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Surprise, surprise

I woke up this morning feeling discouraged. I kept asking myself why I was writing my current book. After all, if the book is going to sell as poorly as This Hunger Is Secret, why am I even bothering?

People have already made the most bogus excuses I’ve ever heard for not purchasing the book or making any effort to read it. I know a few people have, but not many. Some even make excuses as to why they “can’t” read the sample that anyone can find on Amazon.

I know now the truth about writing and publishing.  You can write all you want. It might be good stuff. Publishing, though, is an entirely different matter. Once you are published, it’s all about promotion and little else. It’s about whether anyone loves you and whether you have money. Good looks might help, too. But the bottom line is that if you don’t have a whole bunch of charisma, you might as well hang it up. They’ll buy it if you act charming. If you are poor and plain-looking like me, you won’t even get a reading. They won’t want you.

If you have rich parents who are living, or a spouse with connections, you are a lucky writer. If you have a job where you can show up and parade your book around, great. I never had any of those things. These were stolen from me by Mental Health Disservices.

So I was thinking all that this morning. Asking why I was working so hard on this book if it wasn’t going to do any good. I felt rotten about everything happening right now.

I realized, too, that my intentions all along were to help others. That’s why I write. Looking back, I know I have used writing to get other people what they needed or deserved. Wasn’t I the one who showed up at Town Hall on July 31st, 2013, to petition the town for hot water for my apartment building? Prior to that, our water wasn’t warm enough to shower in. Hadn’t I written numerous letters to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to ensure telephone privacy for the patients at the Alcott Unit? The hospital agreed to provide soundproofing for one phone. They failed to follow through with what they had agreed upon.

Is it actually necessary that anyone appreciate my efforts or acknowledge to me that I did these things? Or should I just keep doing stuff like that? I ended the Housing Authority’s refusal to change the expired batteries in our carbon monoxide detectors. They replaced all of those detectors with new ones after I tattled to the town government. I’m sure the whole neighborhood was glad our building wasn’t beeping all the time!

Does recognition matter? I suppose it’s selfish of me to think that it does. But what gets to me is that a huge portion of the “eating disorders community” that i was a member of now considers me a “sicko.” They look at me much as my community in Watertown treated me. Like I’m some kind of dangerous criminal.  They’ve even used that word. Dangerous. I hate that word.

I’m not dangerous. I challenge people. They don’t like it. They don’t want their platitudes questioned. I know my own world came crashing in when I realized the lie I’d lived for three decades. I don’t think anyone else wants to hear:

Bah humbug.

They don’t want their worlds crashing in. I only want to warn them: if they choose to keep up with the status quo, the same thing will happen to them.  They’re just a bit younger than me.

Get the hell out. Get out of the system. Do it any way you can. I don’t want one more person killed by it, in the name of “recovery.”

So today, I wrote about my friend who died with those words on her lips:

Bah humbug.

See you later.



New book coming along, due to start writing text Nov. 1st

I am compiling the outline and am planning to start writing the actual text November 1st.  I will keep you all posted.

Right now, I am planning ten personal essays. Some are pure narrative and some are more reflective. As follows:

Title: Madness Invisible (I will most likely add a descriptive subtitle)

1) Narrative of my awakening in 2o12. A few hours’ worth of scenes, dialogue, etc. My “ahah” moment that led to my gradual walking out of MH care.

2) Compare/contrast the mental health system to a brainwashing religious cult I was a member of a long time ago. I have a bunch of material i can bring into this. I also walked out of this cult on my own following an “ahah” moment.

3) Dispelling the myths they tell us in “eating disorders care.” My list of these myths is lengthy.  I need to hit upon the most glaring errors made by these supposed gods that think they know our bodies better than we know do, or this chapter will be endless. I also wish to dispel myths about eating disorders that are unfortunately widely accepted as truth.

