Looks Like We Made It After All Was Said and Done (Updated 10/02/11)

September 26th, 2011


On the 19th, we raised enough to pay the rent on Jani’s apartment, plus $585 in legal fees. We paid it one day before we would have had to go to court for the eviction hearing.


We paid the rent and legal fees that morning. In the afternoon, we turned in the “30 Day Intent to Vacate” notices for both apartments.

Once again, we are going to try to move back together into one apartment. Since our leases don’t expire until next May, our only option is to move to a two bedroom in the same complex we currently live in. We tried to do this before, back in February. It didn’t work because of Jani. Once we told her we were moving, she seemed fine, but her white blood cell count shot up (she gets weekly blood tests to monitor the clozapine). The risk with clozapine is decreasing WBC, not increasing. It got so high I was terrified she had cancer. She underwent a battery of tests but no physical cause could be determined for the rise in her white blood cell count. No infection could be located.

Then my credit got turned down (we have to reapply even though we have lived here for seven years). I could have gotten a guarantor, which would eliminate the need for my credit, but I didn’t. I let it go. Once Jani found out we weren’t moving, her WBC immediately dropped to normal levels.

The only conclusion the doctors can make is it was caused by stress. Stress can increase white blood cell count.

I don’t see any other option. I can’t depend on the kindness of strangers and friends forever. So our plan this time is to not tell Jani we are moving. Just do it. If all goes according to plan, she will go out with Susan on the morning of October 18th and come back to a new apartment. It is not change so much that she cannot deal with. It is the anticipation on change. We have learned the worst thing we can do is give her time to think about a future event because with a thought disorder (which schizophrenia is), time to think can be dangerous. Time to think is time to worry, to fear, to become terrified of things. So we feel the best option is to not tell her. She will deal with it better if it just happens before she has time to get nervous about it.

She is not violent with Bodhi anymore, so I don’t worry about that. I worry a bit because she still likes to leave to go to her apartment in the evening. She still wants her breaks from Bodhi. I hope she will be okay when that doesn’t happen.

It will be a two bedroom. Jani will have one room and Bodhi will have the other. Like we do now, Susan and I will alternate nights in each child’s room to try and minimize the impact.

I don’t want to wax poetic just yet as this is not a done deal. Not surprisingly, I need your help. Our move out date is October 18th, which means we pay pro-rated rent on the current two apartments until October. That works out to be about $780 each. I make $1000 a month teaching two classes (after SS and my benefits contribution are taken out), so that means I need $560 just to make the rent on the two apartments we are leaving. Then the new two bedroom is at least $1770 a month (possibly higher because we will have to give back our monthly discount “concession” from market rent). Prorate this for 13 days and you get about $742 and change. Then add $800 security deposit.

So to complete the move, we need about $2100 by October 15th. It’s a lot, I know, but if we don’t manage to raise it I don’t know what we will do. I am tired of nearly being evicted every month. I still won’t make enough to pay the rent on the two bedroom apartment but at least I will be a hell of a lot closer. I will also only be paying for one of everything instead of two like I have to now. If the move can be completed, it will save about $1000 a month in rent and utilities (currently we pay two sets of utilities).

We’ll see what happens.

If we make it, then I will be able to reflect back on two and half years of living apart. What I will say now is that your help supporting us in the two apartments achieved its goal. When Susan conceived of this idea of two apartments back in April 2009, we had two goals: To keep Jani with us and to allow Bodhi to grow up not fearing his sister.

Both of those goals have been achieved. Jani is still with us and Bodhi loves his big sister.

No matter what happens, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for that. You kept my family whole. That is a debt I will owe forever, but owe gladly.

My deepest thanks,


Michael Schofield


9/28/11 Update: I didn’t realize the end of the month was coming upon us so quickly. I don’t need the entire $2100 until about the 15th of October but I have to have enough (about $600) to pay the pro-rated rent on our current two apartments by October 3rd. If we go delinquent again, the complex will not allow us to proceed with the move and all this will be for nothing. We must remain current in order to move. I’ll keep you updated.

9/30/11 Update: Not feeling terribly confident right now. Still haven’t raised enough to make the total rent on the current two apartments through October 18th, let alone rent and deposit on the new apartment. If it looks like it is not going to happen, I will see about revoking the “30 Day intent to Vacate” by the 18th and seeing about November 1st. Of course, then we need the money to stay in the two apartments another month. I know you are trying. Just not sure it is going to happen.


10/2/11 Update: It’s not going to happen. Although we got a few donations, not enough to cover rent for existing apartments, Jani’s and Bodhi’s, for October until the “move out date,” let alone the deposit and pro-rated rent on a new two bedroom apartment we can all live in. Now once again the struggle will be to avoid eviction from either of the two apartments. Yes, I know a few of you have offered far more than you should, but I can’t let you go broke for our benefit.

