Petition for Gloria! Please sign!

https://www.change.org/p/ruth-lowenkron-disability-rights-new-jersey-we-demand-immediate-medical-care-and-appropriate-placement-for-gloria-gervase-who-was-attacked-while-under-state-care

This petition just started and we need signatures!  Your signature is greatly appreciated!

A decision to protect myself from harm

I am not the world’s greatest PR person. Therefore, I have chosen solitary work and I don’t have to rely on others who may be unreliable. I recall when I used to compose music I was frustrated at the musicians who didn’t show up on time for rehearsals. I got tired of relying on the presence and full cooperation of other people. I wasn’t good at recruiting responsible fellow musicians.  Many other composers shared my frustration.

Writing, on the other hand, does not involve these annoyances. I don’t have to meet with others.  I like that I am fully responsible for my work, and if I fail or fall short, it isn’t because someone was a no-show.

However, from time to time, I’ve had to deal with pain-in-the-butt humans. People who are just plain rude, or who act disrespectfully.  What to do?

I don’t handle that kind of behavior well. I am much better than I used to be. I consider the source and content before I do anything else.

An immature rude comment coming from an immature person I can easily dismiss. Or from someone with no background, either via experience or education, in the topic at hand, is easy for me to dismiss as well. Some people are born know-it-alls and I just have to accept their need to be “experts” at everything. Or they bully for the sake of bullying.

I think you guys know what I am talking about. If a three-year-old calls you a witch, are you going to fly off the handle, or are you going to realize that this kid has toddler motives and isn’t going to call in the witch-hunters.  He’s probably thinking, “Halloween.” Perhaps he is complimenting your thick, dark hair, and you should take it as such, lightheartedly. Or maybe you should ask before assuming anything. Maybe he was upset that you commented on his thumb-sucking. Or maybe you didn’t hear right.

This aside, what if an adult insults me? Someone I figure should know better and is responsible for his/her actions. The cyberbully who posted a few comments on here (most I didn’t allow through) was clearly an immature jerk behind a computer who matters little to me. I didn’t pay any of this much heed.

However, if someone I put trust in insults me, I tend to react rather badly. I am well aware of this and I try to prevent these situations from occurring. I do this to protect myself from harm. I think anyone would do this.

If the person has insulted me in the past repeatedly, I tend to avoid any further encounters with that person. Many people would recommend such action. I am wondering…how long should a person wait before ending all contact with this person?

I used to argue back or defend myself. Often, I try this tactic. The person might immediately apologize. If I hear, “I am sorry you feel that way,” this is not an apology. If, on the other hand, I hear, “I am sorry I said that,” this is an apology. The person may continue by saying, “I’m sorry, that was a typo due to the fact that I was using a cell phone autocorrect. I had no intention of being hurtful.” I will laugh and assume everything’s okay.

If this isn’t the case, and the insulting remark was intended, I sometimes remove myself from the situation. I take a break. This is to protect myself.

I know in the past I have reacted so badly to insults that I have ended up starving myself. I am well aware of this risk. I need above all to protect myself and see to it that on all costs, I don’t starve again. It will kill me. Death is permanent. What is an insulting remark? Fleeting.

I am, of course, fully responsible for myself and I don’t blame the insulting person for my own self-starvation. However, I am not perfect and I am aware of my peculiarities.

Yesterday, I received a nasty insulting remark from someone in an e-mail. I didn’t want to be on the defensive. As soon as I could, I shut down the computer and cell phone both, and shut off contact with this person. I blocked certain online access and also tried to block the person from ever e-mailing me again. Unfortunately, I guess I screwed up the e-mail blocking. It doesn’t matter. This person isn’t worth my time nor do I want to get into a huge tizzy over it.

Use of forced psychiatry to persecute activists

Check out this article:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/russian-activist-mikhail-kosenko-sentenced-to-forced-psychiatric-treatment/

I would like to say that the exact same practice is used in the USA. It’s so easy to dispose of folks who are vocal in this manner. No one will contend the “opinion” of a psychiatrist.

I have certainly seen plenty of false accusations in my day. The accused has no recourse, especially if psychiatry deems the person “incompetent” or “lacking insight,” as they put it. This determination can be made with no evidence whatsoever. It’s an easy way to dispose of folks that are challenging the status quo.

This is a human rights issue. This is one reason why I made the decision to leave the USA.

Julie Greene

Plea to blog readers on behalf of Gloria: Will you sign?

Dear readers, near and far,

I have written a letter to the attorney working for  Disability Rights New Jersey, a state agency, making requests that are long overdue for Gloria Gervase. Gloria is the patient who was recently attacked and blinded at Trenton State Hospital. I am going to send this letter to this person, Ruth Lowenkron, in two hours. I would like others to add their signature as well. I would like to send the letter via e-mail to anyone wishing to sign and then compile all signatures together and send the e-mail. I would also like to publish this letter in my blog and have it go “public.” I won’t publish any signatures in my blog, just the letter, unless you specify otherwise, to preserve confidentiality.

Please let me know if you care about this and if you wish to join this appeal for Gloria. You can write to me at julie@juliegreene.net and let me know. If you respond by way of a comment here, your comment won’t automatically publish (they never do). If you are sending your contact info that way, I will strip your contact info from the comment before allowing it to go live. That’s my general policy to keep anyone here from getting harassed by spammers.

Again, my e-mail address is julie@juliegreene.net. Thanks!

