Archive for December, 2012


Christian Antipsychiatry

Today I tried to find something on Christian antipsychiatry.  Nothing came up really.  There is no such organisation listed on Google.

I find this disappointing that, in the Christian Church, there is no organised voice that identifies itself with those of us who believe that we specifically have been harmed by psychiatry, and that psychiatry in itself is a harmful thing.  It fits my belief that psychiatric labels are largely a religio-political thing.  It is an iron grip on a fragile soul.

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Reading Load

A farewell to Arms is getting really heavy reading for me, being the female that I am.  I’ve been thinking for ages of reading some more Shakespeare.  I’ve got the complete works from the library and thought I would take Macbeth out again.  I had a paperback version which went for a walk.  I think this complete version has no footnotes (I can’t remember if my paperback version did).  It isn’t the kind of thing you can ‘curl up with’, is it, a massive complete Shakespeare?

I’ve also got a book with Marxist interpretations of Shakespeare, so I thought I might try and work my way through the plays I don’t know that it has essays on, then read the essays.  Or maybe I should read the essays first and find out if they are worth it.  If they aren’t I can read what I like.  The essays might also be a window into works I don’t know if I read them first.

Christmas

Have I mentioned that word yet?

Happy Christmas to my readers, and thank you for reading my rubbish – most of it is that.

I joined Facebook last night in an attempt to find a band which is no longer there.  I have 15 friends, about 3 or 4 of which I recognise.  I just put through all my aol contacts on a page without un-checking any of the boxes.  After the first page I clicked ‘skip’ and wasn’t able to recall the other contacts to send out as friend requests.  The friends that came through came through so fast I thought they must be on automatic accept, reject later mode, if there is such a thing.

Today I cooked a chickpea curry with onion, green pepper and tomato.  It was very nice.  I’ve been reading, which has alternately felt like denial and also felt good for me.  I’ve got two books on the go at the moment.  I have started Catch-22 (of course, bit masculine), and today I also started, and am now reading, Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, which I am really enjoying.  Catch-22 I have found funny but it is beginning to get darker, shocking in places, to me.  Like the bit I just read today that obeying orders trumps being able to go home after so many missions and that if they refused to obey they would be shot.  I don’t know how serious that is at this point.  It could be just someone being nasty and on a power trip that ultimately ends with words.

I feel like Scrooge (except that I don’t have a workforce that I am mistreating).  I haven’t bought any presents, I have given a few cards.

Julie is still not talking to me and is slamming doors.  I left a card for her by her cupboard. I suppose she just found it because the response was a lot of angry door slamming.  I wish I hadn’t bothered.  It’s put me against her again.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but I wasn’t expecting that.  It is so violent it makes me want to hit back.  I feel violated, literally.  It sends my thoughts reeling and jumbled all over the place, it is like psychological and emotional acid.  It is so violent that I feel groggy and get thoughts come into my mind that are nothing to do with me and make no sense.  Words suggest themselves out of nowhere, as if physically put into my mind.

There is a character in Catch-22, Hungry Joe, shouting himself hoarse at noises and screaming nightly at nightmares.  I feel a bit like him, but I don’t scream now, I have to keep it all inside.  I think Julie must have been really hurt by something which might not have anything to do with me.

This blog entry is worth reading.  Julian talks about a spiritual crisis experience where he realised we are all divine, that was treated as psychosis.  It speaks for itself, it is a serious bit of reading, if you want to read something which is going to speak to you and engage you.  Please read it.  I found it fascinating.

As he says, the enforcing of drugs ignores what has formed the person and everything they are apart from their inability to handle a crisis.  He says he wasn’t ready for the spiritual experience, that he wasn’t grounded (he was also taking drugs at the time, which might have triggered the experience too early for him).

One thing he said which frightens me is that, after prolonged use of anti-psychotics, the pre-frontal lobe atrophies.  I believe it.  I’m not sure that damage can be reversed, though it might be possible to find ways of trying to compensate for it.

Without having received the letter I was supposed to receive I have been taken off Income Support and put on Employment and Support Benefit.  In the process I have lost £100, approximately, every two weeks.

In the meantime I am still in hospital, and because I have no Care Co-ordinator or social worker I am still paying about £150 a month for my storage, although I am entitled to have it paid for me under Section 117 of the mental health act, which is concerned with aftercare.  Having been on a Section 3 before this one I am still entitled to aftercare following that.

Obviously something needs to be done about this, but at the moment I am not sure what.  I don’t know if I can get an appointment with the benefits advisor.  I don’t know why I’m not entitled to Income Support anymore.  Until now I have been deemed to have a serious illness, in spite of all my own efforts to get them to re-examine my claim and diagnosis over the years.

