Guns guns and more guns.

Before everyone starts threatening to kill me, I own a gun.  My Dad owns a gun.  No one in my family shoots up schools.  But I am also not a felon, a crack head or mentally deranged.  I do think we need to make guns harder to get, but that alone will not solve the problem.

NO ONE IS TRYING TO CONFISCATE YOUR GUN!!!

I have seen more shootings than I want to see.  We are not being killed by immigrants.  We are being killed from within.  As a mental health professional since 1993, I have seen many things and I understand why it is happening in schools.

1.)  The way we parent out children.  We don’t like to tell them no,  hurt their feelings, let them fail or not make the team.  We either smother, enable or helicopter.  So when they grow up and cannot function as an independent adult, life becomes a cruel and scary place.  The children have no coping skills.

2.)  Bullying and social media.  This falls back on parenting again.  We need to monitor the use of social media and know what our kids are doing. Violence in school starts out of school and continues into school. If your kid is a little punk ass bully, find out why and get help.  Maybe you taught him or her that.  Maybe he needs attention.  Maybe he needs you to take away his phone.

3.)  Understaffed and overworked school personnel.  25 to 30 kids in a classroom is not optimal for a learning environment.  We have few guidance counselors and social workers.  Too many kids slip through the cracks. They don’t have any one to talk to and the signs are missed.  We need to arm teachers with help not guns.  That means you might need to pay more in taxes to make the school secure.

4.)  Violent games and movies.  Parents once again ignore the ratings and parental controls and let 8 year olds play Grand Theft Auto.  God forbid the child not get what they want.  They see death and destruction, but the player comes back to life. Not real life people.  Guns can actually kill people forever.

5.)  Easy access to drugs and guns.  Many recent shootings the child accessed the parents gun.  Really you leave a loaded gun on the kitchen table while we cook dinner.  Buy a holster or at least lock it up to eat dinner.  Is ISIS going to run in while you eat?

6.)  Gun safety is not required to buy a gun.  You just get one.  You need to learn things for a conceal carry, but not to own a gun. To get a license to drive a car, we have to pass a written test, a vision test, have a learners for a few months and pass a driving test. Then we have to register the car and get insurance.  Why can’t we do that with a gun?  If you show you can’t drive, too many tickets, DUI, your privledge is taken away for awhile.  Why can’t we do that with guns? Okay you are suicidal right now, maybe you shouldn’t have weapons until you feel better.

7.)  People are just more violent now and are desensitized to it.  We lack empathy and caring for others.

8.)  We are more narcissistic than we used to be. We think we are entitled to get things and have to make people pay when we don’t. People haven’t learned they aren’t the center of the universe and the world doesn’t revolve around them.

9.)  Underfunded mental health.  If more people were insured, then more people can get help.  Therapy and psychiatric medciations cost money.  I can’t pay my rent on free care. I would like to but I can’t.  Medicaid might be an entitlement but it has become a safety concern now.

10.) We are too involved in the rhetoric and don’t listen to the other side.  So we can’t compromise as country and meet in the middle.  We are too busy pointing the finger at the other side.

11.) I fail to see the civilian purpose for an AR 15.  Also magazines and bump stocks are not in the constitution. I guess I can use it, when North Korea nukes us.

12.)  Apathy.

These kids in Parkland are our future.  How dare anyone criticize them for using the 1st Amendment?  They were traumatized beyond any way we will ever know or at least I hope I never know. This is how they chose to grieve.  They will take action.  They will not idly sit by and watch the adults fail. They were told to stay in class, (they were in class and got shot)  be quiet, take CPR, called commies, and we are now bullying the victims of gun violence.  See #2. That is really pathetic.  If you don’t like what they are saying, then don’t listen.  But you don’t threaten their lives.  Go back to # 10.

My daughter lives 10 miles from Parkland Fl.  She works at an architecture firm that remodels schools.  She has been in Marjory Stoneman High School.  She could have been there working that day.  She could have been gunned down at age 27.  I could have been sitting beside her in the hospital and have some politician or reporter come by to offer thoughts and prayers.  This would have been my answer:

My thoughts are that you get off your ass and fix the problems of this country that caused this to happen.  My prayer is that someone pays my daughters medical bills and that she doesn’t die.  If she dies I have nothing to lose.  You don’t want to mess with a mother with nothing to lose.  When you have nothing to lose, you petition, you march, you do sit ins, you write editorials, you mobilize voters, and you make phone calls.  You also lose your mind.  You seek revenge and justice. My prayer would be that you wouldn’t be in my way and my thoughts would not be about your feelings. 

