Monthly Archives: August 2015
Story from Alcott
I had a request for an Alcott story, so here it is:
I’m not sure which year this was. I was incarcerated in Walden Behavioral Care’s Alcott Unit a number of times, maybe five. I was once on Thoreau, only once.
Lately I’ve been hearing stuff like, “I hated Alcott before, but then, I wasn’t cooperating. I didn’t want to get better. This time, I followed my treatment plan.”
This kind of thing saddens me. Who wants to be a slave to those people? Who wants them to run your life? Why blame yourself for their “treatment” not working? This is typical of abuse, you end up blaming yourself for the abusers’ inadequacies. You take on responsibility for them, since no way do you dare blame them. You are told over and over that you have an attitude problem.
Of course you do. Like anyone, you are human and you don’t take well to human rights violations.
The object of Alcott is forced feeding and forced weight gain. Period. This has nothing to do with listening and caring or how you feel inside. Do you think the insurance companies, who pay these places heaps of dough, really care how you FEEL? No. The object of concern is the number on the scale and nothing else. Yet they tell patients we’re disordered if we care about the number.
We’ve all seen it. The doctor comes and all that doctor has really checked is the number. Those other questions are to cover their asses regarding liability. See, if we die, they need to cover up that they caused it, and do so as quietly as possible.
So here’s the story. I was out in the hall one evening. I don’t think it was too late. In fact, this might have happened in afternoon. We don’t get much time in daylight there, so I only had the clock to tell time. I was probably standing in the “med” (drug) line, or otherwise waiting for the nurse in that little closet-sized dispensary.
Not too many people were out in the hall at the time. So I saw a girl in the hall curled up in a ball. Right in the hall, on the floor. I said to myself, “This is treatment-induced attention-seeking behavior.” But out loud, I said nothing.
They demanded that she get up, and she started acting like a baby, crying and carrying on. You’d think she was indeed a baby, but when they got her up, I saw that she was a full grown woman, taller than me. Most are. She continued to holler and they threatened her:
“If you don’t stop, we’re getting Security. Now.”
Are you laughing or crying right now? I didn’t know what to think. Maybe you’re thinking, “Oh, that girl had a personality disorder.” If there was such thing, she got it from the hospital. They used to call that a “nosocomial” condition, usually referring to hospital-borne infections. Treatment-induced “illnesses” run rampant on psych units. All that childish stuff you see was caused by treatment. Ditch treatment, and suddenly you might scare yourself since you aren’t acting like a baby anymore. In fact, you’ll be a whole lot more capable. But you don’t have to believe me. Just keep praising the abusers instead, and see how far that gets you.
I can’t honestly recall if they ended up calling Security or not. I heard someone say, “If she keeps that up, they’ll send her to Thoreau.”
They did. They carted her off, while she screamed.
To diagnose a person with a mental illness for the purpose of monetary gain, power, control, silencing, retaliation, illegal imprisonment, or illegal forced psych hospitalization should be considered a serious crime. To diagnose a person with a psych diagnosis for the purpose of experimentation against that person’s will should also be a crime. To give a person a psych diagnosis to “justify” forced drugging should be considered a criminal act, too. To diagnose with a mental illness for the purpose of totally discrediting a person should be the most horrific crime of all of them.
Yet, they get away with this all the time and no one says a word.
Why do so many survivors of eating disorders “care” end up with insomnia?
I know now. A person who cannot sleep due to trauma is AFRAID to sleep. Our bodies won’t let us sleep out of necessity, to protect us.
What was I doing while they were abusing me? Lying in bed. Unable to get up. Trapped. Afraid. No wonder my body puts its rabbit ears up whenever I am in bed.
No wonder so many survivors of “eating disorders care” can’t sleep. We were too weak to get up, too starved and exhausted. That’s when they harmed us. When we were that fragile and alone.
They insulted us, discredited us, told us we weren’t worth it, accused us of lying or sneaking, ignored our real physical needs, treated us with force of all kinds, violated our privacy, abused us physically, emotionally and often sexually, lectured us, told us we were sinners, morally insulted us, told us we were “mentally incompetent,” treated us like we were unintelligent, or as if we were toddlers.
And we got no visitors and no support from our loved ones. While those recovering from cancer or a heart attack got visitors, cards, and flowers, we got nothing, and told we deserved nothing. We were entirely alone in a life-or-death situation where by all means, we should have been nurtured.
