Category Archives: Julie’s Writings
This is a piece I wrote that just came out:
Have a nice day!
It depends on what country you live in. As a rule of thumb, them more computerized the country is, the lesser your chances are of that ole suicide attempt fading into obscurity. In fact, over in the USA, it’s gonna get worse.
If you have insurance, you are more likely to be tracked. Caid/Care are the worst for that.
Pray for a red tape error. Spell your name wrong. Or goof your SSN by one digit. Mix up an 8 with a 5, or a 7 with a 1. Or two numbers that sound alike. Nine and five. Then chew them out for getting it wrong in a few months when they claim you owe them hundreds of thousands of dollars for an ER visit, just to cover your ass. Be sure your name is written wrong on that plaster cast they put on your leg, too. Don’t worry, if you got a mile-long name, like one of those nice Russian names, they’ll spell it wrong, anyway.
You were never on meds. Never seen a shrink. But your brother’s a lawyer. A medical malpractice lawyer. Your sister is a human rights worker. And…let’s see. You got a nest egg somewhere. Tied up in a Swiss bank.
You got rich, powerful parents who don’t take shit from peons such as shrinks. Your dad owns all the major newspapers, you know, Murdoch, Bill Gates..well, don’t get too fancy about it cuz they’ll assume you got delusions of grandeur.
On every psych ward there’s always some nut on the phone with an imaginary lawyer. I always wondered about that. That gal got pissed off at something and then went running to the phone.
Staff would shake their heads. Wow, she’s nuts. What else she got? A fancy car or two? A mansion somewhere?
Really, if you know, say….what’s that guy’s name? The movie star guy who is Scientologist. Tell the staff you gonna call him, he’s your cousin. I can picture him but I am blanking out on the name.
Elvis? Naw, that won’t work. He’s dead. If you say you are talking to Elvis you will get some free Clozapine.
Please don’t give the Clozapine to your cat. Do you want cat drool all over your pillow tonight?
Toss the shit out the window. Gimme some real dope. This stuff is a bad trip.
Okay, now I recall. Tom Cruise.
Tell me, why are Scientologists rich? Or maybe the ones we know about, no?
I wanna be rich, too. Couple of cars in the yard, cats in the garage.
Aw, no, it’s the other way around. Green grass, too. Feather bed, ten mattresses high. Make that a double or queen. To hell with mental health. I need sex. Bad.
When you’re done with all that, you will have forgotten about that noose you put up in the basement. I think the shrinks will run away very quickly.
You are free now. That done the trick. At your service. Anytime. And don’t forget to pay the copay on your way out.
They should lock up people like me. After all, I had intense desire to kill today. People like me are beyond hope and should be forever incarcerated. I must be a sociopath.
I was sitting here at my desk. Thinking my usual devious thoughts. Oh, plotting, scheming, thinking up the worst imaginable crimes….
Never mind that. I’m a writer. We think of stuff like this all the time.
But seriously, I am so close to murder right now that I’ll bet anyone, if they knew, would be shaking all over. I might attack at random. Quick, where’s that panic button? Get security. Fast. This writer is dangerous.
I was sitting here at my desk. I was triggered. I mean, dangerously triggered. I heard the sound. Oh, that sound!
Me? Kill? Naw, I don’t have the heart to do it. I didn’t even swat at it. I’m no good at being dangerous. I put up a mosquito net, and I’m happily back to work.
There’s a sale on pillows at a local store, so Jane, (a fictional character) decides her old pillow needs replacing. She goes out to the pillow sale and buys herself the one that’s the latest “in” thing. She buys a bunch of other items as well. She puts her usual pillowcase onto the new pillow and forgets all about it.
Six months later, she notices that she hasn’t been sleeping well for quite some time. She goes to her shrink and tells her shrink she can’t sleep. Her shrink tells her she must be manic and gives her pills.
Of course, I’ve already told you folks about the pillow. So you all know, and you want to scream to Jane, “Don’t believe the Evil Shrink! It’s the pillow, Jane!” This is one of those tricks that writers do, to inform the eager reader but not the character.
I could do this with memoir or blogging, too. I could tell you ahead of time, “I didn’t know, but….” and then show you the “me” that went on for a lengthy time uninformed. I do this all the time, rather sloppily, I admit.
