The Smell

The latest incident happened when Calvin walked past the Support House library towards the reception desk. Calvin wanted to speak with staff about a personal matter. All of a sudden a chair flew out of nowhere. The chair was aimed directly at Calvin; he saw the chair coming from the corner of his eye and as he moved out the way just in time, he yelled “what the ..!  However the chair grazed his arm and he was pissed. Calvin looked in the direction and when he saw the culprit, he yelled motherfucker! Then he rushed towards the culprit with the intent to slap him silly.

The culprit was Gerick; an average built person as compared to Calvin, who has a heavy, built and is a person who is physically imposing and aggressive. The Security Guard who normally does not leave her post saw the commotion and sensing that Gerick will be the recipient of a savage beating; she rushed over to the two in an effort to deescalate the tension. After hearing the shouts of I’m going to fuck you up, one of the staff members came out to help the Security Guard.  When the staff member came on the scene, Calvin was pushing Gerick around and making threats to beat him down. Gerick was docile and was not pushing Calvin back, even though he was being pushed around and threatened.

The Support House staff member asked Gerick, why you threw the chair at Calvin. Gerick answered that when Calvin walked by the library, he smelled shit (feces), and believed that Calvin threw shit at him. The staff member, the Security Guard and Calvin looked at each other “what?” That’s when the epiphany came to light as to what kind of residents live in the Support House. .

Gerick’s mental illness was diagnosed in the schizophrenia spectrum and he has been in and out of the Psych ward form the time he was a pre-teen. The problem with Gerick is that he does not comply with his medication schedule. The reason for this is that he went to school and studied pharmacy; and when he landed employment as a Pharmacist’s assistant he began to research his prescribed medication and did not like what he read about the side effects of his prescribed medication; and from that time on Gerick has not fully complied with his medication schedule.  

Gerick often smells odors, hear voices and feel as though he is being touched in a sexual manner. The manner of how he behaves, what he says and feels depends on what he hears, smell or feel. Whatever he does always land him in hot water with other people who have nothing to do with the feelings that his senses perceive.

On the other hand Calvin has also been diagnosed as having some type of schizophrenia; perhaps some Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He has experienced a traumatic event of being a witness to his parents mortality at a very young age. He never received any psychological treatment until his late teens when he started doing petty stuff that landing him in the system. At times he comes off as being a bully, he intimidates and gets over on other people because of his physical imposing size. It is ironic that he has never spent time in prison; the few offensives that he has been arrested for resulted in the courts finding him unfit to stand trial.

The thing that Gerick and Calvin have in common is that their families did not want them to come back to live with them because they feel uncomfortable, fearful and frustrated because they  do not know how to handle the type of  behaviors that is often exhibited by a schizophrenic. Short of just kicking them out or outright abandoning them which is a common experience for a mentally ill individual; instead Gerick and Calvin’s families felt it would be better for them to live in an environment where they could lead a semi-independent life getting some form of support and medication management from trained caregivers. They asked the Psych Ward for assistance who in turn referred Gerick & Calvin to the Support House program.

At times a bunch of people with mental health conditions living together, the house environment ranges from being peaceful to utter chaos. This situation, Calvin is on the verge of beating down Gerick. But the staff member being trained in how to deal with the mentally ill and in conflict de-escalation suggested to Calvin that it would be better for him to file a Police report rather than beating Gerick down. The Staff member gave Calvin a thought provoking suggestion; which amounted to who are the Cops going to take?  Calvin took the bait and came to the understanding that regardless of what he does, the Police would be called and the possibility of him being arrested for assault.

Calvin agreed to allow the staff to handle Gerick as long as he can file a Police report and have the option to press charges. The staff member called the Police and Calvin said when the Police arrive let me know. Yet, in realty Calvin did not really want to stick around, nor give the Police any type of statement. He just nonchalantly walked out the front door and went about his business.  

Meanwhile, twenty minutes after he left the Police arrived and was told about the incident; since Calvin was not on the premises to give a statement, the Police said that a report cannot be filed and that if Calvin wants to file a report that he has to go to the Precinct to do it. However, they granted the staff’s request to call EMS so that Gerick could be taken to the Psych Ward to evaluate if he was decompensating and need to adjust his meds.

After Gerick was taken to the Psych Ward; the Support House staff member told the Security Guard, that Gerick wasn’t wrong when he said that he smelled shit when Calvin walked by. That’s because Calvin is a despicable human being and piece of walking shit and Gerick smelled it.

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  1. Smart move by the staff worker! I don’t think schizophrenics can generally live at home as it will almost always be the case that their family won’t have a clue how to deal with them. We never knew how to ‘de-escalate’ my brother!

    Liked by 1 person

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