The Complete Written Interview

18. November 2015 Uncategorized 3
The Complete Written Interview

Now that the radio documentary is out, I thought it might be informative to post the full and complete written interview with Sue Reece.  Since I’m a writer and they had time restraints, I wrote excessively (I’m sure that’s hard to imagine *wink wink*) and they used what they wanted for the documentary.  I have edited the interview to exclude personal anecdotes told to me in confidence.  I have set it up to read more like a Q & A.  I hope you enjoy. 🙂

Content warning:  CHRISTIAN THEMES.  There are some Christian themes, along with discussion of mental health and mental illness, as well as treatment (both good and bad), and some discussion of religious themes.  Please read with care.

SR: A good place to start would be for you to think about what you’d like to say to the outside world. As you know, so little is known about DID and multiplicity that its almost overwhelming to figure out where to start. But is there any place you’d like to start? Anything you’d really like to communicate to the ‘ordinary world’?

JM: I think one of the most important things that the world at large needs to know is that D.I.D. is not actually as uncommon as people think. If you look at statistics on how many people have experienced childhood trauma, it doesn’t make sense to propose that D.I.D. is as rare as some people say it is.

In relation to that, the nature of dissociation makes it complicated to detect even in ourselves sometimes. Many multiples have had D.I.D. for years, with all of the signs, and only recognized it in adulthood after some sort of enlightening event or experience. That tells me that not only are there many more multiples out there than people think, but in a lot of cases the person themselves doesn’t even realize they ARE one.

I can’t speak for the entire world, but in America if D.I.D. is spoken of at all in formal education, the picture that’s painted as to what it looks like to be a multiple is very different than how it actually feels and looks to the average person who has it, and the average person who comes into contact with them. For me personally, even the questionnaires used to screen people in mental health facilities phrase the questions in such ways that didn’t allow me to connect the questions to what was going on inside me. So I answered the questions in a way that never indicated I had D.I.D. even though I did.  What I mean is the questions were phrased to make it sound like if you said “Yes, I’ve had this experience” that meant you were crazy. The phraseology seemed biased – that might be a better way to put it.

I’m sure this will come up many times in your project but 99.9% of people with D.I.D. do not act like the stereotyped multiples made famous in the media by sensationalized accounts. Those stories have crippled the multiple community by making the world afraid of us, when there’s absolutely no reason to be. Most of us would never give people any reason to suspect we have D.I.D. In a lot of cases it has helped us survive, so by nature D.I.D. is not set up to attempt to attract undue attention to itself. (I know there are those out there who believe not all multiplicity is caused by trauma, and I respect their opinion on that even though I would tend to disagree.)

The most important thing needed in my opinion is education and awareness. That’s why this project is so exciting to me!  I’m very glad to be a part of it.  Let me know where you’d like to go from here and if you need clarification on anything.

SR: You’ve certainly raised very a important point of how D.I.D. has been sensationalized in the media and has just served to make the general community afraid of it. And how much of that is wrong to how people on the inside actually feel. Its quite difficult to find the right adjective to assign to your experience of not being able to honestly answer questionnaires, as they were so badly phrased as to assign you the label of ‘crazy’ if you admitted to certain experiences. So I guess the biggest question that occurs to me at the moment is, When did you first begin to realise that you are D.I.D.? As you say, its such a difficult puzzle to put together seeing as so many of the pieces are invisible (ie the dissociation), and people dont know how to make sense of the visible pieces (ie the self destruction, or the inconsistencies that we now know are switching, or whatever), and on top of that, people keep trying to overwrite those visible pieces in order to create a whole picture that they think you should be. 

JM: It’s a good question, about when I starting realizing I was D.I.D. Not sure if you want an approximate timeline as far as what year, or the circumstances?