The Bible says out of the mouth of Babes and little children shall lead them.  Matthew 18: 2-5. Isaiah 11:6. We are so fixated on six week old fetuses that we forget that they become children at Sandy Hook, teenagers at Columbine and Parkland, parishioners in Charleston, concert goers in Vegas, and constituents in Tucson. We can’t call ourselves pro life and love objects that take a life. No Jesus did not own a weapon.  He said turn the other cheek.  We call ourselves a Christian nation and yet the phrase love one another and forgive are not quoted.

We are fixated on who Donald Trump slept with and not that he played golf days after a mass shooting.  We are fixated on salacious news and  don’t turn the news when they verbally attack children.  We are fixated on gossip and We dont condemn politicians for calling children lesbians and commies.  We don’t change the channel at commentators that make stuff up.  These kids are seeing all of this and registering to vote.  They will change the world in 10 years and I am grateful.

Now let me make sure my Glock is put away safe.

 

 

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Sexual harrassment

The news has been bombarded with allegations, victims and famous powerful men going down for abusing women, and girls.  It seems that allegations aren’t believed if they are from a long time ago.  I have many clients who were in their 40s and 50’s and revealed abuse for the first time.  Some did mention it to their family and were not believed so they didn’t mention it again. The length of time does not make it a lie.  Women can have flashbacks for years and can remember vividly the event even decades afterwards.  They can remember the shoes, the smell of cologne, a song playing in the background. They don’t tell people because they do not want to be treated like the women in the news.  They need to be heard.  Roy Moore has suspicious behavior that deserves a look.

I passed!!!

I passed my inspection.  Finally mental health skill building is on the way.  What is mental health skill building?  It helps patients who have been hospitalized for a psychiatric disorder overnight and given a diagnosis of an AXIS one disorder and a prescription.  It is to keep them from being hospitalized.  It is to go into their home for up to 12 hours a week to work on medication management, stress management, symptom and diagnosis education, budgeting, household management, parenting, substance abuse, etc.  They can have it for six months at a time.

Trump fever or furor

One of the first things I do before I take a job is research the company.  High turnover is usually a sign to not go there to work.  It is a sign of chaos and problems with management.  People have mixed feelings about Trumps constant personnel shift.  Some feel that it is a sign of strength to get rid of bad people quickly.  Others think he is too difficult to work with.

Trump wants loyalty.  I would want loyalty in my company too.  I am in the process of hiring as well.  But I would want my employees to trust me that if they feel I am wrong that they can come to me without a fear of retailiation.  No person is right or wrong all the time.

Many people said to give him a chance and some time to settle in.  Most places I have worked that is 90 days.  It has been past 90 days.  I realize that transitioning from the private sector where you did not have to deal with congress or the senate or the courts will be challenging.  A CEO is not used to being questioned.  But the Presidency is different.  Companies can go bankrupt.  The united states can’t bankrupt and start over. Our founding Fathers created checks and balances to avoid one person having absolute power over any one branch of government, like monarchies.

I have never seen so much protesting in any presidency since Johnson and vietnam.  Those protests were to stop the war and not really about Johnson as a person.  We now are told not to trust the media, protestors are being paid and just read Trumps tweets and all is well.

I have skin in the game.  If my patients lose health care, I do not have patients and I close down.  I have two daughters with pre existing conditions.  I have pre existing conditions.  My husband has been in the Navy hospital for almost a month.  I am grateful.  His care has been excellent and it hasn’t cost us anything.  I have the same arrangement as his wife. I want this quality of care for everyone.  We pay premiums for our health care.

I hear repeal and replace, but no clear option.  Most people with pre existing conditions need insurance.  Your health can change at any time.  I was first denied health care insurance in 1996 due to a thyroid condition treated and managed well with medication.  I had to keep a job with insurance or i was in trouble.  My children were at one point on Medicaid.  My late husband used the VA.  I have been on four different insurance plans that denied procedures, medications, orthodics, etc.  They previous Obama system was not great- admit it.  Obama care has flaws.  But the real problem is greed.  Insurance companies are in business to make a profit and they should.  But how much money does a CEO need to make, what is fair compensation.

As a provider I am paid anywhere from 30 to 86 dollars for the same service.  Some patients pay nothing, others from 15.00 to 45.00 a co-pay. Some have deductibles some do not.  No wonder people are confused.  They blame the high costs on the government.  The government can only regulate so much.  Companies pull out of states they don’t make a profit in making less choice for care.  Allowing people to be excluded due to preexisting conditions gives them no choice.

What is the answer?  I am no expert, but I have been a patient, a provider, and have had to deal with accidents and medical surgeries.  I have worked with about 10 insurance companies and Medicaid.

My health care plan

A.) Eligible for Medicare at age 55, option to enroll or not.  This is when most medical conditions start happening.

