Chapter 13: Mind minimalism
It must be an odd person indeed that can say for certain they are normal.
There are consequences of not doing certain things in life. People often go on holidays to forget about these consequences and end up finding a whole lot more. Plus, it is hard to let go of past behavioural modes that have been set structures within your system.
Then there’s that threatening feeling that because I wrote, BULL, for my date of birth and put my age at 103, that I’m going to be sent along to a psychiatrist again who will order the sticking of needles into me, to teach me how to behave. It’s like how older folks might feel about always having that school teacher forever haunting their lives with the cane. It’s freaky. Yet I can’t help but want to test out the boundaries. And, before I’ve thought of the consequences I’ve posted the envelope. All I can do is just think: well, I’ll deal with it when the time comes, because there’s not a lot I can do about it now.
Then I’m questioning, is this paranoia, or can they really bust open my door and come into my home again to make my life miserable with their chemical straight-jackets? Oh well, if I don’t take silly impulsive risks and say what I think and have temporary fluxes as to internal identity and external set squares, then life won’t be quite as meaningful.
My mind bifurcates on so many things other people regard as straight forward. For instance I think if I write that I live alone, I might dissemble my parallel universe with the entities that hang around at my flat. If I write that I need people to understand me, what are the implications of this? And religion, do they want to know all the things I do religiously, or what organisation I belong to? If I put down “witch”, could I get burnt when some anti-pagan comes to power? And why does it matter to them where I was five years ago? Are they going to try and compare notes? Why does this census want to spend so much time thinking about all these questions anyway? And indeed why do I? That’s right, they told me I had to. I resent that somewhat. I’m guessing that’s why my mind wanted to put down odd answers, rather than try and find the one that would slip by like camouflage.
I’m just not very good at doing things when I don’t have strong reasons for doing them. I get confused as to the purpose and end up playing the fool. I am a fool. A damn fool. Only a fool would go to a psychiatrist in the first place, hoping they had some magic wand to mend the mind. But, the trouble with psychiatrists, once you’ve visited them and been labelled and canned and injected with their treatments, they hang over you until you’re a nice little cadaver for medical students to play with.
Obviously I have huge issues with this whole malpractice of making people go places they don’t want to go, but also forcing chemical toxins inside their body. And yes, I think psychiatrists rate high on my list of obnoxious predators. See, I didn’t appreciate being tortured by them. I went to them because I was trying to work out my shit-giving circumstances. I don’t see why they had to make things worse.
Try heating hate on the fry pan and then attempt to fuck it and perhaps then you’ll get an inkling of the big ugly monster hate I hold for this species called psychiatrist. And how hate such as this is always born of utter fear.
Can I sue doctors? Yeah, but the odds of success are pretty much null. Can I get a lawyer to get me out? Not easily. I have to put up with weeks of torture before I get a hearing. And a “hearing” in a psychiatric ward, can be just a patient petition to get out of incarceration. There are no court judges, just mental health board staff. Because the “crime” is of perception: my mind being deemed fit, or unfit to be in public.
And, it is best to have money to make sure the lawyer will turn up or those board members will cut you off mid sentence and really not let you have a say. But, money hasn’t associated with me for quite some time, bloody snob.
I spent two hours waiting on the phone for the lawyers to answer. A nurse thought I was just pretending to be on the phone and grabbed it off me. To her surprise she heard queue music and gave the phone back to me. I asked her what she’d think if I called her an idiot. And she said that she wasn’t, before exiting to the staff cubical behind the thick glass door.
I turned to a fellow Russian prisoner, “Have you read Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot?”
He shook his head.
The other nurse, reading the newspaper, must’ve taken this information and passed it onto the phone-grabbing nurse, because the next time I met her, she’d gained a thing called understanding. I could see it in her eyes. Couldn’t make fun of her anymore, she just wanted to discuss Dostoyevsky.
