Hi, This entry is in Response to a Story Re a Secret Vid Released by an Incarcerated Transgender Woman. Since–though a Hetero, myself–I personally do have LGBTH Friends, these Issues touch me.
OTOH, since May is “Blue Ribbon Minds Month”–and I’ve been carrying this story with me, it happened to me, in 2012–I’m now making it Public here, for the first Time.
(Please Note This entry was originally written, as a Comment on Someone else’s Blog. Since it became so long, I placed it here, instead): l
The same problem (forbiddance of ANYTHING with a Mic and/or Camera, along with severe maltreatment by staff) also exists in Hospital (Adult “Baby-Sitting”) “Psych” Wards–supposedly “treating” the Vulnerable Individuals , who are placed there, Voluntarily or involuntarily. For the Record, this isn’t something like “Hearsay ,” or any such thing! As my Blog’s Name implies: “manicartist…” I’m an Individual with a Genetically-Inherited, Lifelong (Blessing in Disguise) condition, called “Manic Depression,” (currently fadishely called “Bipolar… This, or That.“). Frankly, from what I’ve personally experienced, on five separate, vastly different occasions, under different circumstances–with, but a Single Exception, at an Expensive, Private, “Hospital” which appeared more a Resort SPA, than a Psychiatric Hospital–Three of the Five Hospitals had Staff and Policies, not unlike that mid-1970s’ Movie, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” (with Jack Nicholson), most even had the Quintessential “Nurse Ratchet,” One, in Houston, Texas, had both, Ratchet, an Overly-muscled Bully…err Security guard, so big his standing in the Middle of the Lock up Ward, left little space for the actual Patients
I Often Felt it was THEY, the Ones, Who Should Be Locked-Up, by the ” Men in the White Coats;” Not Us In my View, the level of…, (passive-aggressive…, dare I say: bordering on Cruel…), their Behavior towards Us is not Only Extremely Traumatizing, Inhumane…, It was/Is Downright Criminal!
Therefore, the Issue here, is HOW WE’RE TREATED, while (essentially) “Incarcerated.”
My Experience was nothing Healthy. It was all Harrowingly Traumatizing–and this is the 1st time I make it Public, (after all, May IS “Blue Ribbon Minds” Month).
It was late May, 2012; my Youngest Son was about to go on a Year-long Bicycle/Camping Trip, through Eurasia, starting with 2.5 months in China, always going West.
My stress Level was extremely High, but otherwise–though Worried, as any Loving Mother, in her Right Mind, Would–I was Stable.
Since my “15-minute Psychiatrist” wasn’t the type to Listen to me, I’d made a timed 15-Min Video of myself, hoping to simply give him a “Heads-Up” of what type of Motherly ordeal I was about to go through, until Mid-2013.
As Someone who Lives with a set of Conditions such as mine, I Believed it The Responsibly sensible thing to Do.
Boy, was I WRONG! <
Since I did have a history of Suicide Attempts–the last being nearly 30 years ago, and I no longer believed in such Solution to problems–I naively told him on the Video, using the big "S" word he needn't worry, due to my Knowings (ie: Reincarnation, etc), such wouldn’t be cause of concern.
Before he even finished the Video, he put my iPod Touch down, took some Notes, made a brief Phone call, and in about 10-15 minutes, I was met outside his office by 2 Female Nurses, accompanied by 2 “Butchie” (man-like) Female Armed Guards; all 4 of whom stayed with me until the Ambulance Arrived.
Immediately upon spotting the guns, a rising m yet well-guarded Panic attack began rising within me. Since I was nicely dressed in a Classy Paisley Midi, split Skirt, and Matching sleeveless Blouse, and my Hair was up done Casually but Stylishly, I don’t wear Makeup, they did treat me with Dry Cordiality.
During the Ride, fearing the worst, And seized by a Panic Attack, I made the mistake of Deleting my Video Message…, Now I had No proof my (former) Psychiatrist’d lie through his teeth about my condition, both for my Admission, and 5 days later to a Judge, trying to keep me in, 21 additional days.
