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May, 2010: The first thing I said to my therapist when I sat down in her consulting room was “I need to find out what happened to me.” Getting in touch with ‘me’, the person I know myself to be, has been a painful journey. And the journey continues with a greater knowledge of my imperial, patriarchal, brutal past.

I grew up in Rhodesia, a British colony in southern Africa. My mother was an only child and was raised in Basingstoke, in the south of England. She gained her nursing qualifications in 1937 from University College Hospital in London. My father was born and raised within an Orthodox Jewish family, the only son in a family of four. He grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. In 1935, he graduated from the University of Cape Town with a degree in Medicine. My parents met during the Second World War at the Springfield Military Hospital near Durban in South Africa. After the war ended, my father trained in psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital. Together with my two older siblings, my parents emigrated to Rhodesia in 1952. I was born in 1955 and my younger brother arrived two years later.

power threat meaning

When I was a year old, my father took up the offer of free accommodation on the grounds of Ingutsheni Mental Hospital where he worked as part of a small team of psychiatrists. My earliest memories are of the women’s ward which was opposite our house. I could hear the women’s screams and wails through the hibiscus hedge in our garden. An annual summer fete was held at the St. Francis Home for Mentally Handicapped Children, situated on the hospital grounds. Until the age of sixteen I lived an isolated life, cut off from suburban streets, school friends, local shops and social amenities like playgrounds and parks. The hospital was surrounded by seven hundred acres of bushland, so my brother and I had the freedom to roam along myriads of dirt tracks, some of which took us to the hospital farm or to the deserted quarry which became a small lake in the rainy season. My family didn’t participate in ordinary activities like birthday parties, attending church on Sunday, going on family picnics or having friends over for a meal. Serendipitously, in 1963, when I was seven years old, a psychiatrist with a young family came to live in the house next door to ours. For two years, I experienced the joy of having a friend the same age as me for play dates, going together for tennis lessons with a retired colonel from the British army and riding our bicycles around the grounds of the hospital.

In 1981, after Rhodesia became independent Zimbabwe, my parents went to live with one of my older sisters in Toronto. At the age of twenty-nine, I got married and two years later, in 1986, my partner and I emigrated from Southern Africa and settled in London. I waited a long time to have a child. When I fell pregnant in 1993, I firmly believed that I was leaving my past behind. My siblings had all become step-parents, so I am the only member of my family with children of my own. I was thirty-eight when my daughter was born so I entered the world of motherhood late. My partner and I had recently moved to Oxford when our baby arrived, so I didn’t have time to make workplace friends. There were no other family members in close proximity and I had zero experience of babies. I suddenly felt very alone and unsure of myself; I struggled with all the changes in my life. My family doctor said that I was suffering from an illness called post-natal depression. He encouraged me to go on a course of antidepressants.

No one in the mental health field asked me why I was feeling distressed. If they had, I would have told them that my mother died when I was six weeks pregnant and that I missed her. During this time, no one told me I was doing a good job as a new mother. I breastfed my baby and held her close; I felt so lucky to have her in my life. I phoned my father one day to say I was struggling with being a new parent, and he asked me if I was suicidal. One by one, the professionals whom I consulted asked me if I was harming my baby or myself; they all asked me if I was thinking of killing myself.

Why didn’t my partner come under scrutiny for his ability to hold things together as a new father when he accompanied me to these consultations? Why were there no questions about my personal circumstances or my past? Why were there no words of encouragement? Why was there no acknowledgement that caring for a new baby is hard work? I was sleep-deprived and breastfeeding, so I’m not surprised, looking back on it, that I felt overwhelmed. I felt that the onus of creating a family landed squarely on my shoulders alone. When my husband lost weight, my neighbour asked me if I was feeding him properly. When our baby arrived, I had no maternity benefits. We’d moved to a new house in a new environment for my partner’s job a few months before I fell pregnant. I found myself in a limiting situation both socially and financially.

My sister-in-law suggested that I talk to my partner’s therapist in London. So, one summer afternoon, when our baby was around six months old, I found myself sitting next to him in Mrs. P’s consulting room. After a couple of sessions, Mrs. P suggested that I could give my daughter up for adoption if I really felt I couldn’t manage. I find it hard to believe that she said such a thing to me and that my partner didn’t defend me.