At any rate, my fiction about Jane could continue in various ways. She could go get a third pillow and then discover on her own that there’s a “pillow cure” to her insomnia. Or perhaps it’s all too late for her and she’s locked up forever or she’s died from too many pills. Or maybe she joined antipsychiatry and became an activist and is now educating others and helping them avoid the pitfalls that she ended up in. Or maybe she’s a pillow activist, helping to spread the word about allergens in pillows and maybe you shouldn’t buy those for your kids or have them in nursing homes and day care centers. Aren’t I having fun with this story? I love being a writer. Maybe she committed suicide because she found insomnia to be intolerable, and never, ever found out that the pillow was the cause.
Know what else is cool? Pill/pillow. Funny, huh?
Okay, I’m done with the story for now. Oh no, I’m not. What about the fictional Evil Shrink?
The fictional Evil Shrink shrank in the wash, of course.
If Kafka could change a person to a grasshopper, and money can be laundered, why not throw an MD in with the same load, to save quarters? Writers do this stuff late at night in laundromats. See ya later.
Okay, I weighed Puzzle the other day and she’s a nice healthy 13-1/2 pounds. She eats whatever I put in front of her and she’s happy and healthy. I weighed my printer. Why did I do that?
My printer seems to have no power to it. I plug it in and…nothing. I’ve tried all the troubleshooting and finally have decided the heck with it. The warranty is long gone. I recall that before, Lexmark offered me a replacement for a low price, and this is no longer an option. However, I can get an HP for not much more, and the HP inks are cheaper, on sale more frequently and easier to obtain locally. Not only that, if I am careful, I can get it delivered in a PLAIN BROWN BOX. Lexmark always sent their printers with “PRINTER” written all over the boxes in gigantic letters, ripe and ready for any thief to grab off anyone’s porch the instant it got delivered. How dumb is that? I’m tired of not having a printer and having to go to the library or staples all the time. This is wearing me out. It’s not worth the exhausting trips back and forth or trying to keep lists in my head or hand write them with my messy handwriting and pencils that keep breaking and pens that don’t work, when I can print out lists easier in an instant with a printer. We are so spoiled these days. But our rush-rush society kinda expects us to keep up with techno-whatever.
So I weighed my printer because I want to see how it stacks up to the ones I’m considering buying. I sure want the smallest one I can get. Not some giant clunker like the last two that you’d think should have been paying rent here as tenants! The current one is two pounds heavier than Puzzle. I’m not kidding you.
So, had I taken the advice of so-called “eating disorders specialists” and ditched the scale, I’d have no clue how much my little doggie weighs and no clue how much the clunker old printer weighs. I wouldn’t be sitting here chuckling away with you folks right now.
So what do we do? Is Puzzle scrawny and does she need to gain weight? Is her BMI “unsatisfactory”? Should we shove a tube into her, and if she refuses, threaten to call security?
On the other hand, which would you rather have snuggled next to you in bed: a nice furry warm doggie, or a hard, rectangular, mostly metal printer that doesn’t even work? Is this a no-brainer or what? Or do you want to sleep with that scale of yours? Mine is metal and it doesn’t snuggle too well. You could shove the scale between your mattresses instead of next to you, and then, once you woke up, you could write a version of Princess and the Pea about how you slept…that is, if you could sleep at all.
Maybe we should all try putting peas under our mattresses and see how much complaining we end up doing. Was the pea under the mattress the REAL cause of eating disorders? I’ll betcha anything it was. Latest research, folks…..
I did one of those “IM” things with someone at HP (this was in some very very very faraway land, I’m sure) to see if the printer they were offering me, that was sitting in my “shopping cart” would come in a plain brown box. However, the person said, “No, it comes with a giant photo of what’s inside right on the box.” Well, not quite in those words but almost.
Guess what I did? You guessed it. That shopping cart got emptied very very very fast. Got the big picture? Yeah, sure. Big picture plus nosy neighbors means that printer ain’t gonna get to its intended recipient, dudes.
Back to the drawing board. Or the dinner table. Pea soup, anyone? I can reach between my twenty mattresses. Gimme a sec.
Warning: rant. I am coming out with this right here, right now: So bipolar is okay. Schiz is okay. Depression is okay. These, I hear, are maybe growing up problems or “extreme states” or maybe a “spiritual crisis.”
So lyme disease we can blame on the tick. Cancer we can blame on a tumor. A car accident on a drunk driver and a bump on the head can be blamed on a brick.
Alcohol on the bottle. Child abuse on the parents and spousal abuse on the spouse. Overeating on sugar. Not eating on….
Oh, that, my friends, is a moral problem.
Get real. Do I hear a double standard in antipsychiatry?
