The Tricky Side of Meeting the Mentally Ill
Our family ventures out and about to a wide variety of of events. We meet and greet those who are older, younger, different ethnicities, professional backgrounds and educational levels. I talk with the kids about conversing with people who may not be their cup of tea, not to overlook those who are a bit unusual.
Yet, every once in a while, I need to warn them that somebody is off their rocker. It’s hard.
When they first came home from Russia in their pre-teens, I had to constantly monitor what the uninvited public was saying and doing around them. (Still do.) There was the man who tried to hug the girls and stroke their hair, trying to smell it, and giving the impression of a sex offender. Turns out, that impression was not far from the mark, and we suggested that when this man might be present at a gathering of any kind, our kids should basically head for the hills.
It’s been important to coach them not to give out our family address, where we traveled on vacation, or anything of that nature. We had been stalked in the past, pre-children, and did not wish for them to experience such things. Better safe than sorry.
And now a woman keeps popping up who is very sweet, college educated, can hold a normal conversation, but abruptly goes off the deep end. It’s as though you might be discussing the weather or a sporting event and she suddenly segues into how she had tea the other day with the King of Siam. That kind of thing. But not that obvious.
Usually involved the idea that the government was watching her with cameras everywhere to see her when she was naked.
I’m not kidding. Which makes me wonder: in how many places would this lady likely turn up naked, in other words, if there’s a traffic camera at a busy intersection, would she allow herself to be disrobed in such a setting? But she’s convinced they can see her. Maybe we’re talking x-ray cameras….
So we discuss mental illness with the kids and how some people simply don’t have all of their marbles. But we’re still nice to them. Even if they reply in an odd manner.
However, it’s okay to draw the line at any dangerous or awkward situations. Better safe than sorry.
That’s how it rolls in the 21st century. Hasn’t the world become a complicated place?
————-Tags: keeping kids safe from crazy people, sex offenders and your children, should the mentally ill be kept away from your children?, stalking and your children, teaching kids to be kind... but safe, your children and the mentally ill