Anastasia Awakens

Posted: May 3, 2015 in abuse, awakening, mental health, mental illness
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“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”

I walk into the jail. It is my first day as the new supervisor of the medical unit. What a great opportunity to change things with this job. I did not know why they hired me to do this job. I had at the time 10-12 years working in psychiatry and this was a jail, which is mostly medical I thought.

I was there for a few minutes, and met the staff members. Right away there is a behavior code called and we are to rush to the cell to see what it is. I follow along and watch. We get to the cell and there is where I would first meet Anastasia. She was a 21 year old Russian female. She was cutting herself with an object she had stolen.

“Anastasia, give us the scissors NOW!” screamed the guard.

“No, you guys don’t care. No one does, I want to die anyways.”

She continues to cut and the guards with the riot gear on jump on her all at once and put her down. She is screaming and screaming and crying, “get off of me, get off of me, I will give it to you.”

“Too late for that!” Scream the guards and the nurses.

They bring her into the medical unit and she is checked out by one of the nurses. The nurse, as she goes over to check Anastasia’s blood pressure and her wound is furious. It is obvious. She came into work, and she was just getting her coffee started, listening to her music, and catching up on the gossip of the day. She rolls her eyes as she walks shaking her head towards Anastasia.

Anastasia is sad and crying and asks the nurse, “Are you mad at me now.”

The nurse replies, “Well why do you keep doing this?”

This would be typical of what I would see in my time at the jail. I heard many of the staff say things like, “They get free care and I do not.” Or “They are taking our tax dollars every time we have to call the ambulance.”

I watched my boss come in and yell at an inmate who was going through withdrawal. “Shut up!! You are annoying! Just shut up and leave us alone.” He had paperwork to do and she was interrupting him.

What would happen when an inmate made a self-harm gesture as Anastasia did is that we would place them on intense observations. Meaning they had to come in to talk to someone at least once per day and we would have a series of questions to ask them to gauge how they are doing. Then we would decide if it was to continue. Great idea I thought, this will be fun.

However, I soon realized that no one really wanted to do this, and no one really made any effort when doing it. However, you are less likely to help someone if you have it in your head that they are just a bad person instead of taking the time to get to know them.

“She just wants attention.” “She is a manipulator, a baby and playing games. Now we have to do all this paperwork.” These were things some of the staff would say.

I began to see why they hired me. By diagnosis, about 75% of the jail inmates had mental illness. But I can tell you from my lifetime of experience, it was 100%. That is not an exaggeration. This is now where we are housing our Mentally Ill. In jails. Across the country and this was my first taste of it personally. It costs 1,000 dollars to send a patient to CD treatment or to Mental Health treatment per day, whereas the jail only costs about 100 dollars.

Every single inmate that I encountered would have benefited from mental health or CD treatment. The charts are all similar. Abuse and neglect as a child. Then drugs, alcohol, cutting, gambling, some sort of escape. Then fights, crimes, and then jail. Then back in jail, again and again and again.

We have this high recidivism rate and we wonder why? The reason is the system. We don’t treat the underlying conditions, and we punish the result of the condition. That would be like punishing someone for having a heart attack, but not telling them about the heart disease or helping them with diet modifications and lifestyle changes. Then when they have another heart attack, we punish them again and say “they just do not get it.”

We are the most incarcerating society in the history of mankind. We have private prisons that make money of people being jailed. We have people who lobby congress to make tougher laws so we can lock up more people and everyone makes more money. Most of these people that are locked up are mentally ill.

So we are taking those that were abused and traumatized, and we are not treating them. We are locking them back up, and making money off of it.

So how did Anastasia get here, and how do we solve this issue of locking up the mentally ill?

You see the picture at the top. That is a Russian orphanage. That is where Anastasia spent the first 4 years of her life. In a crib, with no human touch or affection. Fighting for food. Forming no bonds with anyone.

“Child maltreatment has been called the tobacco industry of mental health. Much like smoking directly causes or triggers predispositions for physical disease, early abuse may contribute to virtually all types of mental illness.”

There was also a study done using monkeys regarding early bonding and its significance and how it affects our future development. It showed that lack of early maternal interaction, and early adversity in life, as well as lack of bonding significantly increases your chances of developing addictions and mental health issues, and behavioral issues later in life. Here is the full study if you want to read it.

