Got No Time To Be Disabled

Scene:  Trevon, a young man going to school in the urban school district, has agreed to meet Smokelbg at an outside cafe for lunch.  Trevon talks about his life in the city. He tells how he views the educational system and what he thinks of being disabled.

Smokelbg:

Hey Trevon!  I’m glad you showed up. You had me worried. I thought you might have changed your mind.

Trevon: I’m always late. Three weeks ago I got fired from my job at Wendy’s. If I had been reading your blog, I could have told old dude that I had a disability. Knowing him, he would fire me again. My mama says black folks are always late. They will be late for their own funeral. I would call it haters-late disability.

Smokelbg:

Why would you call it that?

Trevon:

They’re mad and sitting there complaining about you being late. They didn’t get up and leave. That’s all they had to do.  All they want to do is run around and tell everybody you were late.  Hater!  Do you believe all that stuff you write?  Man that’s a lot of stuff. I started not to go on your site.

Smokelbg:

Why? The deal was I tell your story and you read the blog.

Trevon:

It didn’t have nothing to do with the deal. The last time I got on a website it looked like a giant video game. I couldn’t follow what they wanted me to read. I started pushing buttons and then I couldn’t remember what the person wanted me to do. You think that is a disability too?  There is so much stuff written in your blog that sounds like what my friends, family, and my enemies all say.

Smokelbg:

Yes, it could have something to do with your attention span. You might get easily distracted.

Trevon:

It could have something to do with where I live. There is so much going on around me that I must have people watching my back. Yeah, you call them grand guardians. I like that name.

Smokelbg:

The purpose of the grand guardians is to make sure the person that is disabled doesn’t get taken advantage of.

Trevon:

Well, that wouldn’t be me. I will do them before they could do me. That is just the way it is done. Survival lady.

Smokelbg:

What about your enemies?

Trevon:

My enemies used to be my friends and now they are haters.

Smokelbg:

It doesn’t bother you to have these haters?

Trevon:

Too many people in your business can get you killed.

Smokelbg:

What are you doing that can cost you your life?

Trevon:

Who said you had to be doing anything?   Last month my friend was getting gas at a service station and he got shot at. I have gone to at least three to four funerals within two weeks time. You know where I stay? You can empty your garbage without thinking about it. I might be the one that is taken out for garbage.

Smokelbg:

What do you plan to do to after you graduate from school?

Trevon:

Hold up, who said I plan on graduating?  Back up for a minute. I got to find a job because my old girl( mom) is on my case about moving.  I will soon be turning 18 years old and she wants me up out of there.

Smokelbg:

What if you are not ready to be on your own? What if you needed added support?

Trevon:

It don’t matter, you gotta go.

Smokelbg:

Tell me how your day starts before you go to school?

Trevon:

Man, I got to listen to my  old girl go off about the bills, how my daddy left her in a bind, and I was going to be just like my no good daddy.  Aunt Martha, my dads sister, broke up the marriage between my dad and the old girl. How can somebody break up your marriage just because the sister don’t have anything to do with the old girl?   The old girl is a drama queen.  My dad was smart when he left. He got tired of hearing all that noise from the old girl. I will be glad to get up out of here. I can’t take too much more in this house.  All this takes place before I can even eat breakfast.

Smokelbg:

I take it that you and your mom don’t get along.

Trevon:

The old girl got some issues. Her whole family got some severe issues.   I would hate for something to happen to me. Just the thought of the old girl’s family getting any of my kids scares me to death.

Smokelbg:

Do you have any kids?

Trevon:

Noooo. I don’t want any.  I wouldn’t want to bring them up around here.

Smokelbg:

What’s your day like at school?

Trevon :

When I go to school,  it is social time. I mostly hang out. As soon as someone does something crazy, then it is black you are under attack time.

Smokelbg;

What does that mean?

Trevon

The school rounds up everyone who was in the area and goes through their list. You know I’m on the list for BD (behavior disorder). The funny thing is everybody has got a problem in the city. You call it diagnosis. Man those words are tight.

