Freedom from religious coercion, upon which the USA was founded, also means freedom from spiritual abuse of all kinds.

You can look up “Spiritual abuse” here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_abuse#Spiritual_abuse

Listed here are various sources that describe abuses done by churches and their leadership. But wait, it all sounds like therapy, does it not? It is quite similar, if not identical. Therapy accuses patients of all sorts of sins, guilt-tripping patients with no foundation, no basis in reality.

The therapist tells the patient he/she has poor coping skills (and can learn better ones from the therapist for a price).
The therapist tells the patient he/she had a terrible upbringing (and the therapist can do a better job).
The therapist tells the patient he/she must be awfully unhappy, and that the therapist promises Happiness and Joy if only the patient follows the therapist’s Treatment Plan.

The first session should be “nice.” Whoever the therapist is should put on their best show. This means if you are always late, let this first session be the one time you are timely. If you are usually too lazy to take notes, just pretend you aren’t lazy during this first session. Act professional. Scribble stuff or doodle if you have to. At least write down the correct spelling and pronunciation of your client’s name. That way, when he dies, you won’t fuck it up in front of his family.  During the first session, pretend you know all about his “disorder.” Nod and smile. Pretend you agree that it’s “very serious” and that you “aren’t like the others.” Tell the client “you deserve better” than what he had before, someone who listens and cares, someone who takes his concerns seriously. Now, ever so slowly, pull back your sleeve and take a sneak peek at your watch. Phew! Those 50 minutes are almost up. Kick him out.

The following will invariably work on the second session: “Admit it! Admit you are unhappy!” (Wait for the tears, and then, end the session at the appropriate moment, leaving the patient in the lurch regarding possibly not being able to see him anymore due to some invented technical reason, just to jerk him around.)

Next session: Tell the Patient that he is unhappy because he/she is doing things incorrectly. The therapist’s ideas are much better. It’s now time for the therapist to take over the patient’s life, since the therapist can run it much more competently. Now, make demands, such as:

The Contract (have him sign ASAP)
Further demands (extra appointments, threats if he does not show, threats for noncompliance to treatment)
Threats if he breaks the contract in any way
Instructions for getting out of the contract, but threats if he ends the “therapeutic relationship” inappropriately according to contract

For chrissake, this ain’t a marriage. But it can be abusive like a marriage. It can be economically binding, and the therapist does indeed control the patient, the more abusive, the more she controls. They do not have to be mandatory reporters as any of them can call police on you as soon as you become their patients and present yourselves as “sick” and needy to a greater or lesser extent. This is how such cases are seen by police. You are the lowest of the low on the totem pole, and your therapist will have the upper hand. That is how it pans out in courts.  To an extent, you lose free will. While you retain your right to make decisions for now, you always have that therapist hanging over your shoulder.

In the antipsychiatry movement, we have spoken out against force, in particular, many have spoken out against the use of forced drugging. People have even stated that forced drugging is akin to rape.  Can’t we all agree that imposing ideas in a forceful manner on other people is also wrong?

Spiritual abuse in the form of forcing a person into a religious practice is also wrong. I have seen this in the movies when I was a young girl.  I watched in horror as I saw a male child terrorized into praying to Jesus, against his will. I saw the look of fear on the child’s face. He held back tears and shook while a man yelled at him over and over. “Pray!  Pray! Pray!”

The point I want to make has nothing to do with Christianity, but with scare tactics and force. I don’t care what religion it is, DO NOT FORCE YOUR IDEAS ON OTHER PEOPLE.

I don’t care what you are or what your expertise is. This includes meditation. If you are a meditation guru, please stop pushing it on me. I am tired of having it shoved down my throat like it’s some kind of universal truth. I don’t push running for exercise on people just because I enjoy it myself. I don’t push vegetarianism on people just because I leave the meat for Puzzle.  I don’t run around telling people they should all braid their hair just because it works for me. I don’t tell everyone in the USA to leave like I did, because if you all came here I’d be pissed. I don’t want assholes for neighbors!