4) Black Box Warning – a chapter about what it’s like to have the well-known side effect of anti-depressants and other psych meds that causes a person who takes these drugs to go through sudden personality change and then commit suicide. I went through that, failed at suicide, and I am lucky to be alive. This began late in 2011 when I started taking the drug.  The “black box” effect of the antidepressant as well as other, more physically measurable effects, took a long time to wear off, even though I had stopped the drug after a few months. I will begin when I went to my psychiatrist asking for the drug, and continue from there.  Since the Black Box Warning dissipated gradually, I am not sure where to end this.

5) What it’s like to almost starve to death. I suppose this would be an anorexia narrative. From the perspective of a person who went through this at age 55. It wasn’t the first time, but for sure, the worst/best starvation I ever did. This isn’t a pro-ana piece and I wouldn’t recommend that another person do this to themselves. I hope I never get to that point again. The narrative would detail events of July 2013 and end August 12, 2013.

6) No longer human.  A narrative of being stripped of my dignity. Abuse at the hands of those who supposed to provide care. I plan to spare nothing here. Begin August 12 end August 22.  11 days in hell.

7) Made into a criminal. Narrative of the shocking way others around me reacted when I tried to take legal action against those that abused me. Again, I’m not going to sugar-coat this.

8) My journey to freedom. Narrative of the steps I took to get where I am now in South America, and my arrival May 15. About a month of events.

9) Madness Invisible (“title track”): Narrative of how I spend 11 days in a medical facility here in South America incognito, without any detectable mental illness whatsoever. Compare/contrast how Western medicine is practiced in a poor country south of the equator to the USA money-driven system. End with my bus ride home.

10) A writer’s oath – I am not sure where to put this chapter but it will talk about writing as commitment. This will be in fact an imaginary commencement address to those who have earned their MFA in creative writing.  Sadly, I most likely will never be invited to speak at any commencement anywhere, anytime in the near future.  It will be addressed to “the graduates.”

I can change the order of appearance of these essays if I wish. I can take some out if I wish. I don’t plan to braid them the way I did in This Hunger Is Secret.

I hope to be able to revise after November and polish up one or two of these essays as stand-alones for media publication.



Nano and blogging for me this year, 2013

I dropped out of Nano, but now, I’m beginning to wonder.  I’ve done so much blogging that I wonder what the word count total is between my nano project and all the blogging I did afterward, all total!  Does it come close to 50,000, or am I way off base? That plus the stray comments here and there that I’ve left on various miscellaneous sites here and there, my all-self-important opinion cuz I am the Center of the Universe, which I can’t say too loudly cuz I’ll be accused of PARANOIA, but that doesn’t add up to that much more in terms of word count anyway.

Oh, I am so, so important. I only say that because I hate being ignored.

I’m too lazy to count up my words right now.  Only curious.  What the heck.

I want to rip every bone – excerpt

The following is an excerpt from my new book, which I am currently writing.

I have just reached precisely 6,000 words.  Not that that matters, but I thought it was a bit amusing that the total was such a nice, round number.

I don’t have a title for the book yet.

I am writing the entire book in verse.  This little bit takes up about two pages if it’s typed out in 12-point Times New Roman.

Okay, no more dilly-dallying.  Here’s the excerpt:

I want to rip every bone

Yes, you hear of cases of animal abuse.
You see the photos of the beaten puppies and kittens
Their adorable eyes on Facebook
They make our Facebook friends cry.

And you see the films about child abuse
And spousal abuse as well.
You tell yourself this happens in “other families”
Maybe divorced families, or families
Where there are drugs and alcohol and poverty.

I have seen on You-Tube
Real-life deaths, beatings, horrible disasters.
I have hardened myself to what people call “triggers.”

But when I hear of cases of patient abuse,
Especially abuse of a starving person,
I go nuts.

I want to rip every bone
Every organ from my body.|
I want to lay my ripped body out
In front of the Charles River in broad daylight
I want to bleed night and day.

O children,
I hear your cries.

I may be a Jew
But I know Jesus knew precisely what he was doing.
He lay himself right out there
Before the authorities, saying,

Here I am.”

