Monday, January 18, 2021

Comments by Jane Engleman

Showing 38 of 38 comments.

  • The medical profession is seeing these and are squirming. They attempt to yank us out by the scruffs of our ACEs.

    All change is temporary. The jazz wanders from bass to electronic keyboard to drum to the poetry. But have we not all won before? Do we not see the meaning now of liberty if not the manifestation? As solo instruments, we can choose our timbres, raucous and grate, or syllabant and throb. The infinity, the beauty, is found in the jam. And I prefer days and days together in music festivals than a week in a trench.

    But music is self evident. Follow your own bliss.

  • Sam, I feel a softening in your voice, a submission. But I am not afraid of failure anymore. I am not afraid of fire. And I am not afraid of my own terror and anxiety.

    I see our human purpose as simply the mastery of competent compassion. If my capillaries bleed out, if my spleen ruptures, if I go into encephalitic coma, I know the effort of competent compassion will continue to spark and flow throughout the Body Mind through the sparks each neuron takes in, develops and sends. But I am not dead yet.

    And, thank God, I see you are still sparking and kicking. Live on, write on. We only win a war at a time. But the War we CAN win is our own arrogance and ignorance. And mercy rains.

  • Thank you for the link. People will be reading this. They can cut us, delete us, and gaslight us as long as our solo voices are squeaked in a cubicle with a psychiatrist fat with statistics, credentials and government funding.

    Never be in a room alone with a psychiatrist or psychologist you do not know. Buddy systems are mandatory for anyone out late in the dark.

  • I have just lost a friend, artist activist survivor, Heather Wilcox. After being pumped with psychotropics in lieu of safe housing, physical coaching and understanding, she went to a hospital in East Los Angeles for bloodtests for anemia. Her heart could not take the strain and she died of a heart attack. 53 years old. This is the fourth friend I have lost in community “mental health treatment.” If you are a fighter, help us fight, one enemy at a time. If you are a lover, help us fight, one enemy at a time.

  • Do you know of an advocacy group outside of religion that is doing this already? Or is there a religion that is doing this that is simply not networking with advocates?

    There are programs in Los Angeles that are doing wonders in social justice. These seem to be isolated pockets, without communication with trained professional System survivors.

    I am not personally most interested in prevention. Prevention is healthy parenting within small networks of communities which include universal food, clinics and an education not based on national propaganda. Others are working toward this.

    I think I am primarily a teacher (I hope I am not simply an academic theorist.) I want to have a specific focus on a specific group, which is those who have been so battered by social, economic and psychological trauma they are finding it difficult to function.

    So, first we must train survivors who have somehow bumpedly arrived at some place of stability, kindness and wisdom, who are attempting to build independent lives with a view to influencing hope in others. I think we must be REMOVED from our dysfunctional system for a short time and then returned to practice in the community, not just a “Peer Supporters,” but as business leaders, teachers, artists, farmers, parents and scientists.

    Some of these, however, could go on back to school for credentials in the mental health system. Some could start rural two-year retreats for trauma survivors who could be matriculated on to advocacy training. This may seem too fast; it took us 30-40 years to become independent. But if we can move from an advocacy arts training center into a system of networking and support in the community, we could sustain the hope, the cultural diversity and the furthering of wisdom. We really have to return to kindergarten those who have been thrown into the bloody arena with no kindergarten.

  • Wow, thank you both, Ian Parker and Ayurdhi Dhar, for such a lifeline! We must be connecting to people doing the labor of social justice, dishes, mops and computer literacy instruction.

    Is there an actual place yet, a short-term physical “asylum” for psychiatric survivors? I need to rest and cannot find the in-depth caring and solitude I think I need in order to move on and continue my work. I would like to find a place where I could discuss and research the experiences of peers, particularly in alternative cultures than white America.

  • Pretty pictures. Practically, if we could find funding for a small pilot Advocacy Arts School, do you know of a competent peer administrator or a business executive to run it? Are there compassionate coaches with lived experience (ACE’s, Adverse Clinical Experience) already trained in various educational and cultural backgrounds? Are you aware of a thinktank of grandmothers who might be willing to come teach or workshop? I feel far out of the loop, and running out of time.

  • Do not stop researching and writing. I am reading in a great deal of pain. I began “treatment” in 1980 for chronic depression and “mood swings” (emotional dysregelation possibly due to genetic emotional sensitivity but in conjunction with prolonged psychological and social violence). I threw myself into the European/American System in Los Angeles for help.

