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This is a happy version of me, taken today

1-me-smiling-at-myself-in-the-mirror

This is how I look at someone I feel relaxed with and loved and accepted by and who I also love and realise is amazing. In this case, myself in the mirror!

Looking Back

I am often embarrassed  by seeing the posts that get the most traffic on my blog.  I feel embarrassed by my communication style and by the content, especially when I have said that I and my close contacts are being stalked.  It was real enough at the time, but looking back it feels unreal because now I am not feeling as I did then.  What I can’t say for sure is that all of this embarrassment is justified.  It is possible that I was being stalked.  Certainly I was angry and afraid at the times I wrote that way, as well as feeling guilt over the fact, as I saw it, that I was failing in relationships.  I feel as if I was wrong because it was so long ago and nothing seems to be happening now.  I still hear the odd thing, but nothing major.

I want people to read my blog because I want them to get hold of the antipsychiatry that I wish to communicate, but I feel as if most of my blog is embarrassing rubbish, so it isn’t very easy for me to drive traffic by way of my blog.

I’ve still got lots of library books out about antipsychiatry.  I know I have been in agreement with them but my position gets weakened by the fact that I continue to be detained and that things seem relatively tolerable at the moment.  I’m not aware of any major feelings of being stalked, and I’ve got a place to eat and sleep and shelter.  As much as I would like to go on reading these books it seems pointless and that I am fruitlessly in strong agreement with them, when nothing I say or do makes any difference to the way I am viewed and treated.  It’s a waste of time and mental energy to keep reading, though I can see where they go and I agree with them.  I’m a patient, it doesn’t matter what I think about these things.  The psychiatric staff where I am believe they are the people with the right view and way of doing things.

So being constantly confronted on my dashboard with post titles that make me cringe with embarrassment is taking its toll on me when it comes to confidence that my blog can communicate anything worthwhile and understandable to a new reader.  I don’t know why people look for these posts as opposed to some of my more rational ones, but they keep going for posts the content of which makes me cringe.  So I have a difficult relationship with my blog at the moment.

That Was Then, This Is Now

Unless we make and maintain a real-life connection with people we can be basing our ideas of them from what we made of them in the past.

I spend a lot of time on Facebook.  I read a lot, I watch a lot of videos and listen to a lot of recordings.  I think there is no adequate substitute for an on-going, face-to-face relationship, but even then you can’t know anyone completely.  You can have your ideas about them, but we even surprise ourselves about ourselves, look back at what we did, said, thought, believed, the way we saw things and wonder how we ever could have, if we were out of our minds.  We are embarrassed at ourselves sometimes.

Sometimes I can watch a video which I see in the context of a relationship that doesn’t have much offline existence.  If it is from a while ago I sometimes find that, regardless of what might have happened in between times, seeing that video now brings everything back and fixes it in the present, because nothing else is happening NOW, and for some reason they have chosen to bring it up at this time.

When I watch something on the TV or listen to something on the radio, or read something, I sometimes have to remind myself that what I am seeing or hearing is or was happening in relation to someone who is not me.  I might think they seem really nice, but what if they met ME?  I might have a different experience of them because I am not the person I saw them with.

I wrote on Krishna Das’s Facebook page once that I had a dream to sing with him.  I’ve noticed since then that other people have written similar things.  I was playing one of his albums with my mother on Monday, A Drop of the Ocean, with Sultan Khan.  It was released in 2004, about 3 years after 9/11, and I see it in relation to that these days.  But I was going off on one with her, about how I loved the way he spoke and sang on it, and how I would love to sing with him, then I said something like, ‘but that’s the way he sounds with Sultan Khan.  I love the way he sounds on this, but it isn’t an interaction with me, it is with someone else, and what I am hearing and loving on this album might not exist with me.  He feels something with him that he might not feel with me, and that is why he sounds as he does.’.  I sing back to his voice all the time when I play his music, but really it’s a bit like singing in the shower.  What I am hearing was with someone else, it isn’t with me.

I think any media presentation is something we are essentially removed from.  If it is from the past it only tells us about the way things seemed at that time to the people who made it or wrote it.  We can get an illusion of identification or understanding or that we agree, sometimes.  I often see people’s comments and agreements on Facebook.  I think it’s a really illusory platform, when it comes to following celebrity pages and things like that.  Do we really know what people meant, from their lives, by what they said, in order to agree with it?  It is, more often than not, our interpretation of what they said that we agree with or not, and I have been taught that our interpretation says more about us than it does about what we are interpreting.  I often find that I can write something and view it differently afterwards than when I first wrote it.  Within seconds, sometimes, especially if it is a Facebook reaction.  Because I don’t really know them, and I sometimes think it is inappropriate for me to be trying to interact with them at all and thinking and feeling what I do, expressing what I choose to express and holding back on other things, sometimes.  That’s the way we all are, even in real life.

But definitely, when it comes to old videos and things, I think we really need to get to grips with the truth that ‘that was then, this is now’.  Or as someone famous put it, ‘the past is another country’.  How we deal with it when it comes up in a relationship that isn’t happening in any other way is something I find a bit of a conundrum and, being me, can get all upset and guilt-trippy about.  If it’s not happening, it’s not happening.  And if it is and I’m not being let into it, for me it is still not happening.

As so often, I am already plagued with embarrassment and self-doubt about what I have written even before I publish it.  See – so lots of other people are the same.  What we write or otherwise express is not necessarily a slice of our reality.

Three Wheels On My Wagon

The humour in this is delightful and so apt at the moment.  I’ve often sung it over the years, putting my own feelings into it, but to actually listen to it – it is so sweet and it really ministers to me.  You must listen.  It’s a hoot, it’s amazing.

My Lord, What Love Is This?

I can’t remember how I started thinking about this a few minutes ago, but I’ve just been grossed out, outraged and horrified by a piece of Church teaching that has never really hit me as so horrific before. It’s been presented as something good and deeply loving and pastoral and sadly necessary, without question, totally uncritically, and I along with many others have swallowed it, accepted and validated it in exactly the same way.

It is about the way God (and, by extension, His leaders, both temporal and spiritual) supposedly disciplines us.  He has been likened to a Middle Eastern shepherd. They lead their sheep from the front, apparently.  They have names for all of them (if it still works that way).  Jesus said His sheep know His voice and won’t follow another.

We have been told, so I suppose it must be true, that if a shepherd had a sheep that was constantly wondering off, he would break its leg and carry it until it was healed.  During that time the bond between the shepherd and the sheep would become so strong that the sheep wouldn’t wonder off after its leg had healed.  Wow.  How deep.  How lovely and romantic and heart-breakingly beautiful, that a shepherd could love his sheep that much – we are supposed to think, and feel, and some of us have, for many, many years, and grieve that we make it necessary.

I know this is going to offend a lot of people, but I think this thinking is warped and comes from a sick mind and makes its recipients and adherents sick, blind and cruel, to and about themselves and others.

Even if that shepherd thinks he loves his sheep, he is deluding himself, maybe because of the demands of the job and his need for it, and not facing the fact that he is raising them for one sole purpose: to be butchered, slaughtered, killed, violently deprived of life and end up on someone’s dinner plate, feeding someone’s selfish, animal appetites – these days, maybe mine.  And in the meantime he is causing an errant sheep pain by breaking its leg just so he doesn’t have to keep going to find it when, with its awesome, cute and endearing little personality it doesn’t always go where he wants it to go on its innocent and oblivious, happy little journey to the slaughterhouse.  So it might get attacked by wild animals. He is raising it to be killed anyway, so rescuing it can only be an economic and employment contract concern.  Where are his love, joy, humour, delight, relationship, humility and respect, in, with and for the animal?  So as I say in my title, what love is this??? How is this really a model of love in any kind and healthy person’s mind?

The Middle Eastern shepherd would lay down his life for the sheep.  Among other things, he would get them all into the pen at night and lie down and sleep at its entrance, to protect them.  And yet he was taking them to certain death.  That was the purpose.  So maybe this was required of the shepherd by his employers rather than being anything like the act of love and devotion it is presented as.  This has been far too romanticised and idealised outside of its economic context.  I wonder why shepherds were a despised group?  I’m sure that, with their mindset (if, as spiritual principle makers would have it, there was love and concern for the sheep involved), they must have had many emotional and mental problems.  I’ve often thought this in recent years reading David’s Psalms.  But everyone loves King David, and so should I.  I mustn’t touch him.  I’ll get myself strung up, by all sorts of people.

Oh, wait – I already have done!  Would someone please be so sweet and so kind as to cut me down?

Yesterday in my blog entry I said I thought the people I believe are trying to communicate with me and get me to go to them should be coming to me, and I thought I should clarify my reasons for this.  I did state my position on it years ago, from which I have not, by my actions and commitments, deviated very much, although I have given in to emotion and feelings of urgency (mine and others’) from time to time, but my position remains the same.

First, I think it is an abuse of power for people to use media or any other platform to put people on the spot at a distance by identifying them to themselves and others in various ways, while not actually naming them and fully and openly committing themselves to the communication.  They assume the right to do this while giving themselves a get out clause if, for some reason, they don’t like the person’s response.

Second, in my case they seem to be saying that, now they are actually convinced of what I have been saying for years, and now they have read my defences and explanations, everybody’s doors are wide open to me, I am not alone, I have support if I will respond.

a) That should ALWAYS have been there.  Instead, they decided it was all a mental health issue and distanced themselves from me and everything I said.  Apart from that, they are still hiding behind the same stuff they have always used.

b) I believe what they have been doing to me has been a human rights abuse from the beginning, and they are prepared to continue with it if they don’t get the required response from me: the media targeting, invasion of privacy, gang stalking (even if it is from official and so-called responsible people), computer hacking or collaboration with other sites I use (I don’t know how it works, but how else would they get some of the information about my internet activities that they have (see yesterday’s entry re: John Baldock and St Matthew’s Church)?

“I believe that to abuse a person’s legal and human rights until further information comes to light that makes you think it might possibly be time to recognise and respect those rights again as long as the person co-operates with your terms, is neither justified nor reasonable.”

I just made that up.

For everyone they try to convince that they are a special case in the way they are being ‘reached out to’ for restoration (Church terms, I think, rather than legal), there are many others who, for one reason or another, are not receiving the same overtures.  I said years ago that I stand with other involuntary mental health patients whose legal and human rights have been butchered and who have been virtually abandoned and invalidated, along with their perceptions and true assertions, because of the prejudice and stigma which are attached to their mental health diagnosis and are possibly the original cause for it in the first place.  There are many people who appear on tv programmes these days whose voice of gratitude for their diagnoses is promoted.  I don’t know, I haven’t checked this statistically, but I think there are many more who, like me, are not grateful for diagnoses or the ways they have been treated.

I feel a lot of pressure and less-than-honest expectation is being put on me to show a right heart and attitude.  I think I have to question the heart and attitude towards me of the people who do this.  I believe I am showing a right heart and attitude, but I hope it is towards others who have been similarly disenfranchised rather than people who want to secure a nice relationship with the odd individual here and there and come to a loving understanding rather than come clean unilaterally about their abuse (hate crime, if you will) and give proper legal redress, leaving the person, and other people like them who might likewise find redress as a result, free to decide if and how they want to pursue any further relationship or affiliation.

To me this is not a position of pride.  Committing it to a blog entry like this makes that clear to me, although I have often felt as if I’m just being proud and pretentious.  I think it is the necessary position in view of the legalities I believe need to be met.  Rights are not the same as privileges, so I heard in Church.  They are not given and conferred, or even stolen somehow, but are recognised.  I believe that we all have the same rights, and we all have the responsibility to recognise and respect those rights for everyone else.  We may lose privileges, but never rights.

Here I stand.  I believe I should do no other.

I posted the following on Premier Christian Radio’s Facebook page about an hour ago, and it was removed.  I usually take copies of what I post and email them to myself, so I am able to post this to my blog.  I’ve added a couple of little bits but it is basically the same.

I have known and said for ages that Premier Radio, among other media organisations, including Church, like Kensington Temple, where I spent some time over 20 years ago, is stalking me, somehow. I have suspected computer hacking, among other things. They keep pressing my emotional buttons, putting snippets together from my life, appearing to appeal to me in some way, while never making committed contact or answering the emails that I have sent them. I’m not bombarding them, as they are me. Over the last few years I might have sent 5.

A little while ago I was searching Amazon for some books on the Sufi poet Rumi and came across a book written by someone called John Baldock. I took a closer look because I used to have a youth group leader at St Matthew’s Church in Bestwood, Nottingham by that name. He went to a theological college, that is the last I knew of him. it wasn’t him, it was someone else. But either last week or the week before on Inspirational Breakfast both St Matthew’s Church and John Baldock were mentioned in close proximity, and this is only one of many such incidents. It is making me sick, literally. I didn’t do anything with that book, I just looked at the information to see if it was him and it wasn’t. So how did Premier get this information?

Last week they were saying something about security and all working together in a way which made me think that lots of organisations are involved in an effort towards me, short of making proper legally recognised contact, as if THAT might cause a security breach? On my blog I used to write a lot about accidents and people being killed, which seemed to be coming thick and fast, that had some resonance in my life, in terms of similar or same names, places, lots of different references. I live in Nottingham now, I lived most of my life from 19 in London. Mark Aldridge at New Wine used to be assistant vicar to John Coles at St Barnabas Church. Mark was featured on a New Wine video a few months ago. On the local news on ITV the other day a newsreader called Sameena Ali Khan seemed to me to be close to tears as she reported a story of someone being killed and the name Aldridge was involved. I think there was another killing related close to that story in the same new programme and the names Wood something and Bar or Bart something came up. My last name is Barnett and there have been ‘Woods’ in my life, I thought of several but the only one I can remember now is Woodside Park, where St Barnabas Church is.

The thing I’ve always said is that I won’t validate this kind of stalking by media or Church or government organisations that won’t actually communicate with me normally. What they are doing is INCREDIBLY distressing and personally undermining, when I’m not drawing false comfort from it. I have a diagnosis of schizophrenia. I didn’t have it when I was first admitted to hospital in 1996, I don’t know when that diagnosis was settled on, I’ve had several. They say the fact I think this is happening to me is evidence of mental illness. I have said that over and over to many of the people doing this to me, and they cynically persist while pushing a mental health agenda. It is nothing short of torture, and cowardice, and I think if, for some reason, it isn’t recognised as criminal, it should be. Today, I feel really ill, weak and sick. I feel so isolated, my whole community is up in arms, I get really frightened. But the media keeps putting out this narrowcasting at me and I’m supposed to respond? It seems to me they are trying to cover something, get out of something, not have to deal with the consequences and ALL the implications of the situation by appealing to me as if I am suddenly an exception and someone special who can help them. They make ME feel as if I am perversely refusing to accept a responsibility which is being put to me and offered as grace, mercy and an honour.  My problem is that I believe we are responsible for what we know, and I feel as if that has been played on.  But today I thought that, if what I know is being thrust on me in an under the radar way which is not legally accountable, even though it makes me feel responsible, in truth I am not and must not try to be or think I should be.  I really believe it is for them to make committed contact with me.

There have been a couple of bombings close to my emotional and activity related home as well, including Manchester, recently, on 2 counts – it was the 45th anniversary of my father’s suicide, and I used to share a house with someone from Manchester who has figured in my situation as it is at the moment. Premier, and others, should not be doing this to me. It is a violation of my human rights and manipulative and an invalidation of me as a person. Will someone please listen to me? They should not be holding me in this situation, as they have now for 20 years or more. I really need help. I daren’t go to the police, they have treated me really badly in the past, I have a difficult relationship with them, and they also would uphold the mental health approach. And for obvious reasons I can’t push it with the mental health authorities, either, unless I want to find myself back on drugs or in hospital. And my immediate neighbours are making themselves impossible to live with since it started affecting them. My housing patch manager has been involved, the last email I had from her threatened me with a mental health assessment, in spite of the fact I have told her absolutely everything about the situation with my neighbours months ago. That was last Friday. I wrote back to her saying why I thought she shouldn’t and have asked her to clarify her intentions, and she has left me hanging ever since last Friday, not a word from anyone at the council. I have a psychologist appointment today that I don’t really want to go to, I feel as if I am going at gunpoint. I don’t want to go because I don’t think he will talk about any of this stuff. In spite of the book he wrote that made me think he might be helpful, he is really evasive and won’t touch it. He argues with me instead, tells me why he thinks it’s not happening. Makes his feelings about the way I sometimes react my problem, a relationship issue.

Possible Mental Health Assessment

I asked my housing patch manager to get involved with the situation with my neighbour. She spoke to him once before, months ago, and he said there was no problem. On Friday she told me she has spoken to him again and he now says I shout and play my music loud and she thinks a referral for a mental health assessment would be appropriate. That really scared me as, when I was in London, if I dared to say I thought I was being stalked and harassed they would set the wheels in motion without even telling me and turn up early in the morning unannounced being aggressive at my door. I wrote her a long email telling her why I thought it wouldn’t be appropriate which I also sent to my old CPN and my present psychologist, who is against the medical model in psychiatry. The only person I heard back from was my old CPN on something different I had added in another email as an afterthought, and she didn’t even mention what my housing patch manager had said, and I’ve heard nothing from my psychologist on it either. I’ve been really nervous all weekend, while at the same time trying to be relaxed about it and succeeding, I think, to a great extent, and believing I have every good reason to be. I’ve even been scared to write a blog post or Facebook status about it in case that somehow went against me. I’m not sure what is going on or why I have received no answer on the issue and am hoping they are not going to do what they did in London, but I stayed up to slice some bread I baked on Saturday morning and put it in a bag and into the freezer as a way of setting my house in order in case they turn up in the morning. Usually it has been a given that they are going to detain me. If they do, I won’t be allowed to use my laptop in the bedroom and I think not on the ward either, and they didn’t let me go out last time for about 2 weeks. Something to do with getting habituated to the environment but actually they just let me go out once they had completely broken me down and destroyed my confidence. I don’t know why, they just did. So if I get detained, if an assessment takes place, I might be offline for a while. I’m hoping my passport application goes through OK as well and I think I’m supposed to be at home to sign for it, so I don’t know what would happen there. All being well it is due within the next week. If they don’t turn up though I’m going to see my mum tomorrow, as usual. I feel as if I am being silly and making a fuss about nothing. I hope I’m right. The ridiculous thing is, months ago it was ME that told her I was shouting and losing it in reaction to the harassment, and she did nothing. Now she has it from him, though, she is talking about a mental health assessment. Why would she give his word so much power over mine? She did nothing when she heard it from me and he denied there was a problem.  I have wondered if maybe he thought he was giving me a chance and I have blown it.  For the sake of accuracy she did say she would, however, be prepared to talk to me about it again, but I said that I thought we had said all we could and I didn’t really want to have to go through it all again.  So the silence frightens me.  No feedback or discussion at all so far.  If this turns out to be the preliminary to someone knocking at my door I think it is totally wrong.  Having told me she is considering a Mental Health Act assessment I hope she might at least tell me she is going to go ahead with it and maybe even make an appointment, it would be consistent. But no one has ever given me an appointment for an assessment before, it’s always, without exception, been a surprise visit.

A Drug No Longer Needed

I used to have to take a capsule called Lansoprazole every day for acid reflux, but I’ve realised over the last few weeks that I don’t have to now. I take one really occasionally now. I think it must have something to do with the fact that I have lost some weight, for me. I noticed this once before, a few years ago. Michael Mish had introduced me to prill beads, that you put in a gallon jar of water and just leave them there and keep topping the water up. They alkalinise the water. I think I might have lost some weight during that period as well, I can’t remember. But I went to Wales for a week and, even without that water, I had no problem with acid reflux, and I put it down to the water quality at the time. I didn’t need it or medication in Bulgaria, either. I also thought it might be something to do with my vegan diet, which lasted about 6 years, but I’m not vegan now. So I think it must be the weight loss, I can’t think of any other explanation. My idiot GP when I was in London, who once gave me reason to think he wasn’t just an idiot, he was dishonest, told me I would need the medication for the rest of my life. It seems to me that state sanctioned drug pushers like to tell people things like that.

