Don't Build the Wall (Don't Give Up)

Well, this is probably it.

We still haven’t made the rent for Bodhi’s apartment. And it has become clear we are not going to.

No miracles this time.

I appreciate those who donated. Sever gave one dollar, which is great, but it only works if everyone else gives a dollar, too. If the only 2000 readers don’t then it doesn’t do much good. You did good. I thank you for that.

I will go to court and try to delay eviction as long as I can. Moving into Jani’s apartment (which is paid for) is not an option because no more than three people are allowed in a one bedroom. Moving us all into a two bedroom, like I perhaps I should have done months ago, is not an option because the complex won’t rent us a two bedroom until I pay up what I owe.

So we are stuck. All I can do is try to finish the book and get my next advance before the court orders us out. If I can’t, or if it still isn’t good enough to get my next check, then I don’t know. I don’t have any other options left.

This couldn’t have come at a worse time. Between Honey being ill and taking a disasterous trip to see Susan’s family who all ignored Jani or, like Susan’s mother, said mean things about Jani right in front of her, Jani is extremely psychotic right now.

But I won’t send her to residential, even now.

Because it’s not her fault.

It’s the world’s.

It is not the fault of the world that she has schizophrenia. But it sure as shit is your fault how you treated her.

It’s hard to be magnanimous in defeat. So I am not going to try and pretend.

It’s been hard writing this blog ever since our story became public. I remember the story of Roger Waters becoming so upset with a boisterous fan in the front row of a show that he spat on him. Later, he felt terrible about it and part of him wished he could construct a wall between him and the audience. This idea, of course, became the seed of Floyd’s next album “The Wall.”

I get that. What I hate most about the handful of people who come to this blog and say hateful things about me is that they become all I remember, making me forget all the wonderful people who have come here. The supporters outweigh the detractors by the thousands.

I am not leaving because of them, though. I am leaving because I haven’t been able to pay the internet bill and the internet is already gone in Jani’s apartment and soon to go here in Bodhi’s, where Janni has fallen asleep after a day of paranoid crying that she is having loose stool. She abruptly ran out of the room this weekend and I chased and tripped over something that broke my pinkie toe on my left foot.

I do say fuck Susan’s family. They just spent a weekend in a synagogue but none of them know God.

I wish I could leave you with something positive. Jani has come along way. We will see if it sticks. I can assure you I will never send her to residential. EVER. You are going to have to kill me if you want that to happen. I will keep my family together. I don’t know how right now. But I will.

I remember after I wrote “Watching the Wreckage” some self-righteous bitch wrote in a comment that another family had a blog about dealing with some severe illness  and who had the same financial problems we did but they wrote about it with grace and aplomb, unlike me.

I am sure they did.

I say “did” because she mentioned, in the middle of her tirade against me, that this famili’s blog hadn’t been updated in more than a year.

All I could do is laugh. She was attacking me for asking for money, or demanding it, or whatever you want to call it, and yet completely missed the significance of why that other family stopped blogging.


They ran out of money. God only knows now what happened to them. I hope they are okay but my fear is that self-righteous bitches like this woman eagerly read about their problems but did nothing to help.

I pointed out this inconsistency to her and never heard from her again.

In this  life, you get no points for style. It is what you do that counts.

So we will go on, even if you don’t hear from me again.

And I will try not to build the wall. Because that is the only way I am truly lost.


Michael J. Schofield

July 11th, 2011





21 comments on “Don't Build the Wall (Don't Give Up)

  1. I pray that you are able to find a solution. I wish I was in financial position to donate but I am on a fixed disability income as well as being a full time university student. I will keep Jani and your whole family in my prayers

  2. Michael, I don’t know if you’ll get this if your Internet is shutting down, but answer if you can…

    Please tell me how much you need; I donated a few days ago but my family is very well off. I work as a theatre techie and well, living with my parents, don’t really need the money.

    I have followed your family’s story since I watched Jani’s show on Discovery Health, maybe around a year ago. I am inspired by the persistence of a better life for Jani but like many others, only took a back seat and watched. Well, I have changed my position, I want to support you and Jani in any way I can.

  3. Judge not!
    What horrible people, I’m so sorry that happened to you guys! Family is supposed to be there for you no matter what! I’ve commented on here once or twice before and have donated a little (mainly because I only have a little :). So all I can offer you, from all the way up here in Canada is giant hugs! And the comfort in knowing not all people who read your blog judge you. You are doing the right thing! I hate it when people say everything will work out, but it’s true. You just have to have faith in what you’re doing, keeping Jani out of residential and committing yourself to helping Bohdi! Which you are doing with flying colours! So lean on each other and hug those beautiful kids!
    To all the people out there who slam this man for doing what’s right, SHAME ON YOU! I hope none of you are EVER in his position. However, if you were ever faced with what they face daily, maybe, just maybe you’d learn some understanding and compassion. It sounds like a lot of you need some humbling. Remember “It’s far easier to judge, than to understand”

  4. Hi Michael,

    How much more do you need for the rent? And how much would you need to help Honey? I gave you some last month but this month was a bit tighter for me. But let me know… I might be able to help.

