Tag Archive: Civil Rights


Update 09.06.2016

These days I can be found a lot of the time at https://www.facebook.com/sue.barnett.547.  I hope you will come and connect with me there.  I will continue to post on here occasionally.  This is a pinned post, so please scroll down a couple for my latest entries.

And if my nurses are reading this, please respect the fact that this is my SPACE.  As one of my lecturers once said to me, I can say what I like.  None of it should find its way into a clinical decision or into my notes, as it has done before.  If you MUST stalk me, please keep a respectful distance between this and our offline relationship.  I reserve the right to say what I like on the internet, whether you think you should respect that or not.  I have had this conversation with one of you, and you said you would have to look into the legalities of it.  I think the legalities are, if you don’t like what you read on my blog, stop reading.  If they aren’t, they should be.  I’m sick of censoring myself out of fear of consequences.

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Nelson Mandela

To start with, Nelson Mandela died yesterday.  I was watching Mrs Brown’s Boys with two of the women from the bungalow when the programme was interrupted for President Zuma’s address.  I got the giggles listening because we had all just been laughing, and because it was no great shock, at his age, 95.  I saw President Obama’s address and wondered how he felt to be the one delivering it, as the first black president of the US.  It must have been an awesome moment for him.  There were a lot of moving tributes, and seeing the celebrations outside the old family home, now a museum, was very encouraging.  There are still racial tensions there and apparently some white people are afraid that now the reconciler has died revenge will start to be meted out.  I hope those fears prove to be unfounded.

It’s not an ideal world, and violence is a part of both rule and struggle.  He was fighting for equality between all races, but he was fighting for his own as well.  Otherwise the threat of violence towards the racist white rulers might never have been.  I don’t understand a lot about politics so I can’t write as eloquently as some, but I am in awe of the Civil Rights campaigners and activists.  Once I wanted to be a missionary in Africa.  I was only a child, I didn’t understand everything that was involved, the possibilities of death and mistreatment and everything.  In recent years I have had a very painful relationship with black people around my home and in church and hospital. I’ve had more than one black Christian call me a witch and turn away from me in self-satisfied rejection of me.  I have been called racist a lot.  I’m now very nervous of black people and some types can really make me feel amazing levels of anger.  White people can as well but I feel it more with black people because I’ve never been called racist towards white people.  It hurts, because time once was when I wanted to marry a black person.  I feel a mixture of helpless rage and heartbreak, I just can’t get it right, and neither can they.

I fear the fact that Nelson Mandela never renounced violence.  I know everyone is saying wonderful things about him and I feel touched by those things.  I daren’t say too much for fear of betraying my ignorance of politics and the profound changes which have irreversibly come about in relation to his name.  President Obama said he belongs to the ages.  Hopefully the ages won’t forget and go backwards.  Hopefully the ages won’t employ the violence that was not renounced by their revered father.

Edit note:

I feel really stupid.  I watched a documentary tribute tonight by David Dimbleby which reminded me of the Truth And Reconciliation councils and I saw some of the footage.  I also saw where Nelson Mandela told his followers to take their weapons and throw them in the sea, so he did renounce violence and asked his followers to.   I remember hearing about the truth and reconciliation hearings a long time ago.

Angel of Light

The Bible says that the devil can appear as an angel of light.  I said that this morning meaning psychiatric staff, but obviously I am aware that it can have as many applications as people want to give it.  So let’s not go there. Maybe for me the biggest angel of false light is that which says ‘it’s nothing to do with me’.  Perhaps a twin would be ‘the experts must be right’.

