Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I Am the Object of Observation

By Patricia Lefave,
Labelled, Delusional (Paranoid) Disorder

Before you allegedly ‘normal’ people give in to your urge to ‘interpret’ this title in a way that ‘makes me sick’ (2) (you won’t take that the wrong way will you?) let me clarify for you.

I am one of millions of people who have had my personhood invalidated and replaced with an objectification process which was imposed on me by others. I am no longer a person. I am a fascinating ‘case’ or object to be observed by many in my natural habitat ( a medium sized Ontario city)by a variety of amused, puzzled, detached, intellectual or verbally abusive onlookers, all of whom needed to reduce me to the level of object as their first move in the observation game. (By the way; people who fear their own emotions or introspection, often hide themselves behind an intellectual façade. It is the means by which they escape their own reality.)
I no longer decide who I am, what I know, think, say or do. (3) A city wide groupthink session is used to decide that FOR me, from a nice safe distance away, so that challenging anyone’ s ideas of me is not an option.
Now I will have to ‘explain’ what I just said, to those who are MOST certain that they already understand it just fine. Most of the psychiatrized who are reading this already understand exactly what I mean. They know because it is their experience too, so no in depth explanation is usually necessary for them.
So then, to whom do I need to explain it?
I need to explain to psychiatrists and to all those who accept what psychiatrists define as ‘reality’ without questioning psychiatric beliefs. In other words, I have to explain what is perfectly obvious to me, or to anyone who has had the experience, to those who have created this experience, and those who have accepted psychiatry’s colourful ‘interpretation’ of it.
If you are tempted, as my observers and ‘interpreters,’ to lean together, arms folded, consoling yourselves with gratitude that you are not ‘ill’ like ‘her’, please resist the temptation, unfold your arms and learn how to hear again, perhaps for the first time.
I am the object of observation, not because that is how I feel , which is caused by having a mysterious disease which makes me feel that way, but because psychiatry and all it’s enthusiastic supporters have done a set of mental acrobatics within themselves, which allows those who define themselves as ‘normal’ to split themselves apart from me as their PREMISE of judgement. Doing so allows all of my ‘observers’ to see themselves AS observers, with me as the object of observation. They split reality as the premise of judgement and then reinterpret everything to fit using that base line. These are YOUR feelings which you are projecting onto me, not MY feelings abut myself. You all need to own your OWN feelings and judgements and start an introspective questioning process of self discovery. I need the breathing room that will give me when you do. Get the focus off of me and onto you. YOU are my problem.
I will help psychiatry and it’s current supporters learn to refocus. The rest of the psychiatrized can help you to do that too. All you have to do is learn how to listen.
We are the mirror you have thrown a towel over (reductionism, labels, drugs, ECT etc.) as if you were in the presence of the dead, so that you don’t have to see the ugly corpse-like face of a social sickness. You are in deep denial. That towel over the mirror is coming off and we are all going to polish that mirror until your own image is glaring right back at you, brighter than a noon day sun.

(These are called metaphors. Humans frequently use them to explain things and situations that others don’t understand when described in a straight forward manner. Try not to panic when you hear one. Instead of looking for ‘signs’ in me, try looking for some signs in yourself. You may fid that is the true source of your panic. )

Now back to my ‘translation’ from psychiatrese and public pop psychiatry to TPO (the Perfectly Obvious)
You are ‘making me sick’ (Both literally and colloquially) as a way of making yourself “well.” The world is not really neatly divided this way. This is an illusion created like ‘complications’ so that you can externalize your own errors by handing them all to me to carry for you. I do not want this labour job so please carry your own weight. You are ‘making me sick’ by applying enough GROUP pressure, invalidation, denial and strain to break fifty people and you are “making me sick’ (as an action within your own minds) by as a way of justifying your own behaviour towards me, both as individuals and as a group.
I remember decades ago reading R.D Laing’s’ books on “schizophrenia” etc. Something struck a chord in me as he wrote in one of them about one of his ‘case’ interviews. (I can’t remember now which book, nor can I quote from it exactly. Maybe one of my readers will recognize it and let me know the source.) The exchange between psychiatrist and psychiatrized went like this:
The patient: “Oh, I don’t decide who I am. Other people decide that for me.
Laing later evaluated that comment (without the presence of ‘the case’) like this:
“This man is saying he needs other people to tell him who he really is.’’ (Paraphrased)
As I read that, I remember thinking, “That is not what I hear the patient saying at all.”
Do you want to know how I hear it? I hear the patient (probably despite the ‘flat affect’ being produced by his drugging) being quite sarcastic to yet another ‘diagnosing and ‘interpreting’ psychiatrist. This was a doctor who understood far MORE than most of them do even now too.
What the patient was saying was this: (IMO)
Why bother going through the motions of asking me who I am, what I think and how I feel? Why bother with this charade after all this time? I have already told you, many times, what my experience of life is, and you rejected that and continue to look for an alternate reality you like better, so what is the use of my explaining it over and over again? Other people have taken it upon themselves to decide FOR me, whether I like it or not: who I am, what I think, what I mean, what I will be allowed to say, to do or to feel. If I object to that, the fault is found to be in me, and ONLY in me, so why bother asking me anymore and why should I bother answering? No one ever hears me anyway.

