I had walked inside my home when the voices started. It was a Sunday evening, April 2nd, 2017, I had just come back from a smoke break outside my home… “Come into my world…” “…I will take care of you…” “I’ll show you the way…” Without hesitation I called Brunswick Hall Psychiatric Hospital, where I was admitted 4 years back. I told them what was going on, they said to hang up and call 911. I hung up the voices roared back again, it was a woman with a seductive voice… “I love you… come, I’ll show you the way.” At that point I lost control of my hands it was as if someone had grabbed me by my arms and led me into the kitchen. I lunged for a big sharp knife on the countertop and was ready to stab my left arm.
The entire time my wife was observing what was going on and intervened when I had grabbed the knife. She yelled, “this isn’t you Adam, this isn’t you!” I realized she was right and I regained control and dropped the knife.
She dragged me to the living room. With her hands against my face she said she’s calling for help. It wasn’t time for my evening medications. Maryam took action, called 911, and in due time the police showed up. I knew this wouldn’t go too well but I cooperated with the EMT.
They took me to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore. When they were letting me in I asked the police officer if I could have a cigarette, something he had promised me once we got to the hospital. “It’s up to them from here on.” I asked the nurse, she said something but it didn’t sound like I was going to get my smoke break. I thought once I had this cigarette that all these racing thoughts in my head would settle down. That’s how it usually worked.
They were taking me for intake. I asked the police officer if I could have a cigarette, I didn’t realize I couldn’t smoke indoors so I put my hand in my jacket pocket to take out my pack. The police officer ran to grab my arm, I dodged, got up and the hospital security guard joined to try and restrain me. It was like a scene from one of those Jason Bourne movies. I kept dodging and they kept trying to grab me until finally the police officer tasered me and I took a few steps and fell to the ground. My wife was also getting restrained by another security guard after she had super kicked the police officer. I felt life come back to me. Turns out the taser helped me appreciate how alive I felt. I was yelling as to what they were doing to my wife as they dragged her out of the room. They had me in handcuffs. The charge nurse came in to talk some sense into me. She asked me to promise to behave and they would take off the handcuffs. I started on my rhetoric banter about how the police and the security was treating us. I calmed down and they took off my handcuffs. I knew I was going to be doing some time.
Drugged up and with very little emotions I had a restless night sleeping in the hospital room they had for me. They didn’t allow any visitors at this place. I didn’t know at which point my wife and I had parted ways. They were transferring me to South Oaks Hospital, telling me that I will have to stay there temporarily for a few days until they get my medication right. I had officially relapse.
Schizophrenia, according to what I was taught in Abnormal Psychology class, is 50% genetic and the remaining are environmental factors such as stress and whatnot. Stress had definitely been a factor as the Dean of Students at Farmingdale State College had, and still has, put my account on hold. It had triggered my Ulcerative Colitis earlier on in the semester as I was going in and out of Emergency Rooms. I was unable to register for one of the classes I needed. I had to attend weekly mandated therapy sessions at the school. To my surprise, someone had complained that I was stalking them, I had found out through my therapist. Therapy was helping on and off but was adding more stress. I just couldn’t figure out why the Dean was putting me through this didn’t have the courtesy to return my phone calls and emails to schedule an appointment. I was expected to graduate with my bachelor’s degree by the summer but it looked like it won’t be for another year that I would have to attend. I had made so many plans but everything came to a halt. I wasn’t driving up until last month when I cleared my suspensions and got a car for myself. Prior to this I would get ready to leave at 4 in the morning Tuesdays and Thursdays to make it in time for my 8 AM Small Business Management class. Public transportation is a joke here in Suffolk County.
I guess I needed a break from all this. I had to spend more time with my family. With my newborn who is growing up so fast. The first thing I did after getting discharged from the hospital was to drop my classes and walk in to see the Dean. I was surprised how she too was looking forward to see me and not avoid me.
Dean Johnson apologized for not getting back to me promptly. I accepted her apology after having a look at her desk with piles of paperwork on it. She said she wants to see me middle of July/August to see how I’m doing and she would lift the hold. To my surprise she told me about how a police report had been made, not just a complaint, by this girl that I had small talk with in the hallway for “stalking her”. Lesson learned; not everyone’s perspective is the same as yours. She also told me how she had been keeping tabs on me for a year and a half now. I felt special and felt tempted to ask why but I knew the answer would be politically correct. It’s wasn’t really brilliant idea for the dean to pass this information onto me knowing that I had stayed in a psychiatric ward for paranoid thoughts. This only added to my paranoia and my distaste for the college’s administration.