I was thinking and saying tonight, 16th August, that I can’t understand how someone can, in good conscience, take a job which empowers them to commit acts that in other contexts would be viewed as assault.  I find it appalling that someone can assault you one day and, without apologising or anything, act as if nothing has happened afterwards and put it down to general relationship problems on the part of the patient, or mental illness, if the patient doesn’t go along with that.  If they did at home what they do to us here they might not have a relationship to go back to.  I would certainly find it hard to consider having them in my home,  Do they apologise for major failings at home?  If so, why don’t they apologise to us?  Are they trying to kid us that they really think their behaviour is an acceptable part of a normal relationship, or that they think we think it is, all of us, and that we wouldn’t want or expect an apology?  When Jim grabbed me I wasn’t putting myself or anyone else at risk.  So it really was an assault.  He wasn’t the only one involved.  I’m worried about the reasons for having me on a Section 3 as well, that while I am not a danger to myself or anyone else I suffer from a mental illness of a nature and degree which requires treatment in hospital.  Being mistaken about the reasons for harassment or violence or antisocial behaviour from others does not, in my mind, constitute a mental illness.  And if people believe I am not mistaken all the more reason for them to say, unilaterally and without any assurance of my good will, that they have made a mistake.  From the bits I’ve seen and the much that I’ve heard, we are all over the broadcast media, and it isn’t because of me.  It was happening before I started blogging about them.  It’s been happening to me, to my knowledge, for nearly 18 years.

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!

My Website Design

Most of my comments go to the spam section of my correspondence, and I have stopped looking on the whole as I think there is probably a good reason.  However, it might be that my settings are too tight and that I have designed it that way.

I have noticed that some people like my site and are asking me if I designed it myself.  The answer is no, it is a theme on WordPress called Motion, by Volcano.  The only hand I have had in its design is the choosing and placing of widgets.

Thank you for liking my site.  I like it myself today, but I tend to feel that when people praise my site they are being sarcastic.  Certainly I like reading other sites which are plain white background, or at least brighter than my dark blue.

I noticed a whi;le ago when I had much more spam than usual that there were a lot of copied comments praising my site.  It reminded me a bit of organisations I have belonged to – well OK, the church – when they have said about writing to MPs that we could use a form letter.  I’m afraid that I have dismissed their sincerity, rightly or wrongly, and some of them were very praising or grateful, it seemed.

Please forgive me if I have wrongly left things in spam which were sincere comments and appreciation.  I suppose the same should go for criticism as well, but I am getting heaps and heaps of praise and I am suspicious of it.  Again, sorry for those who really meant it.

I had a conversation with my advocate today and discovered that it is possible to complain about the tribunal hearing.  I asked her, and she said it was the first time anyone had asked, but yes it is possible.  Otherwise it is a bit like having a bin lid shut on top of you.  People (including me) freak out or go into decline because they don’t realise how many rights they do have.

Psychological Football

I’m always better when I go out.  Yesterday I didn’t go out because I wanted to save money.  Having just bought a month’s top up for my internet dongle I am down to £5 per day until next Wednesday, when I get my DLA.

Have I mentioned that there is a deaf lady on the ward who screams and shouts at the top of her voice?  I got in in time for dinner so I wouldn’t have to spend money on food and almost as soon as I walked through the door, as I was having a conversation with one of the staff, she suddenly exploded right near me, and I just felt shock waves, as I do every time she does that.  I screamed myself to let the shock out.

Going back to money, it is really hard for me having 5 hours a day off the ward when I have no home to go to.  Everything I want to do is going to cost money, especially if I want to eat.  If I use the free internet facility at places I feel obliged to buy something.  If I was at home it would not cost me nearly so much for a cup of tea/glass of wine and a sandwich.  At the moment both the housing people and the hospital are maintaining that they are waiting on each other before I can be housed.  Tomorrow I have a meeting with my key nurse and the housing advocate.  I hope some progress has been made.

Calling us mentally ill if we don’t believe that about ourselves is a visceral, mind-burning thing.  To then have people making fun of the way you speak, clashing pots and pans at significant intervals, and competing with you for your own breathing and speaking and generally acting like pack animals is more than you should be expected to deal with.  But that was what I had at dinner time.  It is open season for mockery.  Jess was scowling.  I see them hugging and sharing the love with each other as they leave, but some of us don’t even get a real personality to speak to, let alone love.  Today Linda was in the kitchen, and Liz and Luke.  It appears they thought my upset was hilarious, if Luke’s reaction was anything to go by.  It is war, nothing else.  When dealing with people who do not recognise their right to label people that way, mental health staff are engaged in a civil war with captives they hold and torture with drugs and other forms of torment.  I see their anger and sometimes I think I shouldn’t trust them and other times I think I should trust them.  It isn’t going to happen though.  Because I am writing this, and they are reading it.  I am fully convinced, after several instances that were too close to be ‘just coincidence’, that the police are monitoring both my blog and messages I have sent via my phone a couple of times.

