Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dear Rob H. from the USA : Part 2

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

When you write to me Rob, you are writing to someone who has been defined as ‘crazy’ and you then proceed to tell me just what I am like. One of my posts on this blog has a link in it on 'Identifying Mentalism', which is a term coined to mean something similar to sexism or ageism or racism. This is also linked into my own post “The Dialogue: Part One, with Rob Wipond.”

which is a term coined to mean something similar to sexism or ageism or racism. This is also linked into my own post “The Dialogue: Part One, with Rob Wipond.”
Can you hear yourself Rob, calling me lazy, defective and ‘dangerous’? Am I ‘allowed’ to feel angry and frustrated with you? Will my emotions be perceived as legitimate or real to you or will they be brushed aside as the irrelevant symptoms of the mental defective you are telling me that I am?

I WAS supporting and caring for myself and I have been doing that since I was eighteen. I was 47 when I broke down and I was 49 when my label was applied for my complaints about the behaviour of others towards me. The system forced me out of my job for that. They denied it existed and it is really not all that hard to understand why such denial exists is it? (the normals love denial)
They then told my employer that I was too ‘crazy’ to work and the manipulations and coercive tactics then began as they always do with those who won’t be amiable and ‘co-operative’ enough to make the system happy. So my employer got told I was ‘totally disabled.’ You see Rob, this is the kind of power they have, and use regularly, so they can coerce people into ‘admitting’ they are crazy. If you ‘admit’ it you are ‘allowed’ to work again but then you may have no job because your employer does not want to give work to someone as ‘unstable’ and potentially ‘dangerous’ as you, a crazy person. That is who my psychiatrist told my employer I was so I would deny my own reality and embrace his fantasized version of it which he liked better. His version made everyone involved ‘blameless’ you see. That is what ‘medicalizing’ human problems does best. Makes everyone (well except the non compliant patient perhaps) ‘blameless.’ Of course the public does not know all of this part of it as that is ‘confidential’ and also I have been instructed by those involved not to attempt to talk about it.

Your second point about the real problem with my presumed ‘madness’ doesn’t apply either. Though I am sure there are many people who feel ‘annoyed’ by my awareness of them, and their own bad behaviour, I never once even raised my voice confronting any of them, nor do I use any violence or cursing or damage anyone’s property. In fact, Rob, statistically speaking, we labelled people are far more often the victims of crime than the criminals. Research that fact Rob. Here is a link that will get you started and hopefully lead you to more:

Below is a short excerpt from the article, "Extreme Victimization of People with Mental Health Problems" as an example of what life is REALLY like when you get labelled. I have a very similar experience myself. For complete article click on the title link.

November 29, 2007by Chris George

“Most people with mental health problems have suffered theft, been attacked, harassed, sexually assaulted or raped by people in their own community, according to a new report.
Mind, the charity which published today's report, said it exposes the "extreme" harassment and victimization committed by people towards neighbours who have diagnoses such as depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Its chief executive Paul Farmer said: "People with mental distress feel unsafe in their own communities, unsafe in their own homes and have even come to expect harassment as part of living with mental distress."
Mind surveyed 400 people with mental health problems and victim support workers. It found 71 per cent of people with mental health problems had been victimized in the last two years. This compares to 24 per cent of other people, as detailed in national crime statistics.”

I am law abiding and so are most of the psychiatrized people I know though like in the general population there are some real jerks amongst the psychiatrized also. Still most of them are under far more pressure, to which they react, than the general population so we have to factor that in as well. Most of us though are law abiding despite what often becomes the constant harassment of those presumably ‘normal’ others who can’t be blamed. ( you know when I say that I am being facetious, but I have learned that I have to SAY that too or people will think I mean it!)
Your idea that ‘all would be rosy’ if only I was more ‘amiable and co-operative’ is unrealistic. It would be really nice if those ‘others’ we accuse of abuse weren’t ‘really’ abusive but Rob, that is a massive denial of the reality of life and my own opinion is that this denial of it is only serving to make it even worse since it is not seen for what it is. It is really enabling Rob. I too get told, often by those who have done me harm, that I am not ‘smiling’ or ‘friendly’ enough to suit them. You see they want to believe their own duplicity is not seen by me. They really want me to go along with their pretensions. They want me to enable them and go along with the group fantasy. (‘Comply’ in the jargon of psychiatry) From MY point of view though, it is like watching children having a really long temper tantrum because they can’t get their own way.
The thoughts’ whirring around in my head’ were actually an attempt to sort out the non stop contradictions and multiple versions of my supposed ‘reality’ as created and defined FOR me by others who can never accept being wrong about anything no matter what it costs us all. The source of my problem was external not internal as presumed. Coupled with a refusal by all involved to discuss it directly with me and try to sort it out, I eventually got disconnected from concrete reality and was driven into a psychosis. I told them it was happening. I could feel myself going and I told them that too. They could not hear it as having any relationship to what they were doing or what they were denying they were doing. (in some cases) The psychosis was not there first. It was the RESULT of the group behaviour ; it was not the CAUSE of the group behaviour. You’re right though. Groups of people DO want people defined by them as ‘crazy’ to be brought under the control of ‘authority’ and I think they want that for a number of reasons, all of them fear based.

