Tag Archive: Relationships


That Was Then, This Is Now

Unless we make and maintain a real-life connection with people we can be basing our ideas of them from what we made of them in the past.

I spend a lot of time on Facebook.  I read a lot, I watch a lot of videos and listen to a lot of recordings.  I think there is no adequate substitute for an on-going, face-to-face relationship, but even then you can’t know anyone completely.  You can have your ideas about them, but we even surprise ourselves about ourselves, look back at what we did, said, thought, believed, the way we saw things and wonder how we ever could have, if we were out of our minds.  We are embarrassed at ourselves sometimes.

Sometimes I can watch a video which I see in the context of a relationship that doesn’t have much offline existence.  If it is from a while ago I sometimes find that, regardless of what might have happened in between times, seeing that video now brings everything back and fixes it in the present, because nothing else is happening NOW, and for some reason they have chosen to bring it up at this time.

When I watch something on the TV or listen to something on the radio, or read something, I sometimes have to remind myself that what I am seeing or hearing is or was happening in relation to someone who is not me.  I might think they seem really nice, but what if they met ME?  I might have a different experience of them because I am not the person I saw them with.

I wrote on Krishna Das’s Facebook page once that I had a dream to sing with him.  I’ve noticed since then that other people have written similar things.  I was playing one of his albums with my mother on Monday, A Drop of the Ocean, with Sultan Khan.  It was released in 2004, about 3 years after 9/11, and I see it in relation to that these days.  But I was going off on one with her, about how I loved the way he spoke and sang on it, and how I would love to sing with him, then I said something like, ‘but that’s the way he sounds with Sultan Khan.  I love the way he sounds on this, but it isn’t an interaction with me, it is with someone else, and what I am hearing and loving on this album might not exist with me.  He feels something with him that he might not feel with me, and that is why he sounds as he does.’.  I sing back to his voice all the time when I play his music, but really it’s a bit like singing in the shower.  What I am hearing was with someone else, it isn’t with me.

I think any media presentation is something we are essentially removed from.  If it is from the past it only tells us about the way things seemed at that time to the people who made it or wrote it.  We can get an illusion of identification or understanding or that we agree, sometimes.  I often see people’s comments and agreements on Facebook.  I think it’s a really illusory platform, when it comes to following celebrity pages and things like that.  Do we really know what people meant, from their lives, by what they said, in order to agree with it?  It is, more often than not, our interpretation of what they said that we agree with or not, and I have been taught that our interpretation says more about us than it does about what we are interpreting.  I often find that I can write something and view it differently afterwards than when I first wrote it.  Within seconds, sometimes, especially if it is a Facebook reaction.  Because I don’t really know them, and I sometimes think it is inappropriate for me to be trying to interact with them at all and thinking and feeling what I do, expressing what I choose to express and holding back on other things, sometimes.  That’s the way we all are, even in real life.

But definitely, when it comes to old videos and things, I think we really need to get to grips with the truth that ‘that was then, this is now’.  Or as someone famous put it, ‘the past is another country’.  How we deal with it when it comes up in a relationship that isn’t happening in any other way is something I find a bit of a conundrum and, being me, can get all upset and guilt-trippy about.  If it’s not happening, it’s not happening.  And if it is and I’m not being let into it, for me it is still not happening.

As so often, I am already plagued with embarrassment and self-doubt about what I have written even before I publish it.  See – so lots of other people are the same.  What we write or otherwise express is not necessarily a slice of our reality.

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Communication

communication

Yesterday Was My Birthday

Yesterday I was 55.  Some of my Facebook friends wished me happy birthday, which was nice, and Peter and Jennie, my two nurses, took me out for lunch and gave me a card and two bars of Lindt chocolate, which Jennie knows I like.  I asked Jennie a while ago if we could go out for my birthday and she said yes.  As I have said before, in real life they are the closest thing I have to friends at the moment.  I wouldn’t have celebrated my birthday at all without them.

Because of my antipsychiatry beliefs I actually have an ambivalent relationship with them which isn’t altogether comfortable.  I am aware of their clinical relationship with me, and resentful of it, and feel I have to be careful what I communicate at this time while I am almost at the end of coming off my medication.  It is quite confusing trying to relate to them as friends.  Peter, especially, seems to have that role towards me deliberately as we meet for coffee every week, but also with Jennie, I offer her coffee when she comes to do my depot and she accepts and we sit and chat and watch television.

My anger at their clinical involvement is never far below the surface, and I wish that involvement didn’t exist.  I realise by saying this I open myself to a charge of ingratitude.  They didn’t have to take me out yesterday or help in all the ways they have this year.  But the reality is that the basic nature of my relationship with them is clinical, and I feel strongly against that.

I’m sure it must be difficult for them as well.  They know how I feel about the clinical side of things but, especially for Jennie, it is part of her job.

Someone in Speak Out Against Psychiatry said they are only nice because I’m being compliant.  If I weren’t they might want to put me back in hospital, although at this stage, where my last depot is due just after Christmas, that might not be the case.  But certainly a lot earlier on it might have been.  I get the feeling we are keeping each other sweet.

It would be nice to think there is some real friendship there, but there is no way it can be fully expressed, that is the nature of this kind of professional relationship.  I am sure a real fondness exists, at least on my part, and regardless of the resentment and anger.  And fear, I should say fear too.  It is frustrating.  In spite of what I want to feel, I feel subjugated.  The clinical relationship is the only reason that any relationship exists, and I am totally against the clinical relationship.

It was nice to go out for my birthday, though.  I hope if they read this they will understand and not be offended.

Coffee With My Nurse

Every Thursday one of my nurses and I go out for coffee, it’s part of the social inclusion programme.  He’s a nice man, his name is Pete.  He helped me out practically when I first moved in here.  We talk about a lot of things, including religion.  This week religion came up because I said I hadn’t heard anything about Raif Badawi this week.  Raif is the writer and activist in Saudi Arabia who has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for his blog on free speech and liberalism in which he criticised some of the clerics, which was taken as an insult to Islam.  (For a petition by Amnesty International seeking to get this stopped please see here).

Pete said it was terrible what was being done in the name of religion, and said the Church used to do the same thing with its witch trials, for example.  The subject of demon possession came up, and I told him about my experiences of being told either that I was demon possessed or that I was ‘heavily demonised’.

The time I was told I was demon possessed was when I was a 12 year old girl in 1973.  I had lost my frightening father to suicide the year before.  Two of the elders of the church I was going to told me that I was demon possessed because I stared too much.  I suppose I did stare.  I stared particularly at one of them, because he was my father’s age and musical like my father, and I wanted to be a part of their family, informally.  He was a father figure.  The other elder – no, deacon – his wife told me that the man I saw as a father figure just saw me as a silly little girl.  They must have thought I fancied him or something (he was 38, I was 12, he was married with 3 children).  When they first tried to pray for me they decided I didn’t want help and told me I wasn’t to go back until I wanted help.  I think they also told me I couldn’t have communion.  The second time they prayed for me the deacon was bothered that I had practised a prayer instead of just praying on the spot, but the man I saw as a father figure said he felt good about it.  Apparently they saw a mouse which I didn’t see, and they told me the demons had gone into the mouse.  All I knew was that I wasn’t allowed to get close to the people I wanted, and I was hurt and upset, and frightened.  That fear left me briefly about 20 years ago, but it quickly came back when I was disrespected at the church I was going to in London.

At the church I went to in London, St Barnabas, Woodside Park in North Finchley, soon after my first experience in a mental hospital, I was so traumatised I was shouting when I was afraid.  I asked the vicar, who at that time was John Coles, what he would tell God when He asked him why he called the police on me, and John said he would say that he was dealing with someone who was ‘heavily demonised’.

I told Pete about both of these experiences and he said about the first one that I was obviously traumatised and they should have been dealing with trauma, not performing an exorcism.  He said it was child abuse, which I agree with.  David Shearman once told me he had been angry when he found out about it.  Unfortunately his anger did not relieve my pain and fear.  I lived for years worrying about demons, and looking into the mirror and seeing something evil in my eyes.  I can’t remember what Pete said about the second time, in London, that I had this forced on me.  But he said it all sounded medieval.  He also said that he thought people were like a piano, with all the notes available, and you just decide what you are going to play.

My worry is, have I misrepresented the Church?  They meant well, didn’t they?  Although I find that hard to believe, given how much anger was expressed.

I looked up the two people involved when I was 12.  One of them died in 2012 (the man whose family I wanted to be part of), and the other is an elder in a Christian Fellowship somewhere.  I didn’t recognise him but I recognised his wife, easily.

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.

Christmas at the Asylum

Christmas has definitely started here.  The staff put a tree and decorations up about a week ago and today they gave our bungalow two tins of biscuits and two tubes of sour cream and onion Pringles.  They told us there was tons of food and if we couldn’t see it to ask.

We’ve also got painters in, and they are in the kitchen at the moment, from whence can be heard lots of laughter and giggles.  Last time I saw I think they were laughing at something on one of their mobile phones.  They did the bathroom and shower earlier this week.  They are starting on our bedrooms after Christmas.

At least two of this bungalow’s residents are going to be away for an extended leave at Christmas, and one is possibly going to be gone for two nights, which means I will be on my own in the bungalow for possibly two nights but definitely for a fair bit of Christmas day.  I’m getting used to being here and sharing now, it could be odd being on my own when I leave.  Hopefully it will be nice though, having my own space.  Being able to drink a glass of wine in my home space again will be nice.

All the women in this bungalow get on all right with each other.  There is none of the nastiness that existed at Macmillan Close with the two women who kept picking on me there.  Three out of four of us are homeless, the other has a home but I think some work is being done on it, if I remember rightly.  Something like that anyway.

I can’t remember if I said that my benefits have been slashed by £50 a week to £60.90.  If it weren’t for my storage I could cope with that quite happily, but things are going to be extremely tight.  I can’t afford to go out, so I’ve been staying in.

I’ve also started buying meat, eggs and cheese again from the supermarket.  I decided that if I was going to eat omnivorously when I am out sometimes I should bring the decision home and start cooking omnivorously again.  I am enjoying it most of the time, tastes that I’ve not had for ages, butter instead of sunflower spread, for instance.  I sometimes feel revolted by the fact that I am eating dead animal which stays in my digestive system, and think of all the animal fats clogging my arteries and the increased risk of diet-related cancers.  I’ve also found bowel movements more difficult.  For now though this is the decision I have taken, and am enjoying the variety of tastes and textures that are available to me again.  I have forgotten how to cook meat though, so I find myself looking things up on the internet.

Knots by R D Laing

I bought this book recently from the internet, I think Amazon.  It was delivered this morning.  I was first introduced to it by one of my English teachers at 6th form.  She read something that went:

I know
He knows I know
I know he knows I know

and it is full of things of the same ilk that I just get lost in.  I tried to be with it and stay with it but in the end I just ended up believing he wanted us to laugh at the convolution of it all.  People say that laughter is the best therapy, and if he just wanted to wear us out with all the permutations to make us laugh at ourselves and with each other – I thought it was a bit like reading Zen koans.  One of the poems says that what they want from each other is generosity, not one thinking the other is greedy while the other in turn thinks the first is mean.  I think laughter opens the door to generosity, especially the laughter that can arise when you realise you are beaten by the representation of what is going on in the relationship.  That is, unless he is much more intelligent than I am and there are others who manage to keep up where I can’t.  Sometimes I experience a little breakthrough in understanding what he is portraying, and there are places of identification, especially identification from the past of how I used to think and feel in relationships.  I was surprised to see something I went through a few years ago represented, where I thought, basically, that I wasn’t entitled to anything so I was stealing everything I had, or getting it by trickery.  Part of that was the belief that all money is dirty by association somewhere along the line.  Another was being afraid that if someone loved and respected me they were wrong, because I was awful, and the only people I could respect or trust were those who didn’t seem to respect me.