As I came off the ward I spoke to someone on the building staff and it was obvious from his response to me that he had no time for anything I had to say.  I had thought he was a decent person, but his voice was full of derision when I spoke to him today.

There is a nurse called Vymla who has a couple of times burst out with ‘hi honey’ either to me or ‘on the telephone’ when I have been around.  Something in the tone of voice made me feel it was deliberate.  On the day that I was first due to be assessed for a section 3, having just a few days before discovered that I had been in hospital for nearly a month and none of my relatives knew, because although one had been nominated as closest relative, it came back in the paperwork that no one had been nominated, I was really upset because I was being given only 3 or 4 hours notice with no one knowing I was even there.  Vymla opened the office door and said she was sorry she had to open the door, but I wasn’t shouting loud enough.  I told her to stop being sarcastic and she said she was never sarcastic.  Am I supposed to laugh at this later when things have calmed down and take it all with a pinch of salt?

I don’t think I’ve mentioned Vymla before.  There is another one called Annie who comes at me with faces, it is really grotesque.  One day just as I got back, when the olympics were on, she got me in a long conversation and followed every change in expression in my voice.  I started doing the raise at the end of my sentences, like we have learned from Australia, and she matched me move for move.

I managed to get the first assessment for a section 3 moved to a few days after, maybe Monday where it had been Friday.  They weren’t willing to give way at all until I brought out a pen and paper, then suddenly it all changed.

My last section before this one, a section 5(2) involved a Dr Singh who acted as if he was giving me the third degree.  I hadn’t met him before.  He said, and Liz backed him up, that I had said something I hadn’t.  At that point I wished that I had legal representation and witnesses, but apparently you can’t get them for an assessment.  I forgot his name part way through and asked him to remind me and he was very aggressive, demanding of me why I had forgotten his name, I shouldn’t have forgotten, I had forgotten other things as well.  But I answered all of his questions correctly about the day, date, time, who is the prime minister (though I had to think about that one, I had Margaret Thatcher in my mind).  What I am saying is that the assessments can be, and in my experience have been, a free space for bullying and belittling the patient when neither advocate nor solicitor is there to see.  I think I should have been entitled to an advocate and I can’t remember why I didn’t have one, but as the law stands at the moment I am only entitled to a solicitor after the decision has been made to put me on a section.

Then they act as if what they have done is a perfectly normal way to behave in any relationship.

Someone recently said you don’t get any peace until they have you on drugs.  It seems to me that fits my experience, that they want you on drugs, possibly it makes them feel better.  I asked at one point if I could have the section 3 without the drugs, if they were worried about me leaving hospital with nowhere to go.  When they get you on drugs it seems like ‘fight over’ in many ways, for them.

On Sunday morning 5th February between 9 and 10 am I was in the O2 Shopping centre at Finchley Road, NW3.  I have never been in there before or got off in the area for years.  I had noticed an express hotel while passing on a bus and although they had no rooms, they were happy for me to buy tea and coffee through the night and buy breakfast.

I decided after standing at the bus stop for a little while that I would go in and see what was there, see if I could get a cup of coffee.  I went into Starbucks at just after 9am.  A young policeman came in directly behind me and as soon as I had finished asked for a fuckochino.