15 comments on “Looks Like We Made It After All Was Said and Done (Updated 10/02/11)

  1. I’m relieved that things are looking up for your family. Even if it’s just a little bit.
    As a child who had major anxiety, I can tell you that anticipatory anxiety was in fact, more crippling than any actual event. So withholding the news from Jani is, in my opinion, a smart move.
    Just a question; have you ever considered moving to the east coast? I ask because the cost of living is less and there are excellent doctors/hospitals here, such as the NIMH in Maryland. The DC/VA/MD area has excellent schools and physiciams. Plus, many colleges where you could continue teaching. The notion probably sounds absurd, but CA is so damn expensive!
    Anyway, best of luck with moving into one apartment. Hope it’s a smooth transition.

    Note from Michael: It is something we are considering for the future but right now our only option is to move within the same complex because we signed a lease back in May and if we break the lease it is $3000 per apartment.

  2. upcoming move
    when you move, won’t your security deposits from the two apartmants be returned? They may also be credited to the new apt.

    About the financial situation. The big banks have part time, 20 hours a week, positions that pay a minimum of $900 a month and offer the best benefits imaginable. The benefits are extremely reasonable. Perhaps Susan could work at such a job. Your children’s insurance would be covered, you would pull enough as a couple to pay rent, and maybe Susan would be able to recharge in a professional environment a few hours a day.

    Michael, you are very much the philosopher. While thinking solves a plethora of problems, action is often the answer for black and white issues like making the money needed to pay for the living expenses of your family. Imagine how much you would gain by knowing that at least the rent was paid each month.

    I lived in SOCAL for years. At that time there were a myriad of social services in place for families living under the poverty line. Can a social worker or attorney help you find all of the resources available to you?

    As pragmatic and unsympathetic as this may sound, looking at the solveable problems, and taking action would remove a tremendous amount of stress from your day to day life. Certainly all of you would benefit from less stress. I know that your complex situation can make you feel powerless, but fortunately you are far from that place.

    I know that with the tenacity you have alreaqdy shown, you can move forward.

  3. Anxiety
    I echo the benefits of keeping news from Jani to reduce her anxiety. My son is now 11, and it is only in the last few months that his strategies to deal with change/major events have improved. This year, before his birthday, he only had two sleepless nights (rather than 4 or 5), and we are actually looking forward to Christmas

  4. deposit?
    Michael, one thing that popped out at me is the deposit. I would assume you had to put down a deposit on one or both of the apartments you are in now. Will that not be returned to you…so you can use it for the deposit on the new apartment? Just a thought.
    Next paycheck doesn’t come until next week, but I’ll Paypal what I can at that time. Keep on keepin’ on–we’re all behind you!

    Note from Michael: Not before the move takes place. If the deposit is returned, it won’t be returned before the move. Where we live requires a new deposit before allowing a transfer. They won’t roll over the old deposits. That’s actually pretty standard procedure. They want to make sure of damage to the old apartments and that takes time while the new apartment needs an immediate deposit.

  5. Best wishes for your move
    Hi Michael, I just sent you a donation, hopefully you have received it. I haven’t posted or donated in a while, although I continue to follow your story. I occasionally become so terribly lost in our own struggles with our daughter that I become negligent in reaching out to others. I’m so glad that you are at a stage where living under one roof is an option. We had to separate my 9 year old (w/schizoaffective disorder) from her younger siblings last year, which meant using our family room as a bedroom. I am happy to say that we were able to move her back into her shared bedroom, and 6-7 medication changes later, she is finally stable and doing very well. Hopefully this lasts, as she spent Christmas and New Years in the hospital last year. Needless to say, I know what it feels like to take a huge step toward normalcy, which is where you are headed. Best wishes as you begin this phase of your journey.

    Note from Michael: Thank you, Carin. Yes, I did just get and I appreciate it so much. Thank you so much for the contribution. Yes, it definitely sounds like you know this life well. I’m glad your daughter has stabilized. Deepest hopes that it continues.

  6. Hi Michael,

    Your story touches me deeply in a way that I simply cannot express. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

    I would like to send a donation, but I’d rather not use PayPal. Is there an alternate way to send it to you?

    Note from Michael: Thank you, Jennifer. Anything can be sent to me at:

    Michael Schofield
    Department of English
    Mail Drop 8248
    18111 Nordhoff St.
    Northridge, CA 91330

  7. I’m sorry that you all are going through all of this crap right now. I wish that there were something I can do for you all. Do you need anything like Toys for the kids? I have a TON of Littlest Pet Shops and a playhouse for them that Jani can have and I will gladly give to her. I could try to round up something for Bodhi, too. If there is ANYTHING you all need; anything at all, please message me on Facebook (I am already on your friend list) and I will not hesitate to help you all out. Love you guys, and stay strong.