During my stay at South Oaks Hospital I attended all the activities and group therapy sessions they had during the day. I found them all to be very therapeutic. I remember meeting my social worker the first day when I kept yawning which caused her to start yawning as well. It made us laugh but I was heavily sedated. I made friends there that felt that they needed to share with me their personal stories. I broke off a violent fight when this guy decided he wanted to throw a chair at this girl. I felt like I was part of the staff. There was a devil worshiper there that felt like she was the chosen one by the Illuminati. I got along with everyone, including the devil worshiper. Ultimately I waited for the hour to strike 5 so I could see my wife. My older brother and sister came by to visit, as well. The doctors at the hospital stopped the Adderall.
Today, after my first dose of Adderall I have gotten the drive again to start doing things. I met my doctor yesterday and she felt that it is true that I have ADHD. Prior to this I would wake up drop off my wife at work, come back and lay in bed thinking into the abyss. I was wasting time, which I regret, counting every hour before I had to go back to pick up Maryam. It wasn’t like this every day, I would go see my mother too from time to time. She’s always entertaining and gets me engaged. My seven-month-old grabs my attention as well.
I have a renewed drive to go back to school. To finish not only my bachelor’s degree but to go onto finish grad school in mental health counseling. Today after so many weeks of being out of touch I made an attempt to socialize with my school friends.
During the past few weeks what I thought about the most is about losing control. Regretting how losing control caused my independence to be taken away from me. Now I’m dependent again on others. At least until I become productive again, which will probably be a year from now when I graduate with my diploma. Unless someone has other suggestions.
I had drafted some blog posts which didn’t get published. One of them entitled “Society Labels You Insane; When You Know You’re in Charge of Your Sanity”…I guess that’s not the case, society drives you to insanity. I had another exorcism done but I’ll save that for a future blog entry.
I’ve also got another piece in the works which I’ll publish in a few days, it’s an eyewitness account and reflection on the Fort Lauderdale Shootings back in January which I was a victim of. The shooter was hearing voices.
First let me point out the fact that there’s no such thing. There’s no perfect Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. There are people that are disciplined, organized, polite, wreckless, loving, so on and so fourth but we all have our flaws. However, we run into people that are extremely judgmental, unforgiving, and slandering all the time. I believe in a simple philosophy… Let God be our judge. On the Day of Judgment God will be judging us and we will not be worried about what he said, she said, did or didn’t. I will be more worried about what good and bad I have on my account than about the guy that stole my iPad from me.
There’s several sayings of Prophet Muhammad, Peace be Upon Him… A prosititue once fed a dog and for that good deed she entered paradise. A person with faith in God the size of a grain will enter Heaven because of God’s mercy and a person who’s proud of all the good things he or she did and all the worship they did will enter hell because of their PRIDE.
Yet, we see people backbiting, slandering, gossiping all around us. And so few people that are humble. However, there is still more love in this world than hate. Otherwise the world would’ve ended a long time ago.
If you have a habit of backbiting without ill intentions remember that word gets around quick. That’s one of the reasons people unfriend people or shut down on social media.
The Prophet once gave counsel to Abu Dharr, saying: O Abu Dharr! Beware of backbiting, for backbiting is graver than adultery. Abu Dharr (r) said: Why is that so, O Messenger of Allah? He (s) replied: That is because when a man commits adultery and then repents to God, God accepts his repentance. However, backbiting is not forgiven until forgiven by its victim.
I’m not propogating a life of sin, all I’m saying stop judging other people. Stop advising them with opinions. If you want to advise them give them facts. Don’t expect them to have the same lifestyle as you as you cannot dictate that.
I’ve forgiven the non-practicing Muslim that stole my iPad. Because who knows whose prayers are getting accepted…Maybe he needed it more than I did. The preaching Christan employee I had lent $250 to and he never returned my calls or answered my texts. I’ve forgiven him too. I rule that I follow, and I’m stating the obvious here, don’t judge a religion based on its people, judge it based on its creed.
I hope if I’ve done anyone wrong, backbitten, owed money, or anything to anyone that they would forgive me. Ultimately God is our judge he is Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem.
As a parent it is my responsibility to teach my children right from wrong. To make sure they are safe at all times. To teach them to be polite, respectful, educated, stable, and good productive citizens of society. I will not gossip, lie, slander, argue with my wife or family (debating is one thing and healthy), or teach them to wrong, fraud, con or fool (comedy is one thing but if your intention is to deceit than no fooling around) other people whether good or bad… I will teach them to let others go if they’ve hurt them and to forgive them. To move on with life. Let God be their judge. Always forgive and try to forget (I can’t forget because of my mind but for some people it’s easier to forget than to forgive, for me it’s the other way around.)
Enjoy their journey in this life instead of bickering, regretting, fighting, and harming others.
We won’t dictate which direction life will take them. Instead we will walk alongside with them. I won’t condition my son or daughter to become a doctor, engineer, or fireman or force them to consider something when they ace a certain test and at the end of sophomore year decide you will become a marine biologist. If he wants to he can and will. I will give them sound advice and try to persuade them. But if they disagree I will understand. When they are ready I will come to a realization that I can let them go into the world, that they’ve grown up, they know right from wrong and at that point I won’t just be their father but also their closest friend. It’ll be early too depending on how they mature.
