Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Meaning Hidden from Psychiatrists

What We Know Which They Do Not Know

By Patricia Lefave, Labeled, D.D.(P)

This is a post intended to give some specific examples of how meaning in language can be heard differently depending upon what an individual accepts as the premise upon which it is based.
Some idea of what I am talking about already exists on this blog as the ‘Walls Family’, but let’s look more closely at the words and meaning as used in all dysfunctional groups.

The main feature of these groups is that someone is going to be chosen to be ‘wrong’, or regarded as ‘inferior’ to the rest of the group, virtually all of the time. So, whatever that individual says, is going to be ‘interpreted in whatever way the rest of the group wants to hear it. The reason for that is to maintain the group dysfunction, which is rarely identified as such, under the illusion of the normalcy or ‘superiority’ of its members.

It makes them feel better without resorting to the unpleasantness of self examination, change, or perhaps the need to confront the group dictators whom all are trying to please in some way for a number of reasons. Therefore, if it is their agreement that the selected individual is the one with the ‘problem’, no further search for meaning or error is necessary is it?
(Whew! For a minute there I was worried that someone other than the selected ‘sick’ one was going to have to be blamed for something; weren’t you?)

When we are the targeted ‘sick’ one of a group like this, it is very confusing since the group behaviour makes no sense. At least, it makes no sense in terms of logic. But there is a kind of sense to it if you understand the hidden agendas of both the dictator and the rest of the group. When you are the target being mystified by everyone though, our attempts to sort out all the contradictory information we are being fed are constantly thwarted. Besides the non stop contradiction, we are also faced with sorting out the multiple versions of the same reality as well as misdirection, lies (disinformation) and partial or missing information that would change the overall meaning. As the target of bombardment, usually being told we are inherently defective, often while being watched, followed and reduced to the level of ‘object,’ it really shouldn’t surprise anyone if we ‘decompensate.’ Identifying concrete reality has often been made impossible for us .

Once broken, the experts often point out to us that we have had a breakdown. (like we hadn’t noticed) They are then ready to supply us with a spanking new version of reality which we are to accept and prefer over our own. We are to deny what our eyes have seen and what our ears have heard, accepting instead the sanitized version supplied by the group and agree to be the ‘sick one’ just as they have wanted us to do all along.

Now let’s look back to more of the interpretive meaning of things.
I remember the look of shock on a patient’s face at the hospital when she heard nursing staff saying to one another, they should not listen to her as they ‘did not want to encourage her.’ The same nurses then decided the patient was looking shocked because her ‘bid for attention’ had not worked.

I think the patient was shocked because she was expecting that at last these people would be listening to her even if no one else did, and now they were saying They DID NOT WANT TO ENCOURAGE her to get well again! What kind of monsters were these?

On a certain level, we are ‘seeking someone’s attention’ for something aren’t we? So there is always a ton of irony in this; a non stop absurdity that often cracks us up with laughter. Of course the laughter is also perceived by those who observe us as a ‘symptom.’
In my own case, I WAS seeking the hospital’s attention so that they would deal directly with this nurse and what he had planned and deal directly with him. I also wanted them to speak out against the on going attack on me which he had caused with his manipulations. They haven’t wanted to encourage me in this either. Unless you count encouraging me to be silent that is.

It is what someone often arbitrarily decides to believe is true that makes the difference in meaning in the same words.

Saying to these people that ‘I am a person’ like they didn’t KNOW that, was hilarious to them. I guess it might be right up until one of them experiences being the one who is treated like a lab rat in a behaviourist’s maze. Things we say like that though are given whatever meaning the ‘objective observers,’ diagnosing from a safe distance away, decide for us that they should have. Most often they hear it as a struggle we are having, neatly contained within ourselves, as though our interactions with a mad society did not exist.

A social worker allegedly said that my tow way conversation with them was ‘just the conversation that was going on within my own mind. If I myself were a mental health ‘interpreter’ deluding myself that I could understand someone else’s reality with no contact at all, I might say of my own words, “She says she is a person. This indicates to me that she is having some sort of doubt about her own identity. Although that is certainly ONE interpretation, it is not the only one and in order to understand individual, we must ask them to give us their meaning, and not become so arrogant in our certainty that we no longer feel we need to waste our time with any direct contact at all. If some of the people who have been involved in my own case read this, they are likely to assume I am talking about them at this point. It just shows you that sometimes, not always or never, first assumptions can be correct. (Suddenly, I want to sing that Carly Simon song, ”You’rrrre so vain, you probably think this song is about you…’. The fact is, problem I was, and am, having is with those who are trying to assign me their idea of my identity.

