Notes on the Journey

Posts tagged ‘patriarchy’

Reading Daly, 30 Years On

imagesFrom my journal, October 26, 2016:

It is fucking hard to be rereading Mary Daly’s Gyn/Ecology thirty years on from the first time I read her and to realize that I had the “answers” and the analysis and yet I could not avoid being eaten alive by the forces of the sadostate.  I descended into the phallocratic underworld and completely lost my way and my self. Which was the main point of all the violence – to consign me to a living death.

Within the sadostate women are ontologically undermined, for the sadointent is the conversation of female participation in Be-ing into mere being, that is, the conversion of women into things, and into complicity and thinghood. To the extent that phallic lust succeeds, women are reduced to nonbe-ing.

Robert Whitaker’s book Mad In America:The Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill partly woke me up in 2008 and sent me along a path of healing; facing my addiction to the behavior-control chemicals that I was prescribed by doctors who were apparently attempting to partially euthanize me. They were trying  to shut me up about having been raped and battered by my father for the first 12 years of my life.  I did manage to free myself from the drug straitjacket, tapering carefully from the behavior-control chemical cocktail slowly over the course of 4 years.

images-1Whitaker went over the some of the same material as Daly, chronicling the rise of gyno/genocidal psychiatry – it’s connections to eugenics and Nazi medical experiments and the mass murder of mental patients during WWll in Germany, but Daly’s words were absent from my damaged brain in 2008, my memory wiped clean by the chemicals and the psychiatric trauma I had endured. And so I wasn’t able to see the whole picture and make the connection that psychiatry is one front, a major one, in the war on women.

There is indeed a war on women. There is a force in this culture, in all of the civilizations on the planet, (except the most primitive and endangered) that absolutely HATES women and nature and wants us silenced, bound and gagged, controlled, tortured, eliminated, made into a lifeless plastic substitute. I have been encountering it everywhere, but I have been unable to name it or see the connections between the various manifestations. I kept taking it personally, kept blaming myself for my difficulties.

Most people really are asleep, are sleepwalking through their lives, automatically acting out atrocities. unaware of the violence they do to themselves, to women and children, to the living planet.

SO -what was I expecting from enlightenment? I guess I was expecting peace and joy and freedom, not this creeping sense of horror upon finding myself awake in the middle of the mass nightmare we call civilization.

I spoze I could go back to the professional  euthanizers and have them chemically neutralize me again.

Nah. I’d rather be awake and aware and in pain than be one of the zombies walking around with their eyes glued to their smartphones, oblivious to the horror raining down all around us.
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One Woman And The Truth

muriel“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?
The world would split open.”

Muriel Rukeyser

Since all indications point to the fact that we are living in a virtually inescapable trap that I have come to call The Patrix , and that this trap, this machine,  is busily in the process of destroying all capacity of the Earth to sustain life, I have decided it is time for me to lay out my own truth.  There is nothing left to lose. It is time to split the world open.

 Deconstructing The Patrix

The Patrix (a Gaia University coinage meaning the ‘patriarchal matrix’ or matrix of oppression) is an ever present, potent and frequently invisible shape-maker of human cultures. It consists of thousands of dysfunctional thought patterns (memes) that function as a mutually supporting complex, interlocking system. These memes are installed in our individual, community, and cultural operating systems sometimes by contagion or by accident, and more often by patterns of oppression.

Silencing

sad-depressed-little-girl-sitting-near-wall-grunge-34480298My father threatened me over and over that if I told anyone what he was doing to my body that I would lose my family. To a three-year-old child this is nothing less than a death threat, a threat that I would be ostracized out in the wilderness and die of starvation. He was not lying to me. I have lost my entire family, the one I was born into as well as the one that I created from my body, because I would not shut up about being raped and beaten by my father, from early infancy until my mother died of DES-related cervical cancer when I was twelve years old.

When I first began blogging in 2012 it was my hope to be able to post actual entries from my daily journal online. I chose not to do this out of concern for the privacy of family members with whom I still maintained contact. But I have had to separate myself from even these individuals because they continued to be abusive toward me.

I will be placing these entries under their own heading (My Journal) in order to distinguish them from my other work and interests.

So, here goes:

October 8, 2016

My first though upon waking this morning was about the similarity between my daughter’s and my mother’s behavior,  how I cringed in their presence,  how they made me feel inferior and unsafe and unwanted. They both very much wanted me dead.

I woke up this morning with the thought that my parents actually tortured me. I am who and what I am because of the torture I endured throughout  my childhood. This is why I always resonated with stories about what the worldwide androcratic religion has done to women everywhere throughout history – murdering widows in India,  butchering vulvas in Africa and the Near East, burning “witches” during The Enclosure Movement of the Middle Ages. It is because I physically lived this kind of mindbinding torture every day of my childhood.

All of the torture was intended to prepare me for an adulthood of being eaten alive, exploited and then discarded by men and by my children.

It wasn’t persona,  and it wasn’t even particularly conscious – it was reflexive on the part of my caretakers. Because, of course, my mother had,  herself,  been tortured and exploited all through her own life.

ww1-d-533-shame-jpgThe way I see it now we were of the social class known as “cannon-fodder.” Boys were raised to be fighters and soldiers in the endless patriarchal wars of acquisition of land, women and resources, and girls were raised to service the soldiers. This was fairly explicit. I was beaten many times for screwing up household chores and told I would be subject to the same from my future husband if I didn’t straighten up. And I watched my father beat my mother over and over for minor infractions of household service.

That was the pattern. So, of course I blindly married into a military family (my father-in-law was a veteran, both brothers-in-law were lifetime military men,)  even though MY soldier wore a white collar and became a different kind of government functionary. He axed people’s jobs instead of their throats.

