Rejection is so often a gateway to liberation. How odd that is. Even loss, that, too, frees us up.
Friends of mine I once knew personally posted on Facebook that their house had burned down but that they hadn’t been home and it was really okay. And that they had insurance.
I mentioned this to someone that I know who does not know this unfortunate family and lives elsewhere on the planet. I said, “Do you think this reflects on the oddity of Facebook that a tragedy is taken so lightly like that?”
My friend said, “What do you think?”
I knew what was coming. How could I be naive? My friend told me undoubtedly they burned their own home for the insurance payment.
That was maybe a week ago. I’ve thought about this since. Now I realize:
No more broken appliances.
No more worries about hiring someone to do the lawn.
No more property taxes.
The basement flooded last year anyway.
We weren’t married to all that “stuff.” We are married to each other.
Every loss is a cause to rejoice. I think we need to realize this. Or I am beginning to.
Every “no” is a springboard to finding a “yes.” If everyone around us confirmed us where we stand now, then that’s just where we’d be stuck. “No” means we will move forward.
Many people find that’s true of being fired from a job, or kicked out of a school. I have looked back and wondered if being kicked out liberated me from that place. I remember feeling that way after I was fired from McDonald’s in 1977. Know why? Because I suggested maybe they could give their leftovers to poor people instead of throwing out perfectly good food. While getting fired and being told what a shit you are and that McDonald’s will keep you in a database forever so never even think of working for any McDonald’s again didn’t feel so great, I felt freed up after I’d thought of it.
I knew all along that I didn’t want to work for McDonald’s. I had applied to work there only because I was desperate for a job and never believed in the company. My next job was for a startup. I liked it a lot better. Know something? We gave away a lot of food there, too.
I also felt liberated because restaurant slavery work wasn’t a lifetime goal for me. Until I found the next job, I enjoyed the free time so I could work on composing more music, practicing, and preparing for my classes. I had recently moved and this was a good time to get to know my awesome roommate better.
There was a time in 2012 after I’d fired the abuser that I didn’t have a therapist. In fact, that was when I made all those calls and heard nothing but “no” for the next year. The ones who said yes knew nothing about eating disorders. The “too good to be true” one was a red flag from day one since he called me “Honey” all the time. It got worse from there. He told me about his ex-girlfriend in detail. And worse. And even worse, after I did the right thing and stopped going to him, and several people told me to report the guy, my own psychiatrist told me I was “delusional” for firing him. After that, I simply couldn’t find anyone. Three more didn’t know anything about eating disorders. I had called about 50 residential centers and places all around the country. You bet they turned me down. All that effort…and yet, being told “no” was just what I needed.
Is this what is meant by “a kick in the butt”? I never saw any bruises on my rear end but it’s easy to miss things on your backside. Which might be for the better. I kicked myself good and hard.
That’s what it took–all that repeated “no” for me to realize I was far better off without a therapist running my life. Therapy had limited me all those years. The process is said to be freeing, but after I looked at my life, I realized that this was hardly true. It was slavery.
Therapy was insulting. Diagnosing another person, whether pronouncing a person “ill” under the DSM, or even saying something like, “You have anger issues” is an aggressive power play. Anytime a person makes an implication of the other’s moral inferiority it is a move to not only separate the diagnosed from the diagnoser, but to elevate the one doing the diagnosing. It’s like saying “I have insight into you that you do not have.” And the diagnosed pays for this! So even if a person might be said to “have insight into his condition,” this is not really what the diagnoser believes, as esteemed “helper” who puffs himself/herself up to be the more knowledgeable, more educated, wiser, and morally superior one. The diagnosed is a customer blinded by obligation. Otherwise, we could all cure ourselves.
In fact, we can, and do cure ourselves. I see this all around me. The wounded heal. We can hope the same for what ails our society and the for the blue planet where we live.
I have yet to meet a person whose moral character was so flawed that there was no possibility of change. I have felt incredibly stuck myself and in an impossible and irreversible situation but even that extreme shittiness changed. Even when those around me were naysayers who had no faith in me, and said “no” over and over, I hung on. I have no clue what kept me going since all I saw around me was gloom and hopelessness.