Few people ever seem to notice that often the only people not ‘allowed’ any input into the construction of our own personal identity is US. I once said to those apparently listening, “I do not require an interpreter,’ and also, ‘Stop asking other people what I think. Other people don’t know what I think. I know what I think. Talk DIRECTLY to me.’ They then asked each other what they thought I meant by that! Again, this was done without any sense of irony.

It seems that once the ‘normals’ get an idea in their collective heads about who we are, getting them to hear anything else is a major battle.
After trying over and over again to get anyone to accept what I said at face value, I finally ‘decompensated’ under pressure. By then I was seriously afraid I was going to be murdered no matter what I said or did or else locked up forever for speaking of the unspeakable. I had already received the ‘uttered’ death threats on the streets, been told by the system from which I had tried to get help to be quiet about what had happened with it’s own staff, and I was pretty sure my stalker was being let into my apartment(s). I feared that I may be killed if I did NOT talk and also if I did. I also knew that I was in psychosis and could not pull myself out of it so I had to go to the hospital that had created this horrifying paradox and trapped me within it. They were supporting my attacker and covering up for him. They KNEW that I knew what they had done. What they likely did NOT know was that I had been sent to a psychiatrist to have the whole thing denied and to be told I cold not confront any of them about it or talk about it in public. Because there was no way out no matter what I did or said, I was breaking down in a mad search for reason, logic or just an escape route. It was like being sucked into a state of abstract reasoning looking for a missing puzzle piece and unable to connect with an unidentifiable concrete reality.

Though I had told many people exactly what was happening and why, they heard the truth as delusional. Most of them were watching me with their eyes glowing with high amusement, accompanied by those ever present little smirks. It seemed to be great ‘fun’ to watch me fragment, unable to stop them or reason with them about what they were doing. Plain English did not have any affect on them. I could never tell the difference anymore between those who were having hem a little fun messing with the head of the ‘schizo’ and those having them a little fun participating in a ‘joke’ or a ‘game.’
I told my smirking psychiatrist something like that when I finally arrived at the wacko unit, during one of the periods in which I could actually speak. I couldn’t always. I said that I could no longer judge what those little smiles on everyone’s faces meant anymore. It had become a surreal trip through a mob assault which was totally denied as even in existence.

Before I went to the hospital, I decided in my fear and panic, to call the police and make one last attempt to get some help. I was also thinking that if my protagonist and the hospital knew that I had called them, maybe that would reduce the chances a bit that I would be murdered to shut me up. I told them something about how I knew I was in psychosis now and that I was afraid I would not make it to the hospital. (Because no one wanted me to talk)
They answered, “Well at least you know you need help.”

Yes. I knew. I had needed ‘help’ for a long time. I had even told my employer that I thought I needed a good cop a lot more that I needed a psychiatrist. At least most of them would be interested in evidence. I needed concrete ‘help’ with the nurse and his attack on me, but I couldn’t get that, n matter what I said. So now, I needed ‘help,’ because the complete lack of help, the kind I really needed, had left me as a target for the whole community for two solid years. The whole community, or so it seemed, was determined to decide FOR me, who I really am, what my reality actually is, and how I should feel about it all. That IS the problem here, and it is also right out of the concepts for power and control in my protagonist’s ‘game.’

It is not difficult to understand why he smirked his way through this as it was happening, is it? His ‘game’ states of itself, ‘it’s about domination.’ Being on the receiving end of this means to be permanently trapped in paradox, for the more we tell the truth, the less it is heard. It does not surprise me that people in psychosis all speak of things like ‘aliens’ taking over their lives or kidnapping them, nor about ‘alternate universes’ being created, for in reality, we are assaulted in a number of ways by people who seem like they must be from some other world; like they are not fully human. We feel ‘alienated’ fro our own experience of reality and from other people, the meaning of all we say changed or redefined by others. They give it another meaning which then becomes our new life, in a whole other world, which only looks like we are still on the same planet! Alternate universes are created by an alternate language of judgment and definition. Though pumping people for personal information, repeating unsubstantiated rumours just because I have heard them, is 'inappropriate' behaviour for me which justifies labelling and drugging, yet the very same behaviour is considered to be 'normal' or 'socializing' for others, it should be clear that the only thing 'split' here is the dual perception of the SAME reality.

