Monday, June 26, 2006
Removing the Veils
By Patricia Lefave, Labeled, D.D.(P)
Thought this was going to be an essay about exotic dancers didn’t you? Nope.
I talk to a whole lot of really frustrated people, of which I am also one. The last twelve or thirteen years of my life have been an eye opening, stunning, unbelievable revelation to me. I really believed that even if psychiatrists were doing wrong, most of them meant well. I have kept on looking for ‘signs’ in them; signs of ethics and integrity, signs of empathy, signs of concern about what they did to me, and are doing to others. I am dealing with people who can’t hear the perfectly obvious truth that lies all around them. All they can hear is the ‘interpretation’ their own programming gives to it. So, the more I have tried to explain the reality of my situation to them, the more stubbornly deaf they have become.
The experience with them is stupefying, shocking; unbelievable. They keep trying to make me fit into their beliefs. They cannot, it would seem, allow themselves to know they are wrong or see the damage they’ve done, and continue to do.
After the initial damage, the labeling and fear mongering continued, most of it added on by the public at large. They don’t seem to care, or to be able to care much. They have all controlling power over those they ‘help,’ and though there are still a few left, who show an interest in actually listening to the ‘patient,’ those few are being pressured to stop and to become ‘players’ on the team that can’t lose, since the game has already been won before it has even begun. If those few don’t agree to co-operate with this power agenda, I think more of them will find themselves resigning, finding a new ‘specialty,’ being pressured until they give in, or, for some, finding out first hand what it is like to be ‘helped’ when their colleagues apply the same abstract ambiguous notions about insanity to THEM. It has happened many times before.
So, people just like me have been talking and asking each other, ‘What do we do to get through such arrogance and defensiveness? How do we wake them up to the bloody obvious?’ What tactics do we use when talking to automatons? How do we talk to a group of people who think they already understand everything, and everyone on Earth? How do we deal with people who feel entitled to impose their belief system upon anyone, to use physical force, threats, coercion, financial control and blackmailing tactics to do it?’
Talking to psychiatrists, and those who enthusiastically support them in their quest for 'other' control, has seemed to me to be pretty much like talking to any other cult member or religious fanatic of the ‘my-way-or-the-highway’ variety.
I think mass exposure is going to be essential also and that means we are going to have to risk the reality of reprisals for speaking up, and speaking out. These people also react to negative publicity very much like cult leaders do and the even use many of the same tactics of control. A.C.T. for example has much to do with group pressure and group training. It is much like the so-called LGATS which do it.
The Psychiatric Faith replaces the all controlling parent, or the all controlling cult leader, often demanding blind obedience from its naughty children. It’s like some bizarre, dysfunctional, community ‘family’ bonding through exclusion and loyalty to the leader against someone who will not promote the dysfunctional status quo or mouth the party line as instructed.
Nothing can be said to psychiatrist that they haven’t heard before and that is the biggest part of the problem. For the problem is they have never really HEARD it at all. We cannot make straight forward statements to them that suggest there is anything wrong with our families as a group, or the workplace, or school groups, or ‘authority’ figures, or with our relationships, or that we have suffered some traumatic event that they didn’t witness personally. For they would always have to see it for themselves, it would seem, or they are forced to assume it didn’t really occur at all. To most psychiatrists, everyone is only saying things to 'seek fame', or for whatever other alternative version of reality psychiatry needs to invent to feel like they have everything under control.
Is it much wonder that so many labeled people think all of them are psychopaths?
I don’t think that. I think there are only a small percentage of them that fit that bill. As they themselves could tell you, psychopaths are attracted to jobs in which they can feel a sense of power and control over others. So why would they not be included in this profession? I doubt if the psychopaths of the world are sitting around their psychopath club houses on the week-ends, slapping themselves on the foreheads and exclaiming, ‘Damn! Why didn’t WE think of that? That would be an excellent job to have to feed our psychopath needs!’ But psychopath quotas aside, I think most of the psychiatrists are just well intentioned followers who very likely 'respect their elders' without giving it a second thought. Personally, that is why I find them scarier. They don’t see it.
