I endorse this campaign and agree with it simply because of my own life observations in and around mental wards as an incarcerated “patient.”
As per my previous post, I do not agree that anyone should be court-ordered to attend AA. Even if a person is an alcoholic by his own admission, AA cannot be forced upon a person. By all means, no one should be forced to attend AA if “we are guessing you are an alcoholic” or, “our testing shows you have alcohol in your blood even though you claim the testing is flawed.” I truly believe tests can be flawed, and can be faked fairly easily.
I have seen tests screw up. i have seen my own tests screw up. Guess what? Even Puzzle’s tests screwed up, but the vet said she knew they were screwed up, and said they should be done over (no, I didn’t have to pay again). Guess why this happens? Humans do these tests, and humans make errors.
With Puzzle’s tests, it had to do with transporting the samples. I think the vet said many samples coagulated during transport. Sometimes, someone mis-labels samples. That rarely happens nowadays. Samples can get contaminated or end up stored improperly or at the wrong temperature. Or samples can be taken at the wrong time or the patient can receive incorrect collecting instructions (do not eat first, eat first, drink this, take this pill, etc).
Also, tests can be faked. Do you know why I know this? I have seen with my own eyes my own medical records faked. I saw this done right in front of me. I saw numbers deliberately fudged. So if my numbers can be fudged (I had no clue why at the time, but later on I learned), then lab tests can be fudged, too, just to put a person away or avoid a malpractice lawsuit.
Guess how this is done? Do you have a pencil? Follow my instructions very carefully. If it says three, write a four. If it says five, write a seven. Lie and cover up the truth. If you squeal, don’t expect to keep your job. Now, erase everything I said and polish up your selective memory skills. If you can’t, a few months on the psych ward and zaps with ECT will ensure you do not talk. Ever.
But don’t worry, we got rehab waiting…….
Are these freedoms self-evident? If you are human, are you automatically given these freedoms? Should all humans have these freedoms and why do we not have them? Why do some have these freedoms and so many of us do not?
Throughout history, many of our greatest thinkers, or those thought to be such, have warned us, Do not take too much control, or there will be serious trouble.
Among them were Einstein, Rachel Carson, Henry David Thoreau, Jesus Christ, and Moses. As a matter of fact, I learned the following in Hebrew school:
In the Beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.
A bit later on, there was a garden commonly called Eden, where Adam lived with his common law wife, Eve. I have no clue how they “heard” this “God” that is written about in the Bible. I myself have never “heard” the “voice of God” and honestly wouldn’t have a clue what that voice sounds like. However, that’s what is stated. That this God spoke to them. In WORDS.
I was baffled when I was told this in Hebrew school. My brother the atheist…Oh, excuse me, Atheist, told me to totally disregard it, that it was all nothing but folklore.
To me, folklore is culture and culture has been passed on for centuries. To me, it’s my heritage and it’s sacred. My Jewish heritage is almost in my blood because it’s my culture. My story and the stories passed on to me from generations passed become who I am today, and that’s sacred to me. What else do I have?
Don’t eat the apple. Enjoy the garden, but “No pasar” means what it means. You see that sign there? It’s for a reason. Stay out. That is, enjoy the planet but don’t push your limits. Don’t piss off Mother Nature. It’s not nice.
We shouldn’t be trying to control our fellow humans by means of force. To me, that’s pushing it. Throughout history, the use of force has led to trouble. If we get too imposing, we are met with resistance since our actions are seen as offensive or we are seen as infringing on another’s rights.
In many geographical areas, pushing one’s religion on another is seen as negative or imposing. There are laws that restrict this sort of activity. You can’t do it in public schools anymore. Many towns object to a town Christmas tree. Yet the courts can order a person to go to AA or go to “therapy” both of which impose dogma upon a person. Some people are court-ordered to go to hospitals or rehabs. The principles of AA state that pushiness is not okay: “Attraction rather than promotion.” And much research has shown that therapy and the like are usually ineffective when forced. (I think we didn’t even need studies to “prove” such a thing since it’s common sense.)
The freedom to think as one chooses, to have privacy of thought and not be controlled by a government, a school, an organization, a spouse, an employer, parents, a university, a hospital, a prison, a church, a gang, a shrink, or any other authority is paramount. Our minds and bodies are our last stronghold and the last thing anyone can take from us if they have already taken everything else.
