Anti-Authoritarians Enrich Our Lives

Many years ago, maybe around 1990, my dad gave me a poster he got from NAMI. The poster listed names of famous people who were supposedly “mentally ill.” On the top of the poster it said, “People with mental illness enrich our lives.”

I would like to modify this. Anti-Authoritarians enrich our lives. I can remember the people listed on the poster. People who were original thinkers, inventors, and people who went against the grain of society. People who jumped outside of the box called “normal” and reached for higher creative goals. I remember some of the people who were listed. Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Buzz Aldrin, Vivien Leigh, Virginia Woolf.  What would we do without the innovators, the thinkers, the inventors and adventurers?

Our society needs people to question authority, to keep our leaders in check and to speak out when we see wrongdoing. If we do not, who will? And what would become of human society if we did not have those that question the status quo?

If you really want a humdrum life, obey without questioning. Follow the rules because the rulers say so. Do everything they say. Don’t talk back. Don’t think in any way that they do not approve of. I guarantee you’ll be not only bored, but directionless and lacking passion. Some people like that, like having a humdrum, routine life. Isn’t it time for a change?

Rampant elitism

Elitism is everywhere. I keep wondering if any organizations aren’t elitist. I keep looking for one, but I have yet to find one. There are those that will admit they aren’t, admit the inevitable power inequities, which I suppose is better than those that have authoritarian leaders who fool their followers into thinking their groups are democratic.

I joined a church that had very clear ideology stating that they believed all humans are worthy. They didn’t follow this ideal at all, though. I don’t think there’s a single religious organization out there that isn’t elitist, and many are racist or homophobic.

I’m even noticing rampant elitism in the psych survivors movement. I have detached myself from it, slowly pulling away because I’m sick of the snobbery I have seen. Maybe I shouldn’t align myself with a group, any group. It’s getting more and more discouraging.

Work as prostitution

I have come to the conclusion that 90% of the workforce is committing prostitution. This is why:

How many people out there are doing things they wouldn’t ordinarily do for a company they don’t even care about or believe in?  I bet most people are in this situation. They keep doing things they hate because it’s the only way to survive, that is, to get enough money to be able to pay rent or mortgage and feed their families. I bet 90% of people wouldn’t be doing these jobs if they didn’t have to.

If you work for McDonald’s, do you really believe in the company? Do you care about the company? Do you really think that obeying orders from a boss is doing any good for humanity? Or is it only supporting and upholding a bad idea?

I worked from May through January for Nordstrom. Did I believe in these overpriced products and hideous-looking designer clothing? Did I support people spending thousands on useless things like earrings? Yes, people really did blow thousands on these items that don’t do anything except show off what an elitist snob you are.

A few of these items, very few, served a practical purpose. We sold really good, warm down jackets. Overpriced? Yes. I can’t recall the brand but these were all the rage from around December 1st until I quit. Would you really spend $600 on a winter jacket? I bought a great one from EBay a few winters ago. I had to toss it in the wash as soon as it arrived but all the stains and stink came out of it and it was as good as new. I believe I paid under $30 for it.

People were paying $700 or more for a baby stroller. The purchased wedding clothes that they wore once, then, returned. Yes, people did that all the time. The company resold these items. I never understood why they didn’t inspect them before sending them out. When I first took a call from a distraught customer who told me she wanted some really fancy shoes to give to a relative as a gift, she chose Nordstrom because she figured she’d get something top quality. The shoes arrived. Used shoes! The first time I took the call I thought the leather might have been “distressed,” which is  style, and the “in” thing these days. Pay extra for the vintage look! Actually, as I continued to get identical calls from very upset customers who received used shoes, used dresses, etc, I realized what was going on.

I did not, for one minute, believe in the company. One of their mottoes is “Customer obsessed.” This isn’t true. Obsessed with ripping people off, I’d say.