So remember life is a journey. Don’t judge others because you don’t know how much your opinion may be hurting them. Forgive. Forget. Move forward on your journey. Don’t get stuck in a jam, and when you do remember you always have other options. YAHOO!
I had been taking online classes the year prior and was able to complete my senior level courses with straight As. I even made it to the President’s list and brought my GPA up to 2.9. However, due to the issues with the Dean, my psychiatrist bailing out on me, and not having a car took a toll on me and by April I relapsed after 4 years of not having to go to a psychiatric ward.
The year began when I took a vacation to Havana, Cuba. The year prior, then President Barack Obama, had eased travel restrictions to Cuba. I had a strong feeling that I should take the opportunity while it lasted and made sure I go to Cuba before policies changed and restrictions were and if they would be put back in when Donald Trump took office.
I arrived in Cuba with 25 Canadian Dollars, I was told that my ATM card would work in Cuba by Citibank. I hailed a cab and asked the cab driver, William, if he could take me to a money exchange that would convert Cuban Dollars to Cuban Pesos. The Spanish lessons I had learned kicked in full force and it seemed like I was very fluent in Spanish. William brought me to a Dutch English professor who I recall saying “You’re a poor American in Cuba,” jokingly of course. We promised that until I would be able to arrange for funds I would get a bed to sleep in, food on the table, and my driver would take me around Havana. Of course because of the New Year’s holiday in Cuba the banks were closed until Tuesday, I had arrived on Sunday, New Year’s day at around 8 AM. The 25 Cuban Dollars lasted me until the next day when I spent my last 5 dollars buying two newspapers that I didn’t understand fully. I was going from ATM to ATM from one 5-Star hotel to another to see if my card would work. The next day came and I went to a Dutch bank where I was told American banks don’t work in Cuba because of the embargo. I booked a flight back to the states just so I could withdraw funds and come back. The next day there was the airport shooting at Fort Lauderdale International Airport which had breaking news coverage all across America. So the flight back to Havana was cancelled. Surprisingly enough, the flights weren’t cancelled until the second shooting had occurred (which never made it to mainstream news outlets, more on that later). The next day I was able to make it back to Cuba.
This post isn’t about my trip to Cuba or how much I enjoyed it nor how traumatized I was at Fort Lauderdale, it’s really a lengthy recap of my entire year. The trip to Cuba and the Fort Lauderdale incident I’ll save for another time.
After spending pleasant week in Havana I came back to my life- full of family issues. My brothers weren’t talking to me because I make poor judgment when it comes to vacation planning, the gun shooting at Fort Lauderdale didn’t help either. This went on for several days until my mother eased the tension between my brothers and myself. However, it was extra stress that was unnecessary given the fact that I had experienced a eyewitness gun shooting at the airport. Additionally, I had called to speak to my therapist at Farmingdale State College letting them know about what was going on to which I was told my case had been closed.
I had mentioned earlier in this post and my previous post about my issues with the Dean of Students; Dean Johnson. I had registered for 12 credits and was planning to take one additional required class to which I found out my account had been put on hold by Dean Johnson. If I had been able to register for that one class I would have graduated that Summer of last year, 2017. I made countless visits to her office, left voicemails, sent emails, nothing happened and the registration window was closed. It’s now Spring 2018 semester and I am taking a break from school so that I can sort things out in my life. I plan to return part time and take online classes as I’ve found that sometimes being on campus triggers my symptoms, additionally I had thought I would do well in the classroom environment I realized I have a problem sitting for an hour and fifteen minutes listening to a lecture before daydreaming into the abyss or walking out several times to smoke a cigarette. Aside from that, I was truly demotivated with the way Dean Johnson and Campus Mental Health Services was treating me. Suffolk County’s public transportation system was no help either.
I relapsed and ended in a psychiatric ward April, 2017. I don’t want to talk about how or what happened as I have mentioned that before and in my book, Trans Mongolian, I go more in depth of the auditory hallucinations I was having prior to being admitted and what went on in the psychiatric unit. All I can say is I dreaded every minute in the Psych Ward at South Oaks Hospital because I was making forward progress.
Rewinding back to President Donald Trump being sworn in on January 20th, 2017. I became a self-proclaimed photojournalist walking the streets of 5th Avenue, where Trump Tower is in New York City, taking photographs of what was going on. Surprisingly enough there wasn’t much at 3 AM. There had been some protests earlier in the night but nothing so big that I could report. I was revisiting Trump Tower from past November, 2016 when Donald Trump had won the election. I had taken photographs at that time as well which can be found on my photography blog www.adlxxiv.com.