By all means, I know that even the worst human we can think of should be given a second chance. Anyone can cast off the baggage. I have seen incredible turnarounds. I think we need to realize that turning life around is what usually happens, as all around us, the seasons turn.
I was just kicked out of something, given the boot. Wow, I feel terrific realizing just how much this frees me up. For a change, this isn’t some human entanglement. It’s one of those unpleasantries that happens to even the most agreeable and law-abiding people. Time to cut off the red tape and recycle it. Tomorrow, if you are up early enough, you’ll see me flying by, and know me by the red ribbons in my hair.
I don’t know how anyone else feels on this, but I want to ask this. Are there degrees of racism? Or are there only degrees of how one expresses it? I suppose in a court of law, “consequences” are also weighed heavily.
I read recently about microaggression. To me, I felt acknowledged when I read this. I knew that those subtle racist remarks that come out of people’s mouths and are present in their actions reflect just as deep a hatred as lynching.
There was a joke a while back that was rather revealing, even though many found it funny. It went like this:
“I like blacks, I like Jews, I’m fine with homosexuals, but dang, I hate the Italians!”
Truth is, if a person hates any group they are racist and hate everyone, even groups they claim to be welcoming to. Who are they kidding? Within this lies the bond between the Civil Rights Movement and the Feminist Movement.
So here’s a story.
I met a guy a long time ago and we had a very brief but intense romance and were hoping to meet. This lasted about six days and afterward I was glad it hadn’t been any longer than that.
I ask myself now why it went on for that many days until I knew he was racist. Wouldn’t this be reflected in other actions as well?
It was. I found it intolerable when he told me, “I’d never date a fat person.” Seriously, that’s what he said. Later on he suddenly said some horrible things I won’t repeat due the content but it wasn’t subtle. I’d heard him say questionable things before and kept telling myself, “Naw, I must have heard that wrong. He couldn’t have said that!” I hadn’t heard wrong at all, but I didn’t want to believe nor accept that this too-good-to-be-true guy was just that. Not truly a person I’d want to be with.
After it was all over, I was relieved. I told myself, “I wonder how he would have reacted had we gotten serious and then I told him, ‘I am bisexual.'” He’d freak. If he hates one group he hates anyone not like him.
Sedatives should be the last resort for insomnia, why is it now not only the first suggestion, but the only one?
So I got in touch with a doctor online regarding insomnia. I had been making progress for a while, assumed that progress would continue, however, it isn’t. I contacted a doctor and presented severe insomnia as my problem. I didn’t mention any other problems one might associate with seeing a shrink such as “depression and anxiety,” since I am not suffering from those things. I did mention that I had been taking a thyroid pill for hypothyroidism. Guess what he said? This was NOT a shrink, he was an endocrine specialist.
First, he said I HAD to see a shrink and get a sedative. No questions about anything physical that may be happening with me, no questions about diet, no questions about what I do nor even when I go to bed or if I eat breakfast. No questions about whether I take “medications.” Or drugs. Or weed. Oh, he also said it was doubtful I had a thyroid problem.
I was allowed a followup question so I informed him that I take thyroid because I was tested a long time ago by a blood test and that I did indeed have hypothyroidism and have been taking a pill for it. I told him I had already tried “sedatives” and these had not helped but made things much worse.
He said it was doubtful I had anything physical amiss. Go to a shrink and get a sedative. Great answer. I demanded my money back.
This is in a nutshell the kind of medical care I got from the USA, that is, noncare. I figured since the last time I saw the kidney doctor he didn’t examine me, then I might as well get a fake doctor online. This one did about the same thing, didn’t even consider anything but their fucking worthless pills. Okay, you guys will be very happy that taxpayers didn’t have to pay for what just happened. Maybe taxpayers need to bang down the door of Adam Segal, MD, who is taking an awful lot of your hard earned money, and demand that he refund your taxes.