Anyway, I haven’t finished it.  I’ve got about half way through.  There was one poem in particular which really made me throw my hands up in despair of being able to understand it.  It was written in about 6 parts.  Maybe it was meant for performance.  It seems it might be the only way to keep up with it.  I have no idea how much was him having a romping good laugh and how much was a serious unfolding.  I feel sure its main purpose must be to make us loosen up.

Paranoid?

One of the questions I used to get asked by psychiatrists was ‘do you think anyone is trying to harm you?’  My answer now would have to be ‘yes, I do.’  The man who viciously slandered me saying I had chased him up the street with a knife obviously has done something injurious to me.  I did not chase him up the street with a knife.  I didn’t chase him, and I never had a knife in my hand when outside my flat.  Other things have also been made up, presented out of context, or exaggerated.  Yes, someone has been trying to harm me, and has succeeded.  He is not the only person.  Other people have spoken and acted injuriously also.  I know what they have said and done, and have documented some of it in this blog.  It isn’t paranoia and shouldn’t be called paranoia.  That is bad practice and a miscarriage of justice.

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.

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.

Another Shouting Match

Tonight, for as I write it was tonight, just 1/2 an hour ago since it started, thought by the time I finish writing it will be last night, I’ve just been involved in a confrontation with staff and a patient.  This is what happened.

It is now a minute past midnight, so it happened last night now.  One of the rowdiest people on the ward has just started singing.  I don’t appreciate it.  It is Kerry.  I feel weak and undermined for not daring to tell her to stop, and no one else will.

I tried to have an early night, and for ages I wasn’t able to sleep.  Too hot and restless.  Eventually, around 10pm, I put some meditation music on, and I fell asleep to that.  Soon after it finished People started shouting in their rooms, to themselves, but loudly and angrily.  I don’t think it was anything to do with my music.  There were two of them.  I don’t think this time Kerry was one of them.  I was annoyed because I had been woken up, and I have been absorbing this most of the time for about a week.  Absorbing it has affected me and my level of well-being.  I have felt tired and very upset and lifeless.  The shouting, and the door-slamming, have been horrific.

I shouted back, told them to stop, I was trying to sleep.  I said they were making everyone feel so good, and finally I said one of them was mad.  That is the kind of thing I have had from the staff.  I am vulnerable and impressionable and exhausted.

Some of the staff came round and started having a go at me, saying I should have compassion, people were ill, and people were trying to sleep.  I said I was trying to sleep but I got woken up.  When they adopt a tone and attitude to me the best I can do for myself is shout back, and I found myself out of control in the same way the other women were, but from me it was not tolerated.  Alex said I was unbelievable and it wasn’t worth talking to me.  That’s when I lost control.  I said they were unbelievable, that if this could happen in here it can also happen in the community, but because I have said it is happening in the community I’ve been told it is all in my head and I have had what was my home taken from me because I am in hospital.  They kept telling me I was shouting, but they were confrontational or dismissive and not letting me finish sentences and walking away in contempt.  M involved herself again, saying she was going to call the police and I was waking everyone up and I should be in prison, and she got the ‘darling’ treatment, whereas I was vilified.  I had Alex saying I had a high level of understanding.  She had been telling me there are some ill people on the ward, and I had asked her why she was telling me that as if I was not a psychiatric patient.  She said it was because I had a high level of understanding.  I said just because I have a high level of understanding doesn’t mean I can go on absorbing the rubbish while they normally sit in their office and do nothing about it, other people shouting and screaming and slamming doors.  I’ve started yelling at people to stop because the nurses don’t normally do anything about them, the same as they have left me to shout myself hoarse and upset.  She kept going on about finding it almost impossible to work with me, but there are things she doesn’t want to hear, because I start talking and she talks over me.  Kevin did it as well.  One of them said they were warning me.  How come even when I am upset at being woken up and trying to deal with it in the only way I felt I could, rightly or wrongly, wrongly obviously, I’ve got it from the way I have been dealt with, I am the only one of all the people who are upset who gets short shrift?  Keven said he couldn’t tell what I was saying because I was shouting,but I can tell what people are saying when they shout, and when I lowered my voice he started talking over me, so I raised it again to be heard, then he told me I was shouting.  When I said about doors being slammed hard Alex said the doors don’t shut quietly, as if we hadn’t already had a conversation where I had complained about Kerry and Alex had acknowledged that a lot of other people had complained.  My door closes quietly.  Here on Rowan 2, Highbury Hospital, Nottingham, I am being victimised and am on the wrong side of favouritism.  It doesn’t work for me.

I’m not going to commit suicide.  But some people would.  I don’t want to be driven like this just because people judge (perhaps) that there is no risk of suicide.  If I get distressed to the point of being beside myself and enraged I don’t want these confrontations from the people who have been responsible for it, trying to make out I am a special case and have more understanding than the average psychiatric patient.  Alex says she has often said she doesn’t think I should be here.

Stuck for a Title

Because what they are doing to me is so mean, so opportunistic, knowing I have no one to turn to, it beggars belief.

A few times this week I have gone back on the bus hardly able to sit upright and keep my eyes open, I felt so ill.  Today was one of those days.  My bed has been stripped and I asked if it could be made for me because I was upset and didn’t feel well.  First I was told someone would help me and someone was named, then they completely changed their minds and told me not feeling well wasn’t a good enough reason.  I said I was going to A&E because I don’t want to feel like this anymore.  They were full of sarcastic sweetness.  I didn’t go, because I thought they are all as bad as each other and I would be making trouble for myself.  I have no one I can turn to, no visitors, they have kept the harassment and sarcasm and terseness and rudeness just coming at me.  Sharon has been mainly responsible.  There is a nurse called Helen on today, white British (there is another who is black) and she was really rude to me as I came out.  I was talking loudly because I was upset and she said ‘go on’, gesturing at the door, and started talking really hard at me.  They were laughing.  I can’t take anymore, I am tired and upset and everything they do is designed to undermine and humiliate me.  Terry was laughing.  I saw something between him and Sean I wished I hadn’t seen, at least I saw Sean’s reaction, I can guess the rest.  He had just told Terry I wanted my bed made.  I don’t want to go back to this.  I never wanted to do this, and I don’t want to do it anymore, it is inhuman.  Helen was responsible, as a new person, for moving against me and getting me medicated when all I wanted was to get my lunch in peace a few weeks ago, just a few hours before Kerry kicked me in the stomach.  I’ve still had no support over that, I feel upset every time I encounter hr, and she puts herself in my face.

That’s something else.  I saw John in the car park and he ignored me.  He is one of the OT people.  The other day he invited me to a Moving On Group and I said no thanks, the things I would want to talk about as anxieties for moving on are things I’ve already had dismissed as symptoms of mental illness, so it would be frustrating for me.  He said OK and moved on, then I changed my mind, at which point he told me it was a confidential group and he didn’t want me blogging and describing and naming people.  I said I hadn’t described anyone, he said I had described Kerry.  So it was another bit of opportunism.  Why did he invite me in the first place?  I said I had no legal responsibility to not name anyone, staff or patients, and he talked about common law, whatever that is.  He said if I was going to blog he would have to ask me not to come, so I said I would forgo it.  Anyway, he was there in the car park tonight, silently walking up and down and refusing to get involved, as though angry, hurt women are not to be spoken to.  This is vicious.  It is just vicious.  And talking to me about common law, when legal law is being used to do things to me that I don’t want or need, and as well as that I am getting such inhumanity and cruelty.  And wide eyes innocent insolence and discrimination.  They never take my side or other patients’ sides in a conflict between a patient and staff.  I’m worn out and tired, very very tired, and I thought, I’ve tried to believe, that Terry is a friend.  Sometimes it really looks that way. I hurt him and made him angry by accident, and I was angry as well at his reactions.  But I’ve seen him cry, especially after I wrote him a letter.  He had suggested writing a letter before and I didn’t, so I wrote a letter coming out of that, and his tears were real, I saw them.  I’m afraid of him these days, and at one point it wasn’t like that.  When he is with some of the others, anyway, I’m afraid of him.  I was told he was going on a course for dealing with aggression and I became afraid that he would come back changed.  I didn’t realise it was something they have to do every year.  My experience of him to that point had been that he only needed to put himself in a situation and stand there for things to calm down.  I was afraid he would come back like some of the rest.  They always have to have the last word as well, some of them.  What I wrote about earlier today, Tracy did her normal thing of walking out after throwing something at me and me trying to answer her and challenge what she had said.  She is the one who tells me she can’t be bothered with me.  Sue told me she didn’t like me and didn’t want to talk to me.  Sharon is just pig ignorant (apologies to pigs).  I said I didn’t want to look at something they wanted me to look at this afternoon because I didn’t trust them and would look in my own time.  I was told they didn’t care that I didn’t trust them.  It is wrong.  They are determined not to be nice to me in a conflict situation.  I’m dealing with savage animals here who should be struck off.  That reminds me, someone who knows told me today that Dr Bradshaw is leaving.  Dr Bradshaw leaving, Tony off the ward for about 2 months and I’ve been told they can’t tell me why.  They have said he is still team leader, or whatever his title is.  I don’t know how I feel about him at the moment.  I felt sorry for him at one point.

Dr Alan has gone.  I thought he was nice, as anyone connected with psychiatry could be.  He was on the ward one night saying in ‘that voice’ that he would help any way he could.  I thought he was talking to me but I was afraid and not sure.  I had intended to try and talk to him, but now he has gone.  There are some people to whom I want to say, ‘do you think I can help you and if so, how?’  He was one of those people.

Sharon was taunting and bear baiting today.  She always does that with me.  She has started walking past coughing and clearing her throat at me.  I have become too free in saying this kind of thing.  They rarely challenge me, especially not if I am talking to another patient who feels the same way, but I suppose they are still putting it towards a diagnosis of schizophrenia, as though no one could be doing these commonly done to people things to me, it has to be mental illness, because I live in a pristine, antiseptic bubble where none of the things people do to each other are ever done, according to their theories about me.

I have said over the last two days that these people are brainwashed as to how they think it is OK to treat another human being, and that the rest of us aren’t supposed to have a problem with it.  I have heard it said that many people fear mental illness and wouldn’t talk about symptoms because they don’t want to end up in hospital.  It’s a political rule of fear, if that is true, in my opinion.

Another thing I am still confused about is Ruth.  In the wheelchair with MS.  She is often sitting in the corridor in her chair waiting for someone to help her.  Today, apparently, one of the nurses who did breakfast told her she had legs and she should use them.  I don’t get this.  I don’t like being in the dark about something like this, but they call it confidentiality.  Except that this morning wasn’t very confidential.  I often help her, but I am becoming impatient and reluctant myself because I am thinking the staff must have a good reason for making her do things for herself.  She told me they had taken the spacers out of her wheels.  I don’t want to be unkind but I don’t want to contribute to a problem the staff seem to think is made worse by helping her.

My back hurts and I am upset.  There is nowhere i can go and no one I can turn to.  They are taking advantage of that.

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.

Bad Afternoon on Rowan 2

Jim has been on for the last two days.  I asked him if I could talk to him and it didn’t materialise either day.  When faced with situations which aren’t presented to him as talking he seems to have two modes with me – one is slightly crazy friendliness – tongue -poking, winking, etc, and the other is grabbing me by the arm and making me go wherever he wishes.  I think I have had another bruise left on my arm today.  I have quite a nice collection.  The one on my stomach remains the most pronounced, from being kicked.

This afternoon Re started on me, being rude, saying I had been kicked in last week and to shut my mouth.  I had forgotten that she had been there and wondered where she was getting it from.  Kiran came out from behind us at the noise and Re started to spin her a yarn and she said ‘I know, darling’.  Jim came out and told her she could go outside (it was my understanding that he asked/told her to move away, and she did.  But then she came back on the phone and I got upset and I thought he had asked her to move for my sake, so I started getting really wound up and they came out and told me if I didn’t calm down I would have to leave the ward.  They might have said I could.  I said something and Jim grabbed me angrily and started forcing me up the corridor.  I think Tracy was involved, Sean was definitely involved, and they grabbed me roughly, and I can’t remember what I was saying but they wouldn’t listen.  I know I said that when I was upset there was a reason, but that one minute they were nice and the next they were doing that to me.  I said they were the ones who were schizophrenic.  I hope there are people reading this who recognise the reason in what I said.