I’m sitting in Caffe Nero at the moment fighting for emotional possession of what should be mine to possess, where they have repeatedly looked at me as if I am a nuisance since I came in, and they are trying to do some sort of operatic thing behind the counter.  I’m finding it distracting and an act of sabotage, at least in terms of emotional connection, so my writing is hurting me.  I heard something recently which makes me feel that the police might have leaked a photograph of me to people and places like these, or maybe this is just the way they deal with people they really don’t like the look of and don’t want around.  I say again, schizophrenia is imposed by ruling dishonest savages and is not inherent in the person.  They advertise free internet here, but seem to be doing everything they can to distract me in my use of it.  It is not supposed to be their creative space to the distraction of the customers.  If I wanted opera I’d pay for it or find it on the internet.  I certainly don’t want to be involved in an angry psychic improvisation in a way that totally grabs at and demands my attention, for whatever reason.  It is 8.07 am at Canary Wharf.  It seems there is a wave they grab at with singing every time I start to think and feel.  I feel fear and distress and hurt and anger.  Betrayal and discrimination.

But back to Starbucks in the O2 shopping centre at Finchley Road.  And if I don’t manage to write all I know is in me to write, I might hopefully be able to come back to it later.  These coffee bar people seem to think they are the new 5 star hotel staff or the aristocracy themselves, but that goes for all service staff everywhere, in my experience.  Always imposing themselves, no discretion or sensitivity.  They have the rights, they say in writing, and their power is always upheld.  But we are paying and they are the paid.  So if they distract or impose themselves it is an act of theft, as much as anything.  I know my recent writing must have done the grapevine, and they are deliberately trying to distract me.  That is harassment.  I’ve never been in here before.

I asked the policeman if he had asked for a fuckochino, and his mate (3 or 4 others had joined him, including a woman.  I only remember one but maybe there were two) said to him ‘did you ask for a fuckochino?’ and he said ‘yes, I did’, and they made a joke of it.  I talked about verbal assault and harassment and went and sat down with my coffee.  I sat in a corner as far away as I could manage in the hope that it would keep them away from me, and also there was an electrical socket to plug my laptop into, which was what I needed.

Anyway, they sat level with me, but on the other side of the room.  They sat there effing and blinding loudly for ages and no one challenged them.  They were talking about crazy, crazy cat and vegan frappacino, which is something I had quite a lot in Starbucks when the weather was warmer.  They have told me their syrups are all vegan, so I have it made with soya milk and without cream.

Shortly after they started this a man came in with his young daughter.  I think from memory she was around 10 years old.  I had noticed her on the escalator earlier.  She had lovely long red hair.  They sat in front of me facing me, and I hoped they wouldn’t leave as I saw their presence as my safety and protection.  But these officers must have gone on for about 20 minutes or more in this vein, and eventually one of them said something about the position being clear.  They seemed to be watching my reaction and gathering from it that I was not going to get involved, but blog.  Soon afer he said about the position being clear I said my position was that I didn’t like them sitting there harassing me and using that language, which anyone else might have been arrested for, and talking about crazy.  Although they went quiet as I was speaking they didn’t acknowledge me, but I think they left in a sort of silence a minute or two later, no apologies to me or to anyone else.

Afterwards I sat there confused, feeling as if the attention was a positive thing and that it would be treacherous, unreasonable and perverse of me to find anything wrong with it and to try to expose it.  I thought they were trying to centre with me, perhaps, and stripping themselves of all decency to make me feel secure and communicate that they wanted to talk to me and wanted me to trust them.  What else, after all, is supposed to be communicated by their lovely smart uniforms and their clean, fresh appearance?

Then I thought what if it was someone else being treated like that?  If I accepted it as positive for myself it would be saying it was OK to do to someone else.  And at Heathrow I was arrested for swearing.  Mine was in desperation and anger but theirs was a constant stream of non-stop, jocular, almost barrack room stuff.  And there was a little girl and her father hearing it all.  Recently they have been saying to me that there are children around when I have been angry with them, and I have said that I didn’t care.  In the situation it was emotional blackmail.  These officers did not care that this little girl was party to this behaviour.  I’m not sure they thought about her at all.  They could see her.  When they have challenged me with the statement that there were children around, I couldn’t even see them.

I was thinking last night about something I have read quite often, that there are people with such low self-esteem that even negative attention is seen as something to be desired.  That is me.  In the presence of such a clean image, even if they are acting like that, I feel like such a low life that I deserve it, or that they are even engaging in an act of kindness to tell me that they are approachable.