I have had meditation and mindfulness pushed on me so many times lately by people in and outside of the Movement, and frankly, these things are no different from religion or therapy. It makes me sick that mindfulness and meditation gurus think they are outside the realm of religion and assume they have the right to push their ideas as universal, and their authority as god-like. I am disgusted.

Are monotheists aware that much of the world either does not believe in any god, or has more than one god, and they are JUST FINE? Are Christians aware that the Universe survives just fine without Christ and we are not lacking nor do we live with this giant void in our lives? I am Christ-free and happy about that! Likewise, I am liberated without the burden of daily meditation and free of daily chanting. I am free of therapy appointments and free of committing my food to a sponsor. I do not feel empty nor do I feel that my life lacks meaning without these things.

Mindfulness is NOT the cure-all nor end-all and won’t solve everything. I am sick of hearing about it and having it pushed on me. It’s just another religion.  Ever notice the slogans, the simplistic, repetitive statements made by these guru-like people? I feel insulted by it all, and I feel like shoving it right back at them. “So you don’t think much of the religion I already have?” Because they aren’t even aware that what they are doing constitutes religious coercion.

You can keep your yoga. Do it for exercise, but keep the spiritual part to yourself, please. You can keep your Om. Please hum quietly.  Walk barefoot elsewhere, I do not want your smelly feet.

Best kept secret in town

I now know it. The Best Kept Secret in Town. How long were you in your town before you learned it?

The Best cup of coffee can be found_____. This is the best place to pick up dates: _____. The cheapest gas is____ but only on ____ (day of week). Show up at ____ between the hours of ___ and ___ and you won’t have to wait in line.

“Go to ___ on Saturday afternoon and wait till the evening shift comes on. The gal behind the counter has the biggest boobs I have ever seen. Do you think they are real?” Do you recall when guys used to talk like that?

The best prices in town are _____. Yes, this is the best place to buy meat for Puzzle. They even have “picado por mascotas.” That’s hamburger meat for pets. I got some for Puzzle and she LOVED it. Today, I bought a muslo for her, human grade. You can buy a big bag of lentils or pasta or tea. Or dog kibble, but seeing as they have picado por mascotas, who would buy kibble? They have tomato sauce on sale too. They keep changing the place around. Catch it while you can. Tomorrow, the fun is over. All best kept secrets die with us. Otherwise, they weren’t all that well kept, were they?

Cognitive

I’ve been through this all before. I get tired of the blame game. I make excuses, just to get people off my back.For why I can’t get things done.
For why I quit after my job is only half done.
For why I can’t “just do it.”
For why “cleaning” usually means moving the same mess from one end of the room to the end no one sees, and then, giving up.
For why my appearance isn’t much beyond “shabby.”

For why I only pretend to count my change.
For why I only guess at the meaning of what you are saying, but thank you anyway.
For why I heard your response, but am still clueless and still lost.

For why most of my stuff gets misplaced, and I give up trying to look for it.
I can’t see a damn thing anymore.
For why I’ve stopped caring.

For why things slip out of my hands.
For there is this “CRASH!” in the night.
One more thing I dropped on the floor.

I know this isn’t laziness.
Nor “bad attitude.”
I can’t get my mind to work right anymore.
This is due to cognitive deficit similar to what elderly people experience
When they have dementia.
I went through the same thing in 2013, due to malnutrition.
It was temporary, and my thinking was restored when I ate food.

This cognitive deficit is what happens to a person due to poor sleep over a long period. For me, it’s been four years of barely sleeping, night after night. I’m surprised I’m not dead. I’m surprised I have not gone into total organ failure. I take that back, I did go into organ failure in 2013.

So what now?

Yes, I did get this diagnosed and confirmed. Chronic insomnia due to trauma, which some of you might choose to call PTSD, or hypervigilant state. The person said this was not only “obvious” but that it was malpractice that my previous providers mistook what was happening to me for “mania,” “mood disorder,” or “paranoia,” completely denying that the abuse had occurred when I clearly stated that it had. What they did, in fact, worsened the trauma reaction. I had informed the providers of this, too.

