Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Blogging To The Oldies Pt 3

Criminally Insane II

There was once a young man in our house. An offender whose name I will not and cannot mention. This young man was seriously disturbed. He was so disturbed that I spent a month on Wikipedia studying nervous disorders and scrawled an entire notebook page of disorders that he displayed. And I didn't write down the symptoms of these disorders, just the names. An entire page. And I don't really write very big. This kid was messed up. He was fairly young, twenty-ish and was in prison for some sort of assault. I could see very clearly how this would happen. If you crowded him in any way, or if he even thought you were thinking about crowding him, he got extremely manic and paranoid and begin to lash out. I tried my best to work with him (as much as I was able to), to keep him from getting in situations where he would get into more trouble. Many times I had to be rather firm with him and even rough once or twice just to keep him from getting out of control. It took a firm grip on his attention and also his arm to keep him from shooting off on a tangent. We sent him off to the "hospital" more than once for whatever esoteric treatment they thought necessary. And sometimes he came back better. More than once he came back out of control. The last time he went and came back he was released back to his regular housing unit and we didn't see him for several months. I don't have alot of time to consider each offender, especially the ones who are not in my immediate care, but I thought about him occasionally and I was frequently glad that he was out of my house and doing okay. Then one day he came back. There was an altercation with another staff member that went rapidly out of control and there he was back in a cell in my housing unit, just as nutty as a fruit bat. Have you ever seen the movie "Sybil"? He didn't quite have as many people living inside of him as she did, but I'm pretty sure there was at least five people in there. Uncontrollable body movements, visual and auditory hallucinations, paranoia, delusions of grandeur, multiple personalities (who apparently didn't like each other very much), and a very thin grasp on any sort of reality. He was so disconnected from this planet that I would not have been surprised to see him actually levitating. If mind power alone could overcome the laws of physics, he could have flown. We kept him for awhile and then sent him off to the "hospital" again.
I just learned the other day that he's been released. I'm not exactly sure where, but he's out there somewhere. That's kind of scary.

This posted September 13, 2008. I don't know why I didn't out up a picture with this post.

Maybe it was because I couldn't find anything crazy enough.

As far as I know, that young man is still out on the streets somewhere. I really hope he is doing better than he was the last time I saw him.

Thursday will be Coast Guard Day, Chocolate Chip Day and Underwear Day as well as the National Twins Day Festival.


  1. It's hard to imagine what three years, out there, will do to an individual that is so badly in need of help.

    You sound like a very compassionate person that truly gives a damn about humanity and all its imperfection - that's a quality I like in a fellow human - and given the type of work you do, I imagine, at times, it really is hard to care about someone who's pushing all the wrong buttons (yours and others) while in your care.

    But good on you for making the effort.

    Thanks for sharing a piece of your work world - fascinating, really fascinating.

    How's the painting coming along...tackled your baseboards yet? Or, are you heeding my advice and just relaxing and enjoying your vacation days.

    Cheers, Jenny

  2. I bet he would make a great blogger.
    Safe word: calics

    The study of that one piece of hair that refuses to do anything more than curl.

  3. That poor guy. What the heck can you do with someone like that except institutionalize him some way?

    I would like to see chocolate chip underwear day.

  4. Jenny- If an inmate has real quantifiable mental issues I try to be as compassionate as I can, when I can. But most of these guys with so-called "mental" issues really just have "emotional" issues and refuse to act their age or are acting crazy to curry favor from the Pshrinks or to get high off the psych meds. Those I have no time for.

    The baseboards are going to have to wait, unfortunately. I have time, but what I don't have is any money for paint. Pfui. But I am relaxing alot, so it isn't all bad.

    Scott- It was confusing enough talking to him in person. I could just see giving him a keyboard and unlimited bandwidth! Yikes!

    Calics.... Hee hee hee!

    Doug- Hopefully he is in a home somewhere that they can watch him 24/7.

    And that would be awful sticky...

  5. There was this kid at my work for a while that was always saying messed up things, and talking about his mental problems and so on. I took a kind of skeptical attitude towards all this. We've had quite a number of childish idiots pass through in my time there, and I considered the possibility that this kid was just playing all this up for attention. His comments seemed a little too calculated for shock value, and he just acted a little too goofy about the whole thing. It's hard to explain, I guess, but I promise I wasn't just being dismissive. I've known a few people with serious mental problems, and something just struck me as fake about his whole routine.

    Then one night I was coming back from the store, and he was out in the parking-lot. I opened the door, and was about to get out, when he leaned in and told me, "Jesus can't jump from body to body anymore. I put a stop to that." It wasn't just the strangeness of the statement; there was a certain look in his eyes, an odd grin and nod. I've seen that look before. It was that look like, "Mmmm hmmm, yeah I know what's really going on.", like I would naturally be in awe of his revelation. His eyes were wide open and wild. I knew than that he hadn't been putting any of this on. I just nodded, said, "okay", and slipped by him. He never came back to work after that night. God only knows what happened.

  6. I was struck by the difficulty - or perhaps the impossibility - of describing this young man in terms of his behaviour or characteristics.

    And I endorse what Pearson Report said, about the compassion & so on. I have the feeling that you may have a therapeutic influence on your flock of stray lambs.

    As for the Oldies, is there an Oldie post which explains your Rev handle? Are you, or have you ever been some kind of ordained minister? I think you should come clean about this to your readers.