Unfounded fears and scapegoating on the part of an entire community

This does happen, sadly, and I have seen it first hand. Everyone has. Remember after 9/11, it seemed like there was so much hatred of any person who was either Muslim or at all looked Middle Eastern? Or now, the mass paranoia about Ebola? I suppose all one has to do is mention having traveled anywhere in Africa, even if that trip was years ago, and this will cause fear and avoidance. I imagine anyone who is originally from any African country will face discrimination. There’s far more chance that a person will get eaten by a shark than of catching Ebola. Or ending up wrongly put into a mental hospital or coerced into taking dangerous drugs, or ending up in “therapy,” totally convinced of their own neediness. That notion alone is hugely damaging. Our danger is not from some foreign place, but within society itself. There’s the toxin, the poison that needs to be eradicated. The lies about mental health (which are generated not by the medical sector but by pharmaceutical companies and large corporations) are far more dangerous than the potential for spread of Ebola.

Anyway, I’m gonna talk about scapegoating for a minute. I am away from all that now, but this is what I saw happening:

I saw mass paranoia in my community, Watertown, Massachusetts, which is a Boston suburb, about me. The paranoia started in the medical sector, then spread throughout the medical system to the general community. I was confused about what was happening at first and had no clue. I thought these doctors were there to help me. But this wasn’t true. I doubt they even saw their roles as “helpers” after they made that unfounded determination that I was a huge danger to society.

It was certainly shocking to me. I am not a danger to anyone. Yet again and again, folks were fearful of me as if I were a leper or carrying some horrible communicative disease. Or if I were truly violent. I felt like a reverse magnet, repelling all that came into my path. Their rumors were unfounded but there was little I could do.

Here, I need to give specific examples to show you what I mean. I had these state workers coming to my home simply because I’d been in mental hospitals. The worker I had was grossly irresponsible, just didn’t even care about her job or about me. I noted that her boss was also irresponsible and didn’t even know this worker was such a slacker. I wrote to him and threatened to report him to the DMH. Guess what happened within a month?

You guessed. My new worker called and said next time she was coming, her boss was going to be with her. This was July 2012. So in they came, she and her boss. He insisted I go to an ER. I asked him why, and he said I had edema. I told him I’d had chronic edema for over a year and this wasn’t a reason to go to an ER. Then, he said if I didn’t agree to go, he’d section me to go. Yep, for edema that had been there for a year, suddenly this was a big emergency. Due to threat of sectioning, I went along with it. My worker drove me.

Once at the ER, I was interviewed. No one seemed to care about the edema. No, my worker’s boss had insisted on a psych evaluation. So in walks the shrink. You’d think I was pointing a loaded gun to his head. Why? He was shaking all over, especially when he had to touch me or go near me. Yes, this guy was afraid I’d attack. I was shocked! I had no intention of attacking anyone! This was the ER shrink at Newton Wellesley. He was the Australian doc who had been there a while. I cannot recall his name right now.

I was so stupid. I figured any pills I’d taken were going to show up on a blood test. So I fessed up to taking 1/2 of a pill of a diuretic. Kinda makes sense to take a diuretic if you have edema. But he said this represented “danger to self” and he sectioned me to go inpatient. One half pill? This wasn’t an overdose nor was I doing this to self-harm. I needed the edema looked at and what did I get? A shrink with his finger on a panic button.

Here’s another example. I was so shocked at this. I went to see my minister. I’d gone to talk to him plenty of times. I don’t know what happened. I walked in there, as usual, carrying a medium-sized handbag, actually this was a woven cloth bag I had over one shoulder. So this time when I came to see him, I had a document in my bag I wanted to show him.

So my words were, “I have something in my bag to show you.” I was shocked at the obvious fear in his eyes. He stammered and said, “Let’s go into the other room so Nancy can see, too.” Nancy was the church administrator who worked in another church office. I knew, then, why he was saying this. He was scared I had a gun in my bag and was going to shoot him. Or maybe a knife. I had neither. I never had plans nor desire to attack anyone, especially not with a dangerous weapon.

I was never a danger to children nor have I ever done violence to a child. I have never beat up anyone. Guess I have that over my minister, who confessed he once beat up a kid because the kid was a foreigner. He confessed this publicly in a sermon.  Who was dangerous here?

I never said a word. I felt  like a leper or some hated ex-con or sex offender, yet I was none of these. I never carried a weapon and have no clue how to use one. I was so shocked. I should have never gone back there again. Sadly, I kept going back till it was damn obvious I wasn’t welcome anymore.

And you guys know about the accusations around the beginning of 2014…..

Now, the church has this “safety committee.” Safety against people like me? All a complete misunderstanding based on their leader’s paranoia. In fact, it’s their mass fear of people of those that are labeled, their collective paranoia, that’s terribly unsafe.

I feel sad that this happened but it’s over now. Mass gang behavior anger reaction to a lie. I was scapegoated.  They might as well be sending lynch mobs to those that they don’t like or don’t understand. It’s very sad. It was a huge mistake, and I hope the church doesn’t act this way toward anyone else…ever again. Nor the medical community. It was a huge mistake. No one should be scapegoated and I hope no one else has to suffer.

The sad story of how I was rejected from an online community

I hear stories from other people quite frequently, about how they joined an online community but were booted out. They were either kicked out and refused further access, or they faced so much social rejection that they made the decision to quit.  The latter is, of course, covert means of kicking someone out. The effect is the same, though. The person is effectively no longer participating in the community.

