Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Comments by Anonymous17

Showing 15 of 15 comments.

  • Hi Steve,

    I cannot reply directly to your comment so I will just briefly reply here to my own but in principle I don’t think having a disability of any kind should promote these things. I think ableism and oppression does which can occur in movement spaces by well meaning people.

    Pointing this out does isn’t an endorsement of psychiatry’s corruption. This is going to be my final comment. Thanks.

  • “Multiple studies have indicated that the process of telling someone they have a “Brain disorder,” or telling someone else that “mental illness” results from brain malfunction, increases “stigma,”

    That may be so Steve, but in principle there is nothing wrong with having a “disorder” of any kind, period.

  • Yeah exactly. Don’t worry though. If you are already viewed as “MI” by people with bigoted beliefs it won’t matter too much if you are super positive and showing up to work. If I smile, I am showing teeth so it’s probably a sign of aggression. If I am kind to you it is probably because I am the “charming type of dangerous”. If you view me as educated or articulate it’s probably the whole “dangerous genius” thing. If I’m not as educated or I make mistakes, clearly it’s a sign that I am “not all there” and you should run away.

    Anyway that’s of course not to dismiss that people behaving in ways that are misunderstood, or “presenting as MI per the DSM” for instance have it FAR worse than me when it comes to people with bigoted beliefs. So often subjected to an over-policing, overblown fear/hate response, completely punitive responses, lacking in accommodations I consider reasonable, behaviors totally taken out of context. No forgiveness. No love. No understanding. But since I am viewed as dangerous I can just be discriminated against more covertly so they have plausible deniability on their side, OR overtly since I am just “bad”. Since I am viewed as disabled feel free to take my story from me. Steal it. Feel free to treat me like trash. It’s not bigotry because I deserve this. Okay rant over.

  • Hi Sam,

    Yes! It takes an enormous amount of courage to stand up for who you are when it feels like the entire world wants to tell you who you are or is against you. Talk about a power imbalance. I am glad that you are able to stay true to who you are and speak up for yourself. As far as I’m concerned, we are all victims of these prevailing beliefs and extracting yourself from those clutches is a feat to be proud of. I have to work at the deprogramming daily and I am still hurting big time. The most cathartic thing for me lately in recovering from psychiatric oppression and all these other harmful structures (white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism etc.) which we are all assaulted by daily is to basically do or think, somehow simulate the exact opposite whenever and wherever I can. For instance trust my feelings; not label the harmless as harmful; be gentle with myself when everyone and their mom wants to hate me, define me, or is afraid of me; be accountable when I legitimately screw up; limit consumption; educate myself; self care whenever possible, all the things. Have a great evening and thank you for your bravery!

  • Hi Sera,

    Thanks for taking the time to write back! I recognize too that part of my privilege is being able to recognize abuse in the first place and take steps to empower myself. Empathizing with my oppressors isn’t the same as condoning their behavior. I wouldn’t consider my approach a blueprint to deal with oppressive situations nor am I expecting marginalized people to forigive or even hold a shred of empathy for their oppressors. My situation is super nuanced and there are many ways it could be dealt with. This is my approach. I mean if I or anyone else were to scream and cry right there, get reactive, get angry or anything I still feel like the apology should really be coming from the oppressor, not so much the oppressed person who has been forced into an impossible situation. Also there is a very righteous anger you know? It again goes back to the power dynamics and overall harmful power structures in place which hurt everyone, but more so those who are marginalized. I also forgive myself for the times where I was not equipped to deal with the impossible as there have been times when I just couldn’t handle it. I am accountable when I’ve made mistakes of course, and I practice self forgiveness.

    I know my writing is a bit sloppy and rushed but I wanted to make sure I clarified that in my previous comment I am not referring to a conversation I had with an activist or anyone in the survivor community regarding my approach to this situation. I want to go into more detail but do not feel safe doing so publicly.

    Thanks again and have a great evening!

  • Thank you for the blog! So many great points made!

    I wanted to dovetail off this and talk about situations where people abusing you don’t apologize, yet the abused person is expected to apologize for things they don’t need to apologize for such as being in a marginalized position. Also, generally speaking there are many other things in life that people want to shame you over that you don’t have to apologize for. They may get a sense of power and control from guilting and shaming you, and if they feel embarrassed about their conduct, instead of owning their feelings of guilt and shame, through cognitive dissonance they instead continue their abusive behavior, using whatever justifications they can find. You can tell someone who you are until you are blue in the face, but if they want to mistreat you because it benefits them, whether that benefit is being able to hold on to their bigoted beliefs because it is entrenched in their identity or ego, deal with their insecurity, maintain power or status, not be associated with people they view as less than due to internalized oppression, tribalism etc., they will. When a person dehumanizes you in their own mind, there is no limit to what they feel entitled to do to you.

    Sometimes people just want to justify their bad behavior. If I have learned one thing in life, it is that the rug can be pulled out from me at anytime, and if my approach is “wrong”, instead of clinging to ego and identity, I will reinvent myself, including if I need to reinvent myself completely. I am not going to get trapped in sunken cost fallacies or anything like that. I have reinvented myself before as I have learned and grown and I am not going to be trapped by my old beliefs, behaviors or patterns. Period. I apply this to myself now, and view life as a continuous process of learning and growing.

    I am in a situation where I am being “mental health” shamed and the power differential between the individuals oppressing me and myself is HUGE. The situation itself gives them an unbelievable amount of power over me and I don’t think they even realize it. The people doing it feel justified in their behavior due to fear and hatred and are basically telling me I need to apologize for something that I have no control over (their perceived MH label) through their abuse. For the record, I have been nothing but kind to these people. Of course their behavior isn’t excusable in any context. It is blatant discrimination, but the behavior is instead minimized. I want to go into more detail, but I am scared of them, and so I am trying to protect myself and my anonymity.

