Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dear Rob H. from the USA : Part 1

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

Your letter was very much like many of them which I frequently receive from some of my normal readers. I have responded to many others of them too but have often found it so difficult to penetrate the resistance on the level of meaning that I don’t go as far as I need to go, simply because it would take up all of my Internet time which would keep me from writing. Writing for others like me is now my first priority.
I have decided to post yours though and to respond to it publicly so that my other readers can see what I see. Most of them, who are largely labelled people already do of course, but the freshly confused and bewildered, those newly psychiatrized and mystified, by a system (yes, a ‘system’ Rob) and by a public that now defines reality FOR us also, keep right on coming by the tens of thousand every day being ground out by a machine that believes all human problems will be taken care of by the right kind of pill in a quick and easy remedy, often one size fitting all. Those who have made it all the way through the psychiatric maze and thought the contrived chaos and managed to come out the other side of it again, feel obliged to throw out a lifeline to those who now feel as we once did ourselves.
No one understands it like those who have gone through it Rob. I hope you get this point Rob, I really do. It is very important to our collective well being; yours included. Many remarks in your ‘comments’ struck chords within me and others I know as well. Your comments play a familiar tune to me and it is a tune I want to help you to change.
The first thing I noticed was the ‘corrective’ tone. To relate this way requires something in you. It requires you to have a sense of yourself and your understanding of my experience (one you state you have not had yourself) which YOU believe is superior to my own. THAT Rob is pretty much the premise of the psychiatrist/psychiatrized relationship too. In fact, many of our problems occur within the relationships with others who represent ‘authority’ of some kind, even if it is their self defined ‘authority.’ Sometimes it is family, sometimes, doctors, bosses, gang leaders or cult leaders. There is no end to the concrete titles given to the same style of relationship.
You mention psychiatry’s ‘poor success track record.’ I wonder what would constitute a ‘success’ to you? Bet it would not be defined the same way by me. You also stated anyone concerned with ‘winning’ couldn’t side with psychiatry. “Winning WHAT exactly Rob? A lot of people including myself, really aren’t focused on ideas of being on ‘winning sides’ as an abstract notion. More often we are focused on questioning what it is that is being perceived as ‘winning.’
We tends tend to be the introspective type you see, or most of us were, up until everyone everywhere started getting the same labels applied to them, no matter what the real cause of the individual’s distress including simply the distress caused by being defined as ‘mentally ill.’ Now we are labelled in ways that completely blur the lines between stress real disease process, addictions or criminal behaviour. It is no longer so easy to see the people behind the applied labels when we all get to wear the same ones. All the ‘dangerous lunatics all seem the same to the public don’t they? As one psychiatrized person pointed out to me once (and I have experienced much the same) the public really does not know the difference between the word psychosis and psychopath perceiving them as the same thing. All they know (believe) is that we are all ready to go on a killing binge like wild animals out of control, the minute we aren’t tranquilized. Nice image. It serves psychiatry’s purpose though and that purpose is to gain more and more power and control OVER others because it is faster to do that then to waste time (as they tend to think of it) talking to ‘diseases’ (as they tend to think of those they label)

