Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Comments by Chaya Grossberg

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  • Makes sense that a service dog trained to do a specific task for a blind or otherwise physically disabled/differently abled person would need those skills.
    These are a very small percentage of the animals that have service dog status now though. I’ve never encountered a problem with a service dog trained to do a specific task- in fact I’ve rarely ever seen them.
    It’s the mental health dogs that aren’t in most cases trained to do a specific tasks that have caused me and others allergies and other problems for the most part. I’m sure there are exceptions, but most mental health service dogs aren’t hypoallergenic, and it’s not because they need to hold credit cards as far as I can tell.
    Thanks for your comments Julie.

  • Yeah, I think fear of dogs is pretty natural unless/until unlearned if you think of how most people would feel upon approaching a wild dog/wolf.

    My aunt had a poodle and I think I was okay with being at her house when I was a kid. She also kept it spic and span!

    What breed is your dog Julie?

    I once heard service dogs have to be hypoallergenic, but like most laws surrounding service dogs and pets, it’s rarely, if ever, enforced. It seems only fair to have laws requiring breathable air for allergy sufferers if there are laws making it legal to have a service animal for a mental health diagnosis.

    I’ll keep dreaming air filters are a legal requirement in all public places that allow service animals.

  • Thanks Prettypurplepill! That would be a good idea, to ask to be seen on a different day, though it can often be hard to get an appointment with that much flexibility unless it were well in advance.

    One medical office I went to regularly last year had a therapy dog off leash in the waiting area! But it was still the best option I could find because I had a practitioner I liked a lot (which is of course often hard to acquire) and the therapy room itself was clean and free of dogs.

    In fact my practitioner was as allergic to dogs as I am! And so is my naturopath. I heard her recently tell someone with a service dog she was allergic. Luckily that person put the dog in their car and it seemed to be a non issue.

    Do you know if any airborne allergens trigger your asthma reactions? I think like most things in the medical
    model, asthma is framed as an isolated condition that is unrelated to anything else in the body or environment, but usually there is something in the environment that triggers it, or it can be brought on by emotions or trauma, like in your case.

    I read somewhere that most people with extreme allergies are childhood trauma survivors.

    It may be intergenerational trauma too. In my case it’s at least a good part genetic, and I was allergic to dogs from a very young age before any majorly traumatic events had happened in my life. The first few years of my life were actually relatively trauma free. But my father has the same type of allergic asthma as I do, so I’ve always known I inherited it from him.

    Though my brother didn’t get it and I always wondered if it was partially because he was allergic to antibiotics and I was given tons of those at a young age, which can contribute to immunity and allergy problems.

  • Old head, you are right that the democrats aren’t exactly better on this issue, and they certainly haven’t helped keep people free from psychiatric harm in the least. The implication of this article is that the democratic regime has had us sleep walking, but in crisis nonetheless. I do think Trumps leadership will be different, and different from other Republicans as well. He was a democrat himself at one time, but never a politician.
    The main point is that he brings an air of complete unpredictability and erratic decisions, so we have no idea what will happen, except that things will not stay the same.

  • Hmmm that wasn’t my experience. I was only able to be convinced of any of those things when I was drugged.
    You are right that it’s a much bigger issue, but the drugs are the currency, the drugs are what they’re selling, the drugs are causing a huge amount of harm that cannot be overstated.
    Our bodies deserve safety and respect, not just our minds as patriarchy would try to tell us.

  • Another thing about withdrawal symptoms is that if someone has been on drugs for awhile, organ damage has been done, and there will be more physical symptoms, fatigue, anxiety, blood sugar problems, etc that go along with adrenal fatigue and liver damage etc. Also, the person has aged, which can bring further health challenges that most of us normally experience as we get older with accumulation of stress, wear and tear on our beings and toxins. So there are many reasons why withdrawal symptoms can be intense and why it can be hard to discern what is withdrawal and what is a normal body process that may have not been experienced before for other reasons.
    But more often I think people don’t know about withdrawal at all, and that can be dangerous because then they may go back on the drug out of fear these symptoms are a result of going off the drug.
    So I would say it’s best to assume most problems experienced in withdrawal are somewhat withdrawal related and are likely to subside or improve dramatically over time if someone can stay off of drugs, eat well, rest and recover.

