don’t call me crazy

I suppose the biggest problem is they feel superior to you. The man guarding the floor can be at a fourth grade reading level, yet in his mind–his pea sized brain–he ranks higher than any and all mental patients.

In fact, it’s not a coincidence that the ones who flock to these jobs have inferiority issues–that and of course required degrees of sadism. And the shrinks! All doctors pretend that giving a name to something means they understand an ailment. This is particularly true of psychiatrists. Armed with a diagnosis, will think they know you better than you know yourself. Everything you do is a manifestation of illness. It’s really quite frustrating.

What impressed me was that the floor was wood, covered with several thick layers of wax. Mr. Clippity-clop, I called him. In a pair of black Crocks, would go up and down the hallway–clip clop. If you stopped him to engage in conversation, the first thing he would say is “My lawyer is coming, you bet. I’m suing this place.” Then he would return to clopping up and down the hallway.

There was also a short swarthy man, who didn’t know any English. Fingernails painted black, he, too, would march up and down the hall, sometimes tossing an apple up into the air and catching it. Then there was Roger, striking an occasional martial arts pose while mumbling the Lord’s prayer. The big guy was fond of me, and an actual crazy person–someone who would likely be locked up his entire life. Far from stupid, but he knew they had his number.

The windows of my room looked out onto a parking lot–five floors up. The one wall was all window, and enough to give anyone constant vertigo. I slept with my back to the room, curled into a ball. The plastic pillow they issued was stuck to my face, wet with tears.



9 Replies to “don’t call me crazy”

  1. I’ve visited people in hospital here, some more ill than others, some of the hospitals better than others … Mostly all of them seemed to be places where absolute boredom was almost certainly what the patients could not wait to get away from. Could be that from time to time the whole human race is a little unbalanced. Evocative writing.

    1. yes, the boredom–where crminals are given more to do in jail. for some reason those controling the process believe lots of drugs is an answer to the need for adequate distraction. i’ve seen the same in resthomes, too. thanks for your feedback!

  2. My latest blog is about depression…something I was diagnosed with at 16 after a months stay in a Psych. unit due to a suicide attempt. Doctors can seem very apathetic…I remember thinking along similar lines in that the diagnosis they felt was the sum of me. But there are those out there who realize that labels are not the sum of a person…but only a part of a much bigger picture. We also have to see that within ourselves, and believe it.

    1. is difficult though, to raise those bits of self-esteem when other folks are calling you an illness. they say one is “bi-polar” — not that a person has “bi-polar illness” …………. you ARE bipolar. you ARE schizophrenic. when was the last time you heard a person say “you ARE cancer?”

      it’s in the language, how we as a society relegate BLAME. or rather, how the medical “community” has decided to relegate blame. it is not happenstance, and done very deliberately for KNOWN ends.

      instead of simply stating people are afraid or bigoted against those having mental troubles — it is given a name that belongs to the victim: stigma. so those of us dealing with the bigotry, get yet ANOTHER label slapped on US. we don’t get to say THEY ARE BIGOTS —- so what is said is that the mentally ill suffer from the STIGMA of mental illness. where the blame completely bypasses those who have problems and attitudes against anyone with a mental disability.

      it’s very deliberate ———- and dead ends in the alley of “screw you.” winners and losers. is interesting, is all. and i am very weary of WAY too many games.

  3. Yes there are many out there that forget that there’s a human being behind a diagnosis. The diagnosis itself should only be used to understand the issues that are detrimental to a person’s quality of life, in hopes of finding ways to circumvent whatever troubles exist to enhance their quality of life. For those not familiar with mental illness, fear is exactly what drives their bigotry; I’ve felt it too. People will do what they do and we have no control over that…and for fear of sounding cliché, we have to rise above it and not allow them to name who we are…we have to reclaim our own identity. No one defines who I am…I do and that…no one can take away from me.

    Screw the bigots…your and my life is ours alone, and you and I do with it what we choose. Whatever ails a person only defines them by their actions and reactions. I remember a boy I worked with in a high school (I was a high school social worker)…and he was diagnosed with Bi-Polar and the Principal kept referring to him as such. I told the young man that he is a not just a label…I’ve been labeled, judged, persecuted, used, tossed away, betrayed, manipulated, etc., etc. My world doesn’t end because of someone else’s insecurity or loathsome behavior…my world doesn’t end because they don’t understand…I have to take back my power…my voice…and with that…they are left with none.

    I know your anger…I’ve been there…sometimes I still go there for various reasons. I don’t know what mental issues, if any, that you may have…but I have learned that my anger is best directed and empowering myself instead of focusing on someone else’s version of me. I meant it in my blog when I said I’m worth it…and so are you.

    I hope this makes sense…my intent is to empower…not belittle…I hope this is how it has come across.

    1. you’d make a good politician…and am saying that with a smile 🙂 i’m turning 50 and mostly looking at manufacturing a little peace. at this point looks like i was misdiagnosed. having nerve trouble

  4. LOL a politician? A trade I loathe to be honest but I’ll take that as a compliment anyway LOL. I’m 44 and I’m there with you…trying to manufacture some semblance of peace within this thing we call life. Nerve trouble…I can relate to this and it can certainly cause chaos. Not sure what they diagnosed you with but I hope they can help alleviate whatever symptoms you’re having!

  5. “…In fact, it’s not a coincidence that the ones who flock to these jobs have inferiority issues” <— You know, I never considered that. The sadism, yes, but I never thought about WHY they were sadistic, just accepted it. I agree with some of Envisage Humanity's points (re: make your own destiny, don't let a label define you, etc.) but at the same time, I *know* it's rough, because once others know about that label (whatever it is), you're pretty much stuck with it. It's not like you can say, "I beat mental illness" the same way you can say "I beat cancer" and then people will treat you as more of a hero because you 'won' the 'battle'. With any kind of mental illness, you never can 'win'. According to society, anyway. Personally, I know differently, and so do you, E.

    You're 100% correct – the "stigma" sticks…like, forever. And yes, it completely takes away responsibility from the asshat bigots, etc. In fact, when you're doing well and the crazy isn't "showing", people who know about it will attribute it to "Oh, the meds must be working." Not, "Oh, maybe she dealt with whatever issues she had and is now a 'normal' person." (God forbid we be "normal", whatever the hell THAT is supposed to be – you already know my feelings on that word…lol). Point being, YOU are the best judge of how you're doing (inside and out). Call it good, bad, indifferent, whatever. The docs may have a label or name for it, but in the end, you're the one who has to suffer (or not) with it day in and out.

    Sorry to hear that it may be nerve damage. 😦 If there's anything I can do, hit me up in an e-mail. I might be able to help more than you'd think.

    1. will do… have to get some tests done. it gets frustrating…. you do what you can to fit in, but it’s far from an unconscious effort. is like hospitals become a gathering place for victims of abuse…. one where you cannot walk out the door and leave the abuser. it’s where they take the most vulnerable and leave them the most exposed.

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