I wanted to go to the toilet, and I told them and they told me the toilet in the corridor was open.  It wasn’t.  I told them I had no money to go anywhere and they wouldn’t open the door.  I confronted Kiran with what she had said and she said she didn’t have to discuss it.  I said she had a duty to discuss something she had done which was an issue to me with my care.  I believe she has a personal duty if not a moral one.  When I got back later they were playing laughing, giggling hostesses.  I said if they wouldn’t discuss it with me then I will tell who I like how I like, and that I chose blogging.  While having dinner I was saying stuff about abuse and assaults and that in any other situation than a mental hospital or a prison I would be told that my first concern should be my own safety and that I should get out or get a restraining order against the perpetrators.  I seem to remember you can do that with the police these days, though I don’t know in what circumstances.

In the meantime I went outside and met the boyfriend of one of the other patients, and he let me literally cry on his shoulder.  I ended up going to the multi-faith room and Katya was there.  We had quite a stormy time.  I felt angry with her for what I felt to be her broad brush approach.  I can’t by any means remember everything we said.  We did a meditation at the end, and I wondered if in any circumstances a meditation with one person would permit them to cry and scream and come out the other side feeling washed, not repressed.  It said something about noticing the sensations in your body and not judging them, and at that point I asked if it would be OK to cry and scream.  I talked about repressing emotions being a way of judging them, because if you didn’t judge them you would just let them happen, even insist on them and your right to express them, as in other situations where social steps forward have taken place.

I went back for dinner and it was as I have said.  Katya had talked about fighting fire with fire and how it wasn’t good, and I said that was the staff, in their relationship with me.  I said I wanted to go out and asked for someone to open my door.  I demanded it, as far as I dared, rather than asked.  Tracy said she would come.  I said I was going to find out whether or not I had an obligation to go back on the ward since I had been forced off.  She wanted to talk reasonably, she said, but I told her I didn’t want to, that you can’t go from being unreasonable to reasonable whenever you felt like it.  I She said when I tried to find out if I had an obligation to go back on the ward to make sure that I told them I wasn’t the innocent party.  She just walked away, went into the clinic room and slammed the door locked behind her.

I talked to my ‘Old Wife’ who very kindly let me have a cup of tea on the house.  Both she and Katya said I should go to the Women’s Centre.  I phoned the police afterwards and asked them if I had an obligation to go back under the circumstances, and they told me there was no bar on me going back and I could go back when I liked.

But I have to go back to the same possibility of abuse and assault all the time.  In any other situation I could walk away and never go back, if I chose to deal with it that way, with impunity.  I’ve had verbal assaults and abuse from staff and patients, but the only physical assaults I’ve had really apart from last week were from staff.  My section is supposed to be coming to an end this week.  I don’t know what they are trying to do with that.  I really would feel safer on the streets.  At least I would have my benefits back, and be able to pay two lots of storage every 28 days without feeling it so much.

I can’t have special people on the staff, i can’t try to make friends of them, because the truth is that when I need them they are either not there for me or they lose it for some reason, regardless of former tongue poking and winking.  Jim did that because he felt like it.  He was really angry and he turned that into an assault he could rationalise professionally, to other people if not to himself.  Terry was on the ward.

Tracy acts as if she is the one who has a right to offendedly and pettishly disengage and not talk.  She walks away and leaves you in pieces behind her.  for me she leaves me wanting to get my own back.  I think the patient has a right to disengage from nurses or staff they don’t get on with, but these people are betraying relationships all over the place.  They overheated and dragged me and pushed me out, with no money and wanting to go to the toilet.  They left me crying on someone else.  When I turned round a nurse was watching me from inside, and walked away as soon as I turned round.

If you express concern for these people and their personal circumstances they take it for granted.  If you don’t who knows what they think, but you might feel less human, until met with a situation like this.  I feel very human in my hatred and distress at the moment, and my deep rage and anger, and hopelessness.  I said to Katya that I wanted to laugh but that there was nothing to laugh about, that it would be belittling it.  I said if they are going to call me mentally ill they should do something to make me feel better and give me hope, not give reasons for considering suicide.  I have something in my religious background that says that suicide is the ultimate act of manipulation, so I feel guilty saying that.  I feel I know better, but I can see no way out of this.   In ordinary situations of abuse and assault you are told that in no way is it your fault, but this is different, we are told.  ‘If you don’t we will have to’.  Like, ‘look what you made me do’, ‘I had no option’.

I listened to Blake 7 last night on Radio 4 Extra.  That was interesting.  It  could have been written about me.  It says rebellion is not a malfunction, but an imperative.  The woman says she hates the system and she doesn’t want to rejoin, that it has murdered her friends and robbed her of her identity.  This is just sci-fi, but it is more than that.  For me it is serious.

What is happening to me in the hospital is demeaning, degrading and dehumanising.  It isn’t about being friends with the staff.  I don’t want their so-called solutions.  I would happily be friends with some of these people, but they are unavailable for friendship, both ethically and by nature of what they do, professionally and not so professionally.  I’ve said it is like living in a gangland and that I would not choose to have such people in my life, and nor have I chosen to be there, but that there is no support or protection.  I don’t act like most of these people and don’t want to.  People have started calling on Norma around me.  I feel like the new Norma.  She said the other day that people should speak to her because she was not allowed to speak or to shout.  She is very quiet these days, i hardly hear her at all, and she used to be very voluble.

I am a victim.  I do not have a victim mentality.  I want to leave and repair my life.  I do not have a victim mentality.  Any more than any other abused group has had.  They have been made victims by other people.  They wave Section papers at you and use it as a cover for all kinds of abuse.

They don’t take Kerry off when she is being violent and abusive or behaving in ways people don’t like.  They let her get on with it.  One of the women who had a go at me last night then got nice had a go at me again today, and stuck her middle finger up at me as I was pushed off the ward.  Tonight she is not going to get such an easy reconciliation, if she wants one.  For me it is heartbreaking, because I didn’t do this to other patients when I first came on the ward, but people who didn’t know me then and how active I was in speaking out are doing it to me.  It seems obvious to me, though it might sound ludicrous, that the staff wanted to use me or silence me, while at the same time ‘treating me as though I am schizophrenic’.  It is obvious to me that they don’t like what is happening and the representations on TV and radio, but they don’t want to acknowledge any of it to say they were wrong about me.  It is hypocrisy and terrifying abuse.

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.

Kicked in the stomach

Today has been a day from hell.  Kerry had a go at me again, staff didn’t help, it escalated, they wanted ME to go to my room, at lunchtime, 30 minutes before I was due to see my psychologist, they brought medication, after 6 women, at least one of which had been nagging me in the dining room to calm down, had been standing around in the corridor near my room.  I said I didn’t want medication, that I wanted to speak to my psychologist with a clear head, and they said if I was shouting I wasn’t going to see him, so I accepted oral medication so that, if unchallenged, I could pretend to swallow it then spit it out.  I decided to hang around the communal area so that he couldn’t be sent away in my absence.

Kerry kicked me in the stomach this afternoon.  I have been told by one of the young students that even if I report it, because it is an acute psychiatric ward, I might not be separated from the threat.  I hope she is wrong.  The staff mismanagement of this has caused this situation.  Yet I feel it is my fault.  I had my door locked on Saturday, for the first time since being there, then told myself my suspicions were racism and my objection to her trolling outside my window was the same.  I told myself she had been risk-assessed and that she would not be on the ward if she was a threat to other patients.  I am tired this evening and have kept bursting into tears.  I feel even if I were to press charges successfully it would be a sign of failure on my part.  As a Christian.  There are no adequate words for my distress and desolation and fear at the moment.

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 22.07.2013

Last night nurses were up and down the corridor all night switching lights on and off.  I heard them with other people but not me.  They didn’t turn mine on.  This morning shortly before 7 Sharon positioned herself outside my door and spoke in a jeering voice.  Last night Sandra, a nurse I haven’t mentioned yet, kept starting her speech on a note I had used just before finishing mine.  She often starts on the last note and last week one day she kept using the last words of my utterances.  I have thought of this in terms of NLP, neuro-linguistic programming.  As I came out this evening and asked Terry to open the door for me I am sure that Alex, a female nurse, spoke straight after me in my rhythm deliberately.  Just before I was restarted on medication she was mimicking me at least one night but denied it when confronted with it.  She was present when I was told I was going to be restarted and I talked about risk and she said the risks I was afraid of were unlikely.  I said that didn’t mean anything and that they were possible and that she should stop hiding from it by using those terms and say every time she told someone they were going to be forced to take medication that serious side effects are a possibility.  Does that make me a bully?  I fear it might.  Am I a bully writing like this on my blog?  A few weeks ago the ward manager told me that if I didn’t remove names from my blog then they had been advised by their legal time that they could do it themselves.  I heard something on the radio yesterday about a right to confront service and trades people who deal badly with you.  I think it was set in 2025 though and am not sure if that law exists at the moment.  I’m sure it must.  This is a safe way to do it without involving verbal and physical confrontation.

All I want to do at the moment is cry.  My eyes are black with held back emotion and the repeated shock of being vocally tagged and mimicked and having no way to deal with it.  I have begun to think my problem with it is my fault because I should know better how to deal with it without getting precious about it, but it isn’t something i should have to deal with anyway.  The people I am happy to trust are the people who have not done this to me, or who used to and have stopped.  That makes about 4 people, off the top of my head.  It is something I experience as so aggressive and violent that my facial muscles feel as if they are spastic as this is imprinted on my fragile psyche.

Last week I said to someone that it is inhuman to keep me in hospital as long as I have been kept in knowing I have no home and no visitors, and that I have felt they have taken advantage of my situation.  There is at least one other person that I know feels as emotionally wretched as I do.  I asked my psychologist if we were allowed to touch each other today, if I could be hugged if I felt I needed it and he said no, it might be OK with a woman.  I asked what if i were lesbian, or just didn’t care?  I then pointed out that I have no relationships that are supportive in this way, that the only really contact I have is hospital care.  We talked about something quite difficult today.  I didn’t go out this morning.  The hospital is my home, and home is a place I want to spend time.  I didn’t know how to approach today at all, whether to go out or stay in.  It was like wading through mud.  I got fed up with myself because I felt it was me that was making it that way, that I was making it heavy weather, but what else could I have made it?

We had no water in our basins from Friday afternoon to this afternoon.  Someone said something about E-Coli.  It’s been a difficult weekend in that respect.  We had showers, but the hassle involved in trying to wash my hair would have been too great.  When I told Gareth, my psychologist, about the shower and what I have to do to wash my hair he seemed appalled.  He said that a bath or a shower is a soothing thing and that that was what we needed, and that I shouldn’t trivialise my dissatisfaction about it.

I find the mimicry and the intimidation/invalidation that goes with it should i try to say anything about it drives every thought and ability to communicate out of my head.  I had things I wanted to say but I have forgotten so many of them.  And when I write like this, as I am in this paragraph, I feel as if I am just being moany and pathetic.

I had a review with Dr Bradshaw, my psychiatrist, last week.  She is talking about trying to find me accommodation and starting me on a community treatment order.  The psychiatrist in the community is a Dr Cheetham.  She is on maternity leave at the moment.  I understand that when she spoke to me last year she recommended that I not be treated against my wishes.

It has been so hot here, as across the country.  I feel so miserable.  I don’t know how much of my tiredness is down to medication.  I have slept almost all the way through dinner time two days running.  Last night I didn’t sleep well.  Last night one of the patients had their name called as if it were a dog’s name, and she immediately got up and responded.  I believe I know that feeling, it is so visceral the safest thing you can do with it is stuff it down.  It was literally like hearing a dog being called.  She hadn’t come the first time.

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.

