Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Comments by LavenderSage

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  • I used to coordinate services for families with developmentally-delayed kids, mostly autism. There has been a loosening of the criteria, and many parents sought that dx for their child in order to force the school system to provide services; it also got them other forms of much-needed support from our agency, like respite care, specialized daycare and summer camp. So, that does explain some of it.

    But, I cannot tell you how many families had the exact same autism origin story of “My baby was perfect, hitting all the milestones, talking, affectionate and engaging. And within a day or two of getting the MMR shot, it was gone. My child has not returned.” Not just my caseload. Every caseload. A mountain of anecdotal evidence that I personally find infinitely more reliable than any official study. When you have watched the pre-MMR videos of these kids, then seen the devastation in its wake, its just undeniable that the shot is somehow implicated. I’ve seen enough evidence with my own eyes; nobody will convince me otherwise.

  • “Thirty-eight participants were then randomized to read one of the two articles and take the test that came with the CME module. Twenty-three of those participants were asked to summarize the main points of the article, and 15 were asked whether they thought they received the industry article. “

    Why did they even bother doing this study?? They only recruited 38 participants! A study with n = 38 is barely above anecdote, the results easy to dismiss as incidental, nowhere near conclusive evidence of anything. And then, instead of having ALL of them summarize the main points AND guess whether the article was industry-funded, they split the 38 into two groups, n = 23, and n = 15. Pointless!

  • you said:
    “If we are going to practice a non-authoritarian therapy which empowers our clients, we are going to have to transform ourselves to become co-creators with our clients…”

    I do not believe that someone can shed the habit of authority while simultaneously wielding its power. It is your default position, and will be unless it is unavailable to you. If you really and truly wanted to place yourself on an even level with those you purport to “serve” or “help” you’d give up your license and do your listening and “helping” as a true peer, and discard the safe comfy cloak of authority. Not jusy you, Hugh, but all the “helpers” who make these claims.

  • I read it.
    Feels Icky, in a way I can’t quite put my finger on. I don’t disagree with Alex, but his comment doesn’t quite capture why this piece feels so icky. These authors did a similar conversational-type piece awhile back, and it felt icky too. I wish I was feeling sharp, so I could be eloquent and accurate, but for today, “icky” is the best I can come up with. Maybe others will hit on the right words to describe it; if so, I will echo theirs.

  • You are right KS, about the pharma companies, of course. But I do not let prescribers off the hook They are wielding a very dangerous tool, and there is no excuse, imho, for not feeling the gravity of the responsibility that ought to come with. I remember as a teen, when all my friends were getting their license I had already bought myself a car but I put off driving because I felt the weighty responsibility of wielding that machine– I could kill someone with it. Drugs should be considered with that much gravity, but are handed out like candy. So, no, I expect more from the people who seek that level of power/responsibility.

  • Let’s get one thing clear, s_randolph:
    Marci did not murder her daughter; the drugs that made Marci “psychotic” and twisted her thinking so much that she felt killing her was the only way to protect her are what murdered that child.

    “Debt to society”? Really? If anyone in this scenario owes a “debt to society,” it is the prescribers whose poisons murdered this child. Place the blame where it belongs.

  • and leaches excrete a very powerful anticoagulant that makes them incredibly helpful in re-establishing blood flow to a re-attached finger or other situations where blood flow has been compromised and needs a boost, frostbite and such. I have read of this, but have no personal experience…

    However… I saved my wife from certain leg amputation by treating the MRSA lesions on her shin with medical maggots. We got them shipped direct from the lab where they were grown, with a Dr’s prescription. They excrete digestive enzymes that not only break down the dead tissue, but are also amazing antibiotics- delivered directly into the wound! She also had a prescription antibiotic, but it was not effective. We know this because there were a couple times when she had to go a day or two without “the critters” (sometimes they run out at the lab and need to grow more larvae) and each time, the wound got red, inflamed, hot, painful, and within an hour of getting the new batch of critters in the wound, those symptoms would resolve again.

    People are too quick to dismiss the old ways of healing.

