Archive for February, 2019


On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience

By Henry David Thoreau, who I heard about on my English degree as an American Transcendentalist poet along with Walt Whitman. I’ve had it on my Kindle reader for several years and felt a bit shy of reading it, I thought I might really be identifying myself as an undesirable and a troublemaker. I started to read it on Monday on the way back to the hospital from my sister’s funeral. I’ve been reading slowly, because sometimes I am so upset and disorientated when I start that I read a word or two then need to stop and gather myself. I think I’ve only spent about an hour with it even so and am already 49% of the way through it.

I think the issue was slavery when he wrote it. He talks about the need to disidentify with an unjust government, how the one time they really insist on your engagement is in the collecting of taxes, how, if the government is going to imprison people unjustly, the right place for a good man IS in prison. He says the way forward is to encourage officers to resign their positions, and that when citizens refuse obedience and the officers resign the revolution is complete. That is as far as I have got.

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Oh Shit!

Yesterday I finished reading a Kindle book by Ram Dass that appears not to be available on Amazon anymore, so I am glad I got it when I did.  It is called ‘Ram Dass, The Essential Collection’.  Towards the end he recounts this story which someone gave him on a Xerox (not sure what that used to be but I’ve heard of it).

If you are unhappy —

Once upon a time, there was a non-conforming sparrow who decided not to fly south for the winter.  However, soon the weather turned so cold that he reluctantly started to fly south.

In a short time, ice began to form on his wings, and he fell to earth in a barnyard, almost frozen.  A cow passed by and crapped on the little sparrow.  The sparrow thought it was the end, but the manure warmed him and defrosted his wings.  Warm and happy, able to breathe, he started to sing.

Just then, a large cat came by and, hearing the chirping, investigated the sounds.  The cat cleared away the manure, found the chirping bird, and promptly ate him.  The moral of this story: 1.) Everyone who shits on you is not necessarily your enemy.  2.) Everyone who gets you out of the shit, is not necessarily your friend.  3.) If you’re warm and happy in a pile of shit, keep your mouth shut.

That reminds me, I read Jonathan Livingston Seagull a couple of decades ago and I want to read it again.  I’m not sure, I think it is about majority bullying of people who are different.  If not, I heard in another context that seagulls pick on non-conformist seagulls.

This is a personal thing:  in the kind of Church I went to hippies got a really bad press.  Flower power, hippie dippie, a bit soft and idealistic.  Running away and buying a van with mum and dad’s money while supposedly rejecting and reacting against materialism (OK, that one is still a logical problem for me).  But Ram Dass was a professor of psychology at Harvard University, arguably the top university in the American Ivy League.  He was doing experiments with a man I heard of during my degree, Timothy Leary, with LSD before it was made illegal.  They threw Timothy Leary out, they asked Ram Dass to give up the experiments and stay.  He made it clear he would not give up the experiments and they lost him.

My kind of Church would often say some educated people are not that bright.  Maybe it is too much of a challenge to get involved with them and what they have to say.  It is a stance, insulting and dismissive, taken by people who do not want to think about it or want the people they are involved with to think about it, more often than not.  These people say, and I have seen the videos, we had special meetings in which they were shown, smack your children, fight with the dog and order it to go to the dog basket, show it who is boss.  I heard a big leader in the prosperity movement talk about kicking his dogs, as if it is OK.  They write books which praise a dentist who, when confronted by a little girl who was in the habit of taking all her clothes off as an act of defiance, allowed her to do it then made her walk back to the car naked.  used to think that was OK and the way to go.  Was it a James Dobson book?  I think so.  The videos were.  Ram Dass was and is a spiritual seeker like the rest of us.  He has not lost his mind, he has found another way.  I can’t say much more at the moment in my situation, my feelings are in turmoil and it won’t come out right.  So sorry, I think I have just ruined what was meant to be a purely pithy and humorous post.