    Note from Michael: Thanks, Katie. No, I think we are good on toys and things. Just need the stuff everybody is short of… money πŸ™‚

  8. Sounds like you’re really stuck at the moment, I’ll gladly help if that could get you into a better position, and be paying less every month for the single apartment. Good luck with the move, I’ve made a fairly small contribution, but every bit helps

    Note from Michael: Thank you, Linda.

  9. Hi, this is my first time commenting on your blog and I’ve been following for about two years. I keep wanting to make a donation but I don’t make very much money and it always seems to go towards meds or other financially depleting things before I can get what little I could give to you. My thoughts are with you though, for what little that counts. I wrote a paper about Jani (and the W… girls from California also) based on data from this blog, and articles about her, got an A on it. πŸ™‚ I’m a young adult with an uncertain future due to an uncertain diagnosis with schizophrenia not ruled out, and it definitely makes me feel better to know that the Jani Foundation is beginning its journey to helping kids and future adults like me, and that such a wonderful, brilliant girl like Jani has such awesome parents. Good luck with the new apartment! I hope it will bring good things for the family, to all be together again.

    Note from Michael: Thanks, Laura. What really struck me is the “uncertain future” line. I get what you mean in the sense that I don’t know if Jani will do all the things that so many of us take for granted. But when you really think about it, we all don’t know what the future will hold. Your mental illness actually gives you the clarity to know that each day, each moment, is all we really have. It is the arrogance of the rest of us to worry about things we cannot affect. We can learn a lot from you.

  10. Did my comment go through?

    Note from Michael: Yes, it did. All comments get held for review and sometimes that can take a while. It depends on when I can get around to clearing them.

  11. I just sent a donation, Michael – I wish all of you the best of luck with your upcoming move!

    Note from Michael: Thank you, Angie. I am starting to wonder though if I should send it back. We are well short of our goal. We still don’t have enough to pay rent on the two apartments for October to stay current to even be able to move.

  12. New Move
    I’m hoping you get into your new apt the quickest. Although I do worry about how Jani will deal with it. Hopefully being in the same sort of physical environment will dull the shock of change. She’s going to suffer some stress, but I hope it will be minimal. Can’t stand the thought of Jani going through even the slightest discomfort. But I know the move is necessary.

    Note from Michael: It is, Carl, but I don’t know that it is going to happen this month. We didn’t raise enough to pay rent through the “move out” date in October let alone deposit and pro-rated rent on the new apartment. Now we will be fighting to avoid eviction again. Maybe try again in November.

  13. My heart bleeds
    I’m a random guy from Italy who randomly came across your videos on YouTube. This comment may sound banal but i just had to write it. The empathy i feel for Jani is so huge that it really can’t be described with words. I’m 21 but i can’t help crying everytime i see a picture or a video of Jani. I’m crying even right now. I’ve never met her but i’m sure she’s such a brilliant, smart, brave, sweet and positive girl.
    I had some pretty powerful experiences in my life, but when i turned 20 everything went out of control and even if i’ve never been really diagnosed with schizophrenia i know how mind blowing, heart breaking, profound and terribly painful those psychotic hallucination and voices can be, i saw and heard them, and trust me, there’s no way you could even start to imagine them if you have not experienced them. She has to be incredibly strong to withstand them, i’m sure you know.
    I would do anything for Jani, i would suffer her schizophrenia instead of her if i just could, i’d give her all the peace and happyness i’ve found and even more, i love her, i love her like i love my sister, please, please, please, as soon as you can hug her very tightly and tell her she’s a smart, beautiful girl and that i hope that she’s gonna have a wonderful, peaceful, bright life.
    I hope everything will be fine someday. I don’t have a PayPal account yet but as soon as i can i’m sending a donation.

    I wish you all the best.

    Note from Michael: I tell her that several times a day πŸ™‚ Her schizophrenia is not her defining feature. She is still the same person underneath.

  14. Maybe you could post pictures of your bills… this is getting a little suspicious, like Marissa’s Bunny. No offense intended.

    Note from Michael: Absolutely not, “Anonymous” with “” who doesn’t have the courage to actually use their real name. The people who do give have never asked (nor would the) for an itemized listing of expenses for someone who doesn’t donate? You need to understand something. Just because I am in the public eye does not mean you or anyone else has any right to make such a request. I am a private citizen. If you don’t want to give, don’t, but don’t insult me with such a “request.”