B.) All insurance companies must cover pre existing conditions and can only charge 10% more than healthy people premiums. This way they can make some profit.

C.) Raise the income level for Medicaid and include people without children that are working. More people will qualify and won’t have to quit their job or have a kid to get medical care.

D.) Tax credits for companies that provide health insurance. Incentives for them to provide it.

.E.) Lower the tax credit to any bills exceeding 3 % of someones income. This will offset some of the costs that insurance doesn’t cover.  Include massage, accupunture, over the counter medications, etc.

F.) Cap deductibles at 1000.00. This will keep a hospital stay from being too costly.

G.) Subsidize any hospital that takes people that cannot pay for each patient. This will encourage some indigent care.

H.)  Allow private individuals to negotiate fees like the insurance companies. We should have the same playing field.

I.)  Allow individuals to buy a group plan with only two people to encourage mom and pop  businesses to get insurance.

J.) Cover preventative care, birth control and physicals and vaccinations.

L.)  Remove caps and high risk pools. Also cap the salaries of CEO’s to not exceed 1 million dollars.

M.)  Congress and the Senate must be on the same policy as their constituents.

 

Number 27

I am number 27 on the list for Mental Health Skill Building. I applied for it in Feburary 2015.  Yes that is right almost a year and a half ago. What is mental health skill building?  It is an in home service for the chronic mental health patients that have been hospitalization. We help them go to their medical appointments, their medications, socialization, and other needed services for 10 hours a week.  There professionals have a bachelors or better.  They are paid well.  They keep people out of the hospital.

These agencies like mine can hire about 10 people.  Right now an agency is number 285 on the list. That is 2,850 jobs waiting for almost 10,000 clients. We have shootings of and by mentally ill people.  The hospitals are full and can’t keep them.

I called to find out why.  They have two people for the whole state of Virginia to process the paperwork.  Virginia has 8.401 million people. If 10 % are mentally ill, that is 840,000 people.  These workers have to verify information, do office inspections, background checks and see if forms and procedures match current laws.  2 people.

If they move 3 steps a time, it will take an additional 9 months for my application to start the process.  That will be next year. How long can our mentally ill people wait?  How many jobs go unfilled?

I have contacted the papers, and wrote a Senator.  I am pushing on.  Next I go to television. I want to serve the disadvantaged, employ people.  Do my civic duty.

Number 27 is not so great after all.

 

 

Most common marriage issue

Communication.

You spend the first few months enthralled at everything they say and find the jokes witty.  You ignore the little things that normally make your flesh crawl.  You expound on the wonderfullness of the other person.

Then you reside together either through cohabitation or marriage.  You notice he doesn’t put the towels up.  She leaves her dishes out.  He goes out without telling you.  She wears ugly sweatpants to bed.  You don’t bring it up.  It festers.  Then boom you have a fight and everything comes up at once.  They don’t understand because you never said anything before now.

Rules for cohabitation:

  1. Make a household budget and 3 accounts.
    everyone should have some of there own money.
  2.  Make a list of household chores and decide who does them.
  3. Each person has a bathroom to call their own and a space.
  4. You make decisions about children, discipline, visits.
  5. Elderly parents who cares for who?
  6. You have a weekly meeting to discuss the household and what is getting on your nerves.
  7. If you need space, ask for it, but give a time frame.
  8. Remember no one reads your mind.
  9. Say I fee _____________ when you _____________.
  10. Always and never and fine are not used.  No one is good or bad all the time and we all do things sometimes.  Plus fine stands for f’ed up, insecure,neurotic and emotional.
  11. Say what you mean.
  12. Paraphrase what the other person says.
  13. Don’t threaten to leave or throw someone out when you aren’t going to do it.
  14. Say something nice everyday to your person.
  15. Do not hit, throw things, break things or use insults.
  16. Do not tolerate such behavior.

 

Accusations

How often do you put up with something before you leave?  How long do you let something go before you complain about it?  What level do you complain to someone high up?

The scenario.  I had a client call the EAP over four months from the visit.  They alleged that I spent the entire session on the phone.  Who would sit in a session for an hour while someone was on the phone?  Why wait four months to complain about it?  The whole thing of suspect from the beginning. My word against hers.  I have answered the phone during a session, but I usually do not.  After hours you don’t have a secretary, and a client could be in crisis.  The next client could be calling for directions.

So now I hang in the balance and could be kicked off the panel on the word of one person.  I even sent a letter to her about why I hadn’t seen her in awhile. Why would I do that if I had been on the phone for an hour?

I shouldn’t let this bother me.  My practice has seen almost 128 clients in a year with no compalints.  128 vs. 1.  Do counselors get the benefit of the doubt?