Upon arrival at “3North” Ward, (as it is known by the community), I was dispossessed of EVERYTHING, sandals and all; all I was allowed to keep were my Skirt, panty, and Blouse, no Bra Allowed, no Hair Pins, only a Simple HeairBand for a Ponny tail was given me. For the next five (5) days, I was systematically DENIED Medications I needed, whilst Medicated with Medication I’d taken in the past with bad Results…, this latter, and their Refusal at providing me Valerian Root tea (Nature’s Xanax), and Dandelion Root tea (Nature’s Valium), somehow Uninhibited my “No-Cussing” self-Policy, and every day at around 2pm, out came the extremely Labile, Saylor-Mouthed (someone else from within me, I could neither stop, nor recognize) who did not let up her Cynicism, Mouthiness, Rudeness (Mind you, this behavior was strictly directed To Staff and Doctors, alike, NOT other Patients, with most of Whom, I got along quite well).
I also couldn’t stop being ultra-cynnical, (reportedly) Disruptive, during the Silliest of Groups, we had each afternoon–led by a(n obviously-untrained) Nurse’s Aide, going through the “News” of the day ,(all-Censored, of course), from the local Newspaper.
Since my Bachelors is Print Journalism, with a large Dose of Philosophy (E and W), including Self-audited Courses from Oxford University’s Philosophy Dept, via Podcasts, in Critical Thinking, Logic, and Anything else Prof. Marianne Talbot would Lecture about.
I’d uncontrollably blurt out what I thought of those “News.”
All the same, not just me, we were all Infantilized, treated as if we were two-year-olds, yet expected to Behave to Staff and each other like Mature, Stable, 50-Something Un-Medicated Individuals…
The way we were treated with threats of being locked in our rooms, for hours, the Lack of Real Activities, being made fun of, not being listened to–treated worse than children, all of it, has allowed me to (years later), realize WHY they confiscated my Sole Source of Meditative Music and Uplifting, Anxiety-Reducing Device (my iPod Touch): not only did it have a Mic and Camera, it could also record Vids, and connect to the Outside, Via WiFi.
Thus, ultimately, like the Transgender Woman and her Treatment in the Georgia Jail, Mirrors somewhat, HOW we, the so-called “Mentally Ill” have, are, and still will be, in the foreseable future, “Treated” either in Jail or in Hospital’s Psych Wards. The Total Lack of Freedom, and Truly Insane Treatment we’re dished-out, is nearly the same.
In my Case, the Hospital’s staff always searched Visitors and whatever was brought to me. They also would do “sweeps” of our rooms when we were busy elsewhere in the ward–things disappeared, went to the wrong side, from where they’d been…, our Fragile Minds made even more Fragile by their totally incompetent, Inhumane, Idiotic, Unnecessarily Cruel, Infantilizing OverDrugging, Poor-Food Choices (I’m Vegetarian & they literally made fun of my refusing to eat meat, esp. when I said I didn’t wish to “lower my Energetic Frequency, by doing so…” (something which is perfectly Normal in my System of Understanding of Life). Their comment to the Doctor about this, was Ignorantly disparaging, at best; Utterly Incompetent, at its Worst.
Reading about this Secret Video, made me truly wish we could somehow do the same at a few of the Psych Wards I’ve been in. This last one, being a most Traumatizing, unforgettable, Life-and-Mind-Changing Experience.
Rather than whatever “Healing” the Doctor may have pretended to see happen, failed miserably!
My takeaway from it was Fear of Institutionizatiion, A fruitless Searching for a better Psychiatrist; Learning I COULD NEVER TRUST ANOTHER DOCTOR, PSYCHIATRIST, THERAPIST, ADVOCACY GROUP MEMBER…, No-One in this Field…, Ever Again! Indeed, in my View, they’re all a Bunch of Dr. Mengelas…!
They nearly Destroyed Who I Did Come to Be–a Lightworker! Nonetheless, the scars, the mistrust remain.
My Applause for those with Courage enough (and the Friends outside) who’ll Dare do what she Did. We’re All One, and when Anyone suffers, We All Suffer; when I’m Well (and in time, I WILL) , so will All of Us!
Ubuntu and Namastè, my friends! (Hug a Weird Stranger This month).