I continue trying to figure out how to be in this world as the freak that I am…

I sent the post about my visit to a local church to the pastor of said church. (Justice for those harmed by psychiatry…)  She responded with vague openness and an offer to “process” my experience with her. My highly developed radar says she is not a full ally. Not yet. I really like her, but cannot force awareness on others. I responded to her diplomatic, carefully worded email with this:

Dear Pastor,

Thank you. Frankly my own personal drama is hardly what motivates me anymore. I’m in a highly privileged position with education — I was a social worker working with folks who are harmed in the ways that I now advocate for. I watched people lose everything and not infrequently die due to what is being called medical care. This is not hyperbolic. It’s fact.

I also have personal experience of exactly how this happens so I see it very clearly from both sides. I’m working out how to be safe in this world because of what I have been graced to know. Continued silence and a sense of oppressive censorship isn’t something I’m willing to submit to anymore. Learning how to move safely through the world given I know what I know is the task at hand. … Awareness has a way of being irreversible.

The cost of awareness can be very big for some of us . It’s knowledge that is frankly premature in terms of what society is able to take in at this time -‘ but there are many young people picking up what I and other pioneers have begun and I suppose I’m going to just hand it over to them at this point. I’m tired. Exhausted. And I’m not interested in processing anything in a one directional sort of way. I work with people who are willing to be deep and mutual allies. I am looking for human beings who are profoundly peer oriented.

I have ministered, quite literally and often individually, to thousands of severely injured folks all over the world. So I’m also in the process of reallocating energy so that I might find ways to interact locally. I have ceased most of my international, internet based work. Being spread thin internationally kinda sucks, frankly. The transition takes time. Learning to network among those in the flesh is a challenge. I’m recovering from two brain injuries (pharmaceutical…very common too and largely denied) … I was bedridden and nonverbal for some years. Yes, some years. I continued working…sometimes full time reaching out to others impacted as I was. This is a long process.

anyway…I’m not sure this is a match at this time…I appreciate your time and energy and perhaps what I’ve said will inform some of your future experiences with people who’ve been profoundly harmed by a system that is pretending to be medicine. what is happening is nothing short of heinously tragic.

***

She responded telling me that in her role as pastor she was willing to meet with me as a pastor. She also told me that she has a family member that is likely drug-injured.

my response:

Hi again pastor,
okay. cool. you’re right. and I am not seeking a pastor or anyone at all in positions of authority, really…I mean…some of us have those roles for better or worse, for sure, but…I’m working on creating a world without hierarchy and will only meet with folks from that place at this point. I do understand and respect that your role as pastor is largely how you function and we all have to make limits on how our time is spent. I totally get that being that I too have dealt with 1000s of people wanting my time….I appreciate your limits. Totally.

I’m sorry to hear about your family member. I’m happy to help with what has become a rather vast body of knowledge about such things if you should ever want to consult or share or whatever. This is, what I refer to when I hint at mutual aid. There is also no reason to feel like you need to approach me ever. I do get everything you say in your email. I don’t think our positions are all that different really except that the context of our lives are very different at this point.

oh! a colleague wrote this book…it might be helpful. Haven’t actually looked closely at it for some years.   Drug-Induced Dementia: a perfect crime by  Grace E. Jackson MD:

and then again after sending the above I sent this too…in response to her saying that she needs to hold the conflicting truths of her parishioners. I, of course, love to talk about conflicting truths all the time. Life is full of paradox and yes, we most surely need to consider people’s different contexts and how they come to believe what they believe. (for example: To be or not to be on psych meds):

the last email:

Dear pastor:

and just for the record…I can hold the same complexity that you’re holding too. I drive lots of injured folks nuts actually because I do speak to the entire spectrum, all the time.  People on and off drugs.  But I and others like me are not safe in ways that people who comply with western medicine probably can’t even begin to fathom. I have lots of friends, colleagues and readers who are all over the spectrum on drug use (it seems that perhaps you made some assumptions about my stance). We all know that the context of our lives differ and thus we respect our position with personal use of pharmaceuticals.

There is, however, no denial about how horribly dangerous and far from ideal use of pharma for mental health conditions is almost always. That there is no political will to create a world that would allow us to actually make choices — for now most psychiatry is delivered by coercion…often implicit but sometimes quite explicit too. None of us deny this ugliness and we’re all working towards it on and off drugs.

In most circles however, those of us injured most badly, if we dare to explain what has happened to us we are silenced…our experience truly frightens people. Our experience is too ugly to be tolerated because it might force people to really look at what is happening and they do not want to. You know this phenomena…it’s the same thing with white people not wanting to GROK racism. Psychiatry is grossly bigoted if nothing else. It dehumanizes from the get go.  If nothing else I simply hope to, in time, open the eyes of those who, for convenience, want to, need to deny what is happening at the present time.

thank you.

Monica

***

related info:

These emails to a pastor are not entirely unlike my letter writing to various doctors and shrinks over the years. Here is a collection: Letters to my Shrink

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For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safer alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page or scroll down the homepage for more recent postings. 

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About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters