Saturday, May 31, 2014

Jury Duty

The other day Thomas received a summons for jury duty.


Yeah, I didn't know what to think about that either. I thought maybe it would be good for him to do since he's been reasonably stable but then I thought about his inability to focus on things for very long and I thought the jury selection questions might trip him up. I really didn't know what to do so at the end of Thomas' session on Thursday I asked his therapist about it. Right away he said,

"What do you want me to do? Do you want me to write you a letter? What can I do for you?"


I guess that I didn't expect that answer and Thomas and I sat there silently and just stared at him. I know that what I wanted was his professional opinion on whether or not Thomas should do this. So, I asked him what he thought. He turned to Thomas and asked him what he wanted to do and Thomas was on the fence about it. Understandably he was scared but at the same time he wanted to try. Then, from his therapist, came the questions,

"What would you do if there was a police officer in the court? Could you handle seeing him there and him looking at you? Would you think that he was coming after you? What about the defendant? Could you handle him looking at you? Would you think that he was thinking that he now knew who you were and would come after you? What about the crime that was committed? Is there any kind of crime that scares you that might make it so that you can't focus on your job as juror?"

Essentially what he did with those questions was test where Thomas' paranoia level was and Thomas confirmed to him that all of those things would worry him quite a bit. His therapist was in agreement and I nodded my head. He said,

"Thomas, I really want you to live life. I want you to be able to experience everything life has to offer but I think right now this isn't such a good idea for you and I think holding off for now would be a good idea."

So there we had it, the truth about what Thomas is capable of right now. We left his office with him promising to write a letter to have Thomas excused from jury service. When the letter was ready, Thomas and I went to pick it up and this is what it said:

ATTN: Jury Selection Department

RE: Thomas

To whom it may concern:

Due to my clients' mental health condition which includes distractibility, it is my professional opinion that he would not serve as an appropriate or adequate candidate for your jury now.

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at my office.


Dr. _________

I read that and wanted to cry. I just wanted to break down right there and cry. Here it was in black and white--yet again--that Thomas is sick and will have to miss out on life. I hate this. I hate what schizophrenia does to our loved ones.

So, I watch again as Thomas is denied something that most of the rest of us get to do. He is just 19, he is so new to the adult world and somehow he's just never allowed to become an adult for one reason or another. All I want for him is a "normal" life.

1 comment:

  1. you need to watch the video called "take these broken wings" by Daniel mackler. online free


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