Month: January 2012

Miranda Part 2

This blog won’t make sense to you unless you’ve read “Miranda.”

 

Below is the original Amazon thread post from “WarriorMom,” whose full name I know but will not disclose.

 

Michael Schofield,
Regardless of what you may think, I am not at all afraid to confront you and ask you questions on Bipolar Nation. I have a job and I work on Sundays and for me to take a day off just to be on your show is not at this time possible. I have children too who have therapies that need to be payed for that my insurance does not cover – so I WORK to pay for them. I do not exploit my child in order to get money for anything we need. I am a Licensed Professional in good standing working at a job that I have had for over 2 years now.
The reason you blocked me and have blocked others from your sites is not because I kept “going and going” but because you could not manipulate me and be evasive with your answers. You have in fact censored me as well as many others who have confronted you with your abusive and violent behavior.
So again if you are not censoring me or anyone else then unblock me and everyone you have blocked from your pages and let us question you. But in the meantime (as I know you are afraid to unblock and will keep us censored) I will start by asking you ten questions here:
1. When you shook Jani with “impotent anger” at 2 months old and then did not take her to the hospital following the incident, how long did you live in fear of her dying and you being prosecuted for murdering her? A month? Two?
2. When Jani was never sleeping and you were becoming violent with her for not sleeping as an infant you were working on a screenplay called 20/20 at the time… why were you not using that time to sleep? 3. What if any mental health help did you get for yourself immediately after shaking Jani with “impotent anger”?
4. Susan when you first decided to put Jani in UCLA isn’t it true that it was just a few months after you had given birth to Bodhi and you were having post pardum depression, what mental health help did you get for yourself before ultimately deciding Jani was the problem and putting her in UCLA?
5. Susan, I understand that you took Jani to auditions for 3 years before she was 5 years old until she decided she did not want to do them anymore. Did her refusal to do the auditions influence your decision that she was mentally ill?
6. When Jani was being evaluated at UCLA for mental illness, you write in your blog that when Drs asked you if Jani had any history of abuse you said no. Were you intentionally being deceptive with them or did you honestly believe that your violent actions were not abusive?
7. Do the drs who did Jani’s MRI and found the ischemia in her brain know that you shook her as an infant, also hit her as hard as you could at other times or of any other violent act you have done to Jani that you have chosen not to blog about? 8. Did Jani’s psychiatrists at UCLA know that you abused her prior to her symptoms and ultimate diagnosis? Does her current psychiatrist know that you abused her?
9. This past summer you blogged about how you dosed Jani with adult strength benedryl in order to knock her out. Were you aware at that time that overdoses of benedryl caused halucinations? Susan exactly how much benedryl were you dosing Bodhi with this past fall when you were claiming on FB that he too was schizophrenic and having halucinations?
10. Is it true that you are now editing your blogs as you have done in the past of the abusive acts you previously described in order to deceive the public? Why also have you not made mention of ANY of your abusive violent actions on ANY of the tv spots? Do you not find that deceptive to the public at large?
Looking forward to your responses. Oh and what are you going to say to CPS when they see that you have responded to me here?

 

End of original post

 

 

Now me…I’m in italics.

 

That was quick. Okay, I copy and pasted your response and will respond through-out.

 

 

Regardless of what you may think, I am not at all afraid to confront you and ask you questions on Bipolar Nation. I have a job and I work on Sundays and for me to take a day off just to be on your show is not at this time possible. I have children too who have therapies that need to be payed for that my insurance does not cover – so I WORK to pay for them.

 

From Michael: I get that. That is one of the reasons I continue to teach at CSUN. I am very lucky that lecturers who teach at my institution get full health insurance as long as we teach at least six units (two classes) per semester. I actually enjoy teaching but I could never give it up even if I didn’t because nothing else I do provides me with health insurance (including this book).

 

 I do not exploit my child in order to get money for anything we need.