My husband went back to work immediately after our daughter was born. I felt guilty about our dependency on him. I had enjoyed working hard and had loved living in London with its theatres, museums, exhibitions and the job opportunities that were so readily available for me. I didn’t consider paying someone to care for my child because I couldn’t afford it. I wasn’t willing to put my daughter in a nursery when she was an infant; I had waited so long to have a child. State-funded childcare in the UK is not universally as available as it is in some European countries. In the UK, access to high quality childcare in a nursery setting varies widely and is expensive. Most nursery provision, outside of workplace nurseries, doesn’t provide for babies and infants. Eventually I shared a nanny for two mornings a week when my daughter was eighteen months old. This worked well as a way for her to get used to playing with another child away from me. It made it easy for her to adjust to attending a kindergarten when she was three.

My father passed away eighteen months after our daughter’s birth. A few months later, I took my daughter with me to Zimbabwe to scatter his ashes at our family home at Ingutsheni. Shortly after we returned to the UK, I felt very unwell. My doctor diagnosed me with a return of my post-natal depression and prescribed antidepressants. I suspected that I had malaria. My doctor grudgingly said he would take a blood sample to put my mind at rest. Two days later, he phoned to say that I needed urgent treatment for malaria in hospital. I had already started taking the antidepressants he prescribed for me. I used to joke that that was why I felt relaxed when he phoned me to say that I needed immediate hospital treatment. In fact, I felt shaken and somewhat frightened by this experience. What would have happened to me if I had not insisted on having a blood test?

The antidepressants made me feel like I had cotton wool in my head. I experienced a dry mouth and slightly slurred speech. I didn’t like taking the pills but I wasn’t offered an alternative.

When I began to share my experiences of childcare with other mothers, I slowly gained confidence in my own abilities. Eventually I came to the realisation that I was caring for my child very well. I felt pulled in different directions as I worried about my loss of income and my lack of an extended family network to support me. I earned small amounts of money via part-time employment (some of which was child-minding). I entertained our friends and took care of our home and garden.

In 1996, after I became pregnant with my son, my doctor said that women who have suffered from post-natal depression are significantly more likely to suffer it again with subsequent children. This was not true in my case. Having another baby was a wonderful experience. By then I’d come to terms with losing both my parents and my son’s arrival signalled a new beginning. Besides, I felt more confident the second time around. I worked hard to give my children the best of myself and what I was able to offer them, but I always felt alone. I often felt misunderstood and undervalued as a human being. Juggling motherhood with my low earnings meant that I lost the freedom to act as a financially independent person. As time went along, exhaustion became a way of life for me but I got on with family life with great enthusiasm. We had a good time.

When my daughter was sixteen, a long-lost friend found me on Facebook and turned my world upside down. Penny and I had lost touch for forty-five years. We had lived next door to each other in the grounds of Ingutsheni. Our fathers were professional colleagues. In 1965, when we were both nine years old, Penny’s father Paddy died suddenly, while his wife and children were away visiting relatives. My parents told me that Paddy suffered a heart attack in the bath, and that’s why he died. Penny’s version of events was troublingly different to what I’d been led to believe. She told me that her father and some other psychiatrists were undertaking experiments with ether. She said that her father had died during an experiment that he had conducted on his own. After Penny’s disturbing revelation, my understanding of my past collapsed into a morass of loss, secrets and betrayal.

As a doctor my father was held in high esteem within our small, white community. He served on the Marriage Guidance Council and the Mental Hospitals Board. He was on first-name terms with the Minister of Health, the chief medical officer and highly ranked members of the judiciary. I thought of him as an expert on human relationships. After Penny’s unsettling news, I experienced a series of extremely troubling flashbacks and immediately sought the help of a therapist.

When I began to talk to my therapist, I felt like I was wrestling with a Leviathan. I wished that Penny had never found me; her emails opened up a can of worms that made me squirm with fear and an overwhelming sense of unease. I had been very wary of my father. He often flew into rages and beat us regularly. His oft-repeated statement that we were childish, selfish, immature, self-deceptive, unrealistic and deluded became a mantra throughout my childhood. It was impossible for me to talk to him about anything. All my life I had believed the trope that there was something wrong with me. My father’s mental health was not something that aroused concern. My younger brother and I made light of his behaviour and joked about him with our friends. Before working with my therapist, I had never seriously questioned my father’s actions or his words.

My father was a man of his time in a place where racial divisions were enshrined in the law of the land. As a psychiatrist, he had enormous power. He was employed by a repressive colonial state. As part of my research, I read Lynette A. Jackson’s excellent book about Ingutsheni: Surfacing Up: Psychiatry and Social Order in Colonial Zimbabwe, 1908-1968. There, I discovered that the inmates at Ingutsheni were ethnically segregated; people of colour were housed in cramped, unsanitary conditions. Black men and women were made to sleep on concrete floors which, in the winter, turned into blocks of ice. Black patients were subjected to more rounds of electro-convulsive treatment, at higher voltages and often without adequate anaesthesia. Black patients were regarded as sub-human. Their cultural beliefs were considered so dubious as to be proof of a collective sort of insanity.

