The reason I disagree with this, from people with power and authority towards people who have been through the mental health system, is that my experience of the mental health system is that they insist it doesn’t happen, and if you say it does it is evidence of mental illness.

My experience of the people who use this form of communication is that they do so in order to be able to insist that you respond on their terms and they get involved on their own terms, otherwise they won’t even acknowledge the communication.  They will stand by and look on silently and impassively as they order you to be taken away.

Their assumed right to do this also assumes that they know everything they need to know to make a decision about a person.  Erm . . . that would make them God, then?

I’m in a dilemma over this.  I’m sure that most of them believe that what they are doing is right.  But I would like to e able to say that the reason I feel so strongly against it is that I have fallen prey of evil people who have perverted its use, but those people would not accept that description and assessment of themselves, and neither would most ‘decent, upstanding people’ accept it of them.

I do feel love, I do feel loyalty, I believe very much in obedience to authority.  I think I do, anyway.  So when I don’t respond to this, I believe it says something bad about me, and I think that is how they see it too.

Am I a person being abused, or am I just a rebel who needs to learn to respect those in authority? If I go to the people I rebel against in tears, will they heal me?  I certainly seem to be making life very hard for myself.  That is the position they take.

The problem is, for me and other survivors of the mental health system, the government validates and upholds the system which says believing we are being communicated with in this way is evidence of mental illness.

So what is the definition of mental illness? Is it, for someone like me, that I want to do what I want to do on my own terms, not on the terms of those who use their form of communication to be able to opt out of committment to a response from the person which is other than they want?  To me, it looks that way.

I thought that living in a democracy meant you could do anything you want to, within the law, on your own terms unless, discounting assault, someone with authority stops you with good reason and in an acceptable way, which, to me in a situation like this, would be with the personal commitment of being explicit about what you are saying, about who you are saying it to, and about what you want, so that everyone watching and listening, including the person themselves, knows what you have said and who you have said it to.

I feel I could just go walking up to these people, at the moment, and find myself embraced and accepted.  That makes me feel that I should drop my insistence that people in authority should not communicate with those without power and authority in code, whatever the communication.  I think they would say it is about testing the heart.  When I started writing this I was ready to maintain that it is an attempt to control a person inappropriately rather than to control a situation and recognise the person’s rights to their own terms of action and understanding. I wonder what kind of Britain it is that would be put at risk by recognising these rights and not acting against them.

I believe that no one in authority who upholds the mental health system has a right to use this form of communication with someone who knows that if there response is considered unacceptable they could well end up back in hospital.  I also wish to maintain that they have no right to take an individual out of that group and try and make them feel secure enough to leave the others behind. if they can do it for one, they can do it for all.  I believe the way to do that for this kind of situation is to make it clear that the mental health practitioners are wrong in their assertions and actions towards people who believe they are being communicated with using any kind of code.

Coded communication I am aware of and that I know others are aware of embraces things like parable, metaphor, storytelling, drama – seeds planted that go for the heart and conscience and which bypass the process of logic.  I heard on Premier Radio that it was C S Lewis who said that was the function of his stories, and Premier Radio accepted the validity and desirability of that without question.

My own life experience, and that of many others, I have to assume,  is that that is not something we have been brought up with with any awareness or security or understanding. That being the case, it is wrong to invalidate us and superimpose it on us at will.

I think that, in most situations, employing means to move the will through the heart bypassing the mind is assuming far too much power.  It assumes too much personal purity and knowledge.

I’m Sue Barnett.  I’m trying to survive the mental health system threat, and until people insisted on knowing everything about me, I was a survivor of sexual and other forms of abuse.  I was satisfied that, as a Christian, the new had come and the old had gone, and that there were some things I didn’t need to talk about.   Because other people were not, and were not prepared to say that to me or to tell me what it was they were concerned about, I have been made a victim of the mental health system and of everyone who is happy to have that fear as a form of control over me because it makes their job easier.  I have been made a victim by people in authority who have used this extreme form of force and invalidation to compensate for their own cowardice, anger and unwillingness to be open without taking control.

The truth is, however I feel, the life I could have known will now never exist.  For them, knowing that I have been a victim of sexual abuse makes them believe they need to take another look and try to restore the relationship, maybe try to help me and so expiate their guilty feelings.  Some want to work even harder to cover what they have done, and so present as believing they need to be even more insistent on the form of communication they are using which will not cover the person who responds to it in the eyes of the mental health system, if the communicators don’t find the response acceptable.  They can invest it with whatever tone or expression of love, authority, disapproval, anger, cajoling, humour, twitting, triumph, positive disengagement they want to, the form of communication is still as compromising to its recipient.

