Working in social services, dealing with a psychotic ex, seeing people fall apart. The mantra of the industrty is “Treatment Works.” But we all knew that for some people (or even most people, some of the time) it abolutely doesn’t. Or maybe “Works” is a little too vague. Getting rid of command hallucinations, yes, is important, but there are other factors that impact quality of life, public safety, ability to maintain employment.
I understand why people refuse medication. They can feel that long term damage being done. The numbness, weight gain, blood sugar problems, digestive problems, tardive diskenesia. Drooling. Diminished capacities and diminished life span. And although we keep saying “Treatment Works” we also insist that treatment should never be manditory. Coercive treatment traumatizes.
What it really means is that treatment CAN work, but people are rightfully afraid of it too. Drugs have changed over the past few decades, but that means we haven’t studied the full long-term impact either. And we can’t learn more about other options if we keep insisting that what we have is working. Instead of partnering with friends and family members who could help monitor symptoms on a day to day basis, we actually drive them away by denying the problem, denying the need for help, refusing to talk about the reality of living with medication.
I undersand the arguments, but I would NEVER argue against medication where safety is concerned. The man who talks about killing my daughter periodically refuses medication because he’s self conscious about his weight. Every single time he’s been unmedicated he’s ended up being arrested, hospitalized, etc. Even medicated he’s unable to mantain employment or relationships. He’s still dangerous. But his story is not typical of others with his diagnosis. He’s a bad person with or without psychosis, with or without hallucinations. For some people choosing recommended medications really is a lose-lose situation. But no one wants to talk about that. We just smile quiety and insist that “Treatment Works.”
I’ve been making word clouds from some of the emails sent by the man who abused me. It’s absurd, I know, but I needed to be able to laugh at this. And I really needed to re-read and inventory each message so I can track the wax and wane of his psychosis, document specific threats, etc. Unfortunately I deleted some of the most incriminating ones, so I need to seriously consider what can be presented in court. Whether it would make sense to pursue criminal charges.
Several times now I have been advised to resume communication with him, just to gather more evidence. Like I want to invite the threats all over again. But since I deleted some of the early ones there may be no other way to prove what’s been going on.
I hate this. I hate that I feel angry all the time. And I hate being afraid. I’m tired.
So here are some pretty word clouds for you:
I keep learning about people from my past getting married, having babies, losing jobs, living lives. The internet is strange that way. I don’t need to know these things at all. Maybe I would have heard through the grapevine, but probably not.
I wonder sometimes who hears things about me. What things they might hear. People I can’t remember seeing pictures of Babybot and wondering to themselves how things have changed over the years.
Even my own life escapes me sometimes. I read posts from my old accounts. I don’t even recognize myself. I forgot a couple of big anniversaries this year. Maybe that means the past is finally past, I don’t need to relive certain things year after year.
Ten years ago this week I would have been just moving back to the college dorms. I went to local shows and knew the guys in the bands. I tried so hard to stay “off the grid.” (indeed, I couldn’t find any emails or blogs or photos from that time period). I thought I could change the world. I was just starting to learn about religion, real food, politics, relationships. I had already seen too much. I had already made mistakes, but college was about starting over. In 2003 I think I had things pretty together.