sure how this abuse happens, but Mick is one who never forgets an imagined slight. Mick is clearly disturbed. At the moment, in fact, he is a temporary resident at the local "Stress Unit". (IE Psych Ward) It's unfortunate, because I have seen him at times actually being almost kind, completely polite, and even cracking a smile. (I think the last of those came when I surprised him with a carefully planned -very subtle-joke. It was fairly miraculous!)
It's not known at this point whether Mick will be returning to the house or going on to a safer environment (he often likes to berate the milder residents when they are careless enough to, say, sit inthe living room while he's home). If he doesn't return, I would just like to say that I enjoyed the Monopoly and Scrabble games, Mick. And I wish him (and his EYE) well.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Wake Up Call: 10 American Foods That Are Banned in Other Countri...

Wow! This is disturbing. I know it won't be a surprise to most of you readers. :)
Wake Up Call: 10 American Foods That Are Banned in Other Countri...: Americans are slowly waking up to the sad fact that much of the food sold in the US is far inferior to the same foods sold in other nation...

Friday, October 25, 2013

Greetings from The House.

I'm sucking on my second delicious coffee since about 9 pm, and I thought this would be an excellent time to jot down some thoughts. Since I AM still employed at The House, I will give you some observations about some of the people I get to work (for) with. I want to preface that, though, with this statement:
Whenever there is a group of people living under the same roof, eating meals together, and kinda doing life together, they will tend to become like a family. Whether it's been a group of college kids sharing rent, or an intentional community, it would seem to be the way things are. This is not a good thing nor a bad thing. Maybe it's better than it is worse, I don't know. But as I have been allowed to watch and learn from the folks here at The House, I can see that it is even more apparent that we need each other. Us. Humans. I'm glad, today, that God created us for relationships.

In order to protect the innocent (or not so innocent) I will use ficticious names, here, of course. None of the names are of the actual residents.

Every one who lives in this place has some kind of schizo-affective disorder, (among other things) which is to say at any given moment, there's probably someone hearing things that aren't there. Lots of paraniod delusions, too, so we often have to assure our people that we are NOT poisoning them. (No comments about when I get to help cook, please. And thank you.)

I guess I'll start with my favorites, which are easily Bill and Jane.

Bill is about 50, a soft-spoken gentleman who is often paranoid, and prefers to let the person who cuts his hair, shave him. He will get a pretty good scruff going before he decides to go get "gussied up"- I like to tease him. I asked him last time if he was going to get a mani-pedi, too? He grinned at me, and said no. His grins start at his eyes and eventually spread over his whole face. 
Bill has paranoid schizophrenia, so every time he is in a vehicle we have to reassure him that "Yes, we will get there and back safe and alive." He grips the door and the cupholders while traveling.
One way we try to help him with this is to distract him while we're driving. Talking about the song on the radio is one way. Another is, when we go past the local "PNC" bank, we think of things the "PNC" might stand for. Bill thought of "Pretty Nice Chicks" once, and grinned. He clarified "I mean you know, like girls, chicks like girls." Pretty cute.
The first thing you notice about Bill, though, is the drool. He constantly drools. It's a side-effect of some of his medications, Unfortunately, it could give the impression that he's not too bright, but Bill is a smart guy. He told me that he studied architecture befoer he got sick, and checked out several books on blueprints at the library. I believe that he did. He's a smart cookie, under the mental illness.

Jane is tied for first place with Bill. She is also living with schizophrenia, almong other things. Jane talks about her thoughts falling out of her head all over the floor. She won't do to church because, as she explains it "what if I was thought-broadcasting and my thoughts flew out and hit, a Bishop, or the Minister, or something?" Jand is a delight. She is almost always smiling, and in a good mood. She comes off with some really random things, and she loves to go to the Dollar Store and buy stuff.
Jane goes to the Senior Center nearby and likes to hang out there. From what I hear, they fix lunch for them and also do a lot of crafts. Jane is a very crafty lady. Jane is about 65, but she wears her hair in a cute bob cut, and her mother still tries to boss her around. I guess some things are universal.

There are 6 other rooms here, but currently only 5 other occupants. We should be getting a "move-in" next week, which is sure to be interesting.

I love my job. I love being able to help people, I love being able to show them that I care, and helping them find solutions for their problems, even if it's the same solution, day after day. I will confide something to you, dear reader, but don't tell anyone. I feel lots of times, that I could easily have ended up in a place like this, where others get to tell you what to do, all day, and every day. Where not everyone recognises that you are a human, adult, and treats you with the respect and consideration that you deserve. I'm grateful that I have been able to get to this point with as sound a mind as I have.
But sometimes, I feel like I'm undercover. I'm really much closer to the residents here than anyone else needs to know.  ;)