  5. I will continue to pray for Jani and your family. I hope that you are able to avoid eviction currently. I wish I was in a position to donate but I am a full time student and I have a disability as well. Good Luck Michael!

  6. Michael, I first learned of Jani and your family when the story aired on the Oprah show. Since then, I have read and seen all of the pieces I could about your family, and have read every single entry on both your old blog and this one. The vast majority of the time, however, I do not read the comments, except on the rare occasion when you reference a commenter, as you did in this post. After I do read them, I always regret it. I believe this is the first time I have commented myself.

    Having had a decent Internet presence for some years now, including a few of my own personal blogs, I know that when you put something out there, you are opening the door to allow all kinds of comments in, good and bad. While the obvious trolls like Miss/Isis are easy to spot, I also know that some of the more hurtful or damaging comments can come from those who claim to be supportive, or who you’ve felt have been supportive in the past. They’re more subtle and harder to spot. It’s the “I really feel for you, but” statements. The “why” questions. The specific, detailed inquiries pumping you for more information about Jani’s illness and care, Bodhi’s illness and care, your marriage, etc.

    You know what? None of that is any of our business. At all. If you choose to share it with us, your readers will gladly read, I’m sure. Otherwise, again, it’s just none of our business. So it’s certainly not for anyone to publicly question you about in a comments section that anyone can read.

    If I have a child with mental illness and I have a question about treatment protocol and what has worked for Jani, I can contact you privately. If I don’t understand something about Jani’s history or Bodhi’s or why you have separate apartments, I can read the archives. If I think I have information about the side effects of a medication that I want you to know about, again, I can contact you privately.

    The act of posting anything like that in the comments that are visible publicly on your personal blog is just a subtle, backhanded way of saying that you don’t know what you’re doing, and you’re doing it the wrong way to boot. And in the not-so-subtle vein, if people don’t like you asking for money, I’d be happy to direct them to the little red X in the upper right-hand corner of their PCs where they can close their window and not have to read your blog entries at all. As my comment title suggests, I’m tired of the %&#$ people keep laying on you. Fortunately, this sphere seems to encompass a very small number of people.

    But it doesn’t matter what I’m tired of, because it’s not my blog. If you can handle The Hate, more power to you, because it’s YOUR blog. Furthermore, any opinions I might have about Jani’s treatment and care, or Bodhi’s, or your marriage, or your living arrangements, wouldn’t be worth the keystrokes it would take me to type them. It’s not my life, it’s not my family, it’s not my living situation. I’m not Jani’s parent, doctor, or teacher. Sure, I’m entitled to my opinion, and I could express it since you provide the forum, but the only point in doing so would be for me to try and make myself look like I know better than you do. In other words, make myself look ridiculous.

    Exactly none of the types of comments I’ve described here constitute support in any way, shape or form.

    The existence you, Susan, Jani, and Bodhi experience every minute of every day far exceeds the realm of my imagination. You’re not a better person for going through it — we all have our struggles, and this happens to be yours. I’m just posting this so that you know you do have yet another supporter in the crowd of readers, who feels true, unconditional support for you and your family, without opinion or judgment on how you “should” or “could” be doing things. I’m proud to be alongside Jenny N, Keri E, and countless others who are there for you, and hopefully far outnumber those who seek to hurt you. Even though we may be silent, we are here.

  7. good bye and good luck. your writings will be missed. i hope to hear
    someday that you came out with your book and you are all doing better than ever so you can go tell every one of those people who wrote negative things to go F themselves. I will send prayers for your family too. your a great dad michael. dont forget that either.

    oh and p.s. shame on yur in laws.

  8. All our best
    Michael: We just sent $150 via paypal. We hope it helps, and we’re sorry it doesn’t get you all the way there. I’ll certainly buy your book when it comes out. All the best to your family, and to Jani. She’s lucky to have such dedicated parents. Be well.
    Michael N.

  9. Michael: We just sent $150 via paypal. We hope it helps, and we’re sorry it doesn’t get you all the way there. I’ll certainly buy your book when it comes out. All the best to your family, and to Jani. She’s lucky to have such dedicated parents. Be well.
    Michael N.