I ended up helping a drunk Brazilian guy, along with two Turkish tourists who joined in with me to lend a hand. The Brazilian guy was buying all these sandwiches for all the homeless people on 42nd Street at Times Square. We brought him outside, I treated him to a Bagel with Cream Cheese and some coffee to which he really liked much more than the McDonald’s he was having. The Turkish guys parted ways earlier. I asked him what it was he was trying to accomplish tonight. We talked as I walked him back to his hotel. I explained the situation to the Hotel Concierge and asked if I could stick around for a bit so that I can charge up my phone and camera. His hospitality went even farther as he told me that they would be opening up for breakfast shortly and I was welcome to stay for that as well.
After a full breakfast and my morning Adderall of 45 mg I was ready to protest and get some photojournalism done. The Women’s March was scheduled to take place early in the day and I was going to take part wholeheartedly. This is what I had come for. This is what I dedicated myself for the remainder of the year.
The first executive order, was the Muslim Travel Ban. Being Muslim and a self-proclaimed civil rights activist (did I forget about the photojournalism I’ve been doing?). I was so passionate about what I was doing I even made it on the evening news! Here’s a clip…
To be honest, I feel like I got caught up in this alternate universe I had created for my self-pleasure. When I look back on it now it was an escape from reality. I was living in my own little world. My previous dream of being a member of the press. I neglected my responsibility to my children and my wife; really because I felt neglected and was really depressed. I may have been productive and gaining fame but ultimately it was hurting my marriage.
My wife Mariam started working at a medical office soon after Musaab was born. I didn’t feel she needed to work nor was I against it. However, she had to get up early and my nights were spent taking the LIRR to the city or spending nights at home all by myself watching movie after movie on the Roku device that was able to plug-in my earphones and spent the night quietly in solitude. When 7 PM hit on the dot I knew my wife was going to be giving my son Ali his meds. When I would ask her if she could spend some time watching TV or go out on a midweek date 9 times out of 10 the answer would be I have to get up at 6 to Ali ready for school and have work all day. On those lucky nights where I would want to spend talking to my wife she would be snoring shortly after on my shoulder. This went on for months… To a point where my wife would get up in the morning and get upset that I keep repeating this behavior. Sometimes she would be calm about it but most of the time she put me through a guilt trip. Who was right and who was wrong I really don’t know. It was just that we accepted our different paths.
Our 7th Anniversary was coming up on June 24th, 2017. We both had a serious talk earlier about how our relationship is being affected and that we need to rekindle our relationship. That weekend started off in the right direction. Friday afternoon my wife came home early from work and we went to the beach. We walked over to Kismet on Fire Island from Field 5, holding hands along the way, talking and exploring, taking a ferry to Cherry Grove. I had Googled restaurants by the ocean front and one of them was The Sandcastle in Cherry Grove. Turned out we were the only straight couple at Cherry Grove and it was PRIDE week. We enjoyed it nonetheless. On our way back we would have had to walk back in the dark from Kismet to Field 5 which would have been a 45 minute walk. There were some regulars that joined us along the way on one of the stops the ferry made, and they asked the crew to drop us off by the lighthouse so that the walk is a bit lighter. It was a lovely evening we had spent.
Two days after, it was my turn, we were still celebrating our Anniversary weekend and I had won a private flight earlier in the year at a fundraiser during one of my visits to the city. We went to NYC and back, just the two of us (and of course the pilot), my wife was in shock during the entire hour long flight, circling around Statue of Liberty, flying by the new World Trade Center before heading back. She was so petrified that she forgot to hit the record button while she held the camera towards me for a good five minutes. I enjoyed it as I have a love-affair with airplane travel.
All of it quickly faded away and we were back on our own. I had gotten a job with Gap Inc. as a Brand Ambassador for Banana Republic. That settled me down for a little bit over the summer but it didn’t last long until I was recruited by a promotions company in September, 2017 representing designer fashion labels such as Ralph Lauren, David Bitton, Ray Ban and Express, to name a few of their clients. They had provided me with a bit over $5000 worth of clothing and accessories to attend parties and take pictures with people who were influencers on social media. I got paid much more than I had expected. The job did require me to be in the city late into Friday, Saturday, and sometimes even Sunday mornings. I was invited to private parties, club parties, store events, and really got to learn what kind of industry it is to influence others.
Mariam found it extremely sketchy that they had bought me all these clothes and didn’t understand how that form of marketing worked. She trusted me but didn’t trust others. Three weeks in I brought two of my coworkers over to my house as they had to drive back to Boston and really just wanted to wind down for a little bit, it was early in the morning and my wife was at work when she took a break to come home and see what I was up to. One of the guys was knocked out on my couch as he was the one that had to be driving to Boston. We were working but we were also exhausted from the weekend. Myself not as much as I wasn’t drinking. When Mariam came home she confronted both of my coworkers as to who they were and what were they doing all night. She even asked one of them if I was drinking. To which I felt insulted as she should have asked me instead of asking random strangers to which they didn’t even know the answer to. They couldn’t understand what the big deal was and she ended up calling 911. At that point I felt some aggressive behavior that was coming onto one of the guys, he explained to my wife that what she was doing was kidnapping and that she couldn’t hold them against their will. I slowly put my arm around my wife, asked her to calm down, and slowly walked with her away from our door. At the given opportunity my coworkers opened the door and left.
