Monday, December 5, 2022

Comments by Lina Walti

Showing 3 of 3 comments.

  • Me too, Kate. I am so sorry about the horror that you have been through.

    I was in a comparable situation for some time a couple of years ago.

    I remember that at one point I tried out a support group that was not really helpful over all but where one person said something very interesting to me. When I described that I had tried out everything that I had found out as possibly helpful but that I hadn’t found support nowhere but I was harmed everytime when I didn’t ran away fast enough he suggested that I acknowledge my situation. He repeated word by word how I described my situation and thus it became okay, it became normal. I don’t know whether he knew such a situation from his own experience or why he could relate but after he had acknowledged it something in me shifted. I could accept that my situation was like that and would maybe stay like that for some time and that then things would change at some point because nothing stands still. Everything evolves by itself and a new opportunity comes up. Either because of your doing or maybe from somewhere else.

    I realised back then that in my country there was a collective belief that there was easily accesible help in whatever situation you were and that it was only necessary to admit to yourself that you needed help and ask for help and you would find valuable support.

    I think that the day after this conversation I realised that this collective belief was just not true. That it was an illusion that had to do with how people wanted to see the governmental (I live in Europe) social and medical support systems and not what they really were.

    I saw your comment a few days ago under Karin and Marnie’s Blog where you already wrote that you don’t know where to turn for support. I listed a couple of resources that I have found or still find helpful in a comparable situation that you maybe find interesting to try out. They are all either for free or you can apply for sholarships.

  • Hi Kate, hi Anna Magdalena

    My heart hurts when reading that you find yourself without support and have to find a way how to live on in the wake of the psychiatric violence and harm that you have endured. Please know that I will include you in my love and compassion prayers.

    I will pray that you may be held in compassion in your pain and that your pain may be eased. And that you may find the support from others and from inside of you to take one day after another until you feel again that you will make it because you realise again that there was never anything wrong with you. Not in the past, not now.

    I am healing myself by praying these for myself and I find that it very powerful.

    I can fully relate to the difficulties that you describe in finding adequate support in this situation. I cannot guarantee that you will find those helpful, nor that you can find immediate support but you might still want to try these resources:

    East Side Institute’s Creating Our Mental Health monthly online group:

    You might find help with your local re-evaluation counseling support group:
    (I imagine the quality of these groups varys wildly but I know of several people that have received invalubale support in such groups)

    The online courses at the peer-run Copeland Center and their training in Wellness Recovery Action Planning with their
    Seminar I:

    You might also think about trying a mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) course. It might not be sensible to disclose the fact that you were harmed by psychiatric treatment given that the facilitators are often believers of clinical psychology and psychotherapy. But the training itself is not a clinical approach but very much the opposite. For me this is the most important foundational practice that I do to help myself grieving.

  • You might want to read Bessel van der Kolks 40 years overview on the evidence about traumapsychotherapy in The Body Keeps the Score from 2015. The outcome is very clear and simple. Psychotherapy for people who have suffered violence and neglect in their childhood and struggle with chronic mental health problems are totally useless. However, there is some evidence, he writes, from a couple of interesting small scale studies, that individuals who do get better have two things in common. First thing, they take their recovery journey into their own hands. Secondly, they do something with a lot of yoga as their foundational healing practice. From my own experience I can agree that nothing brings stress levels down so effectively as yoga. And with some experience you might want to go on to mindfulness and loving kindness meditation practices. To process the pain, and rage, and loss of violence you need a very “cool” and compassionate mind and heart. Even the most “cool” and compassionate psychotherapist cannot give you this, you have to become this big, loving heart that is not blown away by hellish pain yourself.
    To say that victims of violence have stopped at a certain point in the development of their personalities what you do with referring to Erikson is nonsense and on top an insult. This is a 19th century style of sexist, classist, and racist thinking at its best when it suggested that women, the poor, people of colour, and the “mentally retarded” stood at the level of children in their development. You are answering your question about why there is so much hate and oppression against people who have experienced violence in staying invested in such theories yourself.
    This whole idea that stands at the foundation of your thinking about this topic that people who have experienced violence need someone else to fix or maybe you’d prefer to heal them is also deeply problematic and highly self-serving of the psy-professionals too.
    Healing begins there where you stop to belief that you are broken and defective as an effect of experiences of violence. It is really a tragedy that this bullshit could become such a “truth” in the clinical psychological, psychiatric, and mainstream thinking of the West.
    When I feel lost and hopeless about this deeply ingrained belief of our societies I remember Teresa, the couragous and loving reformer of Christianity from Spain from the 16th century who traveled her country incessantly in a carriage until she was 80 years old to teach the priests, the monks and the nuns to stop thinking of themselves as broken and defective sinners. That, she saw as a completely confused account of who human beings were in the eyes of god.