I know I’m going to act up at some point. It’s too crowded in the classroom and they got me sitting too far back. I get angry then it is cut up time and I’m out.

Smokelbg:

Have you told your mom the problems you are having in school?  I’m sure she would want to come and talk to the teachers and help fix the problem.

Trevon:

You really believe your own stories. The old girl is the problem.  We don’t connect like that. Why do you think I work?  It sure is not to help pay bills. Ole girl is on that end.

Smokelbg:

Can you explain that to me. I’m not quite sure….. There are several things that come to my mind when you say that.

Trevon:

Well, in this neighborhood there is only one answer. She’s whacked and on crack. This is her way out of the neighborhood. Yeah, my mom as you call her(getting really upset). You know what,  I’m not going out like that. When old girl gets low it ain’t pretty.

Smokelbg:

Let me know if you want to finish another day.

Trevon:

You are not getting out of this. I had to read all those crazy stories and that was the deal… (lifts his head and smiles). I’m good, it’s okay. Whenever I talk about old girl it …..

Smokelbg:

Hey you want some desert?

Trevon:

Sure, you know you are paying. True Dat.

Smokelbg:

Which one of the stories do you like?

Trevon:

I like the football stories. I’m really into sports.  I like the Darlene Dyslexia story because I  kind of feel I do some of those things  as far as reading and pronouncing my words that way. The St. Patrick’s Day story is it.  This is the neighborhood I live in. Catrina Schizo ain’t nobody but Aunt Jackie.  I love  me some Aunt Jackie. She is out there.

Everybody in this neighborhood has got some kind of label.  Where did you get all those fancy doctors?  I’m lucky if I go to the dentist and get my teeth pulled. I never heard of  no neuro…..whatever.  Stuff like that must cost a fortune.  See people in this neighborhood got to be on guard all the time. Those doctors don’t understand that we ain’t got no time to be disabled. As soon as we get disabled then we get taken out of the box. We look crazy to them because the people in this neighborhood know this is the only way of surviving. This is our way of keeping others out and protecting ourselves. We know who belongs and who don’t. It is time for  Trevon to shed this label because I want more.

I just wanted to tell you that you were not going to get any better education in the burbs than in the city. Remember, you are black and under attack and that’s whacked.

Smokelbg:

Trevon, I appreciate  you for all of your time. This has been a true eye opener for me and I really learned a lot today. I sincerely want to see you make it and fulfill your dreams.

Trevon:

This ain’t no dream. This is Trevon coming at you live and raising the hell up out of here.

Smokelbg:

I was really concerned about Trevon and how he viewed being disabled, his school, and life.  Here is something that I found very interesting to help validate Trevons theories on labeling people.

Advisory Alert: Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General

Chapter 4 Adults and Mental Health:Schizophrenia

Overview:  Cultural Variation in this section 2nd paragraph it discusses clinicians misinterpretation and misdiagnosis of patients of diverse backgrounds. This is due to norm of  emotional expressions, social behavior, and cognitive style is address by professionals who are truly qualified to do so. See Chapter 2 and Center for Mental Health Services[CMHS], 1997. One finding is that African-American patients are more likely than whites to be diagnosed with severe psychotic disorders in clinical settings (Snowden & Cheung, 1990; Hu et al., 1991; Lawson et al., 1994, Strakowski et al., 1995)

The interpretation of the over diagnosis of  psychotic disorders  among African-Americans is reviewed as clinician bias. Find out about other cultures. Go to http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/mentalhealth/chapter4/sec4.html#course.

No Shame In Their Game On ST. Patrick’s Day

Scene: Tyrone Tourette, known as TS (cousin of Bobby Tourette), is having drinks and conversing at an Iris Pub called Slimery Otoole. Tyrone Tourette and Catrina Schizophrenia give some background information on themselves. Nicky NLD is waiting for the story to be told on how St.Patrick’s Day got started.  Tyrone Tourettes,  before  he gets too much green beer in his system, will tell the story. Nicky NLD is running out of patience.