I have seen this in “in person” communities as well. Some communities literally ask a person to leave or stop allowing the unwanted person entry to their meeting place. Perhaps the organization can pinpoint some trivial policy that the unwanted person has violated. Or new policy will be made to ensure that the unwanted is effectively kept out.

Oftentimes, though, the community doesn’t want to look bad, nor do they wish to appear unethical in any way. So they will make the person feel useless or unworthy. The person will be assigned tedious, boring tasks that require no skill. The person will never be given any responsibilities or meaningful duties. Thus, the community, or more likely, its higher-ups, effectively let this person know that he or she is not at all valued by them.

Another technique I have seen to effectively get rid of an unwanted member is to casually suggest that the member “take time off.” One or two members with good coercive skill will tell the unwanted just how badly she needs a rest, that perhaps she’s suffering too much under the burden of demands from the organization. There may, in fact, be no demands at all on the unwanted person, but this “feel good” method works quite well. The person leaves and is unlikely to complain, thinking she is being treated with respect and consideration. In truth, though, the community is rather glad she’s gone and are wiping their hands clean of the whole affair. What they have done isn’t respectful at all, but no one has to know.

In this recent incidence of my being booted out of an online community, a covert method was used. Not all members of the community participated. It was actually a minority as the community was large and in fact, I’d met very few of them in person.  However, the offending members added up to enough of an overwhelming number that I made the decision to leave.

Everything was cool when I first joined. As it is usually for such communities. One problem I saw right away, and in fact, anticipated, was that there were very few people even close to my age in this community. Most were in their 20’s, many were teens, and a few were in their 30’s. I think there were a handful already into their 40’s, but very few. That meant I was old enough to be many members’ grandmother, since I am 56 years old. I felt awkward, of course, but made light of this. Most everyone was female in this community.

I felt quite good about it at first. Didn’t we have so, so much in common? Of course we did. I got chummy with some people and assumed I had new friends. I assumed these people even liked me. I had no reason not to believe this.

Keep in mind that people like me, who don’t have supportive family, put more emphasis on friendship than those that do have supportive family.  Many people who are in stable marriages or who have regular contact with family members don’t really understand the need for friendship that a person like me often has. Perhaps, therefore, I tried to be a bit too chummy with people that simply didn’t give a damn.

Because I am older and more experienced, I have seen more than these kids have, simply by having been on the planet longer. As far as the common denominator went, I also had extensive experience with our common suffering that held us together. Therefore, I often found myself in a position of having to relate an experience of mine or viewpoint that perhaps no one there had yet considered.

I am not alone in my thinking. I have found plenty of other people who have seen what I have seen and who have similar opinions. Nothing about my own experience is exceptional or unusual in any way. However, this online community assumed that what I was saying was highly unusual, or even impossible. This, I suppose, was the first way they rejected me. I am not speaking of the community as a whole, but of a portion of this community. It was enough, though, to cause me discomfort. I tried to keep up the humor to smooth all this over.

Things progressed from there. Select members began to bully me. As many of you know, it’s best not to associate with people intent on bullying.  It often took me far too long to come to my senses and realize that this person was going to be cruel no matter what I said or did. This is what bullies do.

I was called names. Some were quite nasty and rude. I tried to fend it off then realized it was best to cease communication with those particular individuals. In fact, other members who felt empathetic toward me (or had actually met me in person) advised me to cut contact. I did so.

I received the following rude comments. I am listing them in no particular order, and some are paraphrased.

“You are disgusting.”
“You are a disgrace and shouldn’t be in our community.”
“You have no clue what it’s like to have an eating disorder. You don’t know what we go through.”
“You are clearly against recovery.”
“You are bad for my recovery.”
“I fear you will cause me to relapse.”
“You are negative.”
“I know what you are saying is true, and in fact, rather insightful, but I don’t think we should have to hear it.”
“You must be paranoid.”
“You are a danger to our community.”
“You challenge us too much.”

There were many other similar remarks. I was tired of it, but put up with it for the sake of those who weren’t participating in the bullying. However, these remarks wore on me. This was bound to happen even though I knew what they were saying wasn’t true. I tried to focus on those members who seemed supportive. At first, there were many, but this number dwindled.

I had one good friend in this community. She was one of the few that I had actual spoken contact with. I have no clue what happened between the two of us, because there wasn’t any argument or friction between us.  She’d initiate contact with me as much as I initiated contact with her. I thought she was a really good person. I still do.

As the number of supporters dwindled, and more and more members turned away from me, I noticed this one friend periodically dropped contact and I wouldn’t hear from her. I feared something had gone terribly wrong in her life. I’d re-establish contact and she’d tell me she’d been busy, or some account had been hacked.

This kept happening, though. After a while, I began to recognize excuse-making, even lies, though I didn’t want to jump to wrong conclusions. Sometimes, a person becomes caught up in things and they forget to let one or two friends know they are okay, just involved in other stuff. However, this kept repeating. I didn’t want to be a nag.

Finally, I thought of something. Maybe this person wanted me to give up trying to re-establish contact. I was getting tired of this person not answering when I called and not calling back after I’d left messages. I tried contacting by another means and the response I received didn’t hold water.  What if I just stopped asking to reconnect? I decided to wait for this person. After all, if she was really my friend, and she wasn’t being dishonest, I’d hear from her shortly.

Nothing. No word. No apology nor explanation. Dropped out of sight. Silent treatment.

