Then She Fell

Then She Fell

This is a post found on my Flickr stream dated 2011.

The image is signed by Mateo.

It was shot with a Blackberry and colored to compensate for low resolution.


I could tell from the fact that she was wearing scrubs and hospital booties that she had just been released from either Psychiatric Emergency or an inpatient unit at San Francisco General Hospital. Psych patient’s get scrubs if they arrive at the Emergency Room in filthy clothing and are held overnight or for a week. The clothing is washed but often it’s so ragged that it’s tossed out. I could see that this woman was disorganized and perhaps medicated.

Her gait was unbalanced and one of the pant legs had wrapped itself around her foot.

Thankfully, she made it across the street before she fell.

Here’s how the law works: it protects her rights by providing a judge who will overlook the fact that she is so ill she can barely keep herself alive on her own.

He will ask her if she is suicidal and she will say no.

He will ask her if she is homicidal and she will say no.

He will ask her if she has access to food and she will say yes and if asked where she will say a local soup kitchen.

He will ask her if she has housing and she will say yes and when he asks where she will give the address of a local shelter—even if she doesn’t have a bed reserved.

He will then lift the hold and off she goes in her fresh new scrubs to die some more on the rich clean streets of San Francisco.

And the doctors and lawyers and judges can feel good that this patient’s right to refuse treatment is once again protected from the encroachment of common sense.

I grabbed this shot with my Blackberry just before she fell.


Because psych beds are so scarce the average length of stay in the ER for a patient on a hold can be as long as 34 hours.

The average cost of a visit to the ER is about $2,000 an hour excluding the cost of the evaluation, medications and the cost of the dedicated security guard who must stand watch over the patient for the entire time he is there.

The cost of one day on an inpatient unit is over $1,000 excluding medications, the cost of evaluation, and placement, if any.

So who is getting rich from this brutal mental health system?

Our suffering crystallized like honey into profit.

The Million Dollar Homeless Patient

Stop Criminalizing the Mentally Ill

The Recording of History

A thought provoking post from Kendall F. Person

A Quick Note to God

A Quick Note to God

I went through my Flickr stream from 2011 and found writing and photography signed by Mateo.

It was a difficult time. I was new to the diagnosis of DID and was regressing.

I’ve kept Mateo’s signature on the photo.


Last night I dreamed that I was on a Ferris wheel.

It suddenly stopped; I was at the top.

I stepped away and watched myself die.

First I saw the bones in my hands.

Then next my chest.

My flesh fell away, I started to glow.

My eyes flashed, my hair went white; I threw up and brushed my hair.

Then I remembered what I was taught in beauty school: when it comes to color, the sky’s the limit!

I trigger my gaze and write:

Dear God,

I was a religious fanatic before I went nuts.

A career change is hard and I have lots to learn.

But you should know that I am resolved to discussing

myself with as many snotty shrinks as possible.

Sincerely,

That One!

God lights a cigarette and shifts his hips.

He opens my mouth; evil spirits chatter and sing:

Nick-knack paddle wax
the dog becomes a bone.

RG (c) 2015