Stand your ground. Do not allow anyone to control what’s inside. You were born the master of your experience. Do not allow others, no matter how many degrees they have nor what their legal titles are, to steal your expertise nor claim they know better than you. You have the right to choose those with whom you keep company, if mutually agreed upon. Aren’t these things plain as day?
Or, perhaps they are. Most just don’t want to admit it.
Humans are supposed to exercise and the human race has become far too sedentary, far too materialistic, and certainly dependency on cars and television and other gadgetry is just insane. We shouldn’t be living our lives indoors like this.
Kids should be running and playing outdoors unless they have a darned good reason not to.
I am completely convinced now that the reason why I suddenly stopped sleeping five years ago was due to the fact that I was forced to stop running. I came from an active family that loved the outdoors and for almost all of my life I was not an “exercise addict.” This terminology is insane shrinkery that is harming lovers of the outdoors and would cause Rachel Carson, Emerson and Thoreau and Annie Dillard to get mighty pissed. Never mind Hemingway.
Psychiatry needs to get lost. Smoky the Bear is Coming Back.
Guess how many times my mom climbed Mount Washington? Oh, maybe 20. At least. I bet my mom was over 80 years old the last time she did it. Mount Washington is over 6,000 feet high and is the highest peak in New England, USA. She kept on skiing and hiking and riding her bicycle (no, not a “stationary bike”) long after she stopped driving a gasoline hog. My mom loved the outdoors and she loved nature.
If anyone calls my mom an addict I will call you an OFFICE ADDICT. You are addicted to your diagnoses and prognoses and billing policies and appointments and procedures and money. Go to hell and stay there. I hear they have a great rehab, too.
I thought today that people cannot be free of judgment, that we humans are judgmental and we tend to come to rash conclusions no matter how hard we try not to. My late friend pointed out the following to me:
He said, “Women tend to get critical of us men for eyeing their breasts. Women have a point there. Men should be more polite and respectful overall. On the other hand, the human eye cannot help but move toward a rounder object. That’s human nature, and women need to realize that as well.”
I told my friend that I had read that somewhere. I responded by telling him something I had read about men falling asleep after sex. “It’s not that they’re bored or not interested in continuing. They ge tired due to hormonal changes. Many women feel more awake after sex. I wonder why couples even bother!”
You can’t fight human nature. I keep going back to the question of prejudice. We know judging others is wrong, but we keep doing it. I’ve suddenly realized that to judge is human. But does that mean we should do a swicheroo and be judgmental because we know we cannot help ourselves? Where do you draw the line?
You can’t. We cannot say “Racism is wrong, but it’s okay to discriminate against fatties.” Or, “Racism is wrong, you can’t put up a sign saying ‘No Blacks Allowed,’ but it’s okay to hate blacks and not say it out loud.” Or, “We welcome bipolars, but schizophrenics are really nutcases so they are excluded from our workplace.”
Since humans are judgmental by nature, yet if we remain judgmental, we won’t get along, what can we do to make our lives together more bearable?
The Romans, and other social societies that were wildly successful had an awesome idea. They built arches from stones. This totally defied what stones are, but they managed to do this thousands of years ago.
Stones do not bend. If a stone isn’t curved to start with cannot be made into a curve. So how could they make those curved arches? It was not stone nature to curve, nor to stay together, co-depend, and stay up defying gravity the way those arches did as a cohesive group. Yet many arches still stand today. Not all do.
Here’s how it was done. The Romans didn’t demand of each individual stone that it bend. They didn’t expect stones to be anything but stone-like. Stones were going to act like stones no matter what. But they gave each stone a tiny nudge, They never demanded too much of any individual one, nor put too much pressure on any of them. Each bore weight. Each stone leaned on another, and the entire structure was inter-dependent. Until the entire structure was ready and matured as a whole, a wood substructure held it to ensure stability. Then, when the arch was fully mature, the wood substructure was no longer needed, and the mature arch stood tall and proud on its own. Now, the stones leaned gracefully upon each other, but none was bent nor ashamed, since it’s not stony nature to bend.
We cannot expect perfection from anyone, nor demand that others be totally reliable 100% of the time. That’s a setup for disappointment. If we expect others to let us down, then perhaps we are expecting too little of them, and, sensing this, they s may feel insulted, fail to perform, and walk away disgusted and unhappy. Undoubtedly, striving toward the blank slate approach would be the goal, except this might be easier said than done.
We are who we are. We can only hope we wake up tomorrow, strive to get by and hope the world is an okay place for ourselves and our children. Perhaps that is all we can ask for.