One man’s trash is another’s treasure. Of course, this is one of the most beloved sayings of all time.
Today, I had the nagging urge to go outside. I felt cramped staying indoors and needed air, sun, and a wider world. I took Puzzle out for a walk. We took our “usual” route. You know you have been living in a place for long enough when your dog ends up having a “usual” route.
After we did that, I decided I myself needed more. I don’t know about Puzzle, but I sure wanted more outdoors. We ran into “boyfriend,” whom I have yet to be able to capture on camera. I had my phone with me, right in my pocket. I told myself, “Now’s my chance.”
Well, dumb as it was, I’d turned the screen down to the lowest, not “auto,” so I couldn’t see the screen at all. I promised myself next time I bring my phone with me I’d better set it so that I can see it. I gave up on trying to find the camera button even though I know right where it is. Puzzle started playing with Boyfriend. Often, she just gives him the cold shoulder, whatever that is since Puzzle’s shoulders are inevitably as warm and cuddly as can be.
I was headed toward the beach. We had almost reached La Rambla but something caught my eye. I suppose that might not be a good term for something larger than needs to caught by an eye, but smaller than the elephant in the room.
This was a rather large branch that someone had discarded, and left to be picked up by the rubbish folks. It looked like they’d been down the street already, raking it up clean. You could still see the fresh rake marks. The branch missed the trash collection. But it didn’t miss me.
I decided that One Man’s Trash is Another’s Treasure. So literally true. I broke the branch so that it would fit into my bag. I took only my share and left the rest for another scavenger.
I’ve got a blazing fire going now, perfect for laundry and warming me up. That worked just fine. I recall now, my thoughts while returning home. I thought, “How does this simple saying apply in other ways to our lives?”
What is valued in one culture is thought of as useless in another. Do you know that scavenged pine cones here can be sold for a price? Even hot water is sold by the cupful. For mate, for the passersby.
One day, I was in a second hand shop not far from here, and I spotted one of those metal pot veggie steamers. The ones that fold up and are sold in most every grocery store in the USA. Yet you won’t find one here. I told the shop owner that this was a treasure to me. He wanted to know what on earth it was for. He had no idea why anyone would want it and was selling it in hopes that someone would. We became friends after that, and Puzzle knows his dog, too.
Have you ever been to an animal shelter? That dog you see (the one with the waggly tail) or cat who looks up at you right now, the one discarded because someone didn’t want to pick up a doo doo accident, is The One who is going to save your life.
Do you feel neglected, unwanted by those around you, not valued for who you are and for all the wonderful gifts you have to offer? Has society thrown you aside? Put you on disability and called you useless waste? Someone else is waiting for you right now who will take you into their arms and treasure you. There are no hopeless cases. I have yet to meet one. You are golden. You are someone’s love. You are beautiful.
Why is the NG tube used for people with ED? I have always wondered about the logic of it. I’ll tell you a story to illustrate my point.
I recall when I was tube fed at Walden Behavioral Care’s Alcott Unit I sure hated it. I felt it was like torture and didn’t see the point in it. Maybe it was a control thing. I don’t know. I weighed about 95 pounds at the time they put it in. Know what I weigh now? I haven’t weighed myself but I’d say 98 or 99. I’m short and people who know me in person say I look fine.
I had the tube put in in March 2010. They made you continue to eat while it was in. You had no control over what went into the tube itself. They poured tube feed into a large sac above your head (or above mine) that was slung up onto a pole. Tube feed is high calorie stuff that’s supposed to be easy to digest.
The tube itself was over 18 inches long if I recall correctly. They inserted it into one nostril and the tube went all the way down into my stomach. So it had to go up, then curve downward and follow my esophagus down until it went through the opening into my stomach.
I had to eat with that tube in. Apparently, there are tricks for making it more bearable. Other patients taught me these things. The staff didn’t give a hoot. So another patient told me I should ask for a certain pole and a certain pump because these were more manageable. She was right on. As for eating, other patients let me know about the veggieburgers. For whatever reason, they won’t go down well with a tube in the back of your throat. I found out the hard way and then I learned and laughed with other patients. They knew, the staff didn’t.