It saddened me that this person had been influenced by my reputation, that is, what others thought of me. I was heartbroken that this has occurred. What happened at this point was that I made the active decision to walk out. I have not participated in this online community since.

I feel terribly sorry for many of those folks that are truly struggling. It seemed pointless to reach out to them, because they’d made up their minds that I was a “dangerous” person to associate with. This, of course, was based on rumor and not fact. There were a number of these folks that I fully intend to stay in touch with, but not within the context of this online community.

I will never really know the origin of the rumors. At this point, it’s not even worth wondering about. I refuse to associate with people who insist on calling me nasty names. Also, I don’t want to associate with anyone who is pretending to like me, but deep inside, believes the rumors and actually thinks I’m nuts. Why associate with someone with whom I have no credibility? Essentially, what this person is doing is faking it and lying to me. Who wants fake friends? Fake relationships end up destructive, do they not?

I still do have friends, but I make sure that the folks with whom I associate are honest and sincere. I make sure they truly want to be friends. I realize that anyone may choose to change their mind. I also have that option. Friendship isn’t a legally bound agreement nor is there any obligation to stay friends forever. I believe that love and trust is what holds people together. Obligation alone won’t work.  Friendships may wax and wane, as well. I try to keep an open mind and allow a person to grow and change. I sure want other folks to be open-minded about me as well.

I am happy to be out of this online community. It was stifling for me. I wonder if anyone from there is reading what I am writing right now. Maybe. I guess I have moved on.

My credit card information was stolen by someone at Gerry’s Italian Kitchen around the time of the Marathon Bombings, 2013

I thought I’d never come out with this publicly, but I feel okay about doing this now, as I no longer live anywhere near Watertown, Massachusetts.

I would have to go back into my journal to find the exact date, or check my old credit card statement.  It was around the 24th of April, 2013. Of course, I have my own unique marathon story that no one has even cared about. I recall I shared part of it, but this is a part of the same story that I never before shared. I guess I was rather afraid of retaliation on the part of whoever stole my credit card number that night.

I lived in Watertown from 1987 until 2014. Gerry’s was not too far from where I lived on 100  Warren Street. Many of the residents ordered delivery or takeout from there and they were known to have good food. I recall ordering from there when I had friends over.  I had no clue any wrongdoings were happening there nor did I have any reason to believe this was the case. I guess the place was known to be typical of many local businesses. Family-run, good cooking. Gerry’s was there a long time, too. I recall Joe and I ordered from Gerry’s a few times. Joe loved pizza. I believe he ordered subs from there, too.

You guys know there’s more to to the “pizza” bit. Regular readers of this blog know I have had an eating disorder for a long time. In 2008 I relocated to another Watertown location. I have always had the same phone number…and this is crucial because my phone there was connected to my address.

Gerry’s Italian Kitchen always had this annoying habit of looking on their caller ID, and somehow, they’d already know who the heck I was and where I lived. I knew perhaps this was for their convenience, so they’d know where to deliver, but to me, I felt like I sure didn’t want to call a place and have them know automatically where I lived and what my name was.  I figure if I call an ambulance, such knowledge would sure be useful, but for a pizza place to have all this info seemed like an invasion of my privacy.

These were the events around the time of the Marathon: First of all, the date of the Marathon was April 15, which in Massachusetts is called Patriots’ Day. This marks the beginning of the American Revolution in 1775. It was April 19, but the holiday got switched to a Monday just like many other holidays. So in 2013, the day of the Boston Marathon was April 15, a Monday. And you all’s know what happened!

I recall I went running the next day at the gym. It was a good run and I did a piece of writing on my run. Needless to say, not too many people seemed much in a mood for running that day.

You guys know I have an eating disorder. For whatever reason, I decided to stop eating later that week. I was recording what I ate in my journal. I can see, looking back, just how pissed off I was about my situation. I kept telling myself that I would “show them” by starving myself till I was ridiculously thin. I kept telling myself that not eating and becoming thin was a “fuck you to the world.” I was so pissed at my own shrink, too. She’s recently threatened me. The appointment was on April 3rd, only a few weeks ago, at 1:20, according to my calendar.

This is what else had occurred: All that year, I’d been trying very hard to find new providers. I heard from someone on Facebook, a complete stranger, that maybe I should try Boston Medical Center, which serves the inner city and isn’t connected to Mass General, where my psychiatrist practiced. If I could find a primary care doctor there, I could rather quietly quit Dr. P, and move my care to Boston Medical. My first appointment with this male doctor was late March. He turned out to be a real jerk, so I ended up deciding not to go with these providers. I sure felt stuck and was going to try somewhere else. I recall I had an appointment with the guy at BMC which I canceled. I phoned the secretary and gave her my usual line, “I need to cancel but right now, I’m out and my calendar is at home. I’ll be sure to call  later and reschedule.” Yeah, sure. I had no intention of rescheduling, but secretaries always bought into that one. Meanwhile, I had Dr. P to contend with and I wondered if she had caught wind of my attempt to switch providers. I had already tried to switch in 2012 to Somerville Hospital and that didn’t work, either. At any rate, my appointment with Dr. P on the 3rd of  April was one appointment that I sure wish I’d tape recorded. She yelled and screamed at me in her office. There were two occasions that she did this that spring. She was certainly out of control. Right in front of me. I knew somehow I needed to leave her. This shrink was becoming a madwoman!