I did have a hearing once where a wonderful lawyer arrived to help me out. She laughed and took my side. It was exquisite. The psychiatrist ended up looking really silly.
I talk about my inability to give straight answers, but that’s always about my personal identity, never anyone else. So, really I’m just talking me and that’s up to me, see. Well, in my view.
This psychiatrist, at the hearing, started reciting this lovely story about me walking around not knowing what to do, staring into the sun. It was beautiful writing, it sounded almost like Albert Camus. But I never stare at the sun. I’m a pale fucker who gets burnt to a crisp in five seconds. And he was the total opposite, so I guess he couldn’t see that what he was saying was absolutely ludicrous.
I said, “May I just refute that. You should be a writer, because that was lovely prose, but never something I could do and still be able to look at you rubbing your hands together like you’re greedy for something.”
My lawyer laughed. She had a beautiful laugh. Musical. I must admit I probably picked up the “refute” from her, because it wasn’t a term I’d normally use. But she didn’t seem to mind me linking with her energy.
We had a brief break and went out into the court yard. She had a smoke and we laughed about the ridiculous psychiatrist and I told her about my gradual understanding of the relationship between the me and the sun. How my sister used to put baby-oil on her skin to get a tan.
Omie teased me a fair bit. White skin was really unfashionable in the eighties. Chicken legs, it was called. Really irked me.
I was the palest in the family and Omie had natural dark pigments. So I put the baby oil on, hoping I could get what she had. Instead I spent the next few weeks finding it difficult to move. I think it took some summers for me, trying to get her tan unsuccessfully, before I realised that the sun and I were not a good pair and no matter what I did, all I could get was a few freckles. And no one particularly liked freckles.
“Oh but they’re sun kisses,” the lawyer said.
“The sun doesn’t kiss me,” I replied. “It slaps me about like a gimp.”
We convened the hearing and I got out, provisionally though. I still had to see a psychiatrist. Not that particular lying bastard of a psychiatrist though, he retired pretty much the next week.
They did nab me again later to lock me away. Mostly because when I had the forced check-ups with psychiatrists, I would ask questions like: “What do you think about psychological rape?” and “Have you ever thought about the way the sound of words affects the mind?” Apparently this is called “Flight of thought” and is counted in their idea of delusional behaviour, as is rhyming. And I just love a good chime. But that’s “Echolalia” to them. And my continuous writing is “Hypergraphia”. How bloody else am I meant to write a book?
I just think they have no grasp of artistic concepts. I told a psychiatrist so. He got really angry and thumped the table, “Bloody hell.”
I told him not to swear at me.
He said, “Grow up.”
Think he didn’t like the sound-sense of his name, because it could be broken up into a silly pun. But I didn’t talk about that, too personal. I said, “What I mean is, haven’t you ever thought about how the title doctor can be like pulling on tails so much they snap off? Or a rock that a big ship doesn’t see as it heads close to shore; and how that sound and meaning might affect your neural links and so too your behaviour?”
I remained calm externally, while he made the call to get the thugs to lock me away. It was obviously not me whose “mood” needed sedating. He just didn’t find me affable.
Doctor Tensio did allow me to call my parents. My dad answered and I asked if he could help me out. Then Tensio demanded to speak to Dad, giving one damn diagnosis after another pouring pure rotten jargon into my dad’s ear. “You’re daughter has psychosis. She needs to go to hospital. She is showing symptoms of schizophrenia. It is imperative we treat her immediately.”
Dad believed in science and medicine and had no idea that it was all about commerce and industry. He didn’t argue. He simply listened.
Six years later when Dad was in hospital getting continual blood tests, so that all his veins collapsed, perhaps then he understood something of what I’d been through. They took so much blood his body didn’t even have enough of its normal strength to fight. Still, those nurses and doctors in the cancer ward, they were nice. They actually did seem to care and certainly they spoke to him like the intelligent man he was. It’s just that they just had to get the blood samples required for analysis in the laboratories so that they could find drugs to cure… someone else, in future circumstances, with enough money.
