Friday, January 27, 2023

Comments by Lady_Quixote

Showing 6 of 6 comments.

  • “Why diagnose the traumatized instead of the traumatizers?”

    Karey H., I am blown away by your amazing insight and intelligence. You are, indeed, incredibly creative and gifted. I would love to read your full story in a book. I hope you are writing one.

    I just read through the 27 comments that have been posted so far, and they are all amazing, too. I would love to have everybody over to my house for dinner and a long gab session. I feel like I have found my tribe!

    One thing that hasn’t been addressed here is the fact that abusers come in both sexes. While most of my abusers have been male, by far the worst abuser in my life was my mother. And she seems to have only gotten worse with age. I called her a few months ago. After a few minutes of polite catching up, she said the worst, most abusive, most gaslighting, evil, projecting thing that she has ever said to me. Considering that my mother has verbally abused me for well over half a century, that’s saying something.

    I had been no contact for a number of years before I called her. When I called, I was hoping that age may have mellowed her and taught her a few lessons. But apparently it does not work that way with the worst abusers. So, I won’t be calling her again.

    “Why diagnose the traumatized instead of the traumatizers?” You nailed it, Kari, right there.

  • P.S. HH, you mentioned that it took you an hour and a half to write your original comment here. I spent over an hour writing my comment. Because, yeah, head trauma. The gift that keeps on giving.

    I just saw, further down, where you commented that you prefer “Content Warning” to ” Trigger Warning.” Wow, I like that! I am going to use that from now on, in my memoir, and also on my blog. Thanks! Genius!

  • Dear HH, thank you so very much for writing this wonderful, thoughtful, intelligent response. I, too, have a hard time with the challenges of changing terms and language, for the same reason as you. I have been knocked unconscious 4 times in my life. Three of those times were due to abuse. I am on disability today, because of complex developmental post traumatic stress, caused by multiple severe traumas and abuses that happened throughout my childhood and early adulthood. Plus, when I was in my early thirties, I had a transient ischemic attack, also known a mini stroke, and I lost my math skills because of that. And, when I was in my late thirties, after my last head trauma caused by abuse, I went through about 2 years of heavy drinking, trying to self medicate my trauma issues, which I am sure destroyed even more brain cells.

    Speaking of which, the forced drugging that I endured for two years, after my abusive parents put me in a state mental institution at the age of fourteen, probably did not do my developing brain any good, either. PTSD was not yet an official psychiatric label when I was institutionalized at age 14, way back in 1968, so I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and pumped full of Thorazine, Stellazine, Millaril (sp?), and many other drugs. I could not even think straight during that time in my life, or for many years after, let alone figure out the fine nuances of words like “trigger.”

    Shortly after I was put in that state hospital, I met the ward psychiatrist for the first and last time, for my official intake interview, and I asked him how soon I could go home. “According to the current statistics, 97% of the people committed to this institution are never permanently released, and if you are still here after one year, the odds of you ever getting out of here alive will be less than 1%.” This is what that “doctor” said to me, as coldly and calmly as though he were telling me that the weather forecast was predicting rain!

    When he saw the look of stunned disbelief on my face, he told me to ask the other patients on the ward how long they had been there, if I thought he was lying. I did, and the shortest answer I got was 8 years, the average, over 20 years. I had just turned 15 and my life was over!

    My mother had already told me that there was “no cure for schizophrenia.” At that moment, I would have literally given my right arm for the beautiful word “recovery” to be applied to my situation.

    Yes, some things trigger me. I’m sorry, but they do. I appreciate trigger warnings, because they allow me to decide whether I am feeling up for that right now. Sometimes I am, and sometimes I’m not. For me, it’s good to know, upfront. I am currently writing a memoir titled Growing Up Crazy. It will carry a trigger warning in the front matter, and also throughout the book, wherever I feel it may be warranted. Anyone who gets triggered by the word trigger, will need to avoid my book. 🙂

    We each need to find our own way to a life that is good, happy, and hopeful. Despite the “doctor” who ruined my hope, half a century ago, for any kind of goodness and happiness ever being possible in my life, today, at the age of 65, I am the happiest and the healthiest that I have ever been. My daughter is a therapist intern, soon to graduate from Whitworth with a master’s degree in child and family therapy. Her daughter, my granddaughter, graduated earlier this year from Harvard extension school, with a master’s in social anthropology. She is going for her doctorate next. As for me, 20 years ago I went to nursing school and was elected class president. Not bad, for someone who was told, at the age of barely 15, that I would be psychotic and locked up forever!

    Hurray for Recovery!

    Like you, HH, I also agree with much in this article. To me, “mental illness” is just another shade of “normal.” Several years ago, I created a meme in the shape of a red stop sign that says: “Having a PTSD Reaction to Extreme Trauma is Normal — Just as it is Normal to Bleed if You are Stabbed.” Under the stop sign, it says STOP the Stigma. But some people found my stabbed/bleeding analogy triggering. And some people object to the “D” at the end of PTSD.

    Well, I’m sorry. This seems to be the best that I can do right now. And, ya know what? All things considered, my best, at this point in time, is pretty darn good!

    Here’s another meme I have created recently:
    The answer to PTSD is CARE: Compassion, Acceptance, Respect, and Encouragement.

    Thank you, HH, for your compassionate, accepting, respectful, and encouraging comment! Here is a big great-grandma ((HUG)) if you want one.

    Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote (I tilt at windmills. Somebody has to.)

  • Matt, this is wonderful. Absolutely brilliant. I applaud your tremendous courage!

    After a childhood of unbearable trauma, including my mother trying to gas us all to death when I was twelve, I had a “nervous breakdown” at the age of fourteen and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Like you, my terrifying psychosis lasted two years.

    Today I am sixty-three years old. I am a Mensa member, a former nurse, a wife, mom, and grandmother. My oldest granddaughter is a student at Harvard University. My younger granddaughter is in nursing school. My daughter is a life coach and a hypnotherapist. My elder son manages two motels, and my younger son works in a jewelry store. Not bad, for the children and grandchildren of a “schizophrenic!”

    Today I am the happiest and healthiest that I have ever been. I take no “psychotropic” drugs. I am married to my best friend, a U.S. Marine combat veteran of the war in Vietnam. Between the two of us old nuts, we put the FUN in dysfunction.

    I am very busy these days, writing a memoir. I begin my real life horror to healing story with the time that my former husband and I were on the Oprah Show, featured in one of her “Remembering Your Spirit” segments.

    Many doctors and therapists have told me over the years that I must have been badly misdiagnosed, because “schizophrenia is forever” and I am not the least bit schizophrenic. But, as much as I would like to believe that I never was psychotic, the truth is that I was, very much so, from the age of fourteen to sixteen. And then, I got over it.

    I have no doubt that at least part of why I got over the psychosis was because I secretly spit out my prescribed Thorazine every chance I got. Bad, non-compliant me. 🙂