It’s actually been nearly 10 years ago now.  The differences in self-awareness and cooperation in a seasoned system like mine and those who are still fairly new in their diagnosis are quite striking; I see them every day. But that’s a rabbit trail…

Let’s see. I’d had dissociative symptoms for all of my life, but I didn’t know they were happening and/or I didn’t understand what it was. As examples, I lost tons of time. But you can’t be aware of losing time if you can’t remember having lost it. Little increments of time going missing in a person’s day aren’t that noticeable. I never lost things like whole weeks or months or years, so there was nothing to clue me in that anything unusual was going on. I also tended to mentally jump in and out of the same (ongoing) conversation with people, and didn’t know this wasn’t normal. Whatever we ourselves experience seems normal to us because we don’t have anything else to compare to. Sometimes I’d “come back” to awareness in the middle of a situation and just have to figure out where I was and what was going on by listening and observing. I wasn’t (and am not) a huge talker anyway, and all of my inside people tend to be more reserved in behavior, so it wouldn’t have seemed out of the ordinary to anyone else for me to do this. They would have had no idea that the person they thought of as “me” had only just arrived. I, myself, just didn’t know that this doesn’t happen to everyone. I thought it did.

Growing up, my mother (who is not informed of the multiplicity – she is not a safe person to trust) used to complain about how messy I was. She always said “I could follow your trail all throughout the house,” and I honestly think I switched so rapidly at home at times that I’d start a project and abandon it within 10-15 minutes, and I’m sure it did leave quite a trail. I’d sit down to read a book, read for 10 minutes, switch, put the book down, go get out my markers and start drawing, switch, go turn on the TV, switch, go outside and get my bike out, etc… As an even younger girl I’d literally have all of my toys out within an hour, because my inside people apparently couldn’t decide on what to play with for very long. I do remember playing out very violent scenes with my Barbie dolls. But I must have felt that this wasn’t okay, because I never did it when any of my friends were over. I knew how to play nice, “normal” scenes with friends. Then when I was alone, I’d pretend my Barbies were being assaulted, abused, killed, destroyed somehow. I was trying to work something out, in my mind, but I didn’t understand what. When I got done smashing them (always using the male figure as the aggressor), I’d throw them across the room and collapse in an angry heap, staring into space until I switched again and re-focused on something else.

By adulthood I was QUITE broken apart in my mind, and didn’t know it. They call it complex polyfragmentation, but I really think they just like using big words. 😉  In daily life I only knew that the same painful scenarios kept repeating and I didn’t understand why. Without having had a safe mother (or safe parent, period) I kept ending up in a recurring situation where I would meet a maternal mother type of figure, get extremely attached to her, and then for whatever reason she would end up rejecting me and ending the relationship.  It was excruciatingly painful, but I couldn’t seem to stop myself from attaching or from doing whatever it was to drive them away. I had no idea why anything was happening the way it was, and over and over. In reality, all my little kid parts were looking for a mama, and their needs were too overwhelming to the women I met who weren’t themselves mature enough to set healthy boundaries. I believe in a lot – if not all – cases, DID can be best understood as an attachment disorder. There is a substantial amount of research to support this theory. But I digress. At any rate, the last time this situation happened, where I’d just been abandoned by a mother figure AGAIN, I somehow could clearly see one of my inside people for the first time. She was a little tiny girl, and another part who was large and scary and angry, was trying to kill her. (I did attempt suicide that weekend.) To the angry part, the little girl was the problem. If she would stop attaching to people, we would stop getting hurt. This was the first time I’d ever “seen” anyone in my mind, and realized something very different was happening in my mind than the things that happen in most people’s minds. Not long after, I made an offhand comment to someone about listening to the people talking in my mind and then laughed, “But everyone does that, you know,” and she got very quiet. Her quietness scared me and got my attention. She looked at me with a mixture of concern and regret and said to me, very carefully, “No, actually, I don’t think everyone does. I know I don’t. And neither does my husband. And neither do most other people I know.” And the only thing I could think to say was: “Oh.” I was a little bit shocked by that epiphany. I think the friend was, too.

Those were really the first steps on the road to realizing I was a multiple.  Of course the natural thing for my friend to do was believe I was demon-possessed and take me to a priest for an exorcism. Highly traumatizing, and obviously ineffective since I had alters, not demons. You can’t cast a person out of themselves.  But that’s another story for another time.