Michael Mish is a New Age musician.  My Church background had made me hear him with a little bit of reserve.  Prill beads aren’t New Age, I think they were developed for a space program or something. But it has reminded me of something I’ve been thinking for a while.  ‘My kind of Church’ often calls Eastern medicine and therapy techniques occult.  Things like acupuncture, for instance, which works on meridian lines in the body.  But while being suspicious of Eastern approaches to health to the point of hatred, ‘my kind of Church’ has swallowed the Greek medicine model wholesale and apparently without question, these days, anyway.  It didn’t use to be like that, to my memory, in the 70s.  When I was in Church then at least one preacher said that psychology wasn’t compatible with Christianity and preached against reliance on psychiatric drugs.  When I first saw books about psychology and started reading them because I wanted to try and find out why I was so messed up I felt incredibly nervous about it, if not guilty.  It was a very lonely and dark activity for me.  It never occurred to me, because of the preaching, to try and discuss anything I was reading with the Church leadership.  There have been times in recent years that I have felt the roles have been reversed, that I have thought that they were right then and not now, that I have grown into their position (if I really ever didn’t accept it) and they have grown out of it, or abandoned it, and in so doing have abandoned me and people like me. But I really think that the deep suspicion of Eastern and New Age medicine is, more often than not, cultural bias and blindness, insensitive, ignorant and a form of racism.

I was playing Krishna Das earlier and trying to sing (the bit about singing was an edit at the end and the woman again reacted.  It is all about psychological intimidation, invalidation and control, dominance.  I call her a dominatrix, and I am right, and what they are doing is wrong and illegal.  She, in particular, keeps snatching at me) and the woman next door was insinuating herself on it in a way which was making me think that what she was doing was OK and I was the unreasonable one, not to fall in line with what they want with me, not to acknowledge and release the joy I felt towards them and forgive and forget and be friends. But that would be foolish and delusional.  You can’t let yourself do that with such harassment and computer hacking.  That would, indeed, be madness.  I just had the news on and she was doing the same thing, deliberate, targeted, militant criminal harassment, imposing herself on my mind so everything gets mixed up and every engagement is shallow – or a mess, like this post is turning out to be (again, here, she cries out). They have me feeling guilty for losing it with them, and when I mount a successful challenge and accurate assessment of what she is doing, suddenly the man comes in with his contemptuous, violent, assaulting voice to his harassing little girl’s little rescue. SHE is not supposed to be there. There is one tenancy holder who, as I understand it, is supposed to be the sole tenant. He is viciously organising and supporting this harassment against me in his bungalow. It is truly horrific. He’s started making a pathetic-sounding little noise now. It is all bullying and manipulation. The lesson they are trying to teach me is what happens when I stand up to the neighbourhood mafia and bully. That is the way I perceive it, anyway, unless he is getting angry with the woman and not me. But it has been going on for months and he can hear the distress it is causing me. If he was angry with her, he might apologise to me and stop her coming and causing trouble. As far as I am concerned, she definitely needs to go and not come back. They’ve been doing the baby interrogation on me as well. For months. Really gleeful, invasive, vicious and exultant.  A bit of gang stalking going on. And gang stalking is definitely a crime. I call it mafia activity. My psychologist says I shouldn’t use that term if I don’t want to be seen as paranoid if I talk to the police, but I think that is what it is. They don’t all go around in Italian suits and flash cars, and even the police will know and acknowledge that, I would hope, without putting the use of the term belittlingly down to paranoia. Some of it is little people, like neighbours, store staff, bus drivers, hairdressers, restaurant staff.  Some are a bit bigger – police, psychiatry, arts and media and religious organisations.  Who knows where it starts, or how and why?  She just cried out pathetically when I typed restaurant staff. I think she might be calling on God for help with what she can see while she is hacking my computer. Did you ever hear anything so demonic and warped, to do to a neighbour? Of course, it could be a psychic reaction. I can’t prove it’s not, but I’ve heard plenty of ‘yeses’ at things I’ve said on Facebook as well. My father’s death, my brother’s death, my niece’s death, desperately and indecently invasive of privacy and intimacy (she’s reacting again), thing’s I’ve said to Krishna Das in the early days. Yessing at things on recordings and videos, throughout. They have been reacting, I believe, in different ways all the time I have been writing and editing this post and the message seems to be ‘we are reacting to what we can see hacking your computer and we are making sure you know about it.  We aren’t going to stop.  We will impose an illegal reaction and sound on every statement’.  If no one helps me with this, shame on everyone who has abandoned me to deal with it alone. Shame on contemptuous and cowardly authorities, in particular.  I posted about them once using Nottingham Police and Nottingham City Homes tags, and no one got in touch with me.  I think they should have done, so I’m going to do it again.  She is giggling as I am adding tags.  They went ever so quite (but she has immediately challenged that observation with another mischievous and contemptuous mutter) when I used the term ‘mafia haunting’.  That is a term I learned from Tommy Boyd when he said someone offered to carry one out for him and he declined.  He described it, what sort of thing it is.  Man coughs nervously.  Wishes he wasn’t seeing this.  That is the problem, hacking computers, Mr Mann.  You sometimes see more than you bargained for and wish you hadn’t.  A spot on description of yourself and what you are involved in towards me, I must presume.  Stop going for the throat of my communication and expression.  Leave me and my home alone.  I keep telling you, all of you in there.  Another little noise from his poor little voice.  Masters of illusion.  Please, have mercy on a poor, mafia-haunting bully next door, a mister entitled to rule and dominate and interfere man and his family (or whoever) who never leaves you alone.  Ha ha. Please, please.

Yep.  11 Birchwood Road, Wollaton, Nottingham.  Come and dig me out.  Rescue my soul from these dogs (as King David – and we all love Him – says in the Psalms).  He’s making a little, ‘no, I’m not a dog, I’m a nice man’ noise now.   Computer hacker – etc?  I’m in control of this communication, and yes, you and the rest of you in there, you are dogs.  Militant, satanic, mafia-style criminals.  Hate crime, me?  No, a reaction to one.  Psychological torture and vicious cruelty.  This language – this contemptuous, hateful language I am using?  It comes from being attacked by and exposed to these people all the time I am at home, and they get me feeling so debilitated I often feel afraid to go out.  Filthy, machine, violent, angry, harassing voices, both men and woman.  However soft they sometimes (and she most of the time) contrive to sound.  Please help me.  I’m not crazy or mentally ill.  I’m being targeted and tortured by my neighbours and otherwise ignored by the rest as far as they can.  I’ve said this for years and keep ending up in hospital.  I told my neighbours, hoping it would empower them to go to the police themselves, and instead they are using it as part of their terror campaign against me.  It got particularly bad about 8 or 9 months ago.  It had been going on at a low level for ages before, then he openly, outside my bungalow, came past swearing and shouting ‘leave’.  A little while later I began screaming and shouting for them to leave me alone and they have treated it all with complete lock-down and contempt.  Her soft little purring sounds – I wonder if they are supposed to reassure the sole male tenant that everything is going to be all right?  I wonder if they have had such assurances given them from outside when I have written about them before, particularly on Facebook last night?  I strongly suspect so.  It is possible this pressure cooker environment they have created towards me and my home and activities has got my imagination working overtime, but I would rather it did that than not work at all.  I just don’t like the material it is having forced on it to deal with.

I don’t expect anyone to respect me for posting this.  I have sent emails to John.Pantry@premier.org.uk before, and to the station’s director, Peter Kerridge, years ago.  In the end I gave up, they never answered.  This one hasn’t been answered either.  If I were a faithful person I would wait for someone to contact me, trusting this has been passed on and is being dealt with.  Everyone knows, however, that I am not a faithful person.  I expect all my leaders and teachers to disapprove of what I am doing, and I also fear I might get myself killed or something, or that I will be put back in hospital, posting this.  My neighbour and his group are still confusing me, reacting to everything I’m doing all the time.  I feel like a dead body that the vultures are feeding on.

I have written before, years ago, about the times I urinated on the Church steps.  They keep brandishing it, as I say in my email, and stabbing at me with it.  It’s not only one or two, it’s all of them, but an example I can point you to is Rosie Wright this morning on Inspirational Breakfast, just before she started talking to people about the election result.  That’s what I think, anyway.  She said ‘we’ in a certain way, followed up by ‘been’.  I suppose her defence will be, if she feels she needs to give one, that it can’t be proved.  I found the way people were talking afterwards interesting, though.  It sounded not quite normal to me.  The copy of the email follows this long account of events leading up to the church steps event.

At the time this happened it was during the Toronto Blessing phenomenon in Church.  Often, when I was at my most vulnerable and open, the Church warden at St Barnabas in Finchley, John Knight, at the time, would rattle keys near me, which frightened me because I always thought it meant I had to get up because he wanted to lock up.  I don’t remember anyone ever having come to me to pray for me, though I think that is what they did with other people.  I was always thrown out into the street, blasted wide open and disorientated.  Sometimes I hung around outside the building, into the night, afraid to leave the vicinity, feeling as if part of me was stuck inside and I couldn’t go home without it.  When I did go home I was in a complete state all the way.

John Coles, the vicar at the time, did a series on Nehemiah once, a chapter a week.  I would turn up, unprepared, not having read the chapter (we weren’t expected to), and feel as if I was being dragged around all over the place.  So one day I decided to take control of and responsibility for my experience and read the chapter ahead of time so I might be more prepared.  He looked at me sitting in the congregation and said ‘the enemy reads ahead’.  I felt completely damned and didn’t know how to handle it.  To me, he had said it, that was that.  The same night I went forward and was lying on the steps to the platform and my legs started to shake vigorously and uncontrollably for several minutes.  No one came near me.  I went back the next week feeling wiped out.  Someone said shaking was a sign of judgment.  During the time that followed the service where the Holy Spirit was invited I was lying tired and exhausted on the floor and when i opened my eyes to get up I found that John Coles was lying at my feet.  I didn’t know what to do with it.  I got up and sat on a chair and talking with one of the other guys about my age at the time I just told him I felt sick.  Sometimes I wouldn’t get involved with the Holy Spirit paddling pool at the end, I would sit it out, because I thought I owed John and Anne something and had no right to try and get involved with the blessing time at the end.  I think they might have thought I was somehow resisting and disapproving, but I wasn’t, I was trying to show them honour and respect by not indulging myself in a ministry time while I thought things weren’t good between us.

I had previously asked John and his wife to forgive me for any hurt I had caused them, and as they had before, they said I hadn’t hurt them, but that there was no relationship.  So this time, instead of letting myself get all upset about it, I accepted it, deciding they couldn’t have a relationship with everyone, and I could just sit in the congregation and listen and try and be supportive in the best way I knew.  They weren’t happy with this either.  They seemed to be unhappy that I had accepted what they had said without contesting it.  If he looked at me in the congregation I would smile.  That was it.  he started trying to turn things around, get a different sort of response from me.  To get away from the pressure I started going to some other churches mid-week (I believed this was the right thing to do based on something I had read in the book the counsellors I had seen had asked me to read, saying you should shift your attention elsewhere), and they put pressure on me, too.  I had recently been introduced to the concept of boundaries by some counsellors I was told to see by a pastor connected to a Bible college I used to go to after I told him I kept feeling I needed to kneel to him but didn’t dare, and he picked a fight with me over it, saying on no account must I kneel to him.  He seemed to be teasing and taunting me at the end of services as he finished his sermons, saying ‘I’m going to the back now’ and things like that, and I was sitting there really upset, though I didn’t make a scene or anything.  He discussed it with other people involved in running the college and they decided I shouldn’t even be allowed into the building if that was what I wanted to do.  So I ended up with these counsellors, a man and wife, and she dropped out after a week or two, and the man saw me with another woman sitting in, and he used to pray really rigid prayers about what he wanted God to do for me and for Him to show me that this and that were not the answer.  I didn’t feel supported by the woman, I felt she was there as a witness and for his protection.  Anyway, He wanted me to read a book called Love Is A Choice, about establishing boundaries.  One of the things it said was that sometimes you needed to act from your mind rather than your emotions.  On that basis I used to go to churches wanting to listen to and think about what was being said without getting emotionally involved, and this attitude seemed to upset people, and they made me a recipient of what I felt to be negative attention and pressure.  I was called a witch a few times at Kensington Temple.  One man I tried to say a friendly hello to one day in the congregation took an attitude against me and was only happy when it was obvious I was really upset.  He smiled broadly then, with great satisfaction.  Killed me.  All this, and more, happened before I eventually ended up in a mental hospital for the first time.

Anyway, drawing these bits together: one day I was at St Barnabas for some reason talking to John Knight at the door and I asked if I could use the toilet (I used to have keys to the building before that, and was rudely asked for them back as I was trying to finish off a job).  I suppose I wasn’t servile and submissive enough, because he told me they would rather I went to the toilet in the tube station a little way up the road (this was after my first admission to a mental hospital).  On one of the nights, a week or two later, that I was scared to move away from the building I suddenly needed a loo, but there wasn’t one.  I thought about it, and apart from the fact that I had to go (it didn’t occur to me to go in the bushes or anything) I thought, ‘if they are going to call me a witch I might as well do something a witch might do and see what happens’.  I also thought it would be getting back at them for not having let me use the toilet previously when I had asked.  So I just used the steps up to one of the side doors.  Then sat there for the rest of the night, staring at it and thinking that I had thought it would dry, but it wasn’t doing.  I felt really weird.  Early in the morning I thought to myself that I ought to go home, that I had to go home, that something bad was going to happen if I didn’t.  But I didn’t go.  I hung around the tube station, feeling horrified at everything, and in the early afternoon I started to make my way to the vicarage up the road.  I bumped into Anne Coles.  I think I asked her if there was any chance I could go with John on his weekend mission trip to another church.  I really wanted to go, so I thought the only thing I could do was ask, or I might miss an opportunity.  Anyway, it wasn’t possible.  She said something about the fact that i had been hanging around all morning in the area (I suppose other people must have seen me and told her, but I hadn’t seen them.  She was carrying a big sack of carrots and said she wondered if she would be able to get it inside.  I instinctively went to help her and she swept the sack up and whisked it away from me.  I think she eyed me all the way to her front door then went inside.  I was really upset.  I felt completely desperate about everything.

So anyway, that is the story of the first time I urinated on the church steps.  The main reason was I needed to go.  The symbolism of it frightened me, that it had been in my mind and I had acted on it.  But in my opinion my leaders made it worse by being paranoid about it themselves.  They seemed to be totally freaked and wanted to take control but never said anything except that now he wanted me to sit right at the back in the corner of the church where the steps were.  I used to sit at the front, he said the keen ones sat at the front.  That was the only reference he ever made to it.  I believe symbolism only has the power we allow it.  I think the way they handled it, and have handled it over the years, made things worse.  It was 20 years ago, and they are still using it.  I can’t remember the reason I did it the second time, but I think they were controlling and I was symbolically trying to get control back.  Things are still so bad, I have felt so criminally and dishonestly treated by them over the years, that even after I wrote this email on Tuesday I thought to myself, ‘I would do it again’.

Just before these incidents I had been at Nottingham Christian Centre, as it used to be, after my first hospital admission.  I kept getting to church and feeling I should go and speak to David Shearman (one of his elders had told me to stay around, so I did for several weeks), and sitting down not daring to go near him and feeling really upset and guilty.  He would start calling me, so it seemed to me, and I would just sit there thinking it was me who was supposed to go to him without him asking.  This went on for weeks.  The first week he had passed where I was sitting and I had put my hand in his, like a child with a father.  He held it while he walked, then he just dropped it.  While he was preaching he looked at me and said ‘you tried to split a church’.  I didn’t say anything, it was in the middle of a sermon, it didn’t seem appropriate and he didn’t seem to want an answer, but I just looked at him and sat thinking, ‘no, I didn’t’.  He said something about ‘she doesn’t listen to anyone’.  At the end of the sermon he told people to close the doors, that it was a powerful thing to do, that there would be ‘no accursed thing’ in his church.  I had said to someone that I had been cursed at St Barnabas.  I thought he was calling me an accursed thing.  I went in one morning a few weeks later and I can’t remember why, but I burst into desperate tears in the middle of a congregational song, and the worship leader said ‘it’s raining!’  I had had this in hospital, and it really upset me here.  I think it was a week before that David Shearman had read the bit from Song of Solomon where it says ‘the winter is past the summer is come arise my love come to me’, or something like that.  I was sure he was saying it to me, but I had no idea what to do with it.  I wanted to go to him, but didn’t, and I felt bad that I didn’t.  Anyway, on the ‘it’s raining’ day David came charging past my seat like an upset bull, and I was sat forward with my head in my hands, terrified.  He had made a lot of references to Colin Dye at Kensington Temple that I thought were directed at me.  One night he read a passage where a prophet says to a king, or something like that, that although there is no food today, tomorrow there will be an abundance, but he would get none of it.  I thought that was aimed at me as well and I was frightened and angry, then he said, ‘put your hand up if you want the food’, and I refused, it felt humiliating.  I got to church one morning and was turned away, being told they had instructions not to let me in.  That was my teen years church home.  I was devastated.  On the day I cried I think they had called the authorities and had me admitted to hospital and this was the next week.  I went back to the hospital ward and the significance I felt was attached to what had just happened overwhelmed me and I kept screaming.  One of the nurses ordered me to stop screaming.  She didn’t ask me what was wrong, what had happened, and offered no comfort or support.  I felt homeless.  This was before I returned to London and was so out of control that I even thought about identifying with the accusations that I was supposed to be a witch.  I have been taught by at least one teacher that the essence of witchcraft is control.  I felt this was what they had been doing to me for years and I hit back.

—///—

Were it not for the fact that neither John Pantry nor Peter Kerridge ever reply to my emails I might have warned them that I was going to make this email public if they didn’t reply.  I did think about it but decided it would be a waste of time.

Dear John

 
The Manchester suicide bombing took place on 22nd May, the 45th anniversary of my father’s death which the coroner, without any statement of intent from my father, decided was suicide.  I believe you are aware of this and of other such coincidences as I have written about them on my blog, which I have reasons to believe you have been following, along with all my Facebook and Twitter activities and my email correspondences.  I am sure there must be other things, too.
 
You have been ‘narrowcasting’ to and/or about me now for years.  I have long said this is a human rights abuse, especially since you know that part of the reason for my mental health diagnosis is that I insist this is happening.  I have emailed you before, in tones you might not have liked, about this and you have always refused to answer my emails, and so has Peter Kerridge.
 
Now you seem to be putting out a barely covert appeal for me to come forward in some way.  It seems to me to have become more urgent since 22nd May.  I remember specifically hearing it in the last half hour of the show on 23rd.
 
I am finding this very disorientating.  I have said before that, because of your activities towards me, which I have believed to be illegal, and your pushing of the mental health agenda and the way you and others have used it in MY life, that the Church unrepentant on these things is not something I would feel either safe or honourable getting involved with again.  You might soften for me, but what about other people like me?  I have always said this.
 

It seems to me that the fact that you won’t just make contact with me openly, by email or something, means you still want to cover and justify your illegal harassment and, what seems to me, dishonest and cowardly pursuit of and agenda towards me.

 
These attacks are happening.  I’m not carrying them out.  It seems to me that if they are in any way connected with me, I am just an excuse.  You may or may not be able to begin to understand what effect that is having on my life.  Until now, it seems to me, it has not been that important to you, you seem to have dismissed or thought unimportant everything I have had to say about it.  But now you seem to be calling me forward for some reason.  I am wondering why, what you think can be done about it, how I can help, how you can help and support me . . . . I really need help and support at the moment, but don’t forget, I have experienced a lifetime of what the Church seems to believe to be an expression of love.  People telling me I was demon-possessed at age 13, without parental involvement, for one, because I stared too much.  This, and even things before it, have coloured my whole experience of my relationship with God and others.
 

I urinated on the Church steps.  You have been brandishing that one for ages, even though I tried to apologise for it.  That was 20 years ago, after my first admission to a psychiatric ward where I experienced lots of abuse and neglect and cruelty and was occasioned by the cruelty and rejection and attempts at control and manipulation I was experiencing in Church.  I was incredibly distressed and afraid, and completely disorientated.  You all like to flash this urinating thing around, but does it occur to you that the reason I did it in the first place was because my state of mind had been affected by all this?  It was awful, it was bloody, bloody awful.  I might have been immature in the way I was handling concepts that were new to me, about boundaries and things, and my own right to personal boundaries that even leaders had no right to transgress, but that did not call for me to be treated as I was and abandoned and categorised as mentally ill.  I was never even specifically confronted with this issue, everything was done by psychological suggestion.  Maybe somehow they thought I was supposed to fold in response to that and ‘confess all’, but I thought the accusation was supposed to come from them.  Impasse.

