Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act

This post comes from having written this status update on Facebook. It pretty much took on a life of its own and created a small drama on the page.

medSome people seem to feel very threatened by people’s personal experiences and stories if they differ from their own…it makes it very difficult for folks with such experience to talk about what has happened to them. That’s not okay. Those of us who’ve identified psychiatric drugs and/or treatment as having been very destructive to our lives and well-being are often in this position. Many folks feel comfortable doing whatever they can to silence us. I’ve been told that sharing my story is actually a form of recklessness.

Today I saw this quote by Albert Einstein:

Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act. – Albert Einstein

I’ve often said I wish I didn’t know what I know, but given that I do know it I cannot unknow it. I so I do what I can to educate people to the reality of so many people being gravely harmed while society denies that it’s happening.

And in response to those who mock folks who feel that drugs have helped them — In order to practice what I preach, when someone does feel they’ve been helped, I choose to respect that as their truth just as I want people to respect and hear mine. And I’ve come to see that it’s true…some people find ways to make such intervention work for them. I am totally good with that.

Sadly these words led to my needing to post the below status update since some of my Facebook visitors don’t share my concern and took it upon themselves to be unpleasant to some folks who said drugs had been or were helpful to them. (I also deleted some rude comments prior to making this statement):

Belittling another’s interpretation of their personal experience because it doesn’t make sense to you is a form of abuse. Stop it. If you do it on this page you will be banned. If people get rude to anyone on this page they will be banned. And I won’t give any warning. DO NOT BE RUDE TO OTHERS WHO HAVE A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE THAN YOU DO.

and then in response to someone who insisted that the DRUGS ARE ALWAYS BAD mantra is a black and white issue with no shades of grey and that my making that boundary was being co-dependent (and worse), I said:

The truth is far more mysterious than that (it’s not black and white)…and not respecting where someone is doesn’t help them. I know people who’ve used psych meds in a way that unfolded safely for them. Period. That doesn’t erase what I’ve experienced and witnessed among those of us who have been harmed. If you are rude, disrespectful or condescending this page becomes unsafe and you will not be welcome. That’s all.
and then:
this blog and page is LOADED with info…I trust anyone here is here because they are exploring the truth and working on coming to understand themselves…I don’t need to shove anything down their throats…and if anyone else tries too, yes, they won’t be here long.

I deeply respect people’s individual journeys. They don’t always make sense from the outside — perhaps they rarely do, really. Just like our journey’s didn’t make sense to a lot of people outside of our lives. See: Many paths (as many as there are beings)

I practice listening and learning from my fellow human beings in a deeply non-coercive way. I don’t believe I have any right to tell another human being what to do with their own body/mind/spirit. Imagining our experience should be projected onto another human being, seems to me to be a form of violence. Overcoming that habit seems to be fundamental to having basic respect.

Anyway…that was part of my hectic day yesterday. not a whole lot of fun…boundaries, boundaries, and staying healthy.

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About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters