Back to January
Having successfully navigated his way to Oprah, Michael Schofield has now predictably gotten his book deal. It will be titled, January First: One Child’s Battle with Schizophrenia. In addition , 20/20 is rumored to be covering the story. Given the even handed way ABC addressed mental illness last time and the fact that Michael has had a good chance to whittle down the “facts,” it should prove to be that perfect blend of misinformation and fluff we’ve come to expect from major corporate media.
On Michael’s new blog, he makes a good attempt at backpedaling regarding Jani’s abuse.
Most of the attacks against me have come as a result of me being overly dramatic in my writing (the “starving” and “hitting her as hard as we could” are the two most egregious examples). Such writing is unfortunately a legacy of my training as a writer, which occurred long before Jani, as well as my own tendencies developed from my favorite writers over the years. Such writing captures the emotions of what I feel, or in those cases felt (powerless to affect any change in Jani’s behavior) but is not appropriate in cases such as this where no drama is necessary. I don’t intentionally try to pump up the story. I am just writing what I feel, and what I feel is often worse than the real situation. It is has been a hard habit to break and I am still working on it.
And what a legacy it is. I find it interesting how pliable a thing “truth” is to him. If you can claim to have abused your child for dramatic effect, couldn’t you even more easily deny it for the sake of appearance? Maybe the truth is something no one will know outside of the family but what seems painfully obvious is that in either case, it’s secondary to selling a story. It really seems as though he grooms the story to suit his audience and it makes me wonder what other grooming is going on — which brings me to the next creepy turn of events.
The Schofields have enlisted the services of Steve Truitt — a talent coach, media trainer, life coach and hypnotherapist. I think if one were to write a book about a child’s emotional state being exploited in a situation where truth is already a hazy commodity, the talent coach/hypnotherapist would probably be introduced some time around chapter three and the outcome would be predictably bad simply by his being there. That’s fine for a novel but we’re talking about a life story. A more glaring and potentially damaging conflict of interest might be hard to find, lending itself all to well to a child being groomed in the interest of personal gain and it all makes me wonder what’s more important here — Jani’s health or Jani’s story? In fairness, I don’t know to what extent or in what capacity Truitt is working for them as he’s simply listed on their website as Media: Steve Truitt but it’s a frightening addition to an already volatile mix.