So, in Anastasia’s case, she was in an orphanage the first 4 years of her life. Which altered her brain development significantly. Russian orphanages are well known for their lack of resources, neglect, and abuse of the children. Some have been shut down. There are many awful images that can be seen online and article about it.

She then was adopted by her American adopted parents. They were excited to bring home this child, to be helping out the less fortunate. However, as in many cases with these adoptions from Russia or other countries, they did not get what they thought they were getting. They were not equipped to handle this young girl.

She was 4. 4 years old. Imagine a 4 year old. They are exploring life, starting to gain independence, asserting themselves. Many studies state that the personality is almost fully developed by age 3, some say by age 6. No one argues that it is fully developed very early on.

So now imagine a 4 year old sitting in a crib most of the day with no one to bond with or hold, no one to love her, or care for her. No one to ask questions to. No one to smile at or to play with. How is that fair that when she gets older we expect her to just have somehow magically “figured it out.”

She gets home and she is not a typical 4 year old. She screams, she throws fits, and she yells, hits, and kicks. She has no idea where she is or what is going on and she is scared and does not trust the world, nor should she.

Her adoptive parents were sold on the idea of bringing this kid to America and giving her a better life. They were not ready for this.

So, by around age 5 or 6, Anastasia’s new mom is holding her down, locking her in her room, and making her stay outside. Almost hiding her from the world. She is once again punished when she has emotions, or feeling. If you scream and feel, you are hit, held down, or locked outside. That was the message that was being sent to Anastasia. What this teaches the developing brain is that when you are feeling something, you deal with it by inflicting pain. It is how her young brain was molded over and over again.

When a child is abused like this over time, the hippocampus sometimes shuts down, that is the part of the brain that involves memory of events. However, there is also proof that the chemical reactions in a child’s brain at this time are similar to that of heroin withdrawal. So what I am trying to say is imagine a child going through this much pain over and over, and getting this sick over it. No one is explaining any of this to her. She doesn’t understand why she is dying inside. Then the memory part of the brain shuts down almost so she doesn’t have to remember all of the events. I would ask her all the time about the orphanage, she didn’t remember. But I read the chart. So I knew, but she didn’t. It is probably best that she didn’t.

So we see these children as adults and we say, “Well only half of them were traumatized.” I am certain that is false, you still see the behavior, because the body remembers. The brain does not always remember the things that happened. But the body does.

Just like an alcoholic or drug addict learns to use the substance when emotions come up. Someone who self-harms usually has learned at an early age that when emotions come up, you inflict pain and punishment. Then it goes away and the surge of dopamine happens much like it does in an addict. However, the feelings stay inside. They are never released. So now, this temporary relief has actually made things worse. Now there is shame over the self-harm, and the original emotions stay. Now you have someone with all these emotions bottled up. Eventually it’s going to explode.
Anastasia began cutting herself at age 7. I asked her how this started. She said “It just made the pain go away, when my mom would hit me, I would not be sad about whatever I was sad about anymore.”

She was eventually sent to groups homes. Her first one was at age 11. She would cut and self-harm. She has scars all up and down her arms.

She has tried to walk into traffic, and she had tried to overdose. She has tried to stab herself with a knife.

Her life has been this. Placement after placement, event after event.

Now in the jail, the staff when she is not around state that she is “attention seeking” and “manipulating” and “playing games.”

They are not motivated to help heal her because they believe in their head that it is made up. I think she does want attention, because she has never gotten it. What you think of someone in your head affects the way you treat them.

Some of the oppressors of the mentally ill and addicted walk around like they are superior, like they did something to have this privilege. Like it was earned. They were born on 3rd base and act like they hit a triple.

I learned all of this about her life as I talked to her, and confirmed it by reading her chart. I would get my eyes rolled at by the staff and guards, and told “You spend too much time with the inmates.” and “You are causing issues because now they expect everyone to spend time with them.”

However, some agreed with me. That’s another thing I learned, there is usually a silent majority that agrees with being kind to people. Everyone has this at their core. They are more willing to do this if they have a partner in doing this. So by acting out of love, you usually bring out the others that have been fearful to do things different.

