The Ugly Truth on Mental Health – Why Bother?
Posted on June 12th, 2017 @ 3:00 pm

I went to the movies yesterday and saw this ad. I was yelling at it, well, not yelling at it, but talking loudly, at it.

You see, there’s an ugly side about getting mental health treatment. It’s called being told you aren’t crazy enough to get short term disability.

I mean really. What good is it to ask for help and get told no, because you are sane enough to know you are sane?

I’m in a catch-22.

I suffer from depression. I have for years. And I try to fight it. I do. But, it’s a chemical imbalance.

At the moment, I am fighting it big time. Life is a stressor. It’s a big stressor. I tried to fight it and do what I must do, but at times, life can get at you. Your medication may not work.

At this time, since Hurricane Matthew, actually, I’ll take that back,it’s been before the hurricane, but I’m using it as a cutoff at the moment, life has been hell for me. There’s a lot of stuff in my life that I have been trying to take care of, in addition to working 40+ hours at work.

In the beginning of May, I was hospitalized at a mental health treatment center for a week. When I got out, I was told not to rush back to work.

Well, here’s where it gets dicey. I am on leave and it’s approved, but I’m not medical disabled at the moment to work. So unpaid leave it is.

And that’s the catch-22.

I’m sane enough to know I’m not mentally well but not mentally well enough to return to work. And because I’m not drooling and hearing voices in my head to have me committed even longer, I can’t draw short time disability. Oh, and while I’m not working, I need to pay for my health care costs out of pocket.

So, I don’t have money to pay for my health care. My health care that pays for the medications I need to be mental fit.

No wonder people don’t go get the help they need. No wonder people lose it and go postal. I’m fucked.

We’re told to get help and when we need help, this is what we get told.

I just wanted enough money to get me through this time of need. I don’t want a yacht. I just want to get healthy and return to work. I don’t want to be a sobbing mess.

In the end, I’m being punished for trying to do the right thing.

And here’s the thing. I know I’m not alone. There are many people out there in my situation that are doing all they can to become better. They are following the advice of their mental health teams. They take their medications. They are doing the best they can, but they are told that they aren’t disabled. They aren’t in need of help according to guidelines.

I write this entry not only as a well to express my feelings on this, but to warn others. It’s no use getting help when no one will help you. Really. No wonder there is a stigmata when it comes to mental health.

The mental health treatment center failed me. They couldn’t send my records over to the company that I would take care of my short term disability. The company handling my short term disability failed me. They never DEMANDED my records. Really, they just can’t seem to grasp the human side of mental illness. I’m well enough not to be hospitalized, but I’m not well enough to return to work. Being aware of what is going on doesn’t mean I’m not troubled. And that’s that the boils down to. I feel like me and people like me are being told that our mental health doesn’t matter in the long run. We are just a bother to society. We are worthless. We are not in need of help.

You can try to be rational all you want to me, but I’m in an irrational mood. I hate that I feel this way. I don’t want to feel this way. But damn it, my mind is broken. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. You can’t see broken bones sometimes, unless you have an x-ray, but when they aren’t working, we know people are disabled. Why do we treat mental illness differently? I don’t see you as telling me it’s a medical definition. I see it as you belittling me and making my worth worthless. I’m broken; I know it. But I’m not broken enough to be fixed within the system.

So yes, seeing this ad yesterday really pissed me off. What good is asking for help when you can’t get any help at all? Mental health help is just a farce after all (Except for my therapist team helping me. At least they care. At least I’m not just a random piece of paper to them).

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Life · Politics & Current Events

I kept singing this to myself this past week.
Posted on May 13th, 2017 @ 9:41 am

…Only when we’re broken, are we whole

What happens now
When all I’ve made is torn down…

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Life · Music · Videos

Handicapped parking abuse – How to tell you are a douchebag:
Posted on May 3rd, 2017 @ 5:06 pm

Handicapped Sign

  1. Your car has no handicapped license plate.
  2. Your car has no handicapped placard.
  3. You are parked in a handicapped space.

Bonus points if you were the persons today that got into the handicapped spot just before I did at the Savannah PetSmart in a yellow SUV with the Ware County license plate asking for a dog stroller. I know I shouldn’t judge you, but you didn’t have the proper handicapped items for your car. I saw you park in that spot. I didn’t see your handicapped tag.  I didn’t see your handicapped placard. I saw you get out of your car and saw you walk into the store. That’s what made you douchebags – what I listed above.  Both of you. However, some will claim the dog stroller alone makes you douchebags.

