Category Archives: Ramblings and Blog Essays
The Emperor’s Brand New Clothes by Julie Greene
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
Regarding the accuracy of eating disorders blogs: does it really matter?
I saw a study, or rather, a summary of a study done by some medical person who had examined hundreds of eating disorders blogs. Who knows if mine was among the hundreds….
The study summary stated that just about all contained gross inaccuracies. What are we to conclude from this?
The study didn’t state whether these were blogs by “therapists” or those done by researchers. If these are personal blogs, were they blogs done by those that experienced ED, or just people wanting to talk about it? Or did the study only examine blogs within hospitals or treatment centers or ones within websites touting a particular cure. I think we need to make a distinction here.
Unfortunately, this was a medical paper that was in .pdf form and I was not privy to reading it. I think I’d have had to pay a fee to access it. I was amused at this.
Also, what did this doctor consider “inaccurate”? Inaccurate according to whom?
A person who has ED might state, “The night staff regularly slept on the job at the treatment center I went to. Many staff were more interested in their cell phones than they were in the patients.” Is this inaccurate?
Just about all sites I’ve read on binge eating disorder will tell you you can’t die from binge eating. I maintain that this is false, that people do die directly from binge eating, from stomach rupture in some cases, or from a bad reaction to the overindulgence in the substance they binge on. I’m sure plenty of people have stuffed themselves so badly that they have choked and died. Am I being inaccurate simply because I have not myself yet died? I have no intentions of dropping dead to prove my point. I challenge what is standard medical claim because what’s happening now is that binge eating is still not taken seriously. In order to get any “care” at all, a patient has to claim they have some other problem….such as depression. Then, they can get therapy or whatever. I have even threatened suicide, and eventually made an attempt due to the lack of being taken seriously…and in desperate attempt to get care…not that that worked but I have gone that route.
So I have had LOTS of LIVED EXPERIENCE and I am saying this is what I have been through. If someone thinks what I am saying isn’t true, go try surviving out there and then come back to me and tell me I’m lying or delusional.
So…does it matter if a blog is accurate. Do people want accuracy or do they want personal accounts? Do they take what I say with a grain of salt? I should hope so. I am just human…take what you want and leave the rest, just as I do. Surely, I tell you often enough who I am and where I stand and why I say the things I do.
So here’s something you might think is hogwash advice…..Where can one get information these days? Where’s a good source? WebMD? Drugs dot com?
Guess where I get good info on all sorts of things. Amazon reviews. Of course, you can’t buy things like antidepressants on Amazon, but I sure as hell don’t want an antidepressant anyway! I go to Amazon if I’m looking for a new whatever. I read all the reviews with a grain of salt.
It’s that grain of salt that’s important. Learn it. The beauty of the Internet is that this information can be freely posted by anyone and is free for anyone to access. The less monitoring the better. Do you see what I am saying?
Of course, I’ve read the most ridiculous claims on Amazon reviews. I even read that there was something that will restore your kidneys. I went and Googled it (the review claimed there was all sorts of literature that could be easily found on this) and found that this product has on occasion destroyed patients’ kidneys if overused. I guess the reviewer misread, huh? Hope the guy is gonna be okay!
So if I claim something, are people really going to believe it and does it matter? I am telling you that I experienced it and that’s what matters. I can tell you that I’ve spoken to many who have experienced similar things to myself, but not that I actually have done studies or taken blood tests myself or experimented on human research subjects or animals. That’s not my job. I can provide a link to a study or tell you I read a book and how much I liked it or didn’t.
I don’t think that accuracy in a personal blog matters at all. It’s not the job of a blogger to do that. If I tell you who I am and state where I’m coming from, you can make a decision to trust what I’m saying, or not trust it at all. You choose whether to read my words or not. Are we cool on this?
Wonderful principles to live by
First of all, Rule Number One: Break every rule! Don’t listen to me, for godsakes! Do whatever the hell you want. You might want to learn the rules first so that you can break a whole bunch of them and be a decent rebel, just like me and Puzzle. Be cute at it, and have twice as much fun.
