Fake friends, the mental health system, and survival

I remember the night well. It was so long ago. I guess many of you know these large open stairwells that you find in larger buildings in the US but not in other countries necessarily. I was standing in the stairwell, in an upper area. My friends, young men and women I assumed truly were faithful friends,  convened below. We were college pals. These friends weren’t just fellow students, but we were bond together because we were dedicated music students, trumpet players who studied with the same teacher, Walter Chesnut.

I was just about to go to my dormitory room. And then as I was headed down the hall I heard them speak and as I heard my name mentioned, I stood there, unbeknownst to them, and continued to listen to what they said. It was rather clear that they never liked me to begin with and were only including me so as not to hurt my feelings, or simply because I played trumpet too.   They merely felt obliged.

I remember every nasty word they said. This was 1976. That exact moment changed my life.

* * *

I’m assuming the above situation is familiar to many, if not all my readers. You overhear something spoken about you. In a flash, you realize something: Your friends aren’t really your friends. And after that, nothing is ever the same. I was truly disillusioned with humanity. I applied to change to a different dormitory area, and because our university was extremely large, managed to remove myself from those fake friends rather quickly. I’d only been hanging out with those kids for a short time. I was relieved to be away from them and that I hadn’t gotten too involved, although to a young student, two semesters may seem like forever, eh?  After that, I took my chances on a “pot luck” roommate who ended up being a fabulous match.

But the incident in the stairwell was perhaps, for me, a model for other times. I mean more powerful relationships that I’d get involved in in the future.

Precisely this: When you have loads of faith in some institution or belief, and then, in a flash, you realize it’s a farce. The weird thing is that after that, you just can’t go back to that farce. You may have thought for a time that the farce was loving and kind. But you know now that this was a lie.

You bet it’s about the most painful thing I’ve ever been through.  That undoing.

One example includes, of course, my involvement with the Moonies, which I have detailed in my book, This Hunger Is Secret. The Moonies were a brainwashing cult and I believe this group still exists. It’s also called the Unification Church and I was involved with them back in 1979. Reverend Sun Myung Moon died quite some time ago but I hear the church is still going. I have no clue how they have modified their beliefs or what they tell their followers, since they used to say that Moon was the messiah. Guess he’s the dead messiah, but Jesus is dead and they’ve been following him, too, for two thousand years. I should die and then maybe I’ll get followers, too, eh? Pass the basket, please.

But what I am saying is that the day I realized, quite on my own, that they Moonies were nothing but a fake I was truly torn. I will never forget how I felt betrayed. I’d been with them participating in an intensive “workshop” for ten days.

When I realized that MENTAL HEALTH CARE was full of holes, that it was based on a lie, my whole world came crashing in. Why? Because I’d been in this “care” for over three decades.  Not three years.  Three decades.

Yes, it’s based on a lie.  The lies are rather carefully constructed to keep you coming back and keep you “sick.”

Why am I saying this? Because mental health care teaches a person some basic principles that will guide them down a destructive path. The person becomes “patient” and from then on, dependent. Rarely do I see a “therapist” guide a patient toward independence, that is, toward no longer needing therapy or mental health treatment. Most therapists insist that their “patients” require lengthy care for many years, if not,, for the rest of their sorry lives.  I’m never surprised anymore when a person initiates therapy, then weeks later comes back and says, “Well, they’ve discovered that in fact I have a longer list of diagnoses than originally thought.”

The diagnoses are nothing but nomenclature.  More words for reasons you need to keep going to them, even take their pills and get sicker.  Going down that slippery slope of “disability payments’d.” I’ve seen more people a decade after going into therapy for the first time, and I feel so sad, because I know, after all these years, that it didn’t have to be that way.

Here’s one lie I wish I’d never heard:

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

Or how about this one?

“Come to staff when you need something.”

Shall I discuss these two basics? You left good ole mom and dad, if you had them to begin with, to be an adult and assert your adulthood in the world. Or something like that. Now you have these fake mom and dad that are getting paid, telling you to go them and that you should give up your adulthood! They are telling you you should be a kid again, whine to them, tell them all your problems and they are the shoulder to cry on. Wow, what a lie!

While you could be out there learning to stand on your own two feet, these liars are not only taking your money (and your parents’ money) but forcing you into long-term dependency.

I asked myself how many decades had passed since I first went into so-called “therapy.” They told me I “needed” it, right? Where the hell am I now and has so-called “therapy” really gotten me anywhere? Then where am I now? Still dependent on those therapists?

I earned my college degrees in spite of “mental health care.” I had to fight those so-called doctors every step of the way. I was told to drop out over and over, that college was “trivial.” I was told my degree was “useless.”

Those therapists and their institutions sure didn’t like it when I began to speak out. My writing was disregarded and discredited. I was threatened over and over. One of their first ways to retaliate was to deny medical care. I was medically abused, bullied, and I feared I wouldn’t survive. I thought this was “help,” but no, they sure never wanted me to succeed, did they? I got out by the skin of my teeth, because in the end, it was a matter of fleeing, or dying at their hands.

I am alive today. Yes, alive. Alive. Alive. Alive.

Stay tuned.


2 thoughts on “Fake friends, the mental health system, and survival”

  1. Julie, you’re so right about them encouraging dependency. I’ve known smart, talented adults who’ve felt they needed their therapists’ permission to paint a picture or write a poem.

    1. Yeah, what’s sad, too, is when they get away, then re-enter again and again. And I am going to write an article, too, on “therapy withdrawal.” No acknowledgement of the power of this. Like heroin. No support around what happens to a person when they stop “cold turkey.” I wonder why the person gets blamed for “acting nuts” and they are told “go back to therapy.” But no, it’s the withdrawal. And why can’t I speak of this? Taboo?

Feedback and comments welcome!