    Peer reviewed research is saving me. It is attended by an unwavering flood of education and personal experience of survivors of the initial trauma of oppression in addition to the overwhelm of “treatment resistant” results provided by the “education” of old boys.

    This is probably old hat to you; these articles are a beginning for me. But I seem to be dying young now. I intend to live another forty years, but the medical establishment is saying not; the damage is done. They are saying I did it. Own it. I am not.

    Please write on. I began worship of professors and doctors before the decade when CBT, statistics and studies had the funding to become ineffective in their little boxes, and irrelevant. They have not destroyed my life, but have caused a suffering that was never necessary in its completeness. This eugenic education has caused the suicides of George Foster, Catherine Foster, Frank Foster, Opal Antonito, Ernie Curly, Devin Lange and Stewart Lupton.

    They are keeping the people I “grew up” with in a CMHC without families, independent income or positive career choices. I struggle to even believe in God anymore. But I do. Have met Them. They are diligent, and kind, like you. Don’t ever stop.

  • I finally got a chance to print this article and read it through. It has brought me close to mania, not the wild North Atlantic hurricane on a floating plank (where thou shalt surely die, in nonsensical chaos of dismemberment in the society of psychological battering), but the Colorado River in a pontoon before the dam, dam, dam, dam, dam ( which is the intensity that incentivized me to want to begin the study of the Canyon in the first place).

    I am stunned by my disconnection and ignorance. Are there other Americans, some even white, some even descended from Germans, who are alive, who think like me, who have been diagnosed as “to be managed, drugged or allowed to simply decompose?”

    I am allowing myself to write the wild in the way I like to write. Somebody’s always saying I write purple. I am always having to dumb and muffle the violet or the blues. But it is the way I feel it. I think you have written the way it is. Thank you, Jesus, or whatever your Name is.

    Thank you for this forum, Mr. Whitaker. Thank you, Ms. Spencer. And thank you for this brilliant writing, Mr. Coates or The Writer. I wish I could express all the horizons I see through the holes in the white bones. I am again beginning to begin again. I am about to write another paragraph or a silly jingle this afternoon.

  • That’s it. There it is. The futile label, which can be so helpful as a conversation begun and a mute for actual meaning.

    I have had such immense difficulty talking about the experience of ‘realms of emotion’ labeled for me as “bipolar.” How stupid. How ignorant. How lame. The label is like going down to the beach with a bucket for water. If the water is over 70 degrees it is warm. If it is below that it is cold. Now we have decided we like our water to be 70 degrees. If the ocean from sea to shining sea is 70 degrees, we are healthy. Functioning. We know the ocean. We took its temperature. We like our middle sea. And we are now undertaking to address the problem in Washington D. C. We know everything that is necessary to know about he movement of waters on the planet. Here is the evidence-based proof. It’s in the bucket.

  • Man, Someone Else! This is brilliant! If I had more than fifteen minutes of war in me in the morning, I’d be out in a march on these lines. I see myself more as a roller of bandages with a big pot of chicken posole’. If you can fight, FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT.

    If you can hold an android in your lap, stroke it gently. If you can keep the kids back in the yard, out of the roll of the bullets, do that. If you can paint heiroglyphics in the underpass, do that. And if you can dance as an extended family out in the droning, be the dancers. We might not survive the excitement, but it’s a little joy in the hard, hard oppression of love-deprived generals.

  • I wish, outside of this funky foggy, I would be sued by the big guys, or shot as so many broken people have been in L.A. Just to have my little say.

    I get up in the morning amd they haven’t come after me yet, to force a confrontation. I wake up, HUH, and I’m still alive and unbothered. So I get my coffee and I have my little say.

  • We’ve seen this collective dignified crazy overturned in many countries over the centuries… Why are the little tyrants so filled with terror? Problem is, we’ve seen strange flips: the Indians become the British/American, the Israelis become the Nazis, the Tutsis become the French, the slaves become Masters, and women become men.

    In art and poetry, we might study the ritual of the Tibetan and Navajo sandpaintings. We come into these prepared performances for healing in myth, design and color. But then they are carefully swept up to be discarded in a sacred place. Have they been destroyed forever?

    Everytime a Navajo Medicine Man brings the Beauty Way to his people, the world is re-created. The mandala might be a reminder we can have no other Gods than the God who loves us Everyday. Every time a woman has a baby, life is re-created. We are temporary, given the awesome experience of bottomless peace in the spark of our being together for a bit.

