By Patricia Lefave, Monophrenic
Recently I had it suggested to me that I was pretty naive if I thought I could actually dialogue with psychiatrists and get anywhere. We all pretty much feel like we are talking to the wall and there is no doubt about that. The activist who said that though really did not understand what I meant,
so I decided to make a statement about it here, and elsewhere, as I think this needs some clarification.
I want to say that I am not
someone who is talking about thinking I can get somewhere by dialoguing "with" them. In fact, I talk AT
them and they pretty much ignore
me to my face. BUT
, a couple of them are reading my site locally and so are students in training and so are some police and there IS
a public dialogue going on about it AROUND
me while everyone pretends
that are not listening. (The same old dysfunctional way as always!)
We are all dialoguing with them and with the public on a certain level all the time, because that is the position that most of us were FORCED
into and THEY
hold all the power: Concrete
power. What I am talking about is the kind of tactic I use locally; changing the nature and the level of the dialogue in which we have been forced to participate starting by stating publicly that we ARE
forced to either do
this or accept or fates without
protest, and we just can't do that, nor should we. So we MUST
talk. We must talk because so many of us have been told that we must not
speak and so we do
speak because many of us live in countries that say they believe in the right
to free speech, even as they ALSO
tell us what we will be "allowed" to say, and to whom we will be "allowed" to say it.
We need to say THESE
things publicly and not just amongst ourselves. We need to tell psychiatrists and the public how very frustrated we are trying
to talk to them and trying to be heard. We need to say right out loud how we expect
them to invalidate all we say by proclaiming it to be a "symptom" of ours so that it won't be a symptom of a sick society that thrives, sickly, on this "them and us" splitting and double standards that make all
the sick, ever sicker, as both the victims of abuse and the perpetrators of it.
I tell them, as they don't answer, what answers I expect
from them or that I know I will get none
at all. I tell them why. I say that I know this is all built right into the dysfunctional system and can be predicted
as an outcome before I even open my mouth to speak. I talk about the system's tactics which are used to protect itself.
This is sort of like talking on the level of oversight
, like I observe, the observers and observe the machinations of the system. I try to sound like I am stating obvious
facts but not like I am trying to convince
anyone of them as I know most
of them will not hear
. Then I talk about why they won't
Carrying picket signs doesn't work because unlike
people speaking for human rights, who will be taken seriously in their actions at least, "our" similar action is simply pathologized out of sight, sound and out of mind
. I am pretty sure that at those conventions where you picket, the attendees go inside and immediately agree that all that "attention seeking" of "those people" really just gets so
very annoying. Our labels blind others to our
reality and in my opinion we must talk about this publicly on this
level and not just among ourselves. Most of us know this already from experience so we are just preaching to the choir. With psychiatry though that statement I just made will be "interpreted" in terms of pathology something like this: "Did you hear that Bob? She "thinks" she is in a church...there is more of that religiosity for you..."
(And of course, "Bob," the bio psychiatrist will instantly agree
. Thank god THEY
don't have a disease like that!)
For we are regarded
from the start as "crazy" people who only "think" our rights have been violated, or who are only SAYING
that to seek fame, as our pathology
causes us to do. This, IMO, is what we have to talk about publicly on THIS
level. That is about revelation
and not an attempt to convince psychiatrists to see us. It is more like TELLING
them what they do NOT
see which is right under their noses. Whether they listen or not is another matter, but while we are revealing it, members of the public will start listening, as is happening around me locally. Also a couple of psychiatrists are talking and this can cause a kind of ripple effect.
So we have to say things like, "we want the right to make our own decisions but hey, feel free to mock us for it since we know you do not see us as being as human as you who are doing the ridiculing.
When accused of "just seeking attention" we need to AGREE
with that and SAY
, "You are right about that you know. We ARE seeking attention and we are doing that for our own sakes as well as those following us into a system that is blind to both us, and itself. It seems to be getting so much worse too and this really scares us, for we can see what is coming, based on our own experiences with bio psych that the public at large has yet to recognize as reality.
So, I believe we need to change not WHAT
we are saying but HOW
we are saying it, and that means in enough "unnecessary" detail, to choke a horse.
We need to make them feel
all "choked up."
No pun intended