Also I want to add that in the situations I mentioned as a child, I’m not saying every child who changes tasks every 10-15 minutes is a multiple. Plenty of kids do this, depending on their age and available activity options, their interest levels, etc. I’m not saying every child who likes to keep busy with a variety of things has D.I.D. I’m actually saying that D.I.D. can so closely mimic “normal” childhood behavior that you may never know what you’re looking at if you’re not paying close attention. I was diagnosed with ADHD as a young adult, and I believe the same thing was going on: I did not have ADHD, I had alters who were switching so rapidly I could not stay on task.  But these things can look so similar it can be very difficult to correctly evaluate the person presenting the symptoms.  I just don’t want any parents out there to think their child has D.I.D. or was severely abused just based on those behavioral clues I mentioned. Those don’t necessarily indicate D.I.D. They can, but not necessarily.

SR: I’m so sorry to hear that you then got taken off for an exorcism – I can appreciate how traumatizing that would have been. How much did add to any sense of confusion you were feeling about the revelation that most other people didnt function like you did?

I think your understanding of how parts of you were trying to find people to attach while other parts of you considered that a problem shows a lot of insight. I hope also that you’ve been able to find some safe people to attach to since then.

I also very much understand that you’re not saying that all children who exhibit those behaviours are D.I.D. I know how much D.I.D. is designed to blend in with its surroundings – to keep its people under the radar, especially when there’s huge trauma, pain and confusion on the inside.

I guess the next question I’d like to ask is what sort of difference did it make to you when you started to understand yourself in terms of D.I.D./Multiplicity? Who put their finger on it?

JM: Thank you for your compassion and sensitivity. I want to assure you that you’re welcome to ask anything. I’ve been in this process for 10 years now and I’m very well advanced in terms of healing. Despite how excruciatingly hard it’s been and how lonely the journey always is, I’ve come to a point where I have healthy relationships now. I have friends who know me, they know my history, I’m open and honest with them, and they love me. They’re safe. I’m safe. In most cases we replicate on the outside what already exists for us on the inside; when we are able to heal and become accepting of ourselves on the inside, that circumstance will manifest in our lives externally. It’s sort of a profound thing but I have found it to be true. I have now begun to learn how to have compassion for myself and to even “mother” my little kid parts on the inside, in some ways. And I now have external mother figures and a continually developing sense of who I really am, apart from all the bad that happened and that I used to believe defined me. I know now that it doesn’t. I know that I am who I am on the inside – and I always have been – and nothing that was done to me on the outside can change that.  That’s the beauty of dissociation. It enables us to hide away the best, truest, most beautiful and real parts of our selves – from things that we would not have survived, until a later day when it’s safe to bring those things back out into the light, and see that they’re all still there. They’re all still intact. Nothing has changed them, and nothing will change them. It’s who we are.

At this point in my recovery I’ve recently started doing a bit of training on how to help other survivors in a face to face setting. I choose the Christian angle, personally, but I know that can be a turn-off especially to those who have been ritually abused in some type of religious way. So I’m not extremely outspoken about that approach very often, unless someone asks me about it in a PM, which everyone is welcome to do. I don’t often take that approach on my blog either because I believe awareness and education can make a lot of people’s lives a lot better without pushing a religious belief system in the process, and I prefer to wait to discuss it until others approach me about it. At any rate, I hope to be meeting with clients in a healing capacity, maybe within the next year or so. I’ll see how that goes. I’m not in a rush, because I still have a lot to learn. But it’s a goal. 😉

People have asked me as they’ve gotten to know me if there are things they shouldn’t say or ask, or things that would upset me. Very few things fall into that category, as I have either dealt with it already (emotionally), or it’s things the average person just wouldn’t say or do in the course of daily life. They’re too specific.  So…ask away.  🙂

As far as the exorcism, it was very unfortunate. I actually think the exorcism wasn’t as traumatizing as the abandonment after it didn’t seem to “work” on me. I wish I could say that that was one of the few times I’ve ever heard of the church or Christians misunderstanding or being uninformed about trauma or dissociation, but sadly it’s not. That is another one of my goals with writing and trying to educate people about D.I.D. When I get to a point of having enough time to do it, I’d like to have a completely separate website that IS Christian-themed, with the end goal of being a resource for Christians who are trying to heal from or deal with dissociation. They need to understand that alters are not demons, and they need to understand how to walk in support roles for multiples. Or the survivors themselves need to hear that they are not demonized and that people are often good-hearted but ill informed.