Do you know why I hear something so different in meaning in the same words? It is because of something personally realized only a few years ago; a difference in the way I listen.
I listened to what the patient was saying as an equal. Psychiatrists do not. Even Laing did not. As good as he was at hearing more than most other psychiatrists ever did, he was not listening to the patient as an equal; as a human being fundamentally the same as himself.
He was listening as a higher mind to a lower mind, as a doctor to a patient, as a normal person to an abnormal, or defective, person. So what he heard was what he was listening for, and expecting to hear. He was, after all, a trained psychiatrist.
It is no easy thing for any of them to get past their training; even those who are trying very hard to do just that. They would need to drop all of their assumptions and learn how to listen to very old truths with very new ears.
It is very hard for people in co-dependent dysfunctional families, society at large or psychiatry to let go of well entrenched beliefs and to start over. We fear what we don’t understand, and MORE than that, we fear the vacuum created by letting go of a concrete framework for understanding when we have nothing at all to take it’s place.
It is very much the same kind of fear that we who are pushed into psychosis, alone and isolated, feel when we cannot make sense of the people, or events, with which we are totally enmeshed, whether we like it or not, to the point of dis-integration. It is even harder when the attempt to find a new framework, which may allow us to save ourselves, is constantly invalidated by psychiatry itself and permanently suppress because it is feared to be more ‘signs.’
We understand what you fear because we have already experienced it ourselves. You drug us because when you look at us, and what we are being put through, you feel the fear about what you do not understand yourselves. We mirror that back to you.
In my own city it is repeated often: “It is all very complicated.” It isn’t really complicated at all. It is MADE complicated.
The dysfunctional family, then society as an extension of that, then psychiatry which legitimizes it, creates endless complications to distract everyone from the simple obvious truths of these relationships, by indulging in a search for mysteriously ‘hidden’ meaning where there is none. This they all do while simultaneously claiming that anyone who finds him/herself in a search for hidden meaning is exhibiting signs of insanity! I tend to agree with them.
The only thing we disagree abut is who is crazy/unconscious and who is not (or at least, less) It is quite simpler really and is often abut nothing more than who is whom; not what is what.

We who are on the receiving end of society’s attack, frequently at the original direction or suggestion of one person, often break down under pressure and as a direct result of carrying the enormous weight of our society’s foolish and absurd judgements. As we break, we can often be heard to laugh at the absurdity of it all. It is indeed like an ongoing ‘joke’ but one with a horrifying punch line. We often think it must REALLY BE a ‘joke’ too since along with the absurdity, we observe the smirking arrogance and amused eyes of those who are observing us, while they pretend to be mystified.
The problem is; though one, or sometimes a few, of them ARE pretending to be puzzled, the majority of those involved are NOT pretending at all. They are as confused as we are, but they are not the target, and they are not often even aware of their own confusion or why it exists. In fact, most of them seem to be sure they know exactly what is going on, even when they have NO idea at all. They is no on harder to talk to than the certain. This is part of the ‘complications.’
All of these complications though are based on judgement, most often by people who don’t actually know us at all. All they know is their own ‘stories’ about us and all the judgements against us based on all their own stories. The feeling in it as the targeted ‘crazy’ one is persistent. It is that of being rendered invisible as a human being.

Most of these judgements are made while they instruct us with well practiced patronizing little tones about how wrong it is ‘to judge others.’ If we laugh again at that, they ‘understand,’ as they have been taught to do, that ‘laughing for no reason’ is also a ‘sign’ of our insanity. Sometimes, they even say that, heads together, arms folded, four feet away from us, which cause us to laugh again.
An arrogance based judgement can lead to the most amazing complications of relationship you would never think was even possible. Or as we nuts often like to put it, when we are the object of observation, “it is like being trapped within a psycho spiritual maze.
The old platitude applies; “Oh what a tangled web we weave when fist we practice to deceive.”

Once judged as mad, or even potentially ‘mad’ it no longer really matters what we think, say, feel or do, since all attempts to escape the marvelously efficient snare of psychiatric reductionism have already been blocked BEFORE our personal experience with it ever started.
The predictable results are written down in the DSM, not as the reality that it really is, but as ‘symptoms’ supposedly ‘proving’ that our experience of reality shared with others; is NOT. For as those ‘others’ tell us over and over, at the first sign of our attempt to reveal them to themselves, “Blaming others is a character flaw,” but only apparently, if WE are the ones blaming them and not if THEY are the ones blaming US. It is important to understand that fine distinction.
One question:
Am I not ‘the other’ being blamed, from your point of view, on the same shared experience?”

Psychiatry has created, or certainly solidly reinforced, a dysfunctional illusion; a fundamental ‘difference’ between normal and abnormal people. This illusion has become ‘fixed’ and accepted by the majority as ‘reality.’ Psychiatry has also taught us that when an illusion or idea becomes fixed and immovable, it is then defined as a delusion. Let us hope that psychiatry is not yet intractable.

I am laughing right now for no reason. I guess that proves that someone, or something, is crazy doesn’t it?

1 comment:

Mark said...

psychiatries illusions influence regular doctors as well. I read of doctors in the ER/ED puzzled and worried at their psych patient not wanting "help". The ER/ED doctor can not see the hospital as a prison, which it is to the "patient/prisoner"
and sees unreasable anger from the patient at being helped. The anger then proves the need for mental health intervention.