Update 30.06.2013

Last night the light was turned on in my bedroom at about 2-3 am.  I was asleep and it woke me up and I was very upset and angry.  They told me they had to do it, I said they didn’t and it had only happened about 12 times in 17 years.  They told me to stop shouting.  I said at some point yesterday that if people in our position being treated as we are start shouting in anger and hysteria it should be understandable, but that when carers shout at us it is not acceptable and it is not our fault.  About a week or so ago Sh___n, the nurse who pushed the patient out of her way with her foot, started saying something I have had them say several times down the years, that if you give respect you get respect.  When they have said that they have been talking about patients who don’t get respect because they don’t give it.  I said that is OK among equals but that it is a playground rule, not OK for nurses and doctors and domestics to use against patients.  If we supposedly have mental health problems and are having things done to us we don’t want and being abused as well, we might find it hard to be respectful in our state of fear, anger and hysteria.  Yesterday morning K__h the domestic hammered on my door and presented herself in my room arms up and talking loudly.  I told her that when people hammer on my door it shocks me so much that I don’t answer them.  I asked her why she couldn’t knock quietly like Jim did when he knocked on my door.  She said she was sorry she couldn’t change the way she knocked, it was just her, and I said she could if she knew it was upsetting people.  She grabbed L___a who was passing and asked her to come in for support, and she stood in my room and she said my music was nice and they were having a smiley conversation with each other with Linda standing there exuding security guard and smiles.  I said they wanted me to change but didn’t want to change themselves.  I was also angry that they were in my space presuming to say that my music was nice and I didn’t like the fact that they were doing that.  A few weeks ago Sh___n knocked on my door and I was trying to insist on boundaries with her because she had offended me before.  She asked me something, I said no thanks or words to that effect, and she started commenting on my radio, after having been insistent on her own agenda towards me already.  She asked me where I had bought it from and I said I couldn’t remember and it was obvious I didn’t want to talk to her.  She asked if she could have a look and I said no, but she insisted on coming into my room anyway and touching my radio and ran out.  I tried to remonstrate with her but she blanked me and went to another room then told me she was with another patient.  To me it was about staff respecting my boundaries, as so many issues I have had here have been.  I just thought of the patients’ charter and looked it up as I have been meaning to for a while.  I looked at the section on respect and it said you should be asked whether you want to be called by your first or last name and should have your choice respected.  I was offered that choice once on a general ward, I’ve never been offered it on a psychiatric ward.  In London I fought unsuccessfully for years to have them call me Sue rather than Susan, and ended up really confused about myself and what I called myself, to the extent that I felt I had betrayed my parents by shortening the name they had given me.  I started to feel that Susan was the real me and Sue a false me and I felt superficial and artificial for having called myself Sue for so many years.  I felt ashamed for having decided to call myself Sue and sometimes I still do.  When I insist on it it sometimes feels as if my name is nothing to do with me and nothing I say about anything matters or is reliable.  I’ve often objected here to being called love, duck, darling, dear and sweetheart but no one takes any notice.  They say that is the way they are and they do it with everyone.  Sometimes they seem to be quite aggressive and purposeful in doing so.  There are two of us who sometimes object, that I know of.  When I was in London I fought for years just to be called Sue, not Susan.  I said once or twice I would like to be called Miss Barnett.  No one took any notice.  It’s about boundaries and presumption.  They all assume and presume so much, and for patients in my category that damages lives.  They make decisions with legal implications in my life.  And recently, as I have said, there has been deliberate dishonesty and maybe illegality.  In fact I would say there is a lot of illegality.  They wave section papers at us as if that gives them absolute power, but as well as the legal power of these papers is all the illegal abuse they get away with.  ‘You have to this, that and the other because you are on a section’.  Is that really true?  Do I really have to have my life subjected repeatedly to people who deliberately abuse and lie and misrepresent apart from the powers they have under the mental health act?  Not only that, but some of them seem just plain stupid and thick and insensitive.  Yet they say I have no insight.  They don’t like the insights I have.

Apart from the light being turned on last night (it was the night before as well) There were doors slamming through the night and a lot of shouting almost non-stop between 6 am and 9 am this morning, after which it went strangely silent for quite a long time.  I noticed that when my key nurse had been in charge of the night shift recently there had been no disruptions that I had been aware of for those three nights and we had all seemed to have a peaceful night.  There were no rude awakenings in the mornings either.

I remarked to someone last night that in just the same way that we don’t have to be available to everyone outside, we also don’t have to be available to everyone in hospital either, that healthy people choose who they are going to be available to.  Yet some of the nurses get rude, offended and giggly if you are not making yourself relationally available to them whenever you meet them.  It is disrespectful and not recognising my right to privacy and choice about the relationships I choose to engage with.  They won’t let me be an ordinary person, they are demanding from me all the time, some of them.  I went into dinner on Friday trying to think about and envision meetings I have planned with other staff next week, and rather than leave my head space alone they were smiling at me insistently and when I got annoyed the Eastern European girl who was on started running around and giggling and touching surfaces as I have seen so often since this mental health thing started for me.  They can’t leave me alone.  They won’t request a conversation but the keep grabbing at me and imposing on me psychologically.  It is the same for others as well, they have said so.  To me there is something wrong with that.

I was talking about doing my laundry last night with another patient.  There is a laundry service that your washing has to be sent to and you get it back in 2 or 3 days, but people have said that things go missing so I decided to get mine done at the launderette.  She asked me if it had been OK and I said yes, everything had come out that needed to, and a nurse passing by started uncomfortably.  If that had been one of us and we had said something we would have been told that no, the other person was just talking about washing and why did we think otherwise?  I noticed that all the staff were walking with security guard body language and suddenly ‘realised’ this was deliberate.  Inwardly I turned away from them and when one of them passed me I stayed turned away and not acknowledging her and her body language changed and she looked guilty.  On another occasion she had walked past me a few weeks ago and when she noticed me she looked as if she was going to smile and she literally wiped it off her face and ignored me, continuing with the same hard body language.  They swan and glide and make annoyed or blank faces.  They pitch their hardness against my softness.  It leaves me feeling like a confused and angry mess.

Last night one of the other patients said it was illegal for them to keep her there.  She is a Christian.  The nurse in charge, S___a, came quickly out of the clinic room and looked at her, afraid and uncomfortable.  I encountered my psychiatrist in the corridor during the week.  She rushed past me uncomfortably.  The SHO of another psychiatrist looked redfaced and upset.  I don’t know what is going on but it feels as if it has to be good, from my perspective.  Having said that, I had the meeting with the SHO last Monday and was told he was waiting for the psychologist’s report before a decision was made.  I would have expected on to be made by now, it has normally been a same day decision and action, but no one has told me anything, if there is anything to tell.  I feel as if they are withholding it from me deliberately to keep me on tenterhooks.

I know these things are happening, I still have problems settling on why and what my responsibility is with it.  A lot of the time I feel as if they are desperate and I am wrong and unmerciful.  I told my psychologist that last week.

Update 26.06.13

 

I had the meeting with the SOAD on Monday.  I had no advocate but one of the students came in with me.  I’m waiting to hear the decision from the meeting.  I have been told that the SOAD wants to see the psychologist’s report.

Today at lunchtime I noticed that the domestic was doing what they often do.  She was stood there behind the person serving me with her fists on her hips, dead upright, staring at my face as though she were part of the assessment team.  This makes me feel shame and embarrassment apart from anything else, and I think that is something they like to use.  At least they allow it.  There was no lunch for me, but in the end I ended up with some because one lady had two vegan burgers because someone else had given her theirs, but she didn’t like it and said she didn’t feel well, so she gave me one.  I let it be seen that I was taking in the attitude and body language of the domestic and that I didn’t like it.  I wasn’t acting angrily, but I didn’t hide my observation.  I spoke up for myself assertively, reasonably and pleasantly about not having any lunch when they said I could buy some, asking if I would be reimbursed because I had had to buy.  The nurse went to the office and came back saying I could get a meal from the Co-op but be sure to keep the receipt, but I’d already sorted it out with my fellow patient by then.  At the end I think I heard the domestic say I was proud.  Or someone said it to her and she said, ‘yes, she really, really is’.  But it might not have been about me.  It was about someone, though, and it sounded horrible.  I think it was about lunch.  On a different day it might not have turned out so satisfactory for me and I might have had to make do with potato croquettes and peas and salad.  I heard the same person say a week or so ago that she and all the other domestics were agreed that they were just going to ignore a certain woman who had just arrived.  I heard one of them the other day talking to a woman down my corridor saying ‘come on’ to her as if she was a dog.  When she got what she wanted she said ‘good girl’.

There is a female nurse who talks with an Antipodean twang on the ward.  Today one of the patients was sitting with her back against the door in and out and someone was waiting to get in.  Two young nurses were standing there wondering how to get around the situation.  I went into the small galley patients’ kitchen to make a drink and this nurse came up, looked in the kitchen and said the other patient’s name and said that she wanted to get out to go to the toilet.  She seemed to be speaking pleasantly enough but I looked out and saw her push her aside with her foot.  When she came away she said ‘I don’t care’.  I thought that was outrageous but I didn’t say anything at the time.  I decided to save myself the confrontation.

Some nurses get really defensive around me when I am presenting relaxed and normally.  They even dislike it.  My psychologist said I should build bridges with the staff.  That is not something I am naturally averse to with some people.  I tried last night, and it wasn’t hard or distasteful to me.  But this morning I tried to find out which nurse had changed my bed for me while I had been out, and it was one of the nurses involved in the patient and door situation.  I just asked them which nice person had changed my bed for me, and when she answered she looked hard and annoyed, and I felt and thought afterwards it is their defense against seeing us as anything other than sick because that is how they are going to have to treat us.  They are not open to normality, so when it comes to not missing the moment, many moments either are not there or are missed as the patient and her response is examined under a microscope.  As someone who has no visitors and for whom the hospital is her only home, I find that devastating.  If the person I was trying to affirm last night had been any relationship outside of hospital we might have hugged each other as soon as we saw each other, because we had had a good conversation and encounter about a week previously, and he was obviously upset last night, I suppose from the night before when I got angry after another nurse started pushing me around.  I went to my room and didn’t come out that night, and lay in bed feeling hurt, angry, confused and embarrassed.  Another patient had started shouting for help as she was forced to the floor and I went to see what was going on.  As soon as I saw this nurse I backed off because of who it was and the fact that we have begun to build a relationship.  but eventually in my room I felt hungry and wanted toast but I felt guilty because I thought it would show a lack of real concern for the patient who had been held down.  And I was hurt and upset because I was being left alone with my confusion and embarrassment.  When I saw him last night I could tell he was upset and I wanted to hug him.  I was also upset.  He was doing medication and I passed him saying hello and went to my room.  I wanted to come out immediately and go to him and my instinct was to hug but I thought that couldn’t be acceptable so I stayed in my room feeling guilty for not acting and that the moment of openness was passing.  It is hard not daring to be natural because of their defenses, either assumed or perceived.  This nurse and I parted on good terms last night, with a smile.  Even though when I got to my room I felt so much of my relational experience with everyone last night had been inappropriate.  As soon as I got to my room I exhaled and thought I had been completely inappropriate to say to him, ‘thank you, I enjoyed tonight, it was fun’, but I meant well and he smiled.  Usually I have gone to bed without saying anything to the nurses.  But recently I have been wanting to make him feel good about me.  I’ve felt I’ve needed to make amends to him personally for a particular conflict situation that arose between us involving other people.  I also know I’ve not quite succeeded when I’ve tried and that distresses me, because I want to.  If he reads this we might become very self-conscious and awkward, I suppose.  I don’t want that.  I’ve just recently realised he is my key nurse as well.  He said he told me at the beginning but I don’t remember, which surprises me.

I’m very tired, very confused and I feel guilty for writing, at least a bit.  I’m going to stop now because although there is more I want to say I’m tired and emotional and I’m in a library and it is coming up to closing time.  At the moment I’m very glad I have my blog.