But yesterday I thought (I have just looked at the girl behind the counter.  She looks very angry and defiant of me.  She knows as well as I what they are doing) would anyone want their mother or grandmother or wife or daughter or any other female to be treated that way?  If I ‘OK-ed’ it for myself, would anyone else thank me for that?

I stopped to think just now and when inspiration began to come, when I started to level out with my own emotions and thoughts, one of the girls behind the counter said ‘here we go again’.  It is a deliberate act of control and sabotage.  They have just started singing again in the same harassing way.  I was not going to write about them, but since they are taking from me the things I am wanting to write about, they have brought it on themselves.  I’m not sure who they are doing it for.  Every time I stop to feel an emotion they whine it out.  That is a statement of fact, not hatred speaking.

I can’t go into it in depth in these conditions, I can’t access depth language and expression or thought or memory reconstruction, but I was feeling that I have lost my sense of where the boundary lines ought to be, that I felt guilty about not accepting their behaviour with gratitude in the first place, and that I still do.  The officers were completely inappropriate in their behaviour, and it would have been equally inappropriate with or without the presence of the child, and whether it had been public or private.

So that is it.  That is that incident from Sunday.  There were about 4 or 5 others over the course of the weekend, but this one was completely unsolicited in a place I have never been in before.  I’m almost afraid to make such a categorical statement, but I believe it cannot be OK.  However extraordinary the situation, proper procedure and approach should always be adhered to.

I told the girl’s father that I loved her red hair and thought it was beautiful.  I did think it was beautiful, and I wanted to say so, because there are so many instances of redheads being bullied and I read about one recently, and I wanted to affirm her.  Afterwards I felt as if I might have been stupid.  I tried to stop the father as he was leaving and apologise if my comment had been stupid, but although I think he heard me say ‘excuse me’ he didn’t stop.  At the time I only saw them as being a protection for me.  I didn’t think about them being equal victims of the situation at all.

A few minutes ago the girl behind the counter said loudly, angrily and challengingly ‘I’m spiritual’.  She has loudly said ‘sorry’ a couple of times, but not to me, though it was meant for my hearing.

A few weeks ago I read and commented on a blog called ‘disable me’.  I feel as if I am being conceited even to mention it and to say this is a deliberate attempt to disable and control.  The way she is talking at the moment I have an image of someone parading themselves angrily on a platform and insisting on being acknowledged and looked at.

Finished 9.32 am

She has just said ‘baby’.  And now she is singing Cum by ya, and has gone into mocking singing.

Edit 9.42  They are openly and derisively miaowing at me.  It is savage.

I posted something with a similar title a few weeks ago, which I edited and expanded today and published under today’s date, and although it has appeared under some of its original tags it has not appeared under others, some of them major categories, so I’m posting this very changed and updated version for the categories in which it does not appear today, along with some extra ones which have occured to me while checking the others.

It looks as if these categories do not allow repeat posts, even if vastly updated and published on a different date.  I hope if this is the case it will be changed.

The updated post is as follows, and I have updated it in this way because I think rigorous thinking about this is essential.  Some people might not find it rigorous enough or might wish my rigour came down on the side of international security, and I respect that.

The Post

(Mr Assange) and his lawyers fear extradition which may result in him being transferred to the US and possibly subjected to the death penalty or sent to Guantanamo.

I want him to be OK.  I don’t want any harm to come to him.  I don’t want him extradited.  Even if he has done something wrong, in Britain we don’t have the death penalty anymore, and our news agencies have publicly opposed and criticised Guantanamo for ages, though I haven’t taken much notice of the government’s position so I don’t know what it is. 

Maybe I am just a gullible, emotional woman who doesn’t understand what is involved in regaining/maintaining national and international security, but I think a lot of people would agree with me that, even if he has done something wrong, we would prefer for it to be dealt with differently.  I hope no one is thinking that if he is taken out of the picture that Wikileaks will fall apart, because I think that would be lazy and unjust.