I learned that the hospital’s ethnic-sounding name was a bastardised use of the word “Engutsheni,” the name of one of King Lobengula’s settlements, remnants of which can still be found within the grounds of Ingutsheni. Lobengula was king of the Ndebele people, whose territory was invaded by white settlers towards the end of the nineteenth century, forcing him to flee into exile. On admission to the hospital, African inmates were asked by white psychiatrists: “Where are you and why do you think you are here?” When they replied, “We are at the place of Lobengula’s wives,” they were told they were clearly insane because they were at Ingutsheni, “the place for mad people.” When I was a child, I was told that the word “Ingutsheni” meant “place of blankets.” This was another bastardisation of the IsiNdebele word ‘ingubo’ which means ‘regiment’ and refers to King Lobengula’s regiment of protective warriors, a bit like the regulars in the British territorial army who assist citizens with civic duties and who are called upon in times of need. These warriors wore a particular kind of blanket. The colonial authorities implied that Ingutsheni was a place of care, a place of blankets… when in truth, for Africans and people of colour, this was clearly not the case.

Lynette Jackson examined hundreds of patient records and found that many of the Black inmates were suffering from malnutrition and sexually transmitted diseases. They faced extreme poverty, especially in times of drought. Africans lived in segregated ghettos around the mining and farming industries; there was enforced separation between men and women, husbands and wives, where women raised children in rural areas (known as ‘tribal trust lands’) while men worked in male-only compounds in urban areas. Many African and non-white inmates at Ingutsheni had been transferred from jails, having been imprisoned for contravening laws that prohibited them from setting foot in ‘white only’ areas.

David Harewood wrote in his recently published memoir about his recovery from a psychotic breakdown: “A psychiatric ward is a dangerous place to be ‘othered’ in. Which is probably why, like me, so many Black men only enter the mental health system at a point of crisis rather than seeking help at an earlier stage. Can you imagine waking up in a hospital you don’t recognise, surrounded by people who don’t know you, full of antipsychotic drugs and only being referred to as the ‘large Black man’?”

I would add: Can you imagine being sent to a psychiatric institution where everything about you is considered of no consequence your name, your background, your family, your heritage, your spiritual beliefs and your language? Black inmates were sent in work squads to toil on the grounds of our house. They moved like zombies, many of them exhibiting tremors in their emaciated limbs. They were heavily medicated with Largactil so that the whites of their eyes were a deep orange colour. The pink fleshy parts on the inside of their eyes were blood red. Their heads were shaved and they wore tattered clothes throughout the seasons. White inmates wore blue and white striped pyjamas, and they too suffered from the effects of heavy doses of Largactil, evidenced by their jaundiced skin tone and slurred speech.

Under my therapist’s guidance, as my siblings and I shared our memories, it became clear that our father had not only been self-medicating with benzodiazepine drugs but he had also used a variety of drugs on us, his children. If this was not disturbing enough, what really shocked me was when my younger brother and I realised that our father had been able to admit us into hospital under false pretences when our mother went abroad for six weeks and we had been left in his care. My brother and I had surgery for bogus appendicitis emergencies and ended up being cared for by a group of nuns in a private hospital whilst our mother was away.

My therapist helped me to use ordinary words to describe my feelings as I came to terms with what we had endured. While I was often ridiculed for being ‘over-emotional’, I had no emotional language as a girl. I had learned to play tennis through my friendship with Penny Baxter and as a teenager I became a national tennis player. All my emotional energy was expended through my determination to beat opponents who were bigger and better than me. I learned how to fight for myself and to build an identity that afforded me a sense of power and respect.

During my work with my therapist, I discovered the work of Dr. Lucy Johnstone, Professor Mary Boyle and a consortium of others who are challenging psychiatric diagnosis and the medical model upon which psychiatric treatment is based. Lucy, together with Professor Mary Boyle, various professionals and service users, collaborated to develop the Power Threat Meaning Framework, which, instead of telling a patient what’s wrong with them, asks: “What happened to you and what did you do to survive?” The PTMF is a non-pathologizing alternative to the current medical model used in psychiatric diagnosis. The PTMF challenges the scientific validity of psychiatric labels and raises concerns about a Western approach being imposed on people with different cultural traditions and belief systems.