And they took him.

Is every death, every suicide,
Just another Jesus,
Dying for the sins
Of these “eating disorders treatment” abusers?

I cannot tolerate that I was abused.
I cannot tolerate that I am told,
“Julie, you are ungrateful.
You should forgive.
It was all trivial.
Just let it go and turn the other cheek.”

So I am told I should not tolerate the killing of puppies?
Not tolerate spousal abuse and child abuse?
Donate to earthquake disaster funds?
While all across my own state of Massachusetts,
And all over America and the world,
Starving people just like me are robbed of their dignity
And their lives?

We come to them asking for help.
We are given a slap in the face.
Told how horrible we are.
Told we are sinners, liars, thieves, cheaters.
They treat us like animals in cages.
How dare they treat a sick, nearly dying person in this disrespectful manner.

I want to rip every bone from my body,
Tear out all my organs
When I hear of cases of patient abuse.

After I die,
They will lie about my death.
They will say it happened because I refused treatment
Or perhaps because I didn’t take pills
Or because I had so little “support,”
Whatever that is,
Or maybe because there was something inherently “wrong” with my attitude.
Or they will say “I didn’t want recovery.”
Or maybe my body just wore out.


Trust me, when I die, there will be massive cover-up.
There will be deceit.
They will say I am delusional about the abuse,
And that it never happened.
They won’t even bother investigating.

Bury all my words along with me
And all my ripped-out organs.

And they call me a loser…Nano update

Yes, when I was in the hospital last summer they called me “mentally incompetent.”

Well, those jerks need to get their heads examined.  They tried to force me into further treatment, they insulted me, beat me down, then they said they refused to release me until I was stabilized on antipsychotic medication, namely ZYPREXA.  Because I was “mentally incompetent.”

Folks, there was nothing wrong with me!

See, they knew they had already done me many grave injustices. They wanted to make sure that when I was released, I was plenty drugged and SILENT.

Zyprexa will do just that.  It shuts you up, keeps you plenty silent and drugged. Doped up.  So I won’t “talk.”  So I wouldn’t be blogging about the abuse they did to me.

Well, do I want to be, literally, delusional?  Cuz that’s what it would amount to.  I would be walking around delusional, thinking the abuse hadn’t happened!  I’d be so drugged that I’d be blind to it all.  I’d continue to buy into their bullshit.  Oh, happily drugged, happily taking their pills.

Meanwhile, I’m sure, deep down inside, I would have been miserable about weight gain, probably developing diabetes or some blood sugar problem.  They already suspected that my heart had been affected by long-term use of antipsychotic drugs.  I found this out from peeking at my records.  So I’m sure that their shutting me up would have had consequences.  I may have died younger.  But…hey, that would have been swept under the rug.

So, anyway, here’s your Nano update, for what it’s worth:

I am quite pleased with what I have so far.  I am writing the entire book in verse.  I am doing fine with my “word count.”  That part of it has not been a challenge at all.  I did no advance planning this year.  I am doing it “on the fly.”  Of course, you guys know my mind ticks away just fine.  I am a good thinker, probably because I don’t waste time in front of a TV set all day long.

The general public assumes us mental patients sit all day in front of a TV and that our time is worthless.  Well, no, I write books and you’d better make an appointment and be on time.  My time is just as important as the time of anyone who earns a paycheck.  My body is made of flesh and blood.  I am not worthless crap.

Nano so far

I’ve been so sick that I admit, I’ve hardly spent a waking moment out of bed.

Cannot yet sit in a chair to write but maybe I will write lying down, eh?

Nano 2013, I can do this.

The Power of the Pen

So they want to clean up Watertown.  Make it nicer-looking.  Get the trash like me outa here that are lazy and don’t want to work.  Get the traffic patterns working oh so smooth.

Oh, how nice.  It’ll be a pretty town someday.  Nice yards, nice streets.  No more trash.  Just brush me away, sweep me out.