But Dad had a choice. He chose hospital. I didn’t.
And when Dad wanted to go home, I defended him. “If there’s nothing more you can do for him, then there’s not reason to take his blood. He needs that so he has some strength. When can he go?”
The Doctor checked Dad’s stomach. I averted my gaze to be polite to dad. That’s when I heard the Doctor’s thought: His daughter can’t even look at him.
I looked. It was okay. But when the doctor left the room I laughed and wasn’t sure why. Then I realised I’d sensed a nice positive message from the doctor: Your dad is turning into a big gold Buddha.
We got to break down barriers. I got to say how much I loved Dad. I hugged him without restraint. All those family hiccups, they did not matter any more. Huge sudden change in energy dynamic between us.
And it wasn’t just me experiencing strange phenomenon this time. Everyone in the family was experiencing weird strange interconnections and prescience.
The strongest thing I got though, prior to my mother calling me to let me know about Dad being sick, was the sensation of needles in my arms and a voice saying, “I’m turning into a junkie!”
I didn’t know what to make of that, other than ignore it, until Mum called. But, see, I’m used to that sort of weird stuff happening from time to time for reasons such as this. That’s is why I prefer to know, then the feeling goes away. It’s my sensory difference.
Dad said when he wanted the morphine he’s ask for it. But when he was coughing and unable to speak, the nurses said, “Sometimes we have to make the decision.”
I don’t think anyone violated Dad though. They showed him respect and care. It’s just the taking of blood. That, was the wrong. Guess that’s why I got those feelings.
I do muck things up horribly though. I held his hand when he was being given the final dose of morphine. I heard Dad say: Why are you holding my hand. I thought you were a nurse taking my pulse.
Then I walked over to my brother who was playing music. I said, “It’s beautiful music. But it’s so sad.” I didn’t want to cry. I kind of promised myself that I wouldn’t. That’s when I got things mucked up. “I’ve got to go.”
Of course that thought wasn’t about me. But perhaps Dad wanted a few of us out of the room and for us to come back and just see him golden: mouth half open in awe.
2. Statistically numb
The hearing voices and psychosomatic feelings, don’t go away, because they are things that I sense and interpret. With forced “medication”, I just was less able to react to them and so fix my wiring that was still in need of renovation. I became a very redundant person indeed. I have a lot of motivation. I am also rather obsessive about those things that have meaning to me. To have all that taken away, was stripping me of the very essence of who I am. It was putting my body and my mind into a cage, where neither could operate to any kind of reasonable capacity.
I was actually coping quite well and processing my ideas the last time the psychiatric system decided to interfere. It’s just that many of them do not understand what inspires me. They are motivated by charts, statistics, marketing and numbers. So, I can reasonably say, any artist that walks into a psychiatrist’s office will be deemed psychotic and in need of medication. For what though? Oh, because those are the rules and these people follow the rules or get the sack. If they were once intuitive understanding people, they’ve learnt that gets them transferred. And who wants to be shafted like that? Any human decency tends to get worn away and patients are then viewed as mere factory fodder, to be labelled and canned. And, I won’t play the kitten to that. I won’t have my mind minimalised.
They can try to control me, but they can’t have my mind. That’s my own country. No one invades it. They cannot exist in a place they will never understand to the depth I do. This is the place where I am free. Psychiatrists forced chemicals upon it to sedate and lacerate its dreaming. I do not hesitate to say they are, to my mind, the cruellest longest running, most inhumane despotic organisation of beings on earth. And like all despots, they label their torture under banners like: Duty of Care; Community Treatment Order; and, Medication.
The definition of a danger to self or others, is not difficult to ascertain. Yet many psychiatrists find it so easy. They are paranoid of many things, yet don’t seem to care when their prescriptions are to blame for many suicides.
The second time I got sent into hospital, I was following an internal play where I had to say yes to everything asked. Back then I found it hard to say no to something like this, but I did have limits.