My father had zero respect for Africans and people of colour, whom he called ‘blacks’ or ‘coloureds’. His attitude towards women and children was demeaning. He regarded us as lesser beings. I believe that my father’s role at Ingutsheni damaged him as a human being to the extent that he lost sight not only of his own humanity, but also that of the people under his care.

When I discovered the PTMF in 2018 and then joined the Drop the Disorder Facebook group, I felt that I had finally found a community of people with whom I belong. Up until that point, I had felt that I was a lone voice in a sort of wilderness. All the books in the Straight Talking Introduction Series, published by PCCS Books, have helped to educate me and have radically changed my outlook. The editors Richard Bentall and Pete Sanders write: “The PTMF argues that emotional distress, unusual experiences and many forms of troubled or troubling behaviour are understandable when viewed in the context of a person’s life and circumstances, the cultural and social norms we are expected to live up to and the degree to which we are exposed to trauma, abuse, injustice and inequality.”

Writing has been a powerful way for me to overcome my terror of my father and his world. In Empire State of Mind, Satnam Sanghera’s television series about the British Empire, he voiced this hope: “The truth will set you free.” I wrote my story in order to set myself free from my sense of burning shame and my acute sorrow about a crucial aspect of my colonial past. I found it cathartic to speak about the way that my parents had vilified the African servants who took care of me and my brother when we were babies and then toddlers; how they belittled the servants who followed on from them, who cleaned the cars, swept the drive and the tennis court, scrubbed, vacuumed, polished floors and silver cutlery, washed our clothes and household laundry, ironed, tended to the garden, picked fruit and vegetables, prepared food, made our beds and generally picked up after us. My siblings all remembered their unfailing kindness and gentleness towards us throughout our lives. This was at a time when the majority of white people, like my parents, regarded them as imbeciles and spoke of them and to them with nothing but contempt. I wrote my story, and developed it into a book, to repay a debt of gratitude to them for giving me one of the greatest gifts in the world the experience of being loved and comforted with unfailing tenderness, at a time when they were denied their humanity and, in many cases, were treated like worthless beasts of burden.

There are people who might feel happier if I stopped talking about abuses and misuses of power, but Ingutsheni still operates in Zimbabwe, and the pandemic has been disproportionately challenging for women who still shoulder most of the responsibility in tending to children, looking after dependents and working in the care sector as a whole. It troubles me that women as mothers and carers are seldom perceived as role models when it comes to leadership and other positions of influence and authority in society. Our collective humanity means helping all the peoples on this planet who suffer disabling distress, not only towards a greater understanding of themselves and others but also towards more transparent, collaborative and co-operative ways of caring about each other and the future of our planet.

I’m also strongly of the opinion that the current British government needs to acknowledge the scale and the depth of the racism and brutality that took place in British colonies. I felt very much when I began to write my book that what took place during my childhood was ‘out of sight’ and therefore ‘out of mind’. I was told by various literary agents and publishers that there was ‘no market for books about Africa and Africans,’ and one of them suggested that it was ridiculous and irrational that I should have any feelings of guilt about being white. Whenever I reflect on my colonial upbringing, with its British education system and mental health agenda, I can’t help but feel that I was raised to be a white supremacist. What happened during the slave trade in British-owned plantations is an important part of Britain’s racist past but its many other colonial investments and institutions must not be swept away and hidden under a carpet commonly known as ‘foreign affairs’. I will never forget what I experienced as a white child growing up in the British colony of Southern Rhodesia. My parents both served Great Britain during the Second World War and were subsidized in their passage to Africa in order to serve Her Majesty’s government abroad. As Sathnam Sanghera points out in Empire State of Mind: The ‘Great’ in ‘Great Britain’ might not be what it seems with closer historical scrutiny and understanding.

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Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Thankyou for your compelling story. It was enthralling to read. You have a flair for writing. It is such a gift to be treated to your illuminating descriptions of a past ethos and how it led us to the place we are at now. You paint characters very evocatively. So sad that you did not get the father you deserved.

  2. Such a revealing indictment of the abuses in a system that has terrorized people for over 200 years. And it is equally appalling that your personal story was so affected by psychiatry “from the other side”–by which I mean, not as a ‘patient’ but as a family member of a psychiatrist!

    Of course, this is not the first time we have encountered people being incarcerated in psychiatric institutions simply because they had done something ‘deemed’ to be illegal by more powerful and ruthless people. In other cases, patients were in some way seen as ‘inconvenient’ by their families and whisked away, often never to be seen again.

    It is very encouraging that brave people like yourself, Kate, are speaking up and writing about experiences that shine the light both on racial inequality and psychiatric persecution.

