I must ask, what kind of a person attacks someone’s mental illness?
A close friend called with concern and asked how I was doing. It wasn’t any ordinary call; it was about a hateful email, known as a flame, sent by one former commissioner and one former mayor of the City of Davenport, John Lepley, and Darlene Bradley, respectively.
I was expecting a response from them. After all, I had published an eye-opening exposé on their group, Davenport Concerned Citizens (DCC). I alleged that Bradley/Lepley have been running an illegitimate group and presented the facts to prove it. Rather than respond to any inaccuracies in my post (because there were none), they went on a ferocious attack against me personally. They decided to become cyber-bullies.
I read the email only once; that was enough. I recognized the source, not the man who signed the email, John Lepley, but I recognized the kind of man he is.
“I’ve been attacked for my mental illness before,” I told my caller, my thick-skin adding, “I’ve learned to deal with it and that’s why I write.”
I had wanted to write about mental illness on my blog for some time, especially about the one issue I find most repugnant in some: those who attack others over illness, any illness. So, as it turns out, my subject presented itself to me: my opportunity.
What kind of a person attacks someone’s mental illness?
I had told former-mayor Bradley in strict confidence not too long ago that, yes, I am one of the millions of Americans who suffers from major depressive disorder (MDD) and, to boot, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To be blunt, in my case, multiple rapes throughout my life and marriage to an abusive spouse will do that to a person. #MeToo.
I have never committed a crime, although Bradley/Lepley would falsely have you believe otherwise. On a scientific level, though (and I really like science), there is no evidence to support the claim that people who are being treated for mental illness, as I have been for most of my life, commit crimes. Science does, however, say that people who suffer from UNTREATED mental illness do. (I’m looking at you, Darlene and John! What’s the deal?)
Clearly, I was married to a rotten human being back then and had to terminate that terrible mistake, after which I lost my home, had to declare bankruptcy, and had to force a divorce down the throat of that miserable bastard. John Lepley reminds me of that bastard, convincing his wife it was okay to use dead people’s decals to park in zones meant for the disabled. Then, when she gets caught, he attacks others.
That’s more or less what my first husband did, blaming everyone for just about everything. In my case, though, I had no idea what he was doing while I was easily working 70-80/hours a week, not much time for keeping an eye on a spouse’s do-nots and whereabouts.
Like a victim with Stockholm syndrome, I stood up for that husband in spite of his attacks on others. I thought it was everybody else’s fault that he had problems, because, to me, everybody was attacking us.
After my divorce, I realized that it wasn’t “us;” it wasn’t me; it was him, all him. And, it really was just him. He was a bully. Bullies lie and bullies gaslight and bullies are everything you don’t want in your life.
By revealing an illness that was asked to be kept confidential, an illness that had no relevance on anything to do with the city, Bradley reached a new low. She made it clear that she will attempt to bully even private residents, people like me, who hold no public office, who’s volunteered for Davenport for years, who is a community activist who helps local candidates run for office, and who happens to be a blog writer, and a damn good one, if I may say so myself!
To the best of my recollection (yep, that’s the mental speaking), I’ve never behaved like someone with “dementia” or “schizoid,” among other disparaging descriptions, as Lepley maliciously put it. So why attack my mental illness in public and in writing unless it was an attempt to demean me, defame me or worse?
Cause me pain? Ignite depression? Trigger my PTSD?
What kind of a person attacks someone else’s mental illness?
I’m not the first person they have attacked in the community since Bradley’s arrest in 2017, although I am the first non-elected/non-candidate person they’ve so assailed. To date, they’ve gone after others based on their sexuality. They’ve disparaged residents who come from the North, and now they’re mocking me for illness. Who else is on their hit list?
Veterans with PTSD? Those with congenital conditions? Cancer patients? Other city volunteers? City staff?
When I read their latest email the other day, it left me feeling pity for the level of daily stress that must be overwhelming the Bradley/Lepley household these days. As you know, practicing hate takes a household’s full-time energy.
If you break the law, and Bradley quite assuredly broke the law, it is beyond the height of cruelty and heartlessness to then use your mistake as a basis to launch attacks on others, to attack others for disabilities or illness, to practice hate in public when a normal person would be apologizing profusely by this time — unless, of course, you considered Bradley’s non-apology apology letter a sufficient enough apology. Flailing is what happens to the unremorsefully guilty; flailing is what they have been up to since her arrest.
I believe Bradley loved Davenport at one time. Today, however, is different. With all of their “love” for our town, Bradley/Lepley are sure going out of their way to harm us all, each and every one of us.
It’s sad and heartbreaking to see the level of destruction they’re willing to exact on the community that gave them their privileged statuses as community leaders, but they are leaders no more. Their flailing is simply too sad to watch for even another minute, so my plan is to watch no more.
Now if you’ll excuse me while I go back to writing about the things I’d rather love more, like the pooping ducks at Lake Play, the devil at the top of my neighbor’s Monkey Puzzle Tree, or my spit-fire recipe for a meringue pie that’s sure to decidedly flop on you.
Perhaps, but I’m loving the love and peace that goes along with having taken care of my mental issues a long, long time ago.
Signed, Your Neighborhood Blog Writer.
- Manpower = 1
- Editorial Staff = 1
- Research Staff = 1
- Followers = 349 in one year! (Bradley/Lepley’s DCC Followers = <65 in 13 years.)