I am very, very angry.  I’ve had a bad and tired day today and that’s not been all my fault.  I’m hurt and very upset.  I got upset with one of the young nurses today because she was doing the usual thing of playing vocal tag, so it seemed, and I said it was harassment.  Not to her, but to someone else in her hearing.  She or others have been yelling and shouting in the corridors like warrior princesses almost all afternoon.  It happens all the time.  I feel as if they are taking advantage of us.  It’s like a battle cry.  I find it intimidating and disorientating.  I called them predatory child-women yesterday.  It really is, to me, like listening to children opening their throats and crying momma.  But at the same time they are so aggressively in my face.  It is wild, it is like hearing wild animals.  I realised today that it is so disorientating that I am beginning to accept and ignore the cries of real distress from patients.  It is becoming background and commonplace to me, and that bothers me.  That’s not an acceptable state of affairs for me.  Usually no one else answers those cries.  Usually the staff leave people vocalising distress.

 

Esther

She looks at me as if she despises me, every time I see her.  It makes my head feel as if it is being held in a cloud of sedation and I start to feel tearful and like wanting to scream, and I have no way to process all that.  It doesn’t go away, it stays with me.  My housing advocate said she looked at her as if she was angry because she was in her way.  I told her, I get that all the time from her.  If you say anything they don’t take your side and it isn’t helpful to mention it.  I hesitate to say they take each other’s side and all get on your case, because I haven’t really put it to the test.

I was thinking the other day, we have different experiences of our relationship and different approaches.  The staff and I, that is, not Esther and I.  The staff and patients, really.  For the staff, they work with us, and go home.  We have to live with them, no way out.

They talk about flattened affect, but it is our relationship with them,including the constant threat outside, that causes the flattened affect, in my opinion.  And anyway, why is ‘affect’ so important?  What about not being ruled by ‘affect’ and letting your mind come into play?  People are frightened to show their emotions in an unequal relationship.  Either that, or they use them to manipulate, or try and change things whereas the other party wants to keep it as it is.  Try and be yourself in the face of a person in power in close proximity who is telling you you are something negative you believe you are not.  They look as if they feel threatened by your confidence and that bodes badly for you when they are the decision makers in your life.

 

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Someone on Facebook gave me the link to this useful list.  I decided to tack on the end that PTSD is said to “mimic” schizophrenia.  I would say all of these ‘early warning signs’ could equally be a part of post traumatic experience.

“Schizophrenia is a challenging disorder that makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally.” “The most common early warning signs of schizophrenia include:
Social withdrawal
Hostility or suspiciousness
Deterioration of personal hygiene
Flat, expressionless gaze
Inability to cry or express joy
Inappropriate laughter or crying
Depression
Oversleeping or insomnia
Odd or irrational statements
Forgetful; unable to concentrate
Extreme reaction to criticism
Strange use of words or way of speaking

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/schizophrenia_symptom.htm#conditions

Conditions that can look like schizophrenia

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a traumatic event, such as military combat, an accident, or a violent assault. People with PTSD experience symptoms that are similar to schizophrenia. The images, sounds, and smells of PTSD flashbacks can look like psychotic hallucinations. The PTSD symptoms of emotional numbness and avoidance can look like the negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

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!

Christmas

Have I mentioned that word yet?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep The Faith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Today’s Dinner and Matters of the Heart

I was thinking today about a couple of people we have on the ward.  One lady cannot speak intelligibly after an accident and/or damage/operation on her brain.  Another is said to be deaf.   For both of them I think this is the wrong place for them to be.  It is frustrating for them and all of us.  The lady who can’t speak has learned to speak a few words, strengthening my belief that rehabilitation of her speech is possible.  I am not aware that she is getting any support or therapy towards that end.  If my awareness is accurate it is obvious that, having not been a party to any decision on things at that level if any has been taken, I don’t know why.

The lady who can’t speak started ranting at me when she reached over me and put her sleeve in my dinner at the hatch. For all I know she might have been saying ‘sorry’, but all I knew was that she was shouting and wouldn’t stop, right next to me, with staff standing by and not intervening.  I told her to stop talking at me like that because she knew I couldn’t understand her.  I thought I heard one of the domestic staff say ‘bitch’, and I said ‘I’m not a bitch, I’m sick of abuse’, and staff standing by and doing nothing.  What are they doing, standing by and watching it unfold before deciding whether or not to stop it?  Luke said he didn’t think anyone would be calling me bitch, and he should know, in that situation, he was standing right next to the domestic that I thought had said it.  I’ve heard other things like that as well, so I’m not discounting my own understanding – angry at me and despising me for standing up for myself when they don’t stop the woman ranting at me.  Why?  I came away feeling and believing that Luke was just playing the role of the nice guy, even if he didn’t do anything to help.  They started giggling and laughing behind me, among themselves.  They rebuild themselves and help themselves relax while ignoring us.

I asked another patient if she watched ‘Doctors’ at 1.30pm weekdays on BBC1.  I told her that yesterday there were definitely 2 of the ‘staff’ characters recognisable from here and that they had done exactly the same thing with staff in London, and that they were blaming me when I had already told them from the beginning that this was happening.  For trying to act responsibly I have been told that it is evidence of ‘(my) mental illness’ and medicated into exhaustion, while having other people pull shocked disapproving faces at me and calling me bitch – or using the word against someone else and me mistaking it for being aimed at me.  Both are equally unacceptable.

Someone else was saying, before that, that she had been sent the same sort of food for weeks running, and I sympathised with her, saying they shouldn’t employ someone in a place like this who doesn’t know how to cater properly for different diets, because this is not a hotel.

The girl I said was being bullied in one of my last posts has become dependent on everyone rather than being the strong, forthright person she seemed to be when she first came in.  We all pipe sweet pipings in the end.

I moved rooms a few weeks ago.  My old one had a fan or something really loud right outside, and the cigarette break.  I’ve moved to the quiet side.  There is a man in one of the buildings who kept crying out ‘oh’, loudly and pathetically.  People kept trying to stop him.  One day there were two of them, one of them ended up crying out ‘help us’. I’ve had that on my mind ever since but for some reason I’ve only just got round to writing about it.  A woman in the ward told him to ‘shut up’, women from here were imitating him and ended up shouting ‘we love you’.  I shouted to him to shut up at least once.  When I was upset a man shouted at me to shut up.  This place is awful.

Gawdon Bennett . . .

WE ARE THE POWERLESS!!!!!!!

If people who are afraid in circumstances from which they cannot extricate themselves because the authorities won’t let them (ie authorities are irresponsible in their positions) get angry and start slamming doors, while it is uncomfortable for the rest of us, that doesn’t mean they are mentally ill. If they are afraid to speak about what is happening or about what they are feeling, for fear it will make things worse for them in terms of deepening their diagnosis, the professionals need to be the first ones to come out explicitly and say they have the same awareness of things happening outside of our control.

I can remember when it first started happening to me.  I would shout and scream and hit my door with my umbrella because in my fear and anger I felt I had no other outlet.

It needs to be explicit, otherwise if people are not willing to respond in an attempt at psychodrama they can be left with an added burden of guilt feelings towards the initiator.  As much as we might like them, that isn’t fair.  It is engaging our emotions in what, for us, is a non-consenting situation which is not required by law because we are children to be taught or prisoners to be punished or rehabilitated.

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.

Further Observations from Today’s Post

I’m listening to Michael Mish, Conversations With God.  I put it on to write in the library, but as soon as  I started to listen to it I didn’t want to write anymore, and it felt as if that was all I needed for everything to be all right with the world.  Is that all I’ve been missing, all I needed, in my hospital world, for everything to be OK?  Or would I have felt undermined in that also?

I was in the park this afternoon and had tea which was meant to be lunch.  I said I felt surrounded by ugliness.  But perhaps that is because I’m not going to the park, I’m going into town, where everyone looks at me and makes comments, and I’m sometimes not sure if the comments are meant for me or not.

I think Michael Mish would not make a lot of difference to my existence.  I think the importance of his music to me would be patronised away.  I wish it had been different.  I lost all my belongings on the night of the Occupy St Pauls eviction, including my computer.  If I had had it it would have had all my music on and my temporary tenancy might not have gone so badly.

I don’t want to feel calm and pacified and happy as I do listening to this, because there were other things I wanted to say that I forgot.

Like yesterday Alison said that racism wouldn’t be tolerated and the police would be called in.  It felt like the time when my brother and sister decided to gang up and throw stones at me when we were small, and my dad smacked them when they came in after keeping me inside drawing because I was upset, then he said he would do the same to e if I did anything like that.  First they stoned me then my dad said he would smack me as well, if necessary.

I’m confused.  But everything I say gets negated if I say anything, so blogging and the complaints system feels like the only way forward.  I daren’t say I’m sorry and I daren’t say you’ve hurt me.  Pride?  Fear?  Justified or not?  In an ordinary relationship it might be a bit clearer than it is in a place where they insist I am mentally ill.  Perhaps it wouldn’t mean much to anyone.  The touchstone and the handover information from recent and distant past would still be the same.  But  I am sure that to some degree I am as addicted to writing as they are to calling me mentally ill.  I will betray anyone, even myself.  I will cause all kinds of problems for myself rather than not write.  I feel as if I am not giving myself or anyone else a chance.

While I wasn’t writing I was thinking things like all facts are for interpretation, and how you work with them affects their outcome.  If you approach them with love and through love it is better than if you try to expose people.

A practical thing about the ward is that there are no full length mirrors, and the mirrors we have in our rooms – well, mine is so high I can only see down to my nose.  And it is warped.  The mirrors in the bathrooms are as well.  I’ve been thinking that not even having an accurate idea what you look like is not good for you, especially under such circumstances.  I was wondering if I am just betraying my vanity.  I used to think that the best mirror is the eyes of other people.

Tommy Boyd used to say as well that living in bedsits was bad for people’s mental health.  I suppose it is, but plenty of rich and privileged people have mental health problems as well and commit suicide.  I used to think that if the people were nice you could live happily anywhere.  After all, I recently experimented with a tent and was looking forward to tent dwelling for a few months, the adventure of it.  I know it could have worked and, in principle, I could have been happy that way.

Back to the mental health system.  They don’t say they are sorry for the major stuff that hurts but try to carry on regardless but still call you mentally ill.  I was thinking the other day that, when they are talking about an imbalance of the brain, which brain have they been using as the ideal and the model of perfect balance?  Are we designed to live in perfect balance unto ourselves?  I read a book ages ago about temperaments and thought I had left it behind in my thinking.  Temperaments and personality types.  How they all fit together in a loving respectful relationship.

It isn’t fair anyway to be talking about imbalances in the brain while leaving intolerable situations unaddressed.  One of the problems is said to be that the brain produces ‘too much’ dopamine. Why would the brain do that?  Dopamine is a problem solving chemical.  It releases too much dopamine when it is trying to deal with an unsolvable problem.  If a problem is supposed to be the responsibility of the authorities and the authorities are not doing their job, no wonder a problem is unsolvable.  Or if a person is working with insufficient information.  For example, the mental health authorities treating me as a risk without having told me that I had been untruthfully reported to have chased a neighbour up the street with a knife.  I was accused of things by neighbours who said that cannabis was OK in their house as far as they were concerned, who looked through the slats of my blinds to see what I was doing in my kitchen when the flat was in silence and before doing so said ‘what is she doing in there?

In spite of all that I am still going to continue to be handled by them as if I have a mental health problem and might be a risk.  So if the same situation arises in the community again I have no confidence that I can report it without being considered to be experiencing auditory hallucinations.  Certainly not without feeling so degraded by the prejudice I would encounter by the things that have been said about me that living with the problem would almost have been better.

There is a very sharp voiced manageress lady here who is having a business meeting in the lounge rather than in an office.  I have Napster up as loud as it will go but every time I get a wind of where I want to go her voice penetrates.  It is a little too sharp and a little to high to feel natural or comfortable.  I am among spiritual and mental magpies again.  She always conducts her business meeting in the lounge in this way.  The other week she and her colleague even conducted a job interview right in front of me with no apparent regard either for me or the interviewee.  I have never felt more as if people are trying to tell me I am not important, or not welcome.  It is really embarrassing and uncomfortable for me, as I am not doing a good job containing and hiding my distress.  Hence another rambling post that says nothing very deeply.  I am wondering if I am ever going to be free to write as it comes to me, or if I am always going to have to make do with the approximation I am permitted?  It makes me think that maybe I shouldn’t be writing at all.  If frustration is all I am going to encounter I wish I wasn’t writing, especially when it is so important to me to communicate well.  I am wondering if they can hear a certain flow developing in my typing ad are reacting to that.  That is how it appears.  I think they are trying very rudely to get rid of me.  They must have an office for their meetings.  It is the Mercure on George Street.  I’ve been embarrassed here before.  The woman on reception is very perfunctory in her welcome and looks down at the desk.