 

From Michael: I don’t exploit Jani and never would. You seem to assume we go after the media attention. It is the other way around. In early 2009, a friend shared our story with Shari Roan, the LA Times health reporter who then called us. We shared our story, primarily because at that time our insurance company was denying coverage for Jani’s hospital stays. Since the opportunity to share our story presented itself, we figured that perhaps if our insurer found themselves in the LA Times they might stop trying to deny payment to UCLA for Jani’s services. Shari followed us for about four months before the article was written and published. The first LA Times article led to a lot of attention from various media outlets. Some we turned down. We turned down Dr. Phil because we felt his show had become a joke. The most laughable one was Tony Robbin’s people, who wanted to fly us to Tony’s private island in Fiji. I say “laughable” because there was no way we were going to drag Jani and Bodhi on a fifteen hour flight to Fiji. We agreed to 20/20 because we wanted a serious show that would focus on the serious issue of mental illness in children. Oprah wanted the show as well and her company, Harpo, and ABC News came to an agreement that Oprah would go first. Notice that show was done via satellite because there was no way we could get Jani to Chicago. Oprah agreed. We introduced the 20/20 producers to two other families who were actually featured more than we were. Both shows followed us around because they understood (and we made very clear) that we were not going to make any changes to Jani’s routine to accommodate them). What I find funny is you seem to assume that Shari Roan of the LA Times, the Oprah producers, and the 20/20 producers didn’t read every single one of my blogs. Of course they did. One of Oprah’s questions for me was going to be about the shaking incident. I was okay with that and prepared to answer but she never got around to asking me during the taping. The 20/20 producers also asked me about the shaking and I answered, but the footage was not used, for reasons that had nothing to do with me. Every single media appearance we have done, they have known about that incident and the others you and By the Way think you are “discovering.” They either never asked me about it or it never made the final cut. I have no control over what footage they choose to use. The point is I have never tried to hide that incident and have always been willing to talk about it.

 

We never have done any of this for money. Oprah does not pay her guests. That is standard policy. To do so would be a violation of journalistic integrity. Yes, the studio audience gets stuff sometimes but not guests. We got coffee mugs and t-shirts. Same with 20/20. News programs do not pay those who appear in their stories. We did those shows to get the word out and to this day I still get emails from all over the world from parents who thought they were alone in their struggles until they saw us. That is why I set up the private support group and the Jani Foundation page, to connect these families together. We were paid for our home video footage by Discovery Health for “Born Schizophrenic.” Both Jani and Bodhi have Coogan accounts. Look up what that is.

 

By the Way keeps talking about how I have disclosed “Jani’s most disturbing moments” or something to that effect (ignoring all the wonderful things I have also blogged about Jani, but I digress). If I didn’t do that, then how would the thousands of other families who have contacted us know they weren’t alone? How would we be able to make any progress in creating in-home and in-community services for these children so they don’t get shipped off to residentials (the only option the Department of Mental Health offers). If we had not split into two apartments, DCFS would have taken Bodhi because he was not (at that time) safe with Jani. The only residential options we were given were out of state, where we would rarely ever get to see her. I was not going to sacrifice one child for another. So we came up with the two separate one-bedroom apartments. The cost of those was more than I make as a lecturer. So yes, I asked for donations. I am grateful that they came. Those people allowed us to keep our family together until Jani could stabilize. I don’t apologize for that.

 

 I am a Licensed Professional in good standing working at a job that I have had for over 2 years now.

 

The reason you blocked me and have blocked others from your sites is not because I kept “going and going” but because you could not manipulate me and be evasive with your answers.

 

From Michael: Manipulate? You seem to see me as this Machiavellian character who plots and plans everything. I am just trying to get my family through each day, Jen. What purpose would I have to manipulate when everything you attack me for is still up on my blogs? I don’t control the world. If you go back over my blogs, you will see I always allow critical comments. I only block people if they, like you, keep saying the same thing over and over again.

 

 You have in fact censored me as well as many others who have confronted you with your abusive and violent behavior.

 

Note from Michael: If you had said your piece once, Jen, I wouldn’t have blocked you. I am not and never have attempted to hide anything. The difference is how we define “abuse.” I don’t define a single action as abuse. That’s a mistake. “Abuse,” to me, is systematic and ongoing. Yes, I have made mistakes and done things I regret. But I have also grown older and wiser. I have also gotten myself on meds and see a therapist. The only thing I ever got really angry at you about was you accusation that I molested Jani. Jani never made that accusation. On top of it, your claim that DCFS didn’t take it seriously because I “told them she was schizophrenic” is both wrong and ridiculous. It is wrong because Jani didn’t have a diagnosis of schizophrenia then (March 2008). We didn’t know what she had. Nobody did. It is ridiculous because if you had ever had a run-in with Child Protective Services you would know they take any claim very seriously. They wouldn’t have cared what I said. I cooperated with their investigation and had to allow Jani to undergo a forensic examination, which neither Susan nor I could be present for. I was cleared. Later I learned that even Susan asked Jani if I had done anything. This hurt me but I understoood. Jani said the same thing to Susan she said to DCFS, which was the same thing I said. I learned afterward that this often happens to parents of mentally ill children. I have yet to meet a parent of a mentally ill child who hasn’t been investigated by CPS in their area and I’ve met many other fathers who have been suspected of and investigated for sexual abuse.