  • I had always assumed that military suicides were due to moral injury, that these individuals had either done or witnessed atrocities of war that left them unable to live with themselves. But apparently not (or not anymore?):

    “Many of the cases are young Marines who have not deployed overseas and have not been in combat — a situation that has been seen in other branches of the military as well. “

    The military culture itself is killing them.

  • Barbara,
    When you have a set of fucked-up family dynamics that others can’t/won’t/don’t see, it can be hard to get the understanding and validation you need from people close enough to think they know the situation. You are more likely to get that from total strangers– like from some of the folks here.

    Also, grieving the loss of someone you were conflicted with can be much more complicated than grieving someone with whom you had a mutually respectful, loving relationship. I think that’s, in part, because there’s not the repository of good memories that keeps the good things you did share alive for you; it’s slim pickings. You gotta salvage from whatever’s left. Another part is losing the possibility for anything ever to get better, of building something new from the ashes. They die and those dreams die too. And then there’s the question of where to put all those unresolved feelings. Ranting at a headstone just aint the same…

    At least, that has been my experience.

  • Aw, Kate, your cat. I’m so sorry. My heart breaks with you, and tears are rolling down my face as I type this. You keep getting kicked, your supports getting kicked out from under you (damn that therapist!).

    I don’t see you in the ways you describe at the end of your comment, Not At All. I don’t imagine that any of the other regular commenters here that you have connected with see you that way either. I see you as someone who is still trying to be okay, still trying to find some enjoyment in life and reasons to keep wanting to. I see you as part of my tribe. I see you as a potential friend (when I let myself feel social). I see you, Kate. You are not alone.

  • That would fly if everyone were on the same footing, but that is not the case. You are conveniently ignoring/dismissing the enormous power differential between the two groups (which, btw, most of us would NOT characterize as ‘sick’ and ‘not sick,’ and the fact that you do is very telling): one group has the power to strip the other group of their civil and human rights. As long as this is the case, there is an inherent us v. them dynamic; survivors didn’t put it there. To paraphrase Animal Farm, all humans are equal, but some are more equal than others.

    Wanna be really fascinated? Go get yourself a nice juicy SMI label and walk a mile in our moccasins, doc. See whether your equal humanity gets respected, or acknowledged. See how fascinated you are by how quickly you get othered, maligned, infantilized, disregarded. Write it up for scientific research.

  • “I think that the War on Drugs was a pushback, in the early 80s led by the Reagans, to the Young People’s successful effort to end the war in Vietnam in the 1970s. The culture was angry at young people in the early ’80s; so no wonder the DSM began to expand exponentially.”

    Thanks for pointing that out, johnchristine. I’d never put that together before, but you are onto something. Psychiatry as retribution for (and the reining in of) young people’s challenging the illegitimate authority and pointing out the hypocrisy of their parents’ generation and the powers that be; also for their exploration of consciousness, spirituality, and experimenting with substances that can expand those aspects of self and society.

  • One goes to a doctor, the doctor is almost required to intervene, whether that is drugs, procedure, device, etc.

    Which is why every person should practice their assertiveness before setting foot in a medical office: saying “that’s none of your business” to intrusive queries, to screenings; and No to un-informed consent- make them give you every scrap of info that they’re required to. Make sure you are clear on whose agenda you are there to serve, and don’t be persuaded into theirs instead of yours.

  • As Rachel and then kindredspirit pointed out, it’s a common story of the assembly-line conveyor belt that can lead to a “bipolar” dx.

    Reminds me more than a little of reading up on childbirth back in the day when I was having babies. One of the best pieces of advice for avoiding unnecessary surgery (aside from birthing at home, of course) is to refuse the earlier interventions. So when I went into labor with my first child and arrived at the ER and they went to put in an IV, I refused. I did not climb up on their conveyor belt by allowing that very first unnecessary intervention. Women before me sharing their childbirth horror stories is what allowed me to understand the conveyor belt that leads to the scalpel and steer clear.

