What if you say that to a three-year-old? I recommend against testing this one out. Leave your kid alone in the room with a bottle that says, “Don’t drink” guess what will go into the kid’s mouth first?
That’s three, toddlerhood. What about six? Or ten? Or sometime during adolescence? Or any age? Dangle something right in front of a person’s hungry mouth, who wouldn’t bite the bait?
Do not touch it. It is poison.
But many do. Only because it hurts too much after all they have done to us. It is my hope that no one is left stranded in abuse and we have a good place for people to fall. Because they will. Many have fallen before us. I don’t want to see any more death or destroyed lives. End the power of shrinkage. For us all.
May God watch over whistleblowers. I worry about those who are still in the USA.
This happened in 1997. A bunch of us in the GAP program at McLean were invited to act as subjects in a Mock Board Exam. This was a favor for psych residents in preparation for the real deal.
So we got paid $10 each by Dr. Eliza Menninger. Then we spent about 20 minutes being interviewed by a student shrink. The object?
What’s My Diagnosis.
Yes, just like the game my mother and I used to play, “Guess the composer.” She was just as good at it as I was. So now, the shrinks were playing a guessing game.
I interviewed with the doctor who would in a few months run the MAPP program. But when he interviewed me, he was still a resident. He asked me questions and I answered them. I needed the money.
I ran into the doctor later, when he had passed his boards and was now MAPP director. I told him I remembered the interview and was wondering how they thought he did. He told me that he had me completely wrong and he was admonished for this. I want to let that doctor know right now (I doubt he’s reading this) that I am sorry he didn’t properly guess the diagnosis that had been given to me for insurance purposes and to cover up prior medical error. There is no “right psych diagnosis.” Psych diagnosis isn’t valid, so they are all wrong.
When I was young, I played the same game. Who has what disease. I’d look around and assign a diagnosis to everyone in the room I didn’t do anything with those thoughts except to laugh. However, psych diagnosis is a way of taking power over another person. I could have used these phony diagnoses to spread lies and rumors, saying certain people were “sick.” That’s how to ruin a person’s life, by the way. It’s how mine got ruined. It can happen to anyone.
I guess I’ll never know how that line got crossed. People used to value me and asked for my opinion on things all the time. That respect eroded. It’s gone now.
I’m nobody, a useless waste. Really? They try rather hard to drill that one into people like me. If I don’t buy into it, they’ll tell the whole world, “Don’t listen to her. She’s nuts.” They will discredit a person any way they can, legal or not.
Cuddly. Time to go to bed, curl up with my dog.
Hint: If you sleep on your stomach, don’t use a pillow.
Don’t ask me. I sleep on my left side.
I have run into so much disrespect in my life that I look back and laugh. Apparently, the controversy over Ryan’s article is still in the airwaves. Here’s Ryan’s article again:
So people are saying they feel demeaned by what he’s saying or were treated badly while you were his student. I don’t think it’s kind of one person to say to another, “You’ll never make it.”
Which was what I was told myself repeatedly in the School of Life. Not that I wouldn’t make it as a writer, but that I’d never make it in any of life. I was told this repeatedly. In fact, Medicare paid them to do that. Those obligatory appointments in offices, spending 50 grueling minutes listening to what a failure I was. This wasn’t commentary via the US Postal Service. This was the real deal.
We’re all Real Deal. When lived back in the states, I was already screaming, but didn’t dare scream louder. I can do that now. I can be as Real Deal as I want. Some of us are scared shitless to speak out cuz if we do, the police and the ole stretcher will come rolling down the hall and we’ll hear them pounding the door any second now. It’s nice not to live in fear anymore. So you get the Real Deal now.
I hope I have the name spelled right. I’ll bet this one gets spelled wrong plenty of times. I’ll tell you something I learned when I saw my own name spelled wrong for most of my life:
“You live with being misunderstood, and just let ‘em misread your words and you don’t give a shit, or you spend the rest of your life correcting people, which might end up too exhausting.”
And in fact, I am most likely misreading this whole shebang. Here’s the link in question:
So a whole bunch of former students of Ryan’s, and pretty much everyone from Goddard who has opened their mouth on the issue spoke out on this one. You can imagine the buzz. Or maybe not. I realized what was happening, the language I heard on Facebook, and it scared the heck out of me.
I didn’t just blow the whistle. I blew the whole shebang when I left the USA. All I could think of in the last few days that I was in the USA was “fuck you.” Like a mantra. I burned bridges and continue to do so. I remember my dad used to quote those dumb sayings he must have learned in grade school:
“People in glass houses should not throw stones.”
…which got me rolling my eyes around rather rudely, as teens can get sometimes, wishing he wouldn’t repeat that one. Maybe I needed a new metaphor as that one got old fast.
“Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.”
…which is about what burning your bridges is. You can’t burn selectively, can you? No, you tell yourself “screw ‘em all.” You walk out, and when you turn around to the burning city you just fled, you don’t turn to salt. No, you throw in a bunch of lighter fluid and wish ‘em all dead. You’re that pissed off.
But maybe it’s more like this: If you see a flea on your dog, what’s better, getting rid of the one flea, or giving your dog a flea treatment and washing all your dog’s bedding? Where there is one flea, we can assume there are more, right? Are there any good fleas? Sweep out the whole shebang.