I don’t want any further blame.  I just can’t think straight. Quit yelling at me. Leave me at peace.

Yes, I’m still not unpacked from moving. My hair’s a mess. I just tie it again and hope no one notices. If I put something down, it’s lost for another week. I can’t find the caps to bottles, the tops to boxes, the other sock, nor does anything match anymore. When I really can’t stand it, I throw things out. I can’t be bothered.

Don’t criticize, you will NEVER know what I go through. I don’t want fucking HELP around the house, above all, not that. Only stop that nonstop, battering criticism. “Why can’t you……” Shut the fuck up. But no, that voice is a memory, only a voice from the past. Gone now. Relax.

There are no sirens anymore. No stretchers. No more locked wards. I can forget. Or try.

“Why can’t you….”

All I want is to lie down, I am so tired. I wonder how many disability claims are taken out due to insomnia alone.  I feel that this is the one thing that has kept me from going on with my life.  Due to insomnia, I have accomplished barely anything in years.  I am too fucking exhausted.  I remember telling this to people a couple of years ago. No one listened, or if they did, they didn’t believe me nor take me seriously.

Now what?

 

I wasn’t the only one who got screwed….

Here’s a terrific link:

http://disruptedphysician.com/2015/07/28/52994/

This is a Massachusetts story. So you thought MGH was an honest institution, interested in helping patients first and foremost?  If you are a doctor, know that you won’t work there as a doctor very long. You won’t help patients. You’ll be kissing the institution’s butt. Patients suffer, taxpayers pay. You earn a salary, the corporation gets rich.

 

Which states have cheapest rental in USA?

Here’s a color-coded chart with some up-to-date, rough statistics on the housing market:

http://nlihc.org/oor

I don’t see actual numbers, in other words, actual rents in dollars. The chart is nice to look at, though.

Beware of statistics, since they don’t tell us everything, and can easily be twisted around. Statistics do not make a story. Storytellers make story. We all enjoy listening.

Pictures, as I have been promising for a while….

Here is Puzzle waiting in the doorway, yesterday.

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I took that photo before I gave her a bath and clipping. I gave her a blow-dry as well. I don’t even give myself such a luxury. She enjoyed the electric clippers. This is technology at its best. I have never used electric clippers before and had to guess how to do it. I did fine. From what I recall, certain shrinks in my past had never dealt with a “client” with ED before. These shrinks lied to me and to my parents and made claim that they were “experienced” shrinks. Sadly, they were doing guesswork, faking their way through their jobs, as I did through mine today.  I didn’t do a bad job. There are risks, though. I could have cut Puzzle’s skin, or cut my own hair instead of hers, or cut a hole in my shirt.  Shrinks could do small damages or deeper ones, too. At least I am upfront and honest that I am not a real groomer, I am just Puzzle’s mama, and I sat her with her in my lap lovingly trimming her hair this morning.

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This is a laundry photograph. I try to keep many of these. Most families here do not have washers and dryers, though some are starting to purchase these machines. We don’t have coin-op laundromats here, though there are laundry services that will do your laundry for you, and even deliver your clean laundry to your door. I suppose such services might save a busy person some time. I found after a while that I liked doing clothes by hand.

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Here, on top of the one table I own, a plastic picnic-type with detachable legs, are some towels that are all dry, folded, and stacked, and a few clean and dry washcloths. On top of the towels are my clean and dry t-shirts. I folded and rolled these so they would appear freshly pressed. They are now all bagged and tucked under my bed now until I need them. To top the photo is the Uruguayan flag. I purchased mine from a street vendor a few months ago. I don’t happen to recall the occasion.

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More laundry drying on the side of the house. Here is the last straggler of a shirt at the end of the day. Also, you can see my cloth coffee filters drying out. I am hanging out a sock that I used to boil an egg. Did I tell you about that egg-boiling method I invented?  I don’t recall having done so. I need to make a note to add that post. Later. You can also see my trike, parked out here in front of the paparilla. I have it covered in case of rain. They say thunderstorms today. Maybe.