We are going to have to tell them things which are perfectly obvious and when we do it, at first, it will make you feel foolish, because you will be saying to yourself, ‘Who needs to be told this?’ THEY do. For like talking to cult members, you are going to have to explain to them what perfectly normal, everyday language, actually means. Just as in all cults, what it means to psychiatry, as they are programmed to hear it, and what it means to us is not the same thing,. That is why communication with them is so difficult. Knowing this about them will help you who are psychiatrized to sort out your own confusion. It will hopefully feel to you like one of Oprah’s ‘aha’! moments. Maybe we should also all be looking at de-programming techniques in relation to this as well. Couldn’t hurt.
So, the question remains, what do we do with this self-deluded bunch?
Well, one of the first things we need to do, after recognizing that we art talking to well programmed people who are very much the same as any other cult members is to detach from their ‘interpretations' of what we say.
They are hearing the words we use, and the events we recount for them, in terms of ‘disease’ process, just as they have been taught to do. So, reasoning with them about it won’t work. They already believe that they are perfectly reasonable and that we are not. In fact, suggesting to them that they are not being reasonable only reinforces their beliefs since they have been taught we will SAY that as part of our delusional belief system. We need to understand then, that everything we say like this is going to be heard by them as switched around one hundred and eighty degrees, just the same way as it is done in relation to any conscious aggressor, in any dysfunctional group.
In general, these groups believe the aggressor and do not believe the victim(s) because the group has been led to believe from the start, that what is happening is the exact opposite. So that everything they hear connected to that erroneous premise SOUNDS like it means something else. I will do another essay on that topic soon, to post on “box” giving specific examples so you can hear it more clearly.
You know we talk about the issue of force used by psychiatry quite a bit as one of the main issues and also about the drugs being bad news, but maybe besides that we should also be talking publicly about the reasons given by psychiatry for this treatment and even more about what is NOT being said and the intimidation tactics used to keep us from saying it.
The first thing that happened when I was labeled, (in fact, long before that) was that I ceased to exist (metaphorically speaking of course) as a person. I became an object of assessment and observation, a non person, whose life experience and feeling about it would now be determined FOR me by a group of people who refused all first person contact. (This is one of the many elements of this that kept me thinking it must be a 'joke' as I was deliberately led to believe it was) Once someone can negate us as people in our own right, they can view us as inherently inferior and therefore, what we say, think, and feel is not as ‘real’ as it would be if it was being expressed by THEM. This creation of a fundamental difference IS the problem. It supports the ‘them’ and ‘us’ mentality.
If general society is going to see and understand what it is REALLY like to be on the receiving end of this, then we who are silenced are going to have to do a lot of public talking; a hell of a lot. I believe in a very literal grass roots movement.(OK not actual 'grass' or actual 'roots' but at the very bottom of society where most of us live) I believe in creating a counter culture for consciousness raising. We have to quite literally take it to the streets, and the restaurants, and the malls, etc, the same places we are discussed in the third person like we are not there. We have to discuss, BEING discussed in the third person like we are not there, with each other, in the presence of those who are doing the talking. In other words, we need to SHOW them what they are doing.
I have said in a piece I wrote a long time ago that we have to be very pedantic in talking to our judges and all the people who consider themselves to be the ‘normal’ ones. I once talked to a psychiatrized person who did not understand what I meant. When he told me he was not being pedantic, I told him he had to be. He took it as an insult; as though I was suggesting it was a character flaw in HIM that he could not overcome. But that is not what I meant. I was not talking about him, I was saying that if we are ever going to get through to people who cannot hear us or what we are saying the way we mean it, we are going to have to talk to them as if we are talking to small children, or 'aliens', or alienists, who do not understand our planet, or cult members too mesmerized by their conditioning to hear us.
So, since we are told to talk directly to anyone would be inappropriate behavior on our part, we will agree not to do that. They key to this is to agree with them. Bet you don’t understand that? Did you feel a flash of anger when I said that? Well wait a minute and hear a little more. We need to drag them back around the circle. We can’t confront people in restaurants and tell them what jerks we think they are for behaving the way the do, but silence doesn’t work either does it? We can however, talk to each other about our observations of them.
Right now, I am thinking of this remark, made about me, by an employee of the hospital which psychiatrized me. As she walked by me, not knowing I was the one she was discussing with another employee who DID know, she said, “It’s the overlay of histrionics that makes her so fascinating.”