 
Why are you doing what you are doing towards me at the moment on the radio?  Why does no one make a proper approach?  Is it a security issue?  Is it for my protection and the protection of other innocent and law-abiding people?  It certainly affects my feeling, it often makes me feel afraid and guilty for not co-operating with this blatant but cloak-and-dagger approach.  It makes me feel like a bad citizen and a bad Christian.  In all, a bad person.  This is not a faith or religious issue, it is a legal issue, as much as anything else.
 
Sometimes I think the whole media circus over this is ridiculous.  I was thinking about it this morning and the verse, ‘the Lord will have them in derision’ came to mind.  You might not like the fact that I thought this in relation to you and you might think it inappropriate,  I’m not going to comment.  I do, however, think the present expression of Christianity to which I am exposing myself is acting illegally, it is just a radio station, and Christianity does not stand or fall with it.  I am sorry you are too afraid to take proper responsibility.
 

This is my initial response to your – overtures?  Please reply, or pass it on to someone you think should.

 
Susan Barnett

https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Weekday/Inspirational-Breakfast/Episodes/Inspirational-Breakfast767

Following my email to John Pantry yesterday, today’s Premier Christian Radio’s ‘Inspirational Breakfast’ is not available.  This has happened at times that seemed significant to me before, often, and sometimes most of the station’s shows have been not available for days at a time.

One of the verses in the Bible I sometimes feel shamed by is in Proverbs where it says:

Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
Is a beautiful woman without discretion

I’m sure it is one of the verses I was brought up on in my teens in the Pentecostal Church in the 70s, just as significant women’s rights legislation was coming into being.  Maybe it is right that I should feel shamed by it.  Maybe being a beautiful, quiet, submissive woman with a sweet voice is the way to go.  Never speaking up in time, always seeing and having my own communication ruled by a larger perspective, more responsible, loving and peace-seeking.  Always allowing others the space they need to build their own barriers, make their own decisions unchallenged, un-nagged, unbetrayed.  I think this is seen, uniquely, as a feminine virtue, or sin if you fail, even now, in the kind of Church I have spent my life in since 12 years old, that I felt a bit bullied into not leaving because they had the truth.  And actually, I am sure they did.

After I sent my email yesterday lunchtime I was in a taxi on the way to the railway station and a police car passed in front of us horizontally on the road we were approaching, with quite a few other cars in between us.  I felt a bit awkward and looked away instinctively but before I did I am sure the driver looked into the taxi and looked at me and raised his hand to me in acknowledgement.  I don’t know why, I had asked John to reply or to pass it on to someone he thought should.  I can’t explain it, believing everything I have believed about what has been happening to me over the years.  Then coming home last night, at about 9.30 pm in the station, there was a young police officer in a helmet who I think was on a mobile phone or something.  As soon as I saw him he turned his back abruptly, though not aggressively or in anger, as far as I could tell.  It confused me as to what I was supposed to do about it, I wanted to approach him and talk to him.  A feeling of faith said it would have been the right thing to do.  But I didn’t, I continued walking.

The Manchester ‘suicide bombing’ was on the same date as the 45th anniversary of my father’s so-called suicide.  Any readers of my blog may remember that I have drawn attention to such coincidences before.  Another was the bomb a few years ago now, near an Osho ashram just after I started listening to Osho recordings on Napster and, it seemed to me and I’m sure it was, Kensington Temple started matching their rhythms which were, ordinarily, very different from their own.  My email to John Pantry yesterday was in response to the fact that, at least in the last half hour of the show on 23rd May, the day following the Manchester bombing, their extremely ‘narrowcast’ appeal to me seemed to be quite obvious.  Even though I think they have always ignored every other coincidence I have talked about over the years, this time they seemed quite urgent, and have done ever since.  I wrote some emails to him several years ago which he didn’t answer, I suppose because he found them angry and disrespectful, saying I thought what they were doing to me was dishonest and a human rights abuse and for that reason I didn’t really want to put myself back in a Church.  Yesterday I said that hadn’t really changed.

Except in my feelings, in my fears, in my beliefs about what I am forever forfeiting in terms of relationship by writing this kind of blog post, that isn’t true.  Quite a few times over the last few months John has used a prayer saying may we bow to God in true repentance and to each other in true forgiveness, and that has felt like a plea and an invitation to me, as if they are honouring me with it, and I am betraying them and my own heart, soul and spirit by perversely and unreasonably declining the invitation.  I often see myself at the moment as being, and as having been for many years, proud, and I think I will be seen that way.  I think I am doing tremendous damage to any hopes of reconciliation by writing this blog post, that I am wrong and consequently I am destroying all possibility that they will ever trust me.  I often have absolutely no confidence in the position I have taken or in the way I am and have been trying to work it out.

Also last night I went into a pub in town for a drink while I waited for my next bus which was half an hour off.  I approached the bar and one of the staff I had spoken to in the past was right in front of me and completely ignored me, so I didn’t say anything either.  Then another of the staff, a man who I think was off duty, said something about ‘parrot now’, and I was sure it was code for me to hear as ‘paranoid’, which made me feel shocked, offended and disempowered as it was nothing acknowledged and probably wouldn’t have been if I had said anything.  I sat upset and uncomfortable the whole time I was there. thinking about it.  At one point I thought, maybe they are right, maybe I am being paranoid, and I sort of smiled, at which point the girl behind the bar looked at me in a way which made me think she was thinking, ‘there you are, you see, it’s all in your mind, we are right’, without making the connection that they had actually put it out there in the first place.  You can’t do anything in that kind of situation.  And the more I thought about it the worse it seemed to me.  I was being picked on like this in a pub which calls itself a ‘safe space’ for vulnerable people, has street pastors operating.  What can you do, what can you say?  A ‘safe space’, but won’t leave you alone and respect your privacy if, somehow, you seem not to conform or make an effort to connect in the way they seem to want you to if they set out to ignore you and perceive the responsibility as being on you?  At the end of the day, for most customers, it’s just a pub!!!!  NOT an exclusive club with membership rules and requirements on either party.  You don’t have relationship commitments in a city pub -or has all that changed?  Anyway . . . . Not the point of this post – originally.

PS OK, ignore the original basis of this post.  In the last 1½ hours, somewhere between noon and now, Inspirational Breakfast has become available.  But usually it is made available by about 9.15 am, so everything I have said remains relevant.  I’m not hedging it about with ‘I believes’ and ‘in my opinions’: I only do that to keep the psychiatric team off of me.  I’m sure they still read my blog.  The only thing they ever commit to is labelling and coercive treatment.  If I’m wrong, I’m wrong.  It’s not a crime, it’s not a sign of mental illness, and I’m not drawing up a contract or deposition.  Shame on the system that has, for years, had me afraid to be definite without allowing a possibility that I might be wrong.  I have not seen them allowing for a possibility that they might be wrong with me or anyone else.  Funny, that, isn’t it?  Psychiatry, and other powers and authorities, can’t be wrong.

Bust up 05.07.2013

Edit note 02.06.2017:  This has come up as having been a ‘top’ post today.  Having re-read it I have decided to publish it again.  It recounts one of the worst experiences I had in hospital at that time.  But it was all bad, there was always an undercurrent of aggression.

Today I have decided to use names and hope that, in this situation, it will not lose me my blog.

This morning I went in for breakfast and sat with R.  Sharon and Kiran were serving.  They set up a certain tone and volume of conversation which I felt was harassing and barracking.  I said something to R about them wondering why I trusted others and not them, and that it was because they were not the others and that I choose my friends and my friends are not those who force themselves on me.  R said people who force themselves on you are not friends.  Sharon was picking up on the last ‘note’ of my speech and using it in her conversation with Kiran, in such a way and with such a history with me as really hurt me and made me feel desperate.  Sharon is a burly, loud, ugly mouthed brute of a woman who I have heard become verbally abusive to other patients when she has not been able to get her way, started talking about smacking legs and things to others when she has not had a good response from me.  When they saw I was desperate they were both looking at me and giggling. R said she thought Flora was something I could eat as a vegan so I said I would look at the ingredients, at which point Kiran turned away in a way that I believed to be deliberate.  I was angry about that and said so.  They continued to look at me and giggle, and I brought up that I had seen Sharon push N out of her way with her foot then walk away and say she didn’t care.  Sharon said “what did I effing do to N”.  She was taunting, smiling and staring.  They told me to leave the dining room and I said no and said they should get Jim, my key nurse.  At some point Steve came in.  Steve has given me a hard time while I have been there.  After what he did yesterday when I approached and talked to Jim, which he denied today when I confronted him with it, I had decided that he was not a reliable person and not to choose his involvement.  He shouted at me today, I told him to leave me and Jim alone, that he had jeered and mimicked me when I was talking to Jim yesterday, and he said he hadn’t.  I told him what I thought and what I had decided, saying I was withdrawing everything positive I had ever said to him and that he was not a reliable person, and he said good or something like that.  Eventually Roy came up and started confronting me, telling me to stop shouting and that it wasn’t acceptable.  I told him to leave me alone as he hadn’t been there.  I was shouting because I felt molested and hysterical with their intimate psychological harassment.  If they weren’t doing that nasty mimicking I might be able to cope without shouting, but I have had it almost non-stop while I have been there.  Last night I said to Alex, a female nurse, that I had been thinking of the staff team as a seamless robe, but that I was realising there were some who were OK and others who were not, and she agreed.  But the reason for the seamless robe feeling has been the invasive nature of their harassment.  I had decided to start relating to some and not others.  I started out saying I didn’t want to get close to any of them, but they found this unacceptable and broke me down emotionally until I see them as emotionally important in my life.  I am thinking of hospital as the place that I have to make relationships with staff work and where I can be treacherous and shouldn’t be.

I went outside into the corridor still upset and shouting, and he came and started the same thing again.  Sharon was behind him and I thought he should be speaking to her, not me, so I put my hands on his arms and tried to turn him round.  I thought with him this was OK as he presents himself as a friend who just takes people for walks.  It was his intervention leading to my assumption that it was OK to touch him and try to turn him round to make a point that made things worse.  I wasn’t violent, it was part of a heated conversation.  Sharon was taking the lead in asking him what I was doing to him, and suddenly she descended on me saying I was going to my room. She grabbed my arm and started pushing me, then she started twisting my arm.  I asked her why and she said I was going to my room.  I said she didn’t need to twist my arm to take me to my room.  In the corridor Jim came out of the clinic room and I pleaded with him to help me.  I was saying please.  He had said please in the situation I wrote about in an earlier blog post, and I never managed to have the conversation with him about all the times they ignore us saying please.  He wouldn’t get them off me but came with them to my room.  On the way Sharon was saying do this, don’t do that, like don’t kick the door, but we were nowhere near my room at that point and I wasn’t kicking anything and never had.  They sat me on my bed and told me to calm down.  I asked Jim to get Sharon off me but he wouldn’t.  I said she was abusing me, he said the only abuse he had heard was coming from me.  I told him he was selectively blind and deaf.  I asked him if this was his way or idea of asserting authority.  They are trying to say I have a problem with authority rather than with what I see as abusive, intrinsically.  I told him he was inconsistent, having fun with me when it suited him and joining in something like this when it didn’t.  He said he would have to medicate me if I didn’t ‘calm down’.  I said I was calm, just saying what I thought and angry, and that he couldn’t medicate me for being angry.  I also pointed out that it was Sharon who was sitting beside me breathing fast and clearing her throat.  At some point she loosed her grip and I automatically tried to free my arm.  They began to remonstrate with me and told me not to try, that she had loosened her grip into something called something or other – as if explaining what it was called made the situation any more acceptable.  They had said something about being irrational and I said that trying to loose my arm when someone looses their grip was a perfectly rational thing to do.  Jim said I was affecting other patients, I said I was being affected.  I asked him where he had been when I needed him and was asking for him, he said he was doing medication.  I asked him about yesterday when he had said he would try to find me when I left a note for him about what Sharon had done to N, he said he had looked for me in the corner I had told him about earlier.  When I left the office I had gone straight up the corridor to my bedroom, and they can see the whole corridor from the office.  He said he would be perfectly prepared to talk to me when I calmed down, and I told him I might not be prepared to talk to him.  Roy offered to get me a cup of tea since I had been saying before they brought me to my room that I wanted to get my tea.  I declined it on principle.  They kept telling me to calm down, I told them not to tell me to calm down.  You can’t order someone who believes you are abusing them to calm down.  I said I was going to lie back on my bed and I did, and as soon as I took that position they all walked out on me.  I opened my door and shouted “Occupy, Occupy, Occupy until I die, shame on you”.  I have done that before.  They laughed.  I said it again and said “recognise a gift when it is offered you”, meaning that shame was a gift.  I have said that before as well.  I was shouting why is it OK to force me but not to hug me.  Sharon had been parading in front of me earlier with a smile on her face, which I had said I interpreted as, “come on then, hit me, and see what happens”.  That is the impression I get from their behaviour with all their legalised arsenal behind them.  After I managed to stop shouting I lay on my bed, wanting to go out but not daring to say in case they decided to stop me.  When I eventually went to go out I asked Paul to open the door for me and was upset and felt humiliated at the almost desperate, begging tone I had adopted because I felt so intimidated.  There were four nurses in the office when I went out, Jim was one of them, Steve another.  These two were both facing the window.  As I had walked down the corridor I had seen Jim and said “I have a legal obligation to myself and other people I see you abusing”.  Legal was not the right word, but I still have an obligation.  As I passed the window I said that it was hypocrisy with them having instruments of assault as part of their normal job and treating me the way they had because I got angry at their abuse and harassment.  I said it was an expression of civil war and they knew it, and I told Jim to look at me, twice, but he refused, as they all did.  So in the end I said “don’t look at me then”, and left.  This man who thumbs his nose at me and sticks his tongue out at me as a way of being friendly, to the first of which I reciprocated and the second I initiated, yesterday.  I thought we were OK with each other.  I thought about it later.  That looking down and refusal to engage with me was in itself passive abuse, which is a term I learned when reading a book about boundaries years ago, before I was ever admitted.  I got outside, I was shouting again.  The other night he had been on with someone else who I have felt really helped by this week, and from the office at a certain point  while one of the other patients and I were singing, he had called out “apologise, say you’re sorry”.  When I was outside shouting I referred to that and said “try some of it yourself, when you are ready to apologise to me”.  That day won’t come, it never happens.  The illusion of emotional security is just that, an illusion.  I began to cry and scream walking away from the ‘hospital’.

When I got back this afternoon Tim came and let me in and said “Uh-huh” as he opened the door.  I said just opening the door was fine, I didn’t need a comment, he said OK, I said stop answering me back.  I got to my room, discovered it closed, and went back to the office and said I wanted it opened.  Kiran was there, she chimed “OK”.  I said “what did you say?” and she said “I said OK”.  I said she had a short memory.  She didn’t say anything, asked another patient if she was OK and opened my door.  I said “thank you” but obviously annoyed, she said “you’re welcome”, ignoring my tone and my right to it as they always do, and walked away.  I said “you kids won’t accept correction, will you?” and she chimed back “I don’t need it” and kept walking.  That response was a bit of an eye opener to me as to how much disrespect they actually have towards us.  I had named Kiran in my note to Jim as someone who might have witnessed the incident between Sharon and N.

I am still waiting to be told the outcome of the SOAD report, nearly two weeks on.  I was saying yesterday that I am finding it surreal and disorientating.  Some people seem to be trying to make me feel I am special and cosy up to me and give me what seems to be preferential treatment.  Sharon was winking at me the other day.  She has known for some time I don’t want to relate to her.  I have felt a few times that I am becoming unavailable for patients who are on medication and expressing an objection to it.  I am far too happy in their faces when I myself am not there and seem to be developing helpful relationships with some staff.  Those relationships have today shown themselves to be unreliable.  Even in the conversation with the nurse last night we were OK until she adopted the usual stance to which she referred in what I had thought was a safe conversation, that they ‘have to force medication on people’.  I feel bad about not giving a conversation with Jim another chance before posting this, but I know as always that I am not the only person this happens to and many people could not get what they wanted from such a conversation, and that he could have stopped the whole thing when he saw me begging him to in light of the relationship I thought we had.  He could see I was desperate and upset and not violent.  Whatever my personal feelings I know it is not my role to negotiate and help reform from inside without any accountability from them.  And the last written complaint I sent that I waited several months for a reply to got the response that it was my mental illness that made me perceive things that way.  In a mental hospital awaiting a report from the SOAD I am not different, I am not special.  Sometimes I have so much fun with other patients and some of the nurses but if they decide to medicate me they won’t be stopped, and I am intermittently aware of that and become frightened, and I think what the staff are doing to me in this no man’s land is unfair, whatever their intention.

I have become so confused that I find myself doubting that my position on enforced medication is right and not being sympathetic to other patients.  But I know I am more tolerant and reasonable than the staff have shown themselves to be today.  If they required me to go through what they did today before being prepared to talk to me that is wrong.  Their position seems to be they don’t do what we say, we do what they say, because they are in charge, and they will not undermine or be seen to be undermining each other no matter how treacherous of a relationship that makes them or how unfair to the patient they personally think that makes them.  I have said a few times recently that it is closer to zoology than anything fit for human consumption.  Veterinary practice.  I am the same person happy or enraged.  They would not do this with their relationships at home.  Maybe some of them wish they could.

This entry in Wikipedia was posted by a Facebook group member a year ago, and I posted it to my timeline.  It just came up today as a memory.  It is quite long, too long for me to read again at the moment.  I’m not an authority, anyway.  I don’t know a lot about the professionals and experts cited and their views, though I know a little.  I’m offering it in this post for anyone who wants to read it and do their own research, or even anyone who might already know more than I do.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_construction_of_schizophrenia

Psalm 121 – Safety and Security

Psalm 121 King James Version (KJV)

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.

The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

 

I had been thinking today about verse 8 of this Psalm when I saw a post by Ram Dass on Facebook which finished with a mantra that expresses the same sort of idea, I thought, so I decided I would post the whole Psalm.

Although I was thinking of verse 8, when I read the whole Psalm I felt I had to consider it in light of recent events especially, but many more before now, and decided that the key must be the last half of verse 7: ‘he shall preserve thy soul.’

have heard it said that when the Bible talks about the soul it means the whole person.  Unless the writer was indulging a flight of fancy I think it has to be assumed that in this case it is talking about the soul only, the Breath of God within the body (according to Genesis God breathed uniquely into man at creation and he thus became a living soul – Genesis 2:7, what I have been taught is the ‘fleshed out’ account and not a different story as some people assert.  I’m not sure where the story of Lilith comes from either, it isn’t in the Bible.).  God, Who Is Love, protects the soul that loves both Him and others and, as I assume must be part of that equation, is loved by others.  It certainly seems to be my experience that as long as I believe someone loves me I find refuge in that.  As my English lecturer, who was a Buddhist and also a psychotherapist, said to me once, ‘Love is your protection’.

There have never been any guarantees for the preservation of the body, and if anyone thinks there have, they must also think they have been broken, even within covenant communities to which they were given.  I can’t remember about the Old Testament, but the New Testament, especially in Thessalonians, talks about the resurrection of the body after death.  That is the only context I can think of for the word ‘soul’ in this Psalm meaning the whole person including the body.  I think that is the theological understanding, though I know people have many arguments and reservations outside of that.  My own sometimes, is ‘if God is love and perfection, where did even the possibility of evil in His creation come from?’.  I can find that question quite disabling in talking about God.  In Isaiah it says ‘I, the Lord, create both good and evil’.  Would any of the people who answer my posts anonymously through the media, Christian and secular, like to get into relativity with me?

Manchester Suicide Bombing

I don’t say much about news items usually, because I feel so under siege in my own home I can go days without seeing any news. I saw someone post earlier about Manchester but I’ve only just listened to Premier Radio’s Inspirational Breakfast. I broke off half way through to get a cup of tea.