Mental Health Act Tribunal Tomorrow

My Mental Health Act Tribunal is scheduled for 10.30 am tomorrow. I have read the doctor’s report. It is full of mistakes, lies, misrepresentations, alien ways of dealing with things. One of the things it says is that there is a documented incident of me having tried to harm someone. I don’t think he brought that up with me in any of our conversations and I don’t know what he is referring to. I have never tried to harm anyone, ever. I think the worst thing I have ever tried to do when I was really upset was snatch a Church leader’s glasses off his face and break them. I failed, there was a row of chairs between us. The nurses told me I should complain if there are any problems, which I have and been told they will try and stop them and this has had results sometimes. But I told them I was reticent about complaining because it is used against me and my psychiatrist has used it against me in his report, even though the person responsible for dealing with the complaint was very understanding and on one occasion told me that she had had about 20 complaints about the same thing.

Bereavement Support

I am entitled to proper bereavement support at the moment, incarcerated as I am on this pressure cooker ward without leave.  I must be.  Why aren’t I getting it?  This whole situation is sick and surreal.  I am desperate.  I want to cry and scream and wail, as so many bereaved people do, I have heard.  I keep holding it back.  If I were not being mistreated I wouldn’t feel like doing any of that, anyway.  So I am not going to do it with the people who are already failing and mistreating me and are not there for me, in any deep and relaiable way.  I’ve had so many staff here who, when I say I am being harassed and picked on, up goes the wall, immediately.  “No one here would want to do that to you”.  The news is a steady trickle of situations like this where that happens, and they are only the ones who get caught.  I am locked in here against my wishes.  Abuse number one.  I am locked in with the situation, the only place I can go is the enclosed garden for some air, which helps a bit, sometimes.  But being locked in with no say about it, and the way people define me, I am as helpless as a child.  We are told that if a child says they are being abused we should take them seriously.  Some kids play that, you know, just like some adults do.  I have no more power than a child here, and if I say to a member of staff that I am being abused or picked on and their immediate response is I can’t be, no one would, that is frightening and isolating.  It adds a different kind of abuse all of its own.

When I was still in junior school my grandad hit me once and made a blood clot go into my eye.  I said to him, ‘I’m going to tell everyone at school that you did this’.  They asked me and I told them.  No one did a thing.  I’ve only just thought recently, unless it really was just the time I lived in then, someone really should have done something.  Just the same as someone should here.  In those days my teachers liked me.  My headmistress even let me answer the phone for her at lunchtime when she wasn’t there.  But they did nothing to help.

That reminds me, one Sunday night at Talbot Street the phone rang near the beginning of a service and I was still downstairs.  I went and answered it to try and help.  This man started talking to me about masturbation.  I must have been about 13-14.  I think he said it was a problem for him.  I didn’t even know what it was.  I asked my older friend and mentor what it was and she told me she didn’t know.  But this lady must have been in her 30s at least.  I find it hard to believe she did not know.  He was on the phone with me for 15-30 minutes.  I can’t remember any more of the conversation than the subject.  But anyway, that is all beside the point.

The Harassment Has Escalated

I wrote a long complaint at the weekend.  I got all these connections last night that I hadn’t had before on the internet.  Earlier someone opened my door and I had my back to it with Facebook up then I lost Facebook.  I have just asked for the email address to make an official complaint and I have been told they don’t do it by email, it has to go through the ward manager, but now I have also ‘lost’ my email connection.  They go past my door and deliberately raise their voices as they get level with it.  I refused to see the psychiatrist today, after he first said I could go to Nottingham to arrange my sister’s funeral and choose a plot then made such a seethrough excuse not to let me go, that they couldn’t spare the staff when all they needed to do was get agency cover or something.  The nurse in charge over the weekend agreed with me about that.