We need to take our cue form them and start finding them ‘fascinating’ and discussing the reason why we do, right in front of them. We need to use the SAME tactics that they do and see what sort of reaction we get. When we get one, we need to assess the reaction and explain to each other why the person sitting three feet away is reacting that way, and we need to observe them while we do it.
It would also help if we talked about the possibility that they may understand us and then assure each other that they are so stupid or unconscious that there is no way they would know. Then we turn and look at them together and if they look back, we smile at them knowingly and turning back to each other, we call them the poor thing etc. We also need to openly discuss the bizarre ideation of the psychiatrists as revealed to us in their offices; the strange judgments, the manipulative ploys, the head games etc. Average Joe and Josephine know nothing about the prevailing systems built on smugness. They hear abut nothing other than what celebrities and politicians who AGREE with psychiatry’s agenda have to say about it. Most of the time, those people are happy drug takers. The public does not hear from the ones who have bad experiences which should be for obvious reasons.
The system is very, very focused on public relations and attacks the problem with all the gusto of any salesman selling any product. Al the same tactics are used except they can go one better. If what they were selling was cigarettes, they would not be able to call any competitors nor customers crazy and lock them up for disagreeing with them. So when this system compares our position to that of other forms of disagreement it is kidding itself. No other system has this kind of unquestioned power over us in the service of silencing any detractors who question it’s ethics or the product being sold.
Patient ‘S’ may get on T.V. in Toronto and gush over her brain surgery as the 16th experimental subject, but what of patients one to fifteen? What of the thousands of others who are in total distress or enraged by their treatment, then enraged further by being told they are not ‘allowed’ to talk about it? That sort of thing is usually covered by claiming the person is only displaying anger-like reactions because he or she has not yet been given the right treatment! For we must all see some ‘underlying’ cause for what we do, or do not do. Something built into us. Something we are told we cannot change.
Hanging out with Mick Jagger in one’s youth, using poor judgment, drugs or alcohol can’t just be immaturity, or running away from a life of social pressure that is too much for you to handle, and therefore you make some wrong choices. It 'has' to be caused by a bio-chemical imbalance in the brain. Does no one see the danger in this attitude? Soon everything will be druggable whether we want it to be or not. It will be done 'for our own good.' It also does something else. While removing the rights of the individual for self determination, it also excuses some individuals for their behaviour. As far as I can see this is two sides of a losing, dehumanizing ‘solution.’
So, we can be kept out of T.V. interviews and we can have our complaints to the system suppressed and ignored but as much as the system likes to think it can, or should, control everything, it really can’t nor should it be trying to do so. We cannot be kept from talking to each other on the streets, on buses, I restaurants, in parks and at support meetings. The thought police can’t be everywhere, every minute.
Someone suggested to me that to speak against the chemical imbalance theory is like attempting to kill psychiatry’s sacred cow, I agree we can’t do that but maybe we could just take that cow gently by the ear and lead it out into the back pasture for awhile. How about using the notion of bio-chemistry as the effects, instead of the causes, for THAT would help. And there even may be a certain amount of truth in that. I am sure our bio-chemistry does change after going through the things we do. If you are in flight or fight mode for a prolonged period of time, can’t sleep any more or eat, there is bound to be chemical changes, how could there not be? Agreeing that is possible might help to open up psychiatry’s ears to some other possibilities as causes as well.
I also acknowledge that emotional/psychological distress exists and is very real, but I now call it metaphysical illness instead of ‘mental illness,’ so that a distinction is made in terms of language. Using the same words and assuming we are speaking the same language, is another common part of the problem. There was a time when the word ‘mental’ meant pertaining to the mind and not to the brain, but now it is usually heard as meaning the same thing.