Rule number two: Spend the least amount of money as possible. Don’t buy stupid expensive shit. It’s not worth it. Yes, go for quality, but not at a price. Common sense….. Chances are, you’re gonna throw the crap out anyway. Think about it.
Rule #3: Listen to your body. Your body is smart. Your mind will try to override what your body wants. Common sense is a great idea, but your body might ask for something strange. Sometimes, you gotta juggle between what makes sense and what your body demands.
Rule #4: Listen very well. But advice is just that, advice. No one knows better than you about you. You know yourself better than anyone.
Rule #5: Stand on your own two feet. That is, self-reliance…it is golden. There is no magic human. No one that can save you except you.
Rule #6: Cultivate a good relationship with animals and plants. It won’t hurt to have an animal in your life, such as a pet or to care for plants and nature. An animal in your life won’t let you down the way people do.
Rule #7: Stay away from gossip.
Rule #8: Priorities…know what ‘s important in your life and stick to that. Everything else can wait. Don’t lose what’s important. Keep it in a safe place. So if it’s your house keys, keep them in the same pocket all the time so you won’t lose them. Carry a flashlight if you have to with fresh batteries in it and plastic bags in your pocket to pick up after your dog, and you won’t need much else.
Rule #9: Be strong. Develop and keep your body fit, with good endurance and keep your muscles as toned as possible. You’ll live longer, you won’t fall down, and if by chance the winds knock you over, you’ll bounce back. No one can put you anywhere you don’t want to be unless you are knocked down and stay down.
Rule #10: Be clean. Keep your life free of clutter and sweep your floor often. Take a shower or a bath and enjoy your daydream.
Rule #11: Dress for the weather. Don’t be stupid or impractical, and wear shoes that will carry you far.
We have a long journey ahead of us, folks. Get ready.
Are you considering electroshock “therapy treatments”? Read this first.
I have had these so-called “treatments” a number of times. This is my experience as patient. I am not a doctor or nurse or neurologist, nothing like that, just a person who went through it. I know others who have had them as well, some more recently.
I don’t know anyone personally who would say they were thankful they had them. Maybe a week later, they said that the treatments were helpful. Ask them a few months later, the story is not so positive.
What I do often hear is that folks were by all means, coerced into the treatments, or not told the whole gamut of side effects. Many people were shown a movie. This movie is made by proponents of shock. It’s not an objective film that shows the pros and cons realistically. You can go to the Prozac website and find out about the pros of Prozac, but you won’t find out about lawsuits against the makers of Prozac, or about the public outcries about the drugs, or the depth of concerns about giving Prozac to young people or people with certain health conditions. Anyone can fill a drug maker’s website with all kinds of propaganda. This film is propaganda, too. Often, patients are shown the film while inpatient, and then the nurse will answer questions.
Yes, many patients get coerced and don’t have much chance to speak with those that have been damaged by shock. Patients can have irreversible memory loss. I myself was fortunate enough to get my memory back, but many lose quite a bit of their lives…forever. I’ve heard such heartbreaking stories, such as people forgetting their wedding days…forever. Women forgetting their baby’s first steps as they learn to walk. Never mind the forgotten PIN numbers! That’s a classic. I know people who have opened their cell phone contact lists and had no clue who half the folks were that were listed. Forever.
But I want to say something else. I know, folks, why shock works. No, it doesn’t even work at all, but people think it does. Let me tell you why it works. Why some people are so convinced.
You go to the shock doc. You’ve been on that horrible psych ward for a month, and nothing has worked. Now, suddenly, it’s you. All attention is on you. You a lying on a clean table and several docs are actually paying attention to none other than you. For a change, you aren’t shit. You’re so important, cuz you could even die on that table before their eyes. For those ten minutes, you are more important to them than anyone. To avoid a lawsuit, for godsakes, your life is in their hands, and they’d better stay on their toes. They are so focused on you.
