Chapter 8 in a series on mental illness.
This post includes recent updates and will be updated from time to time since my brother’s recent relapse.
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After my brother was released from the California Department of Corrections back to free society, I asked the question Is my brother cured of mental illness?
That question is naive and simplistic. And, as you can see for yourself from my brother’s own post here in this blog Am I Really Mentally Ill? , he is as convinced as ever that he was subject to mind control by nefarious forces operated by Masons, he remains anti-jewish, and his beliefs that certain scientifically impossible phenomenon are possible (such as beaming thoughts into his brain or reading his thoughts) remain an entrenched part of his belief system.
So, I am letting him have that last word in these pages. You may judge for yourself if “cure” applies to my bother.
I am at a point in my life where even for my own brother I prefer to distance myself from spending time with people who have egregiously irrational prejudices against jews and who believe in nefarious forces governing the world with simplistic explanations such as masonic cults. I will try to be there for my brother as a friend when I can be.
But, using my prerogative as editor and publisher of these pages, for now at least, this will be the last post in this section of the OP Column on the subject of Mental Health. I am making the editorial decision to provide my brother with his last word on this subject but not to enable these pages to become a forum for vitriolic ravings against jews, masons, mind control conspiracies, etc.
If Tony chooses to make such posts on some other blog site I will provide a link here to that site.
If a time comes where my brother Tony is amenable to republishing an edited version of our original YouTube interview and doing a follow up conversation with me, both of those videos will be published here.
I hope some of the writing here by both me and by my brother are instructive for those who have relatives who have these kinds of thoughts.
UPDATE of June 5, 2016: Unfortunately, a few days ago I got a call from my other brother saying that the police had taken my brother to a medical center for psychiatric observation, a 72 hour hold which has since been changed to be a two week hold. I don’t know the details. It appears my brother has decompensated or is in the process of so doing. I will not continue chronicling my brother’s history any more. If he manages to regain stability I will ask him to write another post in this blog at some time in the future.
Up until a few weeks ago, my brother was doing pretty good. He had made it through a six month program at a half-way house and had been renting a room at a fairly low rent that he could afford. He seemed stable and was not going around threatening people or damaging property, so that’s all good. But then he decided to leave his room rental situation and move to a hotel room in Hollywood and now I get this call from our other brother that Tony has been taken in again for psychiatric evaluation. Oh my.
UPDATE of December 8, 2016: Tony’s relapse in June lasted a couple of weeks but then he began taking his meds again and was able to continue living in a room he had rented in Lancaster. He was not happy with his situation there and changed to renting a room in Palmdale. I thought it fortunate that he was able to find landlords who would rent him space since he was up front with them about his recent incarcerations and treatments. Partly, he was accepted because his landlords had themselves been in treatment programs. But after another three months all of that came to naught. He gambled away the last $3000 he had in savings. For reasons I cannot myself remember, I made the mistake of agreeing to let him live in a spare room in my house starting in September. The situation at first was stable. Tony helped me do some repairs and seemed stable. He helped my fix up our little house out in the desert, very competently designing and installing an interior cover for our swamp cooler vent. He also designed and built a fiber-glass extension to my fence. It was very good work. I was being a “nice brother” letting him live rent free as he would hopefully save enough money to go visit a friend in Brussels who he claimed would provide a room for a very reasonable rent and permit Tony to do some writing. But around mid November things degenerated again. Looking back on messages I exchanged with him it all happened so fast. One day he’s normal Tony, within a week or two he’s a different person. The pattern of the past was repeating. Tony began talking very quickly having rampant fight of ideas. He became paranoid about some young French friends who had been visiting me, became very agitated, falling back to expressing anti-semitic views, and then moved out and stayed in hotels because he “did not like” my young French guests, one of whom was the daughter of friends of mine in France. These young adults would not harm a fly. Tony has already been obsessing about politics again and was for the first time I recall becoming a right wing bigot. It was confusing and frustrating. Tony was becoming delusional again and I told him I did not want him to live with me and to please find another place to live (as he had proven he could do in Lancaster and Palmdale). The situation worsened. I was going through my own issues and this was an additional concern for me that was hard to cope with. Tony left by bus to go North, his belief being he could visit a friend in Santa Barbara and another in Portland. Neither of those friends expected him nor did they wish to nor did they have the ability to house him in his condition.
