Tag Archive: Church


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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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Meanderings

I haven’t written a blog entry for a while so I thought I would sit down and write one.  I have no settled subject in mind so I’ve called it ‘Meanderings’, because that is what it will be.

I’ve just read something that was on Freshly Pressed a few days ago, about a kiss on television in America between a sportsman and his male lover.  It was calling people who had a problem with it bigoted.  I read the comments section and there was a smattering of people who said God and the Bible were against it.  I am someone who was brought up in Church to believe that.  You can’t just ditch your beliefs, no matter how many people call them bigoted.

When I was 17 I had a relationship with another woman which featured sex quite a lot.  This woman was about 36, and she had been one of my teachers in secondary school.  The balance of power was on her side and although I loved her, I was also frightened of her.  Sometimes I felt the way she turned her anger on me was sick.  I remember once she cooked a stew and the meat wasn’t properly cooked, but she told me to eat it or she would rub it in my hair.  When Lord Mountbatten was killed by the IRA she said she would hang them upside down and flay them alive, and before they fainted she would cut their testicles off.  I felt sick at what I was hearing.

Sometimes, a lot of the time, she was affectionate, and I liked those times.  They were times when I felt really close to her and safe.  But at the same time I was aware that I was a disappointment to her in many ways, including socially, she used to lecture me a lot.

At the end of the relationship, which lasted 2 years, through my sixth form college time, I started to be attracted back to church.  I had left because, as I told God at the time, it wasn’t working for me and it couldn’t be working for Him either, so I was getting out for a while.  That while lasted 2 years and at the end of it I believed myself to be an atheist.  I was devastated at the end of the relationship.  She told me I didn’t need her anymore.  I’m wondering if she despised my mother but was more intimidated by the people I was then lodging with, because it was when I went into lodgings with a middle class family that she backed off.  I don’t know, I’ve only just thought about it after all these years.

Before I started to be attracted back to church and at the end of the relationship I still had feelings that I would like to have another relationship with a woman.  I think I was aware for about 3 weeks of a group where I could meet other gay women, but for those 3 weeks I kept failing to go.  And then I started to be attracted back to church.

To cut a long story short, knowing that homosexuality was against the teaching of the church I had been involved with, I inwardly cried out to God to deliver me from feelings towards other women and I believed that He did.  To me that was a great relief.

While writing this I have found myself thinking that maybe I should seek a relationship with another woman.  At the moment I don’t have any romantic relationship with anyone.  You could say I’m a bit confused.  I have had sexual encounters down the years, mostly when I have been vulnerable and I have felt taken advantage of.  Those encounters have all been with men.  I have not sought encounters with women.  As a Christian (and these are not the feelings of all Christians) I sometimes feel anger and great opposition towards homosexuality, because the Bible says it is wrong and I believe people know that and practise it anyway, in rebellion.  Of course that isn’t the whole truth, for many people it is just the way they are and they have been brought up to believe it is OK.

My feelings for myself are ambivalent.  I think I wouldn’t want a relationship with a campaigner, for instance.  I wouldn’t want a stereotyped relationship either, if I were to have a relationship with another woman.  I don’t know what I want.  I’ve not allowed myself to think about it for some time and I think this is the first time I have really written about it.  I would like a relationship.  The person would have to be a non-smoker, since I hate the smell of smoke.  I’m 53, I feel it is a bit late for me to be thinking about a normal relationship with a man, I can’t have children anymore.  I don’t want to fall into the arms of any of the men I see around me at the moment.  I haven’t been to church properly for quite a while now.  I have been taught that is where to find someone suitable.  I don’t feel the part anymore, but I still believe it is right.  Maybe I would be more at home in a gay-friendly church.  I don’t know where I am with my own sexuality at the moment.

Dreaming

I keep dreaming about church, and they are always very vivid dreams.  Last night I dreamt about Talbot Street and David Shearman.  I dreamt he was having conversations for me to hear.  I wanted to ask him if he wanted to talk to me but I thought he might say no.  I dreamt about two little girls who looked exactly like Esther and Rebecca Shearman, but realised they might be their offspring or something like that.  I’m always really involved in the dreams and don’t like it if I am woken out of them by people banging doors or laughing or shouting.

There are a few ideas about dreams.  One is that dreams are symbolic.  Church is where most of my love and anxiety are.  I’m not sure what it can be symbolising.  Most of my actual anxiety at the moment is around finance and housing.  But church itself figures quite strongly in my thinking.  Sometimes I think I am going to hell.  Most of the time I think that, when I think about it.  My situation with church is so bad it burns.  At the end of my dream this morning I had some knitting and stitches were coming off the needle.  I asked my mother to get the needle and save the stitches, but she was getting it wrong.

My mum believes that the church is made up of people who love the Lord, to use her words, and that they don’t necessarily go to church, but they are the church.  For me it just burns and I feel as if hell has already started for me.  I’ve been told to stay away from the Shearmans, but Christianity is about forgiveness and that is inconsistent with forgiveness.  David Shearman was my pastor in my teens.  I think if I should be able to turn to anyone it should be him, regardless of the fact he has now stood down as senior pastor.  But he waved in my direction and said I wasn’t getting any of it.  I’m not sure why he felt he needed to do that.  It seems quite mean to me.  I find it frightening.

Happy New Year

Some people don’t mark the New Year, but I think it’s a good thing to do.  It introduces hope and expectation if we mean what we say.  It’s putting the old behind and opening up to the new.  How simple is it?  Is it about forgiveness and dropping offenses?  Can and should that be done?  Forgiving people means not demanding a price from them, so I’ve been told.  Yet I have plenty of complaints and would even like to sue for damages.  It sounds as if ‘Happy New Year’ should be a clean slate.  That might lead to less overcrowding of the prison system.

In the Bible there is the concept of a Year of Jubilee every 50 years, where land is restored to its original owners, and all debts were forgiven.  I wonder if and how that was enforced, if people were reluctant?

The Bible says ‘do to others as you would have them do to you’.  It doesn’t say only to others who have not damaged or offended you.  I was thinking about it the other day, that doing as you would have done is making a statement about yourself, it is living out of your own value system, and that has to make you an easier and happier person, over all, if you do as you would have done.  I passed some lads on the street the other day and one of them wished me a happy new year.  I just answered ‘thank you, the same to you’.  He answered back ‘yeah, and a happy Christmas’.  I wasn’t sure how sincere he was, he was a bit rowdy, but I felt better that I had answered his words as I would have wanted mine to be answered rather than dismissing him altogether in the first place.  Everyone needs a blessing.

I have wondered if my blogging is just slander of people who have hurt me.  Slander can be true as well as false.  If it is slander it seems to me I should stop blogging about the hurts and atrocities I have encountered in the mental health system and in my neighbourhoods and in the church.  The problem is, I feel so despised by these people, especially in Church, that I have felt as if making it public has been the only realistic way forward.  I was at Talbot Street when David Shearman was preaching.  Before he got up to preach he turned and stared at me.  I have thought that I didn’t know what I was supposed to do, if I was supposed to go to him at that point or not, what did he want his staring at me to achieve?  He got up and preached and at the end he waved a hand in my direction and said ‘you won’t be getting any of it’.  I’ve had that before from other church leaders.  All I know for sure is that it showed something about his thoughts, feelings and attitudes towards me, it wasn’t a reflection on me as a person, it revealed more about David.  Certainly at that point he was not doing as he wished to be done to him.

I’ve grown up believing in heaven and hell, and I fear that I am going to hell sometimes, because of this treatment I get.  Other times I think I could and should just dismiss all thoughts of heaven and hell from my thinking in relation to the church and just count on God’s mercy, if there is a God and if there is mercy, and if there is a heaven and hell.  I have experienced physical healing instantaneously in response to the prayer of another, I can’t just dismiss that from my experience.  New Age people say we all have the ability to heal, it is not exclusive to Christianity.  Pentecostal Christianity says that healing in other religions is from a demonic source.  Certainly I find myself more at ease with Buddhist meditation music than Christian music.  Christian music for me opens up hope and pain, whereas Buddhist meditation music seems to minister peace and healing for my mind and emotions.  It makes me hopeful about myself and my own abilities, rather than about others who can and do hurt me.

I started off saying Happy New Year, and I wasn’t going to go into church stuff again, but I have.  I feel I could and should trust them, but I know they disappoint me.  They want to be over me, they want power over me, they don’t want a conversation of equals.  They don’t want me to see myself as an equal, and they want me to be in the hands of the mental health services and really believe the mental health services can help, according to a conversation I had with Pat Hopewell at Talbot Street.  She said no to everything I asked and said and told me to stay away from the Shearmans.  If that ‘no’ is coming from the Shearmans I think they are lying.  That is why I am afraid of them.  It’s a cloak of religion over actual facts, it’s like a secret society to which I have no admittance with my needs and experience, unless I go crawling and begging and using the language they like to hear.  Their power over me comes from my entanglement with the mental health system, and that’s where they want to leave me, in spite of all its cruelty and abuses.  They see this as being in the hands of the tormentors until I pay every last penny or forgive.  It is a way of rejecting me.  Those are my fears, I believe they are true.

The Ledge

I’m not suicidal, but I understand these feelings. About broken trust and nothing left except the oppression of nothing left to rebuild with.

theoutsiderguy

Image

 

It creeps onto you,
It grows like a vine,
Clouding your chest,
Procreating seeds,
That disperse themselves
Onto anything that can
Give you a justification,
of how and why?
Your trust is like
A vase, that falls
from all of their clumsy limbs
and shatters it,
Leaving you those fragments, to reubuild it,
With a few pieces missing every time.
But this time, there’s nothing left to rebuild.
The glue is gone, the Vase is gone.
The pain still stays,
The hate still greys .
The shock recovers,
and the deception becomes clear.
But your chest is still cloudy.
Your thoughts are still muddy.
The vase is still broken,
Your mind is still shaken.
What is left to be done.
You know the answer.

The Ledge is cold,
But does it matter?
All you think about,
Is the vase that shattered.
The ledge is cold,
But is it as…

View original post 63 more words

In a sermon called ‘Final Words’, David Shearman’s last sermon as the Senior Minister at the Christian Centre in Nottingham, David talked about a man who had come to Talbot Street several years before claiming to have a message from God that was to be delivered to the people and not run past the leaders first.  David would not let him speak without first telling him, and when he tried he was drowned out.  He left in anger shaking the dust off his shoes, literally, saying the Spirit had been quenched.  David or another leader said yes it had, but that it was his spirit, not God’s.  He went to another church where, apparently, he caused a stir, because he was allowed to speak without checking it out first.  Eventually the man came back to Talbot Street apologising and asking for forgiveness and David said of course he forgave him and said ‘let’s pray’.

What worried me was what David said next.  It worried everyone else as well, because it was followed by several seconds silence.  I don’t know that it worried everyone for the same reasons.  What he said was, ‘he didn’t live very long after that’.  It seemed to me that he was saying that God had judged him by ending his life early.  He didn’t say that, but the suggestion seems to have been there.  Someone said to him in the past that he had noticed that if anyone opposed David things didn’t go well for them after that, and David told him he had learnt a good thing or that he had done well to notice it.

The Bible has stories of people’s lives ending early in judgment, even in the New Testament, so it isn’t easy to oppose the idea of it happening today.  But I do think it is rather dark and unhealthy if David was putting that idea out in relation to himself, especially given that the man had come back to ask for forgiveness.  I also think it is dark and unhealthy to be trusting the church to new leaders with the impartation of such an idea as his parting gift and reassurance.

I’ve thought about this several times since hearing it.  It is only over the last day or so that I have thought I might have misunderstood, and read something in that wasn’t intended, but in light of what he said before it isn’t unlikely that I understood it right the first time.  And if that is what he is saying about a man’s death, it makes sense that that belief will translate also into how he treats the living.  Some of the living he treats as though they were dead, as do other ministers.  Faced with ministers who behave that way the ideas of love and forgiveness have become inadequate for resolving and mending relationships.  This has been my experience.

As well as this, I was in a meeting where he preached and talked about where God had said something like heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool, where is the house you will build for me?  He interpreted it as God challenging the hearer to build Him a house.  That didn’t make sense to me, although now I can see the possibility that that was the right interpretation, but I thought God was saying He didn’t need a house and trying to stop the would-be builder.  The only reason I am doubting my own interpretation is because we could be said to need a house in which to worship God in peace and safety.

