Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Just Like Fire


Pink has it right... The world is madness and a colorful charade. The world tries to fit you into a box and make you play THE game, but it just does not work that way. The end result:  when the fire gets too hot, you end up in court, even though you should maybe end up in therapy...  This blogger sees the results day in and day out, and today, the fire was hot.

Courtrooms are the worst place to solve life problems, but they are also the place where many people end up doing that very thing. The problems range from inability to control impulses, which typically ends you up in criminal court, to inability to do the right thing for a child or family member, which ends you up in family court or probate court for custody issues or guardianship relief for a child or elder person.  Unfortunately, this is our world and society.  Lawyers, trained to argue, point out procedural issues, and to deal with the nit-picky areas of life, are the ones people come to when life just needs to be sorted out by a third party because the people on the front lines will not cooperate in the best interest of their own life, the life of a child, the life of a grandparent or older aunt/uncle, or the wishes of a deceased relative.  While this blogger appreciates the work and understands where her bread is buttered, she thinks, sometimes, there are steps left out, and worries that people do not get the assistance they need prior to leaving major life decisions up to another lawyer (the judge) to decide. 

Lack of mental health treatment, awareness, and assistance in our country seems to be a very serious problem.  When a bone breaks, we take ourselves to the urgent care or ER and get it fixed. We get a cast, have people write on it, get special treatment, and follow-up with our care providers to ensure that the bone works right again, as best as possible. When our spirit breaks,  our home breaks down through divorce or death of a loved one, our psyche breaks, a disorder becomes apparent, the chemicals in our brains jumble or are different than "the norm", we often keep this private, feel shame or have nowhere to turn. We may end up in court after committing a crime, for a divorce, or to be committed due to mental illness.  The problem is -- where did any assistance occur?  Often, no assistance occurred, and the answer is incarceration, familial breakdown with no counseling or  support, and commitment with no good prognosis in a facility with no good care options that will turn you back out as soon as it can claim you are somewhat stable.

The bottom line, in this blogger's opinion, is that people should not be "thrown" away and divided (jail/commitment/nasty divorce isolating families/estate contests after deaths in families) without significant effort. However, that does not seem to be the American Way. Whether attorneys should have more training in mental health principles or mental health providers should be required in court settings, who knows, but it seems obvious to this blogger that something's got to give.  A court of law should not be where people deal with mental health issues as a first stop.  It should be a final resort, and it does not seem to be...

Do not get this blogger wrong -- there are absolutely times when the criminal has been helped ad infinitum; the family going through a divorce has gone through the steps, attempted resolution and must be in court, or the person needs to be committed, etc.  However, we all take a lot of shortcuts...  Shortcuts, in school, were never allowed. We had to show our work in reading, writing and arithmetic.  Shouldn't we have show our work in life?

Thanks for listening to this rant, blogosphere...

*The opinions expressed are of the blogger only and were not intended as legal advice or as an avenue to open a lawyer-client relationship.