  3. Thank you for your very moving and distressing story about the horrific situation in Zimbabwe and the hospital there. These untold stories about mental health abuse across the world are so important in their ability to demonstrate the horrendous situations in our colonial past, much of which still resonates today. I am so glad that you have managed to unearth your own historical childhood abuse and perhaps been able to come to terms with it, via your therapy and your own exploration of the truth about orthodox psychiatry. I am also pleased that you have made a connection with the AD4E (a diagnosis for everyone) and the PTMFramework with Lucy Johnstone and Mary Boyle. I am a family member of someone who has been trapped in the UK psychiatric services for many years, but is now finding a way through the horrific system. The more voices joining those of us who have survived such traumatic events, the louder becomes the choir and the more people can hear the narratives of experience and truth.

    • If I may impute a note here, I just want to say I too am a huge fan of the Power Threat whatsit???(lord I wish they would come up with a better title, most psychiatric survivors have enough memory deficits without having to remember the order of the medicalese terminology)

      I like the notion of the two trauma caring sentences outlined in this article from that paradigm….

      “What happened to you”
      “How has it affected you”

      But I just hope it is inclusive of everyone’s freedom of choice enough that I could say something like…

      “What happened to you?”
      “I got ill with schizophrenia”.

      “How has this affected you?”
      “It traumatizes me every hour of the day”.

      Now, I am not at all stopping anyone from dropping their own diagnosis. That too can be a source of awful trauma.

      No one should have any other person define to them what is a legitimate trauma.

      Like its prototype of “Legitimate diagnosis”
      “Legitimate trauma” is an absurd consensus opinion that comes from objective reality and is a non-individual notion that should have no place in a loving inclusive world.

      In other words individual people should be telling others how they feel and not the other way around.

      Peace.

  4. Im back to add that maybe the mass inculturation of christianity is part of the picture. Or not that religion in and of itself but how it was misinterpreted in former times. A master/servant take on that otherwise equality seeking faith probably came hot on the heels, admittedly cooling heels, of the bloody World Wars.

    Duty, servitude, loyalty, meekness, self-sacrifice.

    All gems to a racist ambience of reverential gaslighting.

    Your article keeps giving nodes of interest about those times.

    I despise the talk these days of how the older person should be disposed of to covid because apparently they have outlived their usefulness. The older person is sometimes the keeper of the illuminating flame that some of the young are too hastey to go blindly into the murk of the future without. With no knowledge of how we arrive at where we are at, if we don’t like it, how can we ever get out, especially if we are doomed, through poor reflection, to repeat the same master/servant errors of the past.

  5. Thank you so much for your very moving, insightful and courageous article! You have bravely confronted your own family’s history, which must have been very difficult and painful.

    It is quite shocking that some publishers and literary agents believe that there is “no market for books about Africa and Africans”. The history of colonial Rhodesia, including the racist segregation in this colony, is much too little known and often seems forgotten. I have just ordered your memoir and I am looking forward to reading it.

    • It is quite shocking that some publishers and literary agents believe that there is “no market for books about Africa and Africans”.

      They said the same to Frantz Fanon.

      I note the comments made in the preface to The Wretched of the Earth by Jean paul Satre who writes about “universal humanism”;

      “In the case of forced labour, it is quite the contrary. There is no contract; moreover there must be intimidation and thus oppression grows. Our soldiers overseas, rejecting the universalism of the mother country, apply the ‘numerous clausus’ to the human race: since none may enslave. rob or kill his fellow man without committing a crime, they lay down the principle that the native is not one of our fellow men. Our striking-power has been given mission of changing this abstract certainty into reality; the order is given to reduce the inhabitants of the annexed country to the level of superior monkeys in order to justify the settler’s treatment of them as beasts of burden. Violence in the colonies does not only have for it’s aim the keeping of these enslaved men at arms length; it seeks to dehumanise them. Everything will be done to wipe out their traditions, to substitute our language for theirs and to destroy their culture without giving them ours. Sheer physical fatigue will stupefy them. Starved and ill, if they have any spirit left , fear will finish the job; guns are levelled at the peasant; civilians come to take over his land and force him by dint of flogging to till the land for them. If he shows fight, the soldiers fire and he’s a dead man; if he gives in, he degrades himself and he is no longer a man at all; shame and fear will split up his character and make his innermost self fall to pieces. The business is conducted with flying colors and by experts; the ‘psychological services’ weren’t established yesterday; nor was brain washing. And yet, in spite of all their efforts, their ends are nowhere achieved; neither in the Congo, where Negroes’ hands were cut off, nor in Angola, where until very recently malcontents’ lips were pierced in order to shut them with padlocks. I do not say it is impossible to change a man into an animal; I simply say that you won’t get there without weakening him considerably. Blow will never suffice; you have to push the starvation further, and that’s the trouble with slavery.”

