Tag Archives: mental health

#SayHerName : Michelle Cusseaux

Board recommends demotion for PPD sergeant who shot woman wielding ...
MICHELLE CUSSEAUX

Michelle Cusseaux was a 50 year old woman living in Phoenix, Arizona. In August of 2014, police were called to take her to a mental health facility. The officers arrived and Ms. Cusseaux refused to go with them. According to the police spokesperson, “as police were opening the security door to her unit, Cusseaux was opening her front door with a claw hammer raised above her head,” (Woodfill, 2014). They were within arm’s reach, and one of the officers felt “threatened,” so he fired a single shot into her chest. She was rushed to a hospital where she died. The officer was demoted as a result – not because of any “criminal wrongdoing” – but because his actions “violated department policy” (Staff, 2016).

There will be arguments here – “He felt threatened” , “She had a weapon” – but it comes down to this: he had options, and out of the (at least) two people who were in the situation, it was only that one officer who felt “threatened” enough to open fire. Furthermore, there are conflicting reports here. A book excerpt I found, detailing police violence against “black women and women of color,” says that when the police arrived, Ms. Cusseaux was fixing her door – which is why she had a hammer – and that Ms. Cusseaux and her mother had both informed the officers that there was no weapon in the house (Ritchie, 2017). She spoke to them through the door, informing them that she didn’t trust them and that she felt like they would shoot her. Instead of backing off or trying to gain her trust, or even ask for additional help from someone trained in such matters, the officer in charge ordered the other to pick the lock and entered the home without permission. He later said that it was the look on her face that made him open fire. Her mother questioned that, asking what he saw, “A Black woman? A lesbian? He said it was just a look on her face. What look would you have on your face if the police broke into your house? Could that have been the look of fear? I would have been in fear for my life too, especially if I already felt like they were going to kill me” (Ritchie, 2017).

With this context, it becomes more than obvious that the officer in charge was either poorly trained or of the wrong temperament to be handling any sort of mental health pick ups. The fact that he was only demoted makes it painfully obvious that the people over him aren’t any better trained than him.

Next month will be the six year anniversary of Michelle Cusseaux’s death.

This is why they march.

#SayHerName | #BlackLivesMatter

Sources:

Ritchie, A. (2017). Invisible No More. Excerpt here: https://lithub.com/mental-illness-is-not-a-capital-crime/

Woodfill, D.S. (August 14, 2014). Retrieved from: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2014/08/14/phoenix-officer-involved-shooting-mental-health-abrk/14085607/

Staff Writers. (April 14, 2016). Retrieved from: https://www.azfamily.com/board-upholds-demotion-of-phoenix-sergeant-in-shooting-death-of-michelle-cusseaux/article_094453ef-cb42-54f4-9c9d-1ae83db64136.html

#MusicMonday – Week 21

This is the last week of Mental Health Awareness month, but unfortunately, the suffering for those with mental illnesses continues, as does the stigma, which arguably, does the most harm. Did you know 1 in 5 Americans will suffer from a mental illness in any given year? I know, thanks to Nikki’s efforts last year in opening up about her own struggles. The truly heartbreaking thing about this, is the knowledge that those “1 in 5” aren’t getting the help they need, and it’s only partly because the help isn’t there. The other part is the stigma. It stands to reason that, if we reduce the stigma, we might be able to increase the odds of a person getting help, and making that person’s life so much easier. I don’t know about you all, but it’s worth it to me.

Now, onto the main event. The final song for this month is by an Irish singer, Rosie Carney. I had never heard of her before this year, but apparently she is very open with her own struggles. Her calls for reducing the stigma surrounding mental illnesses is also echoed in her song, “Awake Me.”

Week 21

#MusicMonday – Week 20

Week three of Mental Health Awareness month and this is a song that always makes me cry. There are many celebrities who struggle with mental health issues. Some of them keep it to themselves, and some, like musicians Chester Bennington and Justin Furstenfeld, turned their struggles into art. You’ll see plenty of Chester and Linkin Park around here eventually, but for today, here’s “Hate Me” by Blue October.

Week 20

#MusicMonday – Week 18

May is Mental Health Awareness month and for the first song, I’d like to introduce you all to Gemini Syndrome. “Metal” music gets such a bad rap sometimes, but you’d be surprised how much meaning some of the songs pack in. “Remember We Die” packs in a plea for anyone struggling to keep holding on, as well as the reminder that there will be “plenty of time to see the other side,” so until then, “just let the light shine from your soul.”

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[A Story & A Song] House of Seasons

Song and a story-house of seasons

Dedicated to all of you who keep pushing forward.

There’s a house I like to visit. It sits at the end of the road. There’s nothing fancy about the place, itself.  It’s a standard ranch home, one floor, a garage, two doors – front and back – but it’s still my favorite place to be. I like to call it the “House of Seasons” because it constantly changes. Everyone else on the block, their lawn is evergreen. The bushes never bloom, but they never wilt, either. The trees never lose their leaves, no matter how cold it gets or how hard the wind blows. The porch lights are never on when kids are trick or treating, and the Christmas decorations are there one day and gone the next.