The 31st of March was our church talent show. Either that or the 30th. A Sunday, anyway. Yes, I performed, didn’t do too badly at it, actually. Just as I was leaving, a church member (actually, it was Rachel) came up to me and insulted me terribly. It was rude of her to say what she said. I reacted badly. Truth was, she had a bad habit of insulting me and insulted a lot of people without even realizing it. She’d said ridiculous things to me in the past and I should have taken it all with a grain of salt. I didn’t, though. My eating went haywire as a result. Either I ate nothing, or everything in sight.

I remember the Marathon and my run the day after. At some point, I had a horrible binge. I decided I’d fast for a long time and take off all the weight. I believe Thursday I ate nothing and Friday as well. Of course, the 19-year-old bombing suspect came to Watertown on Friday, making our town famous. It was so creepy being in a starved state and having those helicopters fly overhead all day long. I hoped we’d be in lockdown forever so I would have a good excuse not to eat. This wasn’t the case, though.  I recall 11:30 at night going out. On a binge.

My mother came to visit, I believe on the 24th. No, she didn’t come on her own. I hadn’t seen her since December 2010. My brothers insisted. I think this was part of their plot to get her out of her home and into a nursing home. But that wasn’t what I was concerned about right then.  I was scared to see her, knowing that whatever occurred wouldn’t be good, and this would make my eating disorder worse. So after that, I went  on a gigantic, four-day binge.  In those mere four days, I gained 28-1/2 pounds.

I ordered three pizzas at that time, delivered. One from Pizza Ring at like 2am, one from BHOP, which isn’t far from where I lived, and one from Gerry’s Italian Kitchen. Gerry’s has a website but it wasn’t working properly that night. So I had to call.

The guy annoyed me by saying my name. Okay, dude, so you know already where I live. I was scared. I never wanted to get caught at this. I have no clue how it was that I managed to receive the pizza out front and carry it down the hall without anyone noticing. I was lucky and no one was ever in that hall. I doubt anyone saw me meeting the pizza guy up front. I remember i used to wear a lot of coverup clothing, hiding my body, for whatever reason, whenever I had to get a pizza from a delivery guy.  I would get a book to read and sit in the lobby waiting. All this time, I’d tell myself over and over that I truly hated myself.

A couple of weeks later, I happened to be looking at my credit card statement and suddenly noticed a gigantic charge on it. WTF? THAT large? What was this? I checked out what the statement said. Some agency I’d never heard of. I phoned my bank right away. I told them I certainly hadn’t made that charge and that this was fraudulent.

In fact, I suspected Gerry’s right away. It was either that or BHOP, but it was Gerry’s that had my info right on their caller ID. Interesting, though, I never used my home address as billing address. My billing zip code wasn’t the Watertown zip code where I had my apartment. Still, they’d managed to get this charge through. The bank was very good about it and they said they’d be sending me a new card right away. In the course of all this, I told the bank about Gerry’s. The person with whom I spoke said that her guess was that my suspicions were correct.

I had another appointment with Dr. P May 8. She was again putting me down. I hated every minute of it. I didn’t clue her in about BMC. The weird thing was that that very morning, I’d gone out walking with Puzzle as usual and come home to see an ambulance out in the front of the building. I told myself I really didn’t want those dudes seeing me, simply because I hated them all so much. I went in via the back door. If I recall correctly, I snuck through the dining hall, or Community Room, as they called it. Dogs weren’t allowed in there, so out of courtesy, I picked Puzzle up and carried her through so her paws wouldn’t touch the floor. I could only get away with this when no one was around. Then, I went up the back stairs and slipped into my apartment. The cops had left by then. But what I found horrified me.

The cops had been into my apartment and had left the door wide open.  It was a good thing I came back when I did. I couldn’t figure out what had happened. Had Dr. P tried to have me sectioned? Why had they barged in like that? They owed me the courtesy of at least closing my door and locking it instead of leaving it open like that. I was scared after that. Had someone called the cops on me, or had the cops come looking just to see if I was the one who pulled the emergency cord? What would I say to Dr. P when I got to my appointment?

Dr. P said nothing about sending cops, so I finally concluded it was nothing to worry about. I didn’t say a word to her. Of course not.

I arrived home and guess what was at my door? An envelope from Fedex. I told myself I sure wasn’t expecting anything. I was scared, too, not having any clue what the heck it was. I looked at the envelope. Then, I knew.

It was addressed to me. The return address was the agency my credit card charge was to. A ticketing agency I’d never heard of. The guys from Gerry’s Italian Kitchen had goofed and had had their tickets sent to me instead of to them. Oh well, they lost out, did they not?

I phoned the ticketing agency and told them. I had to be on hold for a while. I was laughing my fool head off inside. I opened the envelope after those guys said the tickets were voided since my credit card charge was false. Inside were tickets to the New Jersey Devils. Box seats. The game was in September in New York.  The value of these two seats was over $1,000. I noted that the cell phone used to charge my card was from out of state. I cannot recall, was it Texas?  Oh well, Gerry’s, I was on to them. I recall laughing inside and calling my bank just to let them know of Gerry’s boo-boo.

I think the ticketing agency wanted to know info that was on the tickets. I told them. Then, I suppose, this ordeal was over. I did receive the new credit card.  I figured this was a random hit and had nothing to do with me. I was some idiot caught in the middle.

I knew I’d tell you this story eventually.

Devils?  Yeah, devils all right.