If you ever made the veggieburger mistake, you found out. This is what happened to me: I took one bite of that burger, a tiny one, and then tried to swallow it. The tube yanked inward. This meant it was taped to my cheek and then, yanked further into my nostril. You bet that hurt! Then it kept doing that over and over throughout the meal. OMG I could hardly keep from screaming but I was in the dining room with 20 other oppressed patients and we’d been firmly told to shut up and not complain.
Never mind digestion. The tube feed wreaked havoc. For the next nine days, my life was a constant fart. I was so embarrassed and hoped from minute to minute that no one noticed. No one said anything. Who else was farting constantly as I was? I felt like I was binge eating! Constant bloatedness, constant feeling of “OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL DID I EAT?” I was never comfortable, always burping and farting.
Now, did this do me any good? No. No no no no. Forced feeding is torture under international law. I can attest to that!
So I figured out that the urine-colored stuff they were giving me from time to time was Pedialyte. I asked why. They said it was for hydration. I said, “Well, then, can I drink it instead of having it put in via the tube?” There was a quart of it right there that they were about to put in. I said I was so thirsty that I’d love to drink it. They said no. Against policy or whatever.
So let me get this right. I was no allowed to ingest something that I was perfectly capable and more than willing to ingest so that they could keep full control and power over me.
I believe the NG tube wasn’t designed for this. If a person can chew,and swallow, and if the person has a perfectly fine esophagus, why tube feed? If, on the other hand, a person has had extensive jaw surgery or cancer that affects their swallowing ability, then the tube might make a little sense if there are no other options.
In more dire medical situations there are other ways to artificially feed someone. A person can be fed via IV, but it’s not a usual IV, it’s a very long line and it’s somewhat of a risky procedure. If a person’s stomach absolutely does not work, then a tube can go straight into the intestines. We hope that these various situations are temporary.
A person needs to taste and enjoy their food, chew it, and marvel at the miracle of it. A person needs real food. We learn to eat and choose our food based on taste and texture, since these are our body’s natural way to decide what is right for us. Tube feeding denies us that choice, denies our ownership of our bodies, and gives up our rights to some other person who decides for us. I cannot see that tube feeding is conducive to helping a person get over an eating disorder. In fact, it fosters dependency. It makes the ED hospital that safety net for patients that in fact does patients a disservice just by being there.
“I can starve now, get myself very close to death, and not die since I’ll be rescued anyway.” Do I see the revolving door syndrome here?
I was fed up finally. I pulled that tube out one day at 3am. I was so relieved when it was out and felt much better. My tube feeding experience strengthened my belief that forced care was totally wrong.
What do you think?
I just went through the papers posted at Psych Rights. Jim Gottstein won the case against Lilly stating that promoting off-label use of Zyprexa for the purpose of gaining more profits was a criminal act.
So that was my situation. Zyprexa’s label use is schizophrenia, short-term for psychosis, and short term for acute mania. Not anything I myself ever had.
Zyprexa can’t be forced upon someone for some vague claim of “danger to self.” I was not suicidal at all, which they knew all along.
Zyprexa can’t be forced upon someone to get them to gain weight.
Not legally. But it happens and it even passes in court. How can they get away with this? Easy. They lie.
They knew why they wanted me on Zyprexa. To shut me up. To disable me so much that I was no longer capable of writing. They claimed I “needed” it and couldn’t live without it. I was not a danger to myself. I was a danger to them and they needed me to quit telling the truth so they could continue propagate their lies.
Happily, I avoided all that nonsense and am free now. Phew!
What I did for people with eating disorders, and why Walden Behavioral Care’s administration isn’t happy with me
This story has now gotten out to the media and the court proceedings are no secret, so I think it’s fair for me to come out with this.
I guess it was maybe a year ago I got contacted by a property rights attorney in Framingham, Massachusetts. Walden Behavioral Care wanted to expand and move their facility into Framingham. They wanted to purchase land on the basis that Walden is an educational facility. To my knowledge, usually a school or college is an educational facility and a hospital is supposedly a medical facility.