It’s Not My Fault

Actually, that’s not how I think.  I have what I believe to be a really unhelpful habit of looking back and blaming myself for so many things.  The way I think, it sometimes seems as if I must hate my younger self.  I feel as if I can see that I was totally wrong.  There are people who would rejoice in that, people who have already told me it is all my fault and take no responsibility for the inhumanity of their own words and actions towards me.  Some church people have been so strict and confrontational with me you wouldn’t know it was church people you were dealing with.  Those people, according to what has been said to me, still don’t want anything to do with me and are insistent that I stay away from them.  The Shearmans, the Coleses, are only two examples.  At the Christian Centre, Nottingham, one of the pastoral staff told me I was welcome to come to church but that I had frightened the Shearmans with silent calls about 16-17 years ago and I was to stay away from them. First of all they and their staff had frightened and angered me, and I was just being frightened, angry and confused OCD with my first ever mobile phone.  I’m sorry that I frightened them but they and their staff had also frightened and offended me.  They were targeting me from the platform.  I know this because one day one of them approached me and told me to leave because I wasn’t doing what I was being told to do.  As I remember it it was only coming from the platform, they weren’t talking to me otherwise.  And I think what the Coleses and their staff did to me was really nasty.  I was angry without any sign of violence, and it seems they have such an exalted idea of their position that they thought it was OK to pronounce sickness over me.  That was Moira Knight, one of their trusted few, in John Coles’s presence.  He didn’t say she was wrong.  I couldn’t believe what she had said to me, and it exploded in my mind how far they were prepared to go to resist me and keep me under.  It was a very effective double bind, which R D Laing said was operational in a lot of people called schizophrenic.

Loss, Mortality And Related Issues

I learned something I didn’t know yesterday.  I was watching ‘That Was The Life That Was’, about the late Sir David Frost, and I learned that ‘That Was The Week That Was’ had its first broadcast on my 2nd birthday.  A year later, 2 days before my 3rd birthday, President John Kennedy was assassinated.  I remember watching News at Ten on that day and I was aware that something serious had happened.  I felt very sad and shocked when I heard that David Frost had died.  I think the first I knew of him was when he presented ‘This Is Your Life’, which I always liked to watch.  I found myself wishing last night that my dad had watched TW3 and introduced me to it, but I was only 2.  The programme last night was followed up with ‘Frost on Satire’, and it showed clips from ‘Spitting Image’.  In its time I never watched it and wouldn’t have known who all the characters were, I think I might have seen it twice.  I recognised some of the characters last night though.

Hearing of many people dying, some of whom are not much older than me, makes me feel bereaved, and also aware of my own mortality.  I know I’m only 52, 53 next month, but I am feeling the fact of my own death coming up and it isn’t the best feeling in the world.  I keep feeling there have been so many missed opportunities.  I keep seeing people who have grown up, in the media, and wishing I was like them, that someone had fought properly for me to be educated when I decided that I didn’t like school so I wasn’t going, after my father died.  I feel no one really fought for my family.

I’m sitting in Costa at the moment.  I’ve just had a large mocha and downloaded the two Frost programmes I’ve just been talking about.

I was aware of David Frost partly because I knew he was a Christian.  I feel really upset writing this.  ‘That Was The Life That Was’ showed clips from things that formed a fair bit of my memory.  I remember the President Nixon thing, I saw ‘All The President’s Men’ when it came out.  I remember being in a prayer meeting at Talbot Street when the Watergate Scandal erupted and Gerald Ford took over.  In the meeting people were praying against sin and for righteousness and I wanted to pray that God would help Richard Nixon and his family, because I felt very sad for him, but I didn’t dare pray that way.  No one else was.

I’m not sure how much of this is sadness, really, over these past events and memories, and how much of it is just displaced sadness and grief over my present situation.  Feelings can re-attach to anything.  I admire people like Ian Hislop so much but know they don’t know me and probably wouldn’t be interested in me if they did, because the truth is I have nothing to offer.  Maybe that is what idolatry is, attachment to so many people who don’t even know I exist and might not be interested if they did know.  It is miserable, painful and embarrassing and fruitless and pointless, maybe that is why God commands against idolatry, because in the end it is so painful.  I am nursing a hope that Ian Hislop and so many others will see this and care.  How silly is that?  But what if?  THAT would be fun . . . !

Maybe that is the skill of the programmes I saw last night, hitting on so many memories for so many people, and bringing them to life again.  I feel a bit left behind and I’m crying for someone to help me catch up.

I’m missing Tommy Boyd as well.  I met him properly once.  We tried to have a proper conversation.  He’s deleted his blog and left Facebook and Twitter.  I never thought he would do any of that, especially not deleting his blog.  I feel lost without him and I feel attached to him.  I thought he was trying to help me.  I never thought he would leave broadcasting, but from the lack of information about him on the web at the moment it seems he has done jut that.  A lot of my stability and courage, when I had it, came from him.  I went to his house a few months ago, after I absconded from Macmillan Close, ad his wife was there and we had a conversation in which she told me he probably wasn’t interested and reminded me of when they had called the police.  I am grieving because I thought he wanted to help me.  I feel hopeless and helpless without him.  He told the story of a gorilla that was castrated for raging and throwing stones at people that used to taunt it.  He said that was what they were doing to us as well.  I identified with that with regards to my situation with the mental health services.  He said he thought it was wrong, that people should have been told not to taunt him and a proper environment maintained for him.  Anyway, he is inaccessible now.  I don’t know if he will ever be accessible to me.  I thought he was going to be.  I thought he wanted to be.  I never thought I would have to abandon hope with regard to him, and indeed I dare not.  I wonder what is going on with him?  I wonder if he is OK?

Christianity and Veganism – Either/Or?

Today I went to a Zizzi restaurant in Newark.  All I wanted was a glass of wine but I thought I had better at least buy an Italian bread bucket, as it is a restaurant not a pub.  As a vegan I was not thinking that the fining process for the wine had probably involved the use of animal or fish products.  I wasn’t thinking, all I wanted was a glass of wine after over two weeks not drinking anything.  In the end I had two glasses of wine, sea bream and tiramisu.  Some vegan I am?  Yes, absolutely.  I keep wanting to ‘eat normally’, ie, not vegan, and sometimes I give in to the urge.  The last two or three months I have given in a few times.  Until tonight, over the last two weeks I have been OK and stuck to the straight and narrow path of being a vegan.  It’s been better for my digestion as well.

Today, before this, I was thinking that the reason I am a vegan is that eating non-vegan harms animals, even just using their products, given the farming methods used, and that it brutalises people, especially at the extreme end of those who work in slaughter houses.  I wanted to be a vegan because I wanted to affirm myself as a human being who does not harm or cause suffering to animals and is not in any way involved with it.  There are people who say they would never harm a fly who eat meat and fish and their products regularly.  They are in denial.  Other people are being paid to do the dirty work for them and they buy the sanitised product at the end, and obviously recognise no link between themselves and any harm or suffering caused to an animal.  If they say they would never harm a fly and mean it, their thoughts and feelings lack clarity.

At the moment, though, I could joyfully abandon veganism.  I often crave foods that are not vegan, the vegan equivalents are just a bit harder to get hold of and a bit more expensive, and there have been times when I have eaten seitan when I have wanted to cut into some real flesh.

Christianity and Veganism – either/or?  Apart from two years in my teens I have always considered myself a Christian.  Even during the first years of being hospitalised I sometimes had difficulty seeing myself as Christian, but in those days I considered myself to be in a bad place in my life.  In my teens I embraced a life without God for two years.

The one thing we know about the things Jesus ate, if we believe the Bible, is that he ate fish.  For a few years now I have held to a position in my thinking if not always in my practice, that abstinence from all things animal is morally superior to indulgence.  So I was asking myself earlier today, where does that leave Jesus?  If it is better not to eat flesh or any of its products, where does that put the Saviour of the world, morally?  I get embarrassed when I don’t eat vegan.  I would be embarrassed to give up my vegan position, and have often seen my slips as sin.  If my slips are sin, did Jesus sin in eating fish?  Yet I have seen my veganism as part of my Christianity.  I have thought a great deal of the vegans I have met, robust and beautiful people.  Is it enough to say that Jesus was a man of his time and ate flesh without sinning?  I think vegetarians and vegans existed in those days as well.

I don’t know about veganism, but vegetarianism is an important part of some Eastern religions.  When the apostle Paul wrote to the Romans he recognised that some people did not eat meat and saw them as the weaker brethren with weaker consciences, and said that if his eating meat caused any of them to stumble he would never eat meat again.  There is no reason in the text to believe he did not mean this and it seems possible that he might have become vegetarian himself, because undoubtedly there were people who would have been stumbled by his eating meat.  I’m wondering if I am making too big a thing of this in believing that holding to a position that veganism is morally superior and preferable is incompatible with me calling myself a Christian in the traditional sense.  The kind of Christianity I have believed in says that Jesus was sinless, yet He ate fish, at the very least.

Am I Just Gullible?

What I don’t like about Szasz is his position that we are all entitled to take drugs.  It seems to me that this is a position that people would have good reasons for opposing, and I myself feel that his argument against institutional psychiatry, which I agree with, is undermined by his position on so-called recreational drug use.  We all know about ‘bad trips’ and I don’t know if bad trips would be eradicated if the supply were officially controlled and therefore ‘pure’.  I suppose no one else knows either, and that because of the effects of ‘bad trips’ it isn’t something that could be tested out on scientific research volunteers or paid people, the risks might be too great.  I do not feel as supported by his argument against institutional psychiatry as I would like to feel because of this.  I myself do not have a history of drug use, and cannot say that I know that people with such a history are not helped by psychiatric drugs.  I wish he did not take this position on recreational drugs.

I’ve also never really read or understood any Foucault, I just know he is a big name in French literature, philosophy and politics, and I’m only using those three classifications to make sure all my bases are covered, because to me he is just a name.  I have got a book of Essential Foucault from the library, though, which I intend to read soon, with my other reading.

Also I get confused at the moment because I am feeling more or less OK and that the only thing which is negative about my present existence is that I am having an injection every two weeks.  I do realise that people could say that I am feeling OK because of the injection and not in spite of it, but my feeling of OK is very limited, because I am a lot more inhibited than I was off medication, and hopeful that people in the hospital will see that I am really OK and don’t need to be on drugs.  I can more or less cope socially and feel that I could before as well, even if things could have been interpreted as being more painful.  There is an argument for saying that other things that break down are sent for repair and things added to them to make them work right, so why not me as a person?  But inwardly I am constantly so much hoping that I will be taken off medication, and I resent the abuses I experienced on other wards that led to the decision to restart medication.  Abuses like being told my problem with door slamming was all because of my mental illness, for instance.

I phoned Richard at Macmillan Close yesterday because I was sad it hadn’t worked out and wanted to tell him so and that I thought he had been really kind to me.  I’m sure it was an easier conversation by phone than it might have been face to face.

There are so many things that confuse me in the Bible.  I was just thinking that Paul says to submit to authority and to obey every law instituted among men for the Lord’s sake.  But Peter and the apostles were told not to preach anymore in the Name of Jesus and Peter told them they should obey the Lord and not men, and preached anyway and got flogged, and imprisoned, and an angel let him out in the dead of night.  I suppose again it is just a matter of confidence or of no confidence whichever of these church leaders give to any one of their people at any time, or opinion as to which they preach to a congregation.  Yet they say obey your leaders as if they really have a divine right.  You can only go so far in obeying your leaders.  Surely honesty recognises that their own denomination probably exists because they or someone before them did not obey a leader?

Mish-Mash Musings 2

In my last post I wrote about how the Church, during the Inquisition, used to ‘relax’ people into the hands of the state so they could be burnt, and wrote about the parallel drawn by Thomas Szasz between this and the mental health movement.  He said that in a religious age ‘heretics’ were ‘relaxed’ into the hands of the state, but in the so-called enlightened age the parallel is that society turns to the mental health movement for the upholding of the dominant culture.  However, the Church is part of the society which does this, and does it itself.  So for the mental patient who is also a Christian, there is no ‘comfort’ for them in religion.  The mental health system is part of the new way of dealing with ‘heretics’ for the church.  The church believes in this, or says it does, and largely it accords the mental health system the same authority as the rest of society does, except for some people.  It might decide that some people are really not mentally ill and try to help them, but on the whole it validates the mental health system and its ideas.  So someone like me can become very isolated since the Church refers me back to the mental health services.  Admittedly I have not been to every existing church, but the ones that have been part of my life to date have all said the same thing, that they believe I am mentally ill, so accepting the categorisation in the first place.  Many other religious bodies do the same thing.  Scientology does not.  I have only recently discovered that Thomas Szasz had links with Scientology.  For some people this will put them off him, but there are others who hold the some of same views who do not have those links, the writers and editors of This Is Madness, for instance, and Foucault, and R D Laing.  R D Laing was ridiculed for turning to Buddhism, apparently.  I was told this by one of the nurses on Rowan 2, I think, and they said how ironic it was that the psychiatric system is itself now looking towards things like mindfulness as a way of raising people’s consciousness.  They wouldn’t call it raising people’s consciousness, but essentially that is what it is.

I’m not on Rowan 2 at the moment, I was transferred to Newark on Friday night. It is a place like Macmillan Close, complete with door slamming!  I’m not sure how I feel and I hope it is not a matter of my choice, because there are pros and cons with both.  I was told at 6.30 pm on Friday evening that the transfer was going to be made and that I had no right to refuse.  Steve, who was on duty, told me it was only temporary and that I am expected to go back some time this week, citing my housing situation and residence in Nottingham a a reason for me going back.  However, the staff in Newark are under the impression that I am here long term and that housing can be dealt with from here.  I’m confused and feel very disorientated.  I said I didn’t want to come because I don’t know Newark, and that seems to me a good reason at the moment.  I have been homeless 2 years now, Friday was the anniversary, and it can’t be good for me to keep being so uprooted.