    Sounds to me like Rachel wants to gather stories that demonstrate the conveyor belt that leads to a “bipolar” dx so people can be aware of it and refuse that very first step onto the conveyor belt. I steer clear of it by never allowing such “screenings,’ and answering questions about my thoughts/feelings with “that’s none of your business,” but a lot of people don’t know any better.

    I don’t see any gaslighting or fear-mongering in any of this. It’s no different than a woman with the belly scar of unneeded surgery wanting to warn other women of childbearing age about the insanely high rate of cesareans and how doctors manipulate women into accepting it for their body, their baby.

  • There could be a million informed consent laws on the books and they are all nullified by those “Consent to Treatment” forms that are basically carte blanche, stating you consent to whatever they deem necessary. I ran into one recently that explicitly stated that nothing could be stricken from it or amended “without approval of the Board.” As long as they get to pull that shit, we are all at risk whenever any kind of medical care is needed.

  • This is certainly evidence of how well their propaganda campaign has worked. The kiddies have absorbed the message that if they have any deep-felt, intense, unpleasant feelings there is something wrong with them and they need to seek help.

    Add to that the whole standardized testing thing. Even before No Child Left a Dime ramped up the pressure on kids (and teachers) and created “teaching to the test,” the very format of multiple-choice tests kills the thinking process, re-shapes it into guessing well. The only options are the ones presented, with no opportunity to self-generate an answer. There is no opportunity to look at the problem from any other angle than the one intended by the people who wrote the test. The “right answer” (and there’s only ever just one) does not flow from a process of evaluating the information available to come up with a solution and building on one’s mistakes, the way natural learning occurs. No, it is provided for you among other “wrong” answers that kids are taught to dismiss by process of elimination.
    Then there’a all the social interactions at school, and all the possible ways for those to go badly, with teachers, admin, other kids.
    And kids are no longer allowed to just wander into nature and spend time alone exploring, inventing, just watching the breeze, because now that is considered neglectful and unsafe parenting.

    There’s no place for a sensitive, insightful kid with a mind of their own; they will be intervened upon. They’ve been programmed to think they need it.

  • it’s not that. When I get so soured on humanity that I have to retreat and be a hermit for awhile, the inbox can feel too overwhelming to approach. I’ve been re-engaging a bit, at my own pace, lately and will find my way back to the land of Inbox when I can face the terrain. But the more the world keeps dealing blows to my ability to give a shit, like the cops trashing a homeless encampment in my neighborhood, kicking the people when they’re down, or the white supremacists who shot up the mosque in NZ the other day, killing people while they prayed, the less shits I have to give.
    Been gardening these last couple weeks– well, ripping weeds out by the roots, no green thumb here– and that has been helping.

  • Hi Starr.
    I know. I have never trusted doctors on the whole. Trust is earned, never handed out like candy by me. I have never been the type of gal that sought routine or preventive care. Nope, I’m the gal that fired her OB at 31 weeks’ pregnant because he was pushing for a completely unnecessary cesarean, found a midwife and birthed the baby at home. Then about a year and a half ago, I started having problems with my vision. I had been having headaches which presented exactly like migraine for almost 3 years at that point, but I dealt with them using cbd, aspirin, and napping a couple hours. Turns out it wasn’t migraines; it was intense spikes of pressure in that eye. Now I’m functionally blind in that eye, and I return to the ophthalmologists every 3 months to keep tabs on the pressure, optic nerve health, and visual field in the remaining eye. My perspective on the medical field has not changed. I go to these appointments and put up with “medical science” because they are my only means of accessing important info about the way my body is working (or failing to), but it is not without pause.
    I went to a GP appointment last week because I’ve been having troubling sensations in my head (very hard to describe) and also high BP. I don’t think the two are related, but I am unsure. What I need to do is consult a medical intuitive who can tell me what direction to point the doctor in, so I can tell them what tests to run, what to rule out. Now that I’ve put this intention out there, may the right person be drawn to me to help with this.
    Anyway, I liked the GP I saw (actually an NP) but I will know more about how much to trust her when I ask next time to see the notes she wrote about our first interaction. Her response to this, as well as the notes themselves, will tell me a lot.

