I make no bones about the fact that I consider Britney Spears her family’s show pony. A Disney Kid and Musketeer, the young woman had a busy and supposedly glamorous life, cranking out one top of the pop chart hit after another, from her teenage years onward, with her parent’s taking a cut of her income as her “managers”. She married, multiple times. She spent money like water. She had children. She divorced.
Through it all, she worked. Until there came a time when she shaved her head and stopped working, while spending her way through her fortune with little care for the future. Bipolar they said. Drug abuse they said. Whatever it was, the power’s that be agreed she needed help.
Somehow, in 2008, Britney was “conserved”, meaning that she no longer had the authority to make legal decisions on her own behalf. Like a child, she was put back under the supervision of her father, and it has remained that way from 2008 until now.
When you look up any information about conservatorship, it’s usually referenced in terms of elders suffering from Dementia or Alzheimers, or handicapped children who will never fully mature into adults no longer in need of supervision.
If you read the articles about her conservatorship, a lot is made over the fact that she has continued to work (both as a mentor on X-Factor, as well as in her Las Vegas residency), and yet she has not been released from the terms of her conservatorship, which is expected to last for the rest of her life.
How can one be empowered to act as a mentor for another, yet be considered incapable of managing their own lives. Are they trying to tell us she’s an idiot savant?
Some articles say that the conservatorship is just a sham, protecting her from having to testify in a variety of legal cases. However, ten (10) years after the conservatorship was approved, the statute of limitations should have run the limit on the outstanding legal matters. So, the fact that she, an apparently healthy woman in her mid-30’s, remains shielded by a conservation order indefinitely is incredibly fascinating to me.
Now, let’s go look at what is happening to my friend, C.
The social workers have advised the niece that it’s unlikely that C will be conserved as she is still too functional, too verbal. Seriously?
Britney can be conserved as a protection for her money, but C cannot be conserved as a protection to herself to ensure that she doesn’t blow her money on latte’s and new telephones each month, before she pays her rent or any other normal obligation that her social security should be enough to cover.
I guess it’s like Cyndi Lauper said, “Money. Money changes everything.”
Right now, we’re hoping that the friend will be conserved. She’s been informed that she cannot afford her dogs, and that they cannot be brought to the board and care home where she’s living, and she’s trying to accept the truth of that statement while also lying to herself (or retreating into some sort of delusional situation where they can be allowed to join her), and it’s just sad for everyone involved.
How is it ok for a woman to live in filth, forget to pay her bills, be unsure of what day it is and how to communicate with people (or, who she is talking to when she manages to make a phone call out), be neglecting her beloved pets due to her worsening health and mental instability, and yet there still be a question about whether or not she can be conserved against her will to protect her quality of life?
I keep on looking at Britney’s situation vs. that of C, and my only thought is that money truly does change everything.
We owe our ill elders better than neglect under the guise of “freedom”.