  • Thanks Julie, excellent points. Yeah, it’s tricky with cold turkey because there are those few instances where it works for some own and can be a big blessing….im glad that happened for you! And then so many cases where people are thrown into cold turkey with no idea about withdrawal and end up in very severe suffering. Both happened to me personally and in one case I got through it, while in the other I ended up being hospitalized again and put on many more drugs.
    There is no one size fits all formula for withdrawal obviously, but I am glad you also see this opportunity to raise awareness about how necessary withdrawal and un-diagnosis are.
    Going back to prettypurplepill’s comments above, un diagnosing oneself is an important tool for avoiding harm and medicalization. If we can talk about our experiences in normal human being language, others are less likely to pathologize us as well.

  • Nomadic: where did you find anything about therapy, recovery or healing in this article? Where do you see suggestions to see therapists or life coaches? Quotes please.

    “it would be wise to prepare by relearning basic things like how to have conversations, how to listen (a practice that is clearly declining; why listen to the person in front of me when I could be texting someone else?), how to make friends and meet new people, including and especially those very different from ourselves. There is an emphasis on learning/relearning to do these things in organic ways, outside of contractual relationships.”

  • PrettyPurplePill: That’s absolutely true. Thank you for saying this. I completely agree, we need guidebooks on how to discern if people are trustworthy in this sense. Maybe I will write one.
    It took me over a decade to find a therapist I trusted after being forced drugged and in the system. I always interviewed therapists and asked if they believed in diagnoses and drugs and no matter how great they seemed, I didn’t go to any who did.
    You are so right about trust issues, and I can personally relate as that was the justified paranoia that made me “mad” to begin with.
    Now I tend to be able to find more easily people who get it about the system, and have many many psychiatric survivors who understand in my circles, but that doesn’t mean I can always find someone who is available or willing/able to be supportive.
    Thanks for your comments.

  • That’s great Victoria. Thanks for reading and commenting. My .02 is that it is important to be as honest as we can with ourselves and then choose our battles as to who else is worth investing in the truth with. I don’t believe we owe it to medical professionals to share our truth with them unless we want to, because it can be draining and distract us from taking care of ourselves if we feel we are responsible for telling everyone everything we have learned. But it is a personal choice.

    In your journey to stop drugs, I would offer that it’s okay to put yourself first and find practitioners who will support you, if at all possible. Trying to convince doctors to take you seriously or respect you when they don’t naturally do so can be a very frustrating process.
    Wishing you the best!

  • Thank you Knowledgeispower! Interesting you say, “therapy is supposed to be a place for personal growth and development”. Makes me think of how in general people go to therapy out of a desperation of some kind…like you say, in times of a big life change. But many people have been going through constant big life changes for pretty much ever, which often results in overwhelm. So, while the result may be growth and development, I think the initial motivation is usually overwhelm.
    I think it’s great when therapists are transparent, especially because more and more people know how the system works so clients are assessing the therapist’s ability to be honest and aware, both with us, and themselves. At least that is my hope. I realize many still go into therapy without this awareness.

    The dilemma and necessary evil mentality you describe is only true of some therapists. Many actually believe in diagnoses and drugs, in fact I would say the majority do, since that is how they are trained. They would need to actively go against their schooling and industry to see it as a necessary evil. I’m glad there are those out there who do, though, and it sounds like you are one of them.


  • Thank you so much Sera for raising this very important topic that affects me and I imagine all of the women in this movement and elsewhere every day of our lives.

    I must confess, these issues are a large part of why I have stepped away from the movement to some degree for a little while, to regroup and make sense of my voice and offerings without having them alongside a male’s.

    I am that hyper sensitive, too emotionally reactive, thin skinned woman the ‘rock star’ men may have warned you all about. In fact I wrote a blog once about gender issues in this movement but got so much immediate backlash and personal attack that I had to take it down because I didn’t have a lot of support or resources in my life to help me deal with the triggers.

