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My Brother’s Keeper

Author: Tafari, Monday, April 16th, 2018 at 10:53 AM

Bygbaby.com Mindspill

MISSING::: Langford Patton Jr. Ward of the State/Patient at the Water P. Ruether Psychiatric Hospital 30901 Palmer Road Westland, Michigan 48186 Phone: (734) 367-8400 Last seen in Westland, MI April 15, 2018 at 2pm headed south on Wayne Road running from the MJR movie theater. Wearing a light gray coat, navy blue skull cap, khaki pants, and navy-blue Nike gym shoes. It is likely that he may show up in the Dexter/Davison area, specifically on Sturtevant and or Cortland between Dexter & Linwood. If see, please call 911 immediately, do now engage with him at all. He may be a danger to himself or strangers and will continue to run. A missing persons report was filed in the city of Westland, MI & the Water P. Ruether Psychiatric Hospital has been alerted Please contact family representative, Tafari Stevenson-Howard, if you have tips or potentially helpful information at 734-678-0974. Thank you!

Bygbaby.com Mindspill

Last Thursday, I got a call from my brother’s case manager, Stacy Wetters at the Water P. Ruether Psychiatric Hospital informing me that he was eligible for a day pass. I got excited when she asked me if I would be comfortable picking up for an 8-hour period. With no hesitation, I said yes, got the details then it was officially a plan. I got off the phone, called our momma and told her the good news and we were both so excited! Langford (Topot) got into some big trouble almost 2 years ago while living in an adult foster care home who allowed him to go unmedicated. When my brother slips off of his medications, all hell breaks loose and it did… He went into a local restaurant, waving a knife demanding food. He even went behind the counter with the knife further making demands. The workers were able to get him to leave the building but then he went to the dumpster looking and ultimately fell asleep in front of the restaurant with the knife and was arrested… Fast forward and he’s now facing a 4+ year felony charge, was transferred to the Wayne County Jail, put on trial, transferred to the Ruether Psychiatric Hospital, where he was put back on medication, had them adjusted, got cleaned up, I was able to visit with him. Later found incompetent to stand trial and the case was dropped. Although the case was dropped, he couldn’t return to the street until he was mentally stable and put into a home that could meet his high needs and that’s the challenge. I last met with his treating team over 6 weeks ago and no movement since then but he’s doing so good. I visit him often. We usually have snacks, talk about old times, play cards and he usually has some interested fantasy stories that he tells me. I always listen no matter how out there the stories are & they are usually out there… Back to now… So I pick him up yesterday for the 8-hour pass, he looked great! So bright, happy, and excited to be getting some fresh air. My plan was to take him to see "Black Panther," then some lunch and back to my house to chill. When we got in the car, he asked me to put on some jazz, so I did. We listened to the Brand New Heavies, one of his favorites. Then he asked if we could listen to more jazz when we got to my house. I had a surprise for him… I found a Paul Hardcastle album at the record store the day before and we both love Paul Hardcastle so it was a treat. We get to the movies, get snacks, get seats and it’s going great… He then has to use the rest room. Then minutes go by. Then more minutes and I’m like where is he. He sits back down next to me smelling like cigarettes. OMG! One of my instructions was no cigarettes, no liquor, no other drugs… All of this can interfere with his medications. As a matter of fact, any of this can make him have seizures. I asked about the cigarettes & he popped off at the mouth and then he had to use the restroom again… At this point, I sensed trouble and knew I had to cut the day short. I explained that I was taking him back. He got upset and as soon as we got outside headed to the car, he bolted. I was shocked but immediately started chasing him. He was running like a fucking gazelle bobbing and weaving through a very busy street with cars coming in both directions. It was like a scene in a movie then I stopped… Why am I chasing him. WHY??? Really putting myself at risk. He always told me he was a ninja and a green beret (whatever that is). yesterday, I believed him. The way he ran across Wayne road through those cars and disappeared trips me out. I mean... he took off running. Like he was Carl Lewis. I walk back to the car in the freezing rain… Thinking… What am I gonna say to the hospital. All my fault. The police. All my fault. He’s grown but he’s not. Called the police and Water P. Ruether Psychiatric Hospital. Reports were filed. Cars were out searching. I headed home. He knows my phone number and may call. He may run to our old neighborhood for refuge. I don’t know but I do know that I’m drained! DRAINED! Mental illness is such a heavy load! For those affected and for those family members who love & support. Last night, I felt like I was at the end of my rope. I went through a range of emotions. Through my family experience with my grandmother (paranoid schizophrenic) and brother (paranoid schizophrenic), I see how your family will give up on you because of mental illness. I don’t want to be how I saw my mother, aunts and uncles were with my grandmother. I don’t want to be like that to my brother. It’s so hard. A hard place. I want to be my brother’s keeper but damn…


One Response to “My Brother’s Keeper”

  1. Anna Says:

    Oh, Tafari, not your fault. Truly. I wish you the strength to hang in there as long as you can supporting your brother; but I also wish you compassion with your self when you need to protect your own health and well being.

    Sending you peace and calming thoughts to your brother.



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