If you are like me and cannot sleep after they did all that, you don’t have a “disorder.” You are reacting because your body is protecting you from further harm.
Stop the harm from happening in the first place. Validate those that have been traumatized so that they can heal. Validation will prevent a longer-term trauma reaction. Stop blaming those who were harmed. Stop calling trauma a disorder, a moral problem, spiritual problem, bad attitude, or “mental illness.” Stop using degrading language to describe us.
How I got misdiagnosed with schizoaffective disorder when really, I had an eating disorder
When I tell folks I was “misdiagnosed” with a mental disorder, I get all kinds of reactions. For one thing, I believe all psych diagnoses are misdiagnoses, simply because I choose not to call human psychic suffering a disease when there’s no real proof that such disease exists. I do recognize that people suffer tremendously, some markedly more than others.
That said, you might wonder how I fell for all that manic-depressive bipolar psychotic baloney when the shoe didn’t fit. Here’s how it happened:
My original therapists recognized that I had an ED, but since they didn’t know how to treat it, they ignored it. They wanted to treat something they could get a grasp on. My very first therapist saw in me only an eating disorder, but she didn’t know what to do. The next ones told me originally that they didn’t treat ED but they’d take me anyway. I was in a program with other people. We had all sorts of groups where we were supposed to share what was on our minds. I was so scared to tell anyone I had ED. The other patients kept asking. This went on for months until I finally admitted it. At the time, my diagnosis, according to my therapist, named Ron, was as follows:
Eating problem (they called it bulimia, but it wasn’t)
Shyness (not a disorder)
Minor family conflicts (like any other family)
And that was it. Yes, they saw my problems as trivial. Still, Ron himself took me as a person very seriously and I really think he had good intentions. He ended up going into some other career for a while, or said that was his plan when he quit.
The next therapist, Annique, decided to take things into her own hands. Some of this is in my book. She was for sure overinvolved with my situation. For sure, I found this offensive, as did the other patients. She was always taking extra time for me. That bothered me and I wanted her to stop playing favorites. The other patients became resentful. I didn’t blame them! For instance, if we were all contributing to a conversation, then there was silence, she’d always call on me to speak, saying they hadn’t heard from me even though I had indeed spoken up. At first, this was merely annoying, but later, it all got rather serious, since she broke the law and betrayed another patient’s confidentiality in my presence. Again, I found this terribly offensive, never mind unethical. I wasn’t sure what to do. My eating disorder got worse, and also, got shoved aside since this interpersonal bullshit seemed so much more immediate to everyone. But that was all a rather temporary situation. Then, Annique announced to me that she had a cure for my ED.
You’re probably rolling your eyes right now, reading this. A cure? This so-called cure was the most insane solution I’ve ever seen to ED. I knew all along that she wasn’t grasping at straws, she was grasping at nothing, not even straws. This was her idea. She told me I was “allowed” to binge a certain number of times per week and I had to stick to that. It was like a contract. When I spoke to her, she forced me to stand too close to her and stare her in the eyes. I hated that so much. It was a personal space violation, a power play, and also for sure was part of the overinvolvement. When I left, I was totally disgusted ,and far worse off.
I moved back to Vermont and went back to my old therapist, but she got laid off. I got assigned to another that was antisemitic and abusive. While I was still seeing him I was desperate to find another person to see, but couldn’t find one. In my book, I didn’t mention the switch in therapists since it would have confused the reader. Instead, I invented a compound character, Megan, who played the role of my old and new therapists together. (I explained that I had a few compound characters in my disclaimer.)
This was very bad therapy. You couldn’t call it therapeutic. It was downright harmful. I was frightened and didn’t know how to rid myself of him. Our sessions consisted of the following: I’d show up, sit down, and he would light up one cigarette after another and proceed to bash me and bash my assumed upbringing and my cultural background. He never asked. He assumed, then threw one insult at me after another. I was scared to stop therapy because at the day treatment center they had all of us convinced we couldn’t live without it. I thought the only way I could leave this guy was if I found another therapist.
That was when, as response to his abuse, I did some cutting. I’d never done it before and it isn’t something I really did. It didn’t give me a rush nor make me high. It was a reflection of powerlessness I suppose, yet doing all that didn’t give me the power I needed. My ED was getting worse and I was so desperate I didn’t know what to do. One day, he announced that I “didn’t need therapy” and that therapy was making me worse. Well, duh, what I thought was that his therapy was making me worse. I believed there might be a decent one out there, if only I could find one. I was working at the time, but my job ended a month before I expected it to.