If we have been told the truth, it wouldn’t be fair to extradite him on the basis of the charges which have been brought against him.  We have been told that he has co-operated in every way with the authorities over the sex accusations made against him, right from the beginning.  If that is true I can’t see how exradition over those charges could be justfified, and if extradition is a real threat and not just an exaggerated fear, I think the people thinking of resorting to this should stop the pretence that it is because of the sex allegations over which he has co-operated for months, from the beginning, and make their intentions and the reasons for them clear and open.  Then they would be challengeable, by everyone, including public opinion.  If they are not spoken no one can challenge them and that, in the darkest sense of the word, would be ghastly and say something really awful about us, I believe.

So without knowing anything that could justify it and not feeling able or being willing to turn and go with an inkling that I could be wrong at such short notice, I would like to say that if this is happening, it is not in my name.  And for that I feel I might burn in hell.

Final Edit Note:

My comments are open, as I am sure other people’s are as well.  I didn’t address this sooner because I thought I had nothing significant to add to what I had already said, and although I sat down today and discovered in review that that was not true I obviously can’t know if that would have been the case earlier.  This feeling must be a tearing responsibility for any commentator and journalist in such serious issues as this.

I feel almost if this hasn’t already been raised effectively, and (big) if this IS raised effectively in this post, it might be too late to make a difference.

I’m sure that commenting on a blog is fine, to sway public opinion.  But to make change where it needs to be made official approaches and challenges need to be made, and the powers that be, at any time to date, to my awareness, would not recognise a blog and its comments as an official approach and would not accept blame for ignoring it, even if they are aware of it and agree with it personally.  And especially not if they do not agree.

It’s good to talk.  It’s good to blog.  It’s good to read and comment.  But for the content of social media to be officially recognised then proper legally recognised responses need to be made and actions taken.  Otherwise the sad, the very sad, truth is that we might as well not bother. With these kinds of issue you have to make the challenges proper legal ones, or in most cases they stay hidden and unacknowledged.

If you want to, feel free to use this post in any legal challenge you wish to make or question you need to put to lawyers, MPs (maybe especially, for future accountability) and anyone else over this issue.  I hope you do and that it is useful enough.  What am I doing here in Bulgaria? I’m writing myself into wanting to come myself!  I declare availability, if that isn’t being too impressed with myself.  If it is I won’t be taken up on it, and a good job too.

(Editorial Note:  Please read the updated and expanded version of this which is now on my front page.  I think it is more important than this one.  I wrote it because this one was not appearing in all the categories I assigned it to.)

And he and his lawyers fear extradition which may result in him being transferred to the US and possibly subjected to the death penalty or sent to Guantanamo.

I want him to be OK.  I don’t want any harm to come to him.  I don’t want him extradited.  Even if he has done something wrong, in Britain we don’t have the death penalty anymore, and our news agencies have publicly opposed and criticised Guantanamo for ages, though I haven’t taken much notice of the government’s position so I don’t know what it is. 

Maybe I am just a gullible, emotional woman who doesn’t understand what is involved in regaining/maintaining national and international security, but I think a lot of people would agree with me that, even if he has done something wrong, we would prefer for it to be dealt with differently.  I hope no one is thinking that if he is taken out of the picture that Wikileaks will fall apart, because I think that would be lazy and unjust.

If we have been told the truth, it wouldn’t be fair to extradite him on the basis of the charges which have been brought against him.  We have been told that he has co-operated in every way with the authorities over the sex accusations made against him, right from the beginning.  If that is true I can’t see how exradition over those charges could be justfified, and if extradition is a real threat and not just an exaggerated fear, I think the people thinking of resorting to this should stop the pretence that it is because of the sex allegations over which he has co-operated for months, from the beginning, and make their intentions and the reasons for them clear and open.  Then they would be challengeable, by everyone, including public opinion.  If they are not spoken no one can challenge them and that, in the darkest sense of the word, would be ghastly and say something really awful about us, I believe.

So without knowing anything that could justify it and not feeling able or being willing to turn and go with an inkling that I could be wrong at such short notice, I would like to say that if this is happening, it is not in my name.  And for that I feel I might burn in hell.

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