The oppressors of the mentally ill and addicted take someone abused, who never had near what they had, and lock them up. Then they punish them and do not treat them. However, they continue to make laws and laws to punish and punish. Prison is a big business here. We have people making 100,000 a year. In their minds, they need to keep making that money, and more if they can. They do this at the expense of the mentally ill and traumatized and addicted.

The oppressors say, “They do not want to get better, they keep coming back.”

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

When Anastasia was 18. She was in an adult foster care program. She had a staff member that was very strict and had this attitude like the staff at the jail. She felt Anastasia’s behavior was purposeful and deliberate. She ordered Anastasia around. She bossed her around, she had power and abused it, much like the jail staff.

How did this staff member grow up? She was told she was a princess and got everything she wanted. She was told she was special. She was told she deserved all that she had. She was a victim of all of us also. She was also told lies as a child. She ran her house since she was little. She was abused in another way. We create this, our society creates this. We are all co responsible for the staff, and for Anastasia.

How is it all of our faults, some say to me. Silence is consent, if we say nothing and do nothing, we are consenting to it. Some live in excess, and as a whole, we have a lot that we do not need. We spend billions per year on Christmas, and the super bowl alone costs billions of dollars. We as a country and society have all this money. We see the suffering in the other parts of the world and we do nothing. We say we can’t change things. We are only one person. So we sit on our couches, and we watch TV and we over consume. We pay entertainers billions of dollars. We are using up all the resources.

We are acting like a virus. Viruses attach on to the host. Viruses eat, multiply, and use up the hosts resources, then move on.

There are people suffering all over the world. They are the future Anastasias. Or worse. We can prevent the next school shooting, or the next serial killer. We are capable of this.

We also see the spoiled little girl and think it is “cute.” We watch the shows that encourage this, we show children by our actions. We consume and teach young girls what beauty is, by how you look. You have to be skinny, you have to look a certain way. You have to act a certain way. Very rarely do I see someone just accepting their young daughter for who they are.

The young spoiled staff members are victims of the lies as well. We all see it, but do we do anything? NO.

It’s hard, I do it. I try my hardest not to and I am getting better at it. But it is all over and it is hard not to become a part of it. You have to be aware. I am not always, it is a process.

We sit and wait for people to come along and change all of this.

But, what if we are the ones we have been waiting for? What if you do something each day, and someone sees it and it continues. The effect of one kind act or word is much larger than you can ever imagine.

So yes, you are only one person, but you can change the world if you want to.

Anastasia was hurting one day, and having intense emotions. So she left to the store. She came back late and was yelled at by this staff member. She told Anastasia she cannot eat supper. The staff was mad that Anastasia was not following “the rules” which really were “her rules.” She did not like Anastasia doing her own thing and going off. This was not the first time Anastasia has disobeyed her. No one had ever challenged her. These 2 people and their generations of pain collided on this day.

Anastasia was doing poorly on this day. She had bought a knife. She pulled it out. She was going to hurt herself. The staff member was scared, this was not how it was supposed to go.

The staff called the cops and they surrounded the house. They broke in and arrested Anastasia because they had to evacuate the house. The staff was angry, and said she felt threatened. That was enough for felony terroristic threats.

What happened was they then officially charged Anastasia for felony terroristic threats. She did not know what to do, Anastasia had a public defender that was overwhelmed with cases so he got her to plead guilty. No one really advocated for her. You have this young, law abiding staff member that was scared and this brutal criminal that tried to hurt her. Lock her up. That was the perception.

So now Anastasia is at jail. A felony terroristic threat. She was getting punished more in jail. She was not getting any treatment. She was continually shamed by staff. She never had visitors. She was now a mentally ill person in a jail. This is how it happens. This is just one story, but there are many like it that result with mentally ill being in prisons all over.

What will they think 100 years from now about us? I hear people of this generation always say, “I can’t believe they had slaves,” and “I can’t believe they didn’t let women vote and men just did what they wanted to their wives.”

What do you think this says about us? We take people who were abused, and traumatized. We charge them with crimes and lock them up. For money. We do not treat them either. We make money off of it. We are taking sick people and locking them up, we are the most incarcerating society in the history of mankind. Most of which are mentally ill and have been traumatized and we do not treat them. We can fix it, we choose not to.

Anastasia and I talked daily. I read her chart, got her records, and got to know her. She was a kind, loving caring young lady that never had a chance. Now she was not perfect, as none of us are. I still heard the talk from staff and guards, “She just wants attention, game player, and attention seeker.”