Here’s the scoop:
This is essential to the cause for anyone who has ever been abused in “care.” This is why: Adam Lanza was called a “monster,” he was seen as not even human for what he did at Sandy Hook. Is this even possible? No, he was a kid. He had been abused by a therapist. This is a horrific type of abuse, so horrible that people simple do not want to believe it is even POSSIBLE! Yet this is what happened to him and it got him so, so pissed and so confused that he shot a bunch of children.
I am not justifying what Adam did. I only stating that someone did something awful to him that then drove him off the edge. We must stop this abuse!
After I heard about Sandy Hook, I had one thought in mind: That poor kid. Someone hurt him bad. I heard he was a patient. Then, I knew. You bet I did. I refused to judge no matter how many times I heard what a horrible monster he was. I refused to call him that. I could only cry, thinking of the terrible harm that had been done to him.
I thought of my own rage after I had been harmed. I am grateful that I am not a violent person today. But all that could have happened to me because I was abused by a therapist, too. When you are badly abused in therapy or in a hospital, you end up in an absolute rage. Under some circumstances, you can end up violent. No, you’re not a monster, you simply cannot stop it.
What must be stopped is therapy abuse. We CAN stop therapy abuse. We can stop by speaking out against therapists who abuse.
Abuse WILL beget abuse unless the cycle is stopped. This makes perfect sense. Abusers know they can get away with abusing a person who has already been abused in the past, since a person who was harmed before is less likely to be believed. They do it because they know they can get away with it. Simple logic.
Have you been abused by a therapist? Speak out now! Let’s join forces and stop abusive therapists before they do harm such as what happened to Adam, who was not a monster, but a mere child.
On behalf of the dead, on behalf of the victims, on behalf of those now imprisoned or under court-ordered gag orders, on behalf of those now under threats who cannot speak out, we must do this. Please, summon up the strength to speak out now, for the sake of those who might otherwise make the fatal choice to submit to the slavery of abusive therapy.
I LOVE this article by Sera Davidow….
What do you think? Go find my comment in there……It’s way down somewhere.
People who do drugs for recreational use refer to substances as “uppers” and “downers.” Actually, there was more truth to this than I realized, and I should have listened. For decades, I believed there was so, so much rocket science behind the psych meds I was taking, and I believed that street drugs were inferior and “bad for you.” I saw the psych meds as somehow “okay” and “good for your brain,” and “street drugs” as “dirty chemicals” that “poisoned you.”
Wow, was I wrong.
The only difference between what you get on the street and what you get in the doctor’s office is
1) Financial – where your money is going, and the price
2) Power – who, ultimately, has power over you
Chemically, the drugs are about the same. Not exactly, but roughly. The prescription is merely a piece of paper and does not make a drug “safer.”
I have personally never purchased drugs on the street. A few times I have smoked marijuana with friends decades ago but I cannot say overall I liked nor disliked it nor do I have much desire to repeat the experience. In college I walked into parties a few times, took one look, and walked out the door! Two days ago my friend asked me (again! sigh…) why I don’t drink booze, and I tried to explain to her that I cannot seem to muster up any interest in drinking and partying.
(What’s with these folks that tell me recreational drugging–or drinking–is the end-all, and keep insisting that there must be something wrong with me if I choose not to participate?)
At any rate, there’s something to be learned from these folks, so I don’t discount them entirely. I enjoy going spying on their forums, particularly athletic men’s forums where they talk about body building. Many of the druggies do crazy things you’d never think of. They tend to get creative when desperate. Much is illegal or seriously risky. I have to laugh wading through it all. Or cry.
Here’s a bit I learned, and I believe it’s legitimate. Here’s my personal summary.
All drugs have a half life. All substances have a half-life, or…full life. The food you eat only stays in your system a certain amount of time, and then, is eliminated. Same with a drug. A substance will peak in your system when you feel the strongest effect, and then, the effect will decline until you no longer feel an effect at all. Isn’t this self-explanatory? Different substances are metabolized at different rates. Some will stay in your system a long, long time, and others leave quickly, and these rates will vary from person to person, from circumstance to circumstance.
A doctor will tell you this. A druggie will tell you the same thing (and will tell you that and tell you to keep that in mind to avoid the drug screening tests).
Here’s more: When you drink your morning coffee, it peaks in your system at a certain time, then, declines over time, right?
When you accomplish something huge, such as graduation, getting published, finishing a large project at work, finishing that novel you have been writing, the end of the semester AT LAST, you feel high, right? You feel terrific. Especially if you just finished something like NaNoWriMo for the first time. Yep, winner’s high.