Realizing I was D.I.D. was a pretty crucial event in my life. It was the ONLY thing that made everything else fall into place and finally make sense. It was the only thing that put everything else into the proper context. Before that, it was like trying to work a puzzle without even being aware that it WAS a puzzle. There were too many pieces that I didn’t even know were pieces, and neither did anyone else around me. Once I had an awareness that it WAS a puzzle and that there WERE pieces, things at least made sense. They weren’t immediately better. In fact, in the immediate aftermath they were much, much worse. Chaos erupted in my mind, in my life, even in my physical health. But for better or for worse, you have to know what you’re looking at or you can never begin to know what to do about it.  Even though the awareness did not immediately fix anything, I at least had an answer as to what was wrong with me, why I was like this. If nothing else, that was a relief.

SR: Understanding that alters are not demons is certainly a key piece of knowledge that people need. I can understand that the abandonment when it didnt ‘work’ for you would have been traumatising? Did your friend view you as dangerous in anyway if she thought you were still demon possessed? 

I guess then a couple of questions I’d like to ask you are

1) What are your best and worst experiences with the mental health profession (that you are okay revealing)? and

2) What’s been some of the hardest things you’ve had to do in coming to terms with DID/Multiplicity?

JM: Your opinion on the medical model of “professional distance” is exactly how I feel. This is why I don’t work with people who use that model. And as a matter of consequence that means I don’t work with people who are traditionally employed in the mental health field, although if there were good ones who had recovery philosophies that matched up with mine and they were accessible, I’d consider it. I just haven’t found anyone in that category. I DO employ 1 psychiatrist at this time, but she is a Christian as well and not my main source of support or healing, so distance doesn’t really matter in her case. I only started seeing her last fall when things were extremely rough. Because the people who work with me are Christians and we use a Christian healing model, they felt it necessary to just have a psychiatrist on board to cover all the legal bases since the pair of people who are helping me heal do not have the kind of credentials that the world or the government would care about. But we don’t view medication as an answer as a blanket rule. Which on the flip side doesn’t mean we don’t believe in it; we just wouldn’t want to narrow our opinion of what will help since every person is so different.  I’ve both been on medication in the past, and not been on medication. Currently I’m not. If I felt it was needed or would be helpful, I’d consider it. And I don’t look down on anyone else who feels they need it and that it’s a helpful tool for them. As stated on my blog, I’m pro- “whatever works.” 😉 It makes sense to me that that would mean different things for different people, and a different combination of different things. I truly believe healing and wellness is nearly always going to be acquired through using all sorts of different resources and not just one.

Unfortunately the answer to the question about my worst mental health experiences could be many different things. In my mind they all tend to blend into one awful and horrendous situation even though I had quite a few encounters (especially as a minor and was forced into therapy by parents). I’ve honestly had very, very few GOOD experiences with the mental healthcare system in America. Maybe I just live in a part of the country that’s particularly lacking in compassion or understanding, I don’t know. I used to take it personally and think “people just don’t like me” but I don’t really think that’s the case. I think the people I had the misfortune to deal with were just like that toward everyone. Which amazes me that they would choose, and be able, to be employed in a helping profession since they obviously despised the people they were supposed to be helping. It’s a shame.

