Friday, March 18, 2011

Teresa Davis Wants You to Know the Truth About Her Daughter Elizabeth & the Paradise Center

In the picture you are looking at Elizabeth holding an award she got from her school.

Elizabeth's mom is Teresa Davis

I was appalled when I got some blog comments that brought Elizabeth into the discussion, in what I thought was some really bad underhandedness.

I debated with myself whether or not to hit the publish button. When I realized that these comments were indicative of the petty, bullying mindset of those who brought on the Paradise Center Scandal, I hit the publish button.

Those comments about Elizabeth, and more comments that followed, motivated Elizabeth's mom to respond, and so she did, in a very touching tribute to her daughter and to what Elizabeth has meant to the people at the Paradise Center.....

Mr. Durango,

When Steve told me you were setting up a separate blog, it made me wonder if you regretted ever posting about this.  It seems to have turned ugly pretty quickly.  Most of the guys who come to Paradise Center don't even know how to use a computer, much less find a blog.  So I know then that most of the ugly things are from professionals I've worked with and respected over the years.  It seems the respect wasn't mutual.

I want to address the comments about Elizabeth, my daughter.

When I first brought Elizabeth around Paradise Center, she was about 6 weeks old.  My relatives and best friends in the world found ways to say, in one way or another, "ARE YOU CRAZY?"

Now, they all know she won't catch schizophrenia from them.  But people with chronic, severe mental illnesses often have challenges with maintaining acceptable hygiene.  So, they were all worried about germs, diseases, etc.

Our pediatrician said that after she begins her first round of shots, she is good to go.  Exposing her to the public helps to build her immunity.

So we made the best choices we could, given the situation.  My husband has always helped with events at Paradise Center.  So, where we go, she goes.

I had a mother of one of these guys call me the other day.  She was fuming mad over what she'd read on your blog.

She remembers clearly one of our members, I'll call her Nelly, holding Elizabeth when we were at the NAMI conference in Austin.  Elizabeth was about 7 weeks old.  Nelly told us that she had NEVER been able to hold a baby because her family didn't want her touching their children.  Isn't that outrageous.  Lizzy fell asleep on her shoulder and, well, slept like a baby. Nelly sang and crooned to her.  It was so sweet for all of us to see.

And then there's another one, we'll call him Plaid.  He had NEVER held a baby, either.  He was afraid he would drop her and she'd die, since he held a puppy once and it jumped out of its arms and yelped.  So, sitting securely in a chair, Plaid held the first, and only, baby of his 50 years.  He cried.  It was so sweet.  Elizabeth didn't know a thing.

I remember going to the monthly NAMI meetings and the parents of people with mental illnesses lining up, almost, to hold her and carry her around.  I have a wonderful picture of a lady, who has passed now, named Jane.  She always wanted to hold Elizabeth.  It made her whole face light up.

So, she has been around lots of different people since her birth.  She went to a church preschool, Montessori elementary, took ballet, tap, jazz.  Has played soccer since she was 3.  T-ball.  Gymnastics.  Zoo school.  Museum school.  Camp Carter every summer.  College for Kids at TCCC.  Softball.  She has collected food for the Humane Society 3 different times.

She has only ever made A's.  She was in the school spelling bee and on her school's "Battle of the Books" team.   She was just voted by her class for the 6 weeks CORE Values award for exemplifying "Kindness, being sympathetic, caring.  Gentleness, loving."  She is in the gifted and talented program.

So, I don't usually brag on my kid, but she's pretty great.  She is able to adapt and be resilient because of her life experiences, good and bad.

So can we please focus on what this is really about?

The local Mental Health Authority, which is supposed to be the provider of last-resort, decided that THEY could run a more efficient, authentic CONSUMER-RUN organization than Paradise Center, Inc.  They took over because it is their building.  But then they are telling EVERYONE, including NAMI, MHA, and the public when they call MHMR, that it is "business as usual".