The big letdown. You crash. We all know this happens. It can even happen after the Big Vacation. After the Big Party. Or even after a social occasion when you were supposed to be happy. You come home, you’re alone, and you’re suddenly….
Crash. Yeah, I know. That crash. That bummer after the high.
No, you’re not bipolar. You’re normal.
Drink a cup of coffee and you will experience the same thing. You feel terrific, and then it might let you down with a crash. It may not. Many “uppers” crash you very badly and are known for that. Druggies that take speed get hooked because the “crash” is so horrific that they go running back to the speed again and again just to avoid crashing. I read that somewhere.
Do you crash? This is normal human tendency. You are not crazy nor perverted nor sick. You are having a normal reaction and everyone does this. The more you beat yourself up for it, the more you will suffer. You don’t need to! Just enjoy it! It’s part of life!
I personally take advantage of the crash. Ever since I ended up with insomnia, I realized that I could use my natural human crash to put myself to sleep. In fact, this is a great way to get to sleep if you can’t get to sleep any other way. I am not thrill-seeking nor do I go out to parties nor get “high” deliberately. I simply use the natural highs that come to me as I go about my life, which happen to all of us. After we have our high moments, we might crash, so I use these times to get my rare moments of shut-eye.
Yesterday I contacted some alternative medical people regarding this persistent insomnia I have. I keep coming up with answers and new solutions. I know I have a long history of wishful thinking-type solutions, solutions that only appear to work for a very short time. Then, I realize the solution isn’t working at all and I am back to Square One (or worse) and exhausted as usual, sleeping very little or not at all, frustrated and angry that this problem has gone on and on and on, with no end in sight.
I keep telling myself that maybe I need to face the facts. Maybe there’s no solution. My friend says it’s permanent brain damage from the drugs and I need to face it. Great. So people are telling me I have to live like this for the rest of my life.
Drag drag drag drag. Barely awake. Non-functional. Can’t even think. Can’t remember from moment to moment.
No wonder people kill themselves. If I had no hope I surely would. Frankly, I cannot live like this. I cannot live with this constant dragging exhaustion without believing that there is light at the end of the tunnel. So each day I feel this way, I convince myself,
I convince myself that this insomnia will end very very soon. I convinced myself of this years ago, and as you can see, that was a total lie I told myself just to keep myself from doing myself in. This is why I have not killed myself.
Now I keep remembering Elizabeth Kenny’s TedTalk, called “Sick.” Actually, I think the TedTalk is a shortened version of a longer play she does. Here’s the TedTalk:
Please note: If you saw the whole talk, to untangle the awful mess she got herself into, she went back to the beginning and went step by step. How did it all happen?
I suddenly stopped sleeping in mid-2011. This was drastic for me. I went from sleeping fine to sleeping 3-1/2 hours, then sleeping barely at all. What else?
I was abused at MGH. I experienced bradycardia. I have toyed with the idea that my brain could have been oxygen-starved. However, if it was, I’d show other signs of brain damage, too. I’ve been tested for stroke many times. You’d think brain damage would show up in other ways besides just sleep. I was also dehydrated, and then, MGH deprived me further of water due to their own stupidity since they didn’t recognize that I had diabetes insipidus. Still, I don’t think that would cause insomnia. I stopped antipsychotics, but I think any resulting insomnia would improve over time. It hasn’t. Also, if this were a dopamine issue, then the dopamine antagnoist supplements I have tried would have had some effect. I have now tried two, and these have not helped. I have also tried NAC, which I also had great hopes for, but that, too, was another case of “wishful thinking.” I tried light therapy which helped at first but then I had to concede that this was also “wishful thinking.” Vitamins also had the “wishful thinking” effect. I worked on trauma and concluded that the insomnia following abuse would have resolved by now. Was I really back at Square One after all this time and effort? Yesterday I toyed with the thought of paying these alternative people a huge sum of money….but then I realized I’d lose the money (I don’t even have that much remaining on my credit card) and I don’t think they guarantee a thing.
But wait….What if I traced all this back. What happened way back in 2011? What about 2010? I remember late in 2010, I was really happy. My whole life was finally coming together. Then, I made the mistake of walking into Maria Mellano’s office, thinking I was doing the right thing. I had no clue that very soon, all that I had done to make my life better would end. Would anyone have suspected?