      I can see the role for psychiatry in such a system. The overuse of the executioner only leads to a loss of output, as suggested by Sartre. But the man who has been waterboarded beyond the point of ‘no return’ can be made into a compliant worker who values his opportunity to contribute to his ’employers’ wealth. “how many fingers do you see Winston?”

      Anyway, good article Ms MacFarlane.

      I find myself wondering about a place for a book about White Skin, Black Labels. I know I found my transformation from citizen who had human rights to being an “Outpaient” (based on a lie told by a Community Nurse to Police) being tortured by Police and Mental Health Services like I had woken up as a black man in some strange sort of dream (quite possibly a result of being ‘spiked’ with benzodiazepines without my knowledge. Standard operating procedure with a Chief Psychiatrist who denies any legal protections for the community I am led to believe). All that pent up hatred by police for blacks vented on the white man who has had their right to complain taken from them via a label applied by a community nurse? Wow. No need for a psychiatrist (and the doctor only needed post hoc to conceal the torture with a fraudulent prescription for the drugs the victim is ‘spiked’ with, and to complete the ‘chemical restraint’ often referred to by those on the know as a ‘snowing’), simply tell police you need assistance with a “patient” and let the stigma do the rest.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZ9UQKBUrsg

      Problem being when Police find out they have been ‘stooged’ their embarrassment means they need to “fuking destroy” the victims (and their families) rather than deal with their ‘colleague’ who is corrupting the very system they claim to value and protect. Having documented proof of Police misconduct justification for referral and ‘treatment’ (at the hands of a ‘friendly’)

      • Boans, it is thought-provoking that you felt “like you had woken as a black man” when you became a psychiatric “outpatient”. You say that “all that pent up hatred by police for blacks” was “vented on the white man who has had their right to complain taken from them via a label applied by a community nurse”.

        It seems that in America and many other countries white people tend to take it for granted that they have rights of which Black people are routinely deprived. It is striking that many white people feel that they have realized what oppression means only when they become psychiatric patients… However, there are also other kinds of oppression which affect people of all skin colours, including poverty, domestic violence and childhood abuse.

        • “It seems that in America and many other countries white people tend to take it for granted that they have rights of which Black people are routinely deprived.”

          How true is that of a Nation which had a “White Australia policy” for so many years? And I guess my focus on the color of my skin should provoke some thought for me. In fact, I realise that it was possibly more the fact that I was a man that allowed what was done to me to be done. My wifes’ domestic violence (tried to plunge a carving knife into my heart whilst I lay on the couch for daring to suggest I was leaving her) provided support by a clinic psychologist (go home and ‘spike’ him with benzos, and then call mental health services and plant a knife and some cannabis on him. little ‘trick’ to make it all appear lawful tehe), a Community Nurse (a woman is in distress, quick call the police and have that man beaten into submission, and have him ‘chemically restrained’), and well, Police on hearing about the attempt to kill me with the knife ……crickets. They provided kidnapping services to the Community Nurse in exchange for the right to torture me too. Not like you should let the opportunity of someone being incapacitated with a date rape drug to pass right? And then have a Senior Medical Officer cover it up with a fraudulent prescription and a ‘snow job’.

          Of course, my anger over these matters might be interpreted as being domestic abuse (I, unlike my wife, did not physically assault). Something the hospital upon investigation of their kidnapping and torture were torn over (do they double down and fuking destroy the victim? Someone already having produced the fraud making me a wife beater…. lets just run with that known fraud huh? Or do they provide assistance to him knowing what he has been subjected to? So I was subjected to further gaslighting and criminal conduct in the form of fraudulent documents being sent to my legal representatives. The Chief Psychiatrist then uttering with that fraud and denying that the whole community had any human rights or legal protections under the Mental Health Act (care to see the letter? Possibly the reason that our Aboriginal population needed a legal service of their own, being thrown under the bus by whitey lawyers for years?).