As to why I was in a handicapped spot? My poor father. Since his surgery, he’s in pain. It hurts to walk. For his surgery, it’s going to be a while until he’s somewhat normal. He had doctors’ appointments today I took him to. Like my mother taking care of my grandmother, I took car of my dad using a walker and a wheelchair. He can’t drive for at least another month, so I asked if we could get him a handicapped placard. If we kids are taking care of him, then the least we can do it use the handicapped spots to help him. The doctors agreed and we got him one after we left the doctors’ offices.

If you, the douchebags, need a handicapped spot, just do what I did today.  Visit a doctor and apply for the placard or plate.  The plate cost $20 and the placard was free. All you need in the State of Georgia is MV-9D.  It took less than 10 minutes for a doctor to get his office to write it up and the visit to the tag office was just as long as any other for me using their services.  In total, today, it took us about 30 minutes to get his tag.

I have always felt this way about handicapped spot abuse.  I was 14 when my grandmother had a stroke.  We had to get a handicapped placard for her. She had to use a walker. It would suck when we would see people that didn’t need the spot using it as their own personal spot.  No, it’s not your personal spot.  It’s for those that really are immobile or do suffer from chronic pain.  If you have the tag, then I can’t begrudge you. Denying my grandmother the ability to enjoy life because you are a selfish pork-faced pig does anger me.

Mary Ellen had a tag due to her COPD. When I would hang out with her and Harold, we’d park in the handicapped spot so she go enjoy life. She did all she could do, even drive, but had to have oxygen.  However, if she wasn’t with us, Harold and I didn’t park in those spots. We weren’t going to abuse them, even if Harold looked as if could use the tag, too.

So yeah, if you park handicapped spot and aren’t cleared to use it, you are a douchebag.

As for my father, at the moment, the tag is temporary one.  We’ll revisit it in 6 months if he needs another one. He’s suffering nerve pain from his surgery in the leg they had to pull some veins from.  Other than being miserable from that, as well as still weak, everyone says he’s looking good for just having the surgery he had. People don’t believe he’s as old as he is.  He would rather be healthy and not need the tag. Until then, he’ll use it.

Sadly, there will be douchebags like the ones I’ve encountered.

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Family · Head Scratchers · Life

Out of the Loop
Posted on April 25th, 2017 @ 6:38 pm

Sorry I have haven’t had a lot of recent updates. Not that the robots that visit care. If you are a human, please feel welcomed to comment. I’d like know if I have any readers or not.

As to why I have been out of the loop. My dad had major surgery at the beginning of the month. It was the same week I was to go on vacation. So guess what? My scheduled PTO turned from a mountain vacation to sitting in a hospital waiting room waiting on the latest news. My dad survived the surgery and is now in another hospital working his inpatient occupational therapy. He’ll be home in a few days.

Work has been kicking my ass, too. I hate this time of the year because I get stressed out with it. It never ends. I am in the midst of a deep depression bout. I feel like I have no help. I have no on to cry on. I feel like I can’t reach out to friends to burden them with my feelings.

Between the two, I have been worn out. They have been my top priority. I haven’t even had the chance to catch up on the Armstrong Absorption.

At least with my dad feeling better, I decided to go have some fun for a few hours. This past weekend was the Savannah Asian Cultural Festival. It’s not too far from my house; it’s in fact held at Armstrong (I will never call it GSU-Armstrong. It will always be Armstrong.) I took my camera and spent most of the day watching to different dances.

Savannah, GA #3

I enjoyed the dancing. I didn’t stay for the belly dancing, but I did see her the year before. I loved the Polynesian Revue.

In some ways, I left like I was 14 again at the International Folk Festival in Fayetteville, NC. Except this time, I wasn’t behind the scenes running from watching the dancing to dressing and assisting dancers. I enjoyed the dancing what what it was.

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Flickr Photos · Life

Public Speaking: “”
Posted on April 8th, 2017 @ 11:41 am

I remember when I was 5, my mother took me to a screening at the hospital to assess my skills as a 5 year old going into Kindergarten. The one thing I scored marginally on was my speech.  We knew I had trouble pronouncing any consonant cluster that started with an “S” that wasn’t my first name.  I called shrimp “srimp.”  My mother had me pronounce it “sh-rimp” to force my mouth to be able to get the muscle memory to say the word properly. Another thing I was zinged on was the fact I said “Uh apple.” My mother knew she got that from her.