A psychiatrist read from a sheet a series of yes/ no questions, but never asked the obvious one. I guess she was tired and it was the end of the day, so she had me pinned as all those things I’d said yes to. But she did have the cheek to send me the bill to charge me her big fat fee and call to make sure I paid it. This time I said no.
Saying yes to everything can get you in a hell of a lot more trouble than saying no to things. At least if you say no, then, you know, you’re not that, even if you are something else. Say yes and you could be agreeing to blow up the world. Not that I’d follow through with such a thing, being a pacifist, albeit a somewhat antagonistic one.
I can say yes to many things. An actor goes with things that are not in their nature to do, gaining insights into how another might psychologically operate. But there are certain ethical boundaries that my body would never cross in the physical realm. Homicidal thoughts being one of them, I’d just said yes to that. And by saying yes, someone else might think I’m capable of it, or want to hold me to some agreement. So, saying yes to everything was not a good play. But I was doing some serious rewiring at the time, so I couldn’t quite get to the point of knowing it was a bad idea to make this repetitive sound.
The final time I was in hospital, I knew all the procedures. And I knew the pills just didn’t work, no matter what bloody brand they gave me. They’d put me in there predominantly for paronomasia. I liked that part of me, it didn’t need to be cured.
So this time I agreed to nothing. No, no, no no nooooo! Nurses were about to grab me and take me to force an injection of substance they knew gave me seizures and tics.
I raised my fist, but I couldn’t let it fly. I’d previously had a half decent conversation with the nurse in front of my fist. And although I knew it would be self defence, I also knew she was just doing as she was told. And, I also knew the hopelessness of it all. Even if I could conjure up a Jackie Chan fantasy and beat all five staff members closing in on me, I’d soon find that security would be called.
Security at the hospital consists of big tough fighters with batons and shit. I’d have no chance of getting a fist anywhere near their faces. And then I’d also heard the doctors prescribe ECT to those who give trouble. The last thing I wanted was being put to sleep and electrocuted and lose my memories. And it is true, they do this indeed. No consent needed. Justified treatment, in their eyes.
It is all: resistance is futile and you must comply. Quite a few patients dubbed the hospital staff “the Borg”, that and “Nazis”. Psychiatric medicines were first developed in Nazi Germany, incidentally, to cleanse the world of the so called feeble-minded, or as the staff called us, mentally ill. I prefer to say, those with sensory difference, or alternative minds.
I consider all substances dreamed up by despots to cure our inability to homogenise with the social set-up, as merely chemical straightjackets. Keeping the mind so preoccupied with trying to cope with the chemicals, the person under this “medication” cannot do much more than sleep.
I obviously didn’t have a choice. “All right I’ll take the pill.”
A nurse sneered, “Too late for that now.”
They grabbed me. I just gave the resistance of my body, making them work. At least I also could absorb the energy of their power against mine. I couldn’t help also sticking my finger-nails into them in an attempt to get their arms off me, as they took me to a padded room, stripped me, injected me and locked me in there with nothing but a mattress. I had to bang on the door and beg for a jug of water. They gave me this after an hour with a pan to piss in. But there was no curtain on this room and other patients and nurses could stare in. So I just spent my time singing loudly, wanting my pen to write the lyrics that are flowing, to cure the feelings of pain.
I had a severe reaction to the chemical Acuphase, just as I had last time they gave it to me. I started having micro-seizures, brutal headaches, and my body twitched constantly. My tongue poked from cheek and round about as I tried to tell a nurse how I kept fainting and hitting my nose on the floor. She tittered and muttered, “Oo I’m getting flighty thoughts”.
I believe she was thinking of the puns on nose and floor. Like, I knows the flaw or something; yeah and that I looked hilarious to her. Which is all good she had a sense of humour, but then no qualms about knowing the injection caused this and no noting of this either. Was this what she considered healthy?