A citizen of Framingham had found my blog. Of course, I mention in it that I have yet to see a facility that treats eating disorders in a humane fashion. I had already won a human rights claim against them back at the end of 2012. The state ordered Walden to provide a soundproof booth around one of their two patient phones. A year later I was shocked to find that Walden had not complied. I tried contacting the state who then challenged the Walden administrators as to why this wasn’t done as ordered. It was all left hanging in the air, actually, at the time I moved here. I sure would love to follow up and find out if they are still not complying with the law.
But that’s not all. Walden was based on sound principles but apparently sold out. The nutritional approach is a great idea, but that is not what they do. Their object is to force a patient to gain weight no matter what the method. They still force patients to eat junk food against their will. They still force feed via the tube. They never provide hope, they only create the revolving door syndrome and permanent patients (more income for them). They are a Medicaid/Medicare facility so they can milk state insurance and use up all a person’s Medicare.
No, I am not against “recovery.” I want to see patients get well. I object to forced care of any kind. Walden does just that. Forced care isn’t care. Coercion while behind locked doors is force and isn’t care. Facilities that are so secure that patients cannot leave the building without permission (if at all) don’t seem humane to me. I don’t object to the idea of help, but force isn’t help.
Patients tell me Walden provided no hope for them. Most wouldn’t go back if they had a choice. I have heard, “The staff have gotten worse.” “They don’t care. It’s worse than it used to be.”
So the citizens of Framingham sure did not want a prison for kids in their town. No, they had no objections to the kids, they had objections to forced care and they didn’t want that inhumane situation in their town. This is not a “stigma against people with ED” issue. This is a human rights issue.
After I was contacted and said I was willing to help out, I sent a notarized affidavit to the lawyer who then was going to present this in court. No, it didn’t have opinion in it since that wouldn’t stand in court. I presented what happened to patients during the course of the day. I said we had meals and groups. This was a detailed description of the supervised meals and groups and any other activities.
See, no one really knows what happens inside these facilities, no one but those who have been there and the staff. The staff aren’t talking, and if they do speak out on behalf of patients, I’m sure they get silenced one way or the other, or at least lose their jobs. Whistleblower protection laws are very weak all over the country.
I believe the material I presented was not controversial in any way, nor arguable. I mentioned names of groups, mealtimes, etc. I mentioned the Conditional Voluntary, which you have to sign once you are on the unit, making your stay no more voluntary than on any other locked unit. What I said indicated that Walden wasn’t an educational facility. You didn’t see classes, professors, students, desks, blackboards, etc. You couldn’t even stretch it and say the patients were students who had paid tuition and were there voluntarily. They did not go back to their dorms after classes, dating was hardly allowed, and you sure did not see partying at night. No, patients are ordered to bed at 11 and treated no better than slaves.
I found the article stating that the citizens of Framingham won and Walden was not allowed to purchase the land. I imagine Walden has a strong dislike for me right now. But that doesn’t matter. I don’t live there no more.
Walden most likely comes out with all kinds of nonsense, stating that I am nuts, that I am against anyone getting better, that I am paranoid and that no one should listen to me. Thankfully, many people don’t buy into that anymore. Thankfully, many are learning about the Patients’ Liberation Movement (also called sometimes Antipsychiatry), and believing that there’s got to be a better way than force and coercion. I do! Do you?
What does the word “damaged” mean, and should we continue using it? Newton-Wellesley psych unit story
I never thought of myself as “damaged.” I was in the mental health system over 30 years before I heard that term. I remember the moment and I will tell you right now.
I was in one of Newton-Wellesley’s mental prisons. This was 2011. Maybe you recall the time I was in there (since I wrote about it) when the room I was in had some sort of problem with the heater or air vent causing the room to reek of vomit. I do not self-induce vomiting and never did, but at that time, I was accused of vomiting due to the odor in the room. Are there any bulimics out there who can attest to the fact that even if I had indeed been secretly vomiting, which no one in fact witnessed, nor saw any vomit nor heard me vomiting, how on earth the whole room could smell of it…. I know rooms smell of dirty laundry but a little bit of looking around and you find the offending clothes. Oh well. But that was the backdrop of all this. A room with greenish walls, accusing staff, and my abusive therapist who always accused me of vomiting just to show display of power.