  • Please do. People need someone they can trust to give them info on what nutrients they may need to tinker with in order to attain optimal health; “an apple a day keeps the fake-ass “doctors” away,” so to speak. I’m sure if I had more information, both general (which minerals can’t absorb together, for instance) and individual to my body, I could do a much better job of improving my quality of life. But please call it something else (though, I gotta confess, I chuckled at the notion of a back-alley psychiatrist, my twisted sense of humor.)

  • I actually make it very clear to any doctor I have to see that I am, in fact, the one making decisions here, and that their advice is advice which I may accept or reject, and if they don’t like this attitude, they should let me know now so I can find another doctor.

    I do the same thing, Steve. I make it very clear that although they have expertise in medicine, I am the only expert when it comes to what is best for me. The doctor is my consultant; their job is to give me ALL the pertinent info, period. I decide by their reaction whether they get to be my doctor or not. I don’t hesitate to fire the ones that can’t color within my lines.

  • He went to the counseling center, which is officially-sanctioned ‘friendly’ people. Most college towns have pubs and bars, plenty of clubs to join, etc. where you can encounter friendly people. But when people are encouraged to ‘reach out’ in their time of struggle it is always with the message that the people to reach out to are officially-sanctioned ‘helpers.’

  • Yeah I think it’s Jan Carol who I’ve seen using the word ‘diagnonsense’ and I really dug on it, so I adopted it. I love wordplay!

    Bait & switch is exactly what is going on. I think most people actually believe that people who seek emotional support from the mh system are getting talk therapy, that they are getting listened to as they spill their guts about the situations in their life that are causing their distress. The only ones who know otherwise are the ones who’ve been in the system, on one or both sides of the desk. I think there are a lot of people who, if they understood the reality of what happens to people who “seek help,” would never utter that phrase again, but they are duped into believing there’s still a couch.

  • Yes, the bait & switch. But the trailhead of that path is the notion that feeling the natural effects of life situations necessitates seeking professional help. People used to recognize and respect the fact that life is not all roses and rainbows, that bad shit happens to good people– that is the human condition, and we are all in it. Having bad shit happen and feeling bad about it is NORMAL, but we’ve been sold a bill of goods that says it isn’t, that convinces people that only professional “help” is the proper response. That is the first dangerous lie, and the other lies that follow it (diagnonsense, chemical imbalance, unmasking, etc.) are set in motion by the lie that natural supports are not good enough, that trusted friends are not equipped to handle the job of hand-holding through life’s rough spots.

    Not to put words in oldhead’s mouth, but I think that’s what he was getting at.

  • I haven’t read the article, just the blurb of it here. That being said, here’s my take on why the higher rate of suicide among physicians:

    Simply put, doctors have firsthand knowledge of what an institutionalized death (standard of care) truly entails; they have firsthand knowledge about the reality of (and consequences of seeking) “mental health care”; plus, they have access to the least traumatic means– drugs that will end their life effectively, quickly, and painlessly. Doctors are in a position of making a truly fully informed choice about their own end-of-life scenario, and they are in a position that allows them to enact their own choices without having to seek anyone else’s permission or assistance. If the regular Joes of society had the physicians’ access to unvarnished truth, and their access to easy means, plumbers’ teachers’ and waiters’ suicide rates would be as high as physicians’ rates.

  • Not gonna read the sciency-sounding drivel article (not worth the eye strain), just gonna answer the query posed by the title:

    No, “anxiety” is not to blame for kids’ missing school! The awful school environment and the horrible, dreaded experiences it dishes out on a daily basis, are what’s to blame.

    How about this: create an educational experience that fosters curiosity and exploration (the essence of a desire to learn), and you wouldn’t need to make school attendance compulsory.

  • Rachel, you said:
    ” if HUD opens Mom insists it must be within less than 25 miles of her and Dad.”

    So what if Mom “insists”? Does she wield any actual power over you, like a conservatorship? Or does she just become (more) emotionally manipulative and unpleasant? If she holds actual power over you, thst’s one thing. Then her “insistence” holds weight, but if it’s just the risk of ruffling her feathers, ruffle away! Far away.