Mish-Mash Musings

I’m not sure why I have called this Mish-Mash Musings except that I know where I am going to start but not where I am going to finish, which I suppose is OK if I’m not writing an essay but a blog entry, and not hoping to make Freshly Pressed (though I would love to).  I feel like trashing this already and starting again, but I never trash anything I write, so I’m afraid it rests.

The place I am going to start is with an incident I read about in a book called ‘The Manufacture of Madness’ By Thomas Szasz.  The book compares the mental health movement (his term, not mine) with the Inquisition.  It says that the two things are the same, in that first they decided what one was (heretic, witch, mentally ill person) then they went looking for them and treating them as their law allows/requires/demands.  With heretics and witches under the Inquisition he talks about the church ‘relaxing’ heretics out of its own hands into the hands of the law and legal process – a bit like the Jews did with Jesus, because they had no law to put a man to death (see also John 16:2, “Anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God”).

In psychiatry, if the psychiatrist says you are mentally ill and you say otherwise, it is said that you lack insight.  I know this and Thomas Szasz also says so.  He has us down as the people that are called paranoid schizophrenics.  This has definitely been my experience.  Under the Inquisition unrepentant heretics were burned alive, while those who changed their minds were strangled and then burned.  The incident a read about the other day talked about a man who, faced with the fire, said that he would convert himself to the faith of Jesus Christ, and that this was apparently a time of great rejoicing for the inquisitors, where the hugged him and welcomed him back into the arms of the church, then immediately afterwards they had him strangled and burnt.  Thomas Szasz draws the same parallel with psychiatry.  I’m not sure if Thomas Szasz wanted to see an end to all psychiatry or only the enforced kind, but he did say in this book that the inquisitors didn’t want too many heretics to be burnt whereas they shouldn’t have been burning any at all.  The Inquisition was torture, and Thomas Szasz says that so is psychiatry.  That has certainly been my experience.  He talks about having the idea of mental illness accepted by the popular mind, just as heresy used to be so feared and so treated/punished.  Both the Inquisition and psychiatry had two purposes, one for the protection of society and the other for the ‘good’ of the accused/patient.  By putting the word ‘good’ in inverted commas I am staying true to the message and spirit of the book, as well as owing the inverted commas as my own.

I have been reading quite a bit about Transactional Analysis as well.  I’ve read (again) Games People Play by Eric Berne MD, the founder of TA, and I’ve Just started reading I’m OK, You’re OK by Thomas A Harris MD.  Dr Harris points out in the opening pages of his book that not only do the words Parent, Adult, Child have different meanings from usual in this context, but so does the word OK, so I’m looking forward to reading this book to the end.  I didn’t read it when it first became popular because a Church I was in said the message was untrue to Christianity which says we all need redemption because we are not OK.  There is also a chapter in the book about this approach to human relationships in the context of morality, which is a chapter I am looking forward to reading.  Dr Harris advises against just dipping in or reading the end first as understanding is established and built on from beginning to end.

This Is Madness

I’ve read a bit more of this book and I’m finding it very interesting.  For me one of the most important things it says is that with physical illnesses diagnosis starts with something happening in the body and ends up with the diagnostic concept, but with ‘so-called’ mental illness it is the other way round, that it starts with a concept and mental conglomeration in the minds of physicians and they then go looking for people who fit the concept, like crusaders.  The concept is fleshed out in committee and applied to individuals, rather than subjective symptoms first being recognised in the individual and a remedy sought.  That is my memory of what was said in the chapter called ‘Diagnosis’.

I’ve just ordered another book as well called ‘Untrain Your Parrot’ by Elizabeth Hamilton.  It is a well grounded and often humorous approach to Zen.  The book is in the Multi-Faith room at the hospital but we are not allowed to take them out, and sometimes no one is there who can unlock the cabinet where the books are kept.  It makes sense that the books shouldn’t leave the room, it keeps them available and in good condition.  I have found that when I have spent time reading it in there I approach things in a better and lighter mood.  I’m looking forward to having my own copy because I think it is something that I will read and dip into more than once

I’m a lot more open and self-controlled on the ward these days, but I still feel angry, hurt and frustrated at what I see happening with other people.

I’ve got a bad cold at the moment.

We have started making approaches to accommodation.  It seems to me it could move either very quickly or more slowly than I would like.  I would like it to move quickly.

I’ve been reading a few ‘Freshly Pressed’ selections and really enjoying them.  They are so interesting.  I just read one called ‘There was no escaping his father’s words’ which made quite an impact on me.  It’s about a man who meets up in later life with his father who had told him that he was going from fad to fad and I felt those words from his father had partly shaped the man’s life.

I don’t feel able to write much more today.  I am generally feeling quite upset and that I need to cry.  That is what I usually feel inside.  I’ve had no intimacy for a very long time now, and I feel very much that I am getting old.  I am nearer death than birth.  For a wonderful period in my 30s I was unafraid, but now I feel a bit wobbly.  I’m not sure if I’m a real Christian, and I have been taught and believe that only Christians go to heaven.  I have not been taught to be a liberal, and my emotional attachments don’t really allow it.  I have been taught, and believe, that there is a hell for people who are not Christians.  I know to some people that will make me sound really archaic.  I have found myself praying that love and mercy will be my judge in the end, that love (God is love) will save me at death.  There is also the teaching that not everyone will die but Jesus will come back and some people who are living will be caught up to Heaven.  I suppose many people want to believe they will be among those who do not die.  I would like to live beyond 80, even to 100.  I’m afraid I will die much sooner.  I’m really afraid that I might go to hell, and I’m afraid that there will be no one who cares for me intimately when I die.  I have no children and no partner, and the only member of my family I am in contact with is my mother.  I would like not to feel so tired and worn out, and upset and vulnerable, and as if my time now is not worth anything and won’t be, that I have passed a point where there was a point.

John 14

I’ve just read John Chapter 14.  It is full of ‘I am in the Father and the Father is in Me’, ‘I am in you and you are in Me’, and John 15, which I haven’t got to again yet, starts off with  ‘I am the true vine and My Father is the Gardener’.  It will go on to say that the disciples are the branches.  What struck me the most was the intimacy, like Jesus saying, ‘Don’t worry about a thing, ‘cos every little thing is gonna be alright’.  It makes me pine for the days I had not heard of boundaries, for the simplicity of full surrender, total security in Jesus.  I can’t remember if I’ve ever been taught that forgiveness from the heart is not a contract or a transaction.  The Bible says that from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks, yet we speak in terms of deliberate forgiveness of others for our own sake and not for theirs, as if the person being forgiven should not also be in our minds as someone who needs our act of forgiveness and who stands to benefit from it.

At the time of year that Jesus was crucified it was customary for a prisoner to be released.  The crowd was offered a choice between Jesus and Barabbas.  Barabbas was an insurrectionist, a revolutionary, it is said that he had killed people, but the crowd. in its manipulated and whipped up determination to be rid of Jesus, chose for Barabbas to be released instead of the Teacher and Healer and Forgiver of sins.  So supposedly Barabbas went free without penalty or any regard to boundaries.  Granted this was Pilate’s decision and not based in good theology.  So maybe this example falls down.

Part of the massive guilt I’ve felt about the way I tried to establish my personal boundaries in Church relationships when I had newly come across the concept has been that I felt at the beginning of that that in spiritual relationships it was different.  The Bible says act justly and love mercy (and walk humbly with your God), but we talk about forgive, but justice still has to be done.  Sometimes I want mercy without someone pursuing justice as they say they forgive, or talking about the consequences being distance and separation.  Certainly in Church relationships I have been afraid of making the wrong approaches in the wrong ways to people who are going to call me proud for seeking them out.  I want this inner crying to stop.  I don’t want to have to live with it for the rest of my life.

Love one another deeply, with a pure heart, fervently, it also says.  Does language like deeply and pure heart really allow for the insistence that love is first of all an action?  It could do, I suppose.  Maybe the action primes the pump.  But what if love, in sincerity, is first of all a feeling expressed in action?  You can tell I’m not a theologian, can’t you?  Or much of anything else.

I’m reading an introductory work to Foucault which has introduced me to the concept, in the chapter on madness, of knowledge as error.   Among other things Foucault was a hero to the antipsychiatry movement.   The writer, Gary Gutting, puts the word ‘creative’ in brackets before error.  It reminded me of the verse that says knowledge puffs up but love builds up.  1 Corinthians 13 says love never fails, although everything else will.

A Song From My Youth

I met Jesus at the crossroads
Where the two ways meet
Satan too was standing there
And he said come this way
There’s lots and lots of pleasures
I can give to you today
But I said no
There’s Jesus here
Just see what he offers me
Down here my sins forgiven
Up there a home in heaven
Praise God that’s the way for me.

Pastiche

What actually happened yesterday was that Kerry had been vocally trolling me all weekend.  She said I was full of myself as well.  One of her friends said I had deserved it when something happened, either that I was forcibly medicated or dragged out of the dining room by staff (I wonder if Kerry knows that I am virtually a Londoner?), and yesterday she was sat outside on the pavement near the doors smoking with Sa and Re, and I passed them to go out and said see you to Sa and Re but not to Kerry.  She took exception to that andsaid something about carrying on like that and I told her what someone associated with my care had told me, that staff on the ward had listened to things I had said and tried to make changes, i told her I had been there 3 months and that many changes for the better had happened because I had fought for them for people like her, and she started doing a really horrible voice at me and I spat in her direction twice.  I was nowhere near her and it had no hope of reaching and obviously wasn’t intended to.  She got up and said I would run away then asked if I was spitting at her and I said yes, and waited as she approached, and she kicked me in the lower abdomen.  Someone was passing that I asked to be a witness and she agreed and she got kicked in the ribs, but we both went back to the ward to report it.  If this woman had not been passing I don’t know what I would have done.  So that is the whole story.

I’ve called this ‘Pastiche’ because i wanted to mention a few things.  I thought there were four but I can only remember three at the moment.  I’ve already covered the first.

When all this started with the mental health system, after my first admission I came back to Nottingham and spent a while with my uncle and going to Church at Talbot Street.  One day in London I bought a card intended for David Shearman’s birthday, a card with dolphins on.  I can’t remember if I sent it or not.  It was in Victoria Station in London, in the days before they had any public seating, and I was feeling beaten up and exhausted.  I bought a bag of fruit and nuts and sat on the floor in front of a store, and I was approached by security guards who tried to move me on.  I said I was tired and didn’t want to move.  Eventually the police were called and it was quite nasty and when I got to the London Transport Police Station I was met by this oldish officer and I was really upset and I told him I hadn’t even been told my rights and he took me by the hair and told me I didn’t have any.  I was sobbing loudly in the cell and when I was released the officer who let me out told me it would be all right.

The other thing I wanted to mention was a girl who was on the ward here, this time around, called Michelle.  She hardly ever spoke at first and when she did start speaking she was quite aggressive, but in the first place i took to her because, as I told Terry, she reminded me of a woman who tried to get close to me when I was working as a volunteer at an HIV respite care centre.  This woman did not have long to live and I left shortly before she was expected to die.  After talking to Terry about it I felt horrified that I had basically walked out on a dying woman that had warmed to me enough to move from a little suspicion to coming to sit next to me, without speaking, if I came in and sat down.  I can’t express the depth of horror and shame I felt as I saw it that way, just about three months ago.

I have my radio on sometimes in the evening and on two nights Michelle, who I didn’t know was the woman next door to me at the time, banged violently on the wall, and I was afraid because I didn’t know who it was.  When I found out sometimes I would vent in my room if I thought she was disturbing me in any way,  and I would vent at her.  So I had gone from being friendly and saying hello even though I got nothing back to being verbally angry with her.  Sometimes she barged into me in the kitchen and started shouting at me.  She was verbally and physically aggressive to other patients as well, and one day I heard a nurse telling her about her behaviour and she didn’t want the police back.  I can’t remember if this was the day she was being generally aggressive and she ended up coming to me and spitting on my hand.  I was so locked up in myself at the time, so depressed, I didn’t feel anything in particular, I just looked and ignored it.  I wasn’t offended, in fact I felt a bit relieved.  I have thought about it over the past 24 hours and realised again, if not for the first time, that that meant I meant something to her, she was angry and she spat at me.  Later on that day or the next I wanted to say to her ‘thank you for spitting at me, I deserved it, and if you feel you want to spit at me again any other time you have my permission, and I won’t retaliate’.  I struggled with that all week, and I never said it, and then she disappeared.  I feel i failed her.  I keep thinking she must have gone to a more secure place or something and that if I had just dared to be vulnerable enough I could have helped her.  I feel really upset about that, and it isn’t a distress I feel proud of.  I failed her, and I resisted God.