    Though, some of the biggest triggers for me are the most “subtle” such as being ignored or excluded.

    I grew up with a split family and one half of it was me and two males, so I got used to feeling invisible, being left behind and feeling like an outsider, or simply not connecting with or caring about whatever they were talking about like car brands and sports teams. And not even considering that they might ever care about or listen to what was on my mind. That was always ignored, so I wrote in my “diary” instead.

    In this movement I’ve been silenced and critiqued by men who later admitted to me their egos were getting triggered or they were feeling self conscious or self critical when they lashed out at me.

    I recognize men have a lot of wounding too, but Sera says it very well in this blog, as do many of the other commenters, it isn’t the same and there are specific types of oppression and silencing women are often so used to, we don’t even bother to speak up about.
    Thank you so much Sera, for putting this blog out there.

  • Thanks Daniel. I found this article entertaining and enlightening as well. To me it points to the fact that if anyone were good enough to be a good therapist they would probably be too good to the point of me idealizing them and thereby eliminating the benefits. Honestly, I don’t really trust therapy and haven’t been able to go in many years, despite occasionally trying to convince myself I “should.” It seems finding friends with therapeutic qualities is easier, freer (not just financially, but in the sense that there is no false paradigm or fake roles being played out, or if there are, they are acknowledged as such) and more honest.
    I’m a bit too scared to trust a therapist as re-parenting influence, despite having heard of friends who have supposedly had that experience and benefited from it. Of course, it would be great to be re-parented sometimes, yet I guess I would never be able to let go enough into the “game” to allow it. Hmmm….brings up vulnerable feelings to even think about that…yet something in me just doesn’t believe in therapy for myself I guess, when I’m honest with myself. Bummer. I wish I could.

  • Very true, Ted, and good point. Though I do know some otherwise intelligent and kind people that seem to think it’s good to give kids psych drugs if it improves their performance in school, hence raising their self esteem or something. And gosh, if so few people were for it, it doesn’t seem like we could possibly have the numbers of kids on them that we do. It is pretty cool to have a unanimous comment section on HuffPo, and not only that, they are almost all clearly anti-psychiatry as a whole. None of them mention a single thing about the possibility of psych drugs as “preventative treatment for developing mental disorders later on” or even any party lines like, “meds can be good for some people but they are over prescribed.” Nope, not one single BS line in the entire comment section. This is a victory!

  • Thanks Jim! One thing that’s encouraging is that all of the comments (at least so far) are supportive. In the comments section, people also share stories of their own experiences of psychiatric torture as children. The commenters are not only agreeing with the article but criticizing the entire psychiatric system. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an enlightened string of comments about psychiatry anywhere, even here on MIA where we sometimes feel we are preaching to the choir.

  • Hi Daniel,
    I started to be able to read again while I was in the process of withdrawal, towards the end. Writing was a gradual process. I was able to write towards the end of my withdrawal, but my writing didn’t return to being clear and well received until about half a year later, or more. It was a gradual process of being able to think clearly again. Though there were a few odd times while on psych drugs that I wrote things that were coming to me from beyond and were poetic and clear. But I wasn’t able to write good essays or anything until after I was completely off for at least a few months.
    I went back to college while I was still in my withdrawal process and it was the first time in my life my writing was received poorly by my teachers, in that they seemed to think I was intrinsically a bad writer, or just didn’t get how to write.
    Feeling emotion…well that too was a gradual and complicated one, so it’s hard to say. I gradually felt more emotion with each withdrawal in a way that can’t be quantified.
    Being able to relate with others as a relatively “normal” human being…another very tricky one because I emerged from psych drugs and immediately got involved in activism, so I was accepted by that community right away and felt normal there, so that eased me back in, but I think it took me at least several years to feel “normal” around other people, especially since I was so young and my adult identity hadn’t been formed yet.
    I think age and how long you were on the drugs are important factors, as well as how much peer support you have, peers meaning people who have been through withdrawal and get it.
    Good luck with grad school!!!

  • Thanks Rossa.