  • the other thing about personal stories vs. statistics is whose truth is getting reflected. Firsthand accounts tell a more complete truth, the truth as defined by the storyteller. But in statistical research, it is only the truth as defined by the researchers. And how “success” gets defined by researchers, as we all know, looks very different from what the folks who’ve had to live through “treatments” would define as success. The devil is in the details, they say, and it is for sure in the operational definitions.

  • Sam Ruck,
    I have an enormous amount of respect for your choice to take the role you have taken for your wife and for the girls who share her consciousness. I’d like to point something out to you (well, 2 things, actually, but one is a little more pertinent in this discussion, so that first): you’ve stated many times, in explaining about the love and respect you have for her/them, that you never pushed anything on them, that you always let them be in charge of the agenda. That is what a good ally does, so good on you, and good for her/them! So that’s the first thing. The 2nd thing is the one way in which you violate this respect for them: you have written before that the girls have asked to be referred to as simply that “the girls” and yet you continue to use the language of pathology when you refer to them as ‘alters,’ a behavior that you know on a gut level is wrong because on more than one occasion you write in a (gag) after referring to them in this way. You do not have to use the language of pathology; there are other options. Example: “My wife shares her consciousness with several little girls” gets the situation across just as well as “My wife has d.i.d.” but does not reduce these little girls (whom I truly believe you do love) to merely ‘symptoms’ of a ‘disorder.’ I’ve tried to point this out to you before, how this use of pathology language flies in the face of the love and respect and healing intention you claim to treat them with. There is cognitive dissonance here. How can you so dearly love these little girls yet still speak of them in those awful, demeaning terms? It baffles me; it angers me. I wish you would give this issue deep consideration and change this one sticking point. You’d be more credible as an ally, at least in my eyes.

  • Stepping in to second *everything* oldhead said here:

    “Self-determination is not identity politics. Survivors will organize as they see fit. We will not have our agenda determined or “approved” by others. True allies respect this. ..
    PS If you made similar statements demanding inclusion in the inner circles and strategic discussions of Blacks or women organizing against patriarchy or white supremacy they would immediately be rejected as sexist or racist.”

    Could not have said it better myself, especially not these days…

  • Steve and Rachel,
    Even if they did have an individual “conduct the orchestra” and come up with a recording that accurately represents that person’s voice-hearing experiences, they’d still be making a huge error in trying to generalize that person’s experience to everyone else, as if “hearing voices” is the same experience for everyone, as if the “voices” mean no more than intrusive white noise. Trying to present “the experience” as if there is such a thing only serves to reinforce all those attitudes they love to refer to as “stigma.” And, it reinforces their mis-understanding, “oh yes, I understand hearing voices- I took the training” and since they now know all about it, there’s no getting them to listen.

  • Pulling for you, Kate. Please keep in mind that you are “under the influence” so to speak, of the CT from the drug. This current state does not reflect the real you, underneath. I know that one of the things I do with anger when I cannot use the energy to address the real cause is use the energy to clean (usually scrubbing- bathtub, oven, kitchen floor). Putting on upbeat music helps. You will get through this. The AA folks use the “one day/hour/moment at a time” thing to ride it out.

    and Kate, unless you are actually neglecting your cat, please don’t deprive yourself of the stability, comfort, unconditional love, etc. that an animal companion provides. It can be one of the most important relationships in your life. In fact, one of the first things I read on MIA was a survivor’s tale of how nursing an abandoned turtle back to health saved her life.

  • This is exactly why I avoid doctors like the plague. This, and the carte blanche ‘consent for treatment’ forms. The last one I encountered even contained a clause stating that nothing in it could be stricken or amended without approval of the admin. It is a legally binding document giving them permission to do “any and all” that they deem necessary, and you have 2 choices: sign it and be at their mercy, or don’t sign it and get no care whatsoever. Daniel Webster got a better deal with the devil.