Honestly, that much attention on me, being loved so much like that for those ten minutes would certainly jolt me like lightning shockeroo out of a deep depression for a while. Maybe a week! Me? Little ole me? Do I matter that much?
That, in a nutshell, is why shock works. It has nothing to do with the shock treatment itself. The jolt of electricity is dangerous. I would never recommend it. If you want love, go get your hair done, hug your kids, get a dog, go somewhere else but the nut ward, it’s not worth it.
Feminist utopia books in the 1980’s
These were books that I read with fascination back then.
I truly enjoyed each one.
These were like science fiction I guess.
I imagined living in these societies.
Yep. No guys. Free of them at last. No more whistling.
That’s right folks, no more assholes.
But this represented a type of thinking, that, let’s face it, wasn’t true.
And you can’t walk around with an allergy.
No, you are better off learning to put up with men.
In fact, enjoy them.Most are decent.
A few are not.
The ones that are assholes gave guys a bad rap.
Now the same with cops.
It isn’t like all cops beat on homeless men and are gun-happy, right?
There are a couple that are,
A couple that come here to my building and do what they did the other day,
They came to my apartment because they were checking to see
Who the heck rang the emergency bell.
The left my door wide open
Which was a disrespectful and dumb thing to do
To a low-income person
Who doesn’t have that many belongings
And really didn’t want her apartment looted.
But on the whole,
Cops are decent, and most of them are okay humans just like the rest of usJust trying to do their job and maybe surviving their day
Going home, and feeding the kids.
So like I was saying….
I read these feminist utopia books back in the 1980’s, and I noticed some women
Were staying away from men completely.
Now this was this Lifestyle thing.
They would live and breathe other women and there would be no men in their lives.
They would arrange it this way, and this was indeed a possibility.
They would shack up together and even have girl children.
I even read, I am quite serious about this,
That women were trying to figure out how to tilt a test tube of donated sperm
Tilt it just so, to produce a girl child.
I mean really. Did that work? Hmm…let’s go see…where’s that census chart I saw?
Just kidding, folks. It didn’t sound particularly scientific. This was a pamphlet on how to bring a test tube across town. Do sperm survive, and how large does the town have to be before they don’t? Give me a fucking number. I can see it now, rushing this test tube of sperm on the Red Line, and suddenly, the subway breaks down.
Oh shit, what now?
The subway gets dark and, um, no chance of baby, girl.
This ain’t gonna work. You got dead sperm sitting in that test tube, completely useless.
The guy sitting next to you has no clue. He’s listening to headphones on his iphone.
What are you gonna do now?
Well, better luck next time.
Then, the lights turn back on and the subway comes back to life.
Me, I was across the subway from you.
Me and my dog Puzzle.
I was that skinny lady with the dog, me and my screwed-up face a few nights ago.
Why did you fucking stare at me?
Yeah, I saw you. You looked at me up and down, your eyes.
Yeah, I know the sweep up and down.And then, the turning away, and the whisper, “Anorexia.”
Okay, you and your disgusted look,
I got the right to be here.
I paid for the subway, too.
Okay, so I took a lady from the 1980’s and I brought her onto the Red Line
And plopped her into two nights ago.
That wasn’t the best writing move, Julie.
You confused your readers pretty bad.
Actually, I totally love doing that.
I totally love being a little off key.
Being a little quirky.
Anyway, like I was saying, men have the right to be here, too.
So leave them alone.
We are not allergic to them.
We don’t have to be “triggered” by them.
Yes, it won’t hurt to touch a man.
It won’t hurt to be touched by a man.
You won’t break out in a rash.
You won’t have to go run and take Benadryl.
You won’t get a disease.
Believe it or not, touching a man will not give you AIDS.
Drop the myths, ladies.
Touching me will not give you anorexia,You can, indeed, give me a hug.
You can touch me and it won’t go all the way to the bone.
I do have skin.
I am human.
I have real feelings and thoughts.
Just like everyone else.