Look, I refused to swallow a pill. I committed no violent act. I merely said things they thought delusional, because they cannot understand my logic.
People who are locked away are not violent criminals you hear about in the news. Mostly the assumed risk, that psychiatrists get us on, is possible self harm. And so, we become property to the psychiatric laboratory. And thus are taught to be compliant or else.
A woman in hospital yelled, “People in gaol have more rights.”
She could be right, accused criminals have a court of law and if police want to punish you for being cheeky, they’ll mostly only hold you overnight. Psychiatrists always hold you longer, months if you’re uncooperative. And these mental police more often beat you up internally, rather than externally where their brutality can be seen.
During the seventies and into the eighties psychiatric patients were forcefully tested with chemicals that are now considered illicit substances. Patients were given over a hundred LSD tabs, with the logistical justification that giving a psychotic person what induces psychotic behaviour might reverse the symptoms. No, of course it didn’t, it created other problems, but then these were labelled as “symptoms of psychosis”.
Psychiatrists now say that some illicit drugs produce, “behaviour seen in older schizophrenic patients”, when really these behavioural symptoms were actually caused by the chemicals the psychiatrists were forcing on the patients. This is never mentioned as a possibility. Of course not, that would be reminding many of the lovely psychiatrists of their atrocities.
No one has ever said sorry to these patients. That would be bad business, because they still want the power to experiment on people today. If the pharmaceutical companies cannot force testing in psych wards, then their race to find an emotional panacea will be limited.
There is hope for people with emotional problems, but I doubt if it will ever be a chemical solution that does it. Although, sometimes it is diet related. Something public hospitals certainly ignore. Their food could not be deemed healthy. It’s this slurry of over cooked berk-up.
Hope exists in various forms of therapy that involve the person doing activity that they enjoy. It involves being encouraged and accepted, stopping excessive use of toxins, having a place to live; and if you’ve got all that, then talking it through with someone you can trust. If that means having a person that is under legal oath not to disclose anything that you say to them, then so be it. That’s where a psychologist or social worker comes in.
And the psychiatrist? Well, as far as I’m concerned it’s a bit like that other study of heads: phrenology. If I want to be prescribed a drug, couldn’t I just do that by research? I don’t think psychiatrists can be always trusted to not be in the pharmacists’ pay. That’s what they do, deal in drugs. Of course the two are heavily linked. So, there can’t be a lot of trust there. Besides, doctors have a tendency to be very arrogant and insist an injury is all in the “patient’s mind”, even your average GP.
I was playing football and stupidly tackled this huge woman with car-red hair. Snap, I heard. Felt like the whole field did. But they obviously didn’t because they watched me play on and groaned when I kept dropping the ball.
The next day, I saw the tell-tale bruising and went to a GP and said, “My finger’s broken.”
The GP insisted it wasn’t.
And I believed him because I was young and naïve and he was “experienced”. A month later, it was still hurting and interfering with my ability to work. So I went to a hospital. They x-rayed it and yes, it was a fracture, but it had started to heal, so they couldn’t set it properly. Result: I have a permanently gammy pinky. Diddums you say? Well I like to play guitar.
This sort of stuff is an everyday occurrence with a psychiatrist. They never listen to the patient, patients are diagnosed as, “not in their right mind”. So, in effect, everything the patient says is reinterpreted, or discarded. If a patient says the medication is causing ill effects, the psychiatrist will most likely totally ignore it.
It was only through lawyer intervention and me agreeing to take the debilitating pills that I didn’t have to have this far worse dose of long acting neural-analgesics forcefully administered to me on a regular basis. The depot, it’s called, end-of-the-line dished-out treatment for uncooperative peoples.
For two years I worked at trying to convince a psychiatrist to lower the doses. During those two years, I couldn’t function properly and on the odd occasion I’d skip taking the pill, or just take half of it and spend a lovely night being able to think freely and inventively. But they said they’d take regular blood tests to make sure the chemical was in my bloodstream. So, I had to be very careful.