Tyrone Tourette:

Nicky,  look at how crowded Slimery Otoole is tonight. It’s jammed packed. Tyrone is going to take you on his TS tour . I’ll Take You There just like the Staple Singers and tell you how St. Patrick’s Day came into existence.

Nicky NLD:

Tyrone are  you sure you don’t want me to tell the story?

Tyrone Tourette:

Why should you tell the story?

Nicky NLD:

Once your tics kick in, it could get messy.

Catrina Schizophrenia:

What are Tics?

Tyrone Tourette:

Catrina Schizo, I have this neurological disorder where people describe me as having strange body movement over and over.  Some people have this image in their head of me having involuntary  movement and making noises called tics. I don’t like to be stereotyped.

Catrina Schizo:

I feel you on that one Tyrone. I have this severe brain disorder that disables me from being able to carry out my life. People try to stereotype me and say that I hear voices others don’t hear. They say I believe other people are reading my mind, controlling my thoughts, and I’m plotting to harm someone.

Tyrone Tourette:

Catrina Schizo that IS what you do.

Catrina Schizo:

Wait a minute Tyrone… The key word is I MAY do these things… MAY, okay?

Tyrone Tourette:

Let me get your key and unlock your door. You are talking to Tyrone baby, I know what you do.

Nicky NLD;

Come on TS,  ease up off of Catrina  Schizo. This is a big deal for her. Remember we use to force her to talk. We knew when she didn’t take her medication and wasn’t in therapy.  I did not like seeing her  in a catatonic state. She shut down as tight as a drum and was upset about it. I mean agitated.

Tyrone Tourette:

Look at you Nicky NLD, using analogies. I remember when you didn’t do double meanings.

Nicky NLD:

I have gotten better. As long as the person who uses the analogy explains it right away.  I won’t get lost in the conversation. Are you going to tell the story or not?

Tyrone Tourette:

Be patient Nicky NLD. I want people to know some things about me and Catrina Schizo. There is no shame in our game.

Nicky NLD:

You are right. People learned about me in the Who In The World Is NLD. Go ahead man. Do your thang.

Tyrone Tourette:

Tourettes syndrome (TS) is noticed around 7-10 years of age. It shows no prejudice. Tourettes syndrome can affect anyone. Men are affected three times more than women. It can last a lifetime. In ones teens it can get butt-ugly. Later on they may improve in the late teens on into their adulthood.

Catrina Schizo:

I want to learn more about your motor tics.

Tyrone Tourette:

Sure, sometimes they are simple motor tics. These are brief and I don’t use a lot of muscles. I can have eye blinking, making faces (grimaces),  jerking the head or shoulders or shrugging shoulders. With vocalizing tics I will clear my throat repetitively, sniffing, making grunting sounds, or barking. I use more muscle with complex tics. You can get the combo like at McDonald. I can make faces, twist my head and shrug my shoulders. There are times when people think that I’m doing the other complex tics on purpose. These are hopping, jumping, bending, sniffing, twisting, and touching objects. There are times when I have phrases of words that sounds like gibber-jabber. It can get really bad if I do harm to myself and I punch myself in the face, or the cursing (coprolalia) or echolalia (repeating word or phrases of others).  Who do you know that does that hopping around thing?  Don’t answer that. That is another story another day.

Catrina Schizo:

I bet people think you are crazy.

Tyrone Tourette:

How are you going to call somebody crazy?  Are you sure this is me you are talking to and not someone you think you see or hear?

Catrina Schizo:

Do you really want to find out if I’m violent are not? You know, I have grown pretty fond of you. Sometimes we have the tendency to hurt the ones we are closest to.

Tyrone Tourette:

Girl, don’t make me unfriend  you and push the button. I do have a Facebook account and I will Tweet you out.

Nicky NLD:

Is your collar on that shirt too tight around your neck? I hope your shirt is the right size. The last time you had neck tics.

