Thursday, August 19, 2004

Street Legal Part VI

Aside:
I have started this last episode about 5 times and deleted everything I've written. It just doesn't sound right. I am trying to make sense of what happened next, correctly remember all that transpired and wondering what to include and what to leave out. Many of the comments I received praised me for my part in this story, and I thank everyone very much. However, I think when called upon, most people would step in and attempt to do what they could in the same circumstances. I have not tried to make myself a hero, I just want to write about the facts as they transpired. I don't even know if there is a moral to this story. Maybe it is just an episode in my journey through life and it is I who must learn from it rather than Sally. I hope I have. I will try to start again and if some facts are not exactly correct, I apologize to you my readers, Sally and her parents.

The Social Worker who contacted me on the morning after my last visit to the park, said that Sally was taken to the hospital and placed under a 72 hour assessment period. That meant for 3 days she would be stabilized, and her general mental and physical health would be evaluated. A staff meeting would then be held and a decision would be made whether or not Sally would be discharged, allowed to stay voluntarily for 6 weeks of therapy or be assessed as dangerous to herself and/or others and further action would be taken.
Sally had given them my name as the person to call. She wanted me to be at her Hearing in 3 days time and she gave her permission for me to come to the hospital to see her. I don't remember if I was called first or Sally's parents. I hope they were called first, I know that I called her mother immediately. I don't remember if they already knew of Sally's predicament or not. Sally's mother said she was making arrangements to come to the city as soon as possible.
I went to see Sally that morning. I was not really looking forward to this as I had been through the mental health system with my son, and going to this hospital to support another patient was not easy. I did not want the responsibility. It is one thing if your own child is in trouble. Then as a parent you will fight, scream, do anything to get the help they need. You have that control. Someone else's child is another matter altogether. However, I learned some valuable life lessons when trying to advocate for "someone else's" child. I am going to state those lessons here before I forget or loose sight of them.
1. Never judge how other parents react to high degrees of anxiety regarding their children.
2. Advocating for someone who is not your immediate family but is very important to you can result in rational and sound decision making. I don't know if this holds true if you are advocating for someone with whom you have no strong emotional attachment. I hope that it does.
3. The "system" at least as I know it in the western world, is there to support its citizens as humanly as possible.
4. A person in distress will be better served by the system if they are fortunate enough to have someone who will never let go of them. I learned this lesson when my son was so very ill, and it was the same with Sally. I believe the same holds true for all people including wayward children, street people, everybody.
5. This is a very difficult concept to live by.
6. Am I my brother's keeper. (Gen. ch.4 v.9) Yes, I am. If we as humans do not look out for each other, celebrate the good in each other and reject the bad (very important), we cannot flourish.
7. This also is a very difficult concept to live by.

This is all for now, I must go and do a work out now and calm myself down a bit. Peace Out!

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