I’m sorry, but eating disorders include anorexia and eating disorders are REAL just like any of the other so-called mental illnesses are real to those that suffer from them. You can call these conditions “mental illness,” or anything else if you don’t like the word “mental illness.” It’s just a name, right?
It’s psychiatry’s fault that they called them “mental illnesses” and imprisoned people, which they never should have done. It’s psychiatry’s fault that they lied to people and said, “It’s for life,” when in fact, most of these so-called “illnesses” are temporary. It’s psychiatry’s false claim that the “only” cure and “best” and “safest” cure is medication, when these pills are hardly safe and really shouldn’t be used at all, or extremely rarely. It’s psychiatry’s fault that they lock people up willy-nilly when really, it makes no sense to further punish them who are already suffering enough! It’s psychiatry’s fault that these doctors poke fun at patients, belittle them, and devalue their patients. In turn, if these doctors are going to treat their patients that way, I don’t think they are very valuable as doctors, do you?
I hate psychiatry. I hate what my psychiatrists did to me. I hated that they denied me care, saying that eating disorders were “nothing” or “trivial.” I hated that they lied to my parents, betrayed my confidentiality, treated me like a child, and raked in thousands from our family. I hated being tied to a bed and left for dead for six hours. I hated their antisemitism. I hated that they treated me like I was an imbecile. I hated the way they mimicked me, poked fun at me, laughed at me behind my back and right in front of me, yelled at me, called me a liar. I hated the quacks. I hated the accusations. I hated that therapists sexually abused me. I hated the “state hospital” threats, and the real state hospital, and electroshock, and force-feeding. I hated being stripped naked, searched, and thrown into an empty room like a caged animal. I hated the forced drugging. I hated that doctors saved my life only because in doing so, they were avoiding an imagined lawsuit.
This is healthcare? No, it ain’t. Healthcare for the very rich…I’ve heard they sometimes get private rooms.
I have an eating disorder and it’s no different from any other so-called “mental illness.” If anyone in antipsychiatry wants to discriminate against me because they feel that my having starved myself was some “moral choice,” go ahead.
So depression is a moral choice too. And schiz is the devil. Cancer, that’s a bad habit. And it was your fault that you walked into the woods and got bitten by a tick. I can play this game, too. If you want to say anorexia is a choice, then I can say YOUR DISEASE was your choice, too. Go screw.
So get this: The FBI comes knocking. Guns at my door. Ammunition. They say the death sentence for me. Oh yes, there’s a transmitter lodged in my appendix, too.
I’m feeling around for it as we speak. Oh, I’ve found it now….got it! Grabbed it, pulled it out, yeah, okay, located it.
Now, yanked the darned thing out of my appendix and I’m cooking it up for dinner. How yummy.
What an ordeal. Oh, I’ve got the tape, too, took it out of the transmitter and I’m playing it as we speak. The tape they have on me, all the top secret files they’ve been keeping for years.
Are you all ears? Do you think I need to be HIGHLY MEDICATED?
Here’s that ole tape, translated word for word:
“What’s the buzz? Tell me what’s a-happening? What’s the buzz? Tell me what’s a-happening? Hey hey hey, Mrs. Robinson, Joltin’ Joe has upped and gone away, hey hey hey, hey hey hey….”
But really, I’d better watch those ole copyright laws, now shouldn’t I? I mean, paranoia’s no excuse…..
Or should I take that tape and put it BACK into my appendix? Quickly hide the darned thing, otherwise someone might think I’m MAD! Or would that cause a serious infection? Would then I have to take antibiotic medication? Or am I so AGAINST any pills whatsoever…..so freaking paranoid that I sure wouldn’t dare put a tape into my body…or is it a tapeworm? Or maybe it’s like Appendix 1, Appendix 2, Appendix 3, you know, all bunched together at the end of a lengthy document. I could slip the ole tapeworm into one of the appendices and not one of you would even notice. Then I could call the vet and get a de-wormer. I’d just say Puzzle needed it. Squirt the darned thing right into the document, and poof! All my paranoia, Gone With the Wind….or would that be an old time movie? There’s no place like home.
Today, while walking Puzzle, I had the key to life and death and anorexia held in the palm of my hand
NOTE: I WROTE THIS LAST SUMMER, JULY 2013. IT IS NOW FEBRUARY 2014. PAST TENSE. I HAVE SPOKEN WITH MANY PEOPLE AND WHAT I HAVE SAID HERE REFLECTS THE FEELINGS OF SOME, BUT CERTAINLY NOT ALL FOLKS WITH EATING DISORDERS WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED “TREATMENT.” TAKE WHAT YOU WISH FROM THIS AND LEAVE THE REST. I FOUND THIS PIECE IN MY FILES. I AM PUBLISHING IT TODAY BECAUSE IT IS PART OF HISTORY. I CHOOSE TO HONOR HISTORY FOR WHAT IT IS. I CHOOSE TO OWN IT, AND TRY TO UNDERSTAND IT. I CHOOSE NOT TO DENY IT.