I wrote a letter for the psychiatrist this morning saying what I wanted in terms of the funeral and court attendance to defend my tenancy.  Their cruelty towards me knowing what I am going through is pure sadism, they are absolutely savaging me.  I asked for obs to be content with just hearing me say I am OK today instead of insisting on looking at me once an hour.  They know how I present, they know I am not suicidal or self harming, yet even though they know I have evidence to submit by tomorrow they have given me no peace.  They really set on me tonight.  I’m not supposed to be able to stand my ground reasonably over my rights, not even my right not to be harassed in my room by staff.  They have become tearing, savaging wild animals.  I needed my email account to send my evidence tomorrow.  I have also been told that I can’t put anything on a memory stick and print it out in case there is a virus on it.  One of the patients asked me if I thought there might be any police pressure.  He told me he was a doctor himself (I believe him) and that one day the police asked him to say an ex-prisoner who wanted to go to a funeral was not fit to go, and he wouldn’t.  Today the Dr Shah said I could go to Nottingham and they would get cover, just I had to tell him when.  I’ve arranged it with the funeral director for Thursday.  Just after dinner started at 5 pm the fire alarm went off and we had to go into the garden.  Personally I was there less than a minute when we all came back in again.  On the stairs I met the psychiatrist’s assistant, Jess, who said she wanted to talk to me.  I said ‘not now, it’s dinner time’ (which is a protected time), and she stood there confrontationally and proceeded to continue and almost drew me in, but I said again, ‘not now’.

I have done everything in writing today, and I wrote after this that I wanted her to tell me what she wanted to tell me in writing and why, in light of what I had written before, she wanted to tell me what she did.  I think they are trying to get me stopped from going to Nottingham for a second time.  I asked for leave in my letter this morning as well.  The response I got about when I could have leave to go to Nottingham made it obvious that the letter had not been properly read and understood, but I have also asked about general leave, around 10 am, after they told me I could have special leave, because I had been advised by an OT to ask for that, too.  They said they would get back to me.  It is 8.05 pm and no one has said anything else to me about anything to do with this morning’s ward round all day, but they are being provocative and trying to make trouble and sabotage my efforts to do the things I need to.  I just asked for an email address, half an hour later I have lost my newly accessible internet connection to my email account on which I was depending for sending evidence tomorrow.  To me it seems obvious this is deliberate.  This HCA was being really provocative and making faces and I read her the riot act about what she was doing to someone needing to submit evidence to defend their tenancy who still is arranging her sister’s funeral and the next thing I knew, because I was shouting because she was trying to mock and jeer me down, there was a team of staff coming towards my door.  These are evil, bullying, fascist cowards with chemical weapons and a ‘right to use reasonable force’.  I said this evening, ‘there is nothing happening here that I have not said is happening for 22 years.  If you want to deal with it the first thing you need to do is admit you have been wrong and it is not a mental health problem in the first place’.  He (another HCA) was round a corner by then but when I finished he slammed a door.  Every time they come to my door to ‘do obs’ they act as if they have a warrant to enter and insist on coming in to look at me even though it has been obvious all week that I am fine, not self harming, not suicidal.  I believe they want an excuse to medicate and stop me going to Nottingham.  I’m on Tatton Ward.  Their behaviour and attitude towards me are getting darker and more frightening and demeaning.  This is an NHS overflow ward staffed by private staff in a private hospital.  They told me it was different from other places I have experienced, and for a while it has been true.  It looks as if it is starting to turn, in an obvious way.  This is the Priory Hospital Group.  They have no respect for me in my situation at all.  I am not entitled to less respect and support as a bereaved person potentially about to lose my home just because I am a Section 2 prisoner in a mental hospital on an acute ward.  On the contrary, this is not where I should be, at this point in my life, in my opinion, since they do not provide bereavement support, so they have told me.  But even if they don’t provide formal bereavement counselling and support they should at least respect me and try to be personally supportive.  I think if some of them could wear rubber gloves when dealing with me, from their faces and body language, they would do exactly that.