I had Om Shri Matre Namah playing on a loop in the lounge and I found it helped me to process some of what I was feeling. There have been many times when I have felt an appreciation of the depth and beauty of Krishna Das as a priest (he was a priest in Maharaj-ji’s temple), and of a lot of the material he draws on in his chants. This was one of those times. And this mantra, Om Shri Matre Namah, meaning ‘I bow to the divine Mother’ seemed completely appropriate as a prayer for the situation.

In my particular stream of Christianity it may be frowned upon, probably most definitely will be, that I could even be saying this. But Catholicism honours Mary.  Islam does, too.  Even in my own background I was taught that the Holy Spirit has mother-like qualities. In the creation story in Genesis it says that the Spirit brooded over the waters. I heard back in my teens that God is also called the ‘many breasted one’. The mother is the archetypal source of love and nurture.

There are many other kirtan leaders than Krishna Das, but he is the one I know best. He says that when these chants or mantras are sung they are an invocation to the love within us, who we truly are. Whatever we think of how it does or doesn’t work, it seems to me that God as Mother is a model we are badly in need of. Not God the Warrior, God the Judge. People say we become what we worship, so I think it would be good for all of us on this planet, men, women and children, to begin to discover, value, release and cultivate within ourselves and each other the Mother heart, mind and nature of God that exists in so many of the world’s religions, including both Christianity and Islam.

 

Om Shri Matre Namah
I bow to the divine Mother
Within and Without
 

I Wonder. What If . . . .

I had one of my thoughts a few minutes ago.

There is a children’s hymn.  The theologian Karl Barth, when asked to sum up his understanding of God, quoted the first two lines:

Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so

I thought, what if, instead of that, instead of the hymn having said that in the first place, its sentiment had been more along the lines of Jesus loves you, this I know, for the Bible tells me so?  What if it were not a self-centred affirmation possibly pandering to insecurity and trying to remedy it in what is possibly a mistaken way, and instead taught children primarily to affirm the value of the Other?  It is said that what you give you get back, anyway.

I was brought up in church to believe that the Bible takes it for granted that we love ourselves when it says love your neighbour as yourself.  I think it is in Leviticus that there are lots of rules about how to treat other people and their property, and the individual’s responsibility towards other people, like making sure there was a fence around the edge of your roof, I think, to make sure other people were safe.

In the Pentecostal church I went to we were taught a formula for joy that used the word itself as an acronym: Jesus first, Others next, Yourself last.  I’ve struggled with that acronym over the past few years and wondered if it is right and thought, from what I have been led to understand, that perhaps it isn’t, and I became resentful of having heard it in the first place.

The first time that the ‘love yourself’ movement came into my awareness was back in the 80s.  I think the Church was talking about it and teaching it as good.  From what I understand as a person who is no longer involved, that has now taken a strong hold and a lot of the ideas espoused by the Church I’m aware of are geared towards self nurturing.  We are to love and nurture ourselves, instead of recognising and being secure in the fact that God wants to, and does, do that for us, and being grateful, and giving our attention and acceptance and affirmation to others and loving and caring for them out of that security.

It seems true to me that if our focus is inward and on ourselves, rather than on God and others, it is a recipe for neurosis and unhappiness.  If we love God and others right, we will love ourselves as a byproduct.  I think this might be something that is recognised in the Indian use of the word ‘Namaste’.  Recently I read a quotation from Ram Dass that put it this way:

“In India when we meet and part we
Often say, ‘Namaste’, which means: I
honor the place in you where the
entire universe resides; I honor the
place in you of love, of light, of truth,
of peace. I honor the place within
you where if you are in that place in
you and I am in that place in me,
there is only one of us.”
~~Ram Dass~~

I recently heard someone say that either the Dalai Lama or people in India could not understand that people in the West have a problem with self worth and loving themselves.  I’m thinking at the moment of the story I’ve heard Krishna Das and Ram Dass tell, that when Maharaj-ji (also known as Neem Karoli Baba because he came from Neem Karoli, it means teacher from Neem Karoli) was asked how to raise kundalini he said ‘feed people’.  Krishna Das says that in India food was worth more than money, so feeding people was an amazing thing for them.  The story goes that Ram Dass got into a confrontation with Maharaj-ji and demanded to know how to raise kundalini, saying Maharaj-ji must know, and Maharaj-ji said ‘All I know is Ra-Ma.’, Ram being the Hindu word for God.  He said only Jesus died the real death, because He had no thought for Himself, but lost Himself in Love.

A lot of evangelical and charismatic Christians are afraid that, if they don’t get everything ‘just right’, they might not make it to heaven.  It all depends on right understanding and performance, and it is a good idea not to let anyone who might take them away from that get too close to them.  Yet when Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment he said to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, then added that the second was like it, to love your neighbour as yourself.  In the Sermon on the Mount He said we should do to others as we would want them to do to us.  It seems to me, at the time of writing (even though I’m having contradictory thoughts – I suppose who doesn’t?  That is fallen humanity for us, never sure of even the most obvious and beautiful truth), Paul’s instruction to Timothy to rightly divide the Word of God should be understood with that as a backdrop.  And what if his instruction to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling could best be understood as fear and trembling in beautiful and loving awe of of another person and their Godness?  The Bible says in Proverbs that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  I heard Charles Slagle say back in the 80s that the word ‘fear’ there is best translated as loving respect.  I like that idea.  What if we all did?

Jesus is referred to as both Priest and Sacrifice.  I think it says exactly that somewhere in Hebrews, which is all about the relationship of Christianity to the sacrificial system that used to exist in Judaism. We are to trust Him for salvation.  Not only His death on the cross, but His Priesthood, which was not limited to that, but also involved all His teaching up to that point.  In Jesus Christ Superstar there is a song that says ‘You’ve begun to matter more than the things You say’.  There is definitely truth in that for the way a lot of Christians approach things today.  That trusting Jesus’ death on the cross for salvation is all that is needed, which can easily degenerate into a me centred position.  Me and my security, although if we understand salvation rightly we can begin to live in it on earth, not only when we die.  Jesus’s teaching and example were all about love for God and others.  He said if a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies it bears much fruit, but if not it remains alone.  He said those who hear His teachings and do them are like the man who built his house upon a rock which stood the storms and floods, as opposed to those who don’t follow His teachings who are like the man who built his house on the sand, which fell quickly in the storms and floods.  We do need the words and teachings of Jesus, but the foundation of them, as He said Himself, is love for God and others, love for ourselves being assumed, not a lot of anxious nitpicking and working out positions, including some people and excluding others because we are frightened that we ourselves might otherwise lose our own security.  If we really understood this, we wouldn’t have all the denominations.  We would be and live out One Church, just as Jesus prayed in John 17 in Gethsemane before they arrested and killed Him.  I really believe that.

God help us all!  And God deliver us from wannabe teachers and theologians like me who write this kind of stuff and don’t actually acknowledge all their own horrified misgivings about some of the things they say because they just want to put it out there and be done.  We can be in danger of being like the teachers Jesus said people should listen to but not do what they did, who made heavy burdens for people and didn’t help them carry them.

Near Death Experience

The other day I watched a David Nichtern video, it was one of three on something called Lojong Mind Training (they and others can be found here), which was a new term to me, from Buddhism, but apparently it is pretty foundational and important. I can’t remember everything it involves so I won’t reduce it by trying to explain what I can remember, but he said something about getting old and dying. He said that we can expect to live to about 70-90 years old. That was the span, but he mentioned ages in between which, for me, brought it into sharp relief. I’m 56, and I calculated the years between now and 70 years old and realised it is only 14 years. That brought me up really sharp. When you are 56, 14 years isn’t a long time, especially if you think that could possibly be the end of it all, as far as life’s opportunities on earth are concerned. I had watched another of his videos previously on old age, sickness and death and it had nowhere near the same impact on me as the mention in this video.

I thought about it, this sudden awareness of how short a time I had left, potentially, and I thought that from now on my life is, literally, a near death experience.  Many of us are afraid of death all our lives, sometimes manifesting in denial or defiance, from the point we understand it is going to happen to us.  People say that young people think they are immortal and will never die.  When I was young I think it was something I couldn’t get my head around, that I wasn’t going to live for ever and that, one day, I would be like a lot of the older people I saw.  I still can’t, really.  I have moments when I dread becoming incapacitated and being alone with it, maybe put into a care home.  I can’t imagine anything worse, given my own experiences in hospital and the stories of abuse that somehow manage to get out and go public.  It’s a bit like the way some people view mental illness.  It’s scary as a concept but they hope and think it is never going to happen to them.

I’m a pretty isolated person these days and, in some ways, always have been, so I don’t know how much I have in common with other people in this, it isn’t something I remember having talked about. But when I was in my teens I had this idea that I wouldn’t live beyond 20 or 21.  I just couldn’t see life beyond that point.  I wondered about it a lot.  Maybe it was a bit of a Victorian novel idea of dying young, and I suppose that, psychologically, that sort of thing might be described as a near death experience in the way I’m using the term for this post.  But it is very much an ‘in the mind’ thing.  I’ve known for a few years now that I have lived most of the life I am going to live.  I feel as if I’ve achieved nothing and there are things that are important to me, I like to think, that I would like to achieve, and potentially I now have ONLY 14 years left in which to do it.  Possibly even fewer.  Of course I don’t live with that intense awareness all the time.  If I did I’m sure it would be unbearable for me.  But, at the moment, it can loom over me like a sense of impending doom and fear of failure.  And I see myself beginning to understand and handle and cope with my life experience better than I used to, like little shoots of hope and growth, then I hit a wall and have these crashing waves of despair and regret and feelings like it is all a bit pointless to begin to feel this way NOW when the time I really needed it and it could have made a real difference in my life and perspective was when I was much younger.  It’s like, ‘what’s the point of this, now?  I’m going to die soon.  It’s too late.’.  It is preceded by real joy, but the joy is quickly extinguished in painful feelings of hopelessness and fear and it being too late, and that death is very close and ready to pounce.  Often, along with that, there are feelings of, ‘why didn’t I get this before?’ and ‘what have they done to me – and why?’.

I didn’t mean to end up here.  I feel as if I had better stop, I’m not sure where else to go with it.  I’m OK, though.  If some of my friends felt able to help me laugh about it that would probably be the right way for me to deal with it.  It feels that way at the moment, anyway.  Laugh at life’s tragedy, at least your own.  It’s the way forward.  As the song says, ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’.  I really think that, to a great extent, it’s a choice.

I hope you won’t mind that I have written this way and that some of you might find it helpful. Thinking about it, I’m thinking I might be describing what has often been termed a mid-life crisis, though maybe I’m past that age, I don’t know.  These days at this point I feel as if I should do a Google search.  Communication and accessibility of information are definitely changing since the birth of the internet.

And ANOTHER of my messy offerings flies into the ether!  I do love to write, though.

Taking Children Out Of School

For me, that question mark is not just the either/or that I have been taught, it is also questioning the either/or itself.

Pentecostal/Charismatic Christianity is Soooo arrogant and elitist, or at least it appears so to me in presenting such a false dichotomy.  Why?  Why take such an entrenched position?  Please. . . . It’s not even Biblical.  There is at least one verse of the Bible, that I know, that has been completely ignored in this position, or maybe it has just been ‘better’ translated?  I don’t know.  The verse I know is James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”.  Having just looked it up I see the word is used twice in the preceding verse as well.

OK, I’m just thinking now.  I know where I want to go but I’m not sure how I’m going to get there.

Martin Luther called the Book of James ‘straw’.  I don’t know why he was personally motivated to do that.  We have different historical accounts and opinions from many sides, I am sure, none of which I have examined, because I think I wouldn’t be any the wiser for doing so.  The multiplicity of Christian denominations and their (I suppose) sincere disagreements, and all the internal disagreements . . . . what are people really united in?  In the end, the delegated power of the chosen wins, at least in their own circles.  Maybe that is too pessimistic of me.

OK.  According to the AV translation of James, Christianity IS a religion.  This asserted dichotomy – mistaken, I want to believe – is really contemptuous and alienating and belittling to beautiful, loving and sincere people who seek – and find – truth in other religions.  We were told that the Devil (in other religions) takes a little bit of truth and mixes it in with a lot of error, to lead people astray.  Excuse me – does anyone know he also does this in Christianity?  In every human heart?  Love covers.  Grace covers.  Any true seeker?  Anyone who knows that he doesn’t know, but wants to know and be.  Jesus can be, and is, found, in measure, anywhere people want to know Him.  Even in Christianity.

For me this is all theory and it feels right and good, but I feel as if it isn’t working in my life right now, and the Christian onlookers I know would definitely say it isn’t.  So maybe I’m wrong.  I want to be.  I want to go back to pure and simple Christianity.  My heart has needs that argument and positions can’t deal with.

I’m not a good writer, I never save drafts.  I never – hardly ever – ‘kill my darlings’.  I write then publish, for all sorts of reasons.  Maybe I shouldn’t, if anyone wants to give their opinion on that I’ll be more than happy to think about it and maybe even discuss it, if I feel up to it.

Thanks for reading.  All feedback through this blog or on Facebook welcome.  Twitter doesn’t allow sufficient characters, it gets incredibly frustrating! 🙂

Have I Learnt Something?

Everyone knows the background and experience from which I am saying this, so I won’t go into it again.  I think I’ve learnt that MY life and the way I actually WANT to be treated doesn’t matter to ANYONE.  No one takes anything by faith, they want to see what THEY believe to be evidence first, and even then they insist on their own terms, hiding and justifying their crimes of stalking and corruption.  I’m scared to say this, I feel as if I am committing an indecency and outrage.  My heart is really soft, I’m always aware of my own failures and inconsistencies when I say something like this.  At some point in Church I was taught that we shouldn’t defend ourselves.  That confession of sin should be confession of sin and we should make no excuses.  One pastor, at least, said that as Christians we have no rights.  I suppose that must be ordinary Christians like me, not Church leaders, who seem to feel they have the right to twist and break the law in relation to me and maybe call it discipline, I don’t know what they are calling it anymore.  The expectation seems to be that they call and identify from their studios and platforms and I should respond.  Or are they deliberately trying to keep me alienated by continuing to do something they know I believe is holding onto their corruption and criminality towards me, as a mental patient in particular?  Are they just identifying me to others, in my hearing, should I choose to listen, and criticising my life to hide their own crimes?  Sometimes I really think so, that I think I matter too much if I actually think they are calling me by these methods.  Shouting out and bullying and cowering behind the trenches, wheedling and pleading, bitter, acrid, sugary, anything and everything except send an email or something that puts any power into my hands and takes any responsibility.  I have so many memories.  That’s just the Church, let alone secular media.  And those memories are added to daily.

The Halo Effect

I heard this term today on The Chase and decided to look it up, and I found this article on Wikipedia.  It’s quite extensive and I find it interesting.  It also talks about the reverse halo effect.  It’s a psychological phenomenon, it is claimed, in which a favourable or unfavourable judgment of the whole is based on one trait or aspect alone.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_effect

Latest Development With My Neighbour

I’ve written about my neighbour before, how he keeps banging and shouting at me.  He’s been doing it for months, especially when I have my music on, even if it’s not particularly loud, at points where I feel it begins to open up.  He does it when I’m singing as well, even when it’s not loud, and it rarely is, I’ve been that intimidated in recent months.  He used to say he liked my singing.  Now he seems to be using my points of openness to command me like a dog.  I know he’s having problems, and I have said repeatedly that he should go to the police, but he seems to prefer to make me feel miserable.  Recently I’ve been finding ways to yield and not vent, to go inside myself, but sometimes I boil over and, after about two hours of it last night I decided I’d had enough.  The thing is, he sometimes sounds so pathetic, it goes right to my heart.  But there is nothing I can do.  The power is in his hands, and he prefers to use it towards me.

I’ve been feeling really desperate about this for ages.  I reported it to the council, I told them everything, including the fact that I was getting hysterical and shouting back and that I was concerned for him and that we used to have a good relationship, or so I felt, even though, on closer examination, the harassment from his household started quite early in my tenancy, but it only manifested as one incident which I felt to be a shocking and outrageous invasion of privacy.  Someone from the council came round and he told them there was no problem, that I had a lovely singing voice and was very supportive.  I’ve not been able to be ‘supportive’ towards him for ages, and don’t see that as my role anyway, even if he wants to co-opt me into it.  I just wanted to be a good, friendly neighbour, and tried to be that for ages.  Recently I have been feeling so desperate and angry I have sometimes been channelling it into thoughts like he will die before me, hopefully.  I can’t always just make my anger go away, it won’t always dissolve, sometimes it’s just overpowering and won’t be transformed into anything else, and I’ve usually felt I have to find a way not to vent it on him outwardly so I’ve been letting myself think these thoughts.  Often, if I haven’t said anything, he’s just kept going, and I’ve kept feeling destroyed by it, and sometimes when I have shouted at him to stop I have felt I should have done it before, that he has just been taking advantage.  Why don’t I just go round?  I’m often embarrassed, and he is crafty and a liar, in my eyes.

Last night he yelled out while I had my music on and I interpreted it as ‘no’, so eventually I shouted back, ‘yes, actually’.  I can’t remember if he was still yelling out at me when things eventually blew last night, but I shouted through my wall for him to stop harassing me, and he gave one sharp bang, which really upset me, and I shouted at him to stop, and he gave another, deliberate and well placed bang.  I was outraged and beside myself, seeing this as violence, at least on a psychological level, and thinking it was sadistic, cold, cruel and calculated.  So I shouted at him to leave, because he wasn’t going to drive me out.  Then I shouted that, if he banged at me again, I would call the police.  My hysteria kept coming in waves as everything was suddenly silent and I interpreted it as contempt and that he only goaded me to make me break down and that he enjoyed the show.  In my desperation I told him I was finished as far as he is concerned, that there is no longer any good will coming from me towards him, and that I couldn’t wait for him to die, and I wouldn’t be sorry, and I hoped it would be soon.  I told him I wouldn’t apologise for what I had said, and that he could live the rest of his tenancy next door to me knowing that this beautiful, kind, loving, talented woman just wanted him to die.  Judge me, if you like.  I’ve taken all I am prepared to take.  I can’t stay open to this kind of behaviour, and won’t.  I decided he needed to know exactly how he was making me feel and that he needed to deal with that.  I’ve decided he’s not reasonable, he just wants to appear that way.  He is a complete coward.  He’s been doing the same stuff this morning as well.

Also, I have recently stopped feeling obliged to put my bins out every time the collection is due, because I have very little waste, and it has also turned out for me to be a way of living my life here on my terms and not feeling controlled by other people’s timetables, as if I have to keep jumping to it when other people and their routines seem to say I should.  Premier Christian Radio has, on several occasions recently, made a thing of talking about putting bins out, together with other things they target me with, and I’m wondering if he has talked to them.  I’m feeling ganged up on, again, as I believe, in actual fact, I am being.

Is Self-Pity Always Bad?

I get really fed up and offended by people, especially CERTAIN people, talking about self-pity as if it were always a bad thing. Over the last few years I have come to see self-pity as at least sometimes positive, a way of being kind to yourself and something I think should be respected in yourself and in others. There are references in the Bible to Jesus having pity on people, and if we are both to love others and love ourselves I don’t see why self-pity should be seen as negative, though I was brought up to see it that way, especially in church. I think sometimes it is cruel to tell people they shouldn’t be self-pitying and can have more to do with the critic’s own feeling of being challenged and feeling unable (or unwilling?) to help or sympathise. In my own situation I have sometimes found self-pity to be essential and an expression of self-respect. I did a Google search, is self-pity always bad, and most results said it was, but I found this which I found interesting. The writer says self-pity is bad if a problem is easy to solve, among other things. It is on a forum for people with autism and has a few responses which also make interesting reading, I think.  One of the responses points out that the word ‘pity’ is related to the word ‘piety’ and used to be seen as a positive word.  http://wrongplanet.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=171843.

THIS Is MADNESS. . . .!