  • I’m in complete agreement with you, oldhead. And since the Greek suffix -cide simply means “to kill,” and not “to murder,” I don’t have the same reaction to the word ‘suicide’ as you expressed. But I take great offense at the term “commit suicide” because it connotes criminality.

    Sera just happens to be my favorite regular MIA author here, not because I agree with everything she asserts, but I really dig the way she gets her point across. Unlike many other authors here, she doesn’t use convoluted language; her writing is very accessible. But yeah, I don’t want the masses banging down her door!

    This paragraph
    We need to delegitimize not only psychiatry itself, but the idea that frightening and painful emotions are something exceptional needing “expert” attention, which is a mystification of the fact that a toxic culture based in corporate greed is the culprit, and trying to “adjust” oneself to the filth should at best be contemplated only as an immediate survival tactic, not the end goal or “success.”
    captures the gist of MLK’s creative maladjustment idea. A few years ago there was something on here about suggestions for celebrating Creative Maladjustment Week (mid-July, I think?) but then I haven’t seen anything about it since. I think we need to revive that.

  • You’re welcome, Kate! Yes, reliving the experience is one of the downsides of writing about it. I encounter that too. I believe that the purpose of anger is to provoke change. We get angry because things are not right, because we have been wronged, because of the injustice. Anger is a very powerful energy, and if allowed to stagnate it can be harmful (i.e. hypertension) but if it is channeled into action, it is the fuel of change.
    One of my favorite regular MIA contributors is Sera Davidow. She is a survivor and a professional, trying to change the system from within. There are a few of those folks here. But I have come to the conclusion that the entire notion of having a system where people in crisis have to turn to professionals for support needs re-thinking.

    Oh, and speaking of re-thinking, please re-think this statement:
    “I did at different points have both ECT treatments and then TMS treatments for unremmitting depression… I failed at both!”
    I assert that it is the other way around- those “treatments” failed YOU. You called yourself a very, very bad patient. To that I say “congratulations!” When you see Rachel777 or Julie Greene (regular commenters) on here, ask them what being a “very good patient” got them!

    Welcome again, Kate- you may indeed have found your tribe! 🙂

  • Hi Kate,
    I have not written a blog post here, but I will say that I have definitely found writing about my experiences helpful, in terms of connecting dots and gaining a deeper understanding of the whys and hows of what I have been through, and what I still experience.

    I also find these comment sections very helpful, both in terms of finding validation and a feeling of comradeship with some of the survivors here, and also some of the professionals who write here (those who have done sufficient self-reflection to understand the impact “the system” has had; many have not). Then there are those professionals whose comments serve as a solid reminder as to how dangerous it is to turn to anyone who does not stand fully opposed to forced or coerced “treatment.”

    So, welcome, and please stick around- you will get quite an education! Expect to encounter a lot of strong feelings in the voices of the survivors who frequent here. Your reactions will teach you a lot about yourself, too.

  • Steve,
    When I went to the hospital to have my first baby, they came in with a consent form for circumcision four times while I was in labor. When they came at me with it the second time, they acted like it was an oversight the first time, like “oh, we must have forgot to have you sign this.” The third time I got huffy about it, but the fourth time, I demanded that they stop harassing me and compared them to rapists, who also refuse to hear no means NO.

    The nurse got really offended at that, but they didn’t try to push that shit again. It is scary how eager they are to mutilate an infant!

  • Anja,
    Are you aware that these DSM “diagnoses” have no validity, and very low reliability? Are you aware that many of the drugs (since they do not address a disease process, they are not medications, and I do not mis-label them as such) actually cause people to experience the very things they are purported to resolve? and that many people develop new problems in thinking, living and relating because of the psychiatric drugs? Please educate yourself, and don’t accept the “mental health” rhetoric without questioning it. You will save yourself a LOT of pain, and may even save your life.