So suddenly I was job seeking, collecting unemployment, and therapist seeking. I wanted to go on medication for binge eating. I’d heard about new research done by Harvard doctors. I had pointed out the research to my first therapist but she said the psychiatrist hadn’t heard of the research. Looking back, I think they thought I was looking for addictive sedatives to get high on or sell, but I am not sure.
Nothing was working and my eating disorder was only worse. Finally, my roommate suggested I go to the hospital. She said maybe I could find a new therapist and psychiatrist via the hospital. She told me it was a sure bet I could get drugs that way. All I wanted was to be able to eat normally.
They did, in fact, admit me. I was such a wreck from that therapist. I can’t say that my screwed up relationship with my roommate didn’t also cause a lot of stress. I stayed five weeks the first time. Back then, hospitalizations were longer overall.
Here’s what I discovered: The hospital protected me against binge eating. It was a huge relief to not have food available to me, and even if I could get it, no ability to pig out on it since people were keeping an eye on me. I felt better and better as the constant fullness in my belly from overstuffing went away. My body breathed a sigh of relief. So naturally, I was happier. I was afraid to leave the hospital, since I was scared I couldn’t handle the freedom.
All that, I suppose, appeared to them as if I had some phobia, maybe agorophobia. I didn’t. I was terrified that if I left my eating would get out of control. I didn’t know what to do. Meanwhile, I switched shrinks to a couple of bozos that lied and said they knew all about ED. The psychologist decided I was depressed. Well, due to incompetent shrinks, yes, I was. I ended up going back repeatedly. I knew they would never take me seriously if I showed up and said, “I need help with ED,” so I said I was depressed just to get myself in and away from food. That’s how I ended up a chronic patient.
After a year with the bozos, I became aware of their dishonesty and I couldn’t handle that I had been betrayed. That’s when I overdosed. Betrayal is hard to handle for anyone. After that, my parents weren’t going to put up with the bozos’ nonsense anymore. They found out about Gould Farm, and sent me there.
My parents were concerned that Gould Farm advertised that it treated schizophrenia. I didn’t have it, nor had I ever been psychotic. So we were concerned that maybe it was another bad fit. At the time I was put on lithium, I wasn’t in a manic episode, showed no signs of psychosis or hypomania. The nurse handed me a pill and said,”Dr. Capers wants you to try lithium.” This was at breakfast. I did what I was told and didn’t give it a second thought.
Lo and behold the lithium stopped the bingeing. It ended after the very first pill. I was told that was impossible. However, more recent research shows that much lower doses of lithium are effective, and the initial dose generally given, 300, is a dangerous overdose.
I had no clue Dr. Capers had put in paperwork for disability based on nonexistent schiz. I learned later that he was practicing medicine without a license (and got caught). I had no clue. I ended up seeing him privately. Another of his patients and I agreed that this guy was a heavy-duty pill pusher. After I left him, I had leftover maybe 50 bottles of pills.
Capers had asked me if I heard voices, and asked what they said. I had no clue how to answer that. I made up stuff sometimes, not knowing how else to answer. I began to envy voice-hearers. I’d listen and try to hear. I couldn’t. Every sound made me turn around, hoping it was a voice. It never was. I felt inadequate and stupid. A few shrinks later a doctor said he didn’t believe I heard voices. I felt pushed this way and that. Yes, they had totally forgotten about my ED, which still had not improved. I begged for help with it, and never got it.
They could never figure me out. Over the years they switched it to schizoaffective. I was convinced I had it for a long time, and habitually took on the symptoms. This is how it happens, that the labeling creates sickness. I feel sorry for my family, that they had to go through all that. I was stuck and couldn’t get out of that situation. Years later, they still believed I heard voices and had delusions.
I know I’m not the only one. I was stuck in there by accident. Others were stuck in there due to homosexuality even, then labeled, and ended up acting out the label just as I did.
Does anyone else get frustrated with the “swipe” style Win 8 trackpad?
I can’t even use the Win8 trackpad! The text jumps around and resizes, links open when I don’t want them opening, the thing clicks when I have no intention of clicking, it right-clicks instead of left-clicking, since there’s no delineation between the two sides. When I realized I was wasting more time correcting my own accidental clicks and swipes I went right back to my cordless mouse and am much happier. Apparently there’s a way to go into the registry and get rid of the “swipe” gestures. You can get them back, too. The following link tells how:
The “new and improved” trackpad causes text to highlight and then delete itself in a flash. This means hours of work can get wiped out in an instant. This isn’t a common problem on previous Microsoft operating systems. From what I hear, Win 10 does not include an improvement on this situation.