 

So again if you are not censoring me or anyone else then unblock me and everyone you have blocked from your pages and let us question you. But in the meantime (as I know you are afraid to unblock and will keep us censored) I will start by asking you ten questions here:

 

From Michael: I am not going to unblock you from the Jani Foundation page for the reasons I said above. You say the same thing over and over again, even when we answer your questions. I am answering your questions here and that is it. What you do with my answers is up to you. I don’t expect to change your mind but after this I will not acknowledge you again.

 

1. When you shook Jani with “impotent anger” at 2 months old and then did not take her to the hospital following the incident, how long did you live in fear of her dying and you being prosecuted for murdering her? A month? Two?

 

First, what does “impotent anger” mean, Jen? Think about those two words. They are the opposite of each other. “Impotent” is feeling without power. It was a bad choice of words on my part. Jani did not sleep after the first week of her life. We could never get her to sleep for more than 20 or 30 minutes at a time, 24 hours a day. Friends of ours would complain about having to get up every two hours. Hell, we would have loved that! Jani’s pediatrician had no answers for us. Jani was thriving and hitting all her developmental markers. So we survived by taking Jani in shifts: Five hours on, five hours off. I would take Jani for five hours while Susan slept and then we would reverse. This worked until Susan got offered a full time shift at her job. I was an unemployed screenwriter at the time (as you know) so we needed the money. Susan went back to work. Her shift was an overnight, 1am to 9am. Suddenly, i had no one to relieve me. If Jani wasn’t held ALL the time, she would scream. In retrospect, yes, I should have let her cry. The pediatrician said she would cry for 15 or 20 minutes and fall asleep. Except she didn’t. 2 hours later she was still going. I couldn’t listen to her crying because I assumed she was suffering and needed me. So I kept going to her, over and over and over and over again. If you want to know what that is like, go to bed and have somebody wake up every 20 minutes. Continue this for weeks on end. Severe sleep deprivation has a similar effect to psychosis: it deprives you of the ability to process logically. When Jani was screaming in her crib that night, I should have just let her cry it out. But I didn’t. I went to her again and in the process, for a second, I snapped. I picked her up and screamed “Why won’t you sleep?” She started crying harder, which immediately snapped me back to what I had done. I felt awful. I sat in the hall, holding her as she cried, wishing to God I could rewind seconds back in time. Eventually, she calmed down and fell asleep. I held her until Susan came home several hours later. She knew because I had called her and told her. She was furious and terrified. As soon she got home, Jani was wide awake, ready to go out. She looked her over. There was no change in Jani at all in terms of her level of activity or wakefulness. We went to pediatrician the next day. Jani has seen doctors all her life (only pediatricians until age 5) and none of them ever saw any signs of trauma. And did I tell them? Yes, I did. So, to answer your question, yes, I was terrified. I was terrified that I had damaged her. If I had, I would not have been able to live with myself. Period. UCLA knew about it, too, because I told them. I told everyone, Jen. I told DCFS when they came. But one mistake doesn’t make me a child abuser or a criminal, at least in the eyes of the law, Jen. Had I done it multiple times or if there were signs that Jani was being abused, it would have been reported as all doctors are mandated reporters. DCFS does not take your children away because of a single mistake you made NINE years ago. In fact, just so you know, they only look at the last 12 months. If they operated the way you and By the Way seem to think they should, pretty much everybody would lose their children. We all screw up sometimes, Jen.

 

2. When Jani was never sleeping and you were becoming violent with her for not sleeping as an infant you were working on a screenplay called 20/20 at the time… why were you not using that time to sleep?

 

Your dates are off. I don’t know where you got 2003 from. Susan and I wrote 20/20 (a screenplay for those of you who don’t know which does feature a character named “January” (because we liked the name-that is why we named our daughter that) but has nothing to do with mental illness or the TV show) in 2000, two years before Jani was born. I wasn’t writing anything when Jani was an infant.

 

3. What if any mental health help did you get for yourself immediately after shaking Jani with “impotent anger”?

 

I saw a psychiatrist and a therapist. I was prescribed Lexapro.

