I was a little surprised to see that the thread below had closed. I'm new to this, so perhaps I need clarification as to how this works.
I wanted to provide an update regarding this case.
Due to how recently the arrest took place, there is simply nothing on file with the court as of yet.
I inquired online, and discovered the same when I went to the Public Defender's Office on Friday. Long drive, two panic attacks on the way there, and one big one on the way home (I don't know the streets AT ALL).
In any case, I wasn't even able to meet with anyone at the PD's office. All they were able to do was to have me stand at a window and speak on the phone with one of their lawyers for about five minutes. I understand that without the particulars of the case, it makes it difficult if not impossible to make specific recommendations.
Until such time, I can't get ANY kind of court-appointed (fill in the blank).
Therefore, all I can do for the time being is to stay on top of my medications, try to be on the lookout for new symptoms or worsening of the "old" ones. I'm certain that due to the isolation of living in an area that is remote when compared to the west Bay Area, the loss of my job (and with it, nearly 100% of the human contact in my life) I feel almost as if I am in a kind of "solitary confinement". I realize this is not imposed by law enforcement agencies, but by the depression (which already existed, but was certainly exacerbated in the wake of recent events).
I still stand by what I was able to do in lieu of any tangible help from "the outside world".
At least taking the online self-test gave ME the INSIGHT as to the underlying causes contributing to this mess. I don't think I necessarily found out anything I didn't suspect all along, but there is something to be said about having my "gut feeling" verified by an expert source.
I know I write way too much here, but please try to find it in your (collective) heart(s) to humor me here. As I mentioned above, I am in a very isolated lifestyle right now, and living with this has been very painful and lonely.
I don't wish to incite arguments among other members of this forum.
More psychobabble or whatever you call it, but I am like a stress "sponge". When conflicts happen around me, I can feel my pulse rate jump--almost as if I'm in danger. There was a lot of emotional violence in my household (as well as some physical violence), and here I am, 48 years old and STILL it scares me to hear or see people argue.
I'm not an assertive person, except when it comes to defending someone other than myself. Weird. I worked with students, whom I loved, but my supervisor and a few coworkers were extremely cliquish. It wasn't a very healthy environment "behind the scenes". I held A LOT of feelings in. Yes, I felt angry. However, I was not acting out in anger when I shoplifted. It was more of a kind of pit of emptiness and despair, and heaven only knows, trying to fill it with "free" stuff was never going to work--rather it just made it deeper, and added shame and guilt to the mix.
I hope I am able to convey that mine is NOT a matter of trying to "get away with breaking the law".
I want help. Whether it's appointed my the courts, the Pope, or imaginary voices (which, by the way, I do NOT hear), I NEED TO FEEL BETTER. Whether anyone in the judicial system gives a damn about me or my feelings is irrelevant. I have to try to view this as if I'm looking at myself through my son's, daughter's, or brother's eyes in order to have the kind of compassion for ME that I would have for someone else. All the shame in the world and all the harsh discipline that the judicial system wants to dish out is NOT going to help me, or society. Of course there are many times when I entertain serious doubts as to whether the justice system has any interest whatsoever in the quality of human life, and how that, in turn affects society as a whole.
You see, I may be bipolar, neurotic, whatever anyone wants to call it, but I am not stupid, shallow or mean. I have a great deal more insight than I'm guessing the average person has, and I've used this to try to help others; there's much I have contributed to society, and very much wish to be able to do in the future. The disposition of this case, as well as what I do in order to help myself, is what will determine whether or not I will be able to continue to do so.
I'm trying desperately to save the good woman that I am--one who is plagued by some problems...but the only one which seems to matter (to the very system I pay taxes to help support) is the problem of shoplifting--an impulsive, embarrassing act.
Whether or not anyone wants to believe this (and by the way I was treated by Safeway security, I am certain that they did not want to believe this), I'm not a career criminal.
Thus, I'm only asking that the case be handled in the way I would want it to be handled for anyone else with the same sort of problem.
All I can do is pray that I'm fortunate enough to have my case handled by people evolved enough to at least make some kind of attempt to understand.
Thanks in advance for whatever empathy might be here somewhere.