    What do you mean by “I suspect that there was something else going on with you–a realization, a determination perhaps, that you no longer subscribed to the old you.”? I very much subscribed to the old pre-drugged passionate young me. Sure, there were things I did that were quite immature and that I wouldn’t do again, but I needed to go through them to learn from life. It would have been nicer to have more support that wasn’t pathologizing though. Most of my paranoia and fear came from living in a society that isn’t safe to go through a spiritual emergence in.
    Or did you mean the old me was the drugged me?
    In any case, I regained these abilities without all that much determination-they all naturally came back to me.
    It’s a lot more complex, as you say, since my life was never “normal,” before or after drugging… nor did I really want it to be, haha.

    I also agree that as a young adult, there were ways in which maturing helped me to move beyond certain experiences. Getting off psych drugs isn’t the only thing anyone ever needs to do to have the life they want. But I do validate those who feel it is an important step.

    Going off psych drugs won’t solve all of life’s ills. I still have plenty of problems in my life- actually more in a way. Lying in bed all day didn’t give me much opportunity to have problems other than my own health and lethargy.

    There are all kinds of struggles in my life all the time, which in fact I’m grateful for to some degree. Being drugged out of my mind to eliminate those problems didn’t really work, unless you consider inactivity to be a life goal.

    It sounds like your relative is having a different experience. My story isn’t everyone’s story. I wish your relative the best in health, knowledge and true freedom, however that looks for them.

  • Thanks eng! Yes, it is like being reborn. Actually, in the context of spiritual emergence, I truly had a death experience while on 7 pharmaceuticals (most psych drugs). Being reborn happened so slowly and gradually as I withdrew, recovered from them and recovered from the extreme harm they did to my body and spirit. But that death experience happened for a reason and somehow seemed fated in my life, like something I needed to go through, both to understand the harm done by psych drugs and to understand death more intimately.

  • Wow, what a story wileywitch. It’s true these drugs affect how we are in relationships and awful that the apathy you experienced on Lithium caused you to be harmed that way.
    Yeah, I’m not sure I believe in “mood problems” either. Feelings, moods, they are normal parts of life, even “extreme” ones. There’s extreme stuff going on and we are human so we respond to it with strong feelings. Totally valid, and not diagnosis worthy.
    Glad you got out.

  • Great article Ted! Excellent point about the ease of creating news in small towns. It was pretty easy in Northampton, MA even when we did very small protests with about a dozen people. I’m pretty maxed out at the moment but would like to help you in any way possible once things calm down. Do you have a location yet for San Francisco? At the very least I could spread the word and we could put out an email to the folks who were at Leonard’s memorial as quite a few of them are shock survivors.

  • Haha…interesting line of thought Someone Else. I especially like the last part:

    What kind of sick society believes a book of stigmatizations is a β€œbible’?

    No offense, but it is possible that if there is a God, that He was angry with a nation that inadvertently elected a president whose family had financed WWII, and seemingly has adopted a book of stigmatizations as a β€œbible,” while hypocritically claiming they are still a Christian nation.

  • One other thought Alex… I do believe one way to do what you are suggesting (diversifying professionalism…if I understand correctly) is exactly what I am talking about in this article. I’m not sure if that came across, but it was my intention. Plus I think “craziness” always exists to liberate something…and to liberate, I believe is the highest form of service. I would like to see society value most highly what is in fact most valuable. This would give me a profound sense of “sanity” or living in a real world. I think that might be why it feels so healing to me to witness financial transactions that put high monetary value on liberation/healing arts. It is a visible/tangible expression of a truth.