And I knew, right then…it was rather hot out, yet I can tell you I don’t feel the heat at all, nor do I sweat much, not sure why that is, not that this matters, I was in no hurry to get inside…no one was out, though…I suppose it was hot. Yes, hot, over 90. Not a day you want to keep your dog out too long. But I was thinking. My mind, that is.
So I had this thought and I knew. The reason why people with anorexia, nine out of ten, I’d say, commit suicide, that is, I’d say the reason…..
Well, logical. It makes fucking sense. To the person that commits suicide, that is. At the time.
So here’s the nine-out-of ten-I’ll-betcha scenario:
You get forced, I repeat, forced, into “treatment,” then you are race-to-the-finish force-fed at some enormous rate that your body and for godsakes mind cannot handle, and then guess what? You get booted out, and then of course having this skinny disease means you fall between every imaginable crack there is out there in the community.
So, no support whatsoever. That is, whatever “services” the other folks with the other horrid diseases are getting, you aren’t able to access because this is a minor disease that your income bracket is wrong for, or your age is wrong for, or you are the wrong gender for, or maybe you are married so that makes it impossible because you are in the wrong “insurance” or you live in the wrong state or you are stateless because you don’t even live anywhere, that is, homeless according to whom?
Like I said, no support. You are fucking alone.
Alone. Booted out. Of “treatment” you never asked for. Or you did, and weren’t prepared for those X added pounds you now are carrying.
And then, you put on those jeans. The jeans you always knew you would only put on if—
Yeah, it’s proof of it. Or you walk past your reflection in a storefront glass door. Or you put on that jacket you wore last spring. Naw, you ain’t going nowhere today. You throw off the jacket in disgust. It’s on the floor now. Like a dying animal you just beat. You throw it into the closet and you never want to see it or those jeans ever again. You give it a final kick. The dust rises, settles, then the ugly thing is dead.
So, like I said, nine out of ten, that’s why. So I came home with my little dog, told myself I really hate my eating disorder but hate “forced treatment” even more. You know what “forced treatment” is? It’s rape. Nothing less. Assault on the body and mind. It causes all kinds of treatment-induced diseases, treatment induced eating disorders of being among those diseases, and it causes suicide. How often does “forced treatment” lead to this thing “recovery”? How often does it truly save a life? How often does this rape truly, down the road, lead to anything but misery?
I’m not saying that “forced treatment” will lead to suicide nine out of ten times. I am saying that nine out of ten suicides from anorexia I’ll betcha are due to forced treatment or treatment that has been coerced in some deceptive manner.
Or…is anorexia slow suicide anyway, therefore everything I am saying just bullshit?
I CAN SEE NOW WHY I WAS SO SCARED AT THE TIME. I HAD GOOD REASON. IT ISN’T THE WEIGHT GAIN THAT SUCKS SO BAD. WEIGHT GAIN IS NOTHING, ONLY A SYMBOL. IT’S THE ABUSE. ITS THE WAY THEY RAPE YOUR SOUL.
I WROTE THIS 7/7/13. I ENDED UP IN THE HOSPITAL 8/12/13, WHERE THEY ABUSED ME.
Today, the story ends differently.
Today, the Emperor’s henchmen catch wind
Of this young boy’s words.
“We need to silence this truth-sayer!
What to do?”
It doesn’t take long
Till the henchmen drug such troublemakers
And lock them up.
“We will call the boy ‘crazy.’
No real evidence is necessary,
And no one can prove we are wrong.”
What do these brave boys do?
They are stripped of their power and their voices.
Oh, little boy, I ask,
What choice do you have now?
You are tied in chains
And your hair is growing long.
The little boy strips off his own clothes.
Perhaps it’s his last desperate act.
Such little boys don’t take “No” for an answer.
Today, the gathering crowd demands change.
Why have we waited this long?
We call it all a “tragedy.”
So this is why I write.
I tell stories about that little uppity boy
Whose skin, now naked, shines in the dark
So brightly that it lights the way.
Written just now, while walking Puzzle
I guess this is a story of how I got better from anorexia nervosa, in a nutshell. It’s not a pretty story about a horse farm.