Here’s Puzzle going to sleep in here hideout under the bed:

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Here’s a photo we took while out one day, not far from here:

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Please read Jeanene Harlick’s blog, A Disordered World

This is an important work written by a journalist with whom I see eye to eye regarding these ED treatment facilities. They do not cure anything. This is a major growing for-profit industry. Who is harmed?

Patients.

In memory of those who were harmed….You folks know who I am talking about…I don’t need to name names.

Many of us were harmed, were we not? Of those of us still living, how many of us came away with hurt pride? How many were shamed? How many of us were treated with utter disrespect?  How many were harmed physically? How many still suffer trauma from forced care, such as bathroom monitoring, forced feeding, tubing, belittling, limiting fluids, being grilled regarding bathroom habits, having one’s feces examined and commented on, repeated unnecessary urine testing, monitored phone calls, staring, glaring, threats using “security,” isolation, forced “bedrest,” restraints, forced feeding leading to cardiac damage or refeeding syndrome, forced drugging, misdiagnosis, disdain toward certain cultures or religions not formerly practiced at the facility, ignoring physical complaints or obvious medical risks, ignoring allergies, inappropriate touching, shoving, handling of body orifices, inappropriate sexual conduct, verbal sexual assault, and rape. And of course, weight bias. We all hate skinny people. And we hate fatties too. Hate ’em all. Here’s the cure.  And here’s the bill for it.

Here’s the link to Jeanene’s articles. Much is research into how these facilities are making larger and larger profits, and how the laws are different in each state. It’s so complex that patients are easily fooled.

http://adisorderedworld.com/

On the bus

I took the COPSA bus to a nearby town to run an errand yesterday. Now, I know the fare, so I don’t have to ask, though I do anyway each time, just to be sure. I can say “26” in Spanish, and I sure couldn’t do that a year ago.

I guess folks don’t realize it, when I first came here, I was so exhausted from ongoing insomnia, I couldn’t do a darned thing. And yet, I had to. I had to learn a new country, learn a new town, learn a new language, meet new people, figure out how to survive, learn the climate, learn the pitfalls, figure out the currency, figure out how to get your phone and Internet to work, figure out a place to live, and make future plans all at once. In fact, when you are so exhausted from day to day, you can barely get anything done at all. How would I survive? Some do, some don’t.

When I first arrived, I didn’t know what to expect. I wondered if the insomnia would instantly cure itself. I hoped it would. I was delighted when my eating disorder gradually improved. I found the whole “mental illness” shebang was nonsense. I suspected I never had a “mood disorder,” and I sure was right about that. I’m fine now, without those shrinks. No, I don’t  have racing thoughts nor “mania.” I don’t pace anymore now that I am off the drugs. I had pimples and the shakes the entire time I was on Lithium and now, I don’t.

The only time I get depressed is, well, never. If someone’s an asshole to me, I decide that the person’s acting like an asshole and leave it at that. People get that way sometimes. It’s almost always someone back in the States. I tell myself the person’s just doing their job. So I will do mine. Smile and thank them for “doing their job.” That is, I acknowledge it has occurred and that’s all.  Although I don’t intend to praise their asshole behavior, or say it was right or okay.

I realize that NOISE POLLUTION was a much bigger problem for me than I had previously realized. My need for quiet surroundings is greater than I thought. The migraines stopped when I moved to this quiet new place. Isn’t that odd? But how can it be only coincidence? I know that noise and trauma are related. I know also from reading about what is known as “shell shock” from war, a soldier might react to sounds, such as loud popping sounds.

Someday, maybe there will be a museum erected, like a Holocaust Museum, only this one will be to memorialize the MILLIONS (60 million, estimated) now killed by the P$ychiatric Genocide. So this would be a museum where people could go and learn so history would not repeat itself. Visitors could go from exhibit to exhibit, seeing the various tortures that were done to the “patients,” and reading the stories. People could go through documents in the multitude of files kept at the library, accounts by prisoners and survivors, as well as their families and those concerned with preserving these documents. Artwork and photos would keep all these memories timeless.