  • That’s awesome Alex. It sounds like the gift economy works really well for you. I can relate with the sense that the Universe is taking care of me…I guess though, recently one of the ways the universe took care of me was by telling me to charge more for my offerings. I kept getting nudges in that direction. That’s great if your path is different…I have no attachment to there being one way of doing things and I think both can be sacred. I only want to encourage those who never considered charging for their gifts to realize they can be valued in the “mainstream” economy.
    I’m recently learning a lot more about how financial transactions, with money, can be sacred. For example, imagine a wealthy white male CEO paying a low income single mother of 5 kids $1000 to teach him how to make a good meal or grow vegetables in his yard. That was a fantasy I had this morning of how money can be a vehicle for a sacred exchange.
    As for “crazy weirdo living on the fringes,” it’s in quotes for a reason. Not to stigmatize anyone living outside the mainstream economy, but actually to de-stigmatize being different. And one way to de-stigmatize being unique, is to remove its association with poverty. I’m sorry if that cam across as stigmatizing to you. I certainly didn’t mean it that way. I believe we should be able to continue to be as “crazy” and weird as we are while still valuing what we offer, so I’m not suggesting anyone has to conform in order to make a living, in fact quite the opposite. And for those who have no interest in money at all, that’s fine too.
    I do believe that at this particular stage of evolution, money can help our movement to move from fringe to front and center in the public eye…and that is my main goal because so many more people need our message and I don’t want anything to hold our truth back.
    I really appreciate your thoughts about a while new way of doing business and healing. I do agree we need to re-create business in ways that work, and those are quite individual to each person. I honor you for creating your own unique ways.

  • Thanks for your reflections Monica, and thanks for reading. I do believe that most of what I offer will always be “free” as well. It’s interesting to use the word free, as most of what I freely offer, I actually offer *to* free- to free ideas and parts of myself and others, and it doesn’t feel like an option, but a requirement in order to stay here in this world. My body and mind will completely revolt against me if I don’t give what I have.
    Money is only a possible vehicle for freedom, and will never be freedom itself. But I think what you mean by “free” is “at no cost,” which I understand. I still offer most of my work at no cost too and spend many many hours per week working on things to share with the world simply because I must, and I do so without thoughts of money or compensation or even personal acknowledgement.
    I definitely hear you about being supported in unexpected ways as I have experienced that too! I’ve been “paid” in all kinds of ways including free vacations, housing, travel, publicity, food, and most importantly faith and peace of mind of knowing I am on a path and the Universe is holding me and guiding me.

    Who cares if some people call that woo? πŸ™‚

    I agree with you that having a home makes a big difference. In the past five + years of financial struggle (until recently when I have been stepping out of that), the very worst part has been not having a stable home. There are so many ways that impacts my emotions as a sensitive person ranging from not having privacy, having unreasonable demands made on me, having to smell cigarettes/pot/perfume/cologne all the time, constant anxiety of not knowing what to expect day to day…I could list the stresses of not being a homeowner forever. Even having a huge amount of faith that I was on a path and the universe was holding me didn’t resolve any of those problems enough. Having money does make a big difference in at least knowing you have some options.
    I hear you, though, that even with a home there are many other expenses.

    I love Charles Eisenstein’s work and Sacred Economics was like a bible to me a couple of years ago. What I didn’t take into account entirely, though, was that it was coming from a well off, Ivy League educated, upper middle class, married white male home owner. For his soul, surely he needed to offer some things at no cost. That isn’t to discount its profound wisdom and transcendent value, which can’t be spoken of highly enough…yet I think what Charles needed in order to support his soul was somewhat the opposite of what I have needed. And as you say, we each have a unique path, so only you can know what you need.

    Reading the article I linked to above by Mirror Living helped me to put these things into perspective and not feel as though I was “not living in a sacred economy” just because I was charging a reasonable amount for my time (while still working most of my time to serve others without charging at all). Curious what your take was on that article if you had a chance to read it?

    I’ve noticed a sacred economy has unfolded in my business as well, especially since I have been charging an amount I can actually live on. The clients that have come to me have been so appreciative and I have been able to give them so much. I have felt a profound sense of soul connection and “soul contract” with them that doesn’t feel all that different from the “gift economy” to be honest. I go into almost complete timeless, faith and trust when working with people, and charging an amount I can live on has allowed me to do that.

    I wrote this article to reach out to others who might happen to have a similar path as mine, where income in the form of money can help to balance us and give us what we need while we give others what they need.

    I will be curious to hear more about your unfolding journey with money and/or the alternative economies.

