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Reviews from
Homelessness - a child's destiny


Mental illness is often linked to homelessness.

  21 total reviews 
Comment by
C.A. Wittman
 
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First, I want to say that my heart goes out to you for all you have been through with your child. As a mother, myself, your story is heart-wrenching. How depleting this experience was for you, your family, and poor son. I am happy to hear that he is doing much better and in the fold of his family who loves him dearly. I hope others who are going through something similar and read this will gather some inspiration and hope.

I did feel the piece could use some work. Through out the story, there is repetitive words, unclear and clumsy sentence structure, foreshadowing that leads to nothing and at times it was not clear to me who was talking. I will give a few examples of what I mean.

"Joseph", our little Joey, never slept well from day one, with chronic ear infections and gastric reflux. As a baby he was hospitalized several times to give me "respite" because i was getting no sleep and was bordering on depression because of this.

In this opening paragraph, you have the word "was" three times and "because" twice. You could write:

As an infant, my son, Joey, did not sleep well. He suffered from chronic ear infections and gastric reflux. Because I was up all hours of the night with him, I developed depression due to severe sleep deprivation. To gain respite from this grueling routine, I, unfortunately, had to have my baby hospitalized several times.

At two-years-old, Joey was diagnosed with Hyperactivity Disorder; this was also the age he finally slept through the night. The first morning I awoke to the realization that I had not heard a sound from my son I was terrified. Climbing out of bed, I went to his room and peeped in expecting to find a "blue baby." To my relief I found him playing with doggie. (I assume doggie is a stuffed animal. You could say:) playing with his favorite toy, Doggie.

You mention "big blue eyes" in paragraphs two and four, so the description becomes redundant.

My marriage was crumbling anyway, so we changed schools and moved to the country and Joey seemed a little more settled though was still difficult to manage at times. His attention span was very short however he was learning to read and write and he had friends and appeared reasonably happy. He missed his Dad and wasn't getting to see him very often and he wasn't coping well with this.

In the above paragraph, you mention your marriage crumbling and a move to the countryside, but there is no mention of divorce or separation, so the reader assumes all of you moved together. Only the last sentence implies that the father is for the most part out of the picture.

We moved to Melbourne with my partners work. New start, new school. Miranda settled in straight away though she missed her friends. Joey demanded all of our time and attention. we were to find out much later how much this affected our beautiful daughter. Joeys behavior went from bad to worse and we spent hours at the school trying to work out his problems.

Here, you foreshadow how much Miranda would be affected by Joey's behavior, but never get back to that.

Anyway, these are just a few examples. All in all, I found the story compelling and I am happy that your son is doing much better.


 Comment Written 27-Aug-2017



reply by the author on 27-Aug-2017
    Thank you. I've taken a screen shot and will fix it up later today. I really appreciate your feedback. I go over and over and always miss something. PM
Comment by
2007 & 2008 Short Work Writer Of The Year
Janilou
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Jan Anderegg
Author of Julu
 
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Your story broke my heart, even though it does have a happier ending then my own right now. You see, I have five children, and my fourth child, now 24, is still fighting drug addiction and the seemingly endless battle with undiagnosed mental illness. He is in jail for the next three months for violating his probation by using drugs three months before his eight year probation ended.
I have no idea where he will go when he gets out but it's a nightmare that never ends.
So believe me, when I tell you I can completely relate to your story. I am so glad your son is doing better. I wish you every good luck with your writing. Your son is very lucky to have you as a mother.

Notes:

I crept into his room and there he was playing with doggie. Looking up at me with those big blue eyes, he smiled his gorgeous smile..."(up mummy")he said and gave me the biggest cuddle ever. The diagnosis given to him at the time was Hyperactivity Disorder.

"Up, Mummy,"

Later, he was ( "expelled" ) from two kindergartens when teachers couldn't cope with his erratic behavior.

You don't need the quotations around the word expelled.

My other true love was ("Miranda") with her honey blonde hair and blue/green eyes which crinkled up when she smiled. She was an angel and three years older than Joey. Beautiful, smart and caring, she was to keep me on an even keel when everything pointed towards me being a lousy mother!

My other true love was "Miranda," with her ....

He doesn't break the law as he has no need to. There is plenty of food so he doesn't need to steal. Recently Joey commenced work in a sheltered workshop and we couldn't be prouder. In three months he hasn't missed a day and he works 4 days a week.

four days a week.


 Comment Written 27-Aug-2017



reply by the author on 27-Aug-2017
    Thanks for your feedback. Don't give up. It's taken 34 years but he's in the right meds now so doesn't need drugs or alcohol. He has to hit absolute rock bottom before he can turn things around. Bless xx
Comment by
hifein
 
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you communicate your story so well. what a job caring for a child with special needs and dealing with what appears to be more an adversarial than a 'helping' community. faulty diagnostic issues and an insensitive public with 'iffy' resources make it an uphill battle to find one's way. joey was lucky to have your care and love. again, the story is a sad and the options less than optimal, but you have written is well.
best hi


 Comment Written 27-Aug-2017



reply by the author on 27-Aug-2017
    Thank you so much for your feedback. PM
Comment by
Marykelly
 
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Joey's story is told in a vivid way that makes the reader see Joey physically and emotionally. Mental health is a difficult subject to deal with when something is wrong but diagnosis is difficult. The frustration for Joey and the people around him is well expressed in this story and it raises the issue of how to deal with such profound behavioral disorders. Your love and loyalty to your son seem to be the answer.