Solution: If you write, use an interface that has an “undo” feature. Copy and paste into those that don’t. This way, you can redo if you accidentally wipe out your entire document, and it’ll reappear. Disabling your trackpad and using a separate mouse will reduce the frequency of wipeouts, but I’ve found that with Win 8, even using a separate mouse it’s still possible to highlight and delete accidentally. If you have a favorite program that doesn’t have an undo feature, write to the developer and ask for one.
Or write by hand on paper.
Radio show with Katherine Hine tomorrow night, August 30, 2015
Here’s the link:http://ppjg.me/2015/08/ .
You can also call in at 917-388-4520
SUNDAY, AUGUST 30 – 7-9 P.M EASTERN TIME: BE THERE – MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD! Katherine Hine, host of 3 weekly broadcasts on www.wljaradio.net, has been invited to be a guest on Marti Oakley’s Sunday night broadcast of Truth Squad. Listen to Marti’s interview with Katherine Sunday evening online athttp://ppjg.me/2015/08/ .Scroll down a few inches until you see the line in large letters saying:
Listen to the live show (HERE!)
or listen to the show live on your phone by
You can call in to the show during the second part, by calling the above number and then hitting “1”. Katherine will be talking about WLJA and the issues she and Pastor Caleb cover on WLJA, especially on Bedlam in America, God’s Healing Bounty, and Who Judges the Judges.
Why do therapists claim the therapy relationship is “sacred”?
It’s my personal belief that all human relationships are sacred. What makes therapy any more sacred? For years, I figured the only way I could ever get anyone to talk to me was to pay for it, that is, for my insurance to pay for a professional friend since I had none. I suppose the prostitute-client relationship is as sacred as any. It’s the oldest profession, folks say. It’s my hope that therapy is only a passing fad. In a hundred years, we won’t have to pay anyone to dictate rigid standards for how we all should think, believe, and act. I have a lot of trouble understanding why so many therapists think they are God’s gift to humanity. They aren’t the only ones patching up the world’s boo-boos. For certain, environmentalists, journalists, teachers, and musicians are all doing their part. Some humans are a bit more power-driven than others, and an awful lot of them work as therapists, sadly.
Years have passed, and honestly, I don’t miss any of my former therapists. I miss a few people who have died, and that’s it.
Homemade soup for the extremely lazy
Are you lazy? Or in the mood to do the least amount of work while still (maybe) getting things done? Or appearing that way? Try this:
If you have crackers lying around (or ones you got in your takeout package you never ate), you will need maybe 3 or so, depending on the size. If you have itty bitty soup crackers, use the itty bitty package of them. Dump them into a soup bowl and break them into pieces.
Heat up some tomato sauce or tomato puree. Maybe 1/4 cup of it.
While it’s warming up, add chopped herbs or dry spices to the crackers.
Pour the warmed up tomato sauce over the crackers. Eat it with a spoon.
If you are even lazier, don’t heat the tomato sauce, if you don’t mind cold soup.
If you are the epiphany of laziness, open a can of Campbell’s or whatever. Using an electric can opener will mean less work. Eat it out of the can. I can’t say it’s very good that way, though. This might propel even the laziest person to get up the incentive to nuke it. Please take it out of the can first and don’t heat anything in a can on your stovetop and please no metal in the microwave! I know people cook things in cans, but don’t do that unless you have no common sense or no pots.
If you are even lazier, if that’s possible, you haven’t read this far.
Food for thought
If you feel you are overly concerned about eating or weight, it’s time to shift focus. Here are some thoughts for the day:
- While many on the planet are starving due to lack of access to food, this isn’t because of a planetary food shortage. On this planet we are blessed with abundance. We are cursed with uneven distribution of goods.
- Humans, on a whole, aren’t less healthy. We have shifted our ideals and norms for what healthy is. In some Western countries, what is considered “normal” is becoming narrower in range.
- Is “healthy” the same as “normal”? Can we accept that we are imperfect and always changing and growing?
- Our shift to narrower ideals is a result of the unequal distribution of wealth, power, and knowledge.
- We live in a world where those in power are gaining increasing control over our ideals, our goals, our beliefs, our faith, and our thoughts.
- It doesn’t have to be this way.
- Personal is political. We all have within us the power to fight back.