 

4. Susan when you first decided to put Jani in UCLA isn’t it true that it was just a few months after you had given birth to Bodhi and you were having post pardum depression, what mental health help did you get for yourself before ultimately deciding Jani was the problem and putting her in UCLA?

 

We didn’t “decide” to put Jani in UCLA. Apparently, you are not aware that the decision to admit has to be made by the attending psychiatrist. Jani got into UCLA because the school district called the police because Jani was trying to injure herself. The police got her into UCLA.

 

Jani’s violence started several months before Bodhi was born but became shocking in its intensity after he was born. Susan had no time to be depressed. We were too busy trying to protect Bodhi because every time he cried she would scream at him and try to go after him.

 

5. Susan, I understand that you took Jani to auditions for 3 years before she was 5 years old until she decided she did not want to do them anymore. Did her refusal to do the auditions influence your decision that she was mentally ill?

 

Again, your dates are off. Jani did a few auditions as an infant. By two, she said she didn’t want to do them anymore so Susan stopped taking her. And to answer your question from another post, no, she was never alone with a casting director. And, no, we didn’t think anything was wrong with Jani until she became violent at five. When she no longer wanted to do auditions, I was actually happy. I wanted her (and still want her) to be a scientist, not an actor. Since Jani loved to learned, we both assumed she just didn’t have an interest in acting. At this moment in time she wants to become a Livestock Veterinarian and our goal is to help her get there. End of story.

 

6. When Jani was being evaluated at UCLA for mental illness, you write in your blog that when Drs asked you if Jani had any history of abuse you said no. Were you intentionally being deceptive with them or did you honestly believe that your violent actions were not abusive?

 

As I said above, I told them about the shaking incident. “History of abuse” is just that, “a history.” That means more than one event. They, nor I, did not consider one event to constitute a “history of abuse.”

 

7. Do the drs who did Jani’s MRI and found the ischemia in her brain know that you shook her as an infant, also hit her as hard as you could at other times or of any other violent act you have done to Jani that you have chosen not to blog about?

 

Yes, they do, because I told them. They have also read my blogs. So has DCFS. DCFS, I know, has read every single one of them. You seem to assume nobody but my “supporters” read my blog. About half a million people have read my blogs, Jen.

 

8. Did Jani’s psychiatrists at UCLA know that you abused her prior to her symptoms and ultimate diagnosis? Does her current psychiatrist know that you abused her?

 

Again, they don’t consider one incident that happened nine years ago “abuse.” But if you are asking if they know about what I did when she was an infant, yes. They know everything. Susan and I hide nothing. Both the UCLA doctors and Jani’s outpatient psychiatrist (who has always been her psychiatrist) have even seen Susan and I argue and flght verbally in front of them.

 

9. This past summer you blogged about how you dosed Jani with adult strength benedryl in order to knock her out. Were you aware at that time that overdoses of benedryl caused halucinations? Susan exactly how much benedryl were you dosing Bodhi with this past fall when you were claiming on FB that he too was schizophrenic and having halucinations?

 

I was doing what was prescribed by her doctor. 25mg of Benadryl is used to counteract the risk of extra-pyramidal symptoms which can lead to tardive dyskensia, always a risk with anti-psychotics. These drugs scare the shit out of me. Do you really think I would leave her on them if I hadn’t seen such a dramatic improvement? To look at her now, to meet her (which you never have), you would never know she had schizophrenia. That is because the meds work.

 

Yes, Benadryl can cause hallucinations… if you drink about six bottles of the stuff. But Jani’s hallucinations predate any use of Benadryl by two years.

 

10. Is it true that you are now editing your blogs as you have done in the past of the abusive acts you previously described in order to deceive the public? Why also have you not made mention of ANY of your abusive violent actions on ANY of the tv spots? Do you not find that deceptive to the public at large?

 

Jen, I don’t even read my old blogs, much less edit them. The only thing I ever changed was the “About me” on the old blog. I changed it because the new version was better. Also, when I wrote the first version I was dealing with the opposite of you, which were people who thought that Jani wasn’t mentally ill but just a brat and we just needed to be stricter with her. You still see comments like that on the YouTube page.

 

Everything that I have done is still in my blogs at www.janisjourney.org. The rest of your questions I answered above. The media people we have worked with have done their research. They have read my blogs. They do ask me. I answer. Why they have never used those answers is something you have to take up with them.

 

Okay, that does it for me. Nice chatting with you, Jen. I wish you and your family well.