On October 10, my mom came over to babysit in the early evening as I had been asked to be the speaker at a San Diego Twins Club meeting. While on my way out the door, my mom mentioned that no one had heard from my brother but that he had told her he was going away to San Francisco and not to worry. She mentioned that my older brother Curtis (yes, there are three brothers and me) was worried as well as Cameron’s friends and live-in girlfriend, but my mom didn’t think there was any cause for concern. As a mom myself, I immediately recognized she was in denial.
It is highly unusual for Cameron to be out of touch with anyone, but especially not his family. It is normal for him to be out of touch with me.
Back in 2008 when I was 8 months pregnant with my third baby, we had a little baby shower at the beach with a few of my friends and their kids. Cameron showed up with a case of champagne and ended up quite drunk and behaving very strangely. When I called him out for acting outrageously, some sort of switch turned on in him and he lunged toward me and my husband jumped in between us.
Immediately, my friend mouthed, “GET OUT OF HERE.” I grabbed my 2 and 4 year old (at the time) by the hands and ran as fast as a pregnant woman can.
My husband and one of my dearest friend’s husband spent hours from there attempting to get my brother home safely, avoiding police then agreeing to get him home when police did get involved. He was acting that crazy.
The next morning he was incredibly embarrassed and remorseful. After I filled in another of my close friends who wasn’t there, he called in a favor for me with a psychiatrist. This doctor agreed to meet with me and my brother for free before his office hours.
That week, I set my alarm for 6am, again, due any minute with my third child, picked up my brother and took him to meet with this doctor. My brother was clearly not paying attention and I was so offended by how rude he was acting when this doctor was doing me a huge favor, not to mention the friend who made this happen for us.
I never forgave my brother.
Prior to the incident, my brother and I were together at least once a week. He came to my kid’s gymnastics classes and we would laugh and joke around. He was often over at my house and we had never been so close. Unable to forgive him was the worst heartache I have ever felt. In my heart, I thought if I did “tough love” he would finally agree to get mental help. His refusal made my anger grow as well as made me continue to be rightfully cautious of my safety and the safety of my husband and children.
In May of 2010, he showed up at my house. This was highly unusual. In fact, we had since moved and he had never been to my house since we were barely on speaking terms. His behavior was incredibly erratic and he was talking really rapidly and focused on one topic and one topic only, this business venture he was excited about. Something wasn’t right.
I tried to change the subject, but he would go right back to it. Once we headed to the living room from the kitchen, he was still talking about it from a chair and I was on the couch with my husband. Then Cameron got up intensely and sat down right next to me in an aggressive manner, going on and on about this mulch – a type of soil –he was going to make millions selling. My husband and I were having flashbacks to the baby shower incident and my husband at that point asked him to calm down. During this time, I was pregnant with twins and said I was tired and needed to go to bed so we could get him to leave.
We were in shock. We kept asking over and over again: What was that?!
A week or so later I finally got the call. Cameron had gone on a cruise with his childhood friend who played for the Green Bay Packers at the time. It was a cruise for fans and this is where Cameron hit a psychotic phase. Apparently, he would draw on the walls, on his plate at dinner, was acting erratically and hadn’t slept in over a week. When exiting the cruise, security asked him a question, he snapped and went after the guard and had to be contained. He was admitted to a psych ward.
My entire family was actually somewhat relieved to at long last be given the diagnosis that Cameron is bipolar psychotic, as it just explained so many different incidences over the years. If treated, he can go back to Cameron. Unfortunately, it’s common for someone who is bipolar to go off their meds. On one level, they miss the mania feeling that my husband and I unwittingly experienced the night he showed up at my house. This is a feeling that you are on top of the world. Also, once the person feels better, they think they don’t need the meds, not realizing the meds are what’s made them better.
Unfortunately, this relief was short lived as the system does not work as you would think, or hope. Cameron was able to fool his caregivers that he was back to “normal.” Once out, he was clearly not “normal.” In fact, he told me he was a flying monkey and solving 9/11. I’m not joking.