So, feel free to post this.  And the cute picture of my kid.  I'm sure that'll set off even more people.


MHMR co-worker said...

Oh yeah, that is one messed up child. Poor baby, she's alreday outdoing all the MHMR bullycrats (I like that--catchy and accurate). In only eight years of living. Despite such horrible parents.

Seriously, what a bright and kind looking kid. No wonder, the MHMR Cons are so threatened by her and the people she helps.

Seems she pretty much takes after her mom, who was one of the first MHMR employees (out of 1,300+) to win the Stetson Award, which is only awarded to one person each month after they get nominated by co-workers and vetted by a committee. It's pretty much the adult version of Elizabeth's award.

Mom/teacher said...

Touching and very appropriate letter by a mom who is apparently doing a pretty terrific job with her baby. I wish I had a mom like that who provided me all those enrichment (and enriching) opportunities.

And as an elementary school teacher, I PRAY that there are more kids like Elizabeth who come from families like her. What I mean is that I've had plenty of students who were smart, even exceptionally bright, but who did not have the "character/values" within them that make them good people.

And that can only come from consistent training and modeling by the most important people in their young lives, their parents and close family and friends such as extended families, church or civic groups, etc. It takes years and consistent work to develope, believe me I raised two of my own. One is a case manager with MHMR-TC, which is how I found this compelling website.

She had wanted to be a teacher like me but after her scout troop did projects with a group similar to Paradise Center, she felt that it was her calling to help these people that she often angrily says "are treated like third class citizens, barely better than the dogs and cats in the Humane Society."

More than her passion and dedication, I'm so proud that she is doing her work as a mission rather than as a stepping stone to becoming one of those female executives that the so called powerful ceo surrounds himself with UP in Hulen Tower. Or just to make money like many people in all professiona.

The mom and teacher in me (we have that extra-sensory thing)keeps asking what would such a person as Elizabeth's mom who seems so kind, very professional and competent, and so very dedicated to her "mission" have to have done to deserve such a harsh treatment as an immediate termination. Especially working under a governmental entity, which provides so much more legal protection for employees than in the private sector, even in all the "at-will" employment states, which is all of them except Montana.

Based on her open and reasonable representations so far, and in light of the evasive and almost sinister behavior of MHMR-TC's part, my mom-teacher "antenna" is lighting up and indicating to me that one of the two parties is not being truthful or honest.

The kids, both my own and the thousands I've taught, who are not guilty of misconduct will almost always be willing to talk about the disputed matter in an OPEN AND DETAILED MANNER because they know that they are telling the truth and want what we adults call justice (they use the word "fair").

The guilty ones do just the opposite, hiding, avoiding, denying, telling half-truths, twisting the facts, lying, and even lashing out at others....because they had been caught, exposed, and forced to give an accounting for their misbehavior.

MHMR of Tarrant County's CEO, executives, and especially their Board of Trustees need to start talking soon because from my perspective they are behaving just like the latter group of kids, especially these nasty personal attacks that have little or nothing to do with the main issue (i.e. lashing out at the innocent/their victims).

Like attacking a little child and her parents' private roles and duties/skills as loving parents. But that's typical of people who are not only caught doing terrible things but who also know they are in a heep of trouble as the result of the truth being revealed.

Mary M. said...

Sorry that you had to open up your private life, Teresa. Me, I probably wouldn't have even bother to dignify those stupid and baseless personal attacks from people who shouldn't be allowed to even raise rats. Although, since they're rats.....

Seriously, what these nasty people had intended for evil has once again been used for good: you get to "brag" about your wonderful baby. Something you wouldn't do otherwise.

Just keep doing what you've been doing because it's produced a great kid.

Let the rats scuttle back into their holes. Their dirty ploy foiled once again. They must be really desperate to stoop so low....not that much of a "stretch" for sewer rats :D

Anonymous said...