My mother may have had only an associates degree, but she was a journalist’s daughter and she was strict on our speech.  Growing up, I didn’t have much confidence, and it came across in my speech.  She dreaded assignments that required public speaking.  She knew I would freak out and start going “”

I still do to this day.  I have to practice a speech to be comfortable.  I am not that type of person that I can do it on the fly. In my Business English class in college, we had do a few practice runs on our presentation. On the day of the presentation, as I was presenting, I dropped my mouse.  Internally, I was freaking out. Yet, something in me took control and as I picked up the mouse, I said “Oops, well accidents happen.” After that, I went back into the presentation.  My professor made a remark about it in my grading sheet that she was pleased to see I didn’t let it derail my part of the presentation.

In my Computer Ethics class, for a group presentation, Joey was frightened at my part of the presentation.  He knew I couldn’t charm people like he could in a presentation.  After my final presentation for my degree, he critiqued me. He worked on giving employment interviews with me.

I know I’m kind of sardonic about Joey on this blog, but overall, he really did want to help me and did help me.  I can’t deny the help I did get from him.

With work, I had to give a presentation on giving presentations. No one sees me at work, but it’s still just as nerve wracking via the phone and WebEx.  The one thing I remarked in my presentation is that I do suffer from nerves.  I was nervous giving the presentation at the moment. I didn’t hide it. However, I gave tips about how to overcome the nerves.  Also, they know at work I am hesitant about public presentations. They know I am content being a background player. My leadership best comes from the behind the scenes.  I know public speaking is a weakness and the use of a keyboard and mouse is my strength.  I am more at ease writing than I am speaking.

Now that I have my background out in the open, I have got to address what I just saw this morning.  Not to get into specifics with my personal life, I have been living in a hospital for the past 48 hours.  I am ok.  I am not a patient. That said, living in a hospital waiting room, sometimes you are stuck waiting what another person in the room places on the TV.  For me this morning, it’s stuck watching CNN.

I wasn’t paying attention to Smerconish until he had on Prof. Ann Lee.  Now she caught my ears.  I don’t know what she was advocating.  All I heard was “” It was driving me bonkers!

I bring this up as an example of what not to do in public speaking:

She was doing everything I was taught and encouraged not to do! To me, it sounded like she wasn’t prepared for the interview.  It sounded to me she wasn’t certain of what she was arguing for or against. She wasn’t persuasive. She sounded like she was bored.

So why even comment on this? I guess because of my known weaknesses in public speaking, I’m a little bit prone to having these weaknesses stand out for me. I’m always looking for examples of what not to do and what to do. She may be a prolific and entertaining writer, but on TV, I have no idea what she wanted me to know.

I recommend to people wanting to improve themselves in public speaking or those that teach public speaking to use this as an example.  Be charming.  Be persuasive. When it comes to public speaking, you want to be able to say sold when it comes to the snake oil.

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Life · TV · Videos

My Armstrong Collection of Artifacts
Posted on February 27th, 2017 @ 9:03 pm

I’ve been working on this gallery for a while. It’s been over 9 years since I graduated college, but I still have a few things between my house and my dad’s house. I’m still looking for other stuff. But for now, I think this is quite a collection to start with.

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Armstrong State · Photography

“So much for pretending / Bad luck’s never ending “
Posted on February 22nd, 2017 @ 9:39 pm

And too much time I’ve been spending
With my heart in my hands
Waiting for time to come and mend it
I can’t cry anymore

I’m just at my wit’s end with it all. I think my socks say it best:

#hefefilter My new socks.

A post shared by Shawn Latta (@peachy92) on

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Music · Photography · Videos

Dear SunTrust,
Posted on February 22nd, 2017 @ 4:12 pm

You know the old saying – “It’s not you; it’s me.” Well, in this case, it’s not me; it’s you.

You see, my dad has banked with SunTrust since about 1982. He was a married solider stationed at Ft. Gordon, GA, and he and my mother needed a new bank account. As far as I was told, they originally banked with Georgia Railroad and Banking Company, but didn’t like their service. So, when they decided to switch banks, they went with Trust Company of Georgia.

Don’t believe me? I found this today at my dad’s:

 T24 ATM card envelope

It’s his T24 ATM card envelope. It’s got to be a good 23-24 years old.