    Since I can’t really escape this abusive situation at this time, I have some coping mechanisms that work for me. I try to rise above it. I treat them with love, kindness, and set healthy boundaries where possible. I feel empowered approaching the situation in this way. I am assertive when I can be and hope that maybe some day this could plant the seeds for them to look inside themselves and treat people better. My approach may not work for everyone but it works for me. No “right” or “wrong” there.

    An unfair criticism I have received is that I should “fight back” harder. This is victim blaming as I have little to no power here. Plus, this is how I personally “fight” back and it works for me. I have also been accused of being “passive”. I believe there is strength in treating people with love and kindness, and approaching situations with positivity and optimism. That is not the same as being passive. It is also a little bit sexist to assume that love, kindness, positivity and optimism are signs of weakness, and ableist to assume that people are “dumb” who find empowerment there. People associate these traits with “femininity” which is (wrongfully) associated with weakness. I am basically being told I should apologize for my approach.

    I have suffered a lot of adversity in my life, and I feel really empowered to spread as much love, kindness and compassion when I can-lessen the collective suffering, including that of my oppressors. I feel compassion for them despite all of this. Of course I am not “perfect” at it, but I work at it everyday for ME. I am proud of myself for conducting myself in this manner despite the adversity I have faced throughout my life and now. It’s not easy. It makes me feel strong. I am grateful that I am not behaving in a hateful way– the way they are to me. Hate is contagious but so is love. Again, this is my PERSONAL approach-not saying other approaches are “good, bad, right or wrong”.

    Thanks again for the blog!

  • My take as well. I personally really appreciate stuff like this and it inspired some ideas of my own that I just may give a try so thanks Melissa for letting me dove tail off of you and for listening! I also really appreciate the commenters and this website, including the different perspectives! I want to preserve my anonymity so this is going to be super vague but I am currently stuck in a bad situation with people who are mental health shaming (abusing) me. (Mental health shaming is ableist and includes shaming based on perceived mental heath labels) I cannot leave and it is nice to be able to visit a website where people “get it” even if I don’t engage directly very often. Thanks everyone! This will be my last comment for a bit. <3

  • Yeah I love what you are doing Melissa! Thanks again for your work spreading positivity! I’m getting other ideas! Not that I expect anyone to do them haha. Just wanted to share in case it resonated with anyone! What if MIA or similar organizations had volunteers that did something similar? Their web address could be at the bottom of the card too! If you felt like having a resources tab on your website would make sense you could totally do something like that as well!

  • That is really generous kind of you. Thank you for your work! I had this idea that just came to me. Has anyone ever done something similar and included a resource list with the card or gift they are giving like a link to this website, specific articles here or from other sources, link to the Inner Compass Initiative, Etc.? Something along those lines?

  • Thanks for sharing your thoughts everyone! Also thanks again to MIA staff and commenters for your great work!

    I am still concerned that there is a possibility consent wasn’t provided since (my understanding) is that we don’t know. Paparazzi in a lot of cases are essentially “legally stalking” celebrities. I also see parallels (not equivalencies but parallels) to what happened with Erin Andrews, Monica Lewinsky, Cindy Crawford, and many other celebrities.

    With Erin Andrews even though a woman or any human being should NEVER be shamed for nudity, someone still victimized her by taping her against her will.

    With Cindy Crawford, someone photoshopped a picture of her, making her body appear slightly larger than it was and distributed it. Even though body shaming is atrocious, she did not consent to her body being photoshopped and having the pictures distributed in the first place.

    Also see Monica Lewisky’s TED talk:
    https://youtu.be/H_8y0WLm78U

    There are countless examples of people cyber stalking celebrities through hacking their phones and distributing their private nude photos. Again, even though there is nothing wrong with nudity, what is happening to them is still violence.

    Another general example is intoxication through alcohol or drugs which cause a person to be unable to provide consent and they could be photographed in that state.

    In the above examples, I don’t think those photos should be used in any context, including having good intentions, since consent was not provided.

    My opinion about paparazzi, is that there is a huge issue with consent in the first place. How would MIA staff and commenters feel about implementing some sort of policy where photos taken by paparazzi just aren’t used, or something to the affect? Out of respect for any human being, I feel like using photographs they may have posted on Instagram, public events they attended, etc. would be the most respectful thing to do. I mean I know perfection is impossible but it is a really good start in my opinion. If you do not know yet if someone consented, I think it is best to err on the side of caution you know?

    I know my writing is kind of sloppy and has redundancies. I am sure there are some typos here too. I am really busy and writing in a more conversational style, not deeply deconstructing larger societal structures etc. I hope what I am saying speaks for itself though! Thanks again for considering! This will be my last comment for now.

  • Thank you for writing this article! This was really well written! Your work is really inspiring and I am grateful to you and MIA.

    Some of the photographs on the article were taken by paparazzi who were victimizing, harassing and exploiting Britney. They were attempting to profit off of her and advance their careers by distributing these photos so tabloids and supposed reputable media outlets could essentially do the same, creating and selling content through hatred, fear mongering and ignorance. While I would never want to speak for anyone, I highly doubt she consented to these photos being taken. I don’t care if she was out in public and a celebrity. It is abuse and exploitation. It is violence.

    Even though I feel the bigger issue here is ignorance and fear so she should not be shamed for these photos in the first place, how would the MIA staff and commenters about using different photos where Britney provided consent? Imagine having this violence happen to you, and the photographs taken by your abusers posted everywhere without you having any say in the matter. What if Britney stumbles upon one of Robert Whitaker’s books one day and this website? If I am missing something, pardon my ignorance. Thanks for considering!

    -Anonymous17