Folks turn away.  They don’t look at me and they don’t want to be my friend anymore.

How do I get my revenge?  I’m writing a book.  Yep, this loser, this person they consider “mentally incompetent,” this crazy lady is going to write a book about exactly how it feels to be pushed aside and treated like a piece of dirt.

Nanowrimo 2013.

Nano update

I don’t have a title yet.  I’m not a poet, but I’m thinking of writing the whole thing in verse anyway. Why not?

Just cuz it’s in verse doesn’t mean it’s poetry.  If it’s in verse, it’s in verse, that’s all. Why? Cuz I feel like it.

I got a wicked good idea for a starting chapter.  So I might…uh, start with that.  And then run with it.  I suppose that’s the way life works.  We start someplace.  We run.


Surprise Nano 2013 and my desperate need to tell my story

I hadn’t planned to do Nano this year.  But the urge is coming upon me quite suddenly as November looms.  It’s an option, anyway.  I’ve done no specific planning for this, but much thinking.

There are so, so many books I want to write, so many ideas I have stored away.  I have loads of writing energy.  The actual task of writing will be a cinch. Narrowing down my topic is the main challenge over the next few days…if, in fact, I’m going to do this.

See, I think it was a couple of weeks ago that I phoned an organization and told them what happened at Mount Auburn.  They told me to send it to them in writing, that is, write down what happened to me and mail it to them.  I asked myself just how effective this was going to be.  Why do I ask this?  Because it’s not just Mount Auburn, it’s health care in general.  It’s become a joke.

Yep, I’ve spoken to others.  I’m not the only one.  Not everyone agrees with me but many do.  Let me give you some examples, but I won’t be specific here.

For instance, there are many who, like me, are also terrified to go to a doctor or enter a hospital for fear of abuse. They are terrified that they will come out in worse shape than when they went in.  I’m talking about five or ten people with whom I have spoken or written to directly.  Never mind those that I have read about.  You can find these cases all over the Internet.  Some are no longer alive and are out of my past.  These are people that desperately wanted to get better just like everyone else. Trust me, everyone wants happiness, and everyone wants to be loved, and everyone wants kindness in their lives, and to be listened to, and to have their basic needs met.  These weren’t people “who didn’t want recovery” or “had a bad attitude.”  I guess it only looks like you’ve got a bad attitude after you’ve been abused far too many times.  Abuse begets abuse.

I had a few conversations and interactions over the past few days that have had an impact on me.  Most of these were brief but significant.  Most were affirming.

Yes, this abuse exists.

No, I’m not the only one that has experienced abuse in health care.  There are others.  We are a growing group of concerned individuals.

To a person who has experienced the trauma of abuse the number one thing you can do to help that person is to be AFFIRMING.  I truly believe this.  You know what this means?  I will tell you right now.  Or I will eventually.  No, I have no special skills or knowledge in this field and I’m not a therapist, but I have been through abuse myself, and I do know what sucks and what doesn’t suck about how people treated me afterward, and continue to treat me.  Oh, I suppose I should put this in my book….

And I will.

Guess I need a title or something, eh?

The book I was writing, or trying to write in July was called How to get well and get out of the mental health system.

Or something like that.  Guess what?  I’m out. And I’m doing just fine.

Today I created my goodbye present for Dr. P

I made a story while I was taking a shower, and committed it to memory, but then wrote it down and made it a part of my seventh book, which I am now in the process of writing during this month of July.  So I guess I will bring it in and read it to Dr. P.  It is my goodbye present to her.


You’re really not going to believe the title of the story.  Oh yes.  The Story of the Talking Appliances.  Just what a psychiatrist needs to hear.  I’ll post it here in my blog after I present it to her on that day, which will be this coming Wednesday, the 10th of July, 2013.  I’ll be home late afternoon (New York time) and that’s when I’ll post it.


Oh, I’m so psychotic and crazy, aren’t I?  I must need a pill.  Oh dear.  They look so yummy and appetizing.  Gimme.

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