You can let your kids talk to me and they will not get anorexia.
I will not poison your children.
I will not teach them to count calories.
So quit worrying.
Morning Ramble While My Coffee is Making
I guess I feel like not giving this one a proper title maybe because I don’t feel like it will be worth having it Google searched. Maybe what I say won’t be organized enough. Maybe I’ll “go on and on” or maybe you won’t understand what I am saying. But I’m gonna give it my best shot, okay? This will be done in verse, today, kiddies.
This applies if you are a woman and if you are a man it doesn’t and I apologize right here right now.
Usually, stuff I write about ED applies to both men and women, and I do say so.
But today, I am going to speak frankly to just women.
Women and girls.
And I want you to listen up.
When I was young, I was told by my mom, maybe at 16, and I’ve stated this in my blog before
That I was too big up top, and that this was not right.
At 17 my mom presented me the option of breast reduction surgery.
No, she didn’t upfront offer to pay, this I had no clue about. I didn’t ask for money andI was at the point of wishing very badly that I was financially independent,
But had no clue how to reach this stage.
There was no way I was going to ask my mom anything about doing this surgery or her participation.
Actually, me and my mom were rarely speaking.
However, the implication was that this surgery would stop the men,
I repeat, men, from doing this thing: they were driving past me
As they had done since, say, I was 14 years old,
Driving past me and rudely letting out a loud, screaming
Today, I hear this whistle still.
You grudge that I, today, as blogger, “go on and on”
About the Housing Authority maintenance guy
Who won’t stop his incessant unnecessary whistlingUntil 4:30 sharp when the Housing Authority all goes home each weekday.
Okay, so I formally apologize.
So the implication was that my getting this surgery will stop the whistling.
Now do you hear me? A surgery to silence it.
Now am I alone in this?
Many women were getting the surgery for this very reason: to stop discrimination based on SHAPE.
What the fuck? What kind of society do we live in?
Why don’t we just leave people alone?
Yes, I have large breasts. I wish I didn’t feel like I have to diet myself to death (actually, this saves money)
Lemme tell ya, it’s cheaper than the surgery.
I mean, yeah, you can die in the process, but never mind that
It’s not like I had to cut into them.
They don’t hurt.
There’s no silicone.
Let me tell the women and girls out there one thing.
I thought for a long time that there was a connection.
Even with being raped.
For a long time, I thought if I did the skinny thing.
Over the years, I saw a pattern….
There being perhaps an advantage to having kept my scale over the many decades…
But me, I am so short, five foot one, that I don’t really need a fucking scale to tell me how much
My body weighs.
Well, when I am skinny I know I feel better.
I can see my food in my stomach.
I see it after I eat it.
I see it pass down into the lower part of my abdomen, and pass through my colon.
I wish for it to pass quickly.
And perhaps we all do the same.
Perhaps this fascination is universal, this watching of the lumps.
Sometimes, I touch them.
I touch veins with wonderment.
I poke each one, then let the blood flow again.
This is kind of sickly fascination you do only alone, maybe in the bathroom,
When no one else is looking.
No, ladies, it’s a myth that getting skinny stops rape.
It doesn’t stop the bosses from doing it.
Having this disease won’t get you that promotion.
Even though your boss said he’d give it to you if you fucked him.
In fact, you probably won’t be able to work if you have this disease.You’ll be too hungry to concentrate.
So tell the boss to fuck off. Just quit, and keep on eating.
Being the way I am, and saying what I am saying is not going to change asshole men.
There will always be assholes out there.
And they will be assholes to anyone at any size or shape.
They will be assholes to little kids, boys too. Let’s face it.
They will just keep on whistling.
That’s why women opt for the surgery, I suppose.
They just say, fuck it, the world’s not going to change.
It’s not like the assholes are going to stop discriminating against me when I go to job interviews.
Looking at my breasts instead of asking whether I can type.
What do you think they do on match dot com? Where do their eyes go?
Why do those men insist on a photo? Assholes.
