It’s a sad day when you learn that you can’t trust a daughter or a son with your affairs, were your spouse to die. It’s sad when they disrespect you because of your mental health issues, not regarding you as a person like any other. Sad when they don’t have faith in the fact that you are capable of making your own decisions most of the time. Disturbing when they get angry at you if you do something “crazy.”

I have shown myself wise in most of the decisions I’ve made. As a result, I’ve travelled a path that has led to many accomplishments. But my children appear to be blind to everything that’s been good in my life.

Today, I’m in a situation where I need to be in a retirement home. Physically disabled in many ways, unable to cook or shop, needing the company of people. My husband and I would like to live in a two bedroom suite in such a residence. Then, if he were to die before me, I would be safely settled in this home and looked after.

Only a one bedroom is currently available, but if we rent it, we’d be first in line when a larger suite comes available. While we wait, we could downsize and prepare our present home for sale. But it costs to do this—quite a bit.

My family is in an uproar. Although I’ll be using my own money, they’re telling me I’m “crazy” for spending so much while we won’t even be living there. But I believe this to be a good way—a creative way—to be assured of a two bedroom suite quickly instead of being on a waitlist for months, living in limbo.

Why the urgency to move out of our condo?

I made this plan for myself because if something were to happen to my husband I’d be lost. I rely on him for meals and shopping, and for transportation almost anywhere. If there were a crisis, I would suddenly have to find a place to live while my home and belongings are being packed up and sold for me by my children.

These children have proven along the way that they look down on me. I have reason to believe they wouldn’t be patient or kind with me while I’m going through all this. I dread the thought of that happening.

And where would I go if I don’t have a retirement home arranged for? My husband has said I could go to a nursing home in the meantime. I would be safe there, getting my meals, everything I need taken care of. He has no idea what he’s telling me to do. I’d live with residents who have dementia. Will I be made to wear a bib at dinner time like the others?

This situation developed on the eve of the publication of my book, Justice for All. It’s about how injustices have been overcome in the world and how we could overcome them in our own life. Today I have a vivid example of rights being denied in my own life.

How many in our society are thinking that this kind of treatment is okay? How many would say, “This should be expected for someone with problems like yours?”

How can a person who happens to have a diagnosis of mental illness prove that they have the capacity to make wise decisions? Not every person with such a diagnosis deserves to automatically be written off as incapacitated. Maybe their diagnosis is not even an accurate one.

Psychiatrists can be wrong, yet they’re seldom questioned. This was proven to me when I was recently diagnosed with dementia while in the ER. I admit, I was overly emotional about something threatening me that was frightening. If a person knew what I was facing, they would understand. And yet I had just finished the best book I’ve ever written. The psychiatrist referred me to a geriatric team. It would have been funny if the hospital had followed through on that.

Let’s come back to the children who look down on us and don’t treat us with respect. Do you have such children or relatives like that in your life? You hope they would care for you when you’re no longer able to care for yourself. And yet, you have seen how they can’t always be trusted with your affairs.

I invite your comments below if you have had to deal with a situation like this. How did you get through it?