This is madness! What is people’s argument, that the whole world is illegal and I just have to pay my money and take my choice? My neighbours are harassing me, the media is harassing me, the police haven’t been there for me, the mental health authorities refuse to acknowledge there is a problem that is not in my head. The problem in my head seems to be that I believe people should observe legal boundaries and respect people’s rights in the way they relate to them. People say they are bound by professional roles and obligations, so really they are not available and not prepared to acknowledge the facts staring them in the face. Their livelihoods might be on the line. While in the meantime they use all sorts of bullying and subterfuge and subliminals, etc, etc, to get YOU to open up, but then, what will they DO with it? They say they are there to help, they SAY, and I’m sure some of them mean it, but how far will they actually go? And how blind and brainwashed are they? My neighbours keep reacting, are they hacking my computer? I don’t know, they react WHENEVER I begin to think creatively or independently and my feelings start to separate. There is a woman who keeps pelting out the most contemptuous hallelujahs. I don’t know how big the group is next door or who they are really, but it feels like teamwork. There is a man who keeps ranging from emotional to anger, occasional sounds that hit me as violent. They are up now, keeping vigil, even at this time of night, goading me and making me spew all the time. It’s like a psychic interrogation. I shout back at the constant harassment and disturbances, and when I do it’s usually the woman who puts me under the cosh of the most terrifying hallelujah you ever heard. Sometimes now I can keep my emotions under control and shut myself up, but I don’t always succeed. I know there ARE Christian groups that do this sort of thing to people, but I think this woman is hate filled. Maybe so are they. It’s total contempt, I’ve shouted at them loads of times that they are harassing me and they refuse to stop. It’s constant comments and last-wording it, through the wall, not observing legal boundaries or respecting my privacy. Every time I enter the lounge she pelts out a hallelujah, if I fart they comment, if I cough they comment, if I belch they comment, or laugh, it’s intimately invasive and degrading, when I put my media on she shouts hallelujah, then goes on to comment and hallelujah all the way through, often dependent on the rhythms she hears, I think, but also nearly always seeming to be psychically connected with my thoughts and feelings and any development of thought and perception. Killing it dead, every time. And I’m left feeling I’m the one in the wrong, because I have reacted with anger and verbal abuse to their harassment, in my absolute terror and unwillingness to condone or in any way affirm it or reward it. Every time something comes on the tv or radio about children, babies, child abuse, they are there, commenting and going insane, so I think they are trying to blackmail and manipulate me with accusations of paedophilia. Tonight I shouted that I am a paedophile and not ashamed, just to try and get them off my back. But it’s been going on for weeks now, if not months. I expect them to start again tomorrow. And when I tell the mental health authorities this sort of thing is happening they say it is an auditory hallucination that is following me around, so I’ve been scared to say anything, because they are in your face contemptuous, patronising and hypocritical with their aggressive so-called caring and insist on putting you back on ‘medication’ or putting you on a section 3 for forcible treatment in hospital if you won’t comply. My neighbours know this, it is one of the things I have shouted through the wall at them, several times, first of all in an attempt to get them to take responsibility and go to the authorities because their word will carry more weight than mine, and more recently to tell them that they are taking advantage of my position to maintain power over me. I have been told by psychiatrists, or nurses, or both, that at least I am truthful about not being willing to take medication, many people say they will, collect the prescription then don’t take it, they say. I’m beginning to think I am too truthful for my own good. I don’t want to play the game, I want to bust it open. I owe it to myself, at the very least, to be able to do that. I was thinking a little while ago, having shouted that I don’t want to give in to my neighbours’ manipulation (I should also have said bullying, and blackmail), maybe we all just manipulate and overpower each other for what we want, and you are a happier person if you can accept and acknowledge it. Hey, I’LL accept and acknowledge it, I can do that. I can be happy with that. At least, that was what I thought when I thought it. Lady hallelujah is still sending out little gas pellets at my head and confusing me. I settle on one thought and feeling and she drives me in a different direction. All the time. At every turn in thought and feeling. I’ve said it’s occult. It is certainly, at the very least, illegal, harassment and nuisance behaviour, and torture, a constant drip, drip, drip of the same word over and over again. I have likened it to dripping tap torture that used to be used in communism, according to at least one book I read by someone who has been there. I think it was Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured For Christ. I read it in my early to mid teens. Except it’s not a drip, most of the time it is searing and blood-soaked (please don’t anyone tell me it is the Blood of Jesus, or the martyrs, or anything like that), enraged, blood seeking. I have to commit to saying, this woman hates me. Even if yet another interjection has changed my thoughts and feelings about saying it.

Thank God for toilet breaks!  I can think, at least a bit, in the toilet.  I was thinking, people say that sometimes civil disobedience is called for, and wondering if that is what some of the people in the media who seem to want to help me think they are engaged in.  If so, I don’t understand why they don’t respond to the emails I have sent them, not in a committed way, not in writing.  I was brought up to believe in the rule of law, but if the administration of the law is corrupt and blind eye turning, how can someone in my situation trust to that alone?  So I’m wondering if people have been waiting for me to come to a position of accepting that before they are willing to acknowledge my emails in any other way than theatre.  I’ve not really felt able to justify it to myself, looking to the media, but maybe it IS time to engage in civil disobedience over this and accept the help of those who see themselves as being so engaged.  But my position has been that it is stalking and illegal, and if it wasn’t happening then people wouldn’t be being put in mental hospitals for saying it was happening to THEM.  For it to be done in the name of religion is appalling, people should have some refuge somewhere.  But isn’t it appalling for it to be done for ANY reason by ANY organisation, religious or secular? And isn’t it subterfuge and making pawns of people to seem to be offering help and support, knowing they have a diagnosis of mental illness for saying this is happening, but not committing themselves when you try to avail yourself of it?  OK.  Then there is all the abuse and dishonesty within the mental health system, where people know that, in some cases, this is happening to people, because it affects THEM and THEIR involvement as much as the person they are involved with.  The UN says that forced psychiatry is torture, but to be honest, delicate little flower me with my delicate ego, I’ve found it ALL torture.  The woman laughed when I typed that.  I am sure they are hacking my computer.  And they’ve kept murmuring ‘yes’ in places, as if encouraging me to continue.  The problem, as I have said, is not primarily in my reactions.  There should be no harassment to make me need to regulate my reactions.  I feel a fool for having the wrong attitude, but there is no right attitude with this.  I can hear them hedging and reacting to everything I am typing.  SHE is INCREDIBLY aggressive and devious, using all sorts of tones and inflections and twists in posture.  And I am really afraid, as everyone knows, of being seen as mentally ill in my communication, because of the consequences.  I feel as if people have been riding me and messing me about for weeks, at least.  OK, that’s it.  She’s still muttering, every time I try to come to a stop.  I feel totally controlled by her, emotionally and psychologically.  By both/all of them, I’m not sure how many are involved at any given time, but especially by her.  For tonight, it ends here.  I hope people will accept this as a truthful, factual and sane communication.

Time To Take A Break?

I was watching Sunday Brunch this morning and Romesh Ranganathan said something that made me think.  I feel I’d really like to take a break from writing at the moment, whether I can or will or not remains to be seen. It feels and has felt essential to my survival, but at the same time it feels like a violently stimulated, twitchy muscle that needs to relax and heal, then maybe I can, too. Just a thought.  It might come to nothing.  You know me  🙂

Last week I decided to take my issues with Kensington Temple, among others, to Kensington Temple’s website.  I posted some stuff, I’m afraid it reads a bit distressed and I’m not sure it’s very impressive, at least in the form it takes, or even in some of the ideas expressed.  But I still maintain what they are doing to me is stalking and harassment and therefore illegal.  I refer my readers to it, here is the link. http://www.kt.org/live   I recommend if you decide to read it while the service is on that you mute your speakers!

I wrote on there this morning because I said last week that I am right, and today they have decided to preach a sermon about saying ‘I am right’, calling it self-righteousness.  My point which I tried to make in what I wrote was that, if you insist you are legally right, that is NOT self-righteousness, and the point I make now is that saying it IS is just manipulation and a false accusation to try and silence you.  They also finished off their post, which I thought they wrote in my style (if I have one!), by saying Kristian Lythe will be talking tonight about breaking through prison doors or something like that.  He’s a shouter.  He frightens me.  A lot of things they are doing frighten and disappoint me.  They had obviously read my posts last Sunday night, I could tell by their faces, but Bruce Atkinson rejected what he felt (which to me looked good and honest and genuinely spiritual and an understanding of truth) and chose to work himself up into shouting, passing it off as God’s anointing and power.  I happen to think it is not OK.  I don’t want them maintaining a conversation with me, I want someone to take this to court.  I can’t, they have made me into someone who, legally, by definition of my so-called ‘illness’, has no credibility.

Laura Delano on Recovering Myself

I posted this talk on my Facebook page last year and it has come up as a memory today.  When I saw how long it was I wasn’t sure if I could be bothered to listen to it again, but I am glad I did.  It’s about 50 minutes long, but absolutely engaging throughout.  I find I am able to identify with her on so much of what she has to say.  She seems obviously nervous, and I think she is very brave, it is an incredibly painful subject for those of us who have been through it and find it continues to add to the pain that exposed us to it in the first place.  I hope you will listen to it.  I’ve heard a lot of it before and agreed with it, and thought the same things myself.  It’s hard for me to say what I thought myself and what I picked up, but it doesn’t matter, it’s not important.  In my opinion, this talk – wow, she’s amazing!  All power to her.  I’m glad she has found freedom from this monster called the psychiatric system.  Now I want to, once and for all.

Title? Oh, Who Cares????!!!!

I noticed the tee shirt worn by a Trump supporter the other day and thought I wouldn’t mind one for myself. It said, ‘proud to be deplorable’. I’ll HAVE a bit of that! And while I’m at it, I’ll have a bad attitude as well. If my attitude is bad in some people’s eyes – well, THAT’s sad. . . .
At the moment I feel as if I am never going to be happy again. That will be my punishment for having a bad attitude, all the earnest people I’d like to hang out with won’t want anything to do with me. But – really? Are they really that earnest? I feel I’ve seen so much love today in some of these earnest people. Makes me feel as if I’ve got a bit of a cheek. I’d love to be able to scrape myself off the ceiling and love and be loved with them. They love Jesus. They are serious people.  Aren’t they?
Sorry, guys, bad attitude it’s got to be. Still love you, still need you, but when it comes to you, in this particular situation, I need what you, and I, might call a bad attitude. Trying to have a good one results in me not being able to think for myself, or going into emotional meltdown and ending up in hospital.
And I can’t bear either of those!
(Sorry, this is all cramped up because I cut it from what started as a Facebook post.  I have no idea how to sort it out)

Please read this, it is shocking.  Read it literally, and also draw parallels with other situations I have written about, please.  I think the people who make these sorts of decisions are not fit for purpose, and our system is full of them.  Seemingly no idea of ethics, full of cruelty, dishonesty, ignorance, lack of regard for the rights and feelings of others . . . . Heartbreaking.  Shattering.  Degrading and demeaning.  Dehumanising, for both parties.  Come on, please.  Isn’t it time we said enough is enough?  Why are we like this?  Who has done it to us, as a society, in relatively recent times?  Maybe I just don’t know my history.  Maybe THAT is my problem . . . .

Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
They are weak, but He is strong

Encounter With A WPC

Just a quick one, this, I don’t have time for more at the moment.

I was coming home from the supermarket at around 8:30 pm, and a little WPC was coming towards me, so I said a friendly hello, and she said hello.  At least, I think that’s how it went.  Then I said, ‘I wish I could trust you guys, I’m in awful trouble, but every time I try and tell you you put me in a mental hospital’.  She said, ‘That’s not very good, is it?’.  I said, ‘No, it’s not, I think it’s corruption.’, and she said, ‘well, you just keep smiling, and we won’t put you in a mental hospital.’.

Excuse me??????????????????????????

I said ‘thanks for your concern’, sarcastically, obviously, and she said, ‘that’s OK’, and I said ,’yeah, right’, and walked on, and she turned off.  Unfortunately I didn’t get her name and number.  I think if someone says something like that to them they deserve to be taken seriously, however they present.

Edit note: 6:10 pm – Lol, just to make me a liar, it is available now!  This is a recent thing, they used never to become available, or at least, I would have given up after days of trying if they did!

I posted what I thought were some quite significant things yesterday, and wrote some official emails I needed to write to Nottingham City Homes, to whom I have reported my situation with my neighbour and who, in spite of my explaining to them that I am an emotionally and psychologically vulnerable person and find face to face conversations with people who have power in my situation difficult because I often find them manipulative and overpowering, have been insisting that they cannot progress my complaint without a face to face meeting.  This, in spite of the fact that I have told them everything I can, there is nothing more to tell, really, and that I have said I want to keep things in writing for legal reasons.  I asked them in 3 or 4 emails over 2 or 3 days if there was another way to approach the situation, and the person involved kept replying with emails that didn’t answer the question.  In the end I said I was not prepared to trust them in a face to face conversation anyway if they would neither confirm nor deny the possibility of a different approach.  And guess who feels in the wrong?  Muggins, me!  I feel guilty and so unworthy of their kind attention!  Honestly, I’m not being sarcastic.  This must be manipulation at its best, don’t you think?

This is relevant to the title of my post because, for some time now, Premier has been making especially its Inspirational Breakfast unavailable at times when I have written something that, to me seems to be quite significant.  They feed lots of things back to me as well, that they shouldn’t, it seems to me, have access to.  As I have said before, they are not the only ones who do this.  Everyone who is accessing me and withholding from me in this way is making me feel reliant on them and that I should be and am grateful to them and I think that is wrong.

The stalking started with Premier and the Church, over 20 years ago now.  But secular media have been doing the same thing, both to me and to people connected with me.  Some of my Facebook friends have recently posted some very interesting material which demonstrates this.  Music I have played recently has started to feature a lot in adverts, for instance.  A lot, it seems to me it can only be by design.  I am needing to stress and assert this because I know my nurses, at least, read this blog and I am afraid of the actions  they they could take towards me so much I believe I have to do my best to make myself absolutely clear and justify what I am saying.  Otherwise I wouldn’t feel the need to bother doing that.  It does seem to me it makes things quite laboured.  Really it is a form of stalking in itself.  They claim no awareness of what is happening.  Strange, so many other people are made aware.

OK, full stop.  Not going to pad it out or try and write a piece with a good ending today.  Just some factual stuff.  Have a good day.  Thanks for reading.

communication

This is an edited version of something I first published on 23rd June 2010.  I’m calling out names and saying what happened, since one of those names came up for me early this morning in an email log I am writing to myself for future official use, hopefully.  In the meantime, when I add to that log people in the media use what I have added, or make their programmes unavailable (all this I have noticed at other times I have written).  When this post was first published I was a committed vegan and a convinced pacifist.  I look back on who I was then with admiration and at least a little regret that I am no longer the same person.

At least, that is what I have been taught.  I have been taught that the Bible is the sword of the Spirit.  Having been taught that, and having believed it for so many years, it is the book I feel most relaxed with, and that helps to bring some peace into my world.  If I don’t read it, my focus goes all over the place.  As a vegan and a pacifist, though, I have problems with some of its content that I used not to have.  And I can’t think of a safer person to be around, or someone more representative of Jesus’ teaching (and I want to be known as both of those things) than someone who will not kill for either appetite or personal, or even national, security.  If I will deliberately do harm for ANY reason, I might do harm for ANY reason.  And I won’t.  I want people to know that about me, and to know it is OK for them to be the same.  I am an aggressive non-killer (aggressive and violent are not the same).  I am frightened of the blindness of people who are not, and particularly of the ways they might express that towards me, feeling as vulnerable as I do.

I’m hearing a big suggestion, at the moment, that a decision has been made to attempt to home medicate me, since I haven’t been dealing well with things round here.  The suggestion is definitely there and deliberate, and is either true or a lie.  If I stick around long enough I will find out, if they don’t just back off.  Either way, no formal approach has been made to me to try and help in any other way.  I find it abusive at a cellular level.  (Hmm, cells.  That, with all the yelling and other weirdness, isn’t part of Colin’s code to break me down, is it?  It’s only just occurred to me.  I’m sure he wouldn’t like me saying it, but I read a book of his called ‘Prayer Explosion’ where he talked about praying in code.  He used the IRA bombings as an example, saying at one level he was praying about the bombings, and at another, not openly acknowledged but deliberate, level, he was praying about a problem in the church.  I stayed home one Christmas Day and read the book.  I felt racked.  I kept bursting into tears.  I thought it was a good experience.  I was happy to be doing it, I thought it was a worthwhile way to spend Christmas Day since I couldn’t or wouldn’t get my head around making myself vulnerable enough with the people I wanted to be with to try and break my isolation.  I spent other Christmas Days the same way, sometimes.  I loved the time with God (as I saw it, and am sure it sometimes was), but it never made much difference to what was going on.

What I said about reading the Bible, I said it because I just did, and it settled my mind.  But while I was thinking afterwards it occurred to me that, in Pentecostalism, which has been a huge part of my background since about 12-13, I often heard that I should read and carry my Bible, because it is my sword.  But it ISN’T my sword.  It isn’t MY sword.  It is the sword of the SPIRIT.  I think there is a problem with seeing it as MY sword, because that means, often, I will wield it in relationships.  If I see it as the sword of the Spirit, its first and maybe its only place of operation, as far as I am concerned, should be in my own life.

The image comes from Ephesians 6, where Paul writes that we should be equipped with the whole armour of God.  The whole passage is metaphorical, so there is no reason for believing that to take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, means to walk around literally with a book called the Bible in your literal hand.  Revelation 1:16 says that the person who appeared to John had a two-edged sword coming out of his mouth.  I was going to say ‘Jesus’, not ‘the person’, because that is the way I have been taught it.   But I looked it up on www.biblegateway.com and the first version which came up was the NIV which says, in verse 13, that it was one who looked like ‘a son of man’, not ‘the Son of Man’.  The Son of Man is a phrase from Ezekiel which Jesus applied to Himself, but it is my impression that, originally, it wasn’t referring to Jesus, even prophetically.   In Ezekiel it was the way God addressed Ezekiel.   But Jesus used it for Himself.  I like this, and its apparent ambiguity in Revelation in the NIV.  I can’t comment on the accuracy of the translation.  From what I learned at Bible College about the original language form (or was that only Hebrew and not Greek?  I can’t remember, and this isn’t a scholarly piece or meant to be, so I’m not going to look it up, but if I do later I might edit this) it’s as good a translation as any other and holding both this and other translations opens up possibilities if you don’t insist on putting them in opposition.

Who IS this son of man?  Just because it says in Revelation things we normally associate with Jesus, the NIV doesn’t make it clear, in the immediate passage, that it IS Jesus, so maybe it should be seen as having a wider application on a metaphorical and spiritual level than just to the person of Jesus.  What does it mean to be a Christian?  What does it mean to be full of the Spirit, to have the Spirit of Christ?  To be baptised in the Spirit?  It isn’t just a mind thing.  The Holy Spirit is in us and all around us.  He is the connecting force.  If we are ‘baptised’, we are soaked through.  Impregnated with the character of the baptising agent.  That is what we are and what we always are.  The Spirit of Christ is the human spirit as much as it is God’s Spirit.  They are inseparable and interchangeable, even in the Bible.  Bruce picked up on this 2 weeks ago at the 5pm service, or the 7pm service, when I wrote my open letter to Colin Dye (I published it as a separate blog, because I thought it might get wiped).  It was the week they had the visiting speaker at the 2.30 service, someone Rogers.  It took me a long time to write that entry, and already at the 2.30 service they were showing signs of having seen it, even though I hadn’t published it at that point.  I hesitated over using the word ‘spirit’ and whether or not to capitalise it, and Bruce ran with it.   I hadn’t published it at that point, or if I had, I hadn’t told them or given them a copy.  And I haven’t given them the blog address either.  I only sent a copy to Colin and Gabriel, and they had just left for a conference before I even sent it.