    Art and liturgy implode us into daily performance as revolution and war never will. We’ve got to keep fighting like crazy to be the cooks of Renaissance. One forgotten project, one burned tuna picnic, one smile at a time.

  • I have seen people screaming in a “hospital” given a lawn chair, a counselor and a cup of tea if they were connected, and other people (same age and education) screaming and strapped down, drugged and hauled out the back in a gurney if they didn’t have a Family.

    Really, in or out of it, the only hope we have as indigents and people with brands of skin or history is in the slowly developed professionalism of peer advocacy. And I’m telling you, sometimes rebuilding a Self to become a warrior out of a stomped-on tulip takes time and a lot of InLightning.

  • Actually, I typing with all ten fingers again! I’m really not sure if my health improved; I was wiggly with sick terror of getting out of bed and getting out to my groups and work, buying into the look in the eyes of the ignorant, that I might be dying because of my own stupidity, trips and stubbornness. I had a terror of stroke or psychosis. But I have come to sit in a chat in a beautiful Community.

    Stubborness is a funky tool, given us by prolonged terror. We hang on to survival in freezing waters. Later when they try to pry our bony fingers off the gunwales, they seem frozen solid. We really have to learn to let go. It is the stubborness that saved us, until help came.

    I’m thinking my help has arrived, in shamans and therapists, horses and the colors in vegetables and brown rice. Anyway, I might die today. But then, anybody might, too. I’m dizzy all the time with a weary cough, but I am still writing, going to my groups and dancing my brains out. I can’t begin to describe the ecstacy of life in the terror of the rollercoaster on high steel.

  • I really have no idea if the system has changed. We were always terrified that they were “coming after us” to cut us off from MediCal or SSDI if we made too much in a single month. Some friends had their funds cut within a month so they suddenly couldn’t pay the rent. I hope it is improving.

    I haven’t been bothered lately by fear; I know I can survive, with friends, on the street. I’m not so fearful of discomfort or oppression. Maybe the County government works now, or maybe I just don’t care enough to worry. If your community will not help you, help yourself to the community.

  • It is endlessly curious to me that I can still write, clause after clause. Writing is no problem. I think I am on a track developed for survival in second grade; part of my brain holds a space to write.

    Everything else is a muddle. I can’t cope the tech; I panic and collapse every time I have to see a doctor; I see those doors sliding behind me and I can’t breathe. So it is not only the problem of the current clinic; there might be competence somewhere. I only hope I can continue to wax Buddhist, accept the love of Jesus in my life, come into the awareness of the Infinity of Allah and the Creativity of White Shell Woman, in time to be open again to a human healer, so that I can get these last projects done.

  • Bet you have a story of your own. It doesn’t look like we are going to replant with a tidal wave of these stories, but a constant system of steady irrigation on the local level. Our hope, I hope, is to be clear and connected, to be part of the flow from Source to gardening to market. And that is not just writing and art. Our story is whoever we are, the products and projects we finish, because we are compelled to by the curiosity or the fires in our lives. Do the work and take days off to dance with the planet.

  • I can’t do “education.” Don’t know anything about Law or if it exists in the wild wild west. So I am looking to the “fringe.” I am a goose that lays eggs, looking for a farmer and a marketplace. For myself, this means both handmade textual art (books, boxes and 3D hangings), graphic design in publishing, and dramatic group performance. I figure if I connect to enough advocates, I’ll find some art professionals. What is your busy store?

  • Just reading this for the first time. Thank you. Thank YOU. I hope we have not sustained enough damage to our body minds not to inundate desiccated gardens with the fertile shit of new poetics. New shit here. New fresh manure over there. No one person has the organic shit to cover the endless plains. Disemminate the sustenance. The abundance. By tractor, video or sermon.

  • Who are the “talented folks.” Where is “around here?” I have a friend in Washington State with whom I would like to work on a project, an experimental play written and performed by advocates. We are calling the pregnancy “The Lemongrass Tea Project.” I am very sick, but find I can get up several times a week to get to rooms to talk, talk, talk, and I can still write, write, blog, cough, fart, write, type. If you know advocates with the skill to stay focused, and some craftpersonship, have them get in touch. I have been isolated in a County Cell called “community mental health.” Ha!

  • Thanks for the encouragement. I am going to read it all. I am seeking professional performance poets/writers to develop dramatic gatherings in the L.A. area. I have no connections and no credentials and no funding. I have a plan, a purpose, and a determination. I have also built an abiding belief in increments, syllables and iambs. I am learning to work with others. Do you have a website and a list of books or videos?