Tag Archive: Blogging


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.

How Should I Blog?

I’ve been feeling for a while now that I am writing for an audience and I should give it something interesting or relevant.  When I first started blogging there was a lot of emergency feeling to the material I was putting out, I’m not feeling that so much now.  I have wondered if my blog has come to the end of its useful life.  I have also thought that writing on my blog is an indulgence I can’t afford if I’m to handle my relationships right, and that maybe my blogging and fear of the consequences  has been the problem in a lot of situations.  I think my blog needs to take a different direction, or maybe it’s just me that needs to take a different direction because I am stuck in a boring rut.

I feel incapable of writing about anything of interest, and as if I have said everything there is to say about my situation.  I can’t just keep going over the same old stuff all the time, there is nothing interesting about doing that.

I get anxious as well when I see some of the posts people are visiting, I think back on it and think it must all come across as paranoid rambling.  Also I don’t know who is accessing my material and why, because comments are left so seldom.  I wish more people would identify themselves and leave comments.  At the moment my statistics show I get between 20 and 30 views per day, but people don’t stop to comment.  Maybe they find my posts unreadable and all they do is alight then leave quickly because they can’t deal with what they find.  I continue to get followers to my blog.  I used to think my readership was church people and some people from the media and maybe the police, but I don’t think like that anymore.  It might have been true once, or maybe it wasn’t, but it certainly seemed true from things I was seeing and hearing, including sermons from church websites.

Off of my stated topic, I still feel worn down by the regimented life here at Broomhill House.  I still know about studies which show that antipsychotics cause brain damage and also shrink the brain and that people on medication have a shorter life expectancy, apart from the suicides of people who can’t take it anymore.  I feel so tired I want to acquiesce to everything and forget I have read these things, to comply and be happy to comply as if none of the things I have read by other people with concerns are true.  I want to forget everything I know has happened to me and dismiss it as paranoia, just as the psychiatrists do.  It would be so easy, at the moment, just to forget.  I want to approach church people and ask them, but there seems no point because they are closed and wouldn’t tell me the truth, they want to dismiss everything as just mental illness, but I know what I have heard from them.  They would rather have it that I am mentally ill than admit to anything that might be a bit untoward.  They would want me to accept everything they have done as OK or not admit to any of it to me.  I particularly feel that about David Shearman.

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.

Writing and Typing

I would say that, for me, as originators of communication, these are two entirely different activities with entirely different energy and feelings.  I rediscovered writing yesterday.  Taking the pen, adjusting my handling of it and its pressure on the page, looking at the script which came out and thinking it was quite nice.  Interesting, an easy biro with a nice flowing feeling.  I usually like a rollerball to approximate a fountain pen, which is what we were taught to use at school and expected to use at my grammar school.  I made do with a biro.  Pens aren’t cheap here, not even biros, not in the supermarket I went to, anyway.

I felt I rediscovered a connection with myself in the physical act of writing, and a new feeling of being relaxed and confident in the world.  At first I was holding the pen limply and loosely, casually scribbling notes.  Then I thought, ‘how ridiculous, who am I trying to emulate, with my casual, toss-off notetaking?’.  I held it tighter, with my whole self and not just my hand, and it felt good.  Completely different from dancing fingers on a keyboard.  Focussed rather than dispersed.  A pinpoint rather than – whatever.  Another crash attack.

I felt bad about my blog.  I felt sure I couldn’t have written such trash if I had been writing privately and offline with a pen.

Blogging: how to be a nasty, treacherous bitch/swine and hope to get away with it?

Loose paraphrase:  Which would you rather receive, a comment saying ‘great post!  check out my blog at (www.suebarnett.wordpress.com, in my case)’ or one saying ‘well said!  I know what you’re talking about because . . . and I think . . .’?

While the forum, if properly, fairly and legally run, is useful and sometimes feels helpful, I for one would rather not be nagged and patronised and treated like some sort of a great-niece or child or student in a classroom in this way.   As far as I am concerned, we comment the way we can at the time, and those of us who are sincere in our comments and appreciation might well be using that shorthand to say, ‘I am so impressed with what you have to say here, there is nothing I feel able to add, but I would appreciate you looking at my blog because I think yours is an opinion I would value’.