More on coverup and false psychosis: Abuse in the family

As I have previously stated, I haven’t been much of a moviegoer in my life, but I have seen a few. Oh, ten or so. That was enough. One movie I saw as a teen was Tommy. This was based on the rock opera, “Tommy.” The music was done brilliantly by a group called The Who. This was one of the popular groups of the day. I was quite a fan of theirs. This rock opera came out around the same time as Jesus Christ Superstar. Both were well known and we kids sang the songs from those works all the time. This was after Woodstock but all the culture of those times was happening all around us.

There were a few scenes in Tommy that caught my eye. One was when Tommy is a young boy. If I recall correctly, Tommy’s mother has an affair and Tommy is witness. Both the mother and her lover are scared that the young boy will talk. I can recall this scene right now. One parent on one side, one parent on the other. Oppression. They towered over the tiny boy, saying, “You didn’t see it. You didn’t hear it,” repeated over and over. Their voices were raised and hysterical.

In the rock opera, Tommy, the boy, suddenly does indeed stop seeing with his eyes and hearing with his ears. He is suddenly deaf and blind. Hear nothing, see nothing. Just as the mother and her lover wanted.

How does this play out in real life? I have known a number of people who were abused as children. Some went through long-term, repeated abuse.  Often, a kid who is verbally abused is insulted, ridiculed, or demeaned constantly during his/her life with the abuser.  Others were either abused in single incidents or at isolated times, for instance, when a certain family member was drunk or stoned. Or when a certain family member who spends much of their time out of the home comes back from work or from the bar.

What I have seen is that if there’s one horrific incident and the parent is desperate to keep the kid quiet, they see to it that the kid doesn’t talk. They may be extremely concerned that someone at the kid’s school may discover something. I know of parents who bullied their kids over and over, telling them they were “stupid” and that no one would believe them.

That’s just what happens. The kid tries to squeal on the parent, but the parent may act all sweet and kind, faking that everything’s completely fine. The school decides the kid might be psychotic or paranoid. I have seen people end up in the mental health system who did nothing wrong except to try to speak out against their abusive parents.

“It never happened.” “It’s trivial.” “Your rights aren’t important.” “You imagined it.” I believe this is so cruel, to discredit a young person in this manner, that it’s enough to send them over the edge. Telling a person that the abuse is a “perception problem” is also abuse. Then, the person ends up in the mental health system and is told just how sick they are.

The secret is thus safely buried.

Coverup and resulting false psychosis

I think it’s now well established that many people get locked up due to misunderstanding. There was once a well-documented story of a man who was locked up for a very long time. They claimed he was schizophrenic and that he spoke in “word salad.” Of course, this is a famous case now. What happened was that a new doctor came onto the ward. This new doctor was a foreigner from an Eastern European country. Honestly, I cannot recall which country it was. Maybe Hungary. At any rate, this new doctor made an amazing discovery. The man who was supposedly schiz and speaking in “word salad” wasn’t crazy. In fact, he spoke an uncommon dialect from that small foreign country. No one had even known all this time. Finally, they released the guy from the hospital, admitting their gross error. I’m sure there is an article in Wikipedia on this as it is well-known.

We know that many people have dreams at night of their dead relatives. I myself had a dream of Joe within the first year following his death. I read that this kind of thing is rather common in some Hispanic cultures. I heard that the reason for this is because the family ties in such cultures are far stronger than in modern USA society. Therefore, communication with one’s dead relatives is considered not only acceptable, but a rather common experience.  However, shrinks, upon hearing these things, assume the person is either psychotic or terribly depressed. Why depressed? It’s common to have a dead relative appear to a person in a dream and “invite” that person to go join them in Heaven. These aren’t suicidal wishes, but joyful experiences. Shrinks do not take into account cultural differences and try to medicate these so-called delusions.

When I dreamed of Joe in the fall of 2003, I saw him quite clearly. He was happy and I loved to see his grin right there before me. He had died that summer.  I was overjoyed when he told me, “You should SEE this place! The food is great! And they have shows every night!” This wasn’t a reflection of my desire to leave the planet and go join Joe in Heaven. Hardly. I never saw it as an experience that was at all paranormal. It was a dream. However, I felt blessed. Joe had been a joyful presence in my life and seeing him happy made me very happy, too. I carry that memory of the dream with me to this day. Thank goodness I never told my shrink!

What if a person’s story is unusual, and so hard to believe that shrinks assume the person is delusional? I’ll bet this happens all the time. Stories of child abuse and rape get medicated and the person is told these things never happened. Will these antipsychotic drugs erase these memories or cause the person to assume they were delusional, when in fact they weren’t?

If the person is rather young, the “professionals” can bully the person over and over until they submit. Then, they actually will bend and break and go along with the “illness” claim.

False accusations of psychosis also happen as a way of coverup.  An investigative journalist learns the truth. He tries to leak it out. Someone with money and power is about to be exposed. However, this wealthy person or institution manages to get a shrink to declare the journalist “crazy.” He is forced on meds. If he won’t stop talking, he gets either permanently institutionalized and silenced, or he is killed.

What if they’d tried to medicate or institutionalize ALL the victims of Hitler’s holocaust and anyone who had been a witness? Nowadays, such a feat wouldn’t be so impossible. Put ‘em all away, and no one would ever know the truth.  You could call it a Jewish mental illness, persecution complex or whatever.

So here’s an example out of my own experience.  I had a roommate back in 2000. I need to preserve anonymity even though this happened so long ago for the sake of this roommate. I was in the room with her and never once saw any indication that she was “mentally ill.” She was so intellectually brilliant that she outsmarted all the staff on the floor and made them look like fools simply due to her intelligence and broad worldly knowledge. She had recently graduated from a rather exclusive top college. She knew Latin and also could speak several modern languages fluently. She helped the foreign patients by translating during groups. None of the staff even knew Spanish and this patient was immensely helpful to these patients and an asset on the unit.