When I got my first checking account, in 1999 as a 20 year old kid, I opened one at SunTrust , because I thought I should bank at the same bank as my parents. When I got my first car loan in my name, I went to SunTrust, first, to get a loan. When my grandfather died, my parents paid the loan off several months early. When my dad needed a loan after my mother died, he went to SunTrust. I paid that loan off, early, too. And when I started working at my college, I opened a second account at Bank of America, but I never did leave you because I considered you my primary bank. When all the banks decided back in 2010 to start charging customers a few to use their debt cards, I stayed with SunTrust and left Bank of America. The reason I stayed at SunTrust is that my dad and I shared his account. And it was a pretty wonderful account, too. So wonderful, that SunTrust no longer offered all the benefits he got. And due to that account, he wasn’t going to be charged the $5.00 debit card fee my account was going to be charged.

Funny, how after all that outcry, you, Bank of America, and nearly all the others dropped that $5.00 fee. The damage was done. I left Bank of America for USAA.

I even have my mortgage through SunTrust. That’s how loyal I’ve been to your brand. You were the first people I went to.

However, around the end of 2013, my dad’s account was a victim of fraud. Thankfully, you fixed it, quickly, but as a result of it, my dad’s 30 year old account had to be closed. He lost all those perks with the account. It sucked, but it was what it was. We opened another account to replaced the compromised account.

But, after how we have been treated since the beginning of the month, I’m leaving and so is my dad. Your actions have caused us to moved our deposits to another bank and we will close our SunTrust accounts when our financial situation is no longer in limbo.

Back around the 8th and 9th, my dad noticed someone was trying to set up an account on PayPal using my dad’s bank account. This should have been a red flag to you. When he reported it to the bank, you just said to watch it.

When we came to you on the 13th and 14th about bank account mentioned in the last paragraph, AND the savings account, I tweeted this in frustration:

And these are the replies I got:

I don’t like the implication that it’s OUR fault our account got hacked. Everyone working at your bank is wanting to place the onus on me. Well, that’s not helpful when I stressed out about this breach of security. I’ve had to visit a SunTrust branch 3 times in the past week, plus losing 2 days of work, to try to get a resolution. And not only that, but you ALSO messed up a third account of ours when it was originally 2 accounts that had the fraudulent charges.

For your information:

My computers have a virus scanner and system on it. I don’t log in via bogus e-mails. I log in directly via your iPhone app or No e-mails from the bank are accessed by my father.

So, yes, this is stressful. I don’t like being dismissed when I see a problem. In my honest opinion, I am of the belief that SunTrust was hacked. The scary thing is that I don’t think you are aware. Or you choose to be ignorant.  Take your pick.

Not only have we reported this issue to SunTrust, I called PayPal about these compromised accounts. They told me HOW the thieves got my money from SunTrust via PayPal. I’d think SunTrust would want this information. And each time, SunTrust’s answer is “We have excellent security.”

I call BS on that. One of the persons I spoke to at PayPal said I wasn’t the first person and she’d had several persons call in to report fraud via SunTrust. And I’ve seen several tweets related to fraud (not PayPal, but fraud in general):

SunTrust’s reply: I can’t rely on someone from PayPal and people from Twitter. Their remarks as irrelevant to my case.

No, SunTrust, while the tweets are irrelevant to my specific case, the comments from PayPal and the Tweets in general show an OVERALL problem that your people do not want to observe. They rather Vancome Lady me.

So, you see, SunTrust, it’s you. You don’t want to take my issue as a serious breach of your security and don’t want to listen to my research. So, this has lead to an a trust issue with the bank side of you all. I don’t trust you. You have invalidated my trust. It takes years to gain trust, but one bad experience like this to lose my trust. As a result, I’m moving my money from you to a competitor.

I will be keeping my mortgage, because I know I can’t get a better deal at the moment. But once I either sell my house, or refinance my house, I will be totally out of your clutches.

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Life · Product Reviews

Another good thing in my life
Posted on February 16th, 2017 @ 5:34 pm

Because I need all the positive vibes in my life that I can get at the moment!

I am out of stamps at the moment, but I have been enjoying Random Acts of Cards:

RAoC received

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Life · Photography

This song is stuck in my head.
Posted on February 16th, 2017 @ 8:31 am

The meaning it has for me today is NOT the same as it was when it was released. Back in 1995, it was about how I felt for my high school crush. Today, it’s similar to the meaning Sophie had when she wrote it.

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Life · Music · Videos

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