    Also curious, Monica, what you think of this little bloglet I wrote:

  • Yes…another factor I’ve been thinking about is how we are all psychologically affected when a large portion of our friends and colleagues are on psych drugs. It drastically influences the quality of our relationships and our ability to trust and understand one another, when so many are taking a daily drug which no one, not even the doctor who prescribes it, understands.
    These things may be “subtle” compared to, say, a drunk driver running someone over, but they don’t feel subtle to those of us who are awake, alive and sensitive in our interactions. Having a lot of numbed people around us is painful for all of us, whether we are the one being numbed and distorted or not.

  • Yes, B, I suppose you are right that the ads do in fact work for some people. All the more reason a big part of this issue is for people to learn to think for themselves. Though I do think it is trauma and injustice that cause people to lose their capacity for discernment and want someone else to tell them what to do, be it a doctor or a TV commercial. Either way, it’s a method of zoning out and numbing out with the blind faith that someone else knows best. Of course it is comforting for us as humans to sometimes rely on others to help us…but a healthy individual usually can sense when this “help” is genuine or based on propaganda. Being dumbed down is a sad way to avoid pain, yet the one many are using. I wonder if it is that people actually believe the commercials, or if they are so tired and worn down that they give in in apathy to “going along” with the thing right in front of them.
    Anyways, thanks for bringing up the point that many people do buy into TV ads…it can be hard for me to wrap my mind around that, but when I do it makes me very sad.

  • Cataract, yes, I have certainly seen a huge difference in quality of groups/organizations that take pharma money versus not. Even those that don’t take pharma money have a hard time staying authentic and not reverting to medical model jargon, but for those that do, it’s nearly impossible.

  • I think what would be even more key than halting direct to consumer advertising would be indirect advertising. The primary way Pharma advertises is through control of media, and “grassroots” or “advocacy” groups which they fund.
    The ads themselves read like anti-ads, with more space and time on side effects than anything else, and the tag lines are so stupid and obviously manipulative that I would be embarrassed if I did believe in the mental illness model.
    Still, having those highly expensive ads creates a disincentive for publications/shows to have any information critical to Pharma in them.
    So, yes, the ads are very problematic, despite being a good way to use some of Pharma money to educate the public on why they SHOULDN’T take psych drugs.

  • Yes meremortal. It seems so complex to be a parent and navigate the mental health system, or health system at all. I wish we lived in a world that wasn’t so controlled by lies. It’s ever important for parents and everyone to think for themselves and do their own research. It is never wise to assume just because a doctor says something, it is true; most doctors, in fact have been trained out of their common sense.
    We must all reclaim our minds and develop our own abilities to discern what is true as we’ve been failed millions too many times expecting any system to do that for us.

  • Wow, very well said David. Some beautiful statements you make here, that show me you read very deeply into the article and got my message in a profound way–always satisfying!! It’s true, society seems to have these fears of our own condition, of speaking honestly about it and it’s a relief some of us here on this site and elsewhere can come together to discuss that as human beings.

  • Exactly Steve, the key word is INFORMED. Yet, since society is misinformed, where are we left in terms of choice? Choices are being made primarily out of fear and inaccurate information, thus not really choices and creating further isolation. Thanks for your input, totally agreed. πŸ™‚

  • You are absolutely right Andrew. Though, perhaps the title of this article might (unintentionally) imply that I would be discussing choice vs force/coercion, in fact I was aiming to discuss choice of the ego versus a higher choice. When society is manipulated through lies disguised as science and medicine intended to make them scared, the choices end up being largely ego choices, choices that come from a sense of isolation and disconnection. An informed choice, as you say, would take the bigger picture into account, and as you say would be based on accurate non-biased facts.
    With this information, individuals would have a much greater shot ar making a choice that would take other people into account as well, since none of us are living in a vacuum where we can make choices that affect us alone. The pro-force advocates might use the same argument in favor of forced “treatment”, but since their information has been manipulated, they are coming up with a choice that is harmful and puts society in great danger across the board, on a large scale, which is what we have now.
    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • Very well said Duane! There are so many ways in which the “personal decision: to take psych drugs affects all of us; as you mention, they are in our drinking water and we have to pay for their harm via taxes and insurance costs. Thanks for bringing up these additional points! We need more blogs on these topics, as of course the decisions of individuals to take psych drugs affect all of us and harm us all when taken as a way of life.
    More so, the decision to prescribe these drugs so widely and call them medicine is harming us all, and doctors and drug companies need to take responsibility for the harm they are doing not only to the individuals they prescribe for, but all of us, including themselves.