          So my poverty? Well, it wasn’t until I was threatened by the hospital Operations Manager and my family was fuking destroyed that I actually became poor. My wife keeping everything except the clothes I left in and the documents which proved the fraud to the lawyers (even procuring the services of Police to try and have those documents retrieved before they sent out the fraudulent set. They failed and went through thinking that I no longer had them). The domestic violence? well, my wife it seems had the right to procure the services of the Police to assist her in that regard (her drama training awfully helpful in ‘flipping the script’ and playing the victim), and ensuring that I have been denied my property for ten years. And childhood abuse? Well, that’s a little more complex, and I guess the insertion of documents not requested, regarding my confidential communications in the fraudulent set of documents for my lawyers (who then release that information for no other purpose than to slander [they really meant it when the State threatened to fuking destroy me]) gives new meaning to the assumption of a right to privacy (under the Federal Privacy Act provisions). Digging for dirt to distribute unlawfully of course only a crime if the Police actually do their duty…… and well, they find “insufficient evidence” because they refuse to take the documented proof. How easy are these rights to pervert and deny?

          Torture, kidnappings, and well the Chief Psychiatrist prefers the use of euphemisms when he speaks about “unintended negative outcomes” which seems to be correlated with anyone who makes a legitimate complaint about their ‘treatment’ by mental health services which may be considered unlawful. Not a lot of them being done of course, though a few more than the likes of Jamal Kashoggi, which journalists seem prepared to publish.

          I guess the reason I make the comparison to waking up black was due to my ignorance of the way these ‘services’ are being employed by public officers and Private Clinic psychologists. That is to procure citizens who have human rights to not be arbitrarily detained and tortured, to make them into ‘Outpatients” post hoc and conceal the human rights abuses with negligence, fraud and slander (along with a little negative outcoming in the E.D. before police are seen to have been negligent and have provided material support for a killing).

          All sounds crazy, and I assume I have a lot in common with Martha Mitchell (an effect for a start). But yes, your right, there was more than the color of my skin at play here, and my gender was no doubt exploited by those who wished to have me kidnapped and tortured (wife and the clinic psychologist). Amazing transformation from the documented call to mental health. Boans tried to sort the conflict out with family [ie peacemaker], and has been ‘spiked’ to deprive of liberty, to the interrogation done via an act of torture to me being ‘violent, psychotic, drug abusing wife beater” all achieved with a corrupt practice called “verballing” (a common practice in the Dept of Mental Health it seems). Even my wife surprised that she had called me a wife beater (both of us aware it simply wasn’t true but …. the Community Nurse needed a risk and a slander to have others ‘chemically restrain’ me. I wonder homw many men are being subjected to such slander by public officers who then go on to kill their children as a result of the injustice and gaslighting? I suppose i’ll never know, and those that do know, simply don’t care. They “edit” the legal narrative for the lawyers anyway).

          “However, there are also other kinds of oppression which affect people of all skin colours, including poverty, domestic violence and childhood abuse.”

          So yes, there are other types of oppression. It’s just that with psychiatric services it seems that it’s like being raped, and the cure for the trauma is more rape. The lack of right to consent due to incapacitation with date rape drugs allowing them to pass you around and ensure that your aware they will fuking destroy you should you dare complain. Basically what our Minister for Health claims anyway. Got a complaint about mental health? Get treated.

          I’d suggest that the Community Nurse who tortured me has only three basic narratives he uses on his Forms. The wife beater if he wants to lock up and drug the man, the child abuser if he wants to lock up the woman, and the ADHD kid if he wants to lock up the child. There’s a little variation, and of course he will ask you about ‘drug abuse’ and when you refuse to answer he will write “refused to answer re substance abuse”. Not answering a question no justification for incarceration but tell that to police as they load you into the van for the trip to the Ariel Castro Memorial Hospital. What was interesting in my instance was that his crimes were documented………. but the State being responsible for his offending (see the UN decision re Corrina Horvath) they prefer that the complainant is ‘treated’ for complaining rather than being allowed access to legal representation (another human right that whitey expected and was denied).

  6. Investigating our history, which not only goes back to our parents, but a long lineage and culture. Often people forget that long history.

    It certainly is not at all a place for psychiatry nor anyone who is there to tell you how it shaped you.

    Excellent account, where we can envision in our minds the dreadful tentacles of psychiatry and a deep seated dislike of fellow humans, humans that mean nothing to those in power.

  7. Joanna Badura,
    I found your comments so touching I want to reply. I cannot do more than just this reply to you as I have to go. Busy, busy.