I was thinking about the racism thing and feeling Alison had a point and that I had missed an opportunity to deal with an issue. I don’t know if I am right or not.  I can’t think here.  They are going right on, not apologising or recognising my distress or offering to move into an office.  They are being really rude.  It is like wave after wave of provocative, spiritual sludge, deliberate.  As soon as I started to type again after a break of a few minutes she started to raise her voice even more.  My audio is right up.  It feels like deliberate sabotage.  As someone who is paying for a drink here and use of the internet I shouldn’t have to approach them.  My frustration and discomfort are obvious.  I feel as if I am being grabbed by the throat all the time.

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.

This Moment IS

The staff on the ward have found my blog, without me giving them the address but saying angrily a few times that I was going to blog.  The ward manager collared me twice, once quite softly and the second time in a way which made me feel they wanted to take my computer and my leave away.  The second time she approached me with 2 other female staff members and in public.  She said she wanted to talk about my use of my computer on the ward.  I said it was music and that I have no internet connection on the ward.  She asked me quite crossly where I wrote my blog and how I wrote it and I pointed out that I have 5 1/2 hours total off the ward and I go where I can get a connection and that I have the same freedoms as everyone else in that time.  They said they did not like having their names associated with certain things.  I said that I have things associated with my name which I don’t like also, and that they were free to write or comment.  It was probably in that context that she said that it was a matter of confidentiality, but I took it to mean that she was saying I was breaking a duty of confidentiality which I was quick to point out that I do not have but that they do.  They talked about seeking advice.  I said OK.  I hope if and when they do the outcome will make a big difference in society and for people who are held against their wishes and with other forms of abuse, harassment and bullying thrown in.

This is good.

They saw me coming towards the office/ward exit this afternoon and it seemed to me they deliberately closed the office door and I stood outside knocking with them ignoring me.  This happens often.  The staff last night were calling people rude.  I’m not sure who they meant.  At the time it seemed it was obvious they meant me.

2 nights ago a woman had 2 separate instances of being forcibly medicated.  Hefty men called and involved, on an all-female ward.  If anyone knows how that is appropriate I would appreciate the feedback through comments.  She said they had hurt her hand and it was all swollen and red.  I know I have been there, in London.  It took 6 months for my hand to stop hurting, and the man doing it at the time, when I said he was hurting me, said ‘well, you will learn your lesson, then, won’t you?’  I was never contemptuous of my own life until I felt betrayed by the church and came under the psychiatric services.

We appear to have a large degree of revolt and anarchy on the ward at the moment.  Everyone is angry and the staff are, to my mind, often unprofessional.  Everyone knows what is happening but the staff say nothing, and I think most of us patients know they know more than they are allowing us to be party to and that, if we were allowed to be party to the staff’s knowledge of what everyone knows, a lot of things might be called into question.  Just a thought.

This blog is exactly what it says in the title, that and nothing else – the thoughts and observations of a certified nut.  Why would anyone want to seek advice over that?

Did I say that I had had a bad week as a vegan last week?  I was tempted again earlier this week but I talked myself through it.  I went through the ‘so I’ll feel guilty’ bit and realised afresh that it is about the suffering or death or utilisation of an animal in a way which is not ideal.  I decided we are different from most of the animal world in that we have a conscience and can think, philosophise and moralise about our behaviour.  I had tears in my eyes as I thought it through.  I was happy about that.  It is about the animal and about me, living according to my light.

Jesus is wonderful and I love Him.  He ate fish.  I’m not sure how to harmonise that.  It is said that the prophets were vegetarian and that the Essenes were also.  And I believe it is right not to use animals.  So I can’t deal with the Jesus and fish thing – not at all, in that context.  I think I was taught at Bible College that John the Baptist was an Essene.  So while they might have said ‘but Jesus ate fish so it isn’t wrong’, why would John the Baptist have lived by a higher morality?  We were told that when it says JTB ate locusts, it actually means the locust bean, and not the insect.

I??? Think???

Ever tried to write without any kind of privacy in a world where everyone always seems to react to you?

I’m back in hospital in Nottingham.  Section 2.  I’ve been thinking it is more like a boot camp than a place where people can heal, and people are the best managers of their own healing, I think.

Not much time.  I get 2 hours out twice a day.  Having tried to work my way through the anger of impatient and clever-clogs librarians and twitterers, I have 13 minutes left of my original 30.

People want me to come into line, but if I come into line with what I have, they would reject me, orsomething which to me would be meaningless.  So why can’t people just respect my privacy and my right to be who I am in the first place without using their job to do whatever it is they are trying to do which is, in my opinion, in breach of that?

What else was I going to say?  I started off with so much rthat shoulod have filled so much time, now I can’t think how to fill the time I have left.

I was on the bus just now.  Saw a man who looked like Gordon Ramsey.  I wondered if he knew or had been told or if that was what he was trying for.  Then I had a thought I might have had before.  If someone is trying to look like someone else, they might not be happy with who they are.  So saying to someone ‘do you kinow you look like . . . ?’ is not a very helpful thing, even and especially if that is what they are trying to do.  I decided I would not say to people again, with a pleasurable smile on my face ‘you look like . . .’, because even if that gave them satisfaction, it would be satisfaction in the wrong thing, and it wouldn’t last long, because they are not that person.

I decided any pleasurable comment about a person should be about who they are, not who they remind you of.  Also they might be sick of being told they look like someone else and feel about this the same way that I am writing now.  That they want to be a pleasure, or affirmed, for who they are, and not who they remind you of.  At root that is what everyone wants, whether they know it or not.

4 minutes left.  Time to tag and run.

I tried to post this comment on AOL in response to the article found here.  I don’t know why it has not appeared, but I am posting it here to both register it and preserve it.

“Children exposed to abuse and domestic violence react the same as soldiers. I suppose there is nothing unusual or revelatory in that. My question is why is it only these two groups which are compared with each other? I would imagine that anyone faced with or experiencing threat to themselves or others close to them react the same way, and that those reactions become entrenched in their behaviour and responses if their situation is not addressed and they are taught that, generally, they are safe, if that is a true thing to teach them.

Is this just another study to show how ‘necessary’ the mental health services are? I have not felt so powerless since I was a child in a violent home as I have over the last 20 years, since my contact with the mental health services began and I was inextricably involved with and locked in to their abuse and intimidation and dishonesty.

Since it has been raised in this article I will assume it is not off-topic. It is not OK to take non-consenting adults, or children, that have not been informed of the cause for concern or involved in conversation about those concerns, and lock them up and drug them like animals with which we cannot communicate. I propose that if the individual does not feel served, ultimately the community is not served. And in this situation, if the individual does not FEEL served, they are NOT served, nor is their family, whatever power games and denials are involved.”

O . . .

(Public Health Warning: more mangled blood and guts, but also an attempt to address the issue of goading and chain-yanking, failed, unfortunately, on the whole, and I’m not the sort to incubate a post and try again.  I talk about the guy who got water thrown in his face by Spurgeon, I think, when he told Spurgeon he was perfect, and he got angry, which I think might have been the perfect reaction to Spurgeon’s mischief and therefore did not disprove his statement).

That is my open mouth, made silent with hysterical fear.

I’m living in Sofia now.  The woman above me screams hallelujah in the most hateful voice every time I feel I have a good communication and I can communicate it.

I want to scream for help and I can’t, it is that psychologically, emotionally and spiritually abusive.  I can’t express anything without feeling dishonest or that I am going to disintegrate or, if I am angry, be attacked, even physically.  She makes me feel she is my friend and I should ask her to forgive me and help me, whatever I feel she voices differently.  I said that because . . . well, if you read this blog, you know.  There is a man from whom the only vocalisation I hear is an angry or frightened throat-clearing.  That feels to me like part of the illusion, if it is an illusion, of their goodness.  If he spoke it might not persist.  But his vocal silence is also part of the oppression.

She is attacking my soul and spirit with razors and bludgeoning me with hatred which feels like a physical mallet to the head.

Combined with the banging . . .

So is this orchestrated, because it is happening everywhere I go.  Who is behind it?

The most torturous thing about this for me is the church’s dishonesty and use of these things.  Someone on Premier was talking about chain yanking this morning, and that is what she is doing and that is what Premier and the church have been doing for years – the way they have kept saying ‘crazy’, for instance, and pushing psychiatry.  This man said so this morning, he pointed it out himself.  What they have been doing is sadistic, cruel and abusive.  That must always have been obvious to them, surely, and if it hasn’t been . . . either way they are not fit to  hold ministerial duties of any description.

I don’t know if I’m imagining that when my recording was interrupted near the end this morning, John Pantry became annoyed because his attempt to build a bridge had been interrupted.  How would he have known, without illegal access to my computer?

Sometimes it feels like protection and I feel unworthy and shameful calling it criminal.  But it isn’t really.  It isn’t really protective.  They are keeping me imprisoned by their evasion of responsibility, procrastination, holding on to power, refusal to apologise officially, if not openly.

I don’t want a bridge back to the world where leaders are not first prepared to own their wrongdoing before I cross that bridge.  Own it where everyone can see, in a committed way. . .

One of the ministers involved, I think it was R T Kendall, but I’m not sure, told this story of someone who said to Spurgeon, I think, that he, the person speaking to Spurgeon, was perfect.  That he believed he was perfect.  Spurgeon (if it was him) said ‘oh, really?’ and threw a glass of water at him, and the man became angry, and everyone laughed at him.

The same chain-yanking.  That is hardly perfect, is it?

Now, was the man expressing imperfection to express anger in that situation?  Is anger a sign of imperfection?  But the Bible says Jesus was angry.  Our teachers have had it for ages that Jesus’ anger was different, that it was perfect and righteous anger.

It doesn’t say, though, that He ever pulled anything like this self-righteous, judgmental, proud, debasing, mischievous and malicious chain-yanking.  At least, not on true seekers and people who expressed something they thought they had grasped as a truth.

An exception comes to mind, possibly, in Mark 7.

Jesus Honors a Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith

24 Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre.  He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. 25 In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. 26The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.

27 “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

28 “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

29 Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”

30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

I’m not supposed to criticise this man, but what was he about here?  If he wasn’t being provocative, it could be put down to insensitivity because of tiredness, or some sort of irritation.  Our leaders say He was correcting her attitude.  But if it wasn’t that, if it was a lack of perfect response, where does that leave us in terms of my Friend Jesus’ perfection?  He;s my friend, I can’t talk about Him and theorise about Him like this.  But I just have, and for the usual reasons it has to remain.

But back to the perfect man who got angry when the person he told threw a glass of water at him.

In the Bible David said that God’s enemies were his enemies, and that he hated them with a perfect hatred.  I’ve heard it said that David did not have the complete revelation that we have today.  Would they say that of this occasion?  No, not all of them.  There would be different opinions backed up with chapter and verse and personal experience they felt was surrounded with the approval of those that matter to them.  I know for sure there would be some who agonised more over the truth than to be satisfied with that low standard of agreement, potentially low, at least, but I don’t know how many.

I got to this stage with St Barnabas’ Church.  They opposed me in every way, locking down on me and preaching at me.  I had read a book recommended by a Christian counsellor, on boundaries, which said that negative emotions were a sign that something was wrong.  I was going home, time after time, feeling devastated, and one night in bed I was frightened by a feeling of hatred.  I was also angry, I thought they were opposing what God was doing in my life.  I find that a bit embarrassing now.