The cops arrived soon after.
Two cops barged in from the other entrance to our apartment asking for who called the cops. I told them it was my wife. She was outside fighting with my sister. The rookie cop came over and took my statement, I told him what happened, he didn’t make much of it and left. The senior officer, Officer Santiago, remained for a bit longer. Talked to my wife outside, came inside to tell me not to have company over that my wife doesn’t want. He continued talking to Mariam outside. I didn’t take it for much of a case until my mother-in-law started yelling from the her bedroom. I thought she was talking to my wife so I went outside to ask what was going on and why her mother was yelling for her. Officer Santiago suggested that I go to my mother’s house until things cooled down. I refused. I wasn’t a child or irresponsible that I should go stay with my mother and get a police escort to her house. Things were being blown out of proportion. He kept reiterating that I should go somewhere else for now. I told him fine, drop me off at the nearest diner but before I did that I needed my phone charger.
I went inside to find my mother-in-law yelling hysterically that she couldn’t find her phone and that her phone was missing. I grabbed my chargers and walked right back out and my mother-in-law followed me out yelling and screaming about how crazy I am, and how do this and that, I spend nights in Manhattan drinking, and that I am some kind of drug addict that has ruined my wife’s life. Officer Santiago asked Mariam what she was saying and she summarized by telling him she can’t find her phone and that I was hiding it. I was struck in awe. He asked me to show any phones I have in my pocket, confirmed none of them were her mother’s. He calmly asked me to get in his car and I complied.
When I got in the car my wife was trying to get some kind of message across. I think she knew that the accusation my mother-in-law made made her more of suspect. On top of that before getting in the car my landlord’s son tried to intervene and say something about how the cop doesn’t know what he’s doing and that I probably stole her phone to which I snapped and told him to go inside and smoke and sell weed. He ran right off and Officer Santiago explained he was just trying to help we already know everything about him.
Officer Santiago asked my wife to stand aside as she was trying to open the door to talk to him. He calmly asked me what was going on. I told him I have a condition. That I have a mental illness, schizophrenia to be exact, and it would be better for me to get checked out at the hospital as this incident is very stressful, really unnecessary, and making me anxious.
To which Officer Santiago replied, “Now that you said that I can help you.” It was an interesting 45 minute drive from my house to Stonybrook University Medical Center. Officer Santiago stopped on the way to pick up his partner, who had grabbed lunch for both of them, on the way we talked, joked, I kept asking if I could take a smoke break or if I could smoke in the car. It was fun while it lasted. When we got there the nurse checked me out, there was this other black kid about 10 years old who was there as well, this wasn’t your regular ER, this was the Psychiatric Emergency Room, and little did I know that I was in for the long haul. I had a feeling that this would take longer than expected, I even asked one last time if I could have a cigarette while we walked into the Emergency Room. I thanked Officer Santiago for his patience with myself and my wife and being kind enough to resolve the matter without taking me to mother’s house or worse, to jail for stealing a phone or some phony domestic abuse case he was either joking or serious about (I really should get the police report, this is back from October since the incident happened and it’s now March, 2018.) He kept telling me I’ll be fine, that I’ll be out in no time.
He left by saying that this was a very interesting experience for him and that I was a true character. He even thanked me! As soon as he left that feeling crept in, I wasn’t going to be out as soon as I thought, I didn’t have a psychiatric breakdown, or psychosis, or even a panic attack, I just wanted to get checked out. It was already towards late afternoon when the nurse asked me to get into my prisoner attire. The first day I was in denial, I was talking to the other people that I’m only here to get checked out, I have schizophrenia but I’m not hallucinating. I’ve been taking my medications on time, working, and going to school at the same time. I was anxious because I missed two mid-terms that day and in one of the classes I was already doing poorly. I was expecting to be discharged when The Doc came in. He said they have to monitor me for a day or two. I asked him for a day or two days? I told him I am not having symptoms and because of my condition people are taking advantage of it. He could care less.
The first day ended with some hope.
The second day ended with some hope. At this point in the evening I had just ended a conversation with someone over the phone and went to sit against the wall and started crying hysterically. One of the patients, Rose, came to me and said “it’s gonna be okay Adam and I’m sorry”. I wasn’t crying just because I was there, that was part of it. Being held against my will when I had voluntarily checked in. I was crying because everyday I kept telling my wife about how depressed I was and how I needed help. I kept telling her how lonely I felt even though I had so many people to talk to all day or all night. She just didn’t do anything about it. I still don’t have an answer as to why? Did she not care? Did she not know what to do? Was she just tired and didn’t want to deal with me? It’s been six months I still don’t understand that entire altercation.