So, at times she was afraid to report symptoms because she was convinced that she “made things up for attention.” That’s what she was told her whole life.

One day, during clinic, she passed out in the hallway. A medical code was called. They all rolled eyes and said “Anastasia again.” She would say she was ill at times to get an opportunity to talk was the perception of many.

We went down to the code, but this time she wouldn’t wake up. If she was faking it, it sure was a good job. We called 911. She went in.

She was in the hospital for a few days. She would have to go back and get tests done.

It turns out she had developed cancer that had spread all over her body.

She was not going to make it. She was going to die.

She was placed in the hospital ward for end of life care. At age 22.

Everyone was surprised by how she handled the news that she was going to die in 6 months. She said to me, “I hope my dad visits me now.”

I lost it. I lose it again now writing this. I cry every time I think about this moment.

That’s all she wanted was a visitor.

She came into the hospital ward as we had to monitor her hourly now.

What I saw from everyone was their humanity. Everyone was truly sad over this. They started to see her every single hour on the hour as they had to, due to her illness. Since she was now in the ward right next to us. So the staff were almost “forced” to interact with her and get to know her.

They got to know the true Anastasia. They treated her so gently and kindly. Everyone was laughing with her.

Everyone got to know her quirks. They got to know who she was. Because of this, they all knew when there was a change in her behavior, so they knew when she needed attention. They knew her so well they could see when she needed extra when she needed time alone.

They knew her favorite foods. Some would sneak her in treats and pop and everyone was breaking the rules for this kid. Some of those that were the roughest on her were truly the ones with the softest hearts.

I saw so much beauty in this such painful moment. Everyone had their masks off.

Why does it take this for it to happen? Why did this kid have to die for people to see her for who she was?

They were forced to get to know her. It was amazing.

At one point during all of this, I sat down at the desk next to the oldest meanest nurse in the building (my false perception.)

Her name was Dorothy. I just started small talk. Her head was down, she was shaking. I said “what is it?”

I looked in her eyes, now this was probably the toughest woman I’ve ever met. Smart and rough and tough. You know, old school. She was crying.

She said “you know it just hurts. I lost my daughter at age 21 to a drug overdose and I see a lot of her in Anastasia. I was mad Anastasia was wasting her life and going to kill herself like my daughter.”

I never would have guessed that is where all her anger towards Anastasia came from. Everyone has things that lead them to be who they are, give them their beliefs, and things that dictate their behaviors.

Which is why we all are co responsible for each other.

When Anastasia died, she died with all the nurses and guards around her crying. Everyone came in on their days off to say goodbye. She finally had her family. It was us.

I sat next to her as she passed away. She had this huge smile on her face.

I said “What the heck are you smiling for?” That was our relationship. We teased a lot and goofed off. Even as she was going away.

She put her hand out, she held my hand gently, which was very unlike her. She looked at me dead in the eyes and said. “This was the best 6 months of my life.”

She finally got treated the way she should have been her whole life.

She finally got what she always wanted, and what she never had gotten.


Anastasia means resurrection.

  1. Your powerful voice IS making a difference, as you act to be what you wrote 5/4 in a comment on this thread, “One person can stop the cycle. Why not us?” I have had the quote you started with on my office wall for years. Thank you for showing us all Anastasia’s, and our own, humanity.

    My own prayers for a long time have been along the lines of ‘Lord, you have given me a small sphere of influence, may I serve you well in it.’ You, on the other hand, have a large audience, and He is using you mightily!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Little Butch That Could (TLBTC) says:

    Beautifully honest, meaningful, powerful, heartbreaking and true. Peace.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. cslscorpio says:

    Very heartbreaking & prowerful!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anastasia and others who’ve had a similar life; I pray for them that when they have their next life, they may have a peaceful one where they are treated fairly and with dignity and love.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Lindsayj22 says:

    Thank you for sharing. I can honestly say, I can’t remember a lot from childhood because of mental, emotional and physical abuse. I didn’t know there was a word for it. This story is a reminder of why we should be gentle with our children and their feelings. And why we should show compassion in others and take the time to get to know them. I’m a firm believer that we can learn and grow from ANY person on this earth.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Kricket says:

    Wow.. Speachless. Thank you for sharing such a story.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, if it reaches people then it was worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Agapi says:

