Me@TheMadhouse: S is for…

There are many things that start with an S; my name for example (officially) starts with it. Another word with S is Shame. I don’t feel ashamed for being in psychiatry. In all honesty, I like it here. Okay, I have to take pills and my life is rather boring… But I have met some of the most interesting people ever here, and I don’t have to pretend or hide anything. So I like it here. I have my own room, I have friends here, I can have visitors (and thank god they can’t stay too long) and I don’t have to worry about ANYTHING except for the good old me, myself, and I.

But still, Shame is an important S-word. Not my shame. Other people’s shame. Let me explain it to you. Today, I went to an exhibition on which my father -who makes sculptures- was exposing his work, together with my mother. It was fun, and I liked it… until I saw one of my old teachers. I thought “let’s say hi” and I wanted to go to her… and my mother pulled me back. She said “you know… you don’t have to talk to them, you know…” and I was like “But I want to talk to her” and then she frowned and she said “They will look at me. They will look at me and think, look that horrible mother, who thought her child was smart enough to study physics and totally pushed it over.” So I didn’t talk to any of the people I knew from the old days. Not anyone. I had never ever felt so isolated. It was all because of fucking altruism, because I wanted to spare my mother the shame. Yes.It was as if she found I should be ashamed of it, as if being mental is something embarrassing…

Another thing that I felt, that made me feel uncomfortable and also starts with S, is Scorn. People apparently look down on mental patients. HELLOOHOO?! I think 90% of human population can be considered disturbed if you would follow DSM IV to the letter! But still, it is a fact. Even when they don’t let it out, it is clear they think about it. How they judge me and my reactions fundamentally different. Is it my psychosis, or is everyone just fucking ignorant about what it’s like to be like this?

And then finally… Stigma. Psychiatry… it’s a stigma; I mean, how many jokes are there about crazy people? Almost as many as there are jokes about pedophiliac priests and national stereotypes. Nothing wrong with that, the moment you can’t have a laugh about yourself anymore you’re doing it wrong… but fact is, there is a certain Stereotype (see, another S-word!) involved here. My parents are worried to death about the stigma, not only about the general “crazy” stigma, but also the stigma of a certain diagnosis. I am not. But as I see it right now, I have only two options: shutting down all altruism (which I can’t, because my altruism has it’s basis in my manipulative controlling sadist-side, no matter how strange that may sound) or moving to another country, far away from my parents and everyone I knew before I ended up here… Or I could just stay here forever, have myself declared dangerous to society and never have to worry about it again (Sociopathic, another S-word!) But that doesn’t really count as an option, does it?

I need your opinions… be harsh. If you think I’m a living stereotype, please tell me.

Love, QP

About quantumphysica

My name is QuantumPhysica The Insane, but you can call me QP. I am insane, admitted to a mental hospital in Belgium, and waiting for a decent diagnosis at the moment. Once I was a physics student with goals in life and what more; now I'm simply the patient of Room 93. Ever wondered what life is like in the psychiatric ward? I'll tell you everything you ever wanted to know... I am... particularly twitchy of personality. But I also am genuinely interested in everything. There is nothing that doesn't interest me, really. Everything, from quantum computers to fashion and cars to traveling... I also give advice. On anything. No taboos whatsoever. And I make lists of things...
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22 Responses to Me@TheMadhouse: S is for…

  1. I think we are all living stereotypes to some extent. Stereotypes exist for a reason. They exist because there are so many people that fit into those categories. i think it would have been perfectly reasonable for you to go and say hello to your former teacher. If your weren’t uncomfortable than what’s the big deal? You were at an art expo, everyone is crazy at those things!!

    But in all seriousness, you’re right, the shame is not yours. The stigma is only in the minds of the ignorant and whoever scorns you for being in a psych ward is not worth talking to. So say I. 🙂

    • Thanks so much… *hug*
      I wasn’t uncomfortable with my situation… but I did feel uncomfortable with my mother. To a certain extent I really like and respect her. That’s why I didn’t want her to feel bad about things. But on a certain point she will have to understand that I can’t hide my face for the rest of mid ays just because my situation makes HER feel uncomfortable.