The House of Seasons though…sometimes the yard is the brightest green you’ve ever seen. Sometimes it has dead spots. Sometimes the bushes are abloom with bright red and yellow flowers, sometimes they’re nothing but twigs. I’ve seen the trees go from tall and strong, branches reaching for the sky, to almost rotted completely through in the space of a single hour. Sometimes the entire house looks like it’s been attacked by spiders, cobwebs wrapped around it so tight, there’s no way of telling if the bushes decided to bloom that day or not. Sometimes the entire yard is dead, and there are holes in the sides of the house. The wind makes an eerie sound when it blows through the neighborhood on those days.

But there is something interesting about that house. No matter how many dead spots in the lawn, or holes in the walls; no matter how dangerously those dying trees creak and sway in the wind, the front door? Is always open. On Halloween, the porch light is on. Christmas lights go up the day after Thanksgiving, and don’t go down until after the New Year has come and gone. Every year, the owner throws out all the stops. Sometimes the cobwebs hide the decorations, sometimes only half of the lights work, but anyone passing by can still see that a lot of care has gone into the work.

I think that’s why no one else in the block likes to talk about the house. Because they can tell that work does go into the house. You see, everyone else is so concerned with keeping up appearances, and go to such great lengths to hide any imperfections, they don’t stop to think about the people who are able to peek over fences.

I’ve seen the backyards of my neighbors. Festering cesspools fill half of them. The other half are either overgrown with weeds, empty, or so full of dead spots, no amount of fresh grass seed will ever fix it.

I’ve seen the backyard of the House of Seasons. I have seen a garden that would put Paradise to shame.

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Reblog: My Fucked Up Brain and Little Arms

Hiya friends, welcome back. Ugh, I’m angry with myself. Here I am, having to apologize for missing a post, again. Honestly, on Thursday I just couldn’t sit at my computer for any longer than it took to finish my homework, then on Friday I was so busy, I just didn’t have the time to sit – period. I swear, I will finish these next two weeks strong.

Let’s get right into my last two days. Remember the other day, how I said I could just see Asshole sitting there, acting like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth? Yeah, I was fucking right. He came out swinging Thursday morning and was a thorn in my side all hoofin day.

via My Fucked Up Brain and Little Arms

Reblog: The Day of Darkness

Times like this, it is really difficult to remember that Karma doesn’t need any help. She might come to me for suggestions every now and then, but she’s quite capable of doing her job on her own.

For those of you who ever find themselves in need, I always keep a spare flashlight on hand. It’s yours for the taking.

Hiya friends, welcome back. As I woke up this morning, I knew it was going to have a good day (in regards to the Asshole and Panic). I was right, too. I woke up at a perfect Sunny dayfour, and I felt I could take on the world. This feeling happens so few and far between that when it does I fucking revel in it.

I took my happy feeling and got a ton of shit done today. This morning I got up and got a good bit of my homework done. Then I prepped …

via The Day of Darkness

Reblog: Learning to Celebrate the Small Things

So proud! Well, I mean, I’m always proud of her, she’s way more bad ass than she thinks, but I’m even more proud when she actually gets to enjoy her victories.

Hiya friends, welcome back. I have exciting stuff to say today (well, maybe not exciting for you, but for me, it’s hoofing massive). I went shopping. Twice. Once yesterday and once today, BY MYSELF. You probably just read that and made the wtf face at your screen, but seriously, this is a victory for me. A small one, but a victory nonetheless.

linusUsually, I do not leave the house without my security blanket – otherwise known as Hobbs. (He tends to act as a buffer between me and the world…actually it’s more like he keeps me anchored so I don’t drown in the anxiety or panic.) As we all know, he has been home this week because he’s sick, so he couldn’t very well go to the store with me, could he? Unfortunately, his not being able to go didn’t change the fact that we …

via Learning to Celebrate the Small Things

Reblog: The Delicate Balance

When a pot boils for too long, things tend to spill over… (Also, sorry these are coming all at once. I fell behind and am trying to catch up!)

Hiya friends, welcome back. Sorry that you got two posts so close together, but oh man it’s been an interesting couple of days. So, Hobbs came home sick yesterday, and he ended up staying home from work today too. I also said that, at times, my anxiety extends past me being sick and onto people I love.

Let me explain.

Charlie BrownBasically when Hobbs gets sick, I absolutely lose it. I’m pretty sure that the way anxiety works makes no fucking sense. The thought process with this is much like the lemon thought process. For instance, take how today went. Hobbs is home sick. What if it’s worse than what I had? That’ll mess with his blood sugar, which means he could end up in the hospital. People die in hospitals. Great! Oh, …

via The Delicate Balance

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