People who go on rants: A story of abuse

“She used to be so nice.  Now, I can’t stand her.  All she does is go on and on.”

“She rants.  Repetitive.  About the same thing.  Over and over.  Why won’t she stop talking about the people that have hurt her?”

“I rarely call her anymore.  I think she has a personality disorder.  Obviously paranoid.”

“Someone should take over and see to it that she is forcibly medicated.  Then, she’ll stop ranting.”

One day, that woman you’re all gossiping about (yeah, I hear it) decided she’d had enough.  She packed up her stuff and left town.

She’s gone now, and her real story isn’t some “diagnosis.”  It’s a story of abuse.  Abuse is a cycle.  Abuse is like the game of telephone, handed from one abuser to the next, passed on by word-of-mouth, by gossip, and those little ways that stories can change over time.

Ever go into Google and dig up some “case history”?  I did.  Recently.  It’s not my story.  It’s a story of a woman who  had a rare eating pattern.  They found a her in a state of malnutrition.  They wanted to know why she had this rare eating pattern.  They gave her psychological tests, and determined that she had a “diagnosis.”  How can these tests be anything close to accurate, if she was tested while severely malnourished?

These are smart doctors supposedly.  This is a published report that many people have read and now believe as Gospel truth.

The report didn’t say anything about these wonderful, smart doctors having done anything to help this starving woman, or having done anything to nourish  her or offer financial assistance, job training, marital assistance, help with pregnancy issues, help to heat her home, ESL, or any practical assistance whatsoever.

I, too, have a rare eating pattern.  It’s not quite the same as that woman’s.  All attempts to fit it into “eating disorder” fail miserably.  After I relocate, no doctor is even going to know about it. Why risk even being offered “mental health care” once more?

When I hear “rant,” I know the person has been abused.  The person is frustrated out of their mind.

Do not force a person into treatment because FORCED TREATMENT IS ABUSE.  It is one of the many forms of abuse.  The cycle will only continue.  Please stop abusing.

f you are in a position of power, will you stop this abuse?  Can you be the one voice to speak out against others and say, “This is wrong!”  Will you be that one exception?

I will be leaving Massachusetts soon.  All I can say is that this opportunity is a blessing.

Soon I will walk away from psychiatric abuse

On one hand, I need to put a lid on the past, that is, on the abuse.  I do know there are those that choose to do so, to close that lid completely, and never allow anything to escape.  I’ve spoken to some who have had to make a complete break even more than what I am doing. It’s quite clear that once you walk out, you can’t go back.  Like divorce.  You get tempted, you even feel sorry for the ex sometimes, but you can’t.

However, I am a writer and for that reason, I had to make a decision.  I do know that there are many that cannot leave entirely and still keep one foot in.  Me, no, no feet in.  I feel that I must revisit, but only to write about it as a writer, and that’s it.  Then, I need to put the lid back down and close it.  It’s not me.  Not part of me, not my life.  Just this thing I take out and write about, then subject dropped.

So after I am relocated, I won’t speak of it.  You can speak of your experiences to me, and I won’t mind, in fact, I will surely listen.  But this will not be my life.  I will only speak of this in writing.  If you don’t know me as a writer, then you won’t know that part of me ever existed.  If I ever give a reading, you may see a side of me rarely shared.

So, soon I will be walking away, complete.

Are you lonely? No, it’s not your fault! Don’t believe those trendy articles that blame the victim!

Have you read all that “positive thinking” stuff out there?  Those magazine articles that say “If you are lonely, it’s your ATTITUDE that’s the problem?”  Oh, please.

I’m going to cut to the quick. (Sometimes I do, often I beat around the bush.)  She didn’t take into account societal prejudice, hatred, bullying, and stigma.  Not one bit.

It very well could be true, that people don’t like you.  Only not for the reasons you think.  It’s not because you’ve got some moral problem or because you are a defective.  YOU DID NOTHING WRONG.  The REAL reason folks don’t like you is because they are jerks.  They gossip.  Let’s face it.  They yap.  Prejudice and stigma.

So look at the schoolyard and tell me what you see.  The fat kid gets teased.  Why?  For no reason.

So society hates poor people, sick people, the veterans our country used and then tried to make excuses to, those it labels “crazy,” anyone with some “other” skin color…oh, anyone different whatsoever.

I remember the peels of laughter and jeering of mean girls in junior high.  Why?  My ankle socks.  Wrong color, wrong length.  The schoolyard is a microcosm of society and it wasn’t my fault that I was too young to shop for my own clothes.  It took months of PR with my mom and countless elastic bands around my shins before finally I found a pair of the “right” socks that didn’t make me the laughing stock of seventh grade.  I wasn’t even fat!  Can you imagine the nightmare the “fat kid” went through?

Don’t tell me to be “politically correct” and not talk about it, cuz we all know there was one “fat kid” in the class that got it bad.  I was a kid that got teased for other reasons.  So I cried for the “retarded kids,” the kids with various injuries, the kids who had some facial scars, the very tall kids, the kids who walked funny and everyone laughed.  I cried for the kids that had trouble in gym class cuz they got laughed at and I wanted to say, STOP!