The third day there was hope. They would discharge me the next day. Yes I was happy. But I was also panicking as to what was to come next. I had already dropped classes the previous semester because of a true psychiatric breakdown, this time I didn’t know where to start, this was my second relapse within 1 year regardless if it was a relapse or not. Stonybrook’s experience was one the worse for me. The doctors acted like they were heartless. The male nurse that was supposed to be taking care of me first few days seemed more like a prison guard, completely emotionless, no sympathy, no response, just some dumbass canned answer.
After over a year hiatus I am proud to announce my adamerall blog is live again!
Just to refresh your memory the name of my “adamerall” is a play on words… my pen name Adam and one of the medications I take for ADHD which is Adderall. In addition to that I take several other medications; Haldol, an anti-psychotic for Schizophrenia, Cojentin; which is to reduce side-effects of Haldol. Celexa, an anti-depressant for depression. Klonopin, which is for anxiety. Mood stabilizer called Lamictal, which I was recently prescribed. Among others for high blood pressure and whatnot. I don’t want to bore you with the amount meds I take but for informational purposes I will be posting about my experiences with all of my medications in the coming weeks.
So what exactly happened?
First, starting my Spring 2016 semester I was put on a mandated weekly “therapy” session by Farmingdale State College’s dean; Dean Johnson, even though I had voluntarily started going there initially. After my weekly sessions and getting straight As that semester I had missed a [mandated] appointment prior to leaving for Cuba during winter break. When I came back I had called to ask when I could schedule my therapy session to which I found I needed to speak with the school’s dean as my case was closed. Additionally, while registering for one of my required classes I was unable to do so as the dean had put a hold on my account.
My blog went offline and the domain expired. I lost all my blog posts on various topics related to mental health, Trans Mongolian; my book, and my schizophrenia, etc.
I felt like my blog was being watched by the dean.
My psychiatrist, Gerallyn Marchesi, who had been treating me for 4 years, took me off her client list as she was ill and couldn’t continue her practice. I had asked the school mental health office and my therapist to find me a psychiatrist so that I can get prescribed my medications. I had no car and was taking the bus at 6 AM to get to my 8 AM Business Management class. My mandated appointments were based on my therapist’s schedule-which was never accommodating. I remember showing up to my appointment several times only to find out she had called out and they had, apparently, called to let me know. I had received no phone calls. Additionally I would end up being late several times as well as my means of transportation was two Suffolk County buses that either never came on time or never came at all. They would refuse to see me when I was late knowing my circumstances. There were several occasions when I had to take a cab costing me $37 just so that I could make it to my mandated therapy sessions (one time when I showed up it was one of those days when my therapist had called out).
Sure many can say the system is designed to help me and those similar to my condition, but that’s only in an idealistic world. However, the Mental Health Office was actually less therapeutic and Dean Johnson refusing to take the time out to see me to hold the lift on my account as she “assessed” what to do with me.
There were several times when I was on campus I felt as if I was being watched. I was under surveillance. I would call my doctor. She wouldn’t respond but did call back. I would call my therapist. Not only wouldn’t she respond she didn’t bother following up me. There were days when I would go to the library and I would isolate myself upstairs in the most quiet corner I could find. Eventually, my psychiatrist recommended keeping an extra Haldol , the anti-psychotic I take, with me at all times when symptoms of paranoia would arise.
Eventually I lost my psychiatrist, who was my only hope.
Dean never responded to emails or phone calls or messages left with her secretary.
Surprisingly enough I was asked to explain myself for harassing the Dean’s secretary and some girl I had remembered from the previous semester who I just happened to have some small talk in the hallway. She must have complained to Campus Police, which is actually a police department (Farmingdale State College is the safest campus in America). The secretary part I didn’t understand. My therapist had to take a statement from me to send to the dean.
With all these circumstances, I eventually relapsed and ended up in a psych ward for 10 days in April, 2017. The last time I had been to a psych ward was March 2013, 4 years I didn’t relapse and was going in the right direction.
When I got discharged I was finally able to meet Dean Johnson-four months after she had put a hold on my account and was monitoring me.. One thing she said during my meeting with her “I’ve been keeping tabs on you ever since you started attending Farmingdale”. That’s something you don’t say to someone that’s a paranoid schizophrenic.
In any case, I’m back in full force and will be updating with re-posting some of my old posts, as well as continuing to be a mental health advocate.
Later this evening I’m attending a support group meeting at NAMI. I will also be posting the free chapters to my book, partially renamed; Trans Mongolian: Memoirs of an American-Muslim Schizoaffective. Last year I was rediagnosed as schizoaffective. More on that later!