      Yes Kricket, my feelings exactly…speechless. I was a rape crisis counselor and counseled adults molested as children and what you explain about how the child brain re-wires due to trauma is so true. So many of our clients were put in prison due to various things they did. When they came to us and we worked with them, on a peer to peer basis, not I know more than you and I’ll tell you what to do, it was like the light bulb went on and they realized they weren’t mentally ill, they were traumatized. They were wearing a mask to hide the pain, and then “they took the mask off”….slowly.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Hi, just wanted to let you know I nominated you for the Creative Blogger Award. The rules for the nomination are posted on my blog. Hope you don’t mind but I love how heartbreakingly beautiful your blog is. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. That’s nice of you. I appreciate that you have taken time to read through it, if it reaches people, then I’m glad I have written

      Liked by 1 person

      • I always “enjoy” your posts – though it’s difficult to use that word. it’s more that your posts speak to me, let me know there’s hope in the world, that even when all is dark, you can still see a light somewhere. As I’ve said previously, I’m glad your struggle has made you better and I’m glad this is true for others, including myself. Although the struggle is painful, how would we otherwise know what happiness is? How would we show the world what beauty is? Some of the best artists are the ones that are tortured. And that is true of us, my friend.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ypu are right, I wouldn’t change q thing, through the most pain had cone wisdom, lessons, and ability to empathize with others, or doesnt’t feel that way at the time, but some good has always come from pain

        Liked by 1 person

      • Good always has to come from the pain. It’s the only way most of us seem to know how to grow.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. D.N.B. says:

    Nicely written piece; which I agree with for the most part. My view is slightly different on a couple of points.
    It leaves out “Us and Them”, by that I mean that there are two general groups inside; the “US”, guards, nurses, doctors, wardens and so on, and the “Them”, the inmate, the “Other”. This ignores a standard in the overcrowded system where it is safer for outnumbered guards to keep inmates fighting among themselves than to encourage peace among the inmates, as peace among the inmates is more likely to result in issues against those holding them prisoner.

    You seem to be a very compassionate person who has not compartmentalized away your humanity in order to function in this environment. I suspect if you stay there long you will find yourself compartmentalizing these feelings as well, because to not compartmentalize them and to actually feel all the pain present in all the inmates would be debilitating. Its a defensive survival trait. Inmates and guards do this to survive as well. Your position and stature in society places you in the “Us” group, the accepted group, the one with “real people” in it. Many people in them “Them” group tend to resent this categorization, as they feel they had no say in it at all.

    Anastasia was in the “Them” group, as I have been since age 10 or so. Once society relegates you to this label, it is a difficult or even impossible label to escape. Some people rebel against it all their lives, some few break free of it in such rebellion, some people sink into a morass of despair because they are so maligned as examples of humanity, and some others are like myself. They accept non-acceptance. To accept the society’s declaration is to accept I have no worth, that I am “less than” because of X, Y, or Z.

    Anastasia was right when she said “No, you guys don’t care. No one does, I want to die anyways.”, they did not give a fuck about her. Hell they did not even really see her as a human, you did, and for that I commend you. I hope she saw that.

    Your view is both astute and liberal, both of which I agree with. To me however it also reeks on one who is looking in from the outside, like an “Us” talking to us “Them”s. Let me illustrate what I mean; you said “Someone who self-harms usually has learned at an early age that when emotions come up, you inflict pain and punishment.” I take this as an assertion her cutting is in response to her childhood abuse, that it was learned early through abuse. You may be right but to me this is very narrow band thinking. Not for any fault of your own, but perhaps because you did not suffer as Anastasia did (I certainly hope that is true). If you lack the darkness in your childhood it can be very easy to see it as the root simply because such a reality is so far outside your own experience.

    I can think of three other reasons right off the top of my head for such behavior, but I do not have your education or expertise, just a different background.

    Internal Control–pain I inflict on myself I control. If I am in overwhelming emotional pain I can short circuit this pain with direct physical pain, which I can control, and this restores a feeling of control when I feel I have lost control.

    Sense of self–If my sense of self has been so belittled by my relegation to the “less than” pile of humanity, inflicting pain and injury to myself or others can restore this. You see similar actions in the use of feces and urine by prisoners against guard. It is the very last thing, something which cannot BE taken away, self injury can also serve this purpose.