Yes, I will tell you right here right now.
I was told by a guy, “I will not have sex with a fat woman. It’s a turn-off. I will not lie in bed with her.”
Okay, marry the guy, and live in mortal fear of food. I can see it now.
Or, I guess, if you slip up, he would pay to have it cut off now and then, right?
Don’t fall for the myths.
Don’t marry an asshole. Divorce him if you can.
Oh, live on, world. I will laugh at you very hard today.
Thoughts on binge eating, more
I am thinking along the lines of pairing binge eating and pica in one vein at this point, in terms of “substance.”
What I found was that there are incredibly few studies done on binge eating. I studied the studies. Why is a study done is 2011 on binge eating considered “pioneering”? Now? Thirty years too late, in my opinion. Science was talking about bulimia, I believe, or at least made it a diagnosis for “adolescent college girls” and I recall the small amount of publicity about it in the 1980’s and I don’t recall myself seeing anything at all earlier than that. So if they knew binge eating existed, I think they were doing all the studies on the dangers of throwing up, and no studies on the first half, the binge eating behavior.
So science thought, I guess, that it would be essential to stop these adolescent girls from this dangerous purging, and I wonder what they thought about the bingeing? It was not on the map. Just ignored. No treatment, nothing. In treatment, they don’t care, either. They have no clue. They will tell you binge eating is natural and normal? No, baby, it is not. Binge eating is disturbing and dangerous.
I repeat, binge eating is disturbing and dangerous for anyone that experiences it first-hand. I applaud the researchers that have painstakingly whacked away trying to find out the cause of this bizarre behavior.
You have to do some really strange distorted and extreme things to an animal to turn it into a binge eater. You really have to work at it. And it doesn’t happen overnight. Rats have been made into rats that did binge eating. They ate copious amounts of food. My heart broke for these tiny creatures. I wanted to tear my hair out. Their lives were now…I don’t know…they don’t think the same way we do but I imagine it was no picnic.
Maybe medical science’s little party of getting away with this gap in research and treatment, that is, treating purging behavior and not treating bingeing behavior, well, that’s just plain sinful, isn’t it? I mean, now what, you dudes in lab coats?
Binge eating, more clarification
I thought I’d clarify a few things I said in a previous post. As far as binge eating goes, I guess my argument there was that it makes no difference what weight the person is or what their background is I think the behavior should be treated as it is and for what it is, especially if it is severe it should be taken very, very seriously. By severe I mean on any spectrum, how it impacts the person’s life, quantity, frequency, time spent at it, how it has affected their family, whether it has caused them to shoplift or caused chronic binge eating while driving or even once caused an accident, and other things. And of course, if it causes severe overweight this is a consideration as well, but one of the many “axes,” which I guess is a term clinicians use. I wonder if I was clear enough about this.
And I think I totally left out the #1 thing that binge eating totally destroys.
I think that says a million. Because if you have rotten self esteem from binge eating and binge eating BEHAVIOR is not in the DSM-5…..
Now, yes, bulimia is in the DSM-5, but it’s up to the clinicians and treatment places to treat binge eating behavior. Are they indeed treating this behavior? Do they really truly know how to treat it?
My experience is gross negligence and ignorance, never mind the prejudices and put-downs and the clinicians telling you how you need to gain self-control, to shut up and quit having crises, maybe follow your meal plan better, maybe listen better to them, throw out the damn scale, quit caffeine, take meds, quit taking meds, on and on and on and on. Do they really know? I mean, with so little research at their fingertips?
Are they, on the other hand, trying to tell you, after you have made yourself miserable, to “accept” how miserable you feel after you have binged, how stretched your belly is, and go on with your life? Now I ask you: how many times have they told you this and how many times has this cycle gone on and on? Has this clinician ever eaten this much and does this clinician know how YOU feel right now? Probably not. This clinician isn’t going to go through the grief of your full belly for the next few hours. Or the next day of feeling yucky and guilty and horribly full.