Once labeled, it doesn’t really matter to psychiatry or to the public in general WHAT we say, since to take an opposing position against the ‘experts’ is defined by them as part of our illness. The arguments are all circular, which I believe accounts for the recurrent imagery in all the experiences of psychosis. It is a truth we all tend to see on a conceptual level. It is, like the dream state, something we already know on some level but which we do not recognize as knowing. It requires our own interpretation in relation to our individual concrete experience to make sense of that. While in it though, it is very disorienting as anyone who has really had the experience could tell you. I say ‘really’ had the experience because it is also true that a lot of people have not had the experience but have been told by psychiatrists and others that they HAVE had it but just don’t know it. Believe me, if you have had it, it isn’t something you just don’t notice. There is just nothing you can do about it while you are in it, except let it go…….. (You should pardon the expression)
Every time we find a way out of the medicalized paradigm of this, psychiatry turns it into another part of, or brand new, disease process. They congratulate themselves in getting the attempt to escape from them into the DSM as another psychiatric snare. Everything we show them tends to 'prove' how right they are. It's a great position to be in; always right and never wrong. It would seem that ‘illness’’ has become (or perhaps always was) secondary to the system’s lust for power and control. Psychiatry is caught up in its own self-delusion, and since it (and it is, an ‘it’) determines what is ‘normal,’ or ‘sanity,’ for the rest of us, then we have all got a very big problem. The inmates are, indeed, running the asylum right now.
They tell us that if we ‘find ourselves looking for hidden meaning,’ it’s a sign that we need an anti-psychotic, yet they fail to notice themselves doing it. For who do you know who spends more time looking for hidden meaning, where there is none, than psychiatrists? Everything they assess in others feeds the system. You can be crazy and admit it (the ‘good’ patient who does not oppose the authoritarian experts) or you can be crazy and deny it, (bad patient, bad, bad!) But once that label is slapped on your forehead as your new identity, you will BE crazy, even if they have to involve the whole community to help them drive you to your pre-determined destination!
The scary part is that often the answer to the question, ‘Do you admit that you are sick’, becomes, ‘yes.’ But, it’s a trick question. When I was broken down by the community assault on me, (which thirteen years later, at this writing is still being kept ‘secret’ so that I won’t ‘find out’) I was metaphysically ‘sick’; even heard voices for a brief period of time. So I could ‘admit’ that, even though I had already predicted it before it happened, and even told them WHY it was happening. But ‘admitting it’ could only help psychiatry to further define me in its own terms, or, I could deny it, and with my denial, confirm their righteous certainty for them.
They always saw themselves as ‘objective observers’ of a lesser mind, theselves outside the equation, rather than a major part of the problem. Their group assault on me involving the public, broke me down and drove me into a psychosis, BUT, if I ‘think’ a group of people broke me down, that is regarded as a ‘symptom’ by them, for in the mental illness profession, there is no blaming of those mysterious ‘others’ who can never be blamed for anything.
We who are caught in this paradoxical system are not going to be able to ‘reason’ our way out of this. We can’t reason with psychiatrists because their beliefs are not based on reason or science. They are based mainly upon old family fantasies, wishful thinking, a desire to be all knowing and to have everything under control, and a science of ‘disease’ prevention and control that often is manufactured on the golf course; quite literally.
What we can do though is expose the whole experience and the non stop irony built into it everywhere we go. The enforced silence has to go. Those of us who can find the courage to take the risk, (and it often is very risky for us) to speak out against our mostly, unwanted, saviours, are going to have to learn how to do it.
Psychiatry has a saturation campaign going promoting its own agenda which appears to be basically drugging and behaviour modification. That is less time consuming for them in the short run than actually listening to their patients experience and feelings. Unlike us, they have a pile of money to make it work for them. We are usually living in poverty, and sometimes homeless, so all that we have is our voices. We need to use our voices everywhere. That is the only way we can run a counter saturation campaign.
My own city lives to hear the latest gossip so I am giving them all they can handle. I am feeding their own gossip right back to them, in an endless loop until they get to the point where they will be unable to deny the obvious because they will saturate themselves with their own feedback loop. I don’t try to reason with this anymore, nor tell them something they will only argue against anyway. I just try to SHOW them to themselves as they obviously are. I believe that we all need to do most is just repeat back to them the absurdity of their own thinking and behaviour and also of our experience with them. Eventually, I believe that even the most dull witted and self righteous community members will not be able to help but see themselves in our mirrored reality.
