||[Oct. 24th, 2007|06:37 pm]
|||||Radiohead - Bodysnatchers||]|
For awhile, my grandparents were my guardians. Once in awhile, they would sign a school permission slip and circle "guardian" where the signature indicated parent/guardian. I usually thought that was /too/ much information. In that town, it was unusual for students to have a guardian, so when a classmate saw my slip, he asked with some degree of awe, "Do you have a guardian because your rich?" - Ha! As if I had a body guard or personal assistant to take care of the field trip forms that my millionaire parents could not be bothered to sign.
Anyway, now Phil is under Linda's guardianship. This is a good thing, but sad in a way. When the some 18 year olds were getting ready to go off to college at the end of the Summer, Phil was being sent away to a residential program to deal with a couple of very challenging issues: mental retardation and mental illness.
I don't think of Phil as mentally retarded or mentally ill. In fact, his doctors would not say that either. Granted, he is on some serious drugs to help keep him safe, but for the purposes of the state deciding that Phil needs guardianship, he is MR and mentally ill. Linda had to actually jump through a few hoops to get the right wording on the guardianship form. If he is mentally ill and mentally retarded, rather than mentally retarded and mentally ill, then we have to continually petition for guardianship.
It was easy. It was hard. Linda put in a vast amount of time, mostly to get the paperwork right. And it is paperwork. Paper only. No digital record. His case had duplicate files, but not entirely duplicated. There were countless times that the bureaucrats essentially gave her the runaround (not my job, can't do that yet, wrong form, wrong line) -- but of course, not consistently. It turns out that very few (including the lawyers , schools, DMH, DMR) understand the law.
Here's the biggest one.. we can't begin guardianship proceeding until he turns 18. Well, how does that make sense? If we're not his guardians when he's 18 then he could theoretically decide to stop taking meds, leave his school, leave home, and be an independent adult. So, it turns out we could get (temporary) guardianship before he turned 18. The rest was relatively simple.
Also, since Phil wasn't present for any of this, he didn't know/understand what event was taking place.
Thank god for Linda.