The public, like you Rob, tends to see all of us as pretty much the same; all sort of stupid, unconscious prone to sudden violence for no reason at all and basically less than human. They have been well trained to do so. This is a belief of long standing and you know what beliefs of long standing that cannot be shaken are often called right? DELUSIONS. Often it is more about who has the biggest ones.
My point in ever mentioning costs though is not about saving taxpayers money. I am sure if I was a politician I would jump right on that one but I am not. It is also no really about protecting ‘others’ about exposure to violence although I do believe the humungous price tag the system generates for it’s brand of ‘help’ could and should be used to completely redirect the system (yes the ‘system’ Rob) from a mental illness system (which is what it really is) to a true mental health system (which is currently what it is not) if that were done, I think we would in time (and not all that much of it either) start to see this price tag shrink and at the same time we would see the people using it getting well. REALLY well Rob, not just controlled or drugged into submission. I think what we really need to focus on is educating the public. Not as it is done now like educating the public about how all of us don’t know our own asses from a hole in the ground and so everyone else needs to pressure us to accept ourselves as inherently defective. Let us make that really clear here. I mean ‘educate the public about themselves and their own false beliefs and their constant need to deny their own ‘mental’ problems and project them willy nilly all over their friends, relatives and co-workers while always defining themselves as those ‘others’ who cannot be blamed. (I just read a scary piece in the paper by a local minister who says things that are absolutely bizarre. But that is a piece for another post on another of my blogs) I would like the public at large to be able to see and hear themselves as they really are and I would like them (and you too Rob) to see and hear us as we really are and right now there is too much mystifying fog in the way all the time for that to happen. What I am trying to do here Rob is blow that fog away with some straight talk directed at people who admittedly, really don’t want to hear this. I am determined to be one of the psychiatrized folk who make them hear it whether they want to or not and there are more of us joining together all the time. You know Rob, I really believe that if they could do that the whole world would change for the better as a result. Just call me the deluded paranoid optimist Rob, although my persistence is actually more likely to be called ‘obsessing’ by those who need to see it that way.
The world loves its delusions Rob and often it is the ‘normal’ who love it the most. It feels GOOD to feel superior doesn’t it? It feels good to many to base their beliefs on a 'them and us' mentality, even if it is only a temporary ‘fix.’ It feels good to be able to say to yourself, “Thank God I am not crazy like HER. I will even be altruistic and help her become sane like ME.”
Would it surprise you to know Rob that you seem quite a psycho spiritual mess to me? I would bet it does even if just for that minute when you are forgetting that you can overlook what I perceive simply by focusing on my psychiatric label which works like an instant in invalidation tool for those who do not (yet) have a label of their very own. Never mind though Rob; there are now so many new imaginary ‘diseases’ out there in DSM Land that there are more than enough for everyone to have one or two mental illnesses of his or her very own.
“Normal’ is fast becoming a state of meaninglessness which can be controlled (should anyone feel a pang of conscience, guilt, or the urge to see of find any faults) with a mood altering drug designed to return the emotional to a state of suitable numbness, a small perfect little smile ever present, ever ready to deny the world is, what it is, and that we humans have made it this way. The old expression ‘that is just how life is’ is the platitude of choice to justify the lack of effort to fix what is really wrong and to ‘fix ‘ instead those who are upset by what is wrong. ‘
The role between psychiatrist and psychiatrized IS relative; it is a dueling perspective on the same reality which I have experienced personally. I once said to those judging and assessing me from a nice safe distance away, ‘I am a person.’ (Meaning not a thing, object, subject, disease process or fascinating case) They did not know what I meant and many perceived my saying so as ‘really funny.’ Talk about inappropriate affects Rob, these boneheads were overloaded with them yet they saw and heard nothing of either me or themselves and THAT Rob is what this problem is really all about. It is a great illusion with enthusiastic participation by hordes of people who will gladly follow anyone as long as THEY can believe they are on the ‘winning side.’ That is what is so scary.
Please Rob, don’t presume to ‘correct’ my perception of my own reality for me. You did not live it. You are not me. I don’t need you to do that and I actually find it very annoying to say the least. Since you are making me feel annoyed Rob, should I assume these are symptoms of your mental illness? Is an intervention in order? You are not in a position to correct my life for me and in fact, your own idea that you are in a legitimate position to be able to do that is a large part of ‘our’ problem. Virtually everyone in our lives, especially after labelling, is quite sure they understand our lives, thoughts, feelings and experiences BETTER than we. Psychiatrists do the same thing and they don’t know it either. They believe it is legitimate for them to judge people’s life experience in which they played NO part, in ten minutes. There is nothing more arrogant and yet they don’t see it that way at all.

Eventually Rob, something really WAS wrong with me. I broke down, under enough pressure, involving half the community all ‘helping’ by following me around and ‘observing’ me, to break fifty people. Of course this group behaviour was denied and it does not take a genius to figure out why that would happen as it has. Once denied, their group denial was then magically transformed into MY perception/reaction problem. It happens all the time in groups Rob. It really does. That is why the psychiatrized all say the same sort of things. Because on a metaphysical level the same sort of experience, involving groups of people, happens over and over again.

It is the stuff that mobs are made of.

To be continued
End of part one of my Answer

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