Kind Sangha Members [both Buddhist and Homeless]:
Sorry for the desperate title of this post, but I find myself in an absurd nightmare and I would welcome any ideas or guidance.
In a nutshell, as many of you may know, in April my mother died; my sister was her usual oppressive self and transformed what, in my opinion, should of been humble funeral-and-burial plans into something expensive and disrespectful and more about her than our mother; then, my sister stole the inheritance; and I broke windows at my sister's home.
All this has introduced me to the Homeless World in Sacramento, which I find fascinating. Somehow, everything here [in Homeless World] seems just like it had to be, yet it is a startling surprise because there are such a great many splendid, yet flawed and troubled, people among the homeless. I feel like Jodie Foster in the movie Contact when she made contact and said "I would never have believed it was so beautiful." Still, it is all a carnival of misery.
Too, I have been introduced to the galloping madness of the justice system and welfare system and mental-health system and strange arenas of ordinary ineptitude and, on too-rare occassions, strange arenas of extraordinary generosity.
A lot has been weird. The central problem I have now is that I am being forced to see mental-health professionals to determine if I have the marbles in my head necessary for me to act properly in court.
This is occurring, not because I have acted improperly in court. By my "public defender"'s admission, it is at least partly because I've made claim that she is doing a lousy job acting as my attorney. I am appauled by my attorney and had petitioned the court to dismiss her, as is my 6th Amendment right.
Slow forward momentum in the courts regarding the glass-breaking thing was suspended for a month while I saw two highly credentialed mental-health doctors.
Turns out that one of the two wrote a report concluding I was right as rain: "The defendant does not present any psychotic symptoms." She did write, however, that there was "a degree of immaturity" and that I displayed "hints of narcissism."
The other doctor came to a radically different conclusion in his report. His much longer report, which is filled with errors and misquotes, says that I have a "major mood disorder" "characterized by multiple symptoms of depression and hypomanic, poor impulse control, impaired judgment, and possibly psychotic symptoms." Also, I have a personality disorder, according to this doctor. He suggests a multitude of antipsychotic medications with the possiblity that in place of one I be subjected to electoconvulsive therapy.
Of course, this is all SCARY AS HELL. As Woody Allen joked in Annie Hall, I think it was, "my brain is my second favorite organ" -- so I'd rather not have some whacky doctors in there thinking they have the right to scramble the little gray cells.
One strange element of this is that if I had had to guess, I would have said that the woman doctor I saw wasn't impressed with me and that the man I saw subsequently better understood my head, heart and situation. Boy, did I have that backwards. Also, be informed, during both evaluations I was the same person: Me, as I know him.
The result of this disparity is that my case has been dunned with another continuation -- for another month -- while a third doctor has been charged with "breaking the tie," to use the words of my public defender. These evaluations are feeling like sets in a tennis match, with my head being used as the ball. First to win two sets, wins the match.
I want to break out of this madness. No, not any madness in my head -- where there isn't any -- but the madness of this politicized justice and mental-health system. Everything seems wildly arbitrary: the plea-bargaining process; the mental evaluations; my rights regarding any of this, et al.
Any ideas out there? I'd like to be evaluated by a Buddhist doctor, and I think that that's fair, considering the selection process is pretty much rigged against me. [Perhaps a Buddhist doctor's conclusions cannot be entered into the record such that they 'mean' anything; but I would like for that 'something different' thing to happen, anyway.]