In Our Own Voice
   

Diane's Parents

ShirleyShirley: I never would have noticed when Diane was a child that she would develop a mental illness. She got along with her siblings, had lots of friends. It just was a big shock.

Pete: If we had seen Diane last May…we would have seen a person who was going into business establishments…a person who was totally irrational, somebody who had delusions of people out to shoot her, assassins hiding behind trees, electronic devices…somehow were linked to some place in outer space that were coming into her body through a filling she had in her tooth.

Shirley: One night when she was here she talked about doing herself in, then she left and I went driving all over looking for her because I thought "what if." You just never know how far they're going to go. It's just frightening.

Pete: Each person, each law enforcement official, each judge, each prosecutor interprets in his or her own way. We've had the police do a welfare check on Diane where we are convinced that she has threatened other people and is definitely gravely disabled. And the police say we don't agree with that assessment. The archaic and cumbersome commitment laws in Idaho are fifty years behind everybody else.

Shirley: They have to be a threat to themselves or others. How far do they have to go? Across the line where they can't come back?

Pete: The only thing that keeps us halfway sane ourselves is that we know she's a survivor and experience has shown us that no matter what kind of mischief she gets into or how deep her manic episode is, she seems to bounce back.

Shirley: It's tough when you're going through it. There are people who will support you. Please don't hesitate to go to support groups, get educated, share. It's not something that we need to be embarrassed about. It's not their fault. It's a chemical imbalance.