Similarly, in discussions outside psychosis with psychiatrists, we often find ourselves speaking two different languages and become more, rather than less, confused by the relationship with them. let me give you some examples of the dual meaning which is common in such situations.

Should I remark something like, "Is this supposed to make some kind of sense?," we are likely to get a response like, 'You're having trouble making sense of things are you?' What they are actually doing is confirming their own programming for themselves. (The patient is confused. She can't make sense of 'things.') The assumption n the part of the psychiatrist of course, as well as all the rest of the 'objective observers,' is that the 'things' in question DO make sense, and that we are just too senseless to see it. it does not occur to them that 'things' don't MAKE sense, and that we are astute enough to see that, even if those around us do NOT. For in psychiatry's overview, we are all self contained disease processes without any rational relationship to external reality.

The metaphors of psychosis apply and so do all the archetypal images. The fact that today’s’ psychiatrists define them all as meaningless does not make it so. Until they understand differently, we are all being condemned to live in our ‘new universes’ where once we were ‘floating all alone’ feeling very small and helpless. (At least that was the imagery for me) Now though, we are contacting many others who have experienced the trip with the aliens. I think we just might be colonizing some new ‘space’ of our own. In this old universe though, we are still surrounded by the people who consider themselves to be the ‘sane’ ones, talking about us from a few feet away, and considering themselves to be magically ‘hidden’. They cluck in our direction knowingly, “She is a very sad case.’ (No longer a person) ‘Apparently, she thinks people are talking about her all the time.’ ‘Oh no. What a shame.’ There is no sense of irony shown by them while they do it either, for they do not perceive themselves as the ‘people’ who are doing the talking.

Since our endless reporting of that is defined by our expert caretakers as our delusion and not theirs, we remain permanently caught in a paradoxical trap from which there is no escape possible. After that, it just gets worse and worse, for who could trust anyone as crazy as all these 'normal' people have told everyone I am? (Not that they actually HAVE of course.I only 'think' they do that, because I am crazy.

The 'game' is not all set for infinite stupidity...I 'think' a number of people have been inside my apartment(s) without my knowledge or consent, because I am crazy, paranoid, and accusing people 'falsely' so they need to go into my apartment and have a look around without my knowing about it, to look for any signs of my craziness, so that THEY can feel more secure. It all remains a perception/reaction problem that I am having because THAT way, they won't have to see themselves as clearly as I do, while they are 'hiding' from me. As my personal protagonist could tell you about this 'game,' 'everything that is being said is true, except that what is driving it has been switched. '

The 'patient' you have identified in my case, the one who was 'upset' and therefore presumed to be mentally ill, is not the source of the problem. The nurse, pseudo victim/rescuer is the source, the cause, just as he wants to be, because knowing how to create and define reality itself for everyone else, makes him feel powerful and what the training is all about for HIM. From HIS perspective.

I submit to you that there is a common denominator here in relation to the power of psychiatrists which is a shared experience in this case. When one act is an imitation of another A.C.T., finding a difference between them, when you are on the isolated receiving end of this, is virtually impossible.

The expectation that I should be able to do what psychiatrists cannot do themselves, or be found mad for my ‘failure,’ is just one more example of the non stop double standard promoted by the system itself. It is about a superior/inferior ‘split’ that is an illusion and reality has nothing to do with it.

Physician, heal thyself.
You want to find grandiosity, denial and a messiah complex in crazy people? Look in the mirror. You want to ‘fix’ things? Fix yourselves and when you are fixed, lead by example, as an equal human beings looking for the same in others. Stop looking for ‘hidden’ meaning where there is none, and look at what you have hidden from yourselves.

The only difference between you and ‘us’ is the imbalance of power you have created in concrete reality to enable you to support the illusion of inherent difference. Give up the illusion and you won’t need to keep increasing your power to control it. It is the control of ‘others’ who are perceived as’ less than’, which IS the ‘sickness.’

It is not that there is some ‘other’ problem and the power games are being used to contain or to solve that ‘other’ problem. The power game IS the problem.

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