Tyrone Tourette:

It’s all good. The last time I had tried to suppress my tics,  it only made them worse. I do better when my tics are expressed. Letting it build up is not good for me at all. A lot of times people think I’m doing this on purpose. I don’t  know what causes Tourettes Syndrome. Let’s put it this way, I have unintentional behaviors that I don’t plan. It happens and my brains plays a big part in the way I react. These neuro-behavioral problems can be caused by not paying attention, hyperactivity, and being impulsive. The guys (disorders) that hang out with me and are associated with me is OCD and ADHD. Even though my buddies know I can suffer from depression and anxiety they still remain to be my friends.

Hey Catrina Schizophrenia you are up to bat. Tell us about yourself.

Catrina Schizo:

I have some positive symptoms about me.

Nicky NLD:

Is that positive good or positive bad?

Tyrone Tourette:

How can a positive symptom be bad?

Nicky NLD:

Tyrone TS , you are full of your ignorant oil (liquor). You can be HIV Positive, that is not good, and you could be like Catrina Schizophrenia, very delusional and not being able to face reality.

Catrina Schizo:

If you guys let me finish, I’ll tell you the rest.

Tyrone Tourette:

Ahhhhh Yeah Baby, Take us there (too much to drink).

Catrina Schizo:

As long as I take my meds, I’ll do okay. I do have psychotic behavior. Sometimes I lose touch with reality. This can come or go. Right now I’m not the healthiest person.Yes, I do hallucinate. I just really need to keep up with my treatment.

Tyrone Tourette:

I’m hallucinating right now.

Nicky NLD:

Tyrone you have  enough green beer and Irish cream Whiskey in you already. I can’t tell you from Catrina Schizo.

Catrina Schizo:

It’s not like that Tyrone. I hear voices. My voices talk to me about the way I’m behaving. My voices order me to do things, alert me of dangers, and my voices can talk to each other.I had been hearing voices for a very long time before my family found out.  Bruce Willis could see people in the movie Sixth Sense. I see people too. I can feel people touching me. I can smell odors that others can”t smell. People try to tell me it’s nothing there but I know for a fact I see objects.

Tyrone Tourette:

You got some skills. Did you take your meds before you came out? You still go to treatment?

Nicky NLD:

Let her finish.

Tyrone Tourette:

Just checking Baby, this is the TS.  I did not want my tics to come out and play.

Catrina Schizo:

I am delusional. Many times people have proven me wrong and showed me what I am believing isn’t true. My delusions can get pretty bizarre. One time I thought Rachel Maddow was broadcasting my thoughts over her  TV program. Chaka Khan was out impersonating me. My boyfriend, Kanye West  was mad because my album came out before his. He started cheating on me, then he tried to poison me. I reported him to the police for harassment. He had been spying on me for months.

Tyrone Tourette:

Your mind works like that for real?  Girl I will trade you my disorder. I hope Jennifer Hudson got over me. I know she got married but she still wants me. Right.

Catrina Schizo:

These are things I believe. It is called delusions of persecution.

Tyrone Tourette:

Wooooh, I think you sobered me up. I have got to keep my eyes on you.

Catrina Schizo:

Sometimes it’s hard organizing my thoughts to make logical sense. I talk nonsensical and in garble. It is hard to understand me. I have thought blocking. When I am talking to a person it feels like someone kidnapped my thoughts. You know what, I can even make up meaningless words called neologisms.

Nicky NLD:

I know someone who acts this way.

Tyrone Tourette:

Who?

Nicky NLD:

My girlfriend.

Tyrone Tourette:

Oh Man, you sure you don’t want to crash at my house until you have a talk with your girlfriend?

Nicky NLD:

Thanks for the offer but I can’t prolong what I suspected all the time.

Tyrone Tourette:

The offer stands whenever you are ready.