    External Control or sense of power–If my life is fully regulated by people who see me as less, who have no caring for me and exhibit little or no compassion; then inflicting damage upon myself or others is a way I can flip the tables on them. Now because I slit my arm or start a fight, the Guards HAVE to respond, and I have regained a feeling of power in a powerless position.

    I do not think we can compare childhoods so simply. We all see them as comparisons to our own childhoods, which are completely individual. There are broad issues which you addressed, but the nuances are so vast, and bear significance as well. When people learn of my childhood they often are filled with revulsion and compassion, as the readers undoubtedly have been by your explanation of Anastasia’s. From my view she had it harder than me, but I know that description is not apt. I do not describe my own childhood as “hard” or difficult, or abusive although I certainly experienced all those aspects. I call it “alternative”, as in not standard issue for the “Us” group, but rather normal for us “Thems”.

    Very little separates the groups in reality, an injury, disease, or life event can push people from one group to the other. Society is rather callous in this regard. Humans can shown compassion, Mobs tend not to. Compartmentalization is a coping method for everyone in the prison, both staff and inmate. I do not think the present model is sound for either group psychologically.

    Sorry for the book 😉
    I have a longer piece in mind about the modern prison and would greatly appreciate your inside view on things as I work that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for this comment. I love to hear different perspectives, especially from those that have been there. These are discussions I want to have

      I can’t wait to read this piece your talking about. The us and them system is what I believe has to change.

      I have been on both sides, been a prisoner, been a mental health patient, been a staff and supervisor as well

      The number 1 issue in these systems is the us and them mentalities. It creates separation, it creates superiors, absolute power corrupts 100 percent of the time.

      The abuse I’ve seen is awful, I cannot take it at times. It breaks my heart, your right, it may be best to detach. But I won’t, I’ll die fighting for these people if I have to.

      What we have created is a system that is abusive and inhumane abs we have the capacity to change this but don’t I will fight until my lasy breath.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. “I lost it. I lose it again now writing this. I cry every time I think about this moment.” – I am right there with you.

    American society (and others too) is comprised of people who are too scared to take off their masks and show love to each other and themselves.

    Wherever people go, whether it is the checkout line, the bus or transit stop / platform, restaurants, classrooms, or even in a hospital, there are many people standing or sitting around others, and not talking with them. They are ‘individuals’ standing in line, but not reaching out to the other ‘individuals’ around them. It is sad that many parts of Westernized societies have become so fearful, when just a smile and a hello can warm another person’s heart by acknowledging their presence unconditionally.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is so completley true and worth saying to ourselves everyday. What you have written world be a great daily mediation to read when we wake up each morning. I know I will be reading it every morning. It Was Perfectly said and includes things we will encounter each day. You get it, that is a gift


  10. theozlibrary says:

    Very powerful and beautiful from reading this article l have learnt a little more about myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. booguloo says:

    Revolving doors, smaller budgets, allowing less educated staff, and prisons becoming run by corporations. The list keeps growing. I wish I had the answer. So Sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Eric T Knight says:

    Thank you for posting this. I am a social worker and I see the effects of childhood trauma in people every day. I struggle constantly with the effects of my childhood trauma also. Childhood trauma is an injury just as real as any physical one, but in many ways worse. I spend a lot of time trying to educate people that emotional wounds don’t just go away with time. It takes healing and it takes time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • it is wonderful to hear that someone like yoy who had been through it is in the field
      That is a huge need we have. It takes time is right and the right people and a whole system change. I’m sure you have healed many, having been there yourself. Patients know when you really understand them, sometimes that’s the biggest part


  13. “This was the best 6 months of my life.”…That hit hard although I was already in tears at the story of Anastasia. Each point you made was valid and I’m actually at a loss for words now to describe my feelings; maybe sad, despair, hopelessness. But we must do better, thanks for writing this excellent post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for those words, those that very emotional about these things ate usually the ones, well always the ones that change things around. Your emotions tell me you ate one that will create change somehow, someway

      Liked by 1 person

  14. lifeasagaymom says:

    I absolutely love this! I have nominated you for the creative blog award. I posted details in my recent blog if you want to participate :}

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Anthony867 says:

    I’m speechless. This story is so moving. Thank you for what you do!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Bipolar1Blog says:

