On May 22, city officials decided that they were no longer going to send emergency psychiatric cases to Friends Hospital, the nation’s first mental hospital. Why? Investigation of a patient suicide revealed that there wasn’t adequate supervision in the facility, particularly its Crisis Response Center. But Godly Mathew, who’s been waging a 100-day protest since May 9, says he experienced abuse at Friends Hospital firsthand, when he was sent there in December 2004. Since he began the protest, he’s started a blog called One Hundred Day Protest, a Twitter account and a website to spread the word about his protest. PG caught up with him to ask him about his time at Friends Hospital. The interview took place at his protest site, at the intersection of the Roosevelt Boulevard and Langdon Street. [This is Part II of the interview, you can find the first part here.]
Q: What were you feelings towards your family shortly before you went to Friends Hospital for the second time?
A: At this point, it had been almost a year since the first time I had gone to Friends and things hadn’t gotten any better between me and my family. If you keep calling someone crazy for long enough, they’re going to get fed up and react. I began to cut off everyone. I felt I was giving all this love and it wasn’t being reciprocated.
Q: Why were you sent to Friends the second time?
A: I was sent to Friends Hospital the second time after a domestic incident. I had behaved pretty inappropriately and got into a fight with a relative; the police were called. My uncle and his wife showed up with the police, along with another friend of theirs (who happened to be a psychiatrist) and her husband. It was like some sort of psychiatric witch-hunt. You could sense a sort of mob mentality among them – they were all telling the police officer that I need help. When the police asked my parents if they wanted to press charges, they said “No.” The police officer told them all to leave at that point – they all left and I thought that was the end of it. Continue reading
Guest blogger TB on fathers. (Don’t forget Father’s Day is this Sunday!)
Congratulations 53-year-old Douglas Newell! You are PhillyGrrl’s 2009 Father of the Year! Your stance against alcohol’s destructive nature is a testament to all fathers around the world who strive to protect their sons from the deadly talons of the bottle. Not only were you consistent with the daily father-son conversations but you even went as far as to put all your agricultural skills to good use and grow him the best marijuana this side of West Chester! Everyone knows marijuana is far safer than alcohol and asking your son to smoke marijuana instead of drinking alcohol is the pinnacle of fine parenting.
Now we know not all fathers are perfect. You opened the doors of your loving home to a 20-year-old man named Dean Powell. You also did not know he had a heroin problem… and no one could foresee him overdosing on your living room couch which resulted in local authorities being called to your residence, but have no fear Douglas Newell, we are still on your side. So what if you left a “jar of marijuana, a marijuana pipe, marijuana seeds, and a book describing how to grow marijuana” in plain view, good honest men have nothing to hide! Hell, we will even let the two grow labs on the second floor slide because you are just that fucking awesome! (I mean ventilation, watering systems, a timed lighting set-up and six pot plants? Way to take it to the next level!)
You have a degree in electrical engineering degree and you were a successful building systems technician. The only thing that stopped you from working was bad health. So forget about the 90 days to 23 months in prison, you are a pioneer in the truest form surpassed only by Lewis and Clark. The future of parenting has been changed forever and in the days to come fathers will look back on your story for guidance until the end of time. And again, CONGRATULATIONS! Continue reading
School folks always take graduation way too seriously. (I attended my lil sis’s graduation today.) There’s always that inane rule about not cheering when “your graduate’s name is announced.” Yeah right. Like we’re going to not cheer. Anyway, here’s guest blogger TB’s take on it all…
Hey Justin Denney, just letting you know that blowing a kiss to your family is grounds for not receiving your diploma. Yup, hate to break it to you bro but sometimes you just gotta follow the rules.
Wait… why is everyone so pissed off? Just shut the fuck up and do as you’re told and everything will be fine. Just because you have sexy eyes and a smile of gold and a body that…. whoa… where the fuck did that come from?
That was all sarcasm. The school did say they would give him the diploma later on but was it really necessary to make him look like a complete fool in front of hella people?
I hate hate hate working out. In general. I have no will-power, never have. I used to work out, but that was back when I worked at a gym and it was free. Now that I’m actually paying for a membership, I rarely use it. What’s it been, seven months already? That was a waste of $150. Shoot. I would’ve been better off investing in yoga gear so I could at least fool people into thinking I work out. (A yoga mat can also double as a floor rug, people.)
Thing is, I hate being in a room with zillions of sweaty people. How many come there to exercise? I mean actually exercise. Maybe like five people in the room. (Neck-craning doesn’t count as exercise.) Everyone else is just ogling Spandex-covered butts. And I hate watching cable news shows on giant plasma screens when I’m pretty sure I just collapsed a lung. And I hate that stupid work-out music with the fake cheery 80’s beat. Nothing was cheery about the 80’s. It was all gloom and doom. Exercise is only fun when it’s really fun. Like beach-volleyball with your friends. Or a walk in the park.
But I’m starting to think regular exercise – gym or no gym – should probably be a priority at my age. Running to catch a bus, or sporadically riding my bike or walking to work don’t cut it. Not because I want to be super-skinny. I did that, and it didn’t involve exercise. It involved skipping meals. Not healthy. (And don’t get me started on good nutrition. I think nachos and popsicles = a balanced meal. Balance because I don’t have to use utensils.)
Here’s where blogger Philly Chit Chat aka HughE Dillon comes in. He’s currently participating in NBC 10’s “Be a 10 in 10 weeks.” And he is my hero. And he’s made me re-think how I live. And I hope he’ll make you think about your lifestyle as well.
On his blog, HughE writes:
“This has to be one of the hardest blog entries I’ve had to write …. I am used to covering other peoples lives, events and things happening in Philly. How did I get here, I often ask myself. No not how did I become the Philly Social Diarist/Paparazzi or any of my other identifying characters, but how did I get to be almost 300lbs. Continue reading