  • hey JanCarol, have you ever seen the show Doomsday Preppers? Youtube has a lot of the episodes. Those folks are serious about the security of their bunker locations! There are a lot of north-facing hills, so I haven’t given too much away, LOL.

    hey Steve,
    here’s one of those contrast moments for ya:
    So when I was just about fully dilated, but not quite yet feeling the push imperative, the midwife couldn’t locate the baby’s heartbeat. Here’s how the midwife handled that scenario. First, she reassured me that this was not a cause for alarm because babies move and twist. My water had not broken yet (never did actually ‘break’ with the first birth, either) and the amniotic fluid would indicate if the baby was in distress (very unlikely to be the case). She asked my permission to rupture the membrane during the next contraction to check. I consented to that, but it was unnecessary since my water broke on its own at the start of the next contraction, to which my midwife replied, “well how’s that for the power of suggestion!”
    Fluid was clear, baby was fine and out about a half-hour later, perfect apgars and all.

  • Well I’ve never been to the site, but like I said, I’ve seen it on here a lot, with folks having good things to say. It was 15 or so years ago that I cold-turkeyed off effexor without actually intending to. During the chaos of a move, I forgot to ingest the drug for a week or two when I suddenly had intense dizziness and low blood pressure (not scary low, just low) and it dawned on me that I hadn’t been taking the drug. I decided to ride through the withdrawal, and relied on a lot of cannabis (indica strains) to help get me through it, which helped with other things, but didn’t lessen the vertigo. It did give it a context, though, which alleviated the anxiety I felt at being that dizzy all the time. Took a little over 2 weeks to be ok enough again to function.

  • Earthships start off by excavating a few feet of earth, and using trash tires to construct the outer wall, curved like a ‘C’ with the opening facing slightly southwest of south. Diameter can be from 12′ up to 20′ for each of these domes, which can be constructed to link together. You use a sledge hammer to pound the excavated dirt into the tires, creating what they call a “rammed earth dwelling” which is not only incredibly sturdy, but also serves to stabilize temperature. Inner walls can be made with bottles or cans and cement or adobe. The bottle walls are beautiful when the light shines through!

  • KS, I couldn’t find a midwife for my first birth, and though I did not experience the horrors I have heard way too often from other women, my infant was basically used as a teaching dummy (an unnecessary spinal tap!) so I was already fuming at hospital birth. First baby was almost 10 pounds, natural birth.

    So when I’m 7 months along with the 2nd baby, and they start pushing for major abdominal surgery instead of birth because that’s their policy with babies over 8.5 lbs(?!) and told me they’d get a court order to do it regardless of my consent, I fired them on the spot! Husband went to the library and got books on homebirth, which had lists of resources at the back, no internet back then (the 80s). So we called a medical supply house to order a birth kit, and they had a list of midwives. So I met my midwife when I was 8 months’ pregnant who helped me birth my 9-lb baby in my living room a few weeks later! No trauma of any kind, no fear-stoking coercion, my body encouraged to follow its wisdom– I gave birth crouching on my knees, which is the best position for a big baby because gravity assists. And her fee was $500 (yes, that’s 5 hundred, not thousand), not counting the 1 office visit to her back-up OB to confirm labs and the baby’s position (was breech when we met but my wise midwife had an easy and painless trick up her sleeve to get the baby to flip!), but he took my insurance. I would never advise giving birth in a hospital unless it was absolutely necessary. Pregnant women are the other class of people that docs routinely mistreat and infantilize.

    I would love to be tapped to join an intentional community like you describe. It’s been my heart’s desire for many many years now to live in such a place. Where people could truly live, be themselves, bring their talents to bear, and share the wealth. Sustainable, off-grid, apart from the crazy that consensual reality has become. Actually bought some land, but it sits on a north-facing hill, so not an ideal spot for a solar home (sigh) but maybe could work if wind-powered too. Haven’t looked at that dream in quite awhile– the dust on it is thick.

  • yes, please stay away from that- those who have drunk the kool-aid are in no position to offer anything resembling support.
    There’s, I see that a lot on here. I think there’s other good survivor-focused resources too, but I’ll need other folks to chime in about them (slipping my mind right now).
    Most docs are unwilling to de-prescribe, and have no real knowledge of how to taper safely, so anybody who refers you back to your doctor is not a resource.