So I bumped into watching a full-length feature film without being distracted and side tracked by the many things I have going on at the same time. Yes, I like to multitask. And yes, I was multitasking during commercial breaks I couldn’t fast forward on my DVR. The new channel (#720 on Verizon FiOS), Centric, is targeted for black women, that’s what they advertise- nonetheless they’ve got a new viewer on their channel. So, a little before 8 PM EST, actually a few hours before I had started channel hopping during a commercial break on MTVs Wild’n Out… While (multitasking) I interrupted and stopped a few channels up. November Rule was a on, a tongue-in-cheek romantic holiday flick you can check out on demand if you’re a black woman into chick-flicks.
What caught my eye was Frankie and Alice (2010), starring Halle Berry (Oscar winner: Monsters Ball) as Frankie and Stella Skarsgård (Good Will Hunting, Exorcist) as Dr. Oz. Set in 1970s Los Angeles. Early on Frankie has a blackout. She’s brought to the ER and discharged. Losing her job, unaware of why or who she’s writing checks to, her former coworker thinks she needs help, her mother thinks she’s doing very well working for the telephone company.
Later she’s arrested and calls Dr. Oz regarding her arrest. He gets her released under his psychiatric care and she’s brought into the hospital as an outpatient.
After multiple psychotherapy sessions, Frankie is diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder by Dr. Oz.
Dissociative identity disorder is a rare condition where the person develops alters. These are different personalities that are randomly triggered. DID was previou known as multiple personality disorder and in the psychiatry field highly debated whether or not true to its claim by the patients diagnosed with it. I’m not a psychiatrist nor a psychologist just passing the information out to you as I am a psychology student. “Alice and Frankie” is based on a true story.
Skarsgård’s performance, and his character; Dr. Oz dedicates to care, attention and solving this mystery. It is an honest, believable, and honourable performance. Halle Berry is the one that steals all the jewels with her enchanting performances.
If you’re in the mood for some mystery, thriller, can’t wait for what happens next then this one’s for you.
MY RATING SCALE: DON’T WATCH. TRY TO WATCH. SHOULD WATCH. MUST WATCH.
Yes, it’s a Must Watch. For all the reasons I’ve described above and for educational reasons, as well.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think and feel after watching? Let us know in the comments below!
First I’ve got the good news! Last Saturday night my wife, Mariam, gave birth to healthy and beautiful boy Musaab! The feeling of gratitude towards The Creator was constant. He was crying as he as soon as he came into this world. Right after they brought him over to his table I gave the Adhaan, orcall to prayer, in one ear and the Iqaamah, in the other. Of course Musaab recognized my voice and stopped crying to listen in. (MashAllah, all praise belongs to God, I have been blessed with a nice voice…)
A month ago I sang, wrote, and recorded a lullaby for him while my wife was sorting things out at CVS Pharmacy within 3 hours. I was sitting in the parking lot.
You can find it
here www.DJaddif.com, look for the play
button or SoundCloud link. There’s demand for more “lullabies” so I’ll be recording more songs but for now it’s just the single. If you like it don’t forget to reshare with your friends and send your on SoundCloud.
A week and a half before Musaab’s birth, Ali was had an episode of seizures in the middle of the night. We called the ambulance and they rushed him to the hospital. His seizures were not getting under control, they gave him multiple doses of Ativan and put him on Phenobarbital, a medication I’m not fond of at all, but at that point we had no choice. After a few days he was discharged from the PICU at Good Samaritan Hospital.
My wife set up an appointment for a video EEG, and this past Wednesday I stayed overnight at New York Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in the city. They monitored Ali overnight with the electrodes glued to his head and back. The next morning, Dr. Mandel, his neurologist, gave me the report that his seizures were under control and that we can taper him off of the Phenobarbital over the next 11 weeks. A small dosage of Klonopin was also added before bedtime. The dosage of Keppra remained the same.
I’ve gotta be careful how much I disclose about my children as I want to save them from embarrassment or invade their privacy when they grow up and realize what their Dad said about them or felt about them. So I will keep it to a minimal… don’t expect me to post pictures of them on social media (something I advise other parents as well).
On my way out, when Ali was discharged, I dropped a cup of water while he was having his breakfast. I let one of the staff members know, they cleaned it up, but I could tell from her body language that it was a big deal that a cup of water fell to the ground.
A few minutes lateer the social worker who follows our case came back, and politely asked me how I was doing. I told her I’m fine. She commented that “You look different from when I first saw you in the morning”… I told her I had just woken up at that time when she had come in…. She then asked, or should I say implied, that she will be walking me out of the building. I told her it was fine, but she insisted.