But that was the verse which came to my mind, and I embraced it, because I couldn’t get rid of the feeling of hatred, so I actively justified it.  Hindsight says if I had done this or that . . . but nothing within me which is saying anything gets much chance to be heard at the moment, it is silenced by the violence around me, and as soon as I can strongly own and express anything from within, the harassment starts without and I am left too hysterical to cope.  I’m trying to argue something when I want to scream and beg and cry, since every time I feel I can and should surrender I refuse it.  I feel I should go up to them, apologise and ask what the problem is, then we could begin to sort everything out.  That is what I see and what I feel condemned by.  Her hallelujah makes me feel joy, but what about the rest?  It is chaos.  It is also illegal, and they know what I think of that.  It is the word I am reacting to, not the people or their activity.  I feel she even steals, with her occult violence, the tone of joy which would be in my own voice if I said it myself.  That must be where the confusion comes in.  I can’t validate this, it is so wrong.  I’m not the only one who hears them, and not everyone rejoices, I am sure.  I don’t want to be patronised by people saying poor Sue, come home.  I want people to focus on the issue of chain-yanking, and if I could focus on it myself it would help!  I try to be serious and have to be humorous.  Why?  I feel thumped in the head and I can’t cope with the pain.  There is no point waiting for a better time.  It never happens.  Don’t get bogged down in the circumstantial stuff that comes pouring out just because I don’t know how to edit it away. They seem to feel it when I calm down and start justifying them in my mind, and I hear them say dobre with a smile.  But I know what they are doing and it isn’t OK?  Or is it here?  Is this a valid and acceptable expression of Christianity here?  If it is, I’m out of step.  I feel as if I want to join in, like a party.  Go up and say hello and bubble along with them.

It’s a form of psychological harassment and censorship.  Who wants to read the silage that I insist on letting pour out of me, or allow by default, instead of being a normal, generous, kind, forgiving, friendly person and neighbour?

The point I was going to make was that I think there is something wrong with the theory and theology of leaders who can make a good and positive thing out of this incident of cruel chain-yanking in one of their traditions major heroes.

If that anger from the man came out of a damaged emotional place, it was incredibly cruel for him to expose it in that way.  Granted I don’t know the whole story, maybe it was just a bit of robust male joshing. I don’t know how the man took it after his anger was over.  But what if it wasn’t from a damaged emotional place?  What if it was the perfect reaction to such mischief and malice towards what he believed God had said to him?  Then who is the laughingstock?  If there should be one at all.  If our emotions are appropriate to the situation then they are perfect in that situation, aren’t they, so what he said wasn’t disproved at all.  In a sense we are perfect, and not just by imputation.  In a sense, as individuals, we are perfect, if people don’t interfere with us.  But they do, when we are too vulnerable to resist or realise.  I can’t do this, I’m tired and hurt.  I can’t think and write it through.  I’m mixing everything up all over the place when I started out believing I knew exactly what I wanted to say and where I wanted to go with it.  I’m already editing after first reading, and that isn’t doing me much good either.  I am ill and traumatised, I must be, to put this abortion out.

Another thing:  I believe this thing we call robust joshing is itself a manifestation and denial of pain.  Or is it just a healthy switching off every now and again?  It must be.  It must be me that is crazy.  So someone invite me to come and have some fun?  To live your whole life in the perfect therapy session and healing moment after healing moment, at least one participant has to be perfect.  And where have I got this idea from that therapy and healing is all about deep and querulous and earnest talk and tears and quietly and meditatively going about your business? ‘Tain’t, is it?

But what if, instead of throwing water over him and laughing at his anger, he had accepted the statement with respect and watched his friend over a period and tried to understand what he was saying and learn something instead?

It is thump in the back salvation.  I’m wondering if I am being a pathetic wimp if I object to that.  The people I have felt close enough to to love over recent years, and want to model myself on, I am thinking possibly I have only seen them awkward and afraid and desperate and making an effort, because of me and my situation.  Maybe they too are back thumpers and I have just not seen it, and I myself need to enter the real world of rough and tumble where people do not always treat each other with reverence and respect and it is OK.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

OK that is it.  That is my communication after being butchered by upstairs and everything knowing my account/computer is being hacked is doing to me, turned into a bucket of unmentionable stuff and screaming.

Enjoy!

I left a comment on Tommy Boyd’s blog on Friday, about how the way people treat me sometimes makes me feel, emotionally, that I want to hit back.

At the time I left it, I was aware, listening back, that it seemed as if my comments were being tracked by the radio hosts I was listening to.  When it got to the time that I left that comment, the host who was on at that time said something sarcastically and derisively about unfailing love.

Apart from the obvious fact that it is God who is perfect love, and not me, I wasn’t aware he had access to my unpublished comments in the middle of me writing them anyway.  Well, I was, and have been for ages.   Unless it is a psychic thing, and I don’t think it is.  Sometimes, but probably rarely.

So it is stalking and harassment.  Hostage-taking and keeping, maybe.  And they love bomb you like a cult.

That kind of sarcasm, if it factored in something in Biology, for example, would be called an inhibitor or a limiting factor.  It is something I came across when I got interested in vegetarian food and was given a couple of books which went into detail about it.  Talking about available protein.

If I remember it right, proteins are made up of amino acids, the composition of which can be pictured as a star shape with unequal protrusions, the shorter ones limiting the availability, release and utilisation of the rest, and therefore the amount of available protein.  It was presented as a part of the idea of complementary protein, where, for instance, rice and beans complement each other and make more protein available when eaten together than is available if you add them up separately.  Wheat and milk is another one (that was vegetarianism, not veganism).  And there are others.  Some people say that is an outdated theory now, but the diet and nutrition industry being what it is, who knows?  I suppose if it was scientifically proved it must still stand.  It isn’t something which depends on individual metabolism, it is the protein available in combined foods, and that is testable in a laboratory (I think!) before the food enters the body.  Although thinking about it I am wondering how the necessary blending of the foodstuffs would take place apart from digestive breakdown, but that probably shows the limitation of my own knowledge due to inadequate study and experience.

But in relationships, I don’t want people behaving as inhibitors towards me in that way and thinking it is good or clever.  He went on to say something about ‘don’t cry, woman’, or something like that.  But by that time I wasn’t open to anything else which came from him, and I stopped listening.

PS – the WordPress system has just informed me that this is my 275th post and called me a dope.  Honestly!  “Dope!” – just like that.

Not meaning to be self-righteous here, because obviously I am not perfect, but as a victim of constant neighbour violence and harassment, including at illegal times, over the last six months, by a household that mixes it all up with ‘dobre’ and ‘hallelujah’, I have tried to confront them and appeal to their consciences in words about what they are doing and the right way to deal with their problems (go to the police), and it has made little difference, if any.  The same house producing consistent violence and harassment is also producing consistent hallelujahs and dobres and recently men in tears, and I am a single foreign woman.   I’m not sure I understand this.  It is like one Bulgarian says that there is no mafia control, and another says most business in Bulgaria is controlled by, if not owned by, the mafia, and I encounter all kinds of stuff, as a stranger everywhere I go, which says people know me and where I am from, and sometimes I feel so much love and shame and guilt I think the mafia might be a good thing, not a bad thing, and the violence (and mentally I even put THAT in inverted commas now) really is a legitimate form of discipline and correction that a community imposes on people who are out of step, without resorting to a police service in which people whose job, which they are paid for and from which they can be sacked, one hopes (but check this out for the official policy to police accountability in Bulgaria in 2009), gives them authority they sometimes, if not often, use for abuse and contempt.  I feel the love and sincerity is among the normal, powerless people, including the people above my apartment who target my ears with violence when I’m using the toilet or shower or in bed or any time they seem to feel the need, and who say hallelujah and dobre and cry, as I cry myself.

I have to leave this weekend.  My landlord, who has known all about this for ages because I have told him in detail, has decided to throw me out without ever having sought legal support for me, knowing that my own attempts have failed.

Read it here in Scottish or English.

I was watching yesterday’s news coverage of Osama Bin Laden’s death, and found myself thinking, ‘A man’s a man, for all that’, and I knew it was a quotation, but I wasn’t sure where from, so I looked it up.  I was thinking it not to belittle a man and say he is dispensable, but to exalt him as a creature of intrinsic worth and nobility.  I was thinking it for Osama Bin Laden.  I was disagreeing with David Cameron and other world leaders who have expressed satisfaction over his death.  By extension I was also thinking it for the rest of us, including those of us who have found justification in holding the bitterness and unforgiveness that can allow us to say of a fellow human being, ‘good, he is dead’, rather than expressing regret that his killing was a necessary part, so we are being told, of bringing justice.

I believe that kind of expression of that kind of feeling brutalises and degrades us and makes us less than the ‘man’ that our own nature demands we should be.  The Bible says, in one of the Psalms, that we are gods, and that the big God gave His Son to die for our sins, while we were still sinners.  Jesus quoted that Psalm and said the scripture cannot be broken.

I have heard it taught that Islam was formed as a religion in direct opposition to Christianity and Judaism.  I think I heard that from Colin Dye’s platform.  I think we have to ask why.  Christians used to hold killing crusades.  Christians sided with Hitler in the killing of Jews.  Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’ was one of my set texts at school.  It was about a Jewish money lender who lent money to a Christian on the terms that he forfeit a pound of his own flesh if he defaulted.  All the Christian’s ships were lost at sea.  A woman called Portia argued the Christian’s case in court, and he was reprieved because the forfeit did not mention the shedding of blood, and Shylock, the money lender, was mockingly and derisively invited to take the pound of flesh, but if in so doing he shed one drop of blood he would have a forfeit of his own.  I think it was his life, but I can’t remember.

The first line of Portia’s famous speech, ‘the quality of mercy is not strained’, is often quoted and held to be a thing of great beauty.  But earlier the Jewish money lender had a great and truly painful speech of his own, basically saying ‘I am a man like you’, and the one part I can definitely remember and that registers with me deeply on an emotional level is where he talks about being in the street and having people ‘spit upon my Jewish gabardine’.  And although the quality of mercy is not strained, it seems that, from his humiliation at the end, it was meant to achieve mercy for Antonio, the Christian, but to be a lesson, yet another painful life lesson, to Shylock, the despised Jewish money lender.  I would like to draw more points from this play but I am not familiar with it any more and would need to read it again.  Points about if Shylock had gained his money legally and honourably, why was he so despised by the people who borrowed from him?  Did they need to borrow, would they have needed to borrow if they had not been so greedy themselves?  So why despise their provider?  Shylock’s requirement of Antonio was probably meant only to express his own distaste at lending to a man who spat upon his Jewish gabardine, or represented people who did.  He never expected, in all probability, that he would be in a position to call for the forfeit.  It was probably meant as a verbal expression of hate for hate.  The fact he called for it is obviously inexcusable, but would have been an expression of his own sick feelings of hate and revenge brought on by the abuse and constant humiliation.  Antonio was a rich merchant.  Shylock was a rich money lender.  What was Shylock’s sin?  Without reading again, it must have been that he was Jewish.  Shylock the Jew did not kill Jesus any more than Antonio the Christian (by affiliation and Christian country ‘birthright’ or by life changing choice and conviction?) did.  But Shylock was hated.

I’m not sure what the point of that is in this post.  Maybe it is just a way for me to say ‘this is hurting me’, because I identify emotionally with Shylock in his feelings over the abuse he received, regardless of any consideration of business ethics and morality.  I started crying when I found and read the Robert Burns poem and found it so perfect and beautiful, and that feeling hasn’t left me while considering Shylock.