If I hadn’t found out that legally, after two years, I wasn’t required to take the noxious substances, the psychiatrist would still be insisting I take this chemical. But after two years of compliance I was no longer on a “community treatment order”. I had been calm and regularly visited the psychiatrist and answered all her questions without writing or drawing in her presence, or seeming nervous and I had not argued with her ugly labels she placed upon my identity.
Then, I stopped taking the pills despite the psychiatrist saying she wanted me to keep taking them. It was like waking from being in a semi-coma. I was suddenly aware that my jacket had stains all over it. I was able to draw again. I was able to write freely. I asked my psychiatrist how she thought I was doing, two months after not taking the chemical. She said really well. Once again, I asked if I could stop taking the drug. She said no, it’s best not to.
I said, “But I haven’t been taking it for two months and you said I’m doing really well.”
The psychiatrist had to admit defeat, but insisted on monitoring me for the next six months. I was then discharged. She wanted me to keep seeing a psychiatrist outside the public system. But I said, “It’s too expensive”. What I really wanted to say was, “What? Are you mad?” But, that might have meant I was being “aggressive” and “defensive” and “psychotic” and could have me placed under a treatment order again. So, of course I didn’t say that.
Until you’ve had your rights to your own body taken away from you, you probably think that when a person complains about the psychiatric system it is because they are psychotic, that meaning whatever scary threatening thing you happen to think it means. Think again, most of the people who get this ill treatment from psychiatrists are victims of crime. And many more, are children.
Put your baby in a sandbag and it won’t be a nuisance to you, but it won’t develop very well either. And you’ll also be up for child abuse if anyone finds out. Not so though if your psychiatrist will prescribe pills for the kid, which they do on a regular basis. Many parents even think they’re doing the right thing by the child, because they think the psychiatrist knows best. Truth is, they’re hurting their child’s development.
Adults are not babies, no one should have that power to “own” them. And yet they are not asked. They are not believed. Many were also forced to take chemicals as a child. The chemical age has been booming for decades. Amphetamines prescribed for weight loss; sleeping pills, waking pills. Pop until you can’t stop.
Let people take what they like – my problem is when people are forced to have inside their body what is only doing them harm. And call it a conspiracy theory if you will, but I see no other reason for torturing people other than greedy companies’ desire for human laboratory animals. Not far fetched when you have no rights and everything you say is believed to nonsense, or a symptom of your “illness”.
Many people may believe that psychiatric medication works for them. So be it, many more people also believe smoking cigarettes helps. Even a nurse in hospital tried to encourage me to have a cigarette, saying it would calm me down. I didn’t want or need to be calmed down. I needed fresh air and a two hour walk or so. I needed my own space. I needed to write.
So, if smoking, alcohol and other drug use works magic or if you like pharmaceutical prescriptions such as psychiatrists give, fine, go for it. It’s about choice; for these substances have side-effects that play havoc with life-span, but most especially quality of life.
I’m not fond of harsh chemicals. They don’t help me. And I’m not the only person who feels that way. Some of us don’t need to be bound from the inside out. And a lot of people, like me, have been forced against our will to take this shit for a period of years, or just never know when permission will be given for us to stop.
Going to a psychiatrist is essentially like going to the police and confessing a crime. But, your crime is that you don’t know what is going on in your mind and need assistance. So, a psychiatrist takes a preventative measure and places you in a ward for observation, to see how much they might tranquilize you to hopefully make you chronically fatigued and less likely to do anything unwanted. Suicide is linked to terrorism and there is also this fear that people who have nothing to lose, have nothing to fear and cannot be controlled.
Surely though, no person, no matter how obnoxious you think their personality is, should be forcefully subjected to that. An obnoxious personality is not a crime. If that personality harasses and suggests they might kill you, then yes it is. But the question here is not whether to imprison or not. It is about whether torturing a person of mental difference is a justified preventative measure, or mere prejudice and conspiracy against my kind.