Image by Alfons Morales

CHAPTER 2

"Grief is hurt, it’s an injury that needs salve and treatment. It needs TLC and it needs time.

The feeling needs to be felt. Acknowledge it and allow it to develop, appear, live, perform, run its course, and to be expressed. It needs to be expressed! Face and acknowledge grief with truth. Don’t deny it, but accept it and allow it the freedom to be heard."

Phil Gale

Judy Davenport

Judy Davenport is a fictional, but clever exposé into the interwoven lives of therapist and patient. I found it quite fascinating and, like me, I am certain that you will find yourself begging for more when the story ends. But there is magic in a reader envisioning the ending in your own mind. Do you picture a future for the attractive but utterly broken Judy and her handsome but lonely therapist Dr. Hastings?

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The Double-sided Story of that Man on the Street

The Double-sided Story of That Man on the Street is an outstanding piece of writing wherein Phil gives you that missing perspective on schizophrenia in relation to his brother Vic. It was published, using a pseudonym, in the Victoria Times Colonist newspaper on March 2, 1995 in the Viewpoint section.

 

Phil was constantly going to battle with the British Mental Health Association to get his brother the help he needed. However it was tough because his brother frequently refused to acknowledge that he needed any help.

It was a privilege to be Vic’s sister-in-law. He had the mind and the imagination of a twelve-year old boy, one who looked up to his brother for guidance and reassurance because he was starved for love and affection and in constant need of  of approval. He was hyper intelligent and very social. He knew lots of people in his local village and was well liked by those who accepted him. But, on the surface, he looked unkempt and his actions could have easily been misjudged by those not understanding the disease. He was convinced he had starred in a “Carry On” film and could show you the scene he thought he was in.

He called the local police to tell them if he was feeling unwell, and his answering machine recording stated, “You have reached Jim Rockford of the Rockford Files, leave a message”, to which his brother had to point out that callers other than family would assume they had reached a wrong number and hang up. Once when his parents went away on holiday, they gave Vic the instruction to keep the house safe from burglars. Vic’s interpretation of this was  to barricade the driveway with a big sign that read “Keep out”. Needless to say, the neighbours weren’t too happy with this overt warning. We did crack a smile, but underneath it all, we understood that this came from the mind of a “young boy” who’s aim was to please his parents by executing his father’s instruction in a very literal way. All harmless interpretations that came from the world he occupied in his mind, but sometimes alarming to the average person.

Thanks to initiatives by the young Royals in England and “Bell Let’s Talk” day here in Canada, mental health conversations are becoming commonplace and no longer carry the stigma of staying in the closet hidden behind shame.

The Enemy in The Closet

The Poor-Me Syndrome (more commonly referred to as the victim mentality) was very much alive and well in Phil’s home life as a child, and so he unconsciously received its conditioning. Having a good understanding of its detrimental effects, he worked hard to overcome them, and wrote this article to help others do the same.

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THE DOUBLE-SIDED STORY

Mental Health Awareness

The Writer in Me

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