Mary,so well stated. Anyone that attacks a child can not be much of a person. It is done to upset parents and I do not not blame Teresa and Steve for being mad, they should be. However, anyone that has ever been around Lizzy knows how bright she is and what a pure heart she has. She is smart,very bright and loves everyone. How dare someone even suggest that she has been tainted in any way by "the guys" as she refers to them. She has added to their lives. Some have never been allowed to be around small ones, some never had a dog until Lizzy shared hers. When I think of all the children that do not have happy homes and aren't given opportunity to see those that have a disability, thoses are the ones I feel sorry for. Thank goodness for Teresa and her family. She is a blessing for those of us that has an adult child with a disability. We very much appreciate her and feel she has done so much good. I judge that by all those that have not had to have repeated stays in the hospital. Give thanks and praise where deserved. We should never forget when someone does good. Linda G.

CatsPaw said...

Elizabeth appears to me to be a pretty wonderful kid and I would be proud to know her and her parents.

The bullies are showing their true colors by dragging an innocent child into the fray. That alone tells me a big story.

Anonymous said...

If you were able to put Elizabeth to Montessori elementary than definitely MHMRTC was paying you too much money! I personally think you have not spent your "money wisely." I agree with those who have said you have your priorities wrong.

Well, you have not wanted to be open about ideas for Elizabeth's heart surgery to fix the hole in her heart, so I personally think you don't care about Elizabeth as much of you think you do! All is left to do is prayer that somehow you come to your right senses and start thinking of Elizabeth health.

Well, farewell, I think alot of bloggings are non productive so it's better to let your little group blog to each other and others can use their valuable time for more important things.

Anonymous said...

MHMR Con, your bogus expressions of concerns for this little lady is getting rather tiring.

So is the ignorance-based personal attacks about her school and her parents' personal lives. How much more desperate and pathetic can you be? We give you credit for TRYING with the montessori school angle, though.

Close, but no cigars. You just look silly making up stuff based on false assumptions rather facts.

Agreed, your priorities should be finding a cheap lawyer, a part time babysitting this summer, and praying that there will be no CON-victions for any of your bullycrat buddies.

You'll be back...because deep down inside you crave the truth like the rest of us as well.

Lizzy's como bff said...

Hello, mhmr CON. i got news for you. Lizzy went to como montessori school. it's a public school of fwisd. be honest or just known what your talking bout first b4 you make a fool of yourself. it's a good school but cost same as other city schools. ha-ha...LOL

Anonymous said...

Ewww. MHMR cons got smacked down by another little kid. OUCHY!

Man, the lies you cons keep lobbing up are like easy balls in a volleyball game--SMASHED right back in your face with the facts and the truth.

BTW--I can't find much about this local NAMI bunch since the link takes me to their national site. I'd REALLY like to read what they're about and what exactly their position statement said.

CAN YOU HELP, bloggermeister?

Durango said...

Anonymous @ 9:27 AM, since the bloggermeister is not quite sure what NAMI is, I don't think I can help.

Como Montessori Rocks said...

Truth from the mouth of babes. ..shuts the mouth of liars and so-called "grown-ups".

This was sah-w-e-e-t to see, almost as dramatic as a Perry Mason moment. Good thing you weren't under oath or on the witness stand, poor little MHMR con.
Or you'd be sitting in a jail cell for lying to the court and maligning this little family.

Try to remember this painful experience so that you won't be deceptive if/when you bill Medicaid ....even if the girly man and his gals try to force you into doing what you know is wrong or untrue. You know, like how these bullycrats did with Teresa Davis?

Como Homo said...

Good thing the mhmr thugs withdrew from the discussion or else they would have said that Elizabeth's life is messed up beyond repair. What with hanging around mentally ill people, gay people, and now (gasp!!) know those dark skinned people living in COMO.

What a messed up child and terrible parents. That's sarcasm, look it up illiterate Cons.