That’s our society now, and we’re grownups now.  Do people grow up on the inside?  Naw, folks gossip. That’s the adult way that they tease, the grownup version of teasing the kids that are different.

Gossip takes on different forms and it’s often disguised.  Your medical record, of course, contains gossip, stuff that isn’t scientific, but opinion based on no scientific measurement or data.  This stuff gets spread around like wildfire.

Then there are the patronizing folks that claim they love you, but they don’t.  They tell you, “We care so we spoke of you….” and you notice they yapped some untrue statement about you all over your school or your town or social media or wherever you hang out.  How lovely.  You feel like everyone hates you.

No, I refuse to leave off here and say life totally sucks and the human race sucks so bad that we lonely folks might as well give up.  I’ll tell you why.

It’s not true, first of all, that everyone goes though extreme bad shit.  Most people in our society have never been through extreme social isolation.

Okay, so imagine the writer at the writer’s retreat.  Alone in a cabin for a month with no one around.  He knows he has loving family waiting for him when he’s done writing that novel.  Friends, family, a spouse, kids, his teaching job.  Solitude is awesome for writers.

Now imagine having no idea how you ended up in that cabin.  No loving family waiting.  No publisher.  No teaching job.  No way home or out of there.  No end in sight.

I’m here to tell you that you didn’t cause the “cabin in the woods” problem (it’s a metaphor I’m using).  Societal hatred and of course, bad luck caused it.  It’s not because of your “character” or “bad personality.”

Be patient and persistent.  Don’t give up.  I didn’t.  I’m not lonely like I used to be.  To end the extreme loneliness and social isolation, I didn’t have to fake it and pretend to be someone I wasn’t.  I didn’t have to put on a mask.  I didn’t have to be anyone’s slave or take bad happy pills or join a support group or “comply” or pretend or kiss anyone’s ass.  I didn’t have to admit I was “wrong” and fake some confession.  Because I wasn’t wrong!  I was right all along.  And slowly, folks are waking up to that fact.  I do have friends now and I am cherished and loved.  I feel proud of who I am.

Be yourself.  You are wonderful just the way you are.

Plan B

When you feel you are all alone in the world
When you are ready to give up and no one is by your side
When not one person agrees
When they all call you a liar
When everyone says you are wrong
When they all say “No”
When everywhere you turn, not one person is an ally
Maybe, just maybe, you AREN’T paranoid

Cuz guess what, baby, you might just be right after all.

Get a lawyer.  I’m so glad I did.
I’m persistent and I have not given up.

Folks that knew me before know that stuff happened that wasn’t coolYeah, baby, I’m not crazy.

Never was.

Schizoaffective?  Baloney.  Never was.

It was a nice club.  It was fun lining up for the pills and socializing in the “meds” line with the other kids and yapping about how to cope with “side effects,” something to talk about, like the weather.  We all went there when home life got a little boring.  No wonder holiday weekends were so overcrowded on the units. No beds, always a long wait in the emergency rooms for “placement” being watched over by some security guard on those three-day weekends.  Sure, my pals were on the units, all the regulars I knew so well, clean sheets, someone else mopped the floors.

My buddies started dying off.  We all got zapped and jabbed too much.  This was no vacation.  Naw, no picnic. Waste of time.  Senseless.  I realized all these diseases I’d learned in the place and never had to begin with.  Then, I suppose, awakening.

Many of us did. But as soon as we started talking, the docs weren’t happy, so they forcibly drugged us and pushed further “supervision” and unwanted “help” on us.

This was WAR.

No choice now but to walk out.  Parades of us.  It’s called antipsychiatry.  A whole glorious movement, and there’s no stopping it now.

I’m proud to count myself as one, that is, a voice in that parade.  Somehow, I’m speaking now and someone is reading my words.

I am telling you that the treatment of EATING DISORDERS is about the most inhumane mental health treatment out there. Is anyone listening to me? That’s what I discovered and I’m not going to shut up till someone listens.

I’ve got that trickle now.  That is, VALIDATION.

Two years ago, no one was listening.  Two years ago, I was alone in this and I was starting from scratch.

Never, ever shut up.

hopes dashed, but there’s always Plan B

I phoned the place where I put in a housing application…as I figure it, mid-August 2012.  At the time that I put in the application, I was told the wait list was two to three years.  I guess the person was mistaken.  These things happen.  Not all people who work the desks are properly informed and they’re only clerks.

So all this time (it’s now the end of the year, 2013) I’ve figured, “My lucky day is coming soon,” and looked to that one bright day when some Angel from Heaven would sweep me out of this hellhole apartment here. I’ve hated it since the day I moved in.

I got up the courage and made the call today.  Put on my cheery, polite, business-like telephone voice I taught myself years ago.  I’m particularly good at it.

The clerk who answered the phone put me on hold after I made sure she got the correct spelling of “Greene.”

I waited.  Prayed, if you could call it that.

She said, “Six to eight.”

Then she went on to say, “Years.”