Definitely for the first time in the last 24 hours I thought about the phrase ‘hatred is the flip side of love’.  During that period my thinking has been, accurately or not, that that phrase is seen as negative but it could be seen positively and it would be more helpful if it were.  She spat at me = she loved me, she trusted me.  She kicked me in the stomach = she was angry and disappointed because she had a need or positive expectation that wasn’t met.  I heard J John use ‘AHEN’ as an acronym for tracing anger back to its root.  Behind anger is hurt, hurt comes out of an unmet expectation, and expectation comes out of need, in this progression.  Part of me wants Kerry punished, the other part doesn’t.  But I have little hope for the relationship.  I am tired and cannot cope with her needs.  It is possible that I am interpreting her craziness as a deliberate attack on me rather than an attempt to help herself, which it might be.

What I do find difficult about patient confidentiality is that it does separate people who would be friends, sometimes.  You’re not sure what is what most of the time.   It leads to a psychological isolation if you don’t or don’t want to trust or validate the staff approach or system.  Can do, if you are someone like me in my position, anyway, but for the rest of us as well, I am sure.

Here is the fourth thing I was thinking of.  There was something on radio 4 this afternoon on the afternoon play that reminded me a lot of Tommy Boyd on the radio.  I was thinking last night that I wanted to be welcomed back into the fold and that I wanted Tommy to be the one who did it.

I am feeling very soft and vulnerable at the moment, but also angry, possibly, but i find myself wanting to get on with staff and even validating what they have done, and I’m just not sure.  The Bible says let a righteous man strike me it is a kindness.  What does that mean, is it right, or was it just a depressed king talking rubbish?  Listening to Tommy Boyd led me to want different forms of child discipline than smacking, so how can it be right for me as an adult, the restraints, forced medication, etc.  Joseph said to his brothers ‘you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good’, but this is supposed to be meant for good.  I’m sorry, I’m so tired and I feel very tearful.  Probably over-impressed with the depth of my perceptions in this post.  Crying over what a precious and deep person I am.  That’s better, that has made me smile.  What has made me smile?  The thought that Terry might read this.  I stare at him sometimes and I think it makes him feel awkward, and I don’t like that.  I told someone the other day that when I stare at him like that it is because I think he is beautiful at that moment and I am awestruck.  Suck on that one, Tel! 🙂  Much obeisance.  Much love.

Another One Bites The Dust 05.08.2013

There is a new patient on the ward, Kerry, a tall, black woman who has been harassing me for days and calling me racist every time there is a conflict.  She accuses and abuses me in religious terms mingled with hate words like bitch, says fuck God and Jesus, etc, and when I have taken issue with it the approach from staff has been to tell us both to be quiet.

Jim came back on the ward this week, he is doing nights.  He seems to think that all he has to do is turn his lovely face on me and all will be forgiven.  Or maybe it is just me that thinks it should be that way and I need to free myself from that requirement I have of myself and from the power of the need I want met by being able to do that.

His first night on was last night.  He was on with Sue, the nurse who told me to f off then lied about it and has since been calling me love and darling.  I find that aggressive and mauling, especially in the particular circumstances with her.  Last night (Sunday) I asked Jim if we could have some time to talk.  I was upset about things that had happened in the day (I didn’t tell him that), and he said no, he had things he needed to catch up on, but he would try today, but wouldn’t put anything in the diary because ‘sod’s law doesn’t work that way’.  So everything is handed over to the whims of sod’s law then, is it, with nothing to oppose or raise as a goal?  I noticed that before midnight he had time to sit around the office having casual chats with the members of his team, including one from Eastern Europe, asking her about her family, but he didn’t have any time to talk to me, and he has been away 5 weeks or so.  During this time other senior members of the staff have also been doing duties off the ward, following, it seems, my blog post about the ‘bust up’.  Ruth, the ward manager, approached me a few weeks ago saying some of the staff were hurt and upset about the fact their names had been used in my blog and that she had been advised that if I didn’t remove the names they could.  I haven’t had that in writing.  I think I should ask for it, through my advocate.  I tried to settle to sleep last night and after midnight I found I couldn’t, so eventually I went out to Jim and said I couldn’t settle and needed either ten minutes to talk or some lorazepam to help me settle.  He told me they weren’t allowed to have one to ones after midnight and that I would have to have lorazepam.  Last night was at my request, though a begrudging request.  Tonight they forced an injection on me.

Tonight Kerry kept winding me up and picking on me and eventually Judita, one of the health care assistants, told me she thought she was doing it on purpose to wind me up.  I asked her why she hadn’t tried to stop her if that was what she thought and she asked how she could.  I said she should have told Jim, the nurse in charge tonight.  Kerry started calling me racist, saying she was black and I am white, I told her it was nothing to do with race, it was just that she was harassing me and being a nuisance.  She started saying I thought I was something and saying that everyone was scared of me but too frightened to say so because I had physical bulk.  I said no one was scared of me.  I felt it in my womb every time she started on me and I interpreted it as something to do with her energy and the nature of her accusations (I think now this might have been wrong, that the fact I felt it there was more to do with the oppressiveness of the whole place and power), and I said I wasn’t a prostitute.  She has told me she had been, in what I thought was a good and promising conversation yesterday afternoon, and I felt sympathy for her, because she was on benefits and her father, she said, was a paedophile who had hurt her and her mother had thrown her out.  But tonight I realised she had had no moral necessity to go that way, not everyone who has been a victim of paedophilia does, and I said there were plenty of agencies which could have helped her and that being a prostitute had been her choice which not everyone in her position makes.  She was also saying she wanted a spliff, so I realised she was a drugs user.  Someone else told me they used cocaine, and suddenly I began to wonder why I am here, subjected to everything I get from the staff, whether deliberate or incompetent, when I don’t use drugs, I don’t hear voices, I don’t have a drink problem, and although I can shout when angry to defend myself I am not violent.  When I shout it is because I am angry or afraid or FEEL violent.  It is a substitute for violence, not a lead up to it.  At one point Jim came and told Kerry to behave, but then it started all over again with her being blasphemous and vile, and I was telling her not to attack and accuse a child of God.  She was saying she was Satan, and all sorts of things, then when I started telling her to leave me alone she started to mix in Sarah instead of Satan, out of the Bible.  No one was moving to stop her.  I threw a plastic coke bottle across the room at the floor.  It didn’t hit her, but she jumped up to attack me.  I was sitting down and I put my foot out to keep her at a distance.  I told her I hadn’t thrown it at her and she insisted I had.  Jim came out to tell her to go to her room, and I felt immediately calm and safer.  Then he told me he wanted me to go to my room.  At first I said I would because I wanted to go to the toilet but I said I didn’t want him in my room while I went to the toilet.  Jim said he wouldn’t be in my room, they would be outside.  I went to my room, then got angry at how unreasonable and unfair it was, and kept coming out shouting things, like they had just given Kerry permission to do that again any time she wanted to, that I had been calm when she was taken away from my space but now I was not calm because what they were doing to me was unjust and the dispeace I now felt was a direct result of their actions towards me.  Perhaps it had also, before, been a result of their inaction in what they knew was happening.  They said to ignore her, and I said I couldn’t because I couldn’t just walk away and be able to stay away, I had to keep coming back to it.  I told them they had no comparable situations in their own lives which were not a matter of their own choice, and that it was unreasonable of them to tell me to ignore it.  Staff had said to me on Sunday that they knew she was a problem and that I should tell them if she was upsetting me.

Anyway, I kept coming out of my room and shouting things about respect and dignity and unjustly robbing people of theirs when they had not been the problem, and I kept scuttling back to my room in fear of what they might do to me if I stayed in the corridor, so I came out of my room and confronted it in those words, saying why should I have to stay in my room and not be justifiably angry and say why for fear of what they would do to me.  I think they came and asked me to go to my room again and I refused, saying they were causing my distress by their unfairness.  I was speaking loudly, if not shouting, I hadn’t touched anyone.  Given that the law says I cannot be manhandled if I am not a danger to myself or anyone else I understand what happened next to have definitely been illegal.  They grabbed me by the arms and started dragging me to my room.  Altogether in the end there were about 8 people involved, one of whom was called Mark, who had hold of my left arm.  Adem from Redwood 2 was another.  When I said they had given Kerry permission to do what she liked whenever by what they were doing to me he shook his hand off at me and turned his back and started walking away.  As soon as we got to my room they told me to get down on the floor, and I said I wanted to go to the toilet, and they said I couldn’t.  At first I thought they might let me go but they forced me down face to the laminate flooring and told me to calm down.  I said I had good reason to be angry and that I wasn’t going to become calm for them if this was the way they thought they could enforce it.  On my way to my room I was telling Jim I wanted a change of key nurse and that I didn’t want another, that he was a hypocrite and however proficient he was in philosophy he was not fit to be in charge of this situation.  I told him I would write in my blog.  I also told Kerry that I wouldn’t protect her by using only her first initial as I had for other patients, that I had no legal duty and recognised no moral duty towards her.

At one point I said while I was sitting on the bed before they put me on the floor that I hadn’t been violent, and Mark said ‘not yet’.  I have never been physically violent to people here, even though provoked, as he was provoking me at that point.  When they had me down they wanted to gentle my arms and I told them to stop, saying they should choose between violence and assault and being gentle, but not try to mix the two.  I asked them to turn my radio up because it was interesting, but they wouldn’t.  It said at one point that if we acted in real life as we might in a lucid dream we would act more kindly.  At around that point they withdrew from my room without saying anything.  They kept stroking my arm, stroking my hair, and given what they were doing I completely resented it.  At one point they told me that this had been my choice, when it evidently had not been, they grabbed me and forced me down.  It was their choice.  People who act like this often tell their victim of assault that it was their own choice when that is factually a lie.  They turned away from reason.  At one point someone said something to Mark and he spoke jeeringly.  I said that was what they had done to Jesus.  I said they were evil and that I was not going to make that any more palatable for them.  I told them not to sigh at me but to go and deal with their own relaxation needs away from me.  I called him or them bastards and Mark said ‘that’s right, I am a bastard.’  Something was tickling the bottom of my leg and I told them to move their hand.  I was told there was nothing on my leg.  At the very least it might have been my own trousers.  I called them mental sadists who would swear that black was white then call me racist for using that expression.

They came with medication and offered me tablets or it would have to be an injection.  Bearing in mind I was calm when Kerry was removed, immediately, and that this second distress was their doing.  For them it seems to be all about power and being obeyed and not being seen to back down.  They are very high handed then won’t back down even if their unreasonableness becomes apparent, and they just go ahead obeying orders as a team even if personally they think something else.  In a situation like this I think that is not acceptable human behaviour.  They broke my metal watch strap.

After they had gone I was still shouting, even from the toilet.  I passed the office and Jim was laughing with his colleagues.  They were taking a position of not needing to acknowledge me while I was shouting, even though they had just visited a physical assault on me.  So they sat there pretending, in every way available to them, that I wasn’t there.  Jim seemed to be mirroring the rhythms of my voice with his body language.  While I was on the floor in my room they wanted me to shuffle so that I was properly inside my door.  They said something about my dignity.  I said I didn’t care what they wanted and if they cared about my dignity they could restore what they shouldn’t have taken from me in the first place.

In conversations with people I have been told that Jim does not hold grudges.  I’m beginning to doubt this or that it was ever an appropriate thing to say anyway, as if there were not issues that needed to be discussed and he was blameless.  I think they removed me from that situation because they didn’t want me there calm and rational and back in control of myself without their intervention, but all they did was make me feel worse.  I felt no feelings of violence at that point, the feelings of violence, (against my beliefs and convictions?) and practices, came directly out of their assault on me and everything that went with it.  If they can perpetrate an act of assault and violence on me, why is it not seen as acceptable if I reciprocate?  Even to acknowledge the feelings is to open myself up to detrimental decisions about me from the staff.  This tonight has been a deliberate act, out of control or coldblooded, of subjugation and humiliation.  I feel that something happened after I wrote my ‘bust up’ entry that took so many key staff off the ward for so long.  I think talk about illness is lies, eg back injuries.  One person I do believe, I talked to him yesterday morning (yesterday being Sunday).

I confront with words when I feel necessary.  They react and confront with threat and physical force and injections.  And yet am I to feel I should make exceptions for them and concessions to their so-called humanity?  I am supposed to be protected at the moment at least in my room, let alone I think what they have done tonight would have been illegal anyway, because I wasn’t a danger to myself or anyone else.  Free speech which is not unprovoked defense or harassment should not be seen as being a danger to anyone.  So Kerry is fat-ist, I’m dangerous and violent because I am fat.  How many other people are approaching and judging me that way?  I don’t blank people, I listen, that is my problem.  I listen and think.  Thinking that way is her problem, but her communication is so quixotic it cuts me to the quick.