Besides the fact that most state-run institutions (which is what I was largely exposed to as an adult due to my income level) don’t know anything about trauma and dissociation, even the admission process is itself traumatizing. Being strip searched, having your belongings sorted and removed, and forced to shower in an open room in view of the mental healthcare workers, which is part of being admitted, is re-creating a lot of the old wounds of being over powered, violated, and shamed. If they were at least compassionate and apologetic about it, there might have been some dignity left to be retained. But most of the time the people admitting had a shaming and derisive attitude toward the patients, which rubbed salt into the wounds. I remember a very large and angry black lady (an admission tech, I guess) asking me once, in a demanding and accusatory tone, “What in the world would you want to kill yourself for?” I’m not trying to play the race card here, but she looked at me almost as if she thought that by virtue of my being young and white, I was a spoiled little rich girl who was throwing a hissy fit over being denied an Ivy League college scholarship, or some such crap. Nothing could have been further from the truth. And I can’t think of anyone who would be willing to honestly answer such a question when asked in that tone.

Despite all that, I think the worst experience I had in the mental healthcare system was with one such hospitalization. It was a week before Christmas and I’d attempted suicide in such succession that I was automatically sent to the state ward, accompanied by a police officer. I’d been there 2-3 days before I ever saw my psychiatrist – the guy who was supposed to be in charge of my recovery – because a lot of the regular staff was on vacation for the holiday and we were basically just being held all day, every day, doing nothing. The hospital schedule was suspended. We spent 12 hours a day in an observation room with a tv on, not allowed to do anything. The beds were like bricks, the sheets were like sandpaper. I had better luck sleeping sitting up in a chair during the day. At any rate, I finally got to meet my “treatment team” with the psychiatrist in charge. I was sitting at a table with a panel of people, all strangers, all taking notes, all hostile-looking (or at least neutral). The psychiatrist walked in, sat down, and just stared me down for a full few minutes, saying nothing. I was in a very tender, vulnerable, and broken place at the time, and he scared me. But I felt desperate enough to TRY to be honest, because I was still under the false impression that these people would or could help me. He finally asked me one or two introductory questions, to see if I was oriented and coherent, and then asked me point-blank: “What do you think you need to do to get well?”  Looking back, I should have seen that it was a trick question, but at the time I could not. I stumbled through some kind of half-answer, saying that I was hoping the people in my life might be able to gain some information that could help them be more supportive to me in recovering (since they were my main source of stress at the time), but he interrupted me. He said something to the effect of “No. The people around you don’t need to do anything. No one else needs to do anything. This is YOUR problem. YOU are the sick one. YOU need to take responsibility for yourself. YOU DAMAGE PEOPLE. You’re like an emotional vampire; you just suck people dry of their resources and then move on to the next person. You need to stop expecting others to help you. You need to get on medication, get into therapy, and stop expecting everyone else to bend over backwards for something that is YOUR problem.” Or something like that.  And all that without even having interviewed me. He didn’t even know what I thought.  His word about me damaging people went very deep into my soul and stayed there for the next decade. It wasn’t referencing my behavior; the way it was spoken was giving me the message that WHO I AM is damaging to people – which is something I can’t fix, and can’t save people from, other than by successfully completing a suicide. I’m actually still trying to work my way out of the grip of this belief. I kept myself isolated from other people for years after that. I hid who I was, I kept others at a distance – causing pain not only for them but for me – because I was under the impression that just who I am as a person would hurt them in some way if I was my genuine self, and let anyone near me. If I couldn’t do anything good as an individual, I at least wanted to protect people from me. Even if it meant being alone forever, which I thought at the time that it did.  It’s hardly motivation to want to recover from being suicidal…you know?

As far as best experiences, I have very few to offer. I think it might have been that same hospital trip (before I got to the psych unit) while I was still in the ER being treated for a suicide attempt, that a nurse was very comforting to me. She, unlike most other people, did not judge me. As I was transported into the ER, she looked me full in the face with a very compassionate look, and said “I don’t know what you’re going through, but I’m sorry you’re hurting so badly. I have bipolar myself, and it took them YEARS to figure out the right medication for me to be able to get my life together. I’ve been where you are and I’m so sorry. I promise it gets better. Just hang in there.”  She was so extremely understanding and did not look down on me for being where I was, emotionally and literally.  Unfortunately, that’s the only experience I can recall that was ever NOT painful. That’s why I pretty much avoid the mental healthcare industry now that I’m an adult and have control over my own decisions.

Probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in regards to coming to terms with being D.I.D. is accepting that my life has taken a very, very different course than I had planned as a child or young adult. As a child or young adult, I had this idea that I’d go to college, figure out my “purpose,” get a fulfilling job, meet “the one,” fall in love, get married and have kids. And live Happily Ever After, you know?  None of those things have happened at all. I did go to college, but could only complete a year because of the complete mental and physical depletion. I’ve never really figured out my purpose or had a fulfilling job, and I recently met someone that I really thought was “the one,” only to have him get scared, back out and change his mind about the relationship.  This was, in some ways, more painful than being rejected by someone who just never had the chance to get to know me. He knew me. I opened my heart up to him. And he still changed his mind. But I’m learning that sometimes the very things that are our strengths can be intimidating, and it doesn’t mean it’s our fault or that we should diminish ourselves. It’s his issue.

The other thing that was hard was letting go of my rosier worldview that I had before entering the sub-world of trauma, SRA, and conspiracy. You put it perfectly when you talked about an overworld and an underworld. That is exactly true for what it feels like. In all the research I did to try to figure out what the hell was wrong with me, I came across too many sources of information describing a much different world than I’d been taught existed. I could no longer believe the world at large was innocent or ignorant or that the government or groups of people did not have evil motives to a lot of things. My trust in the world as being a generally good place was completely and irrevocably shattered forever. I’ve been like a pendulum swinging ever since then. When I first started reading about government conspiracy theories and such, I swung very far to the side of “Everyone sucks and there’s no escaping the evil plots of the powerful people in the world and I hate everyone.” I believe I’ve swung decently back to the middle at this point. Knowing there’s a bigger plan in place, but not feeling helpless or like I can do nothing to make a difference.

Ultimately I think this journey is, or can be, turning out better than what I would have planned, but it’s hard to say since I’ve never had a chance to experience Plan A. I’ve only experienced this. It IS much, much, much harder and more lonely and more unbelievably painful than I ever thought it would be. But I believe God is making something out of all those broken pieces. And I think the new picture is ultimately going to be even more beautiful than the picture I’d been aiming for. I hope more than anything that when I am old – if I live to be old – I will be able to look back and say, with proof (not just nostalgically and out of hope with no basis), that I made a difference for the better. That I was able to take my pain and use it to help others in some way. Even if small. That is redemption. That is how love wins. That is how I know I didn’t become what was done to me.

My hope with doing this documentary and also with some of the other survivor advocacy things I’ve started is that we can change these things.  Maybe not all at once or right away, but slowly, over time, and by working together. In addition to fighting the bureaucracy, I also tend to run into a lot of “learned helplessness” with survivors. I’m not angry or judging them at all – I, of all people, understand this state. But it can be a little like trying to push a ball of mud up the steep side of a mountain, trying to get people to realize they have a voice, they have influence, they matter, and no *one* person can change anything alone.  I was talking to a friend last night, just about having a very exhausting day (my energy still waxes and wanes unpredictably) and she asked about some of the things I’ve been doing lately. It came to light that I really didn’t pre-plan the things I’ve started. It wasn’t pre-meditated or organized. I just woke up one morning, thinking about how “Things suck. Why isn’t anyone doing anything about it?” and decided it would have to be me. Since no one else is.  LOL. I have no qualifications, no expertise. I have words, and that’s all. And, if it counts as a virtue, I’m pretty damn stubborn and pretty damn bold, to ask for things to change that obviously need to. I know how to be polite and diplomatic but also relentless and outspoken (in writing, anyway). I’m not afraid to fail, because if I do, as survivors, we’re no worse off anyway. And maybe if I do fail, I’ll at least inspire the “right” person who may know how to do things the “right” way to get out there and succeed. So it’s really win-win. In my opinion, failure is just a bridge to somewhere else, possibly somewhere interesting. 😉  That’s the thing about having all your fears come true. When it’s over, and you survived, you’ve got nothing left to be afraid of, and that’s called liberation.

