We all have disabilities. It is what you do with them that counts.

day of disabilities

Israel Defense Forces

Corporal Shoval Dabush is Manpower and Personnel specialist in the Israeli Air Force. Despite having cerebral palsy, she volunteered to serve in the army, and encourages other people with disabilities to break boundaries. “People with disabilities should believe in themselves and join the military just like everyone else. Even when it’s difficult, at least I know that I didn’t let my disabilities get in my way.”

This brave young woman is an example of how disabled people contribute to society. They deserve to be treated with respect.

Mental Illness and Prejudice

mental Illness stigma

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Too many people hide mental illnesses and suffer needlessly. Unlike the past when my mother suffered from Bipolar Illness it is now talked about openly. I know the prejudice of having a mentally ill family member. I have skipped many parts of applications for employment or outright lied when there were questions about mental illness in the family. Went to my first year of college during the day and on my way home visited my mother in the mental ward of a hospital. Starting when I was about eleven years old until I left home at 19 I lived with it constantly.

The fights, strange behavior, not being able to have friends to my house ever in fear of what would be there. Trying to help raise my younger brother and sister to have a more normal life than I did and failing miserably. Watching a ten year old boy cry when the police car came to take her to the hospital once again and trying to get him to go to the library or anywhere he wouldn’t have to see it. Not knowing that as an adult he would resent it deeply. I tried my best in my young mind but left him scars he still has in his later years. I am so sorry. I didn’t know how much you knew I should have included you and explained. I really didn’t know any better.

Recently a lovely woman who was not treated for her illness died of cancer. She never told her family and was very secretive about her life. By the time they knew it was too late. She was the strong one, the older sister they looked up to. They didn’t dare interfere even though they were all past forty. They knew she needed treatment for her mental problems but she was a functioning adult and there is very little you can do to make people seek therapy. Such a sad tragic loss. Do we blame the family?

It is very easy on the outside to look at the family of a person with mental illness and say why don’t you do something? This is the same with alcoholism. You cannot force a person into therapy, they have to want it and in the throes of such a condition they cannot see they need it.

Bipolar people even with therapy and medication still suffer. They take the meds, they feel better. When they feel better they stop taking the meds thinking they can handle it. A lot of these medications have side effects. They can dull life. The person stops the meds and starts on the downward spiral of depression or the giddy heights of Mania. It is a roller coaster that the family is strapped into and has no control over.

The conundrum of mental illness is how much can we do? An adult has rights and among those rights is to suffer from mental illness. We cannot force a person with a cardiac condition into treatment why should we be able to force someone that has a disease that is not that easy to diagnose.

Some of these people are sociopaths and are very skilled at being normal. You only have to look at the past to see really mentally ill people like Jeffrey Daumer that so many people perceived as intelligent and charming yet did the most horrific things. This is an extreme case.

Most mentally ill people are good people haunted by a terrible illness. A lot are afraid of seeking treatment as it affects their ability to get and maintain a job. Mentally ill people have difficulty with personal relations as well and are left alone so suffer in silence.

I hope to see a day when mentally ill people are treated like people with physical illness. When they are treated with kindness and respect. A world where families are not destroyed. Mine scattered to the wind all of us trying to escape in our own way.

I am grateful that this illness was not passed to me. I do however retain the scars of growing up in that reality.

Thanks for listening and the next time someone judges a mentally ill person or their family I hope you speak up for them. They all need support so lacking in today’s society. We have come a very long way but not long enough.

Witchcraft and the modern woman

woman and magic

This year Halloween or All Hallows Eve or in Wiccan religion Samhain will be on Friday the 31st. It could be conceived as lucky or unlucky depending on your beliefs. Christianity and other organized religion has almost completely wiped out Paganism which was the basic for belief for thousands of years. Today only a few follow in it’s footsteps. Until the Christian Era witches or wise women were held in high regard. They were the healers and leaders in many societies with their knowledge of healing and herbal science. Much of this knowledge has been lost but a lot of the herbal cures are now being revisited with new respect. When Christianity came to the forefront they needed to put the Pagans aside so made these people to appear wicked and malevolent. They were oftentimes blamed for sickness and death because of their secrets and healing powers. They were prosecuted into the underground world where they remained for centuries. Today witches or modern Wiccans are a recognized religion. They harm none and oftentimes do much good. Women were also prosecuted more than men because men wanted to take down the matriarchy that was in many societies in ancient times. One can look to the oracle of Delphi to see the power that women once held. The bible has edited out most of the powerful women of the early church as well. Mary Magdalene is now thought to have been one of the early leaders with Jesus but has been maligned to take her from the leadership post she once held. Mary has many of the same attributes as the ancient goddesses including virgin birth. One only has to look at the legends of the Egyptian goddess Isis. The parallels between Isis and Mary are startling including the virgin birth, Stars on her cloak and being the protector of sailors.

 

Before you put out that witch with the wart on her nose take a moment to think about the real witches among us.

 

As always thanks for reading!!