      Shame… I think it has been invented by all the people who are just scared that they will be uncovered as “insane” themselves… A bit like some gay people who are “in denial” about their sexuality turn homophobic…

  2. samtenlozang says:

    Hi QuantumPhysica 🙂

    I have been where you are now – not the exact same facility, of course. I spent a great deal of time there, trying to get my head back together… well, THEY were trying to get it together.. I was trying to keep it together. S for stupefied!

    Right now I’m a caretaker of a guest house for single men.. out of mental health wards, off the street, out of jail. Their families don’t want to know about them. At Christmas not one family came to see any of them. S for sucks!

    Anyway, I’m disappointed with your mother for dumping on you the issues that she has. All gone now but it would have been good for you to speak to your old teacher. It might not have turned out the way you hoped but at least it would have been ‘outside’ contact. S for should know better.

    I think what you’re doing now.. the blog and all.. is really good. I hope some people who think S for stigma get a bit more understanding about what it’s like to have a mental illness and realise they are only a few steps away from it too. I think they say 1 in 3 people have a mental illness at some time in their lives. That’s wrong. It’s 3 in 3. S for sane.. NOT! 🙂

    S for stereotype doesn’t exist. Putting people in pidgin-holes is wrong. Everyone has bits and pieces of different things in their makeup. No one is all this or all that. That’s crap.We are all complex individuals. I see medical people dealing with patients and it S for shits me the way they generalize them.

    Another thing that pisses me off is the way ‘normal’ people think we can S for snap out of it. As though we all have control over an illness. Pull your socks up! What?!?! They should try it for a day or two. S for swap!

    Sorry, I’m raving.. it happens. Great to find your blog, QuantumPhysica!

    Love
    SL

    • Thanks so much for your comment… It really put a smile on my face… 🙂

      I know how bad family relations can turn. I like my parents -to a certain extent- and I really appreciate their support, I feel that I need it… Out of respect, and a tit bit out of fear for their reaction, I have always hidden the worst.They don’t know the worst of my situation. They can’t understand it… I know my family well enough to be sure that if I would tell them everything, I would end up in a female version of your current place of work. Which is of course to be avoided…

      Again, I want to thank you for your supportive comment. People can be so stupid… I believe they are just afraid “others” will notice how crazy they are themselves 😀

      grtz,
      QP

      • samtenlozang says:

        Do you know of Emilie Autumn, QP? She is a wonderful artist – violinist, singer, songwriter, poet, author.. and more..

        She is really amazing. One of her books is “The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls”. Great title, hey? 🙂

        A couple of quotes and links:

        “I only sleep with people I love, which is why I have insomnia.”

        “I’m not stupid. I know exactly what’s going on, and I’m not fighting it. If I have to go through this, I will glean from it any small benefit I can receive. I will not fight this. Bring it on. Bring on the cure. Bring on the fucking happy. I’m committed.”

        http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/2528119.Emilie_Autumn
        http://www.emilieautumn.com/

        Love
        SL

        p.s. my definition of love is wanting the other to be happy. 🙂

      • I know and LOVE her!
        SHe makes great music… I have a particularly bizarre memory of her song “Opheliac” because I ended up scratching the walls while listening to it… (I love the song… but it still makes my fingertips tingle)
        I should totally check out that book, the title sounds indeed pretty awesome…

        Your definition of love… is beautiful.
        I know though, that there can be love in inflicting pain… In causing harm, in breaking apart. It is strange, but sometimes the best way to express love is through “hate”. Yet still I feel your definition might very well cover that too… because happiness is merely defined by the people it relates to…

        love,
        QP

  3. Servant says:

    Why end your post with “love”? What’s the best definition of love you think?

    • Don’t get me started on love… Part of me is completely heartless. Part of me is absolutely romantic. Part of me is melancholic.
      It would depend on who is “coming outside” at that moment what kind of answer you get.

      To give you at least some sort of answer:
      I think love is a system evolved just like the rest of our body and characteristics, simply because somehow it makes us more successful as a species. Regardless of how it is perceived, as something crappy, something special, something beautiful or something that allows me to easily manipulate people, or something completely else.