I feel like big things are starting to shift in our society, and I would love nothing more than to gather a huge bunch of survivors and start a wave of social change that benefits all of us and generations to come.

I’m not at all knocking the “learned helplessness” I see in other survivors. I lived there for so very long. I know what it’s like. I understand where it comes from. I remember being one of those who was “smacked down” for trying to have a voice and trying to assert myself.  It took me a very long time to get out of that mindset.  I’m actually kind of surprised as I write that I made it out at all. Other than God, I have no explanation.  But now that I’m out of that place, I hope – like you said – to offer words that will help others climb out of that pit. If I could have one wish, it would be that survivors came to realize just how powerful they are and that their voices matter. They have a voice and it MATTERS. So that’s what I hope to invoke in people. By whatever means – writing, taking action, whatever.

People look at me now and are amazed (or fill in whatever emotion) at where I am now, but what they don’t know is that my heart lives with the people who are still in those broken places, those who are punished by a “helping” system that is supposed to help them but instead just isolates and stigmatizes them further. It makes me FURIOUS with the system, and OUTRAGED at the fact that I hear these kinds of stories every day. I talk to people through my blog, through FB support groups, etc (I freely give out my email address) who all have one story or another like that. Their stories haunt me because I WAS THERE. I KNOW. I know what it’s like. I’ve been in psych hospitals, I’ve been homeless, I’ve been labeled, I’ve been truly sick, and marginally well, and falling apart, and functional, and everything, everywhere in between. I know how hopeless and dark the journey can be, and how hard and painful it is to just choose to stay alive sometimes. The people who have signed my petition already, who tell a brief story in their comments – they are the ones I think of all day, every day. I was one of them. I’m still one of them. I’m inexpressibly glad and grateful to be in a different place now (emotionally) but I carry them around with me 24/7. I allow them to rip my heart open over and over again, because that’s how God feels. The question is always on my mind “What can we do to change things? What do they [survivors] need? What could we come up with that would help? What ISN’T working, and who can I ask about it?” The wheels are always turning. And they always will.

I will never stop fighting for us – ALL of us.

 

J8

 


3 thoughts on “The Complete Written Interview”

  • 1
    Samira Claire on November 18, 2015 Reply

    Bravo! I loved the documentary. My therapist, who I asked to listen to it also, was super pissed when he heard the part about your story about the psychiatrist who treated you so badly. He said that psychiatrist should have been fired for being abusive. I agree. Having worked in the mental health field in America and having been a client in it for years, I whole heartedly agree with your estimation of how dysfunctional it is. That is one of the reasons I didn’t last long as a therapist myself, of course amongst other reasons. Thanks for posting this. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts and ideas. I’m so very sick of the stigmatization that I deal with (like when people find out why I don’t hold a job and don’t understand it because I “don’t seem like I have a mental illness”). I really can’t even imagine the stigma that the very obviously dealing with mental illness people, who aren’t able to go under the radar, have to live through every day. It’s really got to stop. I have been thinking of what I can do to help end it, but I can’t even help my own family members to get past their own biases (mostly due to their own memory repression and denial) towards people who experience these issues (namely me: I finally told my mom about my diagnoses and she basically abandoned me, pretending not to, but telling my brother behind my back that I was “benefitting from making up all this mental illness stuff”). Gah! 🙁 It can be so frustrating. Anyway, thanks again for posting all of this, it was interesting and very helpful to me to read it. ☺️

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      Jade on November 19, 2015 Reply

      Thank you Samira! And please tell your therapist thank you – if it comes up. It took me a very long time (by which I mean more than a decade) to move past that psychiatrist’s words. Now I realize how predatory that man was toward weaker people, and it still makes me sick to this day. 🙁

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        Samira on November 19, 2015 Reply

        You’re welcome, and I will tell my therapist that you said thank you, and that despite this sick psychiatrists complete lack of ethics and the horrible effects it had on you, you have turned into an incredible force of good for people who are struggling to try to get help in dealing with trauma issues in the crappy mental health community in the United States. That is very impressive, to me anyway! Be well. Cheers! 🙂

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