“Simple jobs” are still being found for us Rob. They are often being used to replace the jobs we got forced out of by the psychiatrists who told our employers we were ‘nuts.’ Most of us are still assumed by most people to be stupid. The public tends to equate the two you know. It is probably the patronizing little tones we get all day from the normals that keeps that going. Nothing keeps any status quo of belief going like general agreement upon it. As far as ‘families’ go, why don’t you try asking the ‘crazy’ what that’s like from his/her point of view instead of TELLING us? Ever notice how 95% of the time other people take on the job of acting as our ‘interpreters’ as though speaking for ourselves was precluded as a possibility? You should feel what that’s like; being 'third personed' all the time, often done right in your presence. It is like being made invisible as a human being. Other people dictate to you who you are, what you know, what you will be aware of, what thoughts you may have, who you will be allowed to talk to, what you may say, how you will react and what you will be allowed to feel. How does that sound to you Rob? Do you think you would appreciate being forced into a psychological position like that? Would you be grateful, as we are so often told we ‘should’ be? Do you think you might feel depressed or angry in such a situation?
Your description of society as ‘a well oiled machine’ is ringing true to me and to many like me. It is very hard to talk to people who act as if they were machine parts rather than human beings. This is where our common references to robots and automatons comes from you know; also our references to
Brave New World and 1984.
Our imagery, even in psychosis is meaningful not meaningless Rob as society and psychiatry wants to believe. It is indicative of the nightmare of society’s inventions of “reality’ which our symbols and metaphors actually represent. If you could get your own head out of the alternate meaning that has been supplied for you, you might even be able to hear some simple truths in them.

I wonder if the ‘village idiot’ who was treated as a ‘source of humour’ and who complained that people ridiculed him and laughed at him all the time as if his feelings did not matter was as ‘amused’ from HIS point of view as those DOING the laughing and then denying it? What do you think Rob? Do you think the ‘village idiot’ understood how ‘funny’ it was to be treated like that? Do you think he got ‘the joke’? Or do you think the ‘amused’ others may have decided he was too ‘stupid’ to understand he was being treated that way so that made it OK for them to do so? Do you think that society always picks the right people to label as the idiots Rob? Or do you think it might just often be that old standard defense mechanism known as ‘projection’?
I don’t actually see all of this as a ‘nefarious’ scheme Rob. It is actually scarier than that. Dealing directly with evil that shows me it’s face is actually easier than with evil that is disguised or ‘hidden.’ The fact is I believe that the majority of psychiatrists do what they do and believe as they believe, acting sincerely and with good intentions. It is the blindness to the reality of self and others that makes this business so scary and which makes the entrenched beliefs of the system (yes the ‘system’ Rob) and the public at large so extremely difficult to penetrate. People who believe they are ‘superior’ in either understanding or worth, see no reason to communicate directly or honestly with those they define as their ‘inferiors.’ That is my assigned role in this Rob: the ‘inferior’ mental patient; no need or desire for anyone to talk directly to me and there hasn’t been for over fifteen years now. Instead, I remain the object of interpretation for virtually anyone, and everyone, in my own city. Every day a groupthink session takes place and a new twist on the reality of ‘me’ as defined by others is reached by means of this consensus. No input at all from me is seen as necessary or desirable. It never occurs to those doing it that WHAT they are doing is acting as my ‘interpreters’ as though I were incapable of speaking the same language. It really is like ‘talking to the walls’ from my point of view. It reminds me of the child’s chant if it were delivered by psychiatrists: “I’m rubber and you’re glue; anything YOU say bounces off me and sticks to you!”

Being ‘stuck’ in the system and trapped by it’s jargon is exactly what happens when we try to tell our own truth, Rob and this is something only those of us who have experienced can see and it is also why those of you who have not experienced it cannot see.

End of Part 2:

Part 3 to Follow next week

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