      My expression of “love” at the end of the post is mere gratitude for the ones who read it, because it means they got to the end of the post xD

  4. Maggie Mae I says:

    I think you are so smart. You are not a stereotype. You are you. Regardless of your situation. I am sad about your mothers reaction. My mom is similar.

  5. lookingforapurpose says:

    Do i think your a stereo type? No. Do i think you are a danger to anyone and should stay in there forever? No. I think you are like Maggie said. You are very smart. I don’t see why anyone would have the right to label you any stereo type. You deserve to be free to choose to leave if you wish. Your mom should be proud you are that smart instead of the way she is. That is sad 😦

  6. Servant says:

    THE definition of love… are you ready? Really? Here it is… 🙂

    If I speak in the languages of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned [that I may boast], but have not love, I gain nothing.

    Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    Love never ends.

    …and *that* is the love you won’t find Hollywood selling, the real thing.

    • Hmn, wait a sec… that is from Corinthians, right? *has catholic parents*
      I like your definition… it is poetic…
      But I do wonder if all love is like this, and if something isn’t like this, can’t it still be love?
      I once read somewhere, I don’t recall where, that “it’s not because someone doesn’t love you the way you want him too, that he doesn’t love you with all he has”…

      • Servant says:

        “…doesn’t love you with all he has”? …well I can say that it takes a lot to apply the Corinthian love standard – if it takes any more, I don’t see how anyone can even aspire to love in that way.

    • journalpulp says:

      I wrote a in-depth post about love — just recently, for Valentine’s Day — and concluded by saying that the most famous definition of love, which Servant cites (1 Corinthians: 13), isn’t really a definition at all: it’s more a description of love’s consequences.

      Sensitized, scrutinized, and stigmatized — but ultimately galvanized, QP.

      • Servant says:

        Love is a side-effect of happiness? Can’t be… but maybe you mean it’s not something that we can imitate artificially & that it necessarily flows out of your way of living – which is likely a reborn life … as far as I can tell. Self-sacrifice is too much a condition or characteristic of lasting love for it to be possible before the death to self. …and how many social creeds these days profess the need to die to self other than Christianity? Not many, at least… but then again, that’s only a part of the gospel & new life.

        See also … why doesn’t ‘being in love’ seem to last – some thoughts from CS Lewis.

        http://societystacktrace.wordpress.com/2011/08/28/being-in-love-why-it-doesnt-seem-to-last-10min/

  7. Ah, Mothers. I faced the same with my mother when I was anorexic. She was so ashamed of me/my condition that she used to lie and deny anything was wrong with me to the neighbors, even when I was hospitalized for a month because of it. I’m sure she saw it as a reflection upon her and her parenting skills… Shame, stigma and social appearances…

    • It’s hurtful but true… My mother avoids the neighbors, because they always ask how I’m doing (I used to tutor their son)…
      You had anorexia? Then I totally cheer for you having overcome it! I have heard it’s one of the toughest things to get rid of… *hug*

      • I have probably only told a handful of people in my life that I had it, even friends that I’ve had for 20 years don’t even know, probably because it was treated with such secrecy. Although at 5’8″ and 90 lbs (40kg), it was very obvious. Probably like any mental disease, it’s something you are never cured from – if I diet, I have problems stopping.

        But, I related strongly to what you went through, which is why I told you and I felt emboldened from your honesty. You have a much better perspective than I. I went back and read your blog from the very beginning and commend you for documenting your feelings without pretenses…..XOXOXO

      • Wow, that’s pretty heavy stuff…
        I can’t say enough how amazing I find it you managed to get through your disease. I’ve seen girls here in the madhouse (from a different department, but still) with the same thing, and honestly, going back to life as it used to be after something like that must be one hell of an effort…

        And thank you… I often feel as if people have no idea what life is like in a madhouse… too many clichés still live in people’s collective memory. I consider this blog my own little contribution to changing that in time.
        *hug*
        Thanks again for your kind words…

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