After I had been here a day or two a woman was put in the room opposite me with the same name as my sister.  She is aggressive and predatory.  After the first time I encountered her I apologised for my reaction to her behaviour, said she had come on a bit strong for me, and she was much better, but she is getting much more aggressive again.  Nurses often shout, even rage, her name asking if she is all right.  On Saturday night a nurse I had just been speaking to in my room who told me maybe we couldn’t afford the cover for me to go to Nottingham, two minutes later was heard right outside my room raging her name.  It doesn’t feel good.  Some of them seem to think if they get me a yogurt I am anybody’s, or should be.  Yogurt.  Lovely, thank you very much.  But no, I am not about to open up to you on that basis and tell you things I have been saying for 22 years because it might help you to hear it from me when having said these things, about media stalking and stuff, are the reason I am being given for my diagnosis of schizophrenia in the first place.  If they want to know they should tell ME what is happening and ask if I know.  I wonder why they dare not?  I wonder what difference they think mistreating me is going to make to what is happening with them?

Around 5 last night I discovered how to access my emails and I also accessed Facebook and lots of other sites, not social media, that I had open tabs for but hadn’t been able to access before, including Premier Christian Radio, were suddenly available, too.  I had Facebook until an hour or two and now I can’t access it again, also I have just checked premier and that has also gone.  But others I couldn’t get before that I suddenly could are still there.  This is hard for me to explain.  Facebook was nice while it lasted.  But faint heart never got Facebook back and I’m going to keep trying.  I won’t say what else I’ve still got in case that goes as well!  But so far I’ve had this throughout.  Praise the Lord.

Hangin’ Out With the King of Swing

That’s Krishna Das.  Played the Album, ‘Heart Full Of Soul’, got singing with the last two or three and wished I had started before.  Went on to put ‘Blues For Baba’ on a loop, thought I’d better take it off because I might be driving people mad but it was nice for me to have it on and do stuff with it.  Put the ‘Om Shri Matre Namah’ mantra on which I think is part of a free package on krishnadas.com these days (I had to pay for it.  I swear they were teasing me with the timing that they made it free!).  It is Krishna Das without music chanting Om Shri Matre Namah 108 times.  Only played a bit of that then decided to swap to ‘Namoh’ on ‘Trust In The Heart’ and was jamming to that and now it has moved on to other tracks on the album.  Loving jamming to KD this evening.  And I’ve heard some people here say they like my singing so that makes me feel good, too.  Let’s put some singing out there instead of people yelling.  It has to be better.  It certainly makes me feel better.  There is no one to one on the room opposite mine now so I have relative privacy and can relax with it more.  I find healing in singing and I hope those around me might, too.  Thank you, Krishna Das, for all the ways you have given yourself and your music to me.  Tonight your music is dancing my heart.

BTW, he is touring in the UK and Europe from June this year.  If I can afford it I’m going to follow him everywhere.  Check out his events page.

I am feeling exhausted today.  I was just lying on my bed with a few thoughts and situations going through my mind and my feelings going places they hadn’t before over some people, and letting my thoughts, especially my previous ones, be influenced by my feelings – hesitancy, nervousness, uncertainty about people I like and have wanted to be here for here.  I was beginning to wonder if I still did and if it was a good idea, then I caught myself and thought of a good two part maxim:

Don’t let your thoughts dictate your feelings, but also don’t let your feelings dictate your thoughts.

If you cared about someone yesterday, don’t let yourself be fooled by your own fickleness and vagaries that you don’t still care about them today.

A Room With A View

I have the sweetest view from my room, an expanse of green grass and several characterful and well-established trees.  I’ve seen a few creatures I’ve seen before and a tiny, fat little bird that I never have.  I just saw a squirrel chasing a blackbird and the bird ran away.  I haven’t seen that before, either, so I thought it was worth posting about.

Poor Old Bloke

He’s got all these young girls telling him what to do, he just said, ‘I’m talking to you, I don’t want to go’, then he said ‘fuck off’, then this bloody male staff member turned up and said to him, ‘I’M sorry?’

These fuckers don’t have a fucking clue.  Not a fucking clue.

If you are the kind of person that worries about your motivation for coming to it, it doesn’t matter why you come, just come.  Fear about your own motivation is a responsible and loving thing, whether you feel it that way or not.  It is also an indication that you are teachable and open to learn and change.

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