Oh, the nice office, those cushions on that couch, and the smell of that…whatever the hell it was. Stinky perfume or whatever she had in there. Ugh. It reeked. Was it some herb or flowers or something? Geez, don’t some patients have allergies? I’d feel like I was going to pass out from that flowery stink, but I didn’t say anything. Every time I sat on the couch, I felt like I sank into it and I’d get trapped into it. Like I’d never get out. She had so many pillows in there. You were supposed to punch them or cry into them or hug them. Yuck.
Oh, then the scarves hanging everywhere. This was for Psycho-drama. And two huge tubs of Stuffed Animals. This was to control and manipulate her patients. Maria Mellano was a rather unstable and fearful person herself, so her way of maintaining a feeling of control over her world was to impose a ridiculous amount of unnecessary power over those who came to her for “help.” Unfortunately, her patients ended up confused, angry, or even suicidal as a result of this “therapy.” At first, some of us resorted to Stockholm Syndrome as a natural coping mechanism to deal with the abuse, until we wised up and quit.
I started seeing Maria right around Thanksgiving 2010. Right at this time, I was very happy, sleeping well, getting my eating back together, and had two good friends that I had regular spoken contact with. Immediately after the very first session, Maria tried to disempower me. She demanded that I get force-weighed. She demanded that I stop running. She got very bossy about many other things as well. She said she was “different,” implying “better,” but of course I knew she was completely wrong. She insisted she “knew better,” knew better than I did. I began to realize that this was abuse, but this was a slow realization. Too slow.
Then what happened? The fiasco at McLean. I was put on Trileptal, which messed me up for months until I figured it out and got off of it. Then what? I finally got that tooth out after five wrong teeth were pulled. The right tooth was so infected by then that I had to take an antibiotic.
After that, I noticed I had very bad edema. This was due to kidney disease. The kidney disease was either ignored or they were so stupid they didn’t even know. How can you ignore a GFR of 40 or below? I didn’t know if the swelling in my feet and ankles was from the antibiotic or from something else, though. I was pissed either way. I knew information was being kept from me, and I knew I was getting terrible medical care either way.
I was so pissed off that to defy Maria and all of them, I overexercised. I should have known better. I was in a tizzy, really. I am generally not one to do things like that, but I was cornered and powerless. By then, I had lost so much, lost my friends, was bewildered by the effects of the Trileptal and deception afterward. I was just plain frustrated and had no outlet and no one was listening. I couldn’t run with edema, so I walked over 10 miles a day. My shoes didn’t even fit on my feet at that point. That is why my knee got injured. I think I overexercised for about a month before the joint gave in.
If I recall correctly, I was about three to five weeks on crutches, then I was okay. Maria was horrible to me. I heard no end of all that. I deserved it. Served me right. I finally got to an orthopedist. The verdict was that I would never walk nor run again.
After I saw Maria Mellano’s reaction to this verdict I really should never have gone back to her. I should have brought a video camera to my therapy session. I told her what the ortho had told me. Her whole face lit up. Power. Control. She said, “Yay.” I’m not kidding! She really did! She really said, “Yay.” She was happy to have me handicapped. Thrilled that I would not walk nor run again. Happy that my power was now gone, and her control was absolute.
If she had been a decent therapist, she would have recommended, perhaps, that I get a second opinion. Or perhaps alternative care, or alternative solutions of some kind. No, she told me I should accept my fate and do nothing for the rest of my life except be an invalid. Maybe watch TV. A proper mental patient. Actually, she was planning on committing me to State, but I didn’t know that yet.
Folks, in addition to stopping antipsychotic medication the next month, getting abused at MGH the following month, starving myself very badly at the same time, becoming dehydrated, having a dangerously slow heart beat….I also stopped running.
Have I resumed? No, not regularly. I had to stop entirely for a long time after the knee injury. I have indeed started again, but it never lasted long, or I’d only run once a week or so. Or less. I kept on ending up with practical problems, such as the Oven. That’s what stopped me last time.
Running is free. Those alternative medical people are going to cost me over $600. Whenever I have exercised vigorously, I have been happier in every way. I have slept better, I have eaten better, I have had a better social life, and I have been a more productive writer.
Screw you, Maria. I’m free of your psycho-abuse. I am running away from all that nonsense realizing that I am alive because I defied the doctors, defied the “recommendations” from other people and institutions who only thought they knew better, and instead, became who I am, and already was.