The time when Jim said please in a way which was so painful to me afterwards, something else came up in the conversation and I said that they weren’t the ones being threatened with the closest thing they could get to gang rape, meaning forced medication if I didn’t willingly comply, on a regular basis.  He put it in my notes that I had merely meant being asked to go to bed so they could clean the chairs.  I don’t want this relationship to be retrievable now, I don’t like what he does.  But for me that is hurtful because he has this knack of making me feel as if it is one of the few that does anything like work.  His responses were visceral tonight, calling both me and Kerry selfish people, for a start, because people wanted to sleep.  But when I continued to be angry until and beyond 12.45 am he made no attempt to stop it, just ignored it, and I believed his appeal to people wanting to sleep had just been self-serving in the first place.  He was unreasonable.  He was telling me to calm down when he had just made me uncalm again, and he himself was agitated.  Unreasonable, unjust and illegal.  I said they should join Mugabe’s regime, that what they had done was so wrong and unjust they must be deliberately and knowingly participating in social engineering.  Also I said I had won by letting them play out the full extent of their savagery on me, because now I can document what happened.  I think Jim must be afraid of me to treat me this way.  I still don’t know why he was calling out ‘say you’re sorry, apologise’ from the office that day.  It had been one of the things I wanted to talk to him about and find out what it was about.  Meeting tonight didn’t happen either.  He didn’t even think it was important enough to insist on making 10 minutes for me.  He told me he had to do an admission.  I’m sure the admission could have waited 10 minutes.

Also the reason it is difficult for me when this kind of thing happens is that my love and trust and obedience kick in just because, for over a year, I haven’t really been touched by anyone else.  I can be sitting next to complete strangers and want to rest my head on their shoulders and maybe look for support.  I want love and hugs.  I’ve heard from the church that physical force is OK and should be submitted to, that it can turn people to obedience, which is where they should be.  I find this situation too cruel for words, and also my own requirement of myself within it.  I don’t go with this anymore.  Adrian Plass said in one of his books that when he had an interview with the main man at work when he was working with troubled children, the man lay on the carpet and let him talk.  Something else as well, he didn’t react punitively to someone who broke a window in his home, or something.  He loved him, from what I remember.  I can’t remember if this is also Adrian Plass, but it is definitely Tommy Boyd, that if someone came at him he would hug them from behind until they calmed down.  Those are my values, the awesome perceptions and right modes of operation, in my eyes.  A hug without further threat, even though seen as restraint, with no further threat, could easily be accepted as love and the kind of physical contact we are made for.  Men who won’t hug me here will restrain me as they did tonight.  I am struggling to recover my humanity.  I’m 52, childless and menopausal.  I feel now as if saying that is just manipulation, but I think and feel that having to feel that way is appalling.

Update 28.07 2013

Last night I didn’t sleep much, I was too hot.  Then this morning the team on night duty (Mandy, Sylvia, Reward and Aka) started bashing and banging at about 5.30 am – Sunday morning and all.  Out in the real world they might have been reported for disturbing the peace before 7 am.  And they shout down corridors all day, they don’t go up to people and speak to them.  Everything sounds loud and singsongy.  I was in the shower this morning and when it came to washing my hair I felt sick and giddy.  This is common for me here.  Apart from anything else I am having to judge how much water I can use if I want to do the job properly.  I went out this morning and felt ill, too ill to walk.  I had been heading for church, but I could hardly keep my eyes open.  I thought in terms of I might not be ill, it might be the Holy Spirit making me feel that way.  I wanted to get to church and collapse.  I was convinced in the end that it was God but decided to go back to the hospital anyway and try to sleep.  I was afraid in case I tried to get help at church but they were unable or unwilling to accommodate what was happening to me.  I thought they might call an ambulance or something.  I came out again this evening heading for church, but I’ve stopped off at a hotel for a drink and to use the internet and write my blog.  I feel really bad about that, unforgivably so.  It’s lack of faith and trust  I’ve put writing my blog before going to church.  Going to church feels like the right thing to do, but in spite of what I want to happen and what I want to be communicated by me going there, I have little confidence that it is going to help and I was afraid, earlier, that keeping on going and not responding to appeals might cause tensions that might explode on me.  John Pettifor was speaking this morning, and something is happening with the interns tonight.  People talk about an open heaven.  If feeling positive about how it would be if I went and bad about not going is an open heaven, I suppose that might be what I’ve had today, and I’ve gone against it.

I just had ‘tea’ at the hospital.  Kiran was serving.  As soon as I sat down and started talking to someone else she adjusted her voice upwards in relation to mine, then she started talking to people like children and babies.  It always upsets me when she or anyone else does that, because to me they are not part of the equation in a conversation with someone else sitting at the table with me once they have served the meal.  I explained to the person I was talking to how it made me feel angry and hysterical when Kiran does that, and how it was made even worse because if I confronted her with it she would deny she was doing it, even though it seems obvious to me that she must know.  I asked another patient how she found her and she said OK, but when I told her what she does with me she said she does it with her as well.  If it is deliberate and she knows I don’t like it why doesn’t she stop?  If it is a problem she has and she can’t help herself, apparently, why can’t she get it sorted out when she knows it upsets me, at least?  I came out feeling as if my head had been kicked in.  I sneezed in my room and someone copied me.  I sneezed twice, they followed up with exactly the same thing.  This place is making me desperate.  Then I blame myself for being unkind in my reactions, or failing to have a sense of humour.  I tell myself it proves I am really selfish for it to bother me so much, and that I see myself as superior to other patients.

I’ve noticed that staff sometimes touch their ears, as if adjusting their hearing or something.  Chantelle used to do that a lot, she would do it at a distance, and she would stare into my face every time something strong and confident came out of my mouth.  If she was behind me a little way off she would put herself in my face to do it.  I find this outrageous and am afraid of people who don’t seem to think it isn’t and do it, who are also calling me mentally ill.  I can’t cope here anymore, I am desperate.  I really can’t cope.

A Slightly Different Update 27.07.2013

I thought, about an hour ago, that my biggest anxiety is not having a home, not knowing where it is going to be, and not knowing how it is going to work.  I thought that, whether it is accurate or not.  I’m 22 months homeless now, and maybe immediate things should be more a cause of concern.  But no one is officially acknowledging any of the things I have said about previous experiences.  I just felt like jumping up and running to Tommy Boyd, but I don’t have enough money to pay the fare.  I wouldn’t have anyway, today.

Relationships and comfort zones with other patients are cooling, and at the same time I’m becoming a lot more fudged in my relationships with staff.  I have made some of them special to me, more honestly, some of them have made themselves special to me by their kindness.  All this stuff about boundaries I was asked to learn by the church, to be used against me, so it seems, seems to be going by the board at the moment.  But that may be only because I feel inhibited about being angry, most of the time, unless I flip and start shouting in my room.  If I say I am having a problem with anyone on the ward the official position and statement seems to be ‘I don’t think so’, or ‘I don’t think s/he is’.  It is never opened up or examined.  So it continues and I can’t talk about it.  I’m still being voice and expression-matched, and I find that so upsetting.  How can doing me back at me be good communication?  I thought that communication was about two or more different and distinct individuals interacting and revealing themselves, being themselves.  Have I lost the plot somewhere?  Have I missed something, a shift in what communication is?  I think copying is about power.

I started out saying that these people, the staff, knew what was happening as well as I did and that it was up to them to say so/stop it, with open commitment, whatever they got from me by way of anger and hysteria.  Now I feel I am softening and thinking maybe now we can talk about it.  But the fact is that in the meantime they have bullied me with mimicry and interventions and put me on medication, all the time knowing that what I have said is true.  It doesn’t augur well for anyone else, does it, if one person has to become reasonable to stop the assault and get the help they need.

I keep approaching this in a general way and not posting a lot of stuff i would like to have posted.  I have thought I should list people by name and their offenses, as I see them.  But I have also thought in the last 24 hours as I have before, that the best way not to be like someone is not to be like them.  But that is just in personal terms.  The relationship I have with the staff is not a cosy, life-affirming personal relationship and never will be.  I don’t think I know the best thing to be or do in this situation anymore, and its effect seems to be that I am developing a distaste for and aversion towards my blog, and an aversion to naming and shaming.  But what is the alternative?  For me personally, it doesn’t make things comfortable by any means, some people are reacting quite badly, but at least I won’t be having painful conversations with people who use their positions to abuse or disengage, from whom I later have to get food and medication and be let off the ward.

I overheard Alex say last night ‘he won’t get anything out of me’.  No idea what it was about.

I’m beginning to think of the hospital as a community run by the nurses, and interactions in public as group therapy.  It’s wild, it’s weird, it’s making my ears ring thinking about it.

Update 26.07.2013

I’m in a pub in Bulwell again and not very focused.  Jim went off ill soon after the bust up entry.  I’ve been told he has injured his back.  We have had quite a few staff on who are not normally on our ward.  The only thing really on my mind is an incident a couple of weeks ago where R was told to clean up her own vomit.  R is in a wheelchair, she has told me she has MS.  I spoke to the shift manager that day and said I was concerned about it because this was what I had been led to believe but after thinking about it thought perhaps her wheelchair was a concession to a delusion or something.  Obviously he wasn’t free to discuss her with me, but I expressed my concern and he said things aren’t necessarily as I have been led to believe, but even that can’t be seen as a definite because that would have been discussing her with me.  I have thought though that even if the wheelchair was a consession to a delusion, to confront it that way seems to me cruel and brutal, but I don’t know what has gone between them before.  She is quite big as well, and a lot older than me.  Having been 3 stones heavier than I am now and knowing how hard it was, and sometimes still is, for me to bend and get up, I expressed concern, but basically said the bottom line for me is that she is in a wheelchair and that it was distressing to me to have had to witness this.  Personally I have been uneasy if this was a way of confronting a delusion.  I talked about the time that I vomited in church and my stomach was hurting and a woman came up with a bucket of water and cloths or something and I said thank you, and she said ‘I’m not doing it.  I’ve seen this before’.  It seems she assumed I was drunk or something.  I can’t remember if I cleaned up or not, I know I was in a dreadful state after being sick.  I supposed that R must have felt the same way.  I haven’t submitted a complaint.  I haven’t named the staff involved.  Personally I have tried to have a good relationship with the person concerned, it isn’t my purpose to name him.  I feel bad even about going this far.

Update 15.07.2013

Last Friday the decision to restart medication was communicated to me, almost 3 weeks after the SOAD interview.  Myself I think this is appalling and I have never experienced it before, and when I have mentioned it to staff in other areas they have said they found the delay a bit strange.

I am still quite disorientated, attaching too much emotional importance to some relationships, strictly speaking and according to current official guidelines on boundaries.  Now I’ve said that I am questioning it, but certainly I don’t think much about the future, occasionally my anger erupts, a lot of the time a lot is being fudged for me.  I feel as if I am being tamed the same way as an animal might be tamed, with punishments and rewards.  Not having much privacy, if any, for writing my blog I’m not doing a very adequate job.  I’m sitting in a Wetherspoons pub at the moment.  Not many people in this section.  I came to download something from the internet.  I’ve just remembered I did make quite a few notes last week which I intended to be for a blog entry.  I haven’t got round to using them yet and I don’t want to use them at the moment.

I spoke to my psychologist this morning.  He was talking about boundaries to protect vulnerable patients.  I know technically he is right.  I just saw something else on WordPress about game approaches to mental health.  I’m not sure if this fits here.  I feel upset and disorientated in this pub.  Jim, my key nurse, is on night shift tonight.

I have been trying to deal with a personal offense between myself and a member of staff.  I have been trying to approach it as a personal thing, not a professional thing,, but so many other people are somehow involved without me having given it to them I feel disorientated and confused.  I am desperate, I want to scream, and I feel as if it is my fault, that I am failing.  And the truth is I am, but also i am getting confused with all the people either inputting or piggybacking or sometimes, I feel, blocking, and I keep finding fault with myself and knowing, when I am alone, that I’m not handling it right.  I’m not feeling great in here, I’m not seeing things straight.  It matters to me, but I feel as if I am trying too hard to do something and that can’t be right or good.  Underneath I am raging because I feel as if I have been manipulated and bullied into this position.  I’m really upset, really tired, quite afraid, and I’m not sure what is happening.  I’ve been suppressing laughter for quite a while out of respect and sensitivity to this situation.  What I am afraid of in this instance is that we are not going to get satisfactory closure.   I’ve seen this person cry.  I’ve seen a few people cry.  Staff.  It seems to matter to me so much I am worried about why.  But in my mind I am contradicting myself even as I am typing.  There is a lot of psychological violence I am experiencing from some staff.  This is not a personal relationship, so how can I handle this powder keg?  We both seem to be trying.  I have thought this person’s tears were about this issue between us but I have realised I might be wrong, and my greatest fear is that if I raise this I might not get any answers.  That matters to me.

I have been trying, sometimes, to respect the office, in general, if I can cope with the person filling it.  But I have realised that, a lot of the time if not all the time, I believe it is the office itself which is evil.  I have been taught to respect the office when dealing with authority and officials.  I have had disturbed sleep for the past three nights.  I am much more distraught than I am showing.  I feel as if I am at home or in church, not a place I hate and despise.  There is so much laughter underneath, and tears.  My sense of humour keeps having a go at me, but often I am afraid to show it, or ashamed.  That will do for now.

