When family members are mentally ill.

Most people love their children, and take serious their responsibility to care for them…..even if they are adults.

So what does two parents do when their child is mentally ill? Hospital stays are short term.  Long term facilities are scarce and expensive. And even then it can be hard to relinquish your child to an impersonal institution.

Tonya Dudley, 43 was found dead in her home on Sun. and her husband Jack Dudley, 47, and 3 year old grandson were critically injured. Their 25 year old son Jack Aaron Dudley was taken into custody and charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his mother and with aggravated battery for wounds suffered by his father and 3-year-old nephew.

Neighbors have talked about some strange behaviors that they have noticed exhibited by the boy in the past. And on at least one occasion he was picked up for threatening one woman’s son.                                                  http://www.kansas.com/mld/eagle/news/local/crime_courts/13937624.htm

Now, I don’t know if Dudley had ever been treated for mental illness. And I don’t know if he was on medication or if it was ordered, I don’t know if he was taking it. I do know that oftentimes parents in this situation are in a catch 22. They want to see their child with a place to live and be cared for. And often they want to see that the child gets treatment. But, for a child who is over 18 years of age, they cannot force him to do so, unless they have gone to court and had him declared mentally incompetent. For that, they often need attorneys and doctors to back them up. And they need courts to back them up. And once they do go to court and have them declared incompetent- that is just the beginning. There is still the matter of finding them a safe place to live, make sure they are keeping their doctors appts, and making sure they are taking their medications. It is expensive and exhausting and often the resources are not there to help them find their way through the legal maze. If you have someone with mental illness in your family, I would suggest that you get in touch with the mental health board in the county in which they live. They can tell you what resources are available in your area, and often can offer invaluable assistance and advice. Another suggestion would be to make contact with the closest NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness). And most counties have a local mental health agency.


If the person is a minor child, I would suggest that people not wait to see if the child gets better on their own. Because once they turn 18, it gets that much harder to get them into treatment as by then they either have to consent to it, or the court has to order it.


Recommended Reading

In new relationships as well as in friendships you usually only see what the other person wants you to see. You will typically see a nice, normal person. It is only after time that the person’s true personality will start to slip out. And when abusive behaviors will sometimes begin to show.

So learn to recognize the signs. And if you start seeing them at home, start educating yourself about your options.

From the Domestic Violence Intervention program out of Iowa, we get the following:

  • Physical Violence … hitting, slapping, kicking, pushing, choking
  • Sexual Violence … rape, unwanted touching, sexual humiliation
  • Emotional/Verbal Abuse … name calling, put-downs, public humiliation, yelling, degrading statements, mind games
  • Intimidation and Threats … using past violence or threats of violence to ensure obedience, displaying weapons to instill fear, destroying her property or abusing her pets
  • Isolation … cutting off from friends or family, resources that may help, controlling where she goes, who she sees and information available to her, using jealousy to justify actions
  • Threatening Children and Loved Ones … Instilling fear through threats to loved ones


Domestic violence is about control

Battering is a choice and solely the responsibility of the batterer


Both articles are well worth a read now and then. And for additional articles, The Punisherr Report has some interesting reading on the signs of the following:

Characteristics of a Pedophile

Signs of a Psychopath

Signs of Deceit


It can happen in any home

I’m not big on sports. And to be honest stories about this guy probably wouldn’t even catch my eye. Likely, some people like him and some people don’t. But when crimes occur in the home, that catches my attention.

UConn assistant football coach has been charged with domestic violence. But this doesn’t appear to be a problem with a spouse or girlfriend. His actual charges are risk of injury to a minor, and 2 nd degree assault, both felonies. Police say it involved a child in home and the child had minor injuries. Richardson, who lives with his wife and 4 children, posted a $10,000 bond. Incidently, he has been placed on paid administrative leave from the college.


The article doesn’t say if he returned to the home after posting bond and it doesn’t say where the child is now.

Again, let’s look at the effects on the home and then community. Four scared kids, and one has “minor injuries”. A scared wife, trying to decide what is best to do for herself and her children. Possibly, all will be dealing with the legal aspects of this for some time. The injured child will be dealing with the looks, the questions and the curiosity at school. The other kids will too, to some extent. They will all be dealing with their own thoughts and fears as a result. And for the fans, think what an example he is setting for the kids who follow news of the game. This is how a “man” (?) handles problems in the home. A college is short a coach.

Now the article doesn’t say what the problem in the home was, or what led up to it. But I wonder if this was what he intended? I wonder if he still feels his actions were necessary and right? I wonder if he is happy about seeing his name in the paper and on blogs like mine, now?