(Please note, I am not teaching, I’m just writing a blog entry.  My impression is my impression now, without re-reading.  You would have to read it yourself to form your own impression.  I’m just thinking onto the keyboard, trying to find a better shape for my motivational beliefs than the one I have carried for so long.  So I refuse to be held to account by anyone else’s assertion [usually covertly made, just like the threats and vitriol.  Or is that a misinterpretation of intent?  If you weren’t creating a context for me to interpret it in it wouldn’t even be an issue] that I am putting out a false teaching.  It is just food for your own thought and research.  This is a blog, not a teaching platform, which for so many years I have said I do not want, because I believe it goes against Jesus’ teaching.  But maybe that too is my misunderstanding.  Jesus stood up and taught (or did He?  Didn’t He normally sit DOWN to teach?), and although He told His disciples not to be called teacher, he did tell them to teach.  But what is teaching?  My question is not ‘is it ONLY standing on a platform’, but ‘is it standing on a platform AT ALL?’.  If we shouldn’t be called ‘teacher’, how can a situation arise where someone IS called a teacher that we ‘should’ listen to?  Listen to?  Talking and listening are not the only things required for learning.  Jesus said teach them TO DO everything I have commanded you, and forcing an earbashing on someone isn’t the way learning takes place for a child, so why should it become so for adults?  Head knowledge isn’t training, and telling people who have sat at desks and completed written assignments that they ‘are trained’, and saying their practice should conform to that ‘training’, leads to pride and elitism if a person is given authority on that basis.  (I know what I mean!)  In my opinion, all teaching and learning should be organic, hands on and relational.  THAT would do away with the professional classes, wouldn’t it?  It would also do away with state control  (I can’t write anything at the moment without doubting it, and I doubt that already.  Also it is not a commitment to a belief or an ideal, just a conclusion that I am coming to, rightly or wrongly, in my own head in this blog entry).

My reservation is over things like medicine, and the fact that I know that will be one of other people’s main reservations.  Am I thankful for modern medicine?  I don’t know.  I am as dependent on it as other people, at least when it comes to taking paracetamol for a headache or to deal quickly with cramp, which is more likely, but that doesn’t mean I am or should be thankful.  If I had a better lifestyle, I wouldn’t need the medicine.  And I believe in God, specifically I believe in Jesus, and I have already experienced healing through prayer myself, so I know He heals.  I mean physically.  I know He heals in other ways than physically as well.  One day, when I was 19 and still in Nottingham, I was at home reading the Bible and God said to me ‘I am the only psychiatrist you will ever need’.  I have never ceased to believe that.  It was a ‘holy place’ moment.  I knew it was true.

I read a book once called ‘Roots and Shoots’.  It talked about the root determining the fruit, and it was about psychiatry and other therapies.  For Christians, the roots of psychiatry are bad because its agenda was explicitly to eradicate religious belief and ‘superstition’.  So any manifestation of those things is at best marginalised, in the psychiatric model, and at worst costs people their freedom and a right to protect the inviolate state of their own bodies.  I suppose I mentioned psychiatry because it was in a mental hospital where I got into the argument about the roots of modern medical practice having come from robbing graves when research on bodies was illegal.  It BEGAN with illegality and a lack of respect for the person research was being carried out on, and for their relatives.  It hasn’t changed very much.  MANY people say they feel as if they are treated like meat, but the media doesn’t give many of them airtime (unless something undeniably awful comes to light, then they will bandwagon with it, how can they not and save face?) and the politicians vilify their own who say so.  WHY?  Why would they do that?  What could be the motive?  Who is it that they do not want, ordinarily, to benefit from otherwise acceptable people saying such ‘awful’ things?  Could it be the people they call mentally ill?  Maybe their thinking hasn’t gone that far, I hope it hasn’t.  But if hospital staff are rude and treat people as an inconvenience and a nuisance, why is a politician , OF ALL PEOPLE, slammed for saying so?  That was my experience as well.  The nurses would have loads of time to hold rowdy discussions in their office, and very little for the patients.  There was even a photograph in the ward showcase of a drinking party with one of the nurses totally out of her face, and they were expressing concerns about MY (non-existent) alcohol problem!  I, particularly, did not want to see one of my nurses in that state, not even in a photograph.  It was up there, on a psychiatric ward, supposedly portraying ‘normal social behaviour’ among staff in their time off.  Proactive they were not, except for making sure people got up, washed (sometimes), ate and were medicated.  They bullied you so much, or allowed bullying without comment, during the day and at medication times, you knew that if you didn’t queue you would be in trouble.  If you refused your medication they threatened you, even though they knew as well as you did if you had managed to get hold of the information in spite of that stance, that you had a right to refuse and to wait to see the psychiatrist to have it reviewed.  I refused one night and they threatened me with an injection, and when I said that I had a right to refuse and that the right thing to do was to refer me back to the psychiatrist, they still insisted verbally and said it wasn’t true, and I spent the whole night in fear that they were going to burst into the room.  I remember I was really upset that night by the way they handled it, they really made a barney of it, as they so often did about things.  They never retracted their insistence, but also they didn’t force the medication.  But it was like a cold war, and it was a constant state of existence.  And then they would come on friendly and expect you to be as well.  Or in conversation they would sternly say that you had refused your medication, even while, until you saw the psychiatrist, they weren’t forcing you.  But you were never in peace.  They had to maintain power.  They wouldn’t even acknowledge your right to exercise that right and be treated like someone worthy of respect for doing so.  When asked for time they were always busy.  Maybe people wouldn’t have had to ask if they had spent time developing a relationship with patients anyway.  Most of the time they didn’t.  Even if they were in the same room, ‘observing’, they would normally be reading a newspaper.  Most of the time the system was so abusive, even if not everyone in it was, and you knew nothing would change even if you spoke to someone who seemed to be reasonable, it was quite rightly beneath the dignity of most people in there with a modicum of self-respect to go cap in hand asking for time.  Even if you did it often didn’t happen.  I remember I was buttonholed to sit down with my nurse and work out a care approach for myself on the ward.  That was the end of the care plan.  All the time I was there it was never implemented, at least not insofar as a written commitment from the staff to spend time talking was concerned.  You were told you could approach your named nurse, but if you did you were always told they were busy, and promises to get back to you rarely materialised.  If someone became insistent, they got the door shut in their face, or worse.  It happened to me and others.  And often, if an incident arose, the nursing staff withdrew and wouldn’t participate, and no debriefing was offered, no process of resolution, and it would be handed over to the next shift, and they also wouldn’t mention it, and if you tried to bring it up with them they were reluctant to talk about it, and instead of offering any kind of counselling or discussion which ended up in them giving ground or acknowledging that ground might need to be given, you felt either told off and disapproved of, or dismissed. Even with senior nursing staff.  The whole attitude to care was ‘you will do this or we can (normally expressed as ‘we will’) make you’.   A choice appeared to be being given, but really there was no choice.  That is bullying.  It’s the approach that was used almost invariably and routinely with me.  Even if I managed to voice my rights so they backed off, as happened with one man, he continued to bully me so much, even in the act of backing off, I ended up sobbing on a chair, unattended and ignored, for half an hour or more.  He wanted to give me extra medication for some reason, I can’t remember why, and in the end I was begging him not to force it on me, and he grabbed my hands hard and twisted them.  He was the same person who, when I first went in and decided to handle myself as their equal and not as someone in need of medical care, and to make requests as their equal (it was for a pen and paper or a phone to phone a solicitor, or something) he said ‘who does she think she is, the queen?’  I put in a complaint, and he denied it.  I believe the other staff would have backed him up in that denial if I had tried to pursue it any further.  But I was devastated.  I believed I was acting with appropriate self-respect and was trying to show my presence of mind in the only way I had available, and he mocked me for it.  And that made me angry, and he didn’t care, he just acted as if I wasn’t there.  I was saved from the second incident, the crying incident, by a fellow patient who gave me half a banana and talked to me, otherwise I couldn’t have stopped.  Another time a girl decided to throw some old newspapers away.  A male nurse asked her why she was throwing them away, and she said they were old, and he said ‘who told you you could throw them away?’  Her answer was right.  With full dignity she said ‘God’.  She wasn’t being strange or anything, just getting rid of some old newspapers that were cluttering the day room.  And I don’t think she was being sarcastic either, she was a religious person according to her own Asian tradition.  I can’t make you feel this as I felt it, but he came straight back at her (I can’t describe his attitude, except that it wasn’t professional) and he said ‘where’s God?  He’s not in here.’  It was also not a genuine, open question inviting conversation, and none followed.  I felt awful, partly because my own first admission involved a nurse asking me ‘what was happening?’ and when I smiled and said, ‘something to do with heaven, I think’, she dismissed it, saying I was very much on the earth.  Then someone behind me who sounded like Colin Dye (I wrote and asked him, but he never replied) said ‘hmm’, in agreement.  I was on my back on the floor, Toronto style.  I felt hurt, and because I thought it was Colin, still with my eyes closed, I tipped my head back with my throat exposed, and I was thinking ‘I love you’.  At which point the person, whoever it was, was obviously crying and got up and left the room.  He was sniffing back the tears.  I wrote and asked Colin, and I think I might have told him this, but he didn’t answer me, whether I told him everything or not.  This is while I was suspected of a sexual offense on an 8-10 year old boy, a suspicion I didn’t know existed and which took me years to work out, piecing things together.  I have since heard a piece of audio which confirms the existence and origin of the accusation, even down to the use of the mother’s name, my name, and the place where it was supposed to have happened.  And I think the person involved tried to code it to me in the audio that they were sorry, because they realised they were wrong.  But in those days I didn’t understand the code.  That’s if I was even listening.  The only reason I wouldn’t have been would have been if I had been in hospital, and I can’t remember.

For one thing, the Bible is not the only manifestation of the word of God.  There are some things the Bible doesn’t talk about, because they are present day and were not around when the Bible was written.  But we still need God to speak to us about them.

I believe the word of God found in the Bible releases the wisdom of God, and light and understanding, for present day situations.  My experience often is that if I just open the Bible and start to read, something in it will spark understanding of what I am dealing with in my life or open my mind to a different perception.  For instance, this afternoon I decided to read the Bible when I felt I was getting too bothered about the way one of my neighbours is acting towards me.  It opened first to Ezekiel, I think, then to Maccabees (I’m not sure if the spelling is right, I only read the Apocrypha for the first time last year, which was when I decided to buy my first copy of a Bible which included the Apocrypha.  I thought that, if I didn’t believe something, I should at least find out what it was I didn’t believe).  I went past those and ended up in the New Testament at the story of Zacchaeus, and reading that he was a little man trying to see Jesus made me feel a bit differently towards my verbally aggressive neighbour, at least for that moment.

The argument about the origins of our medical knowledge and grave robbing?  I lost it.  Really, it never happened.  At the time I was up in arms at the thoughtless hypocrisy of a medical system with that KIND of illegal foundation treating me as they were for fear that I might myself do something illegal, and so treating me with legal backing, at least, they always said that.  I meant it.  But the nurse I said it to, one P J Charters, turned away from me and gave a dismissive and annoyed laugh to the other staff and said, ‘this makes me really angry’.  But like Tommy would have said, ‘why?  why can’t you just have the conversation?’  Thinking about it, his attitude was an invalidation of me as a person, because that is a serious view which I hold, and it would have been right to deal with it, and with me, with respect.  It’s supposed to be about mental stuff, right?  If you can’t even have such a serious and situationally relevant opinion taken seriously enough to discuss it, how does that help a person’s recovery from illness or trauma?  This man is a contributor to formative writing within the profession.  He is also a Christian belonging to a major London church (Ichthus, Sydenham) which would be in relationship with the leaders of St Barnabas, North Finchley, where the sexual assault accusation came from, and I believe he spoke to at least one leader there and that he knows about it.  One day I was on the concourse between the wards in Guys Hospital, when the wards were there, and somehow we got into the beginning of a conversation, I can’t remember what about, and I ended up saying I was too scared.  Instead of saying ‘OK’, and leaving it, he looked at me and said, ‘are you going to let that stop you?’  While I was sitting there trying to find a way to deal with that, within myself, he just stood there staring at me, then turned away and left the building.  I can’t remember why, I felt he had provoked the situation, and I believe at that point he knew about the accusation, but he never tried to talk to me about it.  When I tried to disengage from his control, he forced it back on me, and once, when he was about to leave, I think I had been afraid to ask him all through his shift if I could talk to him about something and I asked if we could talk, and he said, firmly, ‘tomorrow’.  I was upset by that because I thought it was uncaring and unreasonable, and when tomorrow came, he didn’t look for me to talk about whatever it was, and I was too offended to go to him.  The reason I was upset when he firmly turned away was that I knew I had approached him with normal and appropriate self-possession, and a clear mind and he turned away from me and I felt that my normal, non-dependent presentation had been invalidated.  He was facing off with me.  It was the same day he walked away from me asking if I was going to let fear stop me, I think, that I followed him 5 minutes later to the train station (I was free to come and go), thinking he wouldn’t mind, especially in light of what he had just said to me, and he got off the train and walked back to the hospital, and as he did he shouted at me, ‘there are boundaries, and YOU aren’t allowed over them’.  Did he then have the sexual accusation in mind, the one he never even told me about?  I told him I didn’t want benefits because I wasn’t mentally ill, one day in my flat, and he wouldn’t discuss it, he just said he thought I was, and that he didn’t mind his taxes being spent on looking after me.  But I did, and even then, he offered me no explanation as to why he thought I was mentally ill, and this accusation must have had a bit to do with it.  One day, he turned up at my door, and I had been listening to the radio, knowing that something was going on, but not making written or phone contact at that time, and he asked me who I had been talking to.  I don’t think I had talked to anyone, and I didn’t want to say anything about what was happening on the radio because I knew how they treated that, but I was fairly up and I said, ‘I’ve been talking to the fairies’.  I had no suspicion as to why he would be asking the question and he didn’t give me a reason, but he already knew I believed things were being said on the radio which I hadn’t given them.  There are other people on the wards as well who feel the same way, or rather, know the same thing, but it is insisted to be mental illness.  I suppose he must have been aware himself that something was happening when he asked this question of me, and that he thought it had come from me.  The hospital ward and its staff were often all over the programme, ‘Casualty’, even at that time.  I joked with him once that the charge nurse on Casualty looked like him.  He said a lot of people say that.  I don’t know if lookalikes of all the other staff were on there as they are now.  But I think something like that was behind his question.  I started talking to him, on the doorstep, about the bible saying that brother will betray brother to death, and that that was how I felt about the way the mental health system was being used towards me, and he said he didn’t see it like that.  But he never put the accusations or gave the reasons behind his questions, and I was clueless.  He passed off the lookalike of him on Casualty as a coincidence.

I mean (OK, here we go, my neighbour’s been shouting again, and he’s freaked me.  Should I hold back, with that, and threats of depots (or worse) being made, and no one committing to me?  It’s all words and pleas and linguistic manipulation and theatre, but no one ever says, Sue Barnett, in Bulgaria, we ARE talking to you, we are as desperate as you(!?), please come and see us’, just what feels like threats and intimidation to get me to squeal, from all sides really, sometimes).  I feel as if I am committing the unforgivable sin here, while you mess around with threats and uncommitted pleas.

But as I was saying, I mean, he’s a Christian, right, PJ Charters?  One day he was running a workshop which I attended with one other person, another patient.  This person did most of the talking, it seemed to be the way that PJ wanted it.  He was talking about feeling as if his girlfriend was following him, and a song which kept being played.  Near the end I had a question of my own, and the question was, ‘where does forgiveness come into it?’  Where does forgiveness come into helping you deal with this kind of thing?  He’s a Christian.  He stared at me and didn’t answer.  If he knows anything about what is happening now, neither he nor anyone else has made an effort to communicate that fact, so presumably he is still not taking responsibility.

A Funny Day

I’ve been staying in a hotel recently.  Today I went to see my mum.  People kept looking at me and grinning, or just staring.  Don’t ask me, no idea!  It happens a lot recently.  Dare I say that?  The mental health services always used to say that if I thought people were staring at me it was a paranoid idea.  Hence for some time I tried to live in denial of it happening and if it did, pretend it wasn’t.  These days, at the very least, I look straight at it without being overwhelmed with fear.  Sometimes I get angry and offended.  I can get really freaked out by it, when it happens all the time.

Two things happened when I got back to the hotel, the first was in the hotel and the second was in the Chinese cafe.  I’ll do the Chinese cafe first.

I went to have dinner in a Chinese cafe round the corner from my hotel.  After I had been there a few minutes I noticed it was all Chinese people eating there.  That made me feel good for two reasons, I like Chinese people, and they say that if a place like a Chinese restaurant has a lot of people from that country and culture there it speaks well of the food.

I was a bit freaked by what started happening after I had been there about 5 or 10 minutes.

Two women walked in and sat at the table opposite me.  They were NOT Chinese.  I’m not going to start talking about their ethnicity in case someone decides to accuse me of racism, and I did think that might be my problem.

At some point I started to sing quietly, either before they came in or after, I can’t remember, because I was feeling a bit nervous.  I find it very easy to feel nervous at the moment, especially when I am with people I really want to like me.  The woman facing me made a dismissive face, then went on to completely ignore me.  She started to talk to her companion and I got the impression there was something false about her voice, and she sounded to me as if she was making aggressive utterances in a soft tone.  At that point I thought I might be being racist.  She had an unchanging smile on her face and I felt annoyed by it, I really felt it was false.  Anyway, I settled myself about it and came to my own terms over it.  Every time I relaxed she said ‘my god’.  I hate this, it happens to me a lot, and I really believe there is a spiritual dynamic to it.  It feels like a prohibition to me, or like something grabbing at me.  In the end I ignored her and started to engage with other people, at first just with a smile, then in a couple of conversations with people either side of me.

The second conversation lasted about 10 or 15 minutes and I found it thoroughly interesting.  The subject of the unconscious came up, and the man was talking about Lacan, a name I remember from when I studied (on and off!) for my English degree but about whom I remembered very little if anything.  If I remember, the man talking to me said something about reality structures.  We moved on to other things as well, had a very pleasant conversation and laughed a bit, and I began to feel really relaxed and playful.  This must have come across in my voice, I felt it did, and the same woman, who had now been joined by a group, as I began to relax into speaking again loudly said ‘my god’ again.  I kept talking, compensating for my discomfort and annoyance by going very posh, but still laughing and joking and enjoying my conversation.  Even when she couldn’t see or hear me, after the man and his girlfriend had gone (actually, apart from this group opposite me, the man I was talking to was the only non-Chinese there apart from me, he was Greek, his girlfriend was Chinese), she still kept pelting out a ‘my god’ when I relaxed, and I in my little corner got annoyed and said just loudly enough to be heard, ‘medium’.  I do things like that, I am so vulnerable and get so freaked and desperate I don’t know what else to do with it, often.  This is a recent thing, since I started having problems at home.  When I eventually got up and paid the bill I heard several of them saying, over a few seconds, a word that sounded like ‘witch’ or ‘bitch’.  They kept repeating it.  It was freaky.  Apart from the ‘my god’ stuff they had appeared as sweet as you like up until that point.  I won’t say what I did with it, but I ignored them and focused on a friendly departure with the staff.  I don’t know who they were, or if they had deliberately followed me in (I’m sure it happens), but I think their behaviour was frightful, darlings!  It was so frightening, looking back.  I felt really harassed and targeted and couldn’t believe my ears.

Anyway, that was the second thing that happened tonight.  The first thing happened when I got back to my hotel room.  I came in feeling a bit cross and agitated, and I began to sing, in tongues.  At least, it wasn’t English, and it had a bit of a Native American feel to it, or something like that, I’m not too sure what I’m talking about.  It wasn’t the gently lilting, softly flowing stuff you sometimes hear, there was more production to it, it was coming from my gut and it carried my emotions and resolved them.  The next thing I knew I experienced something different from anything I had experienced before.  The domestic had left the bathroom door open, and suddenly the light, which was not switched on, began to flash on and off, several times.  That was how I got into the conversation with the man who talked about Lacan.  He and his girlfriend were looking at the tv screen the other side of me and laughing.  I turned to them and asked if they understood it, he said no, then said something about ghosts being big in Chinese culture, and I told him what had happened with my singing and the light.  He started talking about the unconscious and dreams, I asked him if he didn’t believe in the spirit world that can act independently of our unconscious and told him a story about Carl Jung, whose work I have been reading for a few months.  I’ve started from the beginning of the collection, apart from a look at one long essay further in at the beginning.  I am in the middle of a case study of a teenage girl who seemed to have abilities as a medium, though he did say that in the end she was found to be faking, but I’m not sure if he thought it was all fake.  At this stage he put the apparent phenomena and personality changes during seances down to manifestations of her unconscious.  I’m not sure if he continued to think like that, though.  Because I have read that later he thought his house had spirits in it.  I remember one story I read about him where his doorbell rang continuously on at least one occasion and he could see the doorbell’s mechanism, inside the house, moving and working.  Yet when he went to the window to see who was there, no one was, and at the same time the bell stopped ringing.  Not sure where tonight’s experience fits in with that, but that’s what it reminded me of.