They did allow us Internet access there, via their computers and there was usually someone in the room at the time in case on of us got violent and shot everyone. Yes, that was the mentality. That we were potentially violent and could get set off anytime. Not even human. Dangerous.
They didn’t glare over your shoulder. The biggest annoyance, for me, was the time limit. They didn’t care what we did online. If you were to watch a YouTube, say, a touching or moving love story, and you cried at the end or ever let on that you were, you’d be whisked out of there and given a PRN. Yep, it’s the norm to medicate tears in those places. They assume tears meant you were “out of control.” You can argue all you want but that might make you seem “noncompliant” to them, another brownie point against you.
This was a very unhealthy place for me, as was home, since my outpatient therapist was really a controlling bitch.
I had a roommate. This one was somewhat problematic for me since she roped me into lengthy conversations I didn’t want to be in. She would close the door and then start in on a very loud rant. I’d try so hard to stop it. Anything. I hated those rants. I’d try to get the attention of staff who came in to do “checks.” Why wasn’t she ranting at them instead of me? Well, I knew. They weren’t listening anyway. So she found me, a shoulder to cry on.
After she did that the first time, I let it go. I figured one of the staff had needled her. I couldn’t blame her for being pissed. But then, she was doing this loud ranting again and again. How much more could I take? I took it, though, not knowing what else to do. I knew I’d get away from her as soon as one of us was discharged, and the situation wasn’t permanent. She asked for my phone number and I gave her a fake one since no way did I want more loud rants. I doubt she was always like that, though, knowing what I know now. People are so changeable. I hope she has found someone to love her. I hope she found peace. Most eventually do.
This is what she said that struck me. “I’m damaged. I’m damaged goods.”
I thought of an essay I read once by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I believe it’s called “The Cracked Plate,” but I’m not sure. So when I heard “damaged goods,” I envisioned the Cracked Plate of F Scott Fitzgerald. Humpty Dumpty who could not be repaired.
I told her she was human, not a plate or a chicken egg. I told her even broken bones can heal. “No,” she said, “I’m damaged, which separates me from everyone else. I was abused. I had a permanent disorder because of what was done to me as a child. Why don’t my kids understand this?”
I saw the contradiction right away. She was acting like a child and expecting her kids to put up with it, meanwhile saying “I’m so damaged that I will act childish forever and everyone will just have to live with it. There’s no chance for repair. I’m damaged.”
She didn’t want to change. She lived that way, believed in it, and defended it. Her insistence, over and over, was that she intended to continue childish behavior, annoying those that loved her, and had no intentions on stopping. But why had she gotten this way? I know. Diagnosis.
The idea of “diagnosis” is that we are cracked plates. We won’t ever get better, in the view of modern psychiatry. So they do with us whatever they want, and if they harm us, they sweep it under the rug or dispose of us. It’s so rare that they tell us their treatments will actually put a cracked plate back together so it is whole again. But we aren’t plates. We’re alive. Life means movement.
What does far more damage than whatever brought us to MH care is the diagnosis itself. “YOU ARE BROKEN.” They don’t admit that that statement itself broke us even more.
The next thing that does damages is treatment. If having a permanent diagnosis on record for a temporary condition is bad enough, now, they ensure we are bashed to the ground by their various barbaric practices, including drugs that harm our bodies, ECT, and other destructive practices. Or they traumatize us with therapy, trying to tell us how to “cope” with what they have done. Radically accept it is the common euphemism. Just sit back and don’t even doubt their word. Be compliant. If you find their practices abhorrent, just take a deep breath according to their instructions.