Those of you who are left….This includes my two siblings and their spouses. As for my extended family, I never ever hear from them. It is as if Julie does not exist and is dead. I am not. I suppose they are pretending I am. I suspect they darned well know I am not dead, but feel very guilty they have not been in touch and cannot think of a good enough excuse not to have at least written to me or attempted to contact me in some way. I have tried, but since my extended family has common enough names I cannot locate them. I think they know darned well about my blog by now. Somehow, my brothers found out. They weren’t too thrilled when they did.
What’s the word for it? Julie’s pissed off. And rightfully so.
Anyway, as for the immediate family, I have a few things to say. I have tried to confront directly. It takes a lot of guts to say, “Hey, why did you ignore me for two decades?” You bet it does. For the first decade I was asking myself why, and couldn’t come up with a decent reason so I let it slide. Besides, those therapists kept saying that I was mentally ill, after all. You can’t expect normal people to “accept” a mentally ill family member so easily, those therapists claimed.
Really? That excuses everything. Sure it does. A brain disease. Like hell.
So all those years, I believed I was subhuman, inferior, unworthy of being included anyway. I didn’t think I even deserved to ask to be included. After all, my brothers were doing classy things, far too sophisticated to include a defective and immoral person like me.
Julie’s pissed and is not afraid to talk about it now.
I was treated just like that. Unworthy. Lazy. Don’t even bother. Just a waste. Only worth the “groups” I had to go to. Bingo. Mini-golf. Just sitting and vegging and watching the tube.
I have indeed confronted my brothers, but I find it difficult to get up the guts to come up with the words.
Where were you all those years?
Instead, I hear about the one or two times they didn’t show. Or about the one time I myself canceled. About how it was MY CHOICE to not see them. They always bring it back to me, trying to explain one or two particular times, but cannot explain two decades. Why? Because what they did is plain inexcusable.
Yes, tossing out a family member is inexcusable. While yes, we do have choices, and we aren’t legally obligated to care for our family members forever, to turn one’s back and THEN LIE about it is just plain cruel. They repeatedly point out the times they did see me. All I recall is the begrudging way they acted. Like they really didn’t want to. Their damn duty.
See, let this be known: Those of you who have relatives who are deaf or demented also will know, they will perceive when you see those visits as “duty.” They’ll know when it’s tokenism, and I knew all along, too. I sensed the reluctance all those years. It wasn’t something they could easily hide from me. Just because I had a diagnosis slapped on me didn’t make me incapable of perceiving such things.
“Aw, do we have to visit Gram again?”
For those of you to whom this applies, Gram knows. Even if she never ever heard that whining from your kids, she knew the reluctance and if I can speak for her now, SHE IS PISSED.
I hope that each time you spend Gram’s money that you inherited, you think of that. With every dime, think of how hurt Gram felt when she knew you didn’t really care. You were only showing up because you felt you had to.
Same with me, and same with anyone out there who shares these thoughts and feelings. Same with anyone out there who was forced to live a marginalized life or ignored by their own family or forced into homelessness or kicked out or estranged or rejected or unloved or forced to spend holidays alone. Same with anyone left out in the cold. Same with anyone knocking down the door right now.
I have gone to lawyers and even to shrinks. I have pleaded on Facebook before I dropped off Facebook entirely. “Please bring my family back.” I have a feeling these things cannot be remedied, though.
I have asked people with degrees or anyone my brothers might consider an authority figure to go to them and simply demand that they change the way they are doing things. However, this might put such a mediator in an awkward position, and I wouldn’t want to do that. I can only leave this out there, and hope at least for an apology.
While leaving Boston, I thought of the story I was told in Hebrew School of Lot’s Wife. They were fleeing Sodom and Gomorrah and God told Lot and his wife not to look back at the smoldering cities. But she did. God turned her into a pillar of salt.
I did indeed watch Boston get tinier and tinier and I kept warning myself not to look too hard or I, too, would turn to salt.
I thought often of the story, and alternate story of Jane Eyre. Mr. Rochester’s wife, Bertha, was the crazy lady he had locked in his attic. In the alternate story, the crazy lady was an immigrant woman from the Caribbean he had brought back. She was a Kept Woman. in the end, Bertha had no choice but to burn the house down to end her imprisonment. In the destruction, Bertha is empowered.
I recall Samson, who was also imprisoned. He could do nothing because his power, his hair, was stolen, cut off from him. But he waited. He was patient. When his hair grew back, he was strong again, and prevailed.
I know my power is in my pen, and I know that this is the one thing I have had when all else has been taken from me. Ann Frank, too, had her pen and her diary still lives.
Even as the city burns.