If they want me to go home, the right way to communicate that is to tell me so openly and formally, either giving reasons or saying that they can’t, and to tell me what kind of provision will be made for me if I do what they ask me and what else they want to happen and don’t want to happen, in terms of – well, not knowing whether or not they want to arrest me is one of my greatest anxieties.  Will anyone meet me at the airport and, if so, who and for what purpose?  How will I know them, and that they are who they say they are and want what they say they want?

With good reason I am afraid of force and of violence and of being taken into any kind of detention when no one has told me to expect it.  Making people live with that has to be wrong, in most cases, if not all.  They tell us that if we treat them with respect we will be respected.  Hm. A very easy equation to make, and also one which they don’t impose that often on themselves in any kind of requirement to be the first to show respect in a relationship which has broken down.

Christmas is here.  I feel as if I have deprived myself.  But I believe that other people have been watching my actions with cynicism they have attributed to me.  They seem to think I have done some hard and necessary things just because it is Christmas and I want to have a good one, so they are treating my actions and communications with cynicism and not even acknowledging them.  To me, that makes them the problem, because I don’t work that way.  I would not seek resolution of serious issues involving other people with an eye to having it out of the way by Christmas.  I recently contacted the police complaints department for an update on a complaint they have allowed to lapse for several months without communication.  That was a week ago.  In spite of the seriousness and distressing nature of what is involved, I have still received no reply, and I really believe, given the way they have handled all other communication I have made on this matter, that they have decided I can wait until after Christmas because if I thought I should be able to get it out of the way before then they are going to teach me I can’t do things at my own convenience.  I didn’t even think of Christmas.  I did what I knew I had to do at the time.  If this is the approach they are taking towards me, it is their cynicism, not mine, and is completely contemptuous.  There might be another reason but, if there is, they are not exactly showing any human concern.  I haven’t even had an acknowledgement of the email I sent them, let alone an update.  This must be wrong, especially when I first started trying to deal with it back in March 2009 and they have failed to deliver in terms of the way they said they were going to handle it, even after many attempts to get a clarification.  I’m wondering why I am being held hostage in this way and why I, as the person who made the report and has later complained about the way it has been handled from start to finish in the way they have treated me, am being made to feel as if I don’t matter.  It appears to me that they MUST be trying to hide something.  If they are waiting for me to be prepared to deal with it in the way they think I should be, that is awfully patronising and shows incompetence rather than anything else.  I’ve made the report.  I’ve made the complaint.  I am being ignored on one hand and being put under pressure on the other while they wait for – what?  Perfection in the way I go about things and the way I express my feelings over the situation before they will allow any resolution or progress or closure?  These people, whose officers have been exposed for rape and other misdemeanours?  They think they have a right to hold me, someone who went to them voluntarily, hostage?

You daren’t say too much against these people.  They have ways of making you pay.  Violence, neglect, incarceration under the mental health act, leaving you to deal with abuse and vigilantism in the neighbourhood.  Would they take out a contract on my life?  Would they physically have me killed?  I really don’t know.

Edit note: 11.36 am Bulgarian time:

This post didn’t appear under it’s assigned categories and tags for several minutes.  I thought it wasn’t going to, so I contacted WordPress to ask why.

When I finished (perhaps this is what is commonly called ‘paranoia’, but I don’t think so, though I am in the city centre, more or less), a police car came past with its siren wailing.  It stopped and started and stopped and started, sort, long, it felt deliberately timed and mocking, angry, harassing and threatening.

Now I’m angry.  MY anger is not acceptable, so I am also afraid.  In the light of everything that has happened this year – should I just laugh at myself and stop being so precious and pretentious?  It looks as if I am being targeted for deliberate harassment.  If the action is deliberate, harassment might not be their motivation, it is just the quickest interpretation people arrive at. But whatever the motivation, if it IS deliberate, it is experienced as harassment and contempt and provocation, and knowing that might be what they want, I am angry, and sick with fear because of that possibility.  Because when that happens, it is normal, and right, to want to confront the human beings responsible.  But if I did I would come off worst.  That is how people become mentally ill.  Not being allowed to confront what is wrong with what is right, and having to pretend compliance where it is absolutely wrong, in the face of authorities and powerful organisations and individuals who pretend they are not doing what they most obviously and certainly seem to be doing.  I’m afraid, because they might be using this kind of activity towards me to get me to reveal my identity and whereabouts.  Even though my landlord, I think, has to give them that information anyway.  I’m afraid because, when I think I am wrong, I feel it deeply, and they make me feel that way all the time.  I’m afraid because my normal mode is love and respect, and they seem to enjoy invalidating that, or misappropriating it.  I feel stupid.  I think that is what they want me to feel.  Back off and watch a woman being abused and wait until she cries for help, realising how right they really are and acknowledging how wrong she really is.

Um . . .

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