PS on the practical side, as well as the delayed SOAD decision and broken sleep caused by noise on the ward, mainly, I think, staff talking and even shouting last night, and slamming doors, on Friday and Saturday morning we had no water on the ward.  I managed to brush my teeth Friday morning but there wasn’t even enough for that on Saturday.  I mentioned it when my psychologist asked me what I do for self-care and he asked if we had been given any warning and i said not that I had been aware.  Also in the shower we get four one minute jets of water for everything we want to do, and they are not awfully powerful.  If I want to wash my hair I have to load my sponge up from the basin and basically give myself a wash down and use the shower for my hair.  Even then I still find I need to put my head under the basin tap two or three times even if I use the shower only to wash my hair.  I think this is a contributory factor to my low mood.  I think a shower should be a pleasurable experience, but at the very least it should be sufficient for everything you need to do in it.  It feels like very basic survival.  I’m in a hotel restaurant now, just had a coke.  I feel like a very miserable and repressed wet blanket.  My mood here has been better in the past.  My psychologist said I seemed vulnerable this morning.  I can’t remember if he said emotionally vulnerable or what.  This morning I was not totally unhappy to be feeling vulnerable.

Going back to the relationships issue, I am getting very confused.  I have started thinking about the role of community in handling what I had wanted to deal with myself.  I’m getting confused because I feel as if the level of expectation of me from myself and others is inconsistent with the fact that I have a diagnosis of schizophrenia and am not expected to be fully functioning anyway.  Something happened last night – I said something, i can’t remember what or who to, then I made a joke of it saying I was speaking to an hallucination, and didn’t the person know I had hallucinations.  I don’t, it was a joke of sorts, but I became afraid it might be taken seriously as consistent with my diagnosis and documented.  What seems strange though was that the shift manager laughed when I said it (oh yes he did).  That seems to me to have been inappropriate.

I feel I have done violence to myself this week by requiring of myself, maybe feeling it was required of me as well, that I stay quite serious.  On Friday I became very upset after an encounter straight after I had been injected with a test dose of the drug they want to use (I have been given no information about it).  I remained upset for hours and no one came to help me until the end of that time, and I found her approach intimidating.  I thought that to leave me in that state, especially at that time, was mental cruelty.  They always have left me.

This petition closes on 20th March shortly after midday.  It is a request that people with diagnoses of severe mental health problems should be excluded from the 2013 DLA assessments in the UK, on the grounds that assessors who don’t know them may think they are well and can cope when they cannot.

I am in two minds about this, but I have added my signature.  The creator of the petition fears that losing benefits will push some people over the edge and there will be more suicides, homelessness, etc.  Among people who are really ill this fear will be justified.  Please add your signature.

https://submissions.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/35092

Section 3

A Section 3 is a prison, in which you are forced to take drugs (literally forced if you will not comply, often with contempt and disdain), which might cause long term damage, whether you have committed a crime, or not.
When it is spent, after 6 months, it can be renewed at the discretion of the psychiatrists.
They have this power in law even if you have not been in a court for them to be given power specifically over you. Many people start off with the police who hand them over to the mental health system .  The police are corrupt, as we see repeatedly, and coercive medicine is inhuman.

Essential Links – New Page

Today I have posted a new page, “Essential Links”, which I will update occasionally if not regularly. It consists mainly of sites which I consider to be essential reading.  It was private for a while and had the first two links already, but the ones I have posted today are antipsychiatry links.  Please visit these sites and read the material thoughtfully, and please check this page often.  I find some of the articles I have read invaluable and in line with my own thinking and experience.

I saw on a site not listed, recently, a photograph of a woman in a wheelchair as a result of tardive dyskinesia, a condition sometimes caused by psychiatric drugs.

Oh – and Happy New Year!

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.

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.

A Coward Dies A Thousand Deaths

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.

 

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.

A Taste of Freedom

I went to the Pizza Express in King Street today.  I started off with dough balls with Chardonnay, which I didn’t like much at first (the Chardonay) but it grew on me.  I wasn’t going to have anything else but I ended up having a Fiorentina, spinach, cheese, black olives, egg.  Something snapped inside me.  I felt very drunk but I knew it was just a severe emotional problem.  I’m not mentally ill, I just have severe emotional problems.  Apart from anything else I am 14 months homeless now, coming up 15  months.

I feel emotionally wrecked.  I thoroughly enjoyed what I ate.  They say food is an emotional experience and it was for me.  It was great to have egg, and I sat there thinking I could just go vegetarian.

Maybe I have seen too much militant vegan stuff.  Freedom, real freedom, is the freedom not to harm.  I can’t cope anymore.  I have been vegan for over four years now and my experiences in Bulgaria didn’t break me.  Perhaps because I could get some really nice seitan there.  But homelessness in the UK began to break me ages ago with things as small as using the room milk and eating the biscuits in hotel rooms.  Also the tricks and judgmentalism of the vegan providers in the UK.  I feel completely spent.  I’m so tired, and I have to present every day for a drug caled aripiprazole.  I am experiencing tardive dyskenesia, facial muscle twitches.  Your face expresses what is going on in yor mind, and my mind’s normal working is being interfered with by this drug.  I’m in a house now and feeling suppressed and bullied.  I don’t feel as if I am allowed to sing, and they have complained about my music.  I feel as if the bad relationship is my fault.  Music and singing is part of my self-healing.  I feel completely desperate.  I really want to come off my section and off the drugs.  The best thing about this house is that I can cook for  myself.  But I had more freedom to play my music on Redwood 2 than I do here.  I’m writing stuff to Tommy Boyd which I have been taught to believe.  I do believe it.  It doesn’t make things feel better though.  I’m in love with him, or the idea of him, I swear.  The house is part of another in-patient ‘ward’.  I feel I owe him the best I can give him, and to value his best towards me.

Some Homework For New Readers

Put ‘Monarch Mind Control’ into my blog’s search and watch the Youtube video.

Pro Choice

In All In the Mind, BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday, they were talking about a new venture in Manchester where patients who would traditionally be treated with anti-psychotics, or anti-psychotics and talking therapies, are being treated with CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) alone.  The programme has several testimonials that this is working for those people.  It acknowledges that it doesn’t work for everyone, but that neither do drugs work for everyone, and stresses that it is about choice, which it says the NICE guidelines say should  be given to everyone diagnosed with schizophrenia.  The programme acknowledges that while the NICE guidelines say this, many people diagnosed with schizophrenia are not given this choice.

There is a bit near the beginning about the USA presidential elections. It lasts a short while and the above follows it.

I didn’t know about the NICE guidelines.  Maybe the team here interprets them as meaning you should be given a choice of medication.  My situation has not felt right to me for a long time.  The only choice I have been given, which is no choice at all, is oral or injection.  I am being forced to take drugs.  As I have said before, literature on our boards says that this trust does not tolerate bullying, fear and other such things.  I quoted this to the doctors and they didn’t care.  One of them talked about me being abusive when my speech became heated, totally blind, so it seemed, to what they were doing to me.

The decision makers at Highbury Hospital think they don’t have to be nice, or that niceness is all right for moving on, once the abusive decision has been made and is being enforced.  They should not be moving on like that regardless and without me.  If I am living in unreality, it is their unreality that I am being required to live in.  That one unacceptable little thing which I am visited with twice a day.  These people are not trustworthy.

All Over the Place

I’m all over the place today. and was yesterday as well.  Should I go to church, or contact the media, or make contact again with my uncle?  Last time I went to him he turned me away.  So has everyone else though, at different times.

Who is the least to blame for their hacking of my computer and telephone?  Who can I least condemn for that and justify the most?

Life on the ward is violent and angry.  It runs completely counter to my life choice.  I was on a section 3 until I finally moved all my stuff out of my temporary accommodation on the Friday, then my section was rescinded on the following Monday, so technically I could leave, but I now had no home.  After a period off my section but feeling really distressed by the violently broken nights, when I tried to discharge myself they didn’t seem to know, between them, what they were doing, but they put me back on a section 3.

This place, patients and staff alike, are hurting me. Being here is making me very unhappy and repressed.  I know this place is bad for me, but they are telling me I need to be here.  I know I don’t and that it isn’t good for me to be here.    It isn’t good for anyone.  The kind of relationships that exist in a place like this, doing what they do, can only be diseased.  I can’t even discharge myself at the moment into the ‘really bad’ hostels they say exist here.  At least if I could do that I would be taking responsibility for my own life.  It might be easier if housing seemed to be doing something, like offering me accommodation.  I can’t remember the date I was interviewed, but it is over a month ago, maybe 2.  Even if I am offered accommodation I assume that the lifting of my section 3 won’t automatically coincide with that.

I keep coming out of my room to see staff members immediately change the expressions on their faces, when they see me.  There is something wrong with this and I am frightened.

Hillsborough Report

On Wednesday it was reported on Radio 4 that around 100 police statements were altered following the Hillsborough disaster and the situation was made to look like the fault of the public rather than the police.  Someone speaking on Radio 4 said that they did not normally believe conspiracy theories but that this time it was evident.

But that fact has taken all these years to be established and be reported.

To me it seems reasonable to believe that there are many other conspiracy theories which are equally true, including the conspiracy of the mental health system and its brutal approach to helping people to deal with their mental health problems, relationship problems, emotional problems.

I say therapy which is therapy is consenting, and nothing involuntary can fit that description or be ultimately therapeutic (unless it is shock therapy or reality therapy, but then is it really therapy, or just more repression/suppression and ‘learning your lesson’?).

Twenty-three years after Hillsborough this has come out, though the event is over and done with.  For people enmeshed in the mental health system it is ongoing and some do not survive.  People have been killed by inappropriate restraint methods and application, as well as by death at their own hands for others, preferring, I suppose, to die at their own hands rather than to keep going through the seemingly endless cycle of crisis and hospital admissions where the facts they know of their lives, better than the mental health service staff do, are often invalidated and contradicted by the insistence on a mental health diagnosis. 

I have recently felt hopeless and helpless and that, if I were a different person, I might kill myself rather than continue to go through this cycle.  I did deliberately overdose once, in 2003.  I took almost 100 paracetamol and lay down to sleep, not caring whether I woke or not.  I woke and stumbled into the kitchen and vomited.  The church I was going to at the time didn’t know this, but it was just before I was confirmed.  I ended up in hospital on a drip.

I have heard since Wednesday another programme on Radio 4 talking about the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) and the experience of some that it has failed to deliver for them.  I have only approached them about one thing and I didn’t follow it through to the end.  I tried, but the police service was not very co-operative and I ended up leaving it because of other more immediate pressures.

I spoke to one of the nurses recently and told her that the support I needed was legal support in the community when situations arose which I had not contributed to in the locality and which were a disturbance to me.  I mentioned that the police are supposed to do something after the third report from one individual, and she said that what they did would not necessarily be what the individual wanted and that they would not necessarily interpret the situation as the individual did.  She also said that the police are a law to themselves, a statement which could be interpreted her evasion of the issue, among other possibilities.

Started chapter 2 and realised it is not one story but several, a collection of short stories.  Very sad.  I am not sure, I do not think, that I would have been mature enough to read them at the time I was supposed to, in my first years at grammar school, but there is no way I can tell now.  I hardly went to school in those depressed years following my father’s death.

Depressed and angry years they were, too.  I used to stay at home reading Christian paperbacks, mostly, trying to work out how to belong.  I wanted to join Teen Challenge and work woith drug addicts.  An irony occurs to me here.  I’ve spent most of my life wanting to be up to and fit for the job and it feels as if – you pick it up, and develop yourself in the job, as you practise and go along.  I am looking down my nose at jobs I used to want to do – social worker, drug addiction outreach, etc.  What would I have become if I had got into those jobs earlier instead of thinking that office stuff was all I was fit for?  I didn’t know about gaining experience through voluntary work which would count as experience, and I seem to remember they all wanted qualifications anyway, specific to the role.  So you had to be a qualified social worker to be a residential care worker.  I’m not sure what my position would be now, especially having developed a disdain for the way psychiatry has worked in my life.

Still have nurses vocally tagging me and slipping in linguistic mickey finns.  Latest went “she-she-she-schitz”.  I can’t see that the question ‘why’ really matters.  When I think I should be justifying it I am thinking that it is a way of getting to my heart to develop trust.  The church uses parables.  So after my initial resistance I find myself wanting to justify them and thinking of myself as ungrateful and arrogant.  I am very tired at the moment.

I have just had my block leave increased from 3 hours to 5 hours, and the 3 half hours for local stuff stopped, so effectively I have half an hour longer than I had before, but the longest I can stay out at any one time has increased from 3 hours to 5.

Dr Fahy and I had a set to this morning.  I ended up arguing that she must think that the flash mobs and the harassment and violence were part of my mental illness, that that was what she was saying, but that I disagreed and that she could no more appreciate everything that I knew gave significance to what I was saying than she could unpick the Bayeux Tapestry and appreciate that.  She said that she believed it was part of my experience and I walked out because I thought she was saying I believed it was part of my experience but was all in my head.  That is what that response has come to mean to me over the years.  She might have meant she knew it was real.  If that is the case we are not communicating well with each other.