I think the cracked plate mentality is all wrong to begin with. If they didn’t see us as plates, that is, things, objects of their power and control, but changeable humans, maybe they’d quit acting like we don’t matter. Maybe “damaged” is one of those overused words that we should stop using. It’s their word. “Recovery” is another overused word. I stopped using that one a long time ago, but maybe we all should stop using the word “damaged,” too, or at least not refer to ourselves that way.
As for my roommate, I hope she reads this someday. More importantly, I hope her family does. I don’t for one minute see her as “an angry person.” This implies permanence. I hope she got rid of the shrinks who were only perpetuating it with their “anger management” and other insults. I know her family was at their wits’ end. But she didn’t need more damage via treatment. She needed less treatment, or no treatment, and to get away from her family and therapists and anyone whose low expectations were only holding her back. She was in a cycle only she could stop. I hope that happened.
Do you see the difference between my saying “She is a negative person,” and “she was unhappy at the time”? We need to think that people change, the world changes, and leave ourselves open and welcome to that possibility.
* * *
What about the vomit odor? It wasn’t from me. I can’t imagine what the staff thought, at first, then days later when the room continued to reek, then maybe weeks later. I’d been wrongly accused and had no one to defend me when I returned to my therapist. After I left, my therapist got even more accusing, saying I was lying. I kept saying to myself that I wish some person from the hospital would contact me and apologize on their behalf for the grief it caused me. I’m not expecting anyone to do so, since such institutions frown upon employees having minds of their own.
What do you believe in? What do you stand for? State-sponsored “peer support” workers are getting paid to work to encourage more use of “services,” more dependency, more drugging. State-sponsored “peers” are just that, the arm of the state. Is that what you want? Does helping someone mean getting them more “services”?
I’ve been through that myself. These state workers, whether they identify as “peer” or not, are there to monitor patients and keep them in the System. They are the tool of the oppressors. Who would ever want to work in such a position?
I don’t buy, “But this is all we can do! The state is the only one who will hire us, as lowly slaves! We’re not employable as anything else due to not having work experience!”
The more we defy this, as a group, the more powerless the state is to keep us dependent either as psychiatric prisoners or paid slaves. Get the hell out of the System! Let’s prove that we are stronger and mightier than anyone could possibly believe!
Most people before they enter the system don’t have an Us and Them attitude. However, they end up having this attitude. Why?
The Us and Them attitude is encouraged in “treatment.” They will tell you not to have that attitude, and in the same breath, tell you to “go to staff” if you have a problem. They will insist “staff” know best and that you, patient, are ignorant, have poor coping skills, and are emotionally unstable. What does this invariably lead to?
They have the keys. Patients don’t. They boss patients around. You are powerless and at their mercy. They are paid to do this. You are paying, or your parents pay, or your insurance pays. Taxpayers pay ungodly amounts to keep them in business, even against your better judgment. They’ll insist your judgment is worthless, by the way. What does this lead to?
Is the Us and Them attitude a disease? No! They do this to people. They encourage this attitude and then blame those that develop it!
We can stop this nonsense. If you want to work as a peer support, don’t do so as state slave or slave to a hospital corporation. Psychiatry is the right arm of Big Pharma. Don’t accept funding from anywhere but donations. Work for yourself and encourage anyone else who works as a “peer” not to be a paid slave.
There is no “training” for a peer by definition. No state should provide it nor require it. Your credentials are your experience. “Training” provided by the state is invariably pharma-driven.
I help people and have never been paid money for it. If it isn’t totally rewarding to me on its own to help others, it isn’t help. I base what I do and say on real personal experience with ED and the psych system and not corporate-sponsored training. My qualifications are my life experiences. Since I don’t receive money, I am not on any level “above” you or in some glorified caste called “staff.” You are my buddy and I am yours.
Anyone can write to me or call. I write back to any honest inquiries. You can comment on here and I will get back to you, if you wish. Comments are always monitored and checked for spam or bullying, never automatically published. If I know a comment is not intended for the public I don’t publish it. If published, I strip phone numbers unless specified.
Note: recently, yahoo addresses have ended up in my spam box but hopefully that has been corrected now. I have been keeping an eye on it.