It amazes me how many people still stand a few feet away from me making contemptuous remarks AT me, or about me, like I’m not there. I mean of course, the boneheads who don’t seem to know they are audible and visible. There are also the ones who deliver little messages of sneering contempt at me out of the sides of their mouths as a deliberate act. Because they have decided, based upon all the rumours and community assessments of me, in which they neurotically involve themselves, that I ‘deserve’ just what I am getting. These are most often complete strangers to me who nevertheless, feel entitled to act out their own irrational hatred. Yet, most of them, it would appear, have not been psychiatrized nor drugged appropriately to shut them up. Go figure.
So now, rather than reason with the unreasonable, I am taking this opportunity to help them express their ongoing opinion of me openly and publicly. I know they won’t mind since they aren’t ashamed of what they do and I now believe in giving credit where credit is due. Luckily for those acting out, the psychiatrists deny this phenomenon and define it as my ‘fame seeking’ for apparently, it would not be ‘reasonable for a community to behave this way, therefore, it doesn’t happen, therefore, I must be ‘mad’ if I think it does! I have been feeding their own nonsense back to them for several years now.
They have quite nicely destroyed my life for me in this city on several levels. Of course, I am not to connect their non stop gossiping with the results to me. After all, THEY don't. So, if I am going to be publicly mocked ridiculed and snarled at, (sometimes quite literally) I am going to give them something more interesting to snarl about, and that ‘something’ is the public exposure of their own disgusting behaviour. It is time they owned that instead of continuing to delude themselves that their endless gossiping and mindless judgments are somehow magically ‘hidden’ from me and others like me. Otherwise they will just keep right on behaving the same way. They want the world to hear their opinion on everything? I will see to it if I can, that the whole planet hears about it. I will shout it from the proverbial rooftops on their behalf! My goal is to put average Joe and Josephine in touch with a greater reality; a reality that is right in front of their own noses.
The public in general believes that all psychiatrized people are stupid, senseless, barely conscious and blind and deaf as well. That is mostly because that is the way we are presented to them. In most cases, I have found, nothing could be further from the truth. Most of them are inherently saner that many of those who are trotting out their behaviour mod techniques in an attempt to get the effects they desire. Most often this is accompanied with the patronizing little tone.
We MUST show them beyond all their delusions who we really are, who it is that they are so busy patronizing, and why we find their two bit manipulations ludicrous and often enraging. You can bet that most of them would interpret the above ‘who we really are,’ in whatever way will allow them to hear ‘signs.’ I remember saying to the guy who ‘set me up’ with his so called ‘game,’ “You don’t know WHO I am because you don’t talk directly to me.”
That was 'interpreted' by one of his well conned enablers as, “You don’t know who I am!”
A simple statement of fact was re-invented as a statement of grandiosity simply because that is what they were expecting to hear based on their own beliefs.
The ‘normal’ make us fit their beliefs so this is not going to be an easy task by any means. We need to show them how foolish and patronizing they look to us. We need to stop following their instructions to concern ourselves more with how THEY will feel if we should tell them the truth. We need to detach from that nonsense. I am not talking about acting out in violence, or even DOING to them all the same things they do to us, so don’t think that I am. I am talking about showing them to themselves.
We need to let them know that once they demonstrated their obvious duplicity to us, along with their ‘covert’ manipulations and boundary violations, we have lost all respect for them and for good reason. We need to tell them that the reason we don’t trust them is NOT because some chemical is bubbling up from within our supposedly defective brains, but because they have taught us that they are not trustworthy. As Dr. Phil might put it about us, they have ‘taught us how to treat them.’ It is time they taught us something new about them.
This isn’t rocket science. If we treated them the same way that they treated us, they would be disgusted by our arrogance and duplicity, and rightly so. Their collective thinking and covert behaviour is not deserving of respect and it is time they faced and acknowledged that. Nevertheless, rather than treat them like they treat us, and become like them, we must instead just expose the reality of it all for what it really is. To do otherwise is to keep the cycle going and we need to break it. So, it’s not, ‘Ill show you!’ but rather (calmly), ‘I will show you what you do.’
So, learn to hold up a mirror to those who consider themselves to be the ‘sane’ ones. Show them their own arrogant faces. Show them their group stupidity. Show them that their belief in their ‘superiority’ is their group delusion, and that we are fully aware of them; that we are not different from, and that the ‘difference’ is only a well practiced illusion.