I don’t mind being tired as long as I am allowed to rest during that time.  I believe that is what I need, and the reason I have not wanted to stay on the ward is that it is just the same as what was happening at home, the shouting, the violence, except there is little here I can do to alleviate it short of go out.

So Anyway, last Wednesday . . .

My advocate and I went into the review meeting with Dr Jaffur and Alison, the ward manager.  When we came out we both agreed that the two staff had not been open to changing their intentions with regard to forced medication.  My advocate suggested that I could be moved to another ward and Alison said she I didn’t have a good relationship with any of the staff and that she thought I would always feel harassed.  I suppose the facts and what I think about that don’t matter.  Their position as stated was that they just wanted me better, and that if the medication was not taken orally they would inject.  When I asked when the medication was going to start, after the review meeting, Alison said in a really confrontational way ‘it starts right now’.  I found it so confrontational that I asked her if she was trying to get me into a state where several people could hold me down and inject me.

So I have capitulated and am taking the medication orally, in spite of the fact that my previous reasons for not wanting to take it remain.  Being forced to take medication against your wishes is bullying, which the trust says it does not tolerate.

Last week the possibility of forced injection was being held over me as a threat (threat is the right word).  I asked the nurse last night what would happen if I were to refuse medication now, if I would be injected, and he said no, an injection was no longer there as an option.  But if I refuse again now I am afraid (fear is something else the trust literature says the trust does not tolerate) that they would go straight to injection and keep it that way, and withdraw the oral option.

In the meantime, I am exhausted, worrying about relationships on the ward, as if they are the most important thing in my life; worrying about my financial situation, especially with regard to my belongings in storage and the fact that my benefits are due to go down now I have been so long in hospital.  Occasionally I recall that what I reported around my home has not yet received any signs of being taken seriously and would therefore be likely to recur in any future tenancies.

Alison says she sees no sign of any harassment.  Maybe that is because she isn’t out of her office and among us when that is happening.  Or maybe it is deliberate blind eyes and deaf ears.  I have told them everything and there is nothing else to tell.  If anyone is being disingenuous in this, it is not me.  I have noticed that several of the staff use false personalities.  Knowing that makes me not even want to try to relate to them.  Also, if it is true that I don’t have a good relationship with any of the staff, as Alison said, it might be possible that that is because I see them as upholding and enabling a totalitarian and abusive mental health system.  They know my beliefs about this, so it shouldn’t be put down to a failing in methat I don’t have a good relationship with any of the staff, if that is true.  Also, some of them are there just for the money and don’t want to work.  They are happy if we are not visible because we feel so threatened and disrespected by them.  They just mess around until it is time for them to go home.

I’ve just finished the 1st chapter of ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner.  In places I have found it hilarious and I anticipate a good read.  The protagonist is from Nottingham, in a Borstal, at this point.  I don’t know anything about the book or where he ends up in his thinking.  He talked (he is the narrative voice) about having seen the knife held by those in authority over him when they put him in a Borstal.  Being of a basically law-abiding temperament I want him to have changed his thinking and position about a lot of things he is sure about, including his belief that the authorities are his enemies and always will be, by the end of the book.  In the meantime, I am loving it.

My laptop needs mending.  Hard drive disk inaccessible.  Have just submitted a form.  I’m typing in the library.

People keep positioning me at the moment, with their tone of voice.  They use a ‘professional caring therapy’ voice and I just want to talk normally, but when I do, when I am my open happy self, as I was the other night, one of the nurses immediately banged something down in front of me and started talking.  I was talking to Jack and saying hello and it was a controlling gesture.  I’m afraid I don’t get it, the reasoning, or lack of reasoning, behind that.  If it wasn’t deliberate, in light of things that have happened in the past it was frightening.

Yesterday afternoon, after I had hidden in my room all day feeling intimidated, Alison came into my room and started accusing me of racism.  She wasn’t concerned, or didn’t say she was, that I hadn’t been out of my room all day and had missed breakfast and lunch, she just came in saying that people had said I had been making racist comments.  I said instead of accusing me and assuming it was true, as she appeared to be doing (she asked me if I was aware that I was being racist in a way which sounded as if she was taking it for granted that I was), why didn’t she tell me who had said what, what I was supposed to have said to whom.  She never did.  It was me that brought up an incident which might have been perversely interpreted as racism with a girl who has been very aggressive towards me – note I said aggressive, not violent.  She didn’t raise anything else, so I suppose that was it.

She stood over me on my bed and suggested that I might want to come out and she would sit with me at dinner.  Part of me wanted to co-operate with that, but another part of me felt defensive and not confident after her initial approach.  I felt a lot of warmth from her which wrong-footed me.  I wanted the warmth and needed it but she had come at me aggressively and accusing in the first place, so I rejected it.

I talked to her later in her office.  I was upset that as my body started to show signs of relaxing (I batted my eyelids while talking, clearing my mind and emotions), she immediately copied it with her eyes fixed on me.  I felt controlled and suffocated.  I was shocked and offended that she did it  It felt like a denial of my individuality and an invalidation of (I’m in Caffe Nero.  I’m always frightened by ‘pussycat dolls’.  I knew what I was going to say after invalidation of but now I can’t remember.  That happens to me a lot.  I think I was going to say something like an invalidation of a movement into confident normality).  People borrow me or react to me all the time.  It freaks me out.  I suppose I’d like to say something to the ‘pussycat dolls’ but I daren’t.  I believe in psychic phenomena and know it is not a mental illness thing.  Every time I take control of where I am going I seem to get hit by ugliness or mirroring and I can’t cope with it.

Last night while I had my radio on in my room there was a woman who kept banging her door hard about once a minute for about an hour and a half.  She couldn’t hear my radio.  I don’t know if it was the same person, but someone was also purring something that sounded exactly like what was going on in my old temporary accommodation. I told one of the nurses afterwards and she said she knew.  At 1am the previous morning there had been people repeatedly slamming doors on or near my corridor and giggling.  She told me she had pleaded with them to stop.

You say something and you get told that there are a lot of ill people on the ward at the moment.  But I think that is evasive.  I think if these people are acting out of illness it is because they know what I know and the nurses know but the nurses won’t say.  Rather than talk about it they are doing with others what they have done with me, calling them ill.  If they don’t know or understand what is going on I suppose it will make them ill, to be kept in the dark and fed the proverbial.

I am in hospital because the authorities have let me down.  Alison was asking if I thought I misinterpreted things.  When people are treating me the way I have been treated, it hardly matters whether I am misinterpreting some things or not.  First deal with the mistreatment, then deal with the misinterpretations, if there are any.  I’m having a misinterpretation of myself constantly presented to me and forced on me if my behaviour doesn’t fit their interpretation.

As we finished the conversation in the office Alison said that they would have to be vigilant when I was around.

Before that when talking about misinterpretations I said that people also lie and that sometimes the staff were naive to take their word.  I suppose it could also be a matter of convenience.

The untrue accounts of me locking someone in my flat and putting the key down my trousers (!) is still doing the rounds when it comes to risk assessment.  I had an interview with someone from Gateway, for housing, last week.  It is prejudicing people against me even before we meet.  I have been told we can add a disageement to our information, but I’m not sure if we can get it removed altogether.  If we can’t, I can’t bear the way people are going to keep viewing me and writing about me in light of this malicious lie.

Staff who have been rude and unreasonable to me and even abusive keep forcing themselves on me to say hello without apologising or anything.  I feel bullied by it.  It is disrespect of my privacy and freedom of association, or right to not associate.  Errol still keeps forcing himself on me and on ordinary casual conversations which ave nothing to do with him.  I never ask him for anything, and when he is in the office and I ask someone else he exchanges derisive looks with people ad raises his eyebrows.  I’d rather go without than ask him for anything.  After the way he treats me, I feel embarrassed in a way I shouldn’t.  Because sometimes I see him weak and feel sorry for him and guilty.  But I feel so suffocated I can’t breathe and my mind is not in control at that time.

4 patients set on me at lunch time the other day and he was behind the hatch smirking.  There were other staff standing around.  No one told them to stop.  But they would have been straight on top of me.  Their practice of conflict resolution consists of finger wagging and telling people to shut up.  They don’t differentiate between aggressor and victim.  So it all keeps going and festering.  Luke came to sit with me.  At the time I didn’t see it as helpful.  He asked me if I wanted him to leave and I said yes please.

I keep feeling the only way out is to go back to Church.  But they promote the mental heath system and assume that, if a person is subject to it, it is necessary.  These days they say go to the doctor, take your medicine.  They are no more qualified to say that than they were to tell people not to, that God would heal them without medicine.  They have gone from one abuse of leadership position to another.  Surely they should be telling people and freeing people to make their own decisions.  They must be very frightened to need to take a position towards other people’s handling of their health decisions in that way.  But while they are I am frightened to go back.

A while ago I made a new blog out of the blog entries and forum posts that I had copied and saved from my Premier Radio blog, which was where I started blogging.  I’ve been meaning to put the link up for ages so here it is: http://premierchristianradiorejects.wordpress.com/

There is a big thing about veganism and me trying to think it through as a Christian who since my teens was brought up to believe in the sacrificial death and atoning blood of Jesus.  It hardly seems necessary for me to say now that I don’t believe the death of Jesus was required arbitrarily by God as a thing in itself, but that it was necessary for Jesus to give Himself up to death as an act of love.  At least that is how I was thinking.  I’ve begun to see it more politically recently.  That when Jesus said that no prophet ever died outside of Jerusalem He wasn’t being acerbic or sarcastic but was speaking a fact, and that that was what He meant when He said no one takes my life, I lay it down myself.  He laid it down by going back into Jerusalem when He knew they wanted to arrest Him.  If we believe in a literal resurrection, though, that was a miracle of God, in a way that His ability to give or withhold His life once they had Him was not, given that He did not call angels to stop the whole thing.

That was my favourite discussion topic that I started on that blog.  Without looking I don’t remember what else is there.

As I said yesterday, more to follow.

The first time I met this man I didn’t find it disturbing, unduly.  He was on dinner duty and I realised he must be Richard, but for some reason I didn’t use his name.  He started singing ‘Horse With No Name’ and I corrected the situation as quickly as possible.  I thought he was making a point about me not having asked his name, so I decided it was right to give him what I thought he was asking for.

However, that is his usual behaviour, he can be heard from one end of the ward to the other, booming out, slurring his speech, looking rough, playing tag with my speech and maybe that of others.  I’ve noticed that if he is around and I start to regain any feeling of speaking normally and sensibly, maybe making a decision on the spot as I was trying to yesterday, he will interject, follow and pick up the way I speak wherever it goes, loudly, obtrusively and slurring and in a way which causes me communicative and emotional distress because of the outrage and shock every time it happens, quite apart from what I believe is the unprofessionalism and the corporate denial among anyone I raise it with on the staff that it could conceivably be a problem to anyone.

My immediate concern for myself is that this kind of harassment could put me at risk of being put back on a section, since no protection from it or cessation is offered.  He presents like a drunk at the moment, is totally defiant about it and I’m not sure how he s getting away with it.  He often sings ‘Still Crazy After All These Years’, and given the situation I don’t find it funny. He sings it as if to himself while he is walking on the ward.  Sometimes I tell myself I should have more of a sense of humour about it.  It is what some people would expect of me.

I’m not sure what he is trying to communicate by this, but I believe he is doing it wrong and that he should stop or lose his position.  He is routinely hurting people and he must know that.  If he doesn’t know and won’t be told I think he is not fit for the job.  Though that could be said of many.

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Yesterday I had a review with Dr Khan.  Dr Fahy was absent for reasons I couldn’t ascertain.  I asked if what was described as an ‘off’ day was bad off or planned off, and he said he didn’t know, or words to that effect.

We chatted quite happily about things I can’t much remember, until we got to the issue of my room.  I said that, at home, something doesn’t happen at 10 and at 2 to force me out of my home environment into another I don’t want to be in, or haven’t chosen to be in, unless it is an act of harassment and violence.  He said did I experience it as harassment and I said yes.  I can’t remember if I pointed out, yet again, that I am 9 months homeless and counting and that people need a sense of home.  I think I did.

He started to present a picture to me which is, I think, given that they know my position on the issue, insulting and unhelpful.  I am as intellectually able as them and it seems to me that presenting a factual requirement as a picture is an invasion of my right to be separate.  I’m not sure if he thought I couldn’t or wouldn’t understand without a picture or not.

The picture was that the government requires everyone to pay income tax.  I contradicted him straight away and said it doesn’t require me to pay income tax because I am on benefits, and I said his illustration had broken down already because the basis of it was incorrect.  We were arguing and he was saying I wouldn’t let him finish.  If I want a 69 to Bulwell I don’t get on a 28 to Bilborough.  My analytical skills, and also my basic respect for people, is obviously better than his.  I left the room while he was still objecting, and I answered that he was pig headed and opinionated.