My church used to say ‘hate the sin but love the sinner’.  We are justifying hating both the sin and the sinner, and that degrades both us and the sinner.  We are justifying such hatred towards a man that we rejoice in his death.  He couldn’t have achieved anything without his followers, and even though their figurehead has died, passed through death, if they choose revenge rather than deciding to change track and work themselves for brotherhood and world peace, I cannot see how the death of Osama Bin Laden can be seen as an ‘important step forward’, or the similar words used by my own beloved and respected prime minister, David Cameron.  So I would want to appeal to both sides, in the name of God and in the name of love and humanity, to please cool it and stop the revenge and attacks and the seeking of ‘justice’.  I would want to ask that, as Christians, we love our radical Islamic enemies, enough to uncover enough humility of our own to consider what it is that has so filled them with hatred and be willing to apologise and actively pursue reparation and healing of relationships with them, to stop the self-righteous demands and invective, and to approach them with the love and honour and humility we should employ, according to the Bible, towards all men.  I’m not saying that I myself am good at that, but I hope the character of our leaders is made of such stuff that they might be different, and be so openly, and not try to ‘confound the enemy’ by presenting a different face publicly than the one they present privately.   Our enemies need to know and see that we are honest and open not only about our rights, but about theirs, and about our own failings, even historical, and willingness to make reparation.  I don’t believe it is true, for any human being, that violence is all they understand.  The Bible says that the desire of a man is constant love, and I think that goes for everyone, and we need to be braver in showing that.  Vulnerable love, not tough love.  Active and proactive vulnerable love and openness to others.  ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I understand’ and ‘yes, you’re right’ and ‘thank you, I hadn’t thought of that’, and even ‘I love you, are you OK, can I help you?’ love and pursuit of justice.

Love and concern for each other should flow from the top down and the bottom up and spread out and come in, and maybe then the right policies will be obvious and not take up so much time in our relationships, governmental and otherwise.  I want to see the leaders of my world loving one another.  Having therapy sessions and love-ins, most of the time, instead of arguments and policy formation.  If they can pass on the benefits of that to us and across international boundaries, it might change everything about our living and thinking and being in the world and with each other.

I believe all of this is part of our intrinsic worth and nobility which we abandon at our peril and that we need to rediscover, and part of what it means to be ‘A Man, for A’ That’.

In Jesus’ Name.

Amen.

I’m Sorry But . . .

Today I feel emotionally sick and out of step with everyone, even with my own sense of decency.

Is there a time I should just shut up and let people get on with it?  Just for a day maybe, or a week, or maybe I should cut my tongue out and never be able to speak for the rest of my life!  Now there’s a thought.

As much as I truly admire the people who work so hard for our security and am very touched by the happiness and satisfaction some of them I have heard speaking today are expressing, I still find it repulsive that anyone can be happy about and rejoice over someone else’s death.  No matter how much they or others close to them have suffered.

As I said, I feel emotionally sick.  I still can’t have a thought or emotion begin to materialise without the people upstairs start their stuff.  The uncanniness of it is doing a number on me, along with some of its deliberate and markedly repetitive illegality when they bang just after the boundary line every day.  I wondered after I typed those last paragraphs and thought maybe I’m being a bit too squeaky liberal to be real.  Perhaps I should join the celebration, for reasons of my own it feels like a bit of a weight off of my shoulders as well.  Maybe all decent people are glad, and I just don’t have that level of freedom to be able to enjoy it with everyone else who is also decent.

But I remember stories of days when missionaries went among cannibal tribes, eyes wide open, taking the risks.  And dying.  No political pull outs.  Died for their peaceful, loving, non-violent beliefs, killed by the enemies, in lifestyle, that they had gone to live among and convert/evangelise/win for Jesus.

Jesus said, so the Bible tells us, if we choose to believe it (or it might have been Paul), ‘render to no man evil for evil, but overcome evil with good’.  Armies and governments and terrorist groups are made of many people who, individually, would be identified as ‘a man’.  I’ve heard it preached and taught that war is a different kind of situation to which that does not apply.  That sometimes peace has to be fought for, and that that is the justification for war.  But how can you fight for peace with weapons of war?  If you do the same you become the same.  The act of war causes and deepens wounds in the psyche, personally and nationally, which make it more likely for physical warfare to continue to be embraced as an option.  People don’t repent, they go into denial and justification, and that isn’t something which makes for a future where this is less likely to happen.

We need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12), and that means to establish new habits of acting and thinking. I’ve noticed that when I take a step to do what is right, I understand how wrong the former thing was and how wrong its support structures and rationalisations.  Especially if I thought before that the right thing was the wrong thing.  In my early days as a Christian I was taught that pragmatism and compromise over the truth were not acceptable approaches to living the Christian life.  That belief has not abandoned me, even though these days the church is more at ease with ideas of necessity and pragmatism.  I’m not sure why that is.  Maybe I just haven’t moved on as I should have done.

However, I believe that the spread of peace depends on abandoning war as an acceptable way of ‘maintaining’ ‘peace’.  If war is not an option, we have to go further in building international relationships.  Not ‘so far and no further’.  So far then ‘how very dare you, sir?’  Peace is not compromise.  Peace is Shalom, whole and vibrant.  Peace is love, not polite, formalised, ritualistic functionality.

If war is not an option, outraged people with hurt egos can’t issue a call to arms, pumping out buzz words ten to the dozen that make you feel ashamed and embarrassed to disagree with them.  People who do not embrace armed conflict as an option must surely be easier people to approach.

If we want to talk about the brave people who die in the pursuit of peace, and lay down their lives, I think there is more chance of healing for the world and of leading by example if those people lay down their lives in refusing to kill, rather than in trying to maintain peace and security for their own group by killing people and groups who are seen to threaten it or who strike at it.  If we lay down our lives for peace, sacrifice our lives in being actively peaceful and refusing to engage in war.  Let our own lives be taken rather than kill an aggressor.  Rather than a few being brave for many, I believe we all need to face it and trust for ourselves.  That way we relate with love for all, even for our enemies.  That is how peace is built.  We are governed by peace because we are founded on peace.  It isn’t the result, but the whole structure.  As long as we need to protect our lives, we live with fear.

This is what I should do, not what I do.  I am protecting too much, things and goals which wanting to achieve make me careful for my life.  Crazy things, like seeing the end of coercive medicine in the mental health system, a change in understanding and an end to labelling.  Even more, I don’t want to die on my own, maybe never to be discovered and with my life seen as worthless and full of failure, and something to be despised and not missed.  That is my craziness, wanting to hold on to my life until I feel it is worth something, not so guilt-ridden and not so isolated.  That is how I feel under the present abuse.  Too guilty to die, and guilty for hanging on.  Sorry for coming back to myself, but on the other hand, I think facing and coming to terms with yourself is a necessary part of being able to embrace this lifestyle choice anyway.  So no, I’m not sorry, really.  You have to come back to yourself to lay your life down by deliberately committing to non-violence.  I know so.  I’m only sorry I can’t express it better because of what is going on in my life at the moment.  I could possibly express it if I chose my own advocated actions, but under the abuse I can’t do it in words.  The option for me seems to be to surrender to and make myself vulnerable to my abusers (who might only be abusers in my mind anyway), or not to be able to express it in words.  But I do have a problem with my abusers if that is the point they are trying to make  by their abuse.  ‘Join us, we’ll teach you the way of peace and non-violence by making you pass through the fire of our violence’.  Jesus didn’t use violence.  The Bible says the devil can appear as an angel of light, and that means his presentation is appealing and persuasive.  But trust goes to the cross.  They present as Christians, and everything I try to say is aurally countered, either actively or with silence.  Or is it all a product of my own fear and darkness?  The Bible says in Christ there is no darkness, it also says the darkness becomes light.  To me that doesn’t just mean that a light shines removing the darkness but that, where Christ is, the darkness itself, even the darkness of violence, is light.  That is the conviction of my heart and soul.  Love, my love for those who do me violence, makes even the violence a source of light and something into which I should walk.  And these words are darlings I refuse to kill by putting them into action.  The violence and exclusion/silence, because of the ‘hallelujahs’, feel like a call, a ‘trial by fire’.  But also, post-communism, it feels somehow inappropriate.  So why am I arguing so much?  Have we talked our way out of needing to pay the price, by invalidating the price asked and demanded as torture?

A Different World

Here we go again, whenever my words and emotions connect there is a bang from upstairs, and suddenly both my words and emotions are in ruins.

I was going to say something like, I’m just watching a news report on BBC World News, about a killing in Afghanistan, and looking at the uncomfortable stoicism of some of the people who seem to be presiding men, and young boys crying alone and no one comforting them.   Maybe no one was there, I don’t know.  But I was thinking I am so pleased for the therapy and ministry movement in the West and that our men aren’t expected to do the stiff upper lip and upright bearing thing anymore. 

Earlier there was a story, in Extreme Weddings, about a couple getting married, an arranged marriage, and the woman was shown on her wedding day, and she didn’t look to me just overwhelmed, she looked grief-stricken, but I might have misinterpreted it.  And the older women dancing like minarets, and everyone doing the strained happy thing that people do at weddings everywhere, because it is supposed to be a happy day.  I wonder if so many marital problems start right there, at the insistence, whether it is true or not, that everyone is happy on the wedding day.  The expectation that that is how it should be, whether it is successfully carried through or not.  But I looked at that report and wanted to come home to England.  Ever the wimp and melodramatist.

This is interesting.  It refreshes everything I know and fits about 80% of what I am experiencing here and have been for years.  From the psychiatric point of view, I particularly found the concept of ‘gaslighting’ interesting, and thought it was valuable to see it raised in this format, which lays claim to professional consideration.  It is about setting out to drive people crazy, saying things were never done and never happened.  Apparently it is a 1950s term.  If someone like me said it, I would just be called paranoid, and have been.

It’s a 10 page article, but it is a quick read with a lot of space.  It is overall a checklist.  I found it on a yahoo answer to a woman with OCD who was experiencing occult attacks, physically, leaving marks.  The person who answered her said that abuse can open the door to the demonic world, which I already knew and have heard in sermons and read in books.  This article doesn’t talk about the demonic, it is about abuse.

I undertook the search because of the things I have said happen in my apartment between me and my neighbours, and the fact that I was reading a blog this afternoon by a woman with OCD, and commenting on her blog made me think about doing a search on the connection between OCD and the occult and the paranormal.

I am sure it can be said the other way round with as much validity, that the occult can also lead to abuse.

I berate myself about my own obsession and inadequacies and evasion of my own responsibility to just go out and get on with my day, which I insist to myself would be easier to do if I did that from the beginning rather than reacting to them.  But this article says that one of the things an abuser will do is prevent their victim (it uses that language) from leaving the room during an argument, and it seems obvious this can also be done through psychological means, through deception, through threats and intimidation and inflicting trauma. and also that the space you can be prevented from leaving can be just as much a psychological space as a physical one.

Keeping people in a psychological space is used in selling and broadcasting, keeping a person’s attention, I suppose it is also appropriate to see certain kinds of cyber attack and interventionism the same way.  You are not allowed to act or think independently.  Threat can be involved.  I think it usually is, even if resolved into humour, but that is only my thought, I don’t have statistical evidence, but perhaps someone else does.

The search I put into Bing was ‘OCD occult paranormal’.  I found the answer which linked to this article just a few down on the first page.  Yahoo answers, or something like that.  Definitely Yahoo.

Being up to my eyeballs in it, I think this is a good read.

Writing and Typing

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

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

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

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

Presence

As soon as you write, as soon as you speak, as soon as you watch or listen to something, you are already removed from your core reality.

I think that is our problem.  We are too noisy, too busy, too dazzled, too driven, too personally dispersed and fragmented, too opinionated, etc, etc, to make real connections.

I believe that’s the truth.

I’m thinking about economic and employment philosophy and why we are urged to live such a market place life, instead of nuclear and private.  I don’t know.  I’m an ignoramus.  I couldn’t tell you.  Even my question might be stupid.  Harking back to a localist paradise that never existed.  There has always been intermational trade and relationships.  We should want to open up to the world, shouldn’t we?

Emerging From The Dark Night

Working through the Dark Night of the Soul to emerge as me.

The Elephant in the Room

Writing about my experiences with: depression, anxiety, OCD and Aspergers

The Sir Letters

A Tale of Love

The Seeker's Dungeon

Troubling the Surf with the Ocean

Seroquel Nation

Onward and upward...

We are all in this together

it's gonna be okay.

my last nerve

psychology | psychiatry | neuroscience | n stuff

A Philosopher's Blog

A Philosopher's View of the World...assuming it exists.