I have nothing against Nordstrom employees. People need jobs, so they will take anything they can get. They were prostitutes just like I was, toiling away for a cause they did not believe in or care about.

Is most work like that? I think so. In my job I just quit, just about everyone there hated it. No one wanted to be there. The management didn’t care about the human side of the job, didn’t care that some of us truly went the extra mile to help customers. Why? Because what we were doing wasn’t bringing in money for the company. The real meaningful things we did were overlooked. They had rules about the trivia that didn’t even matter. You cannot measure human compassion and caring, so that fell by the wayside. They made the work incredibly repetitive by insisting we stick to the script. To the last letter. If we changed it, even by one word that didn’t matter, we got chastised. During my last week there I got chewed out for spending five seconds taking a drink of water, which I desperately needed. This isn’t good for humanity. It was prostitution.

Are there any jobs out there that aren’t prostitution? I am thinking teaching would be great, but I know teachers who have to kiss ass to administrators they do not like, follow policies they don’t believe in, and furthermore, they don’t have any say in how the workplace is run. They have to follow policies that are harmful to students, and if they speak out against these policies they get canned or are forced to resign.

I’d like to have a job working for a company I really believe in, a job where I have a say in what goes on and can contribute my ideas. I’d like to be able to be taken seriously if I point out that a rule or policy is illogical and needs to change. Rules and hyper-rigidity are for people who cannot think for themselves. If we would only open our eyes and all behaved ethically and kindly, there would be no need for useless and excessive rules and policies.

Sadly, most people out there aren’t like me. They focus on obeying those in power and get brownie points for doing so. They get rewarded and earn “bonuses” for being obedient. This is outright wrong, wrong, wrong, but sadly, this is what I am up against.

No wonder I was so scared about working when I was a college student. Work then was prostitution, too. Now I know why I didn’t fit in. I’m proud that I didn’t fit in, actually. I did fine in academic circles, though. Maybe that’s where I need to go.

I need to do something to change the world, but I do not know how. I tried the anthology idea and it flopped. Maybe I need to make tons of money and then, take an entire year off to write.

Writing is the one thing I can do, that I have never stopped doing, and right now it seems like the only truly helpful thing I do. I know in my heart that I do help others (as I am doing currently) but if I don’t resort to prostitution (doing meaningless work for companies I do not believe in), how can I pay the bills?

Product reviews

Although not related to antipsychiatry, I hope to do some product reviews on here as I have occasionally done in the past. This is purely to gain more readers, curiosity-seekers who might find the rest of my blog useful to them. Maybe.

I will review products with a human rights framework. I will keep in mind that many readers are on a strict budget. I may review products on their usefulness if you are ever homeless or totally down and out, or are living in a small space or need to downsize. I will also take into account that not everyone drives a car, not everyone is a homeowner, not everyone has a yard or two-and-a-half kids.

I will also review products and other things that might interest those of you who would like to avoid seeing a doctor.

Little adventure I never told anyone about

Back in the early spring of 2013, I saw a therapist who ended up asking me out on a date. I was so appalled that I quit right away. I’m awfully glad I had the good sense to do this. Some people do not realize that such overtures are not even legal for therapists to do. As you may recall, when I told my psychiatrist about this, she claimed I was “psychotic” and refused to believe me.

Later, much later, in a rather random web search, I ran into the guy’s master’s thesis. This was not for his counseling degree, but for another degree he earned in writing and literature, an MA from Providence College.

He had told me in a session that he had dated someone who had attended Goddard College. I had not known her but took note of this. He had told me, in our session, about his breakup with this gal. Yes, I was quite appalled when he delved into his intimate personal life! Still, I shelved this… Until I saw the thesis.

The thesis is dedicated to her. He said he got most of his info for the thesis from knowing her. I suddenly realized that the thesis was likely, in part, plagiarized. I was never able to locate her thesis to prove it, but I bet I could.