Some people, like me, sometimes read and blog in distress, or very focussed on their own thing and they are desperate to have someone else aware of and concerned about the things they are concerned about.  I don’t think we need to sanitise and make anodyne the way everyone should leave their comments, or that anyone should see it as an insult or somehow inadequate if a person says, ‘great post, please check out my blog’.  It might be all they are capable of at the time, and it might show more appreciation than launching into an opinion.

While I understand exactly what is being said and on the whole agree with it, there are times of desperation or recognition, for me, when I can’t say what I want without it being as short as possible and straight to the point.  I’m thinking, maybe pretentiously, of the difference between a diver, say, at their most polite and articulate, saying something like, ‘honey, would you mind getting the air cylinder out of the car?’ and a woman in intense labour pains screaming and swearing and snarling like a savage at her helper who insists on going by the book to shut up and give her the mask.  Something like that.  There are other situations of pain where the same would apply.  Or the difference between someone swimming yelling ‘hey, great to see you, come on in, let’s play ball’, and someone else in the water drowning doing their best while trying to snatch air to attract the attention of someone to help them.

Etiquette is for the adequate and sometimes even for the indifferent and self-absorbed, to get what they want with as little friction as possible.  Many people are inadequates who accept that about each other, and don’t want to be told they should emulate the adequate, bright, happy, switched on people in order for their contribution to be acceptable.

And while I’m thinking about it, someone said that most people live lives of quiet desperation.  But we have been taught in the past, if not now, to be completely hypocritical about that fact when applying for a job, for instance.  I can’t theorise on why that is at the moment, but if a person is desperate for a job, and also capable of doing it or of learning to, why should they be advised to rely on such self-negating and relationship-sabotaging dishonesty and subterfuge right from the beginning, and why should anyone be taught that it is not acceptable to show desperation if it exists?  I’ve never employed anyone, so I don’t know if employers are advised to despise desperation, or if the advice is based on the belief that, if someone sees you are desperate, they might take advantage of you, but it seems to me that no honest and honorable relationship can be based on an initial dishonesty of that kind.

It also occurs to me that the kind of comment WordPress is presenting as less desirable might be nothing more than the expression of an internalisation of that advice which allows for nothing more.  Keep it light, keep it casual, can easily translate to, ‘hey, that’s great, come and see mine!’  We need permission to become honest again, not instructions on how to become presentable and acceptable to other people in order to compensate for and not address the fact that experts in communication have told us to steer clear of some kinds of honesty.

So thank you for your advice, WordPress, and I hope this post might be in line with the kind of comments and responses you would like to see.  And please check out my blog at www.suebarnett.wordpress.com. Thank you for reading and for letting this pass the moderation procedure (which I personally find also inhibits and tampers with my ability to communicate as I would wish, sometimes.  If I’m not even sure I am going to get through the door or have my existence acknowledged or welcomed, why should I and how can I lay myself bare, as it were, in my response?  Often closed doors and rejection make desperate and battered people who can hardly hear you anyway, even with the impecceable (and expensive) etiquette of having a butler to hold the door wide open).

Oops, here we go!  Back to me.  If you go through a butler, you have probably had to go through other levelsof protocol as well, and how you handle them might determine whether or not you get as far as the butler.  In church I was taught that this procedure is a way of reveaing a person’s heart and whether or not ‘they are ready’ for access.  They never, to my memory, said anything or much about any inadequacies or unreadiness expressed by the person requiring such protocol.  Is it right that the person expected to go through it should be the only one expected to fit? In reality does it even work that way?  Some people want the challenge of the protocol because they want a process of validation or change.  I happen to believe that in some situations I am one of those people.  But if the people imposing or handling the protocol don’t respect that about me or even respect the protocol itself . . . .  protocol is a mutual thing, isn’t it, not just from the top down.  I’m sure it should be and that really that is how it should work.

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