  • omg KS- Spiritual Midwifery was one of my favorite pregnancy books! I had my second child at home, in fact. I dunno if I could do true communal living- I need my own space to do whatever the heck I want to in, and my own haven to retreat from other people, and from unwanted energies. But the cool thing about Earthships is that you can plan ahead for adding on a room, or build completely separate domes.

    Okay, we’ve got drum and flute covered- I can make us a stained glass windchime!

  • It sounded like the comment might be alluding to a “mental illness,” hence the quotation marks. I did not want to assume, though, so I asked. If it’s Lyme, the quotation marks I put around “disease” should be struck, of course, because that’s an actual, biological disease. But KS didn’t mention her Lyme here- that’s in the comments on a different article.

  • I actually have books on how to build a sustainable, nature-friendly home called an Earthship. Was my dream to do that, but I would have to get somebody else (not Someone Else- she’s making lunch!) to do the excavating and swing the sledge. I could help construct the inner walls, though. Had though of creating a little village of Earthships, a community of like-minded weirdos like me.

    But I like the idea of a cave with ancient art already “installed” better.

  • hey Rachel, have you ever thought about starting your own business? Maybe selling stuff you create? Can’t work or be employed doesn’t necessarily have to mean not having a self-generated income. You are very witty, have a great attitude, and I know you can write well. I have no idea what other creative pluses you might possess, but I’d bet you have what it takes to entrepreneur yourself an income. Money you generate that way is also much more gratifying than landing even a dream job, imho.
    Regardless, you ain’t gonna stay stuck. You’re going places. Your story does not have a tragic ending, I predict. (and, yes, as a matter of fact I am psychic.) 😉

  • A lot of people who would rather not be taking psych drugs feel they have no choice because their withdrawal experience has been misinterpreted as either a rebounding of “symptoms” of whatever DSM label they’ve been branded with, or “emerging symptoms” of a different DSM label. They get chastised by the prescriber, and the chemical imbalance story gets reinforced, tightening the shackles. I would advise getting support from the Real Experts- people who have successfully tapered off the drug you’re on, so that you can benefit from their experience and gain tips they have learned so that you don’t fall into this trap.

    Nobody can change your mind but you– and even you can’t change your mind if you keep telling yourself the same story about your life, your self, the meanings you make of it all, as you’ve been telling it since you were a kid. It is possible to evolve into more mature thinking on that, but psych drugs do tend to inhibit this ability. I hope you claim your freedom, author.

  • When a doctor tries inquiring about things which are not related to my presenting problem, I refuse to answer, because “that’s none of your business” is becoming just as important a phrase nowadays as “where is the bathroom?”

    And context is everything. I will never answer an “alcohol screening,” for instance, but if I come in complaining of feeling dizzy, spinning, or woozie-headed I will answer as to whether I have recently consumed alcohol, because it is pertinent to the presenting issue.

  • Hey, George, I realized I forgot to mention:

    Regarding tapering off the psych drugs- the vast majority of doctors don’t know what they are doing, and the guidance they offer is usually inferior to that of the Real Experts- people who have successfully navigated their own taper from the same drug. I encourage you to get in touch with the online support groups that can help you in that process.

  • Richard,
    Like oldhead, I also have had friends who are strong, proud feminists who have chosen to provide sexual services of various sorts for money. They do not resemble any of your projections. There were no ‘pimps’ involved, nor did they feel exploited or denigrated. The sex work they engage in is not “inherently oppressive;” in fact, they’d say it was liberating. The services they provide are valuable, both monetarily and personally. These women are talented, and like other talented professionals, enjoy their work. Why should they be deprived of this choice?

  • this deserves repeating:

    “This is another feature of psychiatry. If distress proves that the distressed are ‘defective’, it also proves that nothing much is psychologically distressing and damaging. It means that both cause and effect are located within ‘defective’ individuals. It is effectively a not guilty verdict for every form of oppression and abuse and sympathy and solidarity with harm doers, and with the harm itself.”