OK, that’s it.  An abrupt ending, but I can’t think of anything else I want to say.  I feel a little raw and weird!

New Facebook Post

http://www.courtenay-young.co.uk/courtenay/articles/Phenomenological_Psychotherapy.pdf

This is an interesting and informative article found on the website of Courtenay Young, a psychotherapist in the UK.

Abstract
This paper looks at the practice of psychotherapy from a phenomenological approach, covering areas that are not usually within the more traditional ‘bio-psycho-social’ model, but also include economic, political, cultural, and environmental areas, and possibly several others. It further compares the more philosophical and pragmatic approach of a process-oriented practice of psychotherapy to the biomedical ‘treatment’ of psychiatry.
Keywords
Psychotherapy, Phenomenology, Psychiatry, Practice

It is an approach informed by people like R D Laing, Thomas Szasz, Michel Foucault, Jean-Paul Sartre, among many others.  It is in favour of therapeutic communities like Soteria, founded by Leon Mosher.

I like the fact that he says he likes the writing of Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hahn, on mindfulness, as it is more poetical than some other writing, and that he is also on the board for the body and dance in psychotherapy.  It’s not all about words and science.

The article goes a lot into the philosophy of the approach and although it does use some long words, most of them are explained, and he gives several examples of people he has worked with.

There is a section in blue which lists and talks about the the groupings of “mental and behavioural disorders” (his quotes), found in the ICD-10, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which is an international standard diagnostic classification for a wide variety of health conditions.  It is used as an example of how a phenomenological model is used in psychiatry.  It’s not very long, the article quickly gets back to its own subject of a phenomenological model for psychotherapy, saying that “phenomenology has come a lot further than when it was first proposed back at the beginning of the 20th century, and it is not just useful as a classification system”.

The article is 21 pages long so is a long read but, as I said, it is very interesting and informative, and you can download it.  I enjoyed it.  It gives a link to his website and his email address at the end.

After the things I have seen and heard today, I am not surprised that some people with psychiatric diagnoses are driven to violence. I, for one, find no way to blame them.
Psychiatry is an abusive system, and so are the media outlets that are involved in targeting vulnerable people with psychological assault, be they secular or religious. If they have become bedfellows may they have joy of each other.
They will be the blind leading the blind, and God will hold them accountable for all the pain and misery they cause and the tyrannies they uphold. It is possible that they might never be brought to account in this life, but there is a life to come and a price to pay. As long as they continue in what they are doing, they themselves will be liable for that price.
I wonder how many other psychiatric patients they have persecuted in the same way, and thus driven them to the atrocities we hear about and the media loves to highlight as caused by ‘mental illness’.
I am in shock and totally grossed out and in despair at what I have just seen, people knowingly packaging stuff together that I have given them, faces wreathed in smiles.
In some ways it would be easy to smile with them. But if I do that, I will be betraying myself and many weaker people who are going through the same thing.
I said years ago that I stand with those who are unjustly called mentally ill, those who have suffered the abuse of both psychiatry and society, including the church, and I still do. We might be a disparate lot, but all of us know what it is to be stripped of our human rights.
I gave them stuff to empower them for people I thought were vulnerable to media stalking because of me, and they have used it against me, while still naming those people in their programmes, packaging names together in ways that makes the group and individuals identifiable to itself. They are fully responsible for their actions in doing that, and have no right to judge or punish me for my response or lack of response. What they are doing is criminal, there are no two ways about it.
The people they are naming are vulnerable because of and TO the naming, not because I let them be named. I have drawn attention to it before, and for my efforts been told my belief it is happening is a symptom of mental illness. It is obvious though, and it is not a symptom of mental illness. I refuse to accept either blame or responsibility for their savagery, and maintain my right to stay separate from those who stalk me, until they contact me in an accountable manner, be they Christian or not. They are breaking my heart and breaking my confidence, but they cannot break my knowledge that what they are doing to me and others is illegal.

Blog Post I Promised My Facebook Friends

THIS IS QUITE A LONG BLOG POST.  I HOPE SOME OF YOU WILL PERSEVERE WITH IT.  THANKS IN ADVANCE.  I VALUE MY READERS.  I VALUE MY ‘STALKERS’ TOO.  IN FACT I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU SO MUCH TO ALL OF YOU.

 

I’ve just been out to Waitrose, and had some lunch, so I’m not in quite the same emotional space I was in when I posted on Facebook this morning.

Last Thursday I posted on Facebook about This Morning.  I said how it started with a house in Lewisham falling down and Holly Willoughby saying Oh my God, and said that I used to live in Lewisham, and that that juxtaposition between OMG and things I identify as having something to do with me or others I know or have known is common.

I looked back at the programme this morning.  Last week it was full of significance for me, as I believed that references were being made to things I had written on Facebook.  But because things have moved on a bit since then, today I couldn’t really remember the connections I made then.

A few weeks ago, 22nd May, to be exact, the anniversary of my father’s death by overdose, I posted a life event about my dad on Facebook.  I had been aware of things on the media that I believed to have been connected with me before this date.

This year, 22nd May was a Sunday.  Dr R T Kendall of Kensington Temple these days, formerly of Westminster Chapel, with both of which I had had a difficult relationship leading up to my first admission onto a psychiatric ward, preached a sermon titled ‘The Party’s Over’.  Retrospectively, he had probably prepared that sermon, and named it, at least a few days before he preached.  But I thought that it was sympathetically connected with my life event post.  Maybe it was, maybe he knew about the post before it was posted this year.  I’ve had it for at least one anniversary before.

Anyway, he was mentioned people in the media, in general, but naming categories.  He also talked about Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar, I think, about vessels having been taken from the temple and used for common purposes, and that that angered God.  One of the things he said was something about the wearing of purple, a royal and priestly colour.  I can’t remember much more than that, but the sermon can be found here.

I felt emotionally involved with this sermon at first because, right at the beginning, he looked straight into the camera and said ‘identify with Daniel’.  I thought he was talking to me, supportively, because in my post I had said that many times in my life I had identified with my father.  I’ve watched that sermon twice now, and I have noticed that that beginning has been cut off.

I’ve said before that I think I’m being stalked.  The people involved might not like my use of that term, but that is what it is.

Anyway, the next day, 23rd May, on This Morning, people were looking around nervously.  I can’t remember anything very much, but I can remember that, at the end of the programme, Rylan Clark-Neal said that they were compromised. Holly Willoughby coughed, it seemed to me significantly.  I didn’t think it was worth mentioning, because it all seemed too obvious and easily explained.  The same day, talking about wearing purple, I watched the BBC1 East Midlands news at 6.30pm, and they were all wearing purple, and one of the newsreaders said that she didn’t know why, but they had all been told to wear purple that day.  It seemed to me obviously connected.

At first, I felt personally attacked by this, and it made me feel angry and alarmed.  Later I thought, it’s just a fight between secular and religious media, and nothing to do with me except for my own identification and recognition  (Neither side wanted me involved.  Neither side really cared about me, if they did they would tell me so through normal, committed communication like an email or a phone call.  And they didn’t, and don’t). I thought that Kensington Temple was being paranoid and alarmist over what might be seen as a quite ordinary referential challenge.  It was just a media scrap, if they didn’t like it, they didn’t have to watch, they could just get on with the job without taking notice of their detractors.  But I wrote to them, through their website, and among other things, asked if Dr Kendall wanted to see me.  They didn’t even answer.  I found that rude, and it made me anxious.  So many times I make contact and get no answer.  These days I am reasonable and try to be friendly, and they don’t even answer that, except in pointed and contextualised references in their sermons and radio programmes.

Anyway, briefly back to This Morning of 9th June.  When I watched it again today I felt much of what they were doing was making metaphors.  Recently Holly makes me laugh, I find her quite amusing, but I feel also she is quite vicious.  The Old Testament says, ‘don’t be afraid of their faces’.  I have felt intimidated by her apparent sweetness, but she says some horrible things behind that.  I have expressed anxiety about writing openly about what I think for fear of being put back on medication, and in this programme she was talking about someone and hospital, and it came up twice, and both times she made a face and said ‘Oh no’, and I felt it was cruel mockery aimed at me.

(My, this is draining!  For one thing, the WordPress writing frame keeps slipping upwards so it looks as if my post has disappeared.  I keep imagining it might be someone hacking while I am writing and trying to disrupt me.  In truth it is probably a software issue.  I hope so anyway.)

I was just looking for something in Monday 13th’s episode of This Morning.  I started watching from the beginning, and when I got to about 33 minutes 40 seconds in, where they are talking about rain with someone who predicts weather (I thought he was a gardener, but he seems to be more than that) Holly quite deliberately shouted ‘woohoo’, and I thought she had got it out of the post on Facebook which I posted on Saturday, in fact I’m quite sure she did.  But that wasn’t what I was looking for.  What I was looking for came up a few minutes later, after 37 minutes 40 seconds in . . .

I had an experience with someone who came to repair my boiler a few weeks ago.  At the end of repairing my boiler we had a conversation in the kitchen over coffee and a biscuit (one of my own home made ones), and everything he said, every place name, had significance for me.  I can only remember two of them, but I just kept nodding along at him thinking ‘Oh yes, there’ and Oh yes, there’.  The two I remember are Middlesbrough and Toronto, both places where Church ministers from my past came from.  But it wasn’t just two places, it was many.  Anyway, I was watching Monday 13th’s episode of This Morning and I had the strong impression that Holly just had one of those moments.  The man she and Phillip Schofield were talking to said something like ‘I’m OK, I’ve got form’.  I heard that and it felt like a revelation, and I stared at Holly and I thought she reacted.  I just watched it again and it doesn’t seem so marked now right at that point, but at the end of the interview Holly’s eyes are like saucers.  I think she might have said something similar behind the scenes.  Or someone did.  Perhaps.  I’ve even thought things like that myself when I’ve watched KT live, that I’m OK, I don’t have to give in.  It’s a great bit of power tripping.

Tea break.

When I was in Bulgaria between 2009 and 2011, I started hearing a woman’s voice from the flat upstairs, so it seemed, shouting hallelujah.  It drove me wild.  It was almost incessant, and I would rant and rave using Google Translate, which isn’t very reliable.  It or my reaction or both made me very ill.  I used to have chest pains and vomiting.  It happened in a few places, always directly where I was living, never followed me away from the building.  Which is partly why I wonder if it really was an hallucination, as my psychiatrists insisted.  It came to the attention of the psychiatrists because I started hearing the same thing when I was in emergency accommodation in Nottingham, and I called the police several times.  Once I turned them away because I thought they were rude to me. Eventually, the police called the mental health team, and one of the officers who turned up with the team was the one who was rude to me.  He was quite controlling on the scene.

Anyway, about 2 or 3 months ago, not having experienced it for quite some time, I started to hear a woman’s voice saying hallelujah again, and it seemed to be coming from next door.  It only lasted for two weeks.  This time I didn’t rant and rave.  I also didn’t believe it was an hallucination.  I believed it was some sort of spiritual manifestation, the source of which I was uncertain.  I was alternately angry at it, scared of it, desperate, grateful.  I prayed that it would stop.  After it did, I felt as if I had lost something, it was like grief.  Just towards the end of it I tuned in to Kensington Temple’s live service one afternoon when Bruce Atkinson was speaking.  He was talking about the woman who came to Jesus for her daughter to be healed.  She wasn’t Jewish, and Jesus told her He had only been sent to Israel, and it wasn’t right to give the children’s bread to dogs.  I kept hearing things I identified with from my experience at KT, and I was inwardly holding on, asking God to help me, as well as arguing with what I was seeing and thinking it wasn’t that impressive, as Bruce kept talking and staring into the camera, as if something kept drawing him to it.  They put a version of that sermon on the website, but it wasn’t that version.  In the version on the website Bruce seems to be trying to avoid looking at the camera.  I think it was the next week that Colin Dye came on, and at the beginning of the recording he looked into the camera and gave a little smile, and started talking about quantum physics, and how he didn’t understand it, but came back to art.  I thought he was talking about ME coming back to art in posting William Blake’s ‘The Sick Rose’ on my blog.  I don’t know, they seem to have used things from my blog before.

At some point after this, I think, he said that ‘they are going to start using dogs with her, I wonder how she will deal with that’ or some such words.  Shortly after this Phillip and Holly, having experienced something strange, I think, in the studio (can’t sound too definite, they might put me away again.  Even for this they might put me back on medication.  I’m taking a big risk), started to feature Clover, their guide dog in training, a lot.  I had been watching live, I think, then I started watching on ITV +1, an hour behind.  One day, Phillip started commanding the dog to sit.  He did this right at the beginning and exactly an hour into the programme.  He looked frightened, to me.  Once when he did this one of the light bulbs blew.  I know this can be what some people call a psychic occurrence.  I had a music teacher who became a bishop, and I read an article about him which said he walked into a room and things happened with the electricity.  Phillip, whether he made the connection or not, just said that bulbs blew all the time.  I made the connection, though.  I might have been wrong myself, but it was some coincidence, if I was.  One day, he looked into the camera and stuttered over the word ‘superfood’, orsomething else beginning with the first syllable of my name.  I thought it was a deliberate stutter and that he was trying to say ‘Sue’.  I’ve thought about it since, and decided he could have had anything in mind.  He might have been thinking ‘supernatural’, for instance.  Or it might just have been a nervous, meaningless stutter.  I’ve not heard him stutter before though.  (To my nurses, there is a history behind these assumptions I don’t want to go into, this post is going to be long enough without that.  I’m wondering if I’m ever going to get to the end of it).

I saw they were distressed, and thought they were trying to help me.  So I tweeted Phillip one day and said I felt for them and was touched by the fact they were trying to help me, or words to that effect, and that I thought the reason for their distress was that they were doing something occultic with the Clover, and asked who she represented when he commanded her like that.  He said a few times he didn’t know what I was going on about and that I was talking nonsense, and ended up saying, ‘I’m sure you are really sweet, but you are now blocked’.  And that was that.  I think what he was doing with Clover, occultic or not, was because he was afraid of something else.  I was angry about something I had seen on the show and something they were promoting as normal which I believe shouldn’t be, and I think my anger had what might be called by some a psychic energy which was holding them in a bad place.  I wouldn’t let go for some days and was pleased at every sign that they seemed to be losing it.  I have wanted to apologise for that several times.  I thought the right way would have been to keep watching and complain to Ofcom if I didn’t like something I saw.  Within a day or 2 of me thinking that, Phillip came on laughing and said they gave Ofcom plenty of business.  I don’t think it was a simple coincidence.  Anyway, dogs abounded after that.  Andrea McLean on Loose Women, which I also watch, reacted to a bark a few weeks ago by saying something like, ‘that’s right, take it out, we don’t want any accidents’.  It wasn’t a real dog, obviously, it was a miked up bark, staged.  It felt psychologically violent.

On This Morning they were celebrating Clover’s first birthday on Monday, and had a load of dogs in.  I happened to turn on, on ITV +1, at just the time when they appeared for the 2nd time.  The first time was just after Piers Morgan and someone else had been on with Holly and Phillip talking about Orlando, but I hadn’t seen that.   I just saw the dogs let loose, and lost the plot.  I didn’t take anything else in after that.

The Monday before they had featured Mersea, where John Pantry lives, who works at Premier Radio and used to be one of my Facebook friends.  Fairly soon after they showed someone called the same name that came up for me while listening to another radio presenter quite a few years ago.  I can’t remember what motivated me, but after I saw the dogs this Monday, I wrote an email to both John Pantry and Colin Dye, telling them about this.  I thought something might need to be done about it, and that they needed to watch the recording, before it was taken down.  In the end, it was there until midnight.  In the meantime, I was uncertain as to whether or not John and Colin would receive the email in time, so I sent it to the live studio as well.  Then I regretted it, and sent a copy of the email and its forwarding to someone else I had emailed over the weekend, because I thought he was in touch with the person I had mentioned in the email and I wanted to warn and protect that person.  Later I thought that, really, my trust was a dubious honour, and possibly overpowering for this person (I also thought that, in the state I was in, I was making far too much of what I had seen and heard, and he thought I was nuts and he wasn’t interested.  I thought Premier and Kensington Temple would have the same opinion.  Maybe they do).  He didn’t email me back.  I don’t know why he did this, but he told Phillip and Holly, because I had mentioned them in the email.  On Tuesday Holly was cavorting all over the screen with veiled references to this email, and she also mentioned someone who had lost a couple of stones and her friends asked her if she was putting it back on, then she did this really violent jerk with her arm, and I felt terrified.  I have mentioned on Facebook that I have lost weight, and I thought she was cursing me.  I thought she was a witch in full flight.  At the end of the recording, totally distracted and barely able to focus, I tried to reorientate myself by posting a link to a radio play, then I went to bed, still frightened, then after I got into bed, I started to laugh.  I felt loved up.   I felt amazing.  Holly had been smiling all the time she was doing this.  That was when I started to find her funny.  I thought last Thursday that the way she opened her eyes wide and batted her eyelids was false and I hated it and I hated her, but I found if I did the same it cleared my perceptions and negative feelings.  I can’t remember if that was before or after Tuesday.  Anyway, the loved up and laughing bit, I felt it was inappropriate given the nature of what I had communicated in my email.  I tried to put a stop to it.  Then yesterday, on Loose Women, Ruth Langsford, who is also a This Morning presenter, said that she was ‘ashamed’ of something, and coughed significantly.  I hadn’t said that I felt ashamed in the email to Premier Radio and Colin Dye at Kensington Temple, but I had to this other person.

In the email I had said that I thought they were after me and the Church, and that all was fair in love and war.  On Tuesday, Dara O’Briain was on with Hugh Dennis, on This Morning again, and they were both grinning from ear to ear, and one of them said, ‘she thinks it’s fair’.  One of them said something about open heart surgery.  For me, that was a bit what it was like, I suppose.

I’ve been thinking, though.  When I said all’s fair in love and war, I didn’t mean things like stalking someone’s social media account to reflect back to them, especially when that person isn’t in the public eye.  I have thought I was willing to tolerate it (Stockholm Syndrome?), but what about other individuals who are also not public people who are experiencing the same thing?  I keep thinking it’s not about me, and being relieved every time I think it.  However, I think I am wrong.  They even mentioned a road that has the same beginning of its name as mine yesterday, and put quite an emphasis on it.  I have 2 neighbours, one partially sighted and the other who goes around bare chested.  References to them were put together in Sunday Brunch this week (Channel 4), as was a reference to my email that I sent on Saturday, and a comment about someone having the heart of a dog, and emotional looks.  I sent the presenters a chat message saying they had spoken to the man I emailed and goodness knows who else, and asked them what they wanted and where we were going.  According to my Facebook account, they haven’t even looked at it yet.  It has been going on with them for some time.  On Pentecost Sunday they featured meditation and a linguist talking about languages and making them up.  OK, if they want to, they can fight like that, it’s not illegal.  But they had Michaela Strachan on recently, someone who is a friend of this presenter I listened to years ago and met a few times.  The first time was good, the rest he pretended not to remember me.  Yet he sat and talked with me in his car for half an hour and drove me to the station.  His wife remembered me, though.  I was telling my nurse Pete yesterday, that the last time I went she tore me off a strip, took my phone number and said her husband would be in touch if he was interested.  I’ve decided not to go back as they obviously don’t want to know.  Although I would like to believe differently, I see the constant songs and references that I associate with him and his calling me as being chain yanking.  And as lovely as I think he is, I think he deliberately used to torture me psychologically.  I think he had ‘psychic’ insight into me as well, particulars at particular times.  I used to feel we had telepathic communication, he would often come on his programme saying something I felt we had shared telepathically earlier in the week.  He used to talk about his dog.  I used to think it was a backwards way of saying ‘my God’, and I was offended.  I also thought he was referring to me, as often when I tuned in he would start talking about walking his dog, immediately.  So the dog reference is not a new one.  One day I lay in bed listening to him with my back to the radio, because I felt closer to him and more able to listen that way.  He said, ‘my dog has started turning its back on us, it feels closer to us that way’.  I think something I said once is being used as emotional blackmail.  I think Ruth Langsford referred to it yesterday on Loose Women when she was ostensibly talking about her son Jack, and talking about apologising.  I already have, and meant it.  I wish I wanted to again.  I have recently been willing to open up to the possibility of meeting him again.  In my mind, there is a war between him and the Church.  But until recently I had decided I had moved on from him, that he had deliberately abused me, and that I was wrong to look to him in the first place.  But the fact is, I took a resting place with him when there was absolutely no way I could hold myself together in Church and didn’t feel safe going.  It wasn’t rebellion, it was respite.  That’s how it felt, anyway.  Once I was afraid even to speak, and there was no way I could have written like this, or tweeted, or gone on Facebook.  I doggedly (sorry, no pun intended, I can’t think of the other word) took the tools and attitudes he offered and rebuilt my ability to communicate.  I feel, rightly or wrongly, that I owe him.  Defiantly, was the word I was looking for.