Accept this? I say this is unacceptable and I say YOU don’t deserve this grief and misery. YOU didn’t ask for it. No, YOU didn’t pick this binge eating behavior out of a vending machine and say to yourself, “I’m going to have this habit for the next 20 years or so” and then have to live with it.
You go to the treatment centers and guess what? They don’t have any clue how to treat it and guess what? Now, binge eating disorder is in the DSM-5. Folks, this is huge, because the ONLY BEHAVIOR in binge eating disorder, in fact, is binge eating! So guess what? They are now forced to treat binge eating! They are forced to research the damned evasive miserable thing they don’t even want to face.
Cuz it’s ugly. Binge eating is an ugly truth. We shove stuff into our mouths and it’s not pretty, is it. Think of everything ugly you’ve done, and know what I’m saying is true. Hope lies ahead.
It’ll be a bit, maybe a bit of waiting, but there will be research. Studies you’ll be able to get into for no money at all. Places you can go that are covered by many insurances or even possibly if you are uninsured I’ll bet.
But we, us folk, we gotta do our part too. We gotta keep speaking up. Each of us do our part. Keep writing and doing everything we can and I will too. Just don’t shut up about it folks.
Another article about Binge Eating Disorder in the DSM-5
Here’s the link:
Whereas I am aware that the antipsychiatry movement is adamantly against the DSM-5, and I can see why, I also have my position on the necessity for change in psychiatry’s view on eating disorders. The DSM-5 provides that necessary change.
Of course, the DSM exists for insurance purposes, and so the docs can justify drugging us, institutionalizing us, incarcerating us, possibly taking our jobs away from us or our families away from us, and so on and so forth. However, the DSM can do good things, too.
Imagine: Now, men don’t have to prove that their periods have stopped to get treatment for anorexia. Gee, that’s nice. And folks, I’m 55 and if my periods stop, um, I think it’s kinda weird that I’m 55 and still getting them like I’m a kid anyway, don’t you? There isn’t a dumb BMI requirement. Let’s face it, the new ED writeup makes more sense.
The DSM-5 might be fucked in some ways, but I think the whole antipsychiatry movement and the “recovery” groups totally overlook ED. It’s sad. These groups are wonderful if you have depression or bipolar or you cut or you are an alcoholic, but if you have restrictive eating and resulting severe medical issues, it just doesn’t apply.
Walk onto any ED unit. It’s a whole different ballgame. New world, folks. Human rights is a different story. Yes, human rights are the same, but we need a whole new subset of human rights laws as applied to ED treatment. Do you hear me?
Now listen carefully: You sign a lease. There is the lease, and there is the pet rider specifically for those tenants that have pets. This is only an analogy. So there is the main part of the lease and there is the subset of the lease. Parallel, there are the main human rights laws, the overall human rights laws for psych units, and there is the subset that I am proposing, for eating disorders units.
Is this clear? Am I such an idiot that I can’t think straight?
So much for antipsychiatry. I feel that these psychiatric drugs should never be given to people with ED, or be given in exceptional situations and there should be FULL INFORMED CONSENT. This means the patient would be made aware of all side effects, long term and short term, and consequences should the patient decide someday to get off the drug.
It is one of my life’s missions to have a black box warning put on antipsychotic drugs, saying they should be given with extreme caution to patients with ED, and that the patients should be monitored for extreme weight gain, and taken off the drug if side effects are problematic. I believe currently some of these drugs have warnings for adolescents (suicide warnings) and for elderly people (if they have dementia) and some have warnings for diabetics, etc. I know far too many people who have relapsed or experienced extremes in low self esteem due to weight gain from these drugs. I fear that administration of these drugs could even cause suicide, indirectly.
In many ways, the advances with the new DSM-5 as far as ED are concerned are a step in the right direction. Many other changes in the DSM-5 are putting us in the grave. It’s all about insurance, money, drugs, and control of people who are powerless. Let’s see how it goes and how long the DSM-5 stays the way it is.