During that time, my other brother and I received phone calls from Tony after Tony had borrowed someone’s cell phone or asked someone to make a call on his behalf. He told me that his shoes had been stolen and he was barefoot. One night he called me from San Jose so I looked up a homeless shelter near by but he hung up before I could arrange for him to go there. The next night he called me from SFO airport. I refused by buy him a ticket to L.A. but I did arrange for Lyft to take him to the homeless shelter I had found the previous night down in San Jose. That is the Silicon valley, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the world. I hoped the shelter there might be a good one. The next day he called to say he disliked that shelter, that the bathroom was filthy, and that he only got a couple hours sleep and when he awoke someone was standing over him looking at him. The next night he was in Santa Cruz and called my brother asking him to arrange for a “private ambulance” because he could not walk. He was barefoot and had been barefoot for one or two weeks. Eric told him no but talked to the stranger whose phone Tony has borrowed. The stranger told him they had dialed 911 and an ambulance was on its way. We were able to determine that Tony was taken to a hospital but had no other information. A day later Tony called me again from Santa Cruz. He told me he had stayed in an ER where the ambulance had taken him for a couple of hours but then asked for a bed and was told to leave. They had given him some thick socks but no shoes. He said he just walked around in the early morning air to avoid getting hypothermia. He has a friend there who he had met at Atascadero State Hospital. That friend has housing in Santa Cruz but is not in a position to house Tony. It struck me that his friend’s housing was the kind of thing the Tony could use and that seems to work well for some people who accept that kind of help. Tony never likes being housed ini government subsidized housinig and is what could be termed resistant to treatment. At some level I don’t blame him but in reality, it is the only thing that seems to have enabled him to stay stable for long periods of time.
Continuing with the story, two more days went by.
Yesterday Tony showed up at my door, having taken the bus back to L.A. I had taken the day off from work sick and was trying to rest. But of course I let Tony in. He took a shower and a bath. I gave him some lentil soup I had made and he retrieved some clothing, which I had laundered for him during his absence. But then he left, supposedly to “take a train to Portland” where he has another friend, someone from our neighborhood when we were teenagers. I was numb. I did not wish to house him but had offered to take him to an emergency shelter that I had found via a homeless hotline phone call. He would not accept that. One of his feet was swollen. I gave him my sandals so he had some protection for his feet. I also offered to go to New Balance and buy him some large shoes (he is 6′ 3″ and has size 13+ very wide feet – and the swelling makes it nearly impossible to fit shoes). He refused the shoes idea. I let him go. That’s not even the right way to say it. I did not want him to stay and he was determined to leave. I both have feelings of guilt for somehow not wanting to nor being able to help him while at the same time feelings of annoyance at a society that is unable to provide services for someone like my brother, forcing the family to suffer the results of the mental illness.
Today I got a call from Tony who said he was in San Jose again. I have no idea where he spent the night since the train to Portland did not leave yesterday evening – he had to wait until this morning at 10 AM. I did exchange email with his friend Robert in Portland who had seen Tony briefly in Lancaster a few months ago. They went bowling. Robert bowls over 200 and Tony had made a video of Robert doing so. Robert said that Tony was doing OK at that time. But that was then and now is now. Robert had not know of Tony’s plan to visit him and expressed dismay that Tony was on his way to Portland expecting to “stay one week” with Robert before continuing to Seattle. Tony must imagine he will reunite with his co-video producer friend of his from 35 years ago who now lives in Seattle.
Tony will find that none of his friends will want to house him and, in fact, no one of his friends will be able to house Tony in Tony’s present condition. He needs structure and mandated medication, something he had this past Spring while on parole but now that he is a “free” man, is in a society that will not provide that structure nor require it.
Thanks for reading.
Dennis G. Allard
May 12, 2016, updated June 5, 2016 and December 8, 2016
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14 thoughts on “8. My brother still believes he was victimized by mind control”
Good evening Mr. Allard. I would like to introduce myself and say hello, and also thank you for kindly taking the time to write about your brother and thoughtfully let us know what’s going on. Thank you very much for the videos, too. I hope you know all your work and your sharing is very much appreciated. So…it sounds like the difference between Tony on his medicine and Tony off his medicine is like the difference between night and day…a big difference. Well if I may, I have a few questions for you…
1. What do you think could possibly eliminate Tony’s desire to gamble? Does he bet on anything besides horse races?
2. I noticed you are very dissatisfied with the various forms of help available to Tony, provided by the government…what do you wish was available out there to aide and benefit him, that he cannot obtain?