  • Thanks Ted. Yes, telling people what you think is right for them personally can be condescending, especially if they haven’t asked, but I think by admitting that we have some self interest in hoping for others to be free from psychiatry is important. Because none of us are free from psychiatry until all are free.

  • Thank you so much everyone for sharing these beautiful testimonials of Leonard. What a powerful person we have lost. I spent most of the day on Saturday crying in bed at the loss of such an amazing person. Reading these accounts makes me tear up every time. Thank you all for appreciating this peaceful and brilliant man.
    Here is what I wrote in my reflections about the first time I met Leonard in 2004:
    I submitted it here, but in case it takes awhile to post, or isn’t shared.

  • Thanks for sharing and reading Stephen! I certainly agree in the case of suicide and so many other things, talking to those who have had a similar experience is one of the most healing and connecting things we can do, if not the most.
    I had a similar experience at one hospital I was at, where many of us who had had spiritual experiences were able to relate with each other, and it was more effective, humanizing and connecting than anything I got from the counselors. However, at some of the other hospitals I was at, people were treated so poorly and drugged so heavily that there was a similar barrier in us relating to each other. It seems the hospitals often make it difficult for inmates/patients to connect with one another, but when we find ways to, it makes the experience meaningful, and quite different. I still remember people I met at that one hospital almost 15 years ago. I stayed in touch with some by email. Two of them even ended up getting together romantically and stayed together for years afterward. Maybe they are still together today. Peer support all the way!
    Yet, I wish ti didn’t have to be called “peer support.” I wish it was just understood that all people need friends, regardless of what their life experiences have been and whether they’ve been given a label.

  • I see what you mean, Boans, I think. When we first emerge from an extreme trauma such as psychiatric abuse or any other abuse, it is nearly impossible to stay silent about it and conform. We may air on the side of speaking up “too much” because we were silenced for so long. I know that was true for me. Once we have integrated some of our experiences it may be easier to stay silent, but I hope we still find ways to speak up. Perhaps we can find more strategic ways to speak up when we aren’t as close to the trauma. Still, I’m glad for everyone who speaks up in whatever way they are able.

  • Excellent points boans! How cool that you thought so deeply about this and came back with these notes. Those fears make sense to me. I was thinking this morning that being “low drama” or low conflict is an often unrecognized privilege. Any of those 4 things would surely trigger a conflict in most people, especially if they had been experienced in childhood or at other times in a way that was traumatic. Thanks again for reading so thoroughly and for this powerful insight.

  • I hear you oldhead…tricky. There are some major issues with Facebook for sure, yet so many people use it and find their news and information on there now. For example, I always post my articles on lots of different Facebook groups and that draws new people to this site and to alternatives to corporate sponsored media. I see lots of links to alternative news perspectives on my Facebook newsfeed that I would never see otherwise and get to share both my own writing and other articles of interest with a lot more people than I would otherwise.
    I certainly have great respect for those who abstain, as it can be a waste of time and can be a platform for just the kinds of non-productive passive aggressive conflict we are discussing here. Hmmm….maybe we need a public debate about this πŸ˜‰

  • Thanks B. Yes, there’s a lot of stuff in here. I’m glad you brought up passive aggressive behavior. It seems psychiatric drugs/treatment is a passive aggressive approach, no? Rather than addressing the conflict, diagnosing it as an illness is a passive approach. Then a pill can be passively taken to treat this “illness,” without addressing the underlying conflict. There always is one!
    It seems our culture, especially the medical model, is rooted in this passive aggression. The medications are even passive aggressive, harming our bodies while making us more passive. It feels good to me to at least name this as conflict avoidance, even if I don’t know how to go about addressing these conflicts all the time.