I got into a conversation with a nurse about it, she had been in the room at my request.  I asked her what he meant, eventually, and she said she didn’t know and I finished the sentence for her in a way I felt appropriate, that it was because she wasn’t party to the situation.  She said no, because I didn’t let him finish, and that I often finish sentences for her and I am wrong.  But at the time she seemed to be agreeing.  If she had said I was wrong at the time I would have asked her what she had actually meant.

Long and short, I realised he might have been going on to say that the government requires everyone to pay tax but there are exceptions.  That was the only understanding with which I could justify what he had said.  I saw him in the corridor and said sorry, did I misunderstand what you were saying, and he said yes, but don’t take it personally.  He didn’t take that opportunity to have a further conversation or to communicate the fact behind his illustration.  Consequently, because of that and because of the inconsistency of application of the policy anyway, I realised today that I am afraid of just about everything I am doing and everything I am not doing.

This morning Sharon and Sonia came to my room, and I said that I thought Alison was OK with me staying in my room, because last week I had referred someone back to Alison, who knows my personal reasons for me wanting control of my space, and she didn’t come back.  I had said that I assumed that if she didn’t come back then the situation was OK.  But Sharon insisted and said that that was what the doctor had said yesterday.  That psychologically stopped me dead.  She said that the only reason people are allowed to stay in their rooms was if they were physically ill.  I had started off talking with my toothbrush still going in my mouth and when I stopped she moaned (that is a description of the way she spoke) that I hadn’t objected before to speaking with my toothbrush in my mouth, and she kept me going until I closed the shower and toilet door on her.  She said she wasn’t going to argue with me and I said that was exactly what she was doing.  She seemed satisfied to walk away when I was in full flow emotionally.  I said she was bullying me, and when she contradicted me I called her an un-self-aware bully and closed the door.  She later came back with a letter I haven’t opened yet and told me she was leaving it on my bed.  I think it is from Nottingham City Homes and I hope it is written notification of their decision not to house me because I didn’t give information of a close enough connection to Nottingham.  If it is that I can begin to appeal.

But I’ve been thinking today.  I believe the law recognises a right to privacy, and that the doctor isn’t above the law.  If the law recognises a right to privacy on my own terms I don’t believe I lose that right just because I am in hospital.  Outside we have a right not to be in a situation or an environment we don’t want to be.  We have the right, even if most of us don’t have the monetary power to back up that right.  We have a right to leave a bad situation.  The only ability some people have on the ward to exercise that right is to be able to access their room when they want to, and not to be dragged out of it in the name of ward policy.  There is no supervision of those out of room times and anyone can pick on people or be picked.

Also, medical care is supposed to be patient centred.  We are on a ward because we are supposed to be ill, albeit mentally.  Some of that mental illness has come about in the first place because people’s rights haven’t been respected and observed.  People know when they need to rest or want privacy.  We are the best judges of our own needs.  People shouldn’t be shunted out of their rooms against their wishes, en masse, like a herd of cattle.  Most people on the ward, in my opinion, are wondering around disturbed or disturbing people exactly because we are being treated like that.  People come out when they want to, when it comes to private space.  Rather than respecting it, they have turned it into a war zone subject to random attacks.  I think the policy is wrong, not just the inconsistency of its application.  That is why I am against it.  You don’t force people out of their private space, physically or any other way, unless you want disturbed people.  That is common sense and common sense is good, because that is about our being, not separate from it.

Dr Fahy asked me to do her a favour and not name people.  But when you are subject to abuse or in fear of future abuse that is your only protection.  People don’t listen if you keep it internal.  Alison said I could talk to her.  Even the inconsistency of approach is not consistent to good mental health.  If Alison is OK with me being in my room then I need the raids to stop when they do happen.  It is like an act of war.  I’m so upset about my space I don’t get other things done. If Alison is supposed to be the last word on the ward and she is OK with me keeping my space, no one should be overriding that.  Maybe there is a power struggle going on on the ward.  If so, it shouldn’t be played out on the patients.  I knocked on her door twice today and no one answered.  When the door was opened there was a room full of people.  I felt I needed to apologise for not realising there was a handover or something.  I don’t know what it was.  Maybe it was a group of people unhappy with my blog entry yesterday.

I asked for some complaint forms today as well, but it appeared that in the office they didn’t have any.  First they didn’t seem to know where to look, then they offered me a plain piece of paper, which could easily be misplaced after being given in.

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I thought about the rights and powers, and the fact that most people can’t afford to avail themselves of their right to determine their own lives and leave bad situations or places of work.  “If you don’ t like your job find another”.  Yeah, right.  If a person’s job was bad for their well-being, if they were being bullied and having lots of time off sick because of it, could they leave and not forfeit benefits by leaving themselves if they couldn’t walk straight into another job?  Could they resign on a principle and be respected for doing so by the benefits agencies?  I think it was six weeks benefit you forfeited if you left a job of your own accord without another one to go to, when I was in my 20s.  For most people acts of principle are a luxury.  I was thinking about Tony Blair, who could step down from his position and never work again without loss to the essentials of daily life. Yet he chooses to work.  People on lecture tours, special representatives of this and that.  The populace needs more confidence and interest to do the job without specials.  I was thinking that Tony Blair is a special peace envoy, rightly or wrongly, when the way to not have war is obvious – don’t start one.  A special representative is just a media figure, isn’t it?

I was thinking about people with all those privileges and all those properties and all that money calling people who can barely make ends meet, in real terms, in terms of real independence, scroungers.  Mocking us by saying we have rights without ensuring our power to avail ourselves of them.

I was thinking the other day that the mental health services are just a way of controlling people who start to feel their power and express it legally.  A way of controlling the emerging classes’.  Is that SWP/Marxist thinking?  Whatever the thought and words, the reality is the same.  They call it delusions of grandeur when you try to empower yourself against what is happening to you, and until the birth of the bloggosphere it has gone largely unchallenged by people in the thick of it, in any public way.  Demonstrations can’t happen every day.

It was said a few years ago on the radio that there is enough land in our country for every single person to have 7 acres to themselves.

Something else I was thinking about today was the verse in Proverbs where it says that someone who involves themselves in someone else’s argument is like a man who grasps a dog by the ears.  I was thinking of that in relation to Premier Radio and the Church.  Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth.  I would not have been hurt so much or have lost so much important in my life if various spiritual authorities had not used their platforms to chase me down, and if secular authorities had done their job with equal regard to anti-discrimination and anti-prejudice laws.

I’ve got an interview with people to help with housing tomorrow on the ward.  I hope that goes well.  It has been organised for me and I was told it might take 2 weeks from referral to meeting,but it is less than one week.  So that is a good thing, I hope.

I was just talking and thinking about the perversity of my situation, that after clearing my flat on Friday I was released from my section on the Monday, so now I can take off all the time I want in one day I have been told that if I went overnight I would lose my room because of high demand.  I’ve got an idea.  Respect people and treat them well all the time and they might never need to come back!  If we weren’t put in the loony bin in the first place instead of receiving proper communication and acknowledgment that would be better.

11.41 am.  I’m blogging after more police harassment at Starbucks, 99 St Martins Lane, WC2.  I want to laugh now.  I think I bring it on myself by not responding to their attitude and insistence on getting the last word with a sense of humour.  I think it shows I am not a good citizen, not having a sense of humour when they behave this way.  I’m not sure how they would react if  I were to laugh instead of outdo them and get upset and tell them they have no right to do what they are doing, etc.  I might feel better myself, if I could approach it with a sense of humour.  I feel I should say I am sorry for not respecting them in their job, and just laugh, then it would all be behind me and the world would be all right again.  That if I had done that years before I might not now be a 51 year old menopausal woman having to come to terms with the fact that I have not had children.

After 4 nights without a bed and people keep coming at me psychologically and leaving me feeling assaulted, I committed the crime of falling asleep after a cup of tea and a bag of nuts, which is all I can eat in Starbucks.  A little while before the police came I heard someone banging things around me, and that was obviously their idea of trying to wake me up.  I don’t respond to that kind of thing, though.  Also I find it hard to stay awake at the moment anyway, being aware, as I am, of the kind of psychological harassment I am getting from sales and security staff, let alone ‘ordinary’ people in the street.

The police woman, CW 2598 or 3598, with subsequent things from them after I got her number ‘m not sure if I have remembered it right, came in and told me I couldn’t just sleep there.  That it was coming up to lunch time and I couldn’t just occupy a seat without buying anything.  I said I had had a cup of tea there and I buy quite a lot of stuff and no one had tried to wake me.  She said they had.  I suggested I could go to the toilet and get another cup of coffee, then, as they do, she turned control of the conversation back round to herself by asking me what my plans were after I had just told her, and when I told her again she said OK and just stood there.  I asked her if they were going to stay there while I bought the coffee and she said yes, that they wouldn’t be doing their job otherwise.  So I was expected to buy a cup of coffee, hand over my money to these people, under police watch.  I snapped out of my drowsiness and said I would rather write to the company and complain about harassment, but that I was going to the toilet first.

I went in, used the toilet, brushed my hair and brushed my teeth.  Before I was finished the male officer (there were 3, 1 man and 2 women) knocked on the door and asked me if I was going to be long.  I said no.  When I came out they were all sitting there waiting for me.

I passed them and went up to the cafe staff and told them they hadn’t spoken to me or tried to wake me before calling the police.  She was acting as if she didn’t understand what I was saying, and said they had tried to wake me.  I said I was prepared to buy another cup of coffee, if they asked the police to leave first, that I was not prepared to do it under police watch.  Someone said something and I said I had the right to buy another cup of coffee.  One of the officers said the staff there also had the right to ask me to leave if they wanted to, so I asked them if they wanted me to leave rather than buy another cup of coffee, and they said they wanted me to leave.  The police then took control as I tried to walk past them freely and dsimiss the situation and walk away with some dignity, the woman whose number I have mentioned kept ‘backchatting’ me, so I went up to her to look at the number on her lapel.  I couldn’t see the letters, they were hidden, and she didn’t offer the letters, so I moved the strap, and then she began to get defensive and angry, saying I couldn’t just touch her strap to get her number (why not, after everything they do to me?  This isn’t just about doing a good job, is it?)  So we had a small argument and in the end I told her to stop the sass and the attitude and began to walk away, and as I did she kept it coming.  The male officer started making mocking gestures at me.  He kept it up for about 5 minutes.  I stopped in the street and said that I was not now acting illegally, just standing by a lamp post, and they stood there with me. They did not want to leave me in peace or in control, or acknowledge my rights with any semblance of real recognition or sympathy.

They crossed the road, still making gestures, and I shouted after them, saying they were supposed to defend the weak, not harass them, that they were supposed to be a service to the whole community, not just the money makers, I said they despised us and we despised them (where are all the people who hate the police when I am the one getting harassed?).  I said they were hand in glove with the money makers and the mafia, at which point the male officer making gestures looked as if he was about to come back over, but stopped.  I thought he looked angry.  I believe I spoke the truth.  He went back to the gestures, with a couple of men standing between us and just looking in my direction smiling and finding it ammusing, even though I was obviously distressed, and I shouted at him that he was not supposed to be standing there mocking me with his gestures and that he would have gone to a Victorian insane asylum and mocked people there, as was the sport in those days of a Sunday afternoon.  That is the way it was opresented to me, anyway.  Maybe it wasn’t just the Sunday sport.  Maybe they could do it any time.

People talk about putting the mockers on people.  The Bible says that God will mock, and that he who sits in the heavens will laugh.  I have often wondered down the years if this mockery from people in authority that I have been taught to respect and trust is actually a legitimate part of their approach to people in some circumstances, and thought that my problem with it shows I have a problem with and a bad attitude towards authority.  That my heart is wrong and my dispositon is wrong and that I am rebellious and ‘a bad lot’.  I have thought on many occasions that they would have turned and done everything they could to help me, if only my attitude had been right.  I feel that, over the years, I have, in pride and arrogance, rejected my own redemption from all these wondeful people in society that have said they want to help and that I have accused of harassment and stalking.  How arrogant and selfish of me.  That these people, who are also suffering with me and trying to reach out to me for themselves, for me and for others being caught up in my situation, should have arrogant, proud, independent, ignorant, selfish, power-loving little me shake my naughty fist at them and say ‘no, it is stalking and harassment, you have no right and unless you come to me with the words of your concerns openly I will not respond to you’.

I’ve offended my leaders, i’ve lost Tommy, so it feels.  I want to see his face loving me, and can’t see how he could be anything but ashamed and disgusted with me, as well as hurt for himself.

i burn with shame.  I think I have played an unforgivable and selfish game, and that the consequences I am now suffering in final loneliness and childlessness are my own fault.  I think I am on the scrap heap where my leaders said the disobedient end up.  Yesterday I felt the problem was me and always had been, and had never been anyone else’s.  To some extent and in some respects that has to be the truth.  They used to say that you can’t just think of yourself as being as good as everyone else.  But that was what I did in my teens.  I used to think, look, I  can speak in tongues just like you.  I used to sing the songs and as I was singing them think this isn’t the way it is for me, but I never voiced that to anyone.  Except I think I did to Diane.  I can’t shift this self blame, and no one can help me to.

 

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