I am on Project Heal’s mailing list. I absolutely love the idea that kids started this project. I absolutely love that kids understood the need and are so generous to devote their time and energy to this project. I agree that unbiased research is sorely lacking. I agree that our medical system is run on money and not on compassion for everyone who suffers. Insurance parity isn’t the answer because insurance has everything to do with money and nothing to do with health. It saddens me that people have to take airplanes to get “help.” People can get treatment for most cancers in every major city in the USA. They can get treatment for AIDS in most urban areas across the USA. They can get a flu shot in the pharmacy or supermarket and they are in fact running after people with needles as we speak. But what’s this with eating disorders? No one can find decent care, it seems. You gotta move, take a plane, commute some ungodly distance, drain your parents’ money, default on your college loan, and then what? If you don’t, er, “recover” on first or second try, get kicked out of the house and disowned.
I do think Project Heal is a good idea. I was even going to apply. Then I realized that there wasn’t really any humane care out there. I realized that I didn’t want to apply for a scholarship to go to yet another lockup joint or pay to be supervised like a kindergartener. Although I do know folks that like that kinda stuff.
I believe in more radical change. I won’t meet anyone halfway on this. NO LOCKUP. NO COERCION. I believe in honesty. I believe in respect. I believe in full disclosure. I believe the individual human body is private. I believe that all humans are competent, sovereign individuals and that freedom and autonomy should never be taken away. I don’t see any “treatment” center that follows these principles.
I reject the medical model. I reject psychiatry’s insistence on having their fingers into the eating disorders pie. Even shrinks who are specialists are rather clueless as to what really goes on with a person who has serious eating problems.
The therapists who specialize in ED tend to be controlling, manipulative, and power-hungry. Don’t be fooled by their “compassion” and “oh, I understand.” Because they want your money and they thrive on running your life.
I am sitting here outdoors waiting for my amigo where we have coffee daily. He is due to arrive by bus shortly. I came here to Uruguay by choice to free myself of forced care, coercion, and bigotry.
I don’t see a therapist or shrink of any kind. This was at first not by choice. I fired an abuser then tried to find another one and couldn’t. Then I made the decision I didn’t want to go back to any sort of shrinkage whatsoever. I can’t say leaving therapy after three decades of that crap was easy. It was a lonely road. But I am thankful that I embarked on this journey.
While in “care,” I was never happy. I felt like a slave. Those obligatory appointments dragged me down, as did the constant threats and accusations.
One of my better therapists once accused me of being “danger to self” based on the following: I had arrived at my appointment sopping wet from the waist down because I had to walk a distance from the bus in a rainstorm. An umbrella does only so much. I got chewed out because I didn’t own a longer raincoat. Yep, told that this constituted “poor self care.” I was a “danger to self” because I’d gotten wet on a cold, miserable day and this was therefore “self harm.” This was one of my better therapists, by the way.
It looks like walking in the rain didn’t cause permanent harm. I was healed from the rain after I got home and put on dry clothes. I felt fine and didn’t “catch” a disease. It took far longer than that to heal from “therapy.”
I didn’t bring an umbrella to Uruguay. It would have been too much to put into a suitcase and could have been flagged as a “weapon.” I did bring a raincoat, a yellow slicker I picked up at a food pantry/clothes closet a while back. I bought galoshes for the winter mud after I arrived here. I should have packed my warm boots but they were heavy.
I didn’t heat my home for most of the winter. That’s not self harm. Many don’t here and they aren’t called loco, they are thrifty. Today, I am thriving and happy and I can say that all the lessons I learned in “care” are completely irrelevant.
I taught myself how to do some home repairs. I taught myself computers. I taught myself how to act in the real world. Therapy only taught me myths. I came here not knowing any Spanish and now I know quite a bit. A therapist would have claimed I was “manic” and tried to stop me.
Today I am going to an escribana to have papers signed. A bunch of us are going together. We are having papers notarized and here, this is how we have our signatures witnessed. We are doing this as a group to help free a man from a mental prison. The papers will go into court. This is a proud moment for me, the second time I have been a witness in a court case.
Back in the USA, I never served on a jury. My therapist wrote a note for me declaring me incompetent so I wouldn’t have to serve. I didn’t want to because I was in school and would have to miss classes if I served on the jury. Other students could get out of jury duty but since I was part-time, I couldn’t.