But she told me she was tired of being the unit translator and felt this was taxing on her. She felt pressured because she had missed job interviews due to this sudden unwanted hospitalization. It inconvenienced her, she said, and it was hard to return phone calls from potential employers while she was in there, with no telephone privacy and inability to receive calls without the future employer finding out where she was.

She told me they were accusing her of having some mental illness that she didn’t believe she had. I told her that Risperdal was a good medicine and she would feel better if she took it. Of course, I myself was fully compliant  at the time and kept telling myself, “Of course, she must have a real illness. How could a psychiatrist possibly be wrong? If a doctor says she’s psychotic, she must be.” I tried to be polite but really never saw “illness” in her whatsoever. When her family came to visit, I left the room so they could have privacy, but I heard arguments in there. I butted out and never asked. She told me, though, that her family said to her, “You are angry and therefore need medication.” I agreed with her that nothing is wrong with a good healthy family argument and there’s bound to be anger in any family. I agreed that her situation was so stressful that certainly, an occasional angry word slipping out would be rather understandable, if not expected.

One day, a staff came into the room while she was in the shower. I wasn’t aware of what he was doing, but now, I realize he was pumping me for dirt on her. He asked me, “How is this roommate? Is she decent?” He was trying to be a pal, to get me feeling cozy talking to him so I might reveal having seen unusual behavior. Then, they could find this as reason for “illness.” Of course, it’s been over a decade since all this occurred and it’s taken me all this time to realize these things.

If I recall correctly, I told him that nothing was unusual. I think he asked me if I smelled body odor on her. I said, “No, what I smell is newly dry cleaned clothing. I can smell the dry cleaning. It has a distinct odor.” I didn’t care for the smell.  But many people in the USA have their clothes dry cleaned, do they not? I suppose this information wasn’t particularly useful to the staff as this wasn’t some reason to accuse her of further “illness.” He left and never approached me like a pal again.

Both my roommate and I were discharged from this hospital and I had her e-mail address. I wrote to her, and she wrote back. We were both out and she told me her story.

This was nearly 15 years ago. I no longer have the e-mail she sent. I cannot repeat the details of her story but can give you a general idea.

I’ll bet you know others in this situation. This often occurs in young adulthood when a person applies to get a legal document signed, relocates, or tries to renew their driver’s license. Or gets married.   Or the person applies for a passport or needs documentation for grad school or a new job. You know what you need? Your birth certificate. For most of us, this isn’t a big deal.

There are thousands of people out there who were adopted. Some adoptions were legal, but many weren’t. Many occurred over international lines. You hear of parents going to China or Russia to adopt and coming home with babies. You hear of parents who adopt out of foster care kids that that were rescued from abusive homes. You hear of parents who adopt minority children, Native American kids from impoverished areas, or kids who have teen mothers giving their kids up for adoption.

I suppose most adoptions are legal, or the paperwork is done properly. However, I’ll bet every single person reading this knows someone, some friend of theirs, whose adoption wasn’t quite legal. Either the parents are aware this was illegal and adopt anyway cuz they want this child so much, or they are lied to by the adoption agency. The paperwork may look okay, but it isn’t.

What happens is that the adopted child has no knowledge of this and grows up with no knowledge of any wrongdoing. Their lives are stable and they have no reason to believe anything was done illegally. The adoption agency is out of the picture and the parents, if they know, have no reason to worry that the child will ever learn this dirty little secret.

Until. Until the kid needs their birth certificate for some reason. What now? This can happen if the kid moves to another state and needs to apply for a new driver’s license in that state. Or the kid needs proof of immunization for college or a job working with the public. Or the kid’s wallet gets stolen and they must have a birth certificate to get a replacement driver’s license. All kinds of reasons. Uh oh. It may be decades before this occurs, or it may occur when the child is quite young.

I personally know a number of people who were adopted or were shuffled around following a divorce. What happens to a person when they find out that the name they were called all their life isn’t their original name?

Imagine the shock. You’ve been deceived. You aren’t the person you thought you were. What now?

My roommate was one of these people. Her story didn’t seem, at the time, very plausible to me, but now, of course, since I’ve known several people who made this shocking discovery as adults, I realize just how common these things are.

So imagine this: You adopted a child illegally. This was so long ago, and it was swept under the rug, nice and neat and you don’t ever want to think about it. Maybe you questioned the adoption agency and you were suspicious that this wasn’t legal, but you didn’t really want to believe it and went ahead with the adoption. Years have passed.

Your child suddenly accuses you and all this is coming to a head. What to do? Surely, you cannot allow your grown child to continue in this manner. This child needs to be silenced.

How convenient that we have psychiatry. Shrinks can and will assume the child is nuts. Call the cops and have her dragged to an ER. The adult child is upset anyway, so it’ll be easy to “see” mental illness in her.

That’s what happened to my roommate. As fantastic as her story sounded, I now know she was speaking the truth. No pill was going to erase what she knew. It wasn’t a delusion nor psychosis.

When I received the email I had no clue how to react. At the time, I had known a few adoptees but hadn’t heard a story like this one. Now, 15 years later, I have heard several stories of these things and no way was my roommate psychotic.

