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It's surreal. My mother and I just went into my elder brother's bedroom, looking for him. She was too frightened to go alone. I brought a baseball bat, ready to do violence to my own brother, if he attacked her. I don't know if I would have been able to stop swinging, had he done so.

Had he even been there.

Seriously, what the fucking fuck?

He's not the most stable of people, you know, he's been struggling with serious mental illness for more than ten years now, he's got serious sexual orientation conflict, he's convinced the FBI is stalking him and the CIA is spraying poison gas because Presidents Bush and Obama are (depending on the time of day) either jealous of his masculinity or oppose his political activism (he does none).

This isn't about him, or at least, if it were, it wouldn't be a very fucking useful diary, would it? Well, it's not going to be very useful because there's no way to get any actual services to be provided in this county. Even if there were money in the county government's coffers, and there isn't, it would be spent on other things, because psychiatric help is low on people's radar. I don't know why that should be, but there you have it.

This state's outpatient commitment law, or whatever, was signed by Gov. Corzine just a couple of months ago, and he's not under its jurisdiction at the moment; in fact it is only the terms of his probation that keep him on medication. He can't see a doctor because he can't afford it. Instead he is seen by a nurse once a month for an IM injection of haloperidol, and a social worker once a week. And it turns out, without telling anyone, the people responsible for his treatment decided to add another medication - remarkably, he'd been taking it regularly, until of course it ran out, and he missed his appointment for the haloperidol.

So what the hell can we do?

Other than call the police whenever violence is threatened, and be ready to do violence to our own flesh and blood?

I'm still shaken by how ready I was to do violence to him. But I feel that at this point it's not him in his body, hasn't been for years now, and if I have to raise a hand to defend myself, then... I don't know, who would be struck? Is he my brother or isn't he? Same genes, same fingerprints as when he was a kid, but his personality is just warped beyond recognition.

Originally posted to Shaviv on Sun Oct 04, 2009 at 09:00 AM PDT.

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