A Time To Mourn

I read a post that was in Freshly Pressed yesterday, which said that the writer was not going to write because there is a time to stop and mourn, and that the Connecticut shootings were that time.  I agree with that, it was an awful tragedy.  So was the suicide of the nurse who took the hoax call, in the UK.  The question is, after we stop, then what?  There has to be a significant outcome to our stopping.

I have felt very selfish and unnatural for not stopping myself, and to be honest I find stopping hard fr something that has not directly affected me.  But hearing the news obviously made an impression and caused feelings of grief.  We don’t just recover from those after stopping briefly, do we?  Surely our lives and attention, our priorities and motivations,  have to take a different direction out of the stopping?

I cannot fight legitimately for my own life while ignoring the grief of others.  So if that grief touches me, what can I do?  As a homeless person on a section 3 in a residential rehabilitation unit of the NHS, awaiting accommodation?

But the point for me is that I have to learn to stop again, and acknowledge the stopping.

Keep The Faith

What does that mean?  When you are woken up at 6.30 in the morning with repeated door slamming and you feel so desperate and isolated that you feel you have no one and nothing to turn to but your blog, which you seem to have made your forever friend?

I shouted at her to stop and she wouldn’t.  Eventually I got out of bed to see who it was and it was Zara and when I told her to stop again she told me to fuck off.  I said ‘you fuck off’, and she kept going.  I’ve said before, our doors don’t slam like that left to themselves, so it seems to be deliberate.  I was shouting so much that two male staff members came to my room and they seem to have this thing about always insisting on the last word.  They aren’t allowed in without permission.  I’m wondering why they thought it was necessary to send in two men. There was a woman with them, but she didn’t speak and I didn’t see her.  They seemed offended that I saw it as intimidation.

Anyway, apparently Zara apologised, but if it had meant anything she wouldn’t have continued, as she has.  My experience just before the slam every time tells me there is definitely a ‘psychic’ element to what I am experiencing and maybe to what they are doing.  I called her a violent, two-faced rabbit.

I’ve been in my room almost all day.  I went down at lunchtime and Julie, who won’t talk to me, did her usual thing of coming into the kitchen behind me, banging something sharply then starting to hum.  It outrages my mind and hurts me emotionally.

Zara is leaving on Thursday.  Maybe she is just giving it large.  But in the meantime I feel quite battered and emotionally raped.  I’ve been told I can have her room when she leaves.  Yesterday she very kindly showed me her room and said I could ask for it.  I had no idea, given the size of mine, that it could be so big.  It;s got 3 chests of drawers, a big wardrobe with shelves and loads of space.

I still feel as if I am being precious, saying things like I feel battered and emotionally raped.  Have I decided to be angry, or is it a response I can’t help in the circumstances?  If I had gone down might it have sorted things out a bit?  If I had taken the brave step of putting audible music on in the first place instead of just listening through my earphones, might I have felt better and would it have helped calm things?  Oh yes, men were shouting at me to shut up.  I just remembered when I heard a man cough outside.  It is exactly like Sherwood was, though Dr Jaffer said it was all in my head, and hence I am being force-fed anti-psychotic drugs.

I feel as if I am burning, inside and out, and that I don’t even have enough strength and confidence to have a shower.  I feel too weak.  I’m hungry, but I feel too distressed and afraid and embarrassed to go down and eat.  I’m hungry but I have no appetite.

When the staff, who also bang the doors, ask if we are OK it feels as if the required answer is ‘yes’.

About mid morning someone was slamming doors and I kept shouting shut up but they kept repeating it.  After one repeat I didn’t shout and they stopped.  It might have been Veronica the cleaner, as she deliberately slams doors and comes on with contemptuous and defiant religious harassment, and also she talks to Zara a lot.  When Zara came back I heard a conversation between them that went something like ‘is she in?’ ‘yes, I can feel her’.  It is punitive and dominating and horrible. Some people would say just laugh.  I feel I am failing not to.  It is very quiet now.  I’m going to get a cup of tea and something to eat.  Maybe I’ll slam a door or two myself.  ‘What’s good for the goose . . .’.  I’m not in the mood though, and I don’t want to open myself to further harassment.  Opening myself doesn’t seem to come into it though.  It is something they have decided to do.  The staff have talked to them and they have got worse, if anything, and obviously contemptuous.   It feels like a hate crime.  But my thoughts and feelings about it might not be right.

Anger and Drunkenness

I can’t drink wine angry, I immediately become drunk and emotionally incontinent.  I’m sitting in a hotel drinking a glass of Merlot, and something about the way I was asked if I wanted to order offended me, and I felt drunk within two or three mouthfuls.

