DON LEMON: ‘Dr. Teleka Patrick’s Story Didn’t Have To End This Way’

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    A brilliant, up and coming, young doctor goes missing leaving a whole lot of questions for her family, her friends and her loved ones.

    But 30-year old Dr. Teleka Patrick’s disappearance and the information coming out in the months since she went missing on December 5th of last year are painting a picture of a young woman who may have been unraveling and may likely have been suffering from mental health issues.

    Her ex-husband told investigators that their 6-year marriage broke up because Patrick became obsessive and would claim she heard voices.

    Ismael “Smiley” Calderon told the Kalamazoo Gazette that his ex-wife’s alleged mental health issues led to their divorce.

    The final straw according to Calderon was after Patrick allegedly became delusional by accusing him of cheating, abuse and trying to derail her career; at one point allegedly trying to run him over with a car.

    He said he moved himself and her two children out of the couple’s apartment for fear of their lives.

    Patrick’s family, who did not approve of the relationship, denies any knowledge of mental health problems with Teleka.

    Her husband said Patrick never sought assistance or treatment for mental health issues because such reported treatment might derail her medical career.

    That is certainly plausible.

    And of course her husband’s story is not the whole story, so his account should be taken with some degree of skepticism.

    But the part that really resonated with me and probably many who have experienced similar behavior in relationships is when Calderon said he did not voice his concerns to her family because Patrick was an adult and made her own choices and quote, “I was trying to be a true friend to her and in doing so I lost our marriage, I lost our aspirations, I mean I lost everything.”

    No truer words have ever been spoken for those of us who have been there.

    You never really know someone unless or until you’re in a relationship with them.

    Without going into too much detail, I had similar experiences in a recent long-term relationship.

    I never told the person’s family because I thought I was not only being a good partner, but a good friend.

    No one outside the relationship would have known.

    No one at that person’s place of employment would have known.

    People who have mental health issues can be master’s a pulling themselves together in public while torturing the person to whom they are closest.

    To this day I’m not sure why.

    But what I am sure of is that the stigma of mental health must be addressed.

    Suffering is suffering.

    Pain is pain; no matter where it emanates- the brain, the psyche, an organ or a limb.

    If Teleka Patrick did suffer some mental health issues, the first time her husband experienced it, he should have been able to confide in her loved ones just the same is if she had broken a finger or scraped a knee.

    Families must be open to the realities of our time which include our own members having problems in our heads.

    Teleka Patrick’s family is now left to try to figure out why she suddenly moved from California to Michigan; why she might have been stalking the famous gospel singer Marvin Sapp who filed a restraining order against her; why she tried to check into a hotel on the night she disappeared when her own home was not far away?

    So many unanswered questions except for one that is soon to be answered once an autopsy is done today on a body found in an Indiana lake not from where Teleka Patrick disappeared.

    It didn’t have to end this way.

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