 Comment Written 27-Aug-2017



reply by the author on 27-Aug-2017
    Than you for your feedback. It's much appreciated.
Comment by
Brett Matthew West
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Seems like he has been through a lot in his life.

Let's address the notes:

"apologise," should be "apologize".

"sons" should be "son's".

"Schitzophrenia" should be "schizophrenia".

"COmmunity" should be "Community".

"Treatment" should be "treatment".


 Comment Written 27-Aug-2017



reply by the author on 27-Aug-2017
    Thank you for your feedback Brett. Some of the spelling is different in Australia. I'm assuming you are from the US. We spell realised with an "s" you with a "z" it's the same for many similar words. COmmunity Treatment Order or CTO is correct. I will edit the other areas. Thank you so much for your feedback it's much appreciated

reply by the author on 27-Aug-2017
    Thanks Brett I think I've edited out the errors. PM
Comment by
Bucketlist
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Wow possum, you wrenched my heart with this. I waited until I could give you the 6 stars you deserve. Your son and you found undeserved He**. If it was left to me I would see this as a winner all round because of your love, dedication, and perseverance. No matter the length of story I hope it was cathartic for you. Great job
Hugs Trisha


 Comment Written 27-Aug-2017



reply by the author on 27-Aug-2017
    Thanks Trisha. I really appreciate the six. Yes, it was cathartic for me and I shed a bucket of tears too. I've kept journals over the years and so I could remember little things that happened along our journey. I was hoping it wouldn't come out disjointed. My son has this year been treated for " treatment resistant Schitzophrenia" and is now on the " medication of last resort" He has to have blood tests and ECG's every week but it seems to be working. He's been clean and dry for eight months. Fingers crossed I'm pretty sure he's turned a corner. Finally after 34 years I see improvement. What's interesting is that despite where he's been and everything that's happened throughout his life, he is a kind, compassionate man, who really cares about other peoples feeling. Thank you for your wonderful feedback. It's very much appreciated. Marie xx
Comment by
frierajac
 
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I relate to your story although it is quite sad. My step brother began life in just the same way. He was fortunate to find a happy home later on, and not too very late. He is successful now. I find your piece well written and up close and personal as its said.


 Comment Written 27-Aug-2017



reply by the author on 27-Aug-2017
    Thank you so much for your feedback. It is greatly appreciated.
Comment by
Drew Delaney
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Oh, how I feel for you! I can't imagine the trauma you and your family have gone through. What a frightening situation to be in.

To write this must help to relieve a bit of stress this must have caused, but you came through, and things are improving! So glad for that!

I hope things will finally settle completely. You have to be a strong person to go through all this.

Best wishes in the contest!

Drew


 Comment Written 26-Aug-2017



reply by the author on 26-Aug-2017
    Thank you so much for your feedback. 34 years we have battled and he is finally settled for the past 8 months. He's on what they call " the medication of last resort" for treatment resistant schitzophrenia. That means weekly blood tests, ECG's etc but it's working and that's the main thing. Thanks for your encouragement. PM
Comment by
EverInParadise
 
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No apology needed. Your long road must be told and you did it very well. A lot of this rang true to one of my children. Only he eventually overdosed and died, leaving a young son. So many people do make the flat decision when it comes to homeless people, "that they could help them selves, get a job, etc. Stories like yours and mine may help a few to wake up and join the wonderful army of volunteers who do their best to help the homeless. God bless you and prayers for Joey and all the "joeys" all over the world.


 Comment Written 26-Aug-2017



reply by the author on 26-Aug-2017
    Yes Joey isn't his real name. I'm sorry you lost a son. A parent should never have to bury a child.Thank you so much for your feedback. 34 years we have battled and he is finally settled for the past 8 months. He's on what they call " the medication of last resort" for treatment resistant schitzophrenia. That means weekly blood tests, ECG's etc but it's working and that's the main thing. Thanks for your encouragement. PM
Comment by
emptypage
 
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like a
"wild animal" and it was terrifying to witness. (spacing issue here).

"That evening the caretaker of the boarding house sold Joey Amphetamines and he was arrested for "Possession of a class A drug" he was sixteen years of age." You need a period after "Class A drug (and, yes, the c in "Class" should be capitalized), starting a new sentence with "He was sixteen...."

You wrote, "...his run in with the Law." "Law" should not be capitalized.

"Juvenile Detention Centre." No capitals necessary here, not in any of the words.

Spacing issue here:

patient at the psychiatric clinic again.
We lobbied from the prime minister down, to get him into priority one p

"Camels back" should be "camel's back."

I love the resolution of this tragic story. Most parents dealing with such issues are not patient and end up giving up rather than stepping in and saving a child. I applaud your efforts.



This rating does not count towards story rating or author rank.
The highest and the lowest rating are not included in calculations.


 Comment Written 26-Aug-2017



reply by the author on 26-Aug-2017
    Thank you so much for your feedback. 34 years we have battled and he is finally settled for the past 8 months. He's on what they call " the medication of last resort" for treatment resistant schitzophrenia. That means weekly blood tests, ECG's etc but it's working and that's the main thing. Thanks for your encouragement. I will take your comments and fix up my editing errors by the end of today. I do appreciate you pointing them out to me. PM

reply by the author on 27-Aug-2017
    Thank you. I think I've fixed up all of the editing errors.
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