I started working as a driver at RCA
October of last year.
Shortly after my
start date, as I was visiting Emerald City
, I mentioned my new employment to a few people.
"Tabitha" told me that she had been
there as a patient maybe 6 months earlier and had recently relapsed.
She wanted to go back.
We talked about it each time that I visited this under-the-Conrail-overpass community
I started to realize that I was more annoying to her with my urgings
than I was helpful.
I dropped the
subject and waited for her to mention it.
From time to time, she would say that she'd like to go. There was one day, maybe two months ago, when
she marched up to me very determined…
"I'm ready to go to RCA."
" Let's make that phone call."
I said with a smile. Her
response: "Well, not now…"
This past Wednesday, as I was sitting at my computer composing
a letter to a judge for Melanie
who is in this jail
and had a court hearing the next day, Tabitha texted me:
"I want to go to detox now. Please come get me before I change my mind!"
Following some brief texting discussion and determining
a place to meet, I drove to Kensington and Somerset. I found Tabitha right where she said she would be
She got right into my car and said
Within three hours of that initial text, Tabitha was
entering the RCA facility of her choosing and beginning her experience of five-star level services for her Substance Use Disorder.
Tabitha has private insurance.
The following morning, I put the final touches on my letter
to Melanie's judge, drove to the Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice
building and found my way to courtroom 906.
After sitting for almost two hours, Melanie, who has been in jail for
about nine days at this point, was escorted to her chair next to her public defender
who she had never met until this moment by a deputy who had her in
handcuffs. She remained in those cuffs
for the duration of her hearing. Prior
to Melanie entering the room, this judge casually mentioned that she had been
handling "Miss (Family Name's)" case (many years).
With no evidence of compassion for Melanie as a person, the
judge proceeded with "the case."
She mildly lectured Melanie for failing to do this and that. In the end, the judge decided to keep Melanie
in custody while an evaluation of needs is done and a report provided to the
court. This process takes six to eight
weeks and sometimes longer.
Six to Eight Weeks!
That's 42 to 56 days of sitting in
oversized toilet stall
with no privacy around the toilet and sharing that toilet stall with some other
woman she doesn't know, having two cots in that toilet stall with something that's
supposed to resemble a mattress and one sheet to cover herself at night.
That's 42 to 56 days of no therapy.
That's 42 to 56 days of living inside one's
own head and reliving the emotional traumas that escorted her into addiction and convincing herself more and more that she's just not worth it.
That's 42 to 56 days of "mental
rot" as described to me by another person in a similar situation not long ago.
Tabitha and Melanie both have Substance Use Disorder, a medical
situation officially recognized in the DSM-5.
With private insurance, as you read this, Tabitha is receiving 5-star services so that she
can reclaim her life of health. With
Medicaid, as you read this, Melanie is mentally rotting in an oversized shared toilet stall.
Please pray for both of these ladies who do know each other but are not aware of these events in the other's life!