Jumble

WordPress has changed its presentation quite radically in its new presentation of Freshly Pressed.  I prefer the old ‘at a glance’ approach.  If I say something it is almost a guarantee that what I want isn’t going to happen in changing back.

I was thinking today that perhaps the reason for my dark thoughts and interpretations and presentations of my situation is the colour and design of my blog, and it might be time to get a new theme. Is the difference between bright and happy and dark and brooding the difference between child material and adult material?  I’ve been thinking I’ve been writing like a teenager with angst, writing dark things like someone trying to trip lightly.  Maybe the style I attempt is too light for the things I write about.

I watched an old play radio video today that I downloaded from Youtube.  4 hours of Tommy Boyd, but the lighting on his face was awful. It made it look as if he had white patches all over his face.  I am sure they could have done better than that, so why they didn’t I have no idea.

The door slamming isn’t stopping.  It is really making me feel ill.  I am lying pinned in terror and feelings of sickness to my bed.  It isn’t just the door slamming, it is the strangeness and contempt. Julie still refuses to talk to me.  I’d like to go and get a cup of tea but I am up here in almost constant shock and feelings of weakness and dread.  My own reactions have contributed to that as much as anything else.

I’m really confused, I don’t know what to do for the best.  The things I need to do I am not sure if I can do them adequately, like write new emails of complaint to Nottingham City Homes and the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission).

Who am I writing for when I write my blog?  I don’t know any of my respondents. Who comprises my intended readership?  I am largely aware of my stalkers and their responses/criticisms.  A lot of the time I am trying not to sound stupid to them, or I will be made to feel stupid.

I’m thinking about my pastors and their almost caveman-like approach to me, as one of their lost goods and chattels. There is something about David in the Bible who, when enemies took the camp;s possessions, ‘pursued and overtook’ until he recovered everything.  It appears that my pastors’ interpretation of this justifies stalking in their minds.  I don’t think I am imagining it.  Actually, at the moment I do, or I would not need to say that.

I’m sick of church and the thought of it.  When I remember the treatment I got there, especially in the 90s, and the fact that no apology has been given into my hands, I don’t want to go back.  I just want to sleep.  I just want some peace and respect and security.  I want some love.  I never knew a father’s embrace, a peaceful, contented, quiet and still thing.  I don’t think I will find it with any Pentecostal men, I don’t think they would sully themselves or their consciences to give that kind of support and therapy.  But now I feel as if I am being childish and that at my age, even given my background, I shouldn’t need that.  But David kisses his daughter and lets her kiss him, his 40 year old daughter who shares my birthday (I never knew that until a week ago, but David has known it for years and not told me.  I wasn’t close to the family so didn’t ask, but he could have told me when he had my birthday during the radio programme days.  But he didn’t.  It would have been a nice, friendly thing to do.).  I feel I am betraying myself and them by putting this in my blog.  And I feel I am being ungrateful by interpreting a hand up as stalking and putting unwelcome requirements on me.

The last sermons posted on the Christian Centre site are 25th November, the day after my birthday and a failed attempt to go and see Tommy Boyd.  I think they are reading my blog and my communications to Tommy, with or without his permission and co-operation, and they are holding back sermons for weeks.  If they are stalking me I shouldn’t go back, but I have been wanting to for weeks.  I feel really sick.  I can’t get my head together for anything.   Going back feels like the right thing to do but stalking is harmful and against the law, whoever is doing it and whoever they team with.

I’m reminded of a line from a Philip Larkin poem, ‘My mind’s not right’.  I offered that as the key line in a poem in 6th form and it was accepted and affirmed.  That reminds me of when David affirmed my selection of the verse that says Saul was jealous of David, because the Lord was with him and not with Saul.  I’m not sure if thinking in terms of key lines and thoughts and verses is altogether helpful now, and I could wish those things had not been asked, let alone my answers accepted.

PS The man in the ‘cinematic baguette’ post that was freshly pressed soon after I published this does not look far away from Gordon Brown who reminds me of David Shearman.  I’m not sure what WordPress’s purpose was in that.

My New Home With the NHS

Part of the problem with the house is its almost non-existent sound-proofing.  On my side of the house we are right on top of each other bedrooms-wise and the floorboards creak when you move.  This can be heard in the next room.  My next door neighbour/fellow patient can hear when I move and I can hear when she moves.  I get nervous because of the door slamming and wonder what her movement means all the time.  The other lady doesn’t even acknowledge me when I say hello.  The door slamming started 2 days after I got there.  I had told the staff this was a pattern that was following me, but previously it has been insisted that this belief is all a part of what I believe to be my non-existent mental illness.  At the moment I feel weak and tired and my chest hurts.  My blood pressure was taken this morning and a stethoscope held to my back, because I told them I wanted to pass out when I was outside.  She told me to take deep breaths and when I did I started to cough, clearing my airways.  She commented and I felt inhibited.  Coughing and clearing my airways would have been a good start to deep breathing.