    This is so sad, so heartbreaking. I am glad you wrote about her, she would have liked it I think. She would have liked so many people reading about her, it would have made her feel more real. Amazing story and so well written! Love.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Ann Coleman says:

    Very well written and enlightening. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks so much for this article. You really described the problems with our prison system in such a powerful way! I so agree with you, private run prisons where people make a profit with the more prisoners they have and the longer they do time, is just nuts. And now the private run prisons are sending lobbyists to Washington to advocate for more punitive laws so they get more people in prison. There is a lack of humanity in how we treat people in our society. People need care, they need to be cared for, not punished. Keep speaking the truth; it was good reading it, made me feel like I am not the only one with these views. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Lindsayj22 says:

    I nominated you for the Liebster award!


  20. DryBarfly says:

    This was such a powerful article! I absolutely agree that we are co responsible for one another and it saddens me that greed, money and power get in the way of that. I truly believe we all have the power to make a positive difference with love, kindness and mutual respect. Thank you for sharing such an insightful story and for being an incredible advocate for those unheard voices.


    • We do all have the ability to do something, whether it is a smile, an act of service, or speaking up for those that can’t speak up for ourselves. When we do nothing, we are co. Responsible. We all can add to the solution ot the prpblem. Thank you for the kind words, it means alot that you took time to read abs comment ands I’m glad there are others like you out there

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Natalie says:

    This was incredibly inspirational and moving, thank you so much for sharing! I do agree that if we have a certain perception of an individual, it can cloud our judgement in a way that we don’t always recognize. I too believe in making a difference through kindness and love, it’s not always easy to live this way, but in the end, it’s what really makes an impact.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for that kindness. Yes it is harder to live that way, but I believe the reward for humanity is so much more. When you live this way, good things tend to come your way it seems to be an unintentional benefit

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Elle says:

    I wasn’t born on the sunny side of the street. It doesn’t take a ‘princess’ to understand that addicts ARE liars and attention seekers. I’ve been around them my entire life and I’m so tired of it. I didn’t choose it, as you chose your career.
    I think this story is powerful and beautiful and amazing. But I also feel that it’s incredibly one-sided. Addicts will ruin your life. They’ll take until absolutely nothing remains. Like vultures, they will pick you to the bone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m SORRY FOR What you have experienced. The pain you have is obvious. It may be hard to believe that someone who hurt you is not a “bad” person. It may be hard to let go of that concept. But judging people who have a serious illness does not make it any better. If you believed they may be sick instead of mean and bad, would that mean you have to let go of your anger? That is hard. I’m very sorry that your have experienced the things you have, however there is overwhelming evidence that our is an illness, and not purposeful. The brain is hi jacked. The person who hurt you sick. No one is born that way. No one. You may not be ready to hear this, and that is ok. But to continue to be angry is only hurting yourself and others yoy come in contact with, and I’m truly sorry that you have felt this pain. Addicts behavior can and does hurt other people, that’s pay off the disease, it’s a family disease. A system disease. It’s not a fun thing for anyone to go through. You’ll be in my thoughts


  23. I can relate to Anastasia’s story and being left for complete abandon. No love, just bad touch. It has been a long road of addiction and mental illness to find peace with my mind and heart. But now I have all the love I could want. I have my family.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. I’m so sorry for your loss and the walls you run into every day in your jobs. Thank you for being “one.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing some of what you have been through. We all have different stories and different information that helps create change. Just speaking up seems to do so much. You are a witness that it can happen, it can change, that is great to hear others who have overcome. It is such an inspiration


  24. 2chicks2go says:

    My friend and I were just talking about this, recently. We were saying how we hated that the mentally ill now seemed to be on the street or in the jails. We didn’t have the information, just observation. Thank you for informing people, for sharing what you know, through experience. Bless you in your efforts. Also, from a writing standpoint, very well done!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. You’re insight is amazing…

    Liked by 1 person

  26. balancettess says:

    Your quote “So yes, you are only one person, but you can change the world if you want to”. It takes just one person, like you, me, your followers to become many and start a domino effect! Heartbreaking story – thank you for your compassion and insight!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. leelah saachi says:

    you wrote ” Everyone has things that lead them to be who they are, give them their beliefs, and things that dictate their behaviors.