The only reason I would even halfway consider doing this is because after he wrecked my faith in humanity, and then, my confidence further pushed into the shit-pile by Dr. Pearson’s response, I have wanted to vindicate myself. I am hoping someone comes forward someday who saw him and found him to be just as much of a jerk as I found him. Of course, his thesis had nothing to do with his inappropriate actions that day. Still, a bit of me wants revenge.

So far, no one. I suspect he had so few clients that he wasn’t quite supporting himself on his therapy business. There was never anyone else in the waiting room. He arrived in time for my session and left right afterward. He didn’t have other clients lined up. I can see why.

I  know that since I am telling the truth, the truth will win out. I’m so tired of being called a nutcase. This really happened. He really did act inappropriately. Someday, people will realize that all this is true. Till then, no credibility for me. I’m tired of it.

Hemingway was called paranoid for claiming he was being followed and spied on. I am saddened that only after his suicide did anyone realize he was telling the truth. The CIA was indeed spying on him, because he had been to Cuba.

The accusations hurt Hemingway immensely. In fact, these accusations of paranoia led to his suicide, since he was sent to an asylum for supposed paranoia, and that was where they shocked him till he couldn’t write anymore. Later, his friends regretted that they failed to believe him.

That’s about the saddest thing I have ever heard. What a tragedy.

Add another accomplishment to the list

I got off Seroquel. Cold turkey. I only used it for sleep. Now I can sleep without Seroquel. I never believed I could do it.  I did have withdrawal side effects, namely, diarrhea. I even missed a day of work because I kept running to the loo. I’m fine now, though. I think all that took two weeks. It is great to be able to sleep and not feel exhausted due to sleep deprivation.

This will go in my book, too.

Is it so terrible to be a lone wolf?

Sometimes people criticize me for not having close friends around here. Interestingly, those that have criticized have not offered friendship. They only put me down.

I did have a friend a long time ago but that did not work out. Why should I trust? The friend betrayed me and acted afraid of me. I don’t want that again.

It isn’t a crime to avoid people. For the most part I have nothing in common with those around me. I don’t want to be friends with people who don’t have faith in me, or who treat me like I am stupid. Why should I trust others when that trust is invariably violated?

Western Medicine doesn’t just kill…..

I saw this in my “feed” today:

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/03/hospital-bills-medical-debt-bankruptcy/584998/

In work in banking, I have noticed there’s one thing that this article totally missed. The main reason our customers get way behind on bills is….

HOSPITALIZATION!

In fact, we have special allowances for hospitalization. I bet other banks do, too. (Now here’s a little hint: If you ever forget to pay a bill or just don’t have the money, call the bank and tell them you were in the hospital. We do not ask for “proof.” Obviously, here’s where HIPAA comes in handy. We can’t! So please take advantage of this if you have to. Please do not tell them I told you so!)

A lot of customers, ones who are faithfully keeping up with their bills, will call us after a lengthy hospitalization to find that they’ve gotten so far behind that their accounts were sold to collection agencies. We cannot revive closed accounts.

Hospitalization of any kind causes a person to lose wages and lose track of their bills. Some customers lose their jobs or get demoted. I have spoken to several customers who went bankrupt due to hospitalization.

Western medicine doesn’t just kill. It makes people go broke!

The other day I spoke with a lady who was calling me from a rehab. She was in a hospital, then got transferred to the rehab. She asked me what happens when a person is hospitalized. I told her we are aware of the inconvenience that it causes and we make allowances.

Then, she asked me a question I did not expect. “What happens when the customer dies?”

I didn’t want to tell her the truth. When a customer dies, a relative eventually discovers the person had an account with us. They call us and say the person is dead. I have indeed taken these calls. It is not easy.

I didn’t tell her that. I don’t think the dead person should have to worry about their relatives having to go through inconvenience on top of their sorrow. When you are dead you do not feel anything anymore. I didn’t say that, either.

I told her not to worry about it, to instead focus on life. I felt okay about the conversation afterward. She is the only one who ever asked.