A journalist gets the inside scoop and then, disappears. A medical student finds out about fudged research, but suddenly goes mad. A patient speaks of abuse in hospitals and then is sent to a highly secure locked facility. A veteran speaks of wrongdoing in the military, and suddenly, the veteran is whisked away to a VA hospital.  A suicide shocks a community and the victim’s secret dies with her, never uncovered.

My shrink tried to tell me I was “delusional and paranoid” about abuses in hospitals. Much of what I reported to her was witnessed by other patients and was common knowledge in the patient milieu, as they call it. I took the drugs my shrink gave me. Guess what? None of my knowledge of these abuses was erased. Why? These weren’t delusions at all, but fact.

Of course, now I have found plenty of others who were subject to similar abuses. I know now just how common my experience was. I didn’t have unusually bad luck. In fact, now that I have found so many other people who were abused as I was, I feel even stronger that these abuses must be stopped. No, the victim needs no medication to erase what they know. This won’t work. The victim needs justice or at least an apology.

Did they ever even apologize to that man from Hungary for the incorrect diagnosis and subsequent lengthy lockup? Do we even know? Or was he released, told to suck it up and stay quiet?

Colorblindness and losing dark objects

I think it’s finally cooling off. It was 91 degrees here today.  Puzzle was hot all day and I didn’t want to keep her out long. She’s sleeping on the bare floor right now. It’s one of those occasions I am glad I have a stone floor in the living room. Or I think it’s stone. My only objection is that the floor is so dark that I lose anything dark colored if it’s on the floor. I can’t see it! In keeping with Colorblindness Awareness Day (not really, I just made that up) I’ve darkened the text of this entry. I wish I could remember to do that for all entries. Why do they insist we write in dim grey text, anyway? My courtyard has white tile on its floor. My bedroom floor is some type of sheetrock or looks like it. The bathroom floor is also frustratingly too dark and I lose things on that floor as well. I put a bamboo beach mat in there as a rug, partially solving the problem.

Why are all tech things black? That drives me nuts cuz they get lost so easily. I purchased yellow duct tape a while back, and stuck it on all my black stuff so these things won’t get lost. When I went to purchase a new belt pack I bought a bright red one I was sure I couldn’t miss. That one ripped, so now I have a blue one. I bought it at the feria. All the other belt packs were black and they seller kept looking at me oddly while I was fishing through to find the one blue one. I got a method to my colorblind madness. Do you notice that just about all computer cables are black? Drives me nuts. I lose ‘em all.

I know what you are thinking. It’s a good thing Puzzle’s boyfriend isn’t a black lab. He’s a red mutt, dark red, and he has white paws. I’m sure he’s a mix, but what on earth does he have in him? This guy gets around, trust me. He hangs around Disco, and twice when Puzzle and I went to the feria, there was her boyfriend, schmoozing with the other dogs. Three followed us home from the feria. On one occasion, a car (or was it a truck?) passed by and inside was a barking dog. Puzzle’s BF and a yellow dog that hangs around both chased that darned truck for a number of blocks down (up?) Artigas. When they both decided they’d had their fill of chasing the truck, they came back and bugged the heck out of Puzzle again. I can’t recall if they followed us to my door or not. Bye bye, BF. You can’t come in. Sorry! Go find your other girlfriends!

Yeah, if I had a black lab I’d never see him on this floor. He’d be lying down taking a snooze and I’d step on him by accident. I’m sure he wouldn’t want that. Or maybe after the first time, he’d show his very white teeth just in time, so I’d know, “Oh, Buster, it’s you! Grinning at me! What nice big teeth you have!”

So now, off-white Puzzle has gone out into the off-white courtyard.   But the kids upstairs aren’t colorblind like me. You bet they see Puzzle right away! I have yet to figure out which kid is having a blast calling out to Puzzle and waiting for Puzzle to stand on her back legs and respond. It’s so cute! I don’t think she minds. I think she likes being a ham. I don’t hear the kids right now, so maybe they’re having kiddie dinner. They’re sweet kids. I cannot really perceive what type of kid P will turn out to be, but I can tell the older one, M, has a wonderful precocious character. She’s outgoing and very smart. I’d say she looks quite a bit like her mom.  Too bad it isn’t the 1960’s. She’d make a great girl hitchhiker but I know her mom would be furious just like my own parents were. Oh, to be young again. Maybe not. I like the kid I am.

Saturday is Nov 1st. The first day of National Novel Writing Month. I am hoping to have a suitable desk and chair in here. I have the chair picked out. Yep, it’s red, not black. Bright red. I am not going to lose that chair anytime soon. But I am undecided on the desk. I want a bigger one than I see in many shop windows. I don’t want a glass desk cuz you all’s know what would happen as soon as I got it home. Or if I felt like smashing my Nano book once done with it, a few weeks from now.

IMG_20141012_143935_147This is Puzzle and her girlfriend, taken a few weeks ago. I forget the GF’s name. I was dogsitting for about an hour or so. We were at the Domingo de Perros! That’s the day the whole town celebrates its beloved dogs. Here’s another photo from that celebration:

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Yep, an agility contest. Rather informal. The dogs were amazing that did this. They were all larger than Puzzle, mostly Border Collies and related mixes.

IMG_20141012_151641_067This is Ruta 11. I was running on this road a couple of days ago. This is a view looking north. You can see the auxiliary road for pedestrians alongside the highway.

 

Here’s my breakfast from a couple of weeks ago:

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Okay, I’m done showing off photos. See ya later!

 

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