Sunday, November 2, 2014

Injustice at The St Lucie FL Medical Center, Treasure Coast Behavioral Health Center

My Daughters plea to the Prosecutor for her mentally ill brother. Please help Daniel by signing the petition, he is not a felon. Prison cannot be a warehouse for the mentally ill. Daniel is just a symptom of the problem. Together we must fight for all our children, addicted, mentally ill or not. Today it is my child, tomorrow it can be yours. Much love to all addict's moms and their families....Barbara

Injustice at The St Lucie FL Medical Center, Treasure Coast Behavioral Health Center


I have been told a great amount of your endless work and commitment to St. Lucie County and its occupants, and because of this knowledge of your rational, erudite attributes, I thought I would give you my insight of my brother, Daniel Montalbano, case number ____.

Being only a year and nine months younger than my brother Daniel, we were extremely close growing up. Even at a young age, I noticed that although my brother was older than me, he didn’t seem to have some of the common social and societal features that I began to develop as we both got older. I always assumed he was just a bit off, which I expected some people to not quite understand, but never expected the outcomes that actually occurred. Although I loved everything about my brother, from his out of place remarks to his experimental phases with different hairstyles and clothing, I seemed to be one of the many few. He was tremendously impulsive, had absolutely no filter between things he thought he should do in his head and things that are actually acceptable in society, and others began to acknowledge his divergent personality as a bad thing. He was constantly made fun of, isolated, beaten up, and because he was only one grade above me, I had to witness it all in agony.

Eventually the bullying got so bad that Daniel had to withdraw from high school and obtain his GED instead, which he made look easy. Daniel was always extraordinarily naturally intelligent, but lacked all of the social skills to go along with the intellect. It became apparent to me that he wanted nothing more than to be accepted, if not by just a handful of people, and he couldn’t seem to fit in anywhere. Even after attempting to become friends with other kids his age at a local church, even they turned their back on him after experiencing his unique qualities. This is when I started to first see Daniel beginning to mold into two separate people in his own mind. He liked to call one of his personalities simply “Daniel”, which was usually when he was calm and easy to be around, and “The Dan”, who he believed was almost prophet-like, and was invincible to the world around him. I hoped that it was a joke, or in the worst situation a phase that would eventually go away. It didn’t. Things only got worse as time progressed.

Daniel began to mess around with drugs a little before he withdrew from High School, but the issues were there before the drugs ever came into play. The drugs for him were a method to get rid of the cruel world around him that made him feel constant isolation, and he became addicted to the numbness of it all. He is the most beautiful person I know inside and out, but his mind never worked the way most people’s do. I watched my mother make every attempt to help him get rid of his addiction. I saw him go to dozens of rehabs, hospitals, therapists, and halfway houses. I also was there for the multiple phone calls about him getting Baker Acted or arrested. But the issue was never the drugs, the issue was and still is Daniel.

Our family’s situation with Daniel has always been a serious one, but what made it even more difficult was the absence of our father through it. Growing up, our father was extremely violent, and was actually one of the main contributors of the corruption of Daniel’s self worth. Although my mother and I, despite the sadness of it all, continued to visit the countless rehabs, counselors, and jails, watching Daniel’s confidence and mind deteriorate altogether, we did so alone. Being Daniel’s younger sister, there hasn’t been much I can do for him other than try to be the best emotional support I can be and remind him that I love him no matter what, so my mother has been his only parental advocate in his extremely challenging life. My mother created her organization, The Addict’s Mom, because she felt the pain that she knew every mother with an addicted child felt, and she knew how much worse the pain was to deal with alone. Her organization was not created to keep him out of trouble no matter what he does, but rather to share her experiences with having a mentally ill, addicted child, and provide support to others in the same situation. Her goal was to share her struggles with constantly trying to find the right place for a child with mental illness that became dependent on emotion-numbing substances to deal with their painful lives, like so many others.

There is no one more appropriate for Mental Health Court than my brother Daniel. Unfortunately for the mentally ill who have nowhere to turn when the world shuts them out, many see drugs as the only option to get rid of the pain. But with the right mental help, he has every capability of getting through the addiction and being a beneficial citizen to society, he just needs the right resources that are appropriate for someone with his many medical diagnoses. I truly hope you can see how much my mother and I love him, and that’s because we know him more than anyone else and know how much help he really needs, and it goes so much further than the drugs. The mental disability is real, and that is what must be focused on, and I pray that you understand that Daniel is not meant to end up in a place like prison.

With the greatest respect and appreciation,


Much love to all addict's moms and their families...Barbara

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