Whatever happened to Mr. Boudinot, it wasn’t pretty, although I don’t pretend to know for certain. Bridge-burning doesn’t happen for no reason. Suddenly turning into a person everyone sees as an asshole doesn’t happen for no reason, either. While I read the outpouring of hurt feelings on Facebook I kept asking myself, “Is this also part of the wreckage I, too, left behind?”
I’m not sorry for bridge-burning. I am sorry to have hurt people in the process, people that did nothing wrong. When I read the students’ reaction to Ryan’s article I hear hurt feelings, feelings of betrayal, disgust, embarrassment, and just plain anger and frustration.
I want to ask why. Why Ryan was so pissed off.
I also ask because I know I, too, did a sweeping, radical thing. I really did want to say “Fuck you” to certain people. I cried back last May thinking that I was also sending the very same clear message to people that had done no harm, which certainly wasn’t my intention.
So reading this wreckage, which is what it is, seems tragic to me. You burn bridges but then you don’t see how much hurt you have caused. You can’t see it simply because you’re not there anymore. You don’t see their faces, you don’t see them shake their heads in disgust.
Or I dunno…certain people I really did want to hurt. I wanted to kick their asses nonviolently. I wanted to send that clear message, “Take this country and shove it” to the assholes that did what they did to me.
Is that what’s happening? Writing is all about projecting your feelings onto the rest of the world, whether applicable or not, giving your very biased viewpoint, telling it like it is, and then, leaving it out there raw and stinking. Do I know anyone who is unbiased, entirely neutral? Yeah, dead people. If you’re alive, you got your own pair of eyes that no one else sees through. I got my ideas, radical as some may see them. When I think of my place in the world, I suppose we, that is, the world and myself, are completely separate entities, so maybe shouldn’t hang out together, or even bother trying. Maybe the planet isn’t ready for me, and never was.
“Do you cut off your entire arm to save a hangnail?”
I guess you gotta understand, I didn’t just pack up for vacation last May. I fled, scared out of my mind. What made it worse was that even now, I have a hard time getting anyone back in USA to believe me if I bring up in conversation the shit that happened back there. Sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do just to stay alive, and I don’t think I need to justify that or back it up with “proof.”
I can tell you why right now, why I always stick up for the underdog. That was true on the playground, in the lunch room, and in Hebrew school too. Maybe cuz I am short so I ended up the Underdog a lot in my life. So right now, speaking from the bottom of the pile, I know what it’s like when everyone says you’re an asshole, or that you are a bad person. Finding out that people I used to trust actually saw me as “No longer a person,” killed my spirit, which was already beaten down bad anyway. I speak from experience.
So that’s pretty much got me to do what I did. It could have been far worse, but had I gone that other route, I wouldn’t be around to write this. It’s a surreal experience knowing you’ve split the scene and you won’t see that old place again. Like you’re a ghost. The afterlife. Like you’re in Heaven looking down and seeing everyone cry at your funeral. And talking shit about you, too.
That was, in fact, how it was a lot of the time back in the states. I wanted more than anything for someone, anyone, to see me as who I was, not as a person that someone declared long ago as “crazy.” I begged to be valued. But no one heard. No validity, no human worth.
“You’re a drain on the system.”
…my brother’s words. So I’m a waste of taxpayer money better off dead so taxpayers don’t pay for the likes of me. Human waste, or shall I say, not human anymore.
One day, I dreamed of the aftermath of my own death. This was in July of 2013. I dreamed I received an e-mail stating that I had died. Only it was CC’ed to me, too, by accident. So I read it, reading the shit people said. I woke up, horrified. Yep, that happens. I was terrified I’d die and no one would know my story. The real reasons why I ended up the way I did.
The lives of our art is much the same. You write a book and then poof! It’s on its own. Then, you as artist, listen to the good, the bad, and the horrifying. There’s nothing you can do, is there?
Maybe, instead of the whole shebang, I should have cut off my ear and send that bit to the one or two assholes that screwed me, and spared the rest. An earlobe, that’s only a remnant, isn’t it? Just a reminder. Only I don’t do things like that. I had teeth pulled, which was enough amputation for me.
So I have a rather hard time wrapping my head around this one. I want to see all sides of the issue. You smell something fishy? Then I’ll bet there’s a rotten one lying around somewhere. Or maybe the ocean smells bad. I hear it does in places. Or maybe I really am dead, looking back and laughing. Can you do that, if you’ve turned to a pillar of salt?
To those that have died… Our world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.
When I was a student at Bennington, I was known to be independent and somewhat aloof. I did things for myself and was strong and mature. I figured therapy was for the rich only. For that reason I was turned off by the idea.
Then, I made the mistake of going to those people. Day treatment was the worst offender. This “care” turned a perfectly fine, mature and independent woman into a sniveling, whining child. My parents were shocked. The therapists insisted I needed MORE therapy, but really, I needed to end this trip, and get my life back. I wish I had.
It only got worse after 50. I stopped having fun altogether. I turned to those idiots and begged them to “fix” me. What a stupid idea that was! They knew nothing except to blame me for all the crimes they had done to me.
The only way out was just that. Get the fuck out. I did. I can say that it did take a bit, but now, I have fun every day. Every single day. I certainly don’t whine anymore, and I rarely shed tears. I don’t need them and don’t want them anymore.
The very thought, the image of the shrink waiting room sends shivers into me. I have no tolerance for the idea of meeting a person in an office. It turns my stomach. Despicable.