While cleaning out my computer today, I opened a few old video files and watched them. One was done not long before I entered the hospital last summer, and the other was shot only a few days after my return.
I am not at all surprised at what I saw. Before the hospital I was rather “out of it,” seeing as I was starved, rather spaced out and in my own little world. I didn’t talk about starvation at all, but of course I appeared rather shockingly thin. I didn’t show my full body but it’s quite clear just looking at my face. I never look like that unless I’m “bad off.”
However, I appear to be enjoying myself. I showed some of my belongings to the camera, dumb little things, then picked the cam off the computer and showed the viewer a peek at little Puzzle. I laugh frequently, too, and seem surprisingly carefree considering that in the back of my mind, I assumed it wouldn’t be long before I would drop dead. Also in the back of my mind I was panicked thinking that at some point, I might get “caught” at what I was doing, and sent to a hospital. I was scared, because I’d been abused before, so I had no intentions of showing up at one again.
So what were my options? I figured my two choices were to get “help” or die. I dreaded what I’d seen of “help” and didn’t want to put myself through all that. So I figured death was the better option.
I hadn’t considered the alternative: eat. Yes, eat. That would have solved everything. I guess if I’d realized just how badly I needed to avoid hospitalization on all costs, I would surely have seen things differently. I knew hospitals were bad, but my experience that began perhaps a week later, August 12 through 22nd, at Mount Auburn Hospital was by far a worse nightmare than I could ever have imagined.
The other video I am doing from my bed. I was so physically ill after the hospital that I could barely do anything except lay in bed and cry. I was told to go to a day program, but this was out of the question because I had so much edema in my lower body. It went right up from my huge feet to my bra line. You could make dents all the way up my legs, on my buttocks and even into my stomach. The kidney doctor said he wanted me in a lying down position with my legs raised high, at every moment I had that I didn’t have to be doing something else. This isn’t the same as “bed rest,” as it’s known, when a patient is instructed not to leave bed due to dangerously low blood pressure or another danger. I wasn’t in that kind of danger like that, but I was instructed to lay down to reduce edema.
I was also feeling very sick when I did the video. After all, I was recovering from acute renal failure. It takes a long time to get better after that.
But there was one more thing I noted that in fact overwhelmed me. This was the loss of dignity I felt following the horrendous abuse done to me in the hospital. You can’t undo that loss overnight. I was alternately tearful, shaken, and full of rage. I was also physically exhausted. You can see that the incidents of abuse are still playing like movies inside my head. I appear ed distracted and pummeled by these memories, and I had a lot of trouble putting a sentence together.
This, to me, is tragic. Sure, I had a lot of weight restored, but the damage from trauma ran deep.
Today, I don’t feel those things half as much. I was crying all the time after the abuse, and to make things worse, there was no one I could talk to about it. People couldn’t believe a top notch hospital could be a prison like that if someone is being treated for a serious medical condition. I was not in there for psychiatric treatment, and in fact received no counseling. I was only force-drugged. I was belittled by a majority of the Mount Auburn personnel.
One thing helped me, though, and I can see this clearly now. I was determined to meet others that had also been abused in hospitals. I knew I hadn’t made up or imagined or incorrectly perceived what had happened.
Most people have the capability to distinguish caring from abuse. No way were these abusive personnel doing acts of caring. This was abuse. I have never questioned my judgment here. Not once have I questioned the validity of my perception of what happened at MGH in 2011.
Some were convinced I was psychotic and “imagining things”…of course not. I wasn’t so “out of it” from starvation not to recognize abuse. I was a good girl and took an antipsychotic as instructed for a period following the abuse at MGH, and yet I continued to maintain everything I originally said, that I had been cruelly abused. Why should I not? All of it indeed happened and no pill will change the facts.
Now we know about the severe abuses masterminded by Boston Children’s Hospital and Child Protective Services, I think more people are waking up to the fact that this indeed can happen. If it happens to vulnerable children, then surely, it happens plenty to adults.
It was the answer for me to find others that had had this experience. Together, we are working to make these horrors stop. Today, I don’t look like I did in the first video, because I am not starved. Nor do I look so devastated as I did in the second video. I am able to lead a productive life again, but it has taken time.
I have joined forces with the antipsychiatry movement and I don’t ever intend to see another shrink of any type, ever. I love the new person that I have become. I am free of mental health care. I am the rebel kid I always was inside. I am a former girl hitch-hiker who loves her dog, nothing more.