I have been afraid/reluctant to write like this about the new place I am in because I don’t want to stir up bad feeling.  But I think the building is largely responsible for the tension in the house.  Doors are made to slam which would not slam left to themselves, and they should be slam-proofed anyway.   It looks as if nothing has been done to make these buildings, which used to be offices, apparently, suitable for the purpose they are now used for.  Also even the largest bedrooms are really small.  Mine is one of the smallest.  It is 2 or 3 paces from my bed to the door.  One of the staff who spoke to me acknowledged that the unit was not fit for purpose, but the acknowledgment doesn’t make it any easier.

It is exactly the same with social housing.  The sound-proofing is appalling. I heard a story on Radio 4 recently where it said that thin walls made bad neighbours.  That is true, definitely. They also make angry, desperate people.  I don’t like to sound strident and political, but the truth is that in the places I have been in we can hear so much from each other’s space it is humanly indecent.  It really is like being packed together like farm animals.

I’m saying all this stuff, but sometimes, when it comes down to it, I feel as if I am being precious and giving myself ‘airs and graces’.  Really I am no different from anyone else except that I have been silenced by intimidation and vigilantism, delivered subliminally.  Knowing that is what is happening makes me too angry to speak.

Relaxation Tape

I am listening to a tape that started off by saying that any sound would add to my relaxation.  I’m sure she can’t have meant doors slamming deliberately like bombs dropping.  This happens here every day.  I’ve reported it to the nurses and the nurses have talked to the other women involved but there has been no change.  I’m beginning to think about stopping respecting the night.  I can also do slamming doors.  The nurses aren’t here, they are in a building across the road.  They would have to get out of bed and walk over there (Oh no, there is a phone in the hall).  This shared NHS house is hell for me, as I thought it would be.  But one of the nurses told me they have done it to people before, and said it isn’t me or my fault.  So why aren’t they ejected if they are making people this ill and unhappy?  I told one of the nurses today that things are so bad in here I can’t cope and I want to pass out and collapse when I am out.  One of the people involved across the landing from me won’t even acknowledge me when I say hello or ask if she is OK.  Somebody I was talking to the other day (not about this) said it was obvious I was being abused.  It’s a shared house on an open ward and the treatment I am getting from the people I am sharing with is making me feel sick but all the nurses ever do is say they will talk to them.  I’m afraid to go down and cook and it is affecting my appetite.  The door slamming is unnecessary and violent and it shakes the house.  I’m even getting pain in my stomach when I try to eat.

Some people would say this is the result of unforgiveness . . .

I’ve been thinking that about myself in relation to going back to church.  I have had the same battle every Sunday for three weeks.  I wonder if anyone else can put their hands up to being a coward?  I hear the preaching style and its content and I don’t want to go back, in spite of its historical place in my life.  At the same time I do want to go back.  But if we approach each other the wrong way it could explode in our faces, again.

I;m writing this in a hotel restaurant at 22.27 09.12.2012 UK time.  In Bulgaria it has just tipped over to Monday 10.12.2012.  I was reading in the Times yesterday, which I bought with a coffee, that President Putin wants to rebuild the old Soviet Union under another name, but that the West wants to avoid that happening or slow it down.  I was wanting to go back to Bulgaria ad buy there, but I’m not sure now.  I have heard that Bulgaria, of all the old Soviet countries, is closer in sentiment and politics to Russia than any of the others.  A lot of Russians buy in the country.  When Bulgaria first entered the European Union a Russian official expressed the wish that Bulgaria would be Russia’s Trojan horse in Europe.  There is an anticipated change in Bulgaria’s relationship with the EU scheduled for 2014 which is supposed to bring property prices into line with the rest of Europe.  What we have at the moment, if that is true, is a window of opportunity.  Opportunity for what?  To exploit the average Bulgarian who is selling at the moment at around 10,000 euros?  I can’t see how someone with self respect and respect for the people of Bulgaria could do that to them.  It seems quite a ‘sharp’ thing to do, to me.  After 2014 they could sell for more.

So there, I’ve committed it to writing, that I think it is just sharp business practice.  I wonder how people will feel if this re-establishing of the Soviet Union becomes a reality, if those who have bought will quickly get out.  If I buy and that happens, I won’t be staying.  I suppose he would want to go towards being closed, like before.  What about all the murders under the old communist regime, would they come back, or have lessons been learned?