    I just want to tell you of my sister. My sister was cantankerous and bossy and wild and a loner yet people were drawn to her. She died. I will never forget a spiritual medium telling me this…

    “The oldest souls often volunteer from the beyond, before they incarnate into this existence, to come back to Earth as the most REJECTABLE in society, such as the disabled, or unworkable, or unmanageable, or pompous, or snooty, or irritaring, or unpopular in order to teach people…

    “COMPASSIONATE TOLERANCE OF THE DIFFERENT”. ”

    My sister thought she was never getting along at work because people snubbed her, but when people “snub” what happens is they bond and feel all “righteous” in being rejecting…for a while….maybe a month….maybe a year…maybe ten years….maybe even their whole life…but eventually the penny drops. The Oneness penny. Much of rejection is from FEAR of LOSS. Work based or social group acts of rejection are a position and indicator of WEAKNESS. People are too WEAK to embrace the different person’s harmless difference. Their enjoyable, colourful eccentricity. Everyone instead “has to” all sound the same, the same, the same. But it is impossible to have a Oneness made up of samey same things. Soon the penny drops that each individual in the group ALSO has eccentric differences. And as the fear subsides over a year…or ten years…the work colleagues come to know they have been boxing themselves into regulations of “sameness” that reject who they are also.

    My sister though she could not do a job because she got bullied by sameness ideologues in every employment she did.

    But actually she WAS doing a more essential JOB by continuing her brave career of being “THE REJECT”.

    This extended to her only ever having one partner, in her forties.

    Her soul had too much to do for idle romance. A person can live life not fully aware of their soul inclination. The small self only sees short term gains and worries but the soul, with its aereal view, it big picture understanding, may not be too bothered by the same concerns that the small self gets bothered about.

    Oddly enough the spirit psychic medium who taught me this, way back in the past before I became one, had a lot of would-be mediums be jealous of her extraordinary accuracy.

    They all as a group of scholarly wanna-be psychics, wondered why she got given such gifted insights when they thought all she was a lowly dinner server. She was eminently REJECTABLE.

    The angels in the beyond work more often and more healingly in a disguised way through their ambassadors… the REJECTABLE…
    than ever with the impressive. The educated, qualification pontificating, smooth talking, popular, pushy, lambasting, bigotted, arguing, cruel, bullying, successful people hold no interest for angels.

    Not unless those persons have plopped into REJECTABLE religions or REJECTABLE careers or REJECTABLE versions of psychosis that make them come over as pompous when really it is just their style.

    Angels like working with the mad. The madder the better. The mad are more open to the possibility of angel contact in the first place. Old style prophets were only given the cudos of being a prophet when they were tossed out of a village for sounding mad or arrogant or a traitor to cosy politics of those times. You could not be a prophet until you had earned your REJECTION papers, or been hounded out by the rule ridden conventional thinkers.

    My sister’s spiritual cross to bear, in her ALWAYS daring to be utterly HONEST with herself before letting groupthink persuade her of “the truth”, which was really just their narrow truth, was a self honesty in her that cost her her life. She gave her soul life to do the more important “work” or rubbing her difference in other peoples noses so that they would mock her.

    Through mocking others we find out we too are mockable…a year later….ten years later….and in eventually, eventually, eventually loving what we were bullyingly taught to mock in ourselves we begin to remember we could have tried to be more tolerant and love the mocked aspects in others.

    When ever anyone feels a wish to reject someone, it is good if they just pause for a moment..
    just pause…

  8. Daiphanous Weeping, thank you so much for your comment and for sharing your sister’s story. I am so sorry to hear that she is no longer alive.

    Yes, I fully agree with you that far too many people reject others’ harmless differences. This has certainly been my experience. I find it very sad that some people assume that if someone is rejected by others or if someone has no friends, it means that there is something wrong with the person – not those who reject him or her or those who refuse to be friends with him/her.

    When you say that your sister had only one partner, in her 40s, I can relate so much to this aspect of her experience. Again, so many people silently assume that everyone has had “romantic” relationships. People who find this area of life difficult for all kinds of reasons can feel painfully excluded or throw themselves into relationships with toxic people in order to prove to others and themselves that “there is nothing wrong with them”…

    I have never been able to understand why so many enjoy mocking people they perceive as “weak”. It is such an excellent example of human cruelty! I can be very sarcastic, but only in order to teach a lesson to someone arrogant and obnoxious. They are the ones who deserve to be mocked in order to learn how their victims feel.

    When you say that angels work through their ambassadors – the rejectable – and not through arrogant and cruel, but “successful” people, I feel that you are expressing a very deep truth. Thanks to my experiences my instinct is always to empathize. I feel sorry even for the bullies who hurt others because of the emptiness in their souls.

    My experience of psychosis has further increased my compassion for others and my hatred of cruelty (including, of course, emotional and verbal cruelty). Once again, thank you for your very kind and deeply moving words!

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