In the meantime, I haven’t heard from Kensington Temple following this email, or from John Pantry or anyone else at Premier.  In the email I said to John that I had got the impression that he wanted to be involved.  On his show the next day he said ‘you can be involved’, then started talking about bipolar, I think it was, putting together a reference to what I had said with a reference to ‘mental illness’.  I feel if I go back to Church, it’s something I am going to have brought against me every time I’m perceived to be out of line.  I think Premier is withholding programme recordings as well.  I unfriended John last Friday because he was answering things I put on his timeline then, when I answered, he cleared them off.  I felt hurt by this so unfriended him, I thought it was against me.  I have since thought he might just be one of those people who likes to keep a tidy timeline and does the same thing with a lot of people.  But anyway, Monday’s Inspirational Breakfast is not available.  The other week they had almost a total lockdown on programme availability, they have since restored some, but not all.  I emailed a show the other week, and I later looked for the recording so I could listen back (the man read my email out and commented on it), but it isn’t available.  I asked both John Pantry and Rick Easter, both Premier presenters who were Facebook friends until I unfriended them, if they knew what was happening with the programme recordings and why they were not available, and John cleared the question off his timeline without answering, not even to say he didn’t know, and Rick just ignored the question.  I don’t know who they are hiding from.  There is definitely something going on.

I have said for years that I don’t want to be in a Church that calls the police on people and accepts psychiatric labels against people’s wishes.  I have heard a lot about good disagreement lately on Premier, and other stuff like that.  Teaching children to manage their emotions and emphasising that you are there for them and will handle it together, instead of focusing so much on the idea of discipline.  Hearing that kind of thing, it’s making me feel that it is I who am being a terrorist in my refusal to go to a church where the police might be called, that I am the one who is using emotional and spiritual blackmail.  I feel all my years lost in my life and in the Church are all my own fault.  At one time I was so confused by the fact that all the wards had Biblical names, I thought my answers were all to be found in hospital.  That’s where I would recover my power of self-determination (watch this come up in a sermon).  And yet, I know the Church has been – stalking me, I call it, I don’t know what they call it – for years.

It’s just occurred to me, I don’t know how the programmes that have featured references to my road name and allusions to my neighbours have got the information,  I haven’t said anything about either in my blog.  The blind allusion has come up several times, I’ve only this week noticed the one about bare-chestedness.  I don’t think, again, that it is simple coincidence.

I think yesterday morning, on Inspirational Breakfast, John said something about not being too cruel, she is vulnerable.  I thought that was for me.  But my goodness, I wish they would realise that their refusal to answer my emails properly makes me feel most vulnerable of all.  It messes with my head and perceptions big time.

When I was in hospital last time I got involved with the chaplaincy service.  One day I spoke to the alternative religion person who said to me that sometimes coincidences come so thick and fast and from so many directions, there has to be a big intelligence behind it and it can’t be by human organisation.  I took that and believed it.  But now I’ve married it to a renewed belief that I am also, as I have maintained before, being stalked.

The fact that I have done something wrong does not make it OK to abuse me.  Once I believed it was OK, the stalking, the being called a dog, the psychological abuse (but Oh, how grateful I sometimes thought I was).  But now, I usually have more self-respect.  If that makes me appear cynical and unfeeling to the people who have received my emails recently, I am sorry.  I know desperation can make people do some terrible things, and I hesitate to say that those I say are stalking me are the cynical ones, but it does feel that way sometimes.  Yesterday I wanted to contact Colin Dye and say, ‘I thought they loved me, but they don’t, do they?’  I wouldn’t dare though.  I can’t bear more words coming through my computer and no response to my emails.  But I will bear it.  The alternative is a vacuum.  To some that might be peace.  It is to me sometimes, but most of the time I think I can’t live like that.

Well, it is 7.30 pm and today’s This Morning is not available yet.  That is very unusual.  It is normally there by 4 pm.  (edit note: eventually it appeared around 10 am the day after I wrote this post).

Managing Your Feelings Is Not My Job

Love the enthusiasm. And what she says about the suffragettes is so true. As a Christian woman who has been taught to submit, I think we forget how much we owe to women who didn’t. Christian women who today are wearing above the ankle dresses and trousers owe it to women who would have been branded as having a Jezebel spirit in their time, if the term had existed in the Church in those days. Rebellious women. We share in the fruits of their rebellion. Sorry, it’s just a fact.

hecatedemeter

“Whistling girls and crowing hens always come to some bad ends,” my grandma used to say, just before she would tell me that while I was a gracious loser (she was right; I am), I was a “very poor winner.”  By that, my grandma meant that I loved winning too much and that, when I did win, I wasn’t good at pretending not to care.  And, she was right; I do and I’m not; it’s made me a hell of a lawyer.  My grandma loved me and she was just trying to prepare me for what she called “the real world.”

One of the almost unconscious (and completely unpaid) jobs that women are doing all the damn time is managing their own behavior in order to manage men’s emotions.  We do it so much that we’re often not even aware that we’re doing it.  While the Jungian projection is that…

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These days I can be found a lot of the time at https://www.facebook.com/sue.barnett.547.  I hope you will come and connect with me there.  I will continue to post on here occasionally.  This is a pinned post, so please scroll down a couple for my latest entries.

And if my nurses are reading this, please respect the fact that this is my SPACE.  As one of my lecturers once said to me, I can say what I like.  None of it should find its way into a clinical decision or into my notes, as it has done before.  If you MUST stalk me, please keep a respectful distance between this and our offline relationship.  I reserve the right to say what I like on the internet, whether you think you should respect that or not.  I have had this conversation with one of you, and you said you would have to look into the legalities of it.  I think the legalities are, if you don’t like what you read on my blog, stop reading.  If they aren’t, they should be.  I’m sick of censoring myself out of fear of consequences.

The Sick Rose

The Sick Rose

By William Blake

O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm:

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

Yesterday Was My Birthday

Yesterday I was 55.  Some of my Facebook friends wished me happy birthday, which was nice, and Peter and Jennie, my two nurses, took me out for lunch and gave me a card and two bars of Lindt chocolate, which Jennie knows I like.  I asked Jennie a while ago if we could go out for my birthday and she said yes.  As I have said before, in real life they are the closest thing I have to friends at the moment.  I wouldn’t have celebrated my birthday at all without them.

Because of my antipsychiatry beliefs I actually have an ambivalent relationship with them which isn’t altogether comfortable.  I am aware of their clinical relationship with me, and resentful of it, and feel I have to be careful what I communicate at this time while I am almost at the end of coming off my medication.  It is quite confusing trying to relate to them as friends.  Peter, especially, seems to have that role towards me deliberately as we meet for coffee every week, but also with Jennie, I offer her coffee when she comes to do my depot and she accepts and we sit and chat and watch television.

My anger at their clinical involvement is never far below the surface, and I wish that involvement didn’t exist.  I realise by saying this I open myself to a charge of ingratitude.  They didn’t have to take me out yesterday or help in all the ways they have this year.  But the reality is that the basic nature of my relationship with them is clinical, and I feel strongly against that.

I’m sure it must be difficult for them as well.  They know how I feel about the clinical side of things but, especially for Jennie, it is part of her job.

Someone in Speak Out Against Psychiatry said they are only nice because I’m being compliant.  If I weren’t they might want to put me back in hospital, although at this stage, where my last depot is due just after Christmas, that might not be the case.  But certainly a lot earlier on it might have been.  I get the feeling we are keeping each other sweet.

It would be nice to think there is some real friendship there, but there is no way it can be fully expressed, that is the nature of this kind of professional relationship.  I am sure a real fondness exists, at least on my part, and regardless of the resentment and anger.  And fear, I should say fear too.  It is frustrating.  In spite of what I want to feel, I feel subjugated.  The clinical relationship is the only reason that any relationship exists, and I am totally against the clinical relationship.

It was nice to go out for my birthday, though.  I hope if they read this they will understand and not be offended.

Strongly Suggested Reading

Last night I revisited my posts on Highbury Hospital, where I had a very distressing time.  I hope you will read them and gain an insight into what goes on behind closed doors in a psychiatric hospital, in terms of bullying and abuse.  I especially hope any Christians who are prepared to urge members of their congregation to seek help here and think they are qualified to assess someone as needing psychiatric ‘help’ will read them and see what it is really like.

I can’t understand why Christians would see psychiatry as a good thing, since over 100 years ago psychiatry declared war on Christianity and religion.  I have written in another post how Thomas Szasz said in at least one of his books that turning a person over to psychiatry is akin to witch hunters in centuries past ‘relaxing’ their victims into the hands of the state so they could be put to death.  I hope and pray and plead for you to see sense.

Psychiatry is not Christianity’s friend, nor is it humanity’s friend.  When a spiritual organisation turns a member over to the police and psychiatry it is an act of betrayal.  I am afraid of churches these days, not only because of my own betrayals, but because the church gives up on people and turns them over to the state, when they express distress, instead of trusting a loving spiritual involvement.  Patience and forgiveness and empathy give place to psychiatry and harmful drugs and inhuman bullying.

I no longer expect to find a church which is antipsychiatry and has no time for psychiatry, as psychiatry is fundamentally anti Christian experience.  I expect the church to attack me with a belief in psychiatry and to hurt me by upholding decisions that have been made about me.

For the posts on Highbury Hospital just click on the tag of the same name at the bottom of this post.  Please be prepared for a long read.  I trust your perseverance and respect will be rewarded.

Spiritual Rape

I noticed that ‘what is spiritual rape’ was a search term used to arrive at my blog, so I put it in myself, to see what came back.  I looked at the first 14 pages on Google and my blog wasn’t there, but I found this blog post https://hemofhisgarment.wordpress.com/spiritual-rape/.

I have been looking back at some of my posts which definitely make me look as if I am mentally ill, and I have been thinking that they might invalidate anything I have to say.  But this post that I have posted the link for says that mental illness is a common result of spiritual rape as the person becomes confused and paranoid, and the writer says they believe that mental illness is an evidence that this sort of abuse has taken place.

So if my tortured posts are evidence of trauma and abuse I hope my readers will value them as such and not dismiss everything I have to say because of them.

I don’t believe spiritual rape takes place only in the church.  I believe psychiatry itself is spiritual rape, and it can and does happen both in the home and in the world in general.  If I am disappointed in the post, it is because of its failure to recognise this.  I have experienced serious trauma in my family, in the church and in psychiatry, and in the world at large.  I don’t know which has been worst.  I hope you will read the post yourself and see what you think.

Oh Happy Day!

I’m very happy today!  Yesterday I saw my psychiatrist and nurse, and my Community Treatment Order has been extended to next April so they can make sure I am OK when I finish coming off my meds.  I’m not happy that the CTO has been extended, but I am happy that I seem to be OK coming off the meds, I feel better than I have felt in a long time.  And there is no problem with my new neighbours, and I don’t expect one to develop.

I suppose that, even if no problems develop here, the psychiatric team will still say that I was ill before, and that I was imagining women shouting ‘hallelujah’.  It seemed real, both here and in Bulgaria, where it first started.  But the psychiatrists say it was only real to me, that it was an auditory hallucination.  I don’t know, I have no proof, but neither do they.

Today I feel hopeful for the future, and happy that I feel hopeful.  Yesterday I felt a lot of grief.  I had a disturbing dream last night about John and Anne Coles, but I can’t remember it now.

On Tuesday I went to Coventry to see Michael Palin.  He was funny and interesting.  I missed him here in Nottingham because the tickets were sold out.  As Jennie, my nurse, said, it is probably the biggest thing I have done since I came out of hospital.  She said I deserved it, even though it turned out to be more expensive than I was happy with.  I booked a night in a good hotel to make sure I got a decent night, but it was a way out of town and in the opposite direction from Warwick Arts Centre, where the evening was held.  I didn’t mind the price of the hotel, but I did mind paying nearly £100 in taxi fares over less than 24 hours.  I did take out £100 to cover taxi fares, but I didn’t expect to have to use nearly all of it.  Oh well, it’s done now, and it was a good evening.

I just watched ‘What A Girl Wants’ with Colin Firth on ITV2.  That was good, it gave me a bit of a lift.  Last night I posted something a bit despairing on Facebook on the Speak Out Against Psychiatry page, but so many people came to my rescue I don’t feel despairing now.  I’m still quite lonely, but I’ll have to do something about that.  My nurses have been the closest thing I have had to friends over the last year.  Pete, the nurse I have coffee with every week, is helping me find voluntary work and is taking me to The People’s Choir next Thursday.  I don’t sing so loud here as I used to in London because I don’t want to cause problems, so it might be nice to have the choir as an outlet.

Anyway, that is my update for the moment.  Thank you for reading.  Please leave comments if you have time.

Update 31.08.2015

Hello readers, I’m sorry I don’t write so much these days.  Now that I’m not fending for myself in Bulgaria, not homeless and not in hospital I tend not to feel the same urgency to ‘get things out there’, and life has become a bit boring.

I have decided to diet and exercise more.  I have a treadmill which I have decided to use for an hour a day.  I missed yesterday and the day before, but I pretty much stuck to my intention last week.  The nurse I have coffee with told me that it is better to have two half-hour sessions because that boosts your metabolism twice in a day.  I’ve stopped buying chocolate and crisps when I order my shopping, for two weeks now, and I’ve been getting some really intense chocolate cravings.  Sometimes if I am out, like Thursdays with my nurse, I’ll treat myself to something chocolatey, but since I don’t really go out much it’s not too big a problem.

My medication has been decreased with a view to tapering off altogether.  I’m on 20mg of Depixol at the moment.  I seem to be stable still during the day, but my dreams are very chaotic and vivid, I don’t know if that is a withdrawal symptom.  Things are very settled with my neighbours.  We don’t see much of each other and most of the time it is very quiet.  There is one man who often brings my bin back in on a Wednesday.  I don’t know why he does it, I haven’t asked him.  I sort of wish he wouldn’t.

My other nurse, Jennie, who does my depot usually, took me to Ikea the other week so I could buy a wardrobe.  We found a nice big one for somewhere between £100 and £200.  It is the size of two regular wardrobes put together.  That has meant I’ve been able to empty my bags that were stacked on the floor.  It’s nice to have easy access to my clothes again.  I’ve got two bags of clothes that need to go to a clothes bank because they are spoiled.  They are sitting in the otherwise empty side of the wardrobe, when they are gone I’ll be able to hang some more stuff up.  Jennie is going to take me to a clothes bank on Friday.  I’m a bit upset that moths seem to have got to some of my favourite clothes and left holes in two kaftans and a sweater.

Other than all that mundane stuff I am trying to contribute towards the campaign to free Raif Badawi (see my pinned post).  There are campaigners who go and protest outside embassies every Friday, which is the designated day for flogging him.  He has not been flogged since January, though.  No reason has recently been given for this cessation.  His case is back under review and people are hopeful that that is good news.

That’s it for today.  Maybe I’ll try and make my life more eventful then I should be able to write more frequently!

Another Friday Looms

Another Friday looms, and Raif Badawi doesn’t know whether he will be flogged or not.  So far he hasn’t been, since January.  It would be nice to think that international pressure is contributing to the repeated postponements.  I’m sure the wounds from the first flogging will have healed by now, but he does have other health issues, high blood pressure and diabetes.  Ensaf Haidar, his wife, says that he is psychologically low, presumably the weekly uncertainty will be contributing to that.  The psychological pressure on him must be immense. Amnesty UK has a petition for his release.  If you haven’t already signed it, please think of doing so.  King Salman is in breach of international law to treat him the way he is doing.  Free speech is a human right.  There should be no flogging for blogging.  Here, again, is the link to the petition.

Suggested Reading

I have just been reading through my entries tagged Highbury Hospital, and it brought back memories.  I had an awful time there.  I would like to direct new readers (and old) to those posts.  It was not a healing atmosphere, and I believe I was very victimised there, probably in retaliation for my blog and speaking out.  Please read some of them and leave comments.  Click on Highbury Hospital in my tag cloud a little way down on the right.

Coffee With My Nurse

Every Thursday one of my nurses and I go out for coffee, it’s part of the social inclusion programme.  He’s a nice man, his name is Pete.  He helped me out practically when I first moved in here.  We talk about a lot of things, including religion.  This week religion came up because I said I hadn’t heard anything about Raif Badawi this week.  Raif is the writer and activist in Saudi Arabia who has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for his blog on free speech and liberalism in which he criticised some of the clerics, which was taken as an insult to Islam.  (For a petition by Amnesty International seeking to get this stopped please see here).

Pete said it was terrible what was being done in the name of religion, and said the Church used to do the same thing with its witch trials, for example.  The subject of demon possession came up, and I told him about my experiences of being told either that I was demon possessed or that I was ‘heavily demonised’.

The time I was told I was demon possessed was when I was a 12 year old girl in 1973.  I had lost my frightening father to suicide the year before.  Two of the elders of the church I was going to told me that I was demon possessed because I stared too much.  I suppose I did stare.  I stared particularly at one of them, because he was my father’s age and musical like my father, and I wanted to be a part of their family, informally.  He was a father figure.  The other elder – no, deacon – his wife told me that the man I saw as a father figure just saw me as a silly little girl.  They must have thought I fancied him or something (he was 38, I was 12, he was married with 3 children).  When they first tried to pray for me they decided I didn’t want help and told me I wasn’t to go back until I wanted help.  I think they also told me I couldn’t have communion.  The second time they prayed for me the deacon was bothered that I had practised a prayer instead of just praying on the spot, but the man I saw as a father figure said he felt good about it.  Apparently they saw a mouse which I didn’t see, and they told me the demons had gone into the mouse.  All I knew was that I wasn’t allowed to get close to the people I wanted, and I was hurt and upset, and frightened.  That fear left me briefly about 20 years ago, but it quickly came back when I was disrespected at the church I was going to in London.

At the church I went to in London, St Barnabas, Woodside Park in North Finchley, soon after my first experience in a mental hospital, I was so traumatised I was shouting when I was afraid.  I asked the vicar, who at that time was John Coles, what he would tell God when He asked him why he called the police on me, and John said he would say that he was dealing with someone who was ‘heavily demonised’.

I told Pete about both of these experiences and he said about the first one that I was obviously traumatised and they should have been dealing with trauma, not performing an exorcism.  He said it was child abuse, which I agree with.  David Shearman once told me he had been angry when he found out about it.  Unfortunately his anger did not relieve my pain and fear.  I lived for years worrying about demons, and looking into the mirror and seeing something evil in my eyes.  I can’t remember what Pete said about the second time, in London, that I had this forced on me.  But he said it all sounded medieval.  He also said that he thought people were like a piano, with all the notes available, and you just decide what you are going to play.

My worry is, have I misrepresented the Church?  They meant well, didn’t they?  Although I find that hard to believe, given how much anger was expressed.

I looked up the two people involved when I was 12.  One of them died in 2012 (the man whose family I wanted to be part of), and the other is an elder in a Christian Fellowship somewhere.  I didn’t recognise him but I recognised his wife, easily.

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