    Which is why we all are co responsible for each other.”
    thank you. I see the joy in my patients too when they get that – and that if we manage to change our perception, we can see through any facade. A Course in Miracles teaches exactly that, and that is why I blog about it 🙂
    So grateful to read these to posts. OH how we need lights like you, seeing through the violence and crime to the cries for help. Big warm hug to you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you what a kind and genuine compliment.

      Yes we need to unbrainwash ourselves.
      That’s what enlightenment is. Not accumulating knowledge, but losing false knowledge, which is a close to 100 percent of what we are taught.

      Your patients are lucky. It is rare that someone like you stays in the field


      • leelah saachi says:

        Thank you! I am rereading my own book these days. and see how Love trained me in exactly that, losing false knowledge and selfperceptions. I think we are many more than we know 🙂 I visit forums with students where almost everybody are within the health-business –

        Liked by 1 person

      • I wish we could openly practice this way.


  28. fromawaysite says:

    Reblogged this on Today,s Thought and commented:
    Well worth reading people.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. eeyorn says:

    Reblogged this on eeyorntails and commented:
    An amazingly human and honest critique about the treatment of the mentally ill in the US, but just as valid here in the UK

    Liked by 1 person

  30. eeyorn says:

    Thx soo much for this, it resonates very deeply with me on a number of levels. Although I have never been classified as mentally ill, I have suffered with deep-seated PTSD for most of my adult life, and it was only by good luck that I found a good Jungian psychotherapist following my 2nd nervous breakdown when I was 50.

    I now work as a dementia carer, and am sorry to say that the staff attitudes you describe in prison are just as likely to be found in private Care homes, where I’ve witnessed residents being ignored for long periods of time ‘because they’re just a nuisance’, and resulting in the resident soiling themselves, often being unable to get out of their beds without assistance.

    And this was in home which sold itself on its alleged high professioal standards, and with eye-watering fees to match.

    Liked by 1 person

    • IT happens All over it seems. There is great people that work in these places, but also, there is the dark side of it. Not sure if it’s burnout, in the wrong field, or just a general sadness that causes this. But paon creates more pain, it is very difficult to see abs a helpless feeling at times. .
      I try to do what, I can do, let go of the results, hope to see changes, it happens, but slowly. We have gotten away from compassion and love

      Liked by 1 person

  31. eeyorn says:

    I don’t know if its the same in the US but the job of Carer in the UK is one that usually earns minimum wage, while many Care Home owners seem to think that they’re running a hotel and doing everything they can to cut costs and maximise profits.

    This has a fallout in that the job is largely thought of as unskilled and attracts a lot of unskilled and unsuitable people, who get employed simply because of the high demand for staff. And if you walk into a care home overnight, I’d bet good money that you would find one or more of the staff asleep on the sofas in the lounge. I’ve even found people taking themselves off to an empty residents room and sleeping in one of the beds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have very accurately described the problem in our system. Money, and greed at the top and it affects patient care. THAT Is ONE Of The major ISSUES THAT will Have to change. That was Said well by you. Very very accurate explanation and insight

      Liked by 1 person

  32. jruthkelly says:

    Tears here. I wish I could be more compassionate with those who don’t have it until it’s so late in the game. Like the staff who finally woke up and saw Anastasia’s preciousness. Something in this story helps. I just wish it didn’t take so long… the best 6 months of her life… sighs…

    Liked by 1 person

  33. canadianrainbow says:

    Reblogged this on SurviveinCare.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. canadianrainbow says:

    Thank you for the insight into this evil, capitalist industry. We must make change. Poor Anastasia.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Wildfire8470 says:

    Many times, I have wondered if most people are literally dying to be loved, diagnosed or not. People seem to fear what they don’t understand. Knowledge is power. Thanks for the evocative, stellar write.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. missmonsoon says:

    May Anastasia’s soul rest peace in heaven. and Thank You for introducing her to us 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  37. aliciaweenum says:

    This hits home for me. it took me almost 21 years to realize that I wasn’t dealing with my issues correctly and directly. I am thankful for what God has done for me and knowing how my life could have been makes me appreciate living the life I have each and every day. I lived almost my whole life feeling as if no one cared, seeking attention and not confronting my mental illnesses. I still have a lot to work through but I know I can because I’ve gotten this far.

    Liked by 1 person

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