Thank you sir and I’m very glad to have found your written pieces and videos. I hope everybody in your family has a wonderful Christmas and I wish you all the very best.
Thanks for writing Karen. I replied to you via email.
Hi Mr.Allard. I just finished reading the posts about your brother from start to finish and would like to thank you for chronicalling your journey. It’s rare to find stories of schizophrenia where people use their real names and talk about the ins and outs of it so candidly. I wish more people took the time to try and understand the toll it can take on individuals as the result of stigma and a broken system, not to mention the illness itself.
I really feel for your brother and your family. You have written in such a way as to provoke empathy for the situation and that’s not an easy task. I struggle with the illness myself although have no experience with the criminal justice system and am doing well. I think maybe things are a little different in Canada, or maybe I have just been lucky.
I wish you both well. Thanks again.
Hello, I hope I’m not bothering you…I was just wondering if you will blog anymore about Tony.
Tony had a lapse in December (of 2016) and was arrested after stealing some food from a convenience store. He also damaged the phone in his holding cell. He was sentenced to about one year in state prison. He is on meds in prison and is very rational and even apologetic about some of the things he has said to me. He asked for a copy of the novel (work in progress) that he is writing so I sent that to him.
I will add some additional history to my blog about Tony when I have time early in the new year (2018).
Thank you so much, Dennis!
My name is Lisa, and you don’t know me, but came across your blog, and I felt compelled to write to you and thank you for sharing your story.
I feel like I could have written that article myself. I, too, have a brother who is addicted and homeless, and it is so frustrating, painful and shameful all at the same time. It is just such a tragedy, and it has been so hard to deal with.
Anyway, I sincerely thank you for sharing your story, it has helped me to feel that I am not alone. I will be praying for your brother, and for mine.
I still think of you and Tony often, Dennis, though reading your blog is all too familiar and painful.
My brother is doing 20 years at a medium security with a fairly good medical setup in New York State, now.
The injectibles a doctor started him on shortly before his arrest have been a Godsend. Though I no longer have to worry where he is I still have to worry how he is. He’s a sick man, not a hard man.
I hope Tony will come out of his current incarceration to some stability, for his sake and the sake of your family.
Thanks for writing Les. My best to you and your brother as well.
My name is Tim and I’m so damn happy and sad I found this blog. My older brothers name is Tony too ironically. He is older, 26 and I’m 23. Just graduated university and have seen my brother going down a hole and can’t get the help, won’t accept the help, won’t accept the fact he needs help, and I believe your life experiences are going to be my own in the years to come.
Please shoot me an email when you can and if you see this.
I just want some advice of what to do. My heart bleeds for my brother too, but I get annoyed and pissed at him too for being so delusional.
Idk man fuck.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. My younger brother is struggling with issues similar to the ones your brother has dealt with. I want to help him but don’t feel that I should house him anymore. I have three children 13, 10, and 8 years old. I am worried that he’ll have another episode given that he has refused treatment. He does not believe he needs meds, but he does. I’d appreciate any advice you’d be willing to share on the matter.
Hello Destiny. So many people have close relatives who suffer from mental illness inflicting difficulties on those close to them. I have no easy answer for you. You should not have to house your brother. Does he act up to a point that he gets into trouble with the law? Does he threaten physical harm on you or your children. When my brother threatened the case givers of my late mother, I had to take out a restraining order and once had to enforce it so the police took him off my property. It was brutal for everyone involved. Try to call your local police and mental health agencies who may have some advice for you. I don’t have any better ideas. Our system in the U.S. is such that family members of the mentally ill end up victimes of the disease with little or no help from the system to cope with the situation. — Dennis
How is your brother doing? Have you stopped updating this blog or do you post updates elsewhere now?
I have not updated the blog in many months. My brother Tony is currently incarcerated for an infraction of taking someones car, violating a restraining order, and not staying at some housing he was assigned to while last on parole.
We talk by phone once every couple of weeks. He is required to be on a dose of meds which is administered once per month (slow release). It works, in that he is totally calm, not manic, and very articualate when we do talk by phone.
He’ll probably get out within a year. I hope to see him placed in some housing he will accept and stay on his meds. So far that has not worked very well. If he does stay stable and not go crazy, I hope to do a YouTube channel where he and I discuss his situation and history.
So, months from now, I will post here again with an update.
Thanks for caring.