Maybe, in the annuls of this museum it might be noted that those of us who have survived and lived on now react somewhat to certain sounds.  It may not be the sound of a blown tire, but a siren sound, or a wheeled suitcase, which sounds like a rolling ambulance stretcher. The sound of voices on USA police radios, such as “Ten four, chief. Over and out.” You won’t hear that here.

I react to most types of music. Anything too loud I just can’t stand. I can’t stand TV or radio. I want to run away from these things. I was in Parque del Plata maybe two weeks ago and I saw some teenagers playing instruments outdoors. These were brass instruments, so it resembled a USA outdoor concert. This wasn’t 18 de Julio, it was before that, so I don’t know what the occasion was.

I ran away so fast, I couldn’t tolerate that sound! Run! Run! I had to get away. I was uncomfortable with it. I found it nasty. Just like sirens scare me, only sirens scare me in memory me even more, so much so that I cannot allow my fear to be apparent to anyone. It’s all momentary. I relax, and remind myself I have nothing to fear now. No one can threaten me anymore. No one is going to arbitrarily haul me away to yet one more mental facility. That will never happen again.

I stood at the bus stop alone. Our bus stops tend to be open structures with overhangs that somewhat protect people if it is raining. Most of the paradas de omnibus have small benches where people can sit and wait if they wish, or children can sit. They do not all have trash barrels, and I don’t usually see ashtrays there, either.  You can tell a bus stop because there are signs that say “Parada” and a picture of a bus. Before I knew this, I wondered what those white things were. I have photographed many (I’ll try to find a few later). Many have wonderful graffiti on them, and I hear these are periodically re-painted.

I waited at a bus stop on the IB headed west yesterday. A man came holding an acoustic guitar. I told myself, “I’m sure glad it’s not electric.” I smiled at him. He seemed friendly, saying some things in Spanish to me. I got my bus money ready. 26 pesos.

Then, a memory.

It’s now 2015. I remember 13 Noviembre, 2013. I believe this was the date. In fact, I just checked my calendar, and in fact, it was. This was the date I wasted time rushing to Harvard Square to get to a kidney appointment at Harvard  Vanguard. These appointments had to be scheduled months in advance. The facility and its personnel got my insurance money. What did I get? A blood test. That and told I was a waste of human life, that I was using up their resources, that I was a hopeless waste, that there were no answers, no cures, that their purpose was to watch me die and nothing else.

I got lost on the way back to the subway station because I tried the shortcut route through Cambridge. I finally made it to Harvard Square and underground. I sat in the subway and waited for the next train. I hugged Puzzle and cried.

What a fucking bitch that nurse was!

And I thought also, “Why was I abused in the hospital? Why? Why does no one believe me?” All I could do was cry. I didn’t care if anyone saw, but lucky me, my glasses hide my tears.

Nearby, a musician held a guitar. It was the electric type, but he wasn’t playing loudly. He introduced himself, and told me he’d play a song, just for me. We talked about music some.

What a world, when for free, you get a gift from a street musician, and you show up for an appointment that you pay for, where a nurse insults and degrades you.

So that was the memory. I tried not to think about it. It’s 2015, after all. I’m not in Cambridge anymore. The COPSA bus was coming. I had to speak good Spanish and tell the bus driver where I was headed clearly so he would understand.

It’s a beautiful day here below the equator.

I was on less than a minute when the man began to play and sing.

I couldn’t help it. I began to cry. I didn’t want anyone to see, but really, who cares? I’m not known as mental patient, so it doesn’t matter anymore. Libertad. Freedom. Amazing.

For the first time in a long while, the sound of music didn’t annoy me. In fact, I found it beautiful.

Everything about freedom amazes me. I went to another town and came home and didn’t tell myself, “I have to ask my doctor first.” Or, “Uh oh, I have to ask my therapist’s permission to burn the calories.” Or, “What about  my moods?” Or, “My mental state, oh dear!” Freedom is a wonderful thing. I chose it. I felt like running up to the musician and giving him a hug, but had I done so, I would have missed my stop.