Oh. My. God.  Yep, she said I had oh so magically moved up the wait list by one year so now I would be waiting one less year. But the good news was that I was still “active.”  Good news according to….

Um, I’m alive.  Yeah.  Fifty-five going on fifty-six.  In eight years I’ll be legally collecting social security, not “disability.”  Same ridiculously low amount I can’t even live on, same crap, lots more housing options.  Without the “disability” label, I will be free of discrimination for good.

Because on my body, there is not one scientifically measurable trace of “mental illness.”

Well, I’m not staying in this crap apartment.  Period.  There’s got to be a way….

Time for Plan B.  That’s what life is all about.

The tent idea wasn’t such a bad one after all, if only I wasn’t so physically sick.  I need to get my health more together.  I’m getting better in a few ways, in many ways in fact, and I’ll talk about that in another post…it’s rather exciting, in fact.

Don’t you love the way I never give up? I never, ever throw in the towel.  Truth is, I’ve thrown them all in already…there’s nothing more left to throw in!  If you got nothing left, if you find yourself alone and trapped in some dark place (through no doing of your own, I KNOW this is how it happens), please, crawl out any way you can.  I’ve sure been there.

Redefining myself….

I’m in the process of rewriting the pages (what you see up top) here so that they read a bit differently.  What you will see when I am done will clarify how I was misdiagnosed with schizoaffective disorder.  So folks will come here and understand that yes, I did end up with that fake diagnosis on record, but never even had it!  So the page will explain how that misunderstanding got made.

I am going to reword my eating disorder pages to clarify how that came about.  I do have an eating disorder but I don’t believe eating disorders are mental illnesses. So the word “disorder” I can take out. Binge eating is not a word I use anymore. What I suffer from is inherited polyphagia.  I still use the term anorexia and I believe in my case, my extreme dieting was a response to polyphagia, a desperate attempt to reign it in.  Much of that happened simply because I had no clue what else to do, and no one to discuss the problem with.  It was all a big secret.  Same thing happened to my mom, but she was younger at the time and it resolved on its own for her.

I ended up with schizoaffective disorder on my record because I showed up at the System’s doorstep, begging for help.  I literally asked for meds for binge eating. They said, “No way, you aren’t sick.”  I should have gone away, but I was desperate for pills to fix the polyphagia.  I thought there must be a pill for it.  I went running to the hospital ER when begging outpatient didn’t work.

They had no clue what to do with me.  Finally, I got admitted and they gave me an antianxiety drug (just to shut me up) kept me for five weeks while I dieted and shrank myself before their eyes, and then they sent me home, wondering how I’d gotten so skinny.

I came home and nothing had changed.  I went running back to the warm, safe hospital.  So the cycle began.  This was a place where they loved me.  It was a nice club.  They gave me antipsychotics and noticed the drugs gave me akathesia.  Akathesia means you have restless legs. I couldn’t stop pacing back and forth!

“Look, she appears to be schizophrenic!” remarked one doctor.

“She sure paces like a lunatic,” said another.

“Her speech is slurred.”

“She’s confused.  She’s stiff and her movements are jerky, just like one of those schizos.  We’ll put her on the books as schiz, shall we?”

So this was how I ended up with my psychosis misdiagnosis.

Funny, but not so funny cuz once you get misunderstood like that, you are discredited for life.  Legally, too, and permanently, and that’s not all that funny.

There are answers.

But first, you have to be committed to walking away from the merry-go-round, that is, to NOT returning to the “club” of the hospital.  This is not where your friends are.  No, they don’t love you here.  It’s fake love.  They are being paid. They turn on you.  Even the nice ones.  But it takes years to find this out, and the nice pretty pills turn, too.

I stopped calling it “recovery” a while ago.  I had no clue why I refused to call it that.  Now, I know. Why call it “recovery” if there was no illness to begin with?  There was nothing to recover from.  Much was “treatment-acquired,” just childish habits I quit doing.

You can, too, but please, decide for yourself.  You are not what someone else says you are.  No one is a hopeless.  No one is “incapable of change.”  Only you define who you are, and the person you can become.

 

“monthly”

What did you think I was talking about?  The rent?  No, that’s a given.  Yeah, that, too, and Puzzle’s monthly doggie medicine.  No, I intend to bore all you men to tears and talk nonstop about my period.  And some women as well.

Guess what?  I’m done. Are you crying yet?  If so, I suggest a box of Kleenex, or any brand of tissues, instead of your sleeve.  Go hug your dog.  This is the best thing to do while you are crying.  Stay away from the shrinks cuz if you go and tell one that “Some lady talked about her period till I cried,” you are bound to get locked up, either as a depressive or,

If you male and look the part (somewhat tough-looking, like you just got out of prison) you might get labeled a sex offender whether you have committed a crime or not.

Trust me, either way, telling these dudes over and over that you are a regular reader of Julie Greene’s blog is most likely going not going to get you out of the mental institution or prison, and more likely, will get you exactly nowhere.  Or you’ll just get funny looks.  But I’ll talk about that later.  I need to go find the pads and tampons and say goodnight.