  10. so…… while I still think you come off wrong at times, I do get that you love your family & you are in a tough place. These are tough times for alot of folks now, me included. That said I don’t even pretend to imagine how hard it must be for jani & she deserves the best life she can have so while it’s not much ( cause trust me I don’t have much) I donated in the hopes that maybe more will & your family will be safe in your apartments. Hang in there.

  11. Forgive me if you’ve covered this already, but… why is it that you guys haven’t monetized this blog more? Maybe those heartless 2000+ readers don’t send you money, but if you set up the page properly, then perhaps their clicks would get Google to send you money on their behalf.

    Mommyblogging is big money, and mommyblogging with a tragic or unusual twist to the situation seems to be HUGE money, from what I can see. I can name you, offhand, at least 4-5 parenting bloggers who effectively seem to have been able to retire early on the proceeds of their blogging about difficult family or health circumstances. None of them is as compelling a writer as you are (and I say this as someone who’s not even a particularly big fan of the introspective freshman-essay style of blogging); none of them had the interesting and heart-wrenching ongoing circumstances you have.

    It’d probably mean adjusting the structure of the blog a bit, to center around shorter and more frequent entries, with more pictures and visuals, but it sounds as though the extra income would be a real help right now. Rather than ranting about people’s lack of charity, why not be realistic about your expectations, and take steps to make what money you can from the visitors here?

  12. Stay Strong
    I know you hear this a lot that it may seem annoying, but stay strong. Jani is so so so lucky that she has you as her parents. You are great. You are amazing. If things don’t work out, you did the best that you can. Above and Beyond. Not all things will go as planned, but you gotta go to plan B…. some may be at plan Z, but hey that is what life is all about and you gotta do what you gotta do. Life isn’t perfect. What i admire about you is that you don’t give up. that is why I keep reading. I keep reading because you keep bringing me back. Your words are real, your strength shines through. You’ll be back =)
    I donated, its not much, but I hope it helps a little.

  13. Hi Michael
    I wish I didn’t understand the predicament you are in – in just under two months I lost my car, the rent in my medically substandard home increased and I gave notice – only to find myself in a dire struggle to find a new home. Then I had furniture stolen. My daughter’s been off the wall, and I actually answered my phone today “Welcome to the Wreckage”. Oh, and my ex lost his job.
    I can’t find it in me to feel the despair I know must be there.. simply because it’s all too overwhelming. Blind Freddie can see there’s need here – yet no one thinks to simply give. And I am sick of asking.
    As always, I’m thinking of you all.

    Much love and thank you.

  14. Planning….
    So – let’s get August nailed down. Please update when you can so we can get your rent taken care of. If we pull together before late fees, legal fees hit it will be cheaper and save your family needless stress.

    Keri E

  15. Thanks
    I don’t have a child with mental illness, but I do have a child who just completed 2.5 years of cancer treatment. So i understand blogging and not having enough money and crappy families.

    Even though I had seen your story before, I stayed up again to watch it. You’re making it, keep it up. Looking forward to your book!

  16. Time to build a commune for families whose children need 24 hour care. Just wouldn’t know where to put it….

    Good luck with it all.

  17. Hello. I hope things have gotten better for all of you and especially of course Jani. I sometimes can’t believe how heartless people can be and family can be the worst. I commend you both for keeping your family together and giving Jani the best possible life she can have. I know personally what this disease can do and the struggle with the mental health system, doctors, medications, the constant frustrations, it goes on. My question to you is, as she gets to adulthood, have you considered any kind of a “non-hostpital” setting, where she can live a somewhat independent life (to the best of her ability) in the community? I know the waiting lists are years long? Just wondering, because if something were to happen to either one of you, you wouldn’t want her institutionalized for life. There are wonderful, homes for adults living with schizophrenia and they are semi-private, and they are monitored. I know because I have a family memember who because her mother could no longer care for her and had her on a waiting lists for years, and didn’t want her insitutionalized, this was a better option.

  18. Don’t give up
    Ignore the posts by your critics Michael, don’t bother responding because those people don’t deserve your energy.

  19. One more comment and then I’m going to have to resist anymore, for my own sake. The world isn’t the problem, here. You are. You put your own paranoia on your daughter from day one. What did you expect her to learn from your behaviors? You stored her stem cells JUST IN CASE. You wouldn’t leave the apartment with her when she was newly born JUST IN CASE. The thing that really gets me is your daughter is so much a product of what you put on her, just as much as she is a product of her genes, but you blame the world and expect everyone to pay for it? You aren’t begging for money, you are demanding. God. Your poor daughter, your poor dog, your poor son. You disgust me.