I was inspired by the support I received when I wrote about quitting advocacy. So, I went ahead and made one more attempt at getting through to Con. Murphy’s office. When I did my usual week later check up email to the scheduler (I only do this when I haven’t heard anything for a week), instead of an email back from her I received a call (about an hour after the email was sent) from his chief legislative aide. I knew this was my brush off phone call. He informed me that DR. Murphy (and he emphasized Dr. like I didn’t already know this) had received my info and did speak with the committee. (Not sure how much of that I believe.) He then proceeded to stress the fact that Con. Murphy has over 700,000 constituents and that I would not be granted a phone meeting with him. He assured me that Murphy had spoken to a spectrum of people that would be affected by HR 3717. I could tell this aide was annoyed the I dare attempt to speak with the congressman. However, I have spoken with several other congressmen/women (even ones not in my state). They managed to find time. What makes Murphy so special? Isn’t it his job to speak with people? He is paid quite well. If you’re going to write a bill that effects millions of people, you need to be prepared to speak to some of them!
Someone in one of my groups made the statement that the Gay, Lesbian and Transgender movement began much like ours…yet it has gained momentum and is finally being heard (rightfully so!). So why is it that those of us living with mental illness seem to be either unwilling or unable to unite? I’ve made several attempts at trying to spark some kind of unification, but nothing came of it. I’m either going about it all wrong or people just don’t want to get involved. There very well be other reasons. Just blogging about it isn’t going to cut it. Just sitting back and complaining about it isn’t going to cut it. What is it going to take? I just don’t know.
When congressional representatives are unwilling to talk, there’s a HUGE problem. Yes, Murphy may actually be a Dr. of Psychology, but does he really know the full effects of treatment? I’m not certain he does, otherwise parts of his bill wouldn’t be so glaringly against the Mental Health Community. Yes, I know parts of the bill are good. I’ve never denied that, but taking away our right to advocate on our own behalf…WRONG!
I know this post may seem like I’m attacking Murphy, maybe I am…a little. I’m sure he’s quite good as a congressman. I just can’t stand the fact that I get pawned off on people in his office that are quite rude. Before you start saying it’s because of posts like this one, I have a very different way of communicating with members of Congress. I know how to be respectful. I know how to word my emails and letters so they come across as if I’m a bumbling, ranting idiot. I’ve often said advocacy is an art form.
When is it our time? What will it take to unite us as one voice and be heard? Okay, I sound like I’m whining. It’s time to end this post. I hope I have at least given you something to think about.