We were told his meds would take time to take effect. It was clear he stopped taking them. In fact, he called my mom and made suicidal comments. His dad – Cameron is my half brother – got to his house immediately and witnessed that he had stacked every pair of his shoes and was dissembling a clock. Bill went back to his car saying he needed to grab something and called the police.
Once the police arrived, Cameron was acting completely normal for them and they told Bill they have no reason to take him. When Bill mentioned the suicidal comments, they said they officially have reason as Cameron posed a threat to himself.
This was it, I thought! This time he will get the treatment he needs! I was wrong again.
Once he was released again while clearly not in a healthy state of mind, I was tracking his comments on Facebook. As they got more and more erratic to the point of threatening to others, my family was back in action to find him and get him help. He wouldn’t take my call or my older brother’s. We had my husband call. Cameron was on his way to Christopher’s mother-in-law’s house where my little nephews were. Christopher immediately intercepted him, encouraged him to meet him at a mall. When they met up, Christopher said frankly, “You are not well. I have called the police and they are on their way.”
Now, I called the hospital where he was admitted so I could detail his behavior and ensure he was not released. I was told, “He’s fine ma’am. He should be out shortly.” I said, NO! That’s the problem! You can’t let him go.
It is shockingly scary how easily they will let someone in a psychotic state back out on the streets! What if the person doesn’t have a family who cares? It’s incredibly frightening.
Each of my family members wrote letters detailing why he should not be released and we were finally, FINALLY able to get him the care he needs.
Once out after a lengthy stay, his dad had him move in with him and carefully monitored that he took his meds. It seems like a no-brainer that this is what should have been done originally, but this was all new to us and we were trying to understand what it means to be bipolar psychotic. You think the person you have known for 28 years (at the time) and, for much of it, been able to reason with, can be reasoned with. Not so. Their brain no longer works that way without meds. It’s an incredibly difficult concept to grasp when you are in the thick of it.
There were some ups and downs from there while figuring out proper doses and his dad took it all on.
It’s been just over a year of Cam faithfully taking his meds and impressively rebuilding his life. In fact, for the most part, he was back to the Cam everyone knows and loves. Speaking of which, it is emotionally overwhelming just how many people do love him as is evidenced by the messages left on his Facebook page from his 500+ friends since he has been missing and the many people who have changed their profile pictures to his photo.
Though I have been impressed with his dedication to taking his meds, Cameron and I still have had limited interaction. Based on the incident where he lunged at me while I was pregnant, I do not approve of the fact that he was drinking again and told him I did not want to see him if he was.
On September 20, I received a text from my older brother that Cameron was off his meds. Cameron had told Curtis this. I immediately welled up with tears and knew my family was in for another roller coaster ride, but would have to wait until it got to the point where we could get him taken in again. Again, we can’t admit him unless he posed a danger to himself or others.
In the meantime, he headed up to San Francisco for work on October 1. As of the 6th all communication stopped. He has stopped using his bank card and his cell phone. My family has filed a missing persons report, is working with Detective Joseph Carroll with SFPD. My brother Christopher is now in San Francisco retracing Cameron’s steps based on his phone activity.
Cameron is an immediate threat to himself and possibly others while in this psychotic state. My attempts to have the San Francisco media cover the story in hopes of receiving tips to find him have so far been unsuccessful. The police will not release his phone records to our family as they feel this case is not high priority. Yes, that is what we have been told. It is not high priority to find someone with possible violent tendencies while off meds, in fact, he spent 8 months in jail when he was 19 for assault during a fight. During that incident back in 2002, when we had no idea he had psychotic issues, he was released from jail early because the judge was overwhelmed by the amount of letters he received vouching for what an amazing person Cameron is.
There are two sides to Cameron, hence the “bi” in bipolar. My family is distraught and hoping to find him so we can get him medicated and back to the Cameron that is overwhelmingly loved by many.
The number: (949) 887-8426
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