Sunday, April 29, 2012

On Getting, and Being, Organized as a Movement

By Patricia Lefave, Monophrenic
The psychiatrized cannot organize in the same way as other people fighting for a cause BECAUSE we ARE psychiatrized. Our position is quite unique. We are a group of people about whom psychiatrists believe, and instruct OTHERS to believe, that we should “never have anything” we (they) “say taken at face value.” When we cannot have what we say taken at face value AND we also cannot use metaphors, as that is diagnosed as “psychosis” HOW is it possible to relate as equals to those who see us, and hear us, in such a way?
We need to be right in their face with this system filled with double binds but we need to do so very calmly and somewhat incredulously.  Shouting at them won't work because the people we shout at have defined shouting at them as “symptoms” of our illness, which then proves them right. Silence won't work either as they believe that means we have nothing legitimate or logical to say. Instead we need to SAY, “I know I cannot shout my truth at you, as you are programmed by your own training to perceive my shouting as a symptom of illness, having nothing at all to do with you, which only means no matter how loud I yell, nothing will change you.”
One of the questions I have asked my own psychiatrists locally is, Since I cannot get you to accept anything I say at face value and I also can't use metaphors, which you automatically define as “psychotic”, what method of communication would you suggest I use to get you to hear me in any way, that does not leave you psychologically deaf to it?”
The psychiatrized are not in the same position as ANY other group fighting for “human rights” because the psychiatrized are not considered to BE as fully “human”, by those with whom they are TRYING to communicate as equals. The system does not see us, hear us, or relate to us as equals. It sees us as inferiors and it relates to us as superiors to inferiors. I once told someone that I found Transactional Analysis helpful in understanding this individual, or group, dynamic of relating from two different LEVELS, but he did not understand what I meant at the time and that was because he was not relating as equals.
(And they wonder why we laugh!)
We are routinely patronized, invalidated, ignored, mocked, ridiculed, dismissed, laughed at, isolated psychologically, if not physically, and everything we think say, or do, can be pathologized out of existence, or consideration, BECAUSE we carry the labels with us as our artificially constructed identities which allow those who control, manipulate, and deceive us to do so with impunity.
They do so, most of them, with a sense of entitlement and righteousness, and loads of genuine “good intentions” because they are TAUGHT never to take anything “they” (we nuts) say at face value.
So I believe that the ONLY real way to penetrate the resistance of the system including PACT, ACT (in Canada now) NAMI, and the minds of university professors currently turning out droves of well trained, superior controllers of those human being which they perceive as inherently defective, is to talk about THIS.  I mean this, which I am talking about here, on the level of metaphysical systems, and to talk about it everywhere we go, and do so very publicly INCLUDING at, or near, psychiatric conventions etc. We need to bring this into everyday conversation on the level of dysfunctional SYSTEMS.
It also means that like with any dysfunctional group, we have to stop trying to “reason” with a system that is not reason based, in the first place. It is reactionary and fear based. It tranquilizes what it sees and hears as an inferior species of sub humans which includes both “the rapist” AND “the raped.” (Literally and metaphorically)
Problems are not solved for, or within, the “identified patient,” and external reality, including events, traumas and relationships that are essentially power struggles, are virtually ignored, or even denied to exist.
That way nice, polite “normal” society can keep on living inside the “Family Romance.”
So what I am saying is that I think we need to stop trying to relate as equals to those who do not understand us that way from square one, and instead, focus on the exposure of this GROUP dynamic as the real, most often UNSEEN problem, of humanity as a whole. We need to recognize that our movement, though SIMILAR to others relating to the subject of equality and human rights, is a unique one, since those who protest their treatment need only be defined as “crazy” FOR PROTESTING IT.  That rationale creates an infinite loop from which there is no escape possible and I believe that is why so many now compare it to things like (the current one of) being trapped in “the Matrix.”
Feel free to forward this and pass it along to those outside this group for further discussion and debate anywhere and everywhere..

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