Catrina Schizo:

I’m not finished. I have body movement that I do over and over when I get agitated but not like yours Tyrone Tourette. Back in the day when there was little treatment, I would be in that catatonic state not responding to others. My main course meal is I hear voices. The negative symptoms are tricky and hard to identify. People mistake them for depressions or other symptoms. It disrupts ones normal emotion and behaviors. You notice how Merindia’s face doesn’t move (flat affect) and her voice is dull. It always seems to be  monotone. No matter how hard she tries she never sticks to her planned activities. You have to stick a crowbar in her mouth to force her to speak.  She needs help with everyday tasks and I would constantly get on her about her hygiene. She was a hot mess. I thought she was lazy and trifling but this was all because she is schizophrenic. Nicky NLD you remember Rita?

Nicky NLD:

Yeah, I had a crush on Rosy Cheeks Rita. What happen to her?

Catrina Schizo:

She had some psychological testing. Her working memory wasn’t working. She didn’t have the ability to use information immediately after she learned it. Rita never stayed in focus or paid attention. Rita had problems with understanding the information to make a decision. This is call poor executive functioning. Cognitive symptoms are hard to find unless they are tested for.  These symptoms are understated. It was hard for her to keep a job, lead her life, and she was emotionally stressed out.

Nicky NLD;

That is a lot of information on my home girl. Hey, can we get to the story now?

Tyrone Tourette:

Yeah, this is the new and improved Clarence Update.  St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March the 17. This is the day that St.Patrick died. We associate this day with the color green,  leprechauns, fairies, shamrocks, snakes, corn beef and cabbage, Irish music, green beer and Irish Creme Whiskey, and of course the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The Shamrock was a sacred plant that represented the rebirth of spring. The Celts called it a “seamroy”. The shamrock later represented the Irish breaking out and expressing themselves and taking pride in their culture and advocating for rights to be who they are. The English began to take over the Irish land and  they didn’t want the Irish to speak their language nor practice their religion, which was Catholicism. The Irish said, “screw this we are wearing our shamrock and since we like music we are going to sing it to the tune of Cool Moe Dee, How You Like Me Now”.  This pissed Queen Lizzy No.1 off.  Every artist and piper that was Irish got the axe. Nicky NLD you really are going to like this.

The Celts expressed themselves verbally. Since the APA(American Psychiatric Association) won’t open up a community for you this would have been the perfect place.  They rocked the house with their verbal expression of story telling, singing and dancing. Their oral culture  of religion, history, and their folklore was passed down through the ages.

They got a little depressed but they never stopped singing “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross. Since they never gave up, today they’ve got popular bands like the Chieftains, Clancy Brothers, and Tommy Makem. You just keep singing that tune “Hold on I’m Coming” by Sam and Dave.

That story about the snakes was made up. St Patrick didn’t go up on a rock and banish thousands of snakes.  He took his behind up there. He drove his Orkin’s truck and pulled out his Real Kill snake spray gun. The snakes were  a metaphor to get rid of the idea of worshiping all those crazy statutes the English worshiped.  Their traditional meal was always cabbage and corn beef.  Corn beef didn’t show up until the turn of the century.  The corn beef got pricy . So the Irish immigrants, now living in New York City on the lower east side, found a way to save money by bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pan. They got the hook up from their Jewish neighbors and all went well.  Then you had shorty running around. These were the leprechauns known as “”.

Little dudes with tree stump bodies.  They were so paranoid about their pot of gold. They used voodoo, hoodoo, and doo doo to protect their funds.  The Leprechauns didn’t have any thing to do with St. Patrick’s day. Do you see how lies get started?  In 1959 Walt Disney got creative and threw the leprechauns in the mix.  In 1962 Chicago River has become  famous for being dyed green on St. Patrick’s Day.  The Irish grew in numbers and became the Green Machine and gain Respect just like Aretha Franklin’s song. They are no longer considered the Drunken Monkeys.

Catrina Schizo:

Can you get me a date with one of those little guys?

Nicky NLD:

See what you did, Tyrone Tourette. You know Catrina Schizo doesn’t need any more false reality in her head.

WARNING: To all those who read this story…  if there is anything in this story that sounds like you,  a friend,  or a family member, get to a doctor immediately. We don’t want any Shame In Your  Game.