Innocent of crime

With all the recent Banner articles and all the court news I don't know if I can write this letter, but I feel I must warn caregivers, if you are thinking of taking care of someone with a mental disorder with today's patient's rights laws, don't do it. You might come out the bad guy. I and my wife sure did.

My father went into a bitter divorce almost 30 years ago that left him homeless. My wife offered to help him for a few days. It's turned into a nightmare after 37 years of living with us.

Under our care he was given free housing, meals, vehicles, clothes, washing, grocery shopping, doctor visits, all by my wife for a number of years.

Six years ago my father had heart surgery and since that time she has had to split her time caring for my father, more care than he ever had in his life.

Two years ago he ran away to get away and ended up in VA care. I feel so sorry for him once again he was taken back into our care; biggest mistake I made in my life.

Over the last two years he became so mean, thought my wife was his slave and would order her around. He became so upset with me if iI asked him to just sit in his chair and be nice to Margaret, my wife. Didn't happen.

He left to be his own person and this is how all the court came about. I will be happy to represent myself in court to prove my innocence.

— Ed Corey Shaftsbury


Editor's note: This letter was submitted on March 31.