That was the point when my paranoia kicked in, I felt like I was now under surveillance. While walking out I said goodbye to the social worker and thanked her for her hospitality. Now it was time to face the wandering eyes of New Yorkers while pushing Ali’s stroller. “Who’s this guy with the stroller?” …”You know I’m undercover, right?” …”Let’s see how he crosses the street.” I debated whether to pop a Haldol or not, but reassured myself that let’s just get to a controlled environment-my car, first.eyes that were on me, people in the elevator, security, strangers in the lobby. It seemed like they were saying “LOOK AT THIS CRAZY MAN!” Hearing those persecutory voices in my head started as well…”They’re watching your every move.” …”Don’t do anything embarrassing now, they’re all watching.” …”Don’t spill anything.” …”Don’t slip and fall… They’ll call Child Protective Services.” …”You know they were watching you on the cameras all night?”
Finally I made it four blocks down to the parking garage. I was greeted with a Assalam-o-Alaikum, by the brother that managed the garage, his employee was there as well ready to get my car out. I asked them “What’s the deal with New Yorkers looking at you while you’re walking?” To which, the attendant responded “@#$! THEM!” And that’s when I made a sigh of relief… my symptoms went away. I sat Ali down in his car seat, packed the trunk with all things the we brought.
Imam Nazirullah gave me a pink tablet to hold in my left hand. Clutching it tightly with my arm raised forward I didn’t understand what this was about. The pink tablet started to itch, then I felt a burning sensation.
It took us all day to get from Deer Park to Brooklyn. My eldest brother had referred us to an exorcist. My brother-in-law who was driving us there had to make a couple of stops before we could get there. My mother and sister were coming along for the ride as well.
Imam Nazirullah opened the door to his basement office not too far from Nassau County and a little North of the Belt Parkway. He was of Bangladeshi descent, didn’t speak much English, and had a mean look on his face. There were about a dozen children running around, possibly on a break from their after school Quran class, in the room next door, peaking in at us while we sat down. Dusk was approaching that late February afternoon as the office door remained open. There was a desk to the right, three chairs, and a single bed to the left.
My brother-in-law opted to come in later as he feared the exorcist might sense Jinns in him. My sister was extremely skeptical, my mother was confident we needed to do this after my first psychotic episode from the previous month, and I didn’t have much control over anything.
Imam Nazirullah gave me a pink tablet to hold in my left hand. Clutching it tightly with my arm raised forward I didn’t understand what this was about. The pink tablet started to itch, then I felt a burning sensation. I told the Imam about it- he remained quiet. After about five minutes he asked me to give him the tablet.
He felt it and handed it to my sister to his right. “Bahoth jabardast huwa was hai,” he said in Urdu, meaning I’ve got something superb, implying black magic. He proceeded to his desk and started writing on a cloth, referring back and fourth to an old manual.
I looked towards my sister, this wasn’t right, I thought, knowing that she would agree. He was putting together a Taa’veez, an Amulet that I would wear around my neck. This is shirk! …(associating a partner to God, an unforgivable sin) I thought myself. Once he was done, he continued writing on a second piece. My brother-in-law had come in at this point and sat down on the bed. I questioned myself why the bed was there.
He continued by instructing my mother to go to the corner store and have them put one of the pieces into a locket. I was to wear that for the rest of my life for my protection. The second part was that I was to apply sesame seed oil, with the other cloth inside the bottle, daily for the next 21 days on my entire body prior to taking a shower.
My sister asked him one question before we left, “Is there anything wrong with this?” He didn’t respond and gave a look to my mother. My mother said thank you to the Imam and walked out the door. We didn’t have much of a choice as the directions were given to us as to how to proceed.
On the way to the car, my mother quarrelled with my sister. “He’s doing this for a good cause… He didn’t even ask for money… He’s living such a simple life… He must know something… Did you see his kids?” And so on. We were all in denial.
My sister and I stayed quiet in the car while the Amulet was being made in the store, both of us waiting for someone to start the conversation. My sister broke out “This is crazy, why would someone do this to you?” I was in denial and didn’t have an answer. “You know some people do this out of jealousy, I don’t think even hell accepts them, they do it because of envy… We have enemies and we don’t even know who! You haven’t even done anything to anyone. This isn’t the right way to approach this. You can’t fight magic with magic.” I stayed quiet while my sister continued ranting. She stopped when my mother came back.
We all stayed quiet on the way home.
A few weeks had passed and I had missed my follow up appointment with the psychiatrist. I was continuing with the ritual of oiling myself and then taking a shower, however my prescriptions for Haldol and Klonopin had ended. After a couple of days I was very alert. Everyone started complimenting me about how confident I had become again. I started talking a lot differently, started setting goals, went on a couple of interviews, got more social, and got the job as store manager at Express. I would start training the week after.
Everyone thought the spiritual healing was working.
And then I relapsed.
During the relapse I lost the Amulet.
March of 2013 I was at Brunswick Hall, psychiatric center in Amityville, New York.