I’m just writing, for no particularly good reason.  I told myself on the way down here that if I was repentant I wouldn’t be heading for a hotel to drink wine and download stuff.  I imagine David Shearman being angry with me and believing that he shouldn’t talk to me until he sees evidence of repentance.  Do I really want to go back to seeing the rest of the world as Egypt and ruled by demons?  But that is what the Bible says, that Satan is the god of this world, the ruler of the powers of the air.  I have felt loved by some of these people, rightly or wrongly.  I can see myself sitting happily in a congregation and rejecting everything.  I can see myself doing it, happily, it isn’t even a hope or a fear.

Repentance makes amends and seeks reconciliation.  What about everything I’ve said about not being able to be in church because they validate the mental health system and sometimes use it as a weapon or offend by taking it for granted, apparently, that it is right and that the person judged as mentally ill is rightly so judged?

I feel both sombre and happy.  I’m very tired.  Because of where I am at as a woman, every time I feel I have made a breakthrough in understanding how best to handle myself ad my relationships it also hurts deeply that I didn’t know before and then I feel unable to maintain any feeling of having made progress in any solid way.

That will do for now.  A bit more self-display.  It would not be so bad if it didn’t get into the wrong hands as well as kind ones.  Where’s Tommy Boyd?  He’s disappeared off the planet, by the looks of it.  I can’t believe he’s finished broadcasting for good.  It’s only his 60th birthday this year.  I thought he was more professionally committed than that.  He’s just gone, and I feel bereft, as well as anything else.  That sounds stupid and pretentious.  I’m also a bit pleased he isn’t there so I am not constantly infuriated.  I wish he was around for me because I feel I need him.  He was there once, when I sat with him in his car.  I wasn’t, I said no.  He pointed to his chest and said ‘I’M in here’ and looking back I always remember that as very touching and tender.  He didn’t seem to be trying to pull any tricks.  Every time I phoned up he said something to remind me of that night and it was too late, perhaps, that I realised it was possibly an invitation to talk some more.  Although how I could have done I don’t know.  If it was an invitation I didn’t understand that at the time.

 

Why Don’t Vegans Drink Milk?

Vegans are opposed to exploiting and causing suffering to animals.  This article talks about the suffering and exploitation involved in dairy farming.

To keep cows lactating they are made pregnant every year through artificial insemination, and the birth is often difficult and traumatic as the aim to produce large cattle for beef is pursued.  Within 3 days the calf is taken away so that all the milk can go on the dairy market.  This causes suffering to both mother and calf as the bond is strong.  They cry for each other.  A higher milk yield is always sought and the food that goes towards increasing the yield causes acid indigestion.  When milk yield drops the cow is slaughtered.

Also from a health point of view, cows with mastitis are still used for milk, and it is considered acceptable for the pus from mastitis to be drunk as part of the milk.

Sketches From the Bus

This man sat next to me on the bus the other day and I felt him breathing and it calmed me down. It was a good feeling,  I just remembered it because I am playing Neil Diamond on Napster, Sweet Caroline, where he says how can I hurt when I’m holding you.  Warm, touching warm.  My breathing came into time with his and I wished it was something that was a part of my life regularly.

Another man sat near me on the bus in a different day and my reaction was completely different.  Because he looked like David Pawson, who is or was a lot into male authority.  I’ve seen a couple of people who reminded me of him.  I wondered if I am missing something, not having a personal male authority.  The male authority is supposed to be loving and caring and enabling rather than dominating and restrictive.  Sometimes I wish I had one,  But I felt this man’s presence and decided I didn’t like it and when he got off the bus he looked me hard in the eye, which is what I get a lot here, and I said some men think every woman s theirs to look in the eye and it isn’t true, it is abusive. But I might have been the one who was being abusive, I thought afterwards, and the poor man might not have had all these ideas like David Pawson, whose model is partly the protection of the woman anyway.  Right doctrine is concerned with right behaviour, and I know that, at the moment, my hormones make me weaker than most men and in need of protection.  Obviously it can go wrong if it gets overprotective and restrictive.  A woman’s wishes matter.

Can You Spare Change

Someone dressed as a lion said that today as I passed them,  I thought I didn’t have any and didn’t respond, as I was just past him anyway.

But I immediately started to think about that familiar request differently.  Can you spare any change.  How about, ‘please change’, ‘can you spare any life change’?

I thought what if the people they access for change were to become accessible as people, full stop?  People tend to stop people they like the look of, what if the person were being asked for a life involvement instead?

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