All humans are now under a spell brought about by deep conditioning and virtually nobody is awake and aware and able to act freely. My recurring childhood nightmare of being the only one left alive after the bomb falls seems to literally true. It’s as if I am the only one awake in a world full of automatons.

I knew it as a child, I knew it then and I know it now. I have been frantically searching for others who are awake. I see a spark sometimes, but these moments fade quickly and they add to my despair. No-one seems to be able to maintain the fire of truth and PRESENCE. The conditioning we are subjected to all our lives is absolute.

The Target

What I am remembering ia always being my mother’s target, never knowing when she would, without warning, reach out and slap me hard across the face. I never knew what behavior would make her hit me. I was always in a heightened state of tension, just waiting for the blows. The cruelty of this was that my anxiety would make me clumsy and that enraged her even more.

And there was the torture of the “medical procedures” I was subjected to, for instance the frequent enemas and  being laid naked on the floor to be swathed in the sulfur laden cotton batting they was supposed to heal the rash between my legs. (I had that rash from my father’s beard as he rubbed my genitals and inner thighs raw, but I was under threat of death not to tell.) The torture of the sexual abuse and being held responsible for this abuse and all of the drudging housework I was forced to do for my father and brothers, because I was female and my mother was dying of cancer from DES exposure (Which was a form of medicalized male violence against women.)

Psychopaths

My father was a psychopath in a culture designed and forcible perpetuated by psychopaths. The worst thing about this for me was that my brutal early conditioning led me to become the victim of these types of individuals throughout my life, from my lovers, my husband, the pill-proffering doctors, my own children. The behavior seems so familiar. I misinterpret the words and actions of these people as care and concern because I was dependent on monsters for food and shelter as a child. The attentions of vampires feel like love.

My ex-husband and my last and only lover after him were both this type of man. They were identical in their beliefs about their natural entitlement and my existence as an object to be exploited for personal gain. I am still not clear about how both of my daughters came to be psychopaths. The closest explanation I can come up with is the dynamic that exists throughout patriarchy whereby daughters witness their mothers being tortured and are tortured BY their mothers in many cases. Girl children react to this by dis-identifying with their mothers and holding rage toward them.

juryI kept trying to force my daughters to look at all of this. But the damage was too deep. They refuse to see the pattern. My daughters are ruined. They will never emerge from the evil enchantment they are under. They will never question who are the actual agents of the destruction. They won’t even face the fact that the destruction has taken place, that it was deliberate and calculated. That is was done by my grandfather, who protected his pedophile son and paid for the doctors and lawyers who testified against me in court when I was nine years old. It was done by my father, by their alcoholic grandfather, by their own narcissistic father, by the cops and the judges and the doctors and the CEO’s and politicians.

Internecine Destruction

Patriarchy has won its internecine battle and all life on Earth is now threatened with extinction.I am now able to make the connection that the abuse and torture that we were all subjected to as schoolkids was directly analogous to what was happening “in private” in my house. We were continually threatened with mass annihilation, we were controlled on the minutest levels by ritual shaming and the threat of humiliation if we stepped out of line.

That’s what the nuke drills were intended to do to the entire population. This was the purpose behind being put in restrictive desk seats in precise rows inside of concrete and brick boxes. Patriarchal terrorism at it’s finest: domestic abuse in the home, psychological torture in the schools.

 

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Tranz Trances, Session 3

11800264_1479268932388342_1932913393874812129_nI have been thinking about what it was that triggered me into writing about the Tranz issue. I had been going along with it, reserving judgment, not taking it personally, not seriously questioning it, never confronting anyone who believed that tranzing was not only possible, but somehow virtuous and brave. This morning it came to me exactly what it was that turned the tide for me and gave me the courage to begin questioning this phenomenon in public.

maxresdefaultAmy Beede was a woman in the psychiatric survivor community of Vermont, a “frequent flyer,” as they describe people who are in and out of psychiatric hospitals on a regular basis. The first time I met Amy was in 1985. We had the same counselor, who was working with us on emotional problems connected with being sexually assaulted by our fathers during our childhoods. I met Amy at the psych unit at Central Vermont Hospital.

Amy had a lot of problems. She was put on a lot of drugs for a lot of different psychiatric diagnoses over the years and had trouble living independently in the community. But, obviously, the main problem was that she had been beaten and raped by her father throughout her childhood. In fact, many of the women I knew in Vermont who were trapped in the psychiatric system were victims of rape and incest, but this was covered up and denied by virtue of the fallacy promoted by psychiatry that emotional problems are brain diseases that must be medically managed with drugs.

I didn’t see Amy for several years, although I knew she’d had trouble at the VT State Hospital, where she was charged with assault for defending herself from attacks by psychiatric personnel. The last time I saw her was in 2012 on a bus to Burlington, VT. She had the affect of a person with dementia, speaking out inappropriately to people on the bus. Although she had known me in the past, she didn’t recognize me as we spoke. I attribute this to the brain-damage that is caused by psychiatric behavior-control chemicals. 

amos-beedeThen, this past summer of 2016, I found out something truly horrific. Amy had changed her sex to male, calling herself “Amos,” and she had been murdered while homeless in Burlington, VT.

Of course, the Tranz activists bemoan this as a typical attack on transgendered people, which is a terrible reality. But here’s my problem: Why did none of the doctors who “treated” Amy for her supposed “mental disease” of “Gender Identity Disorder”  consider her trauma history when they agreed to prescribe her cancer causing hormones? I don’t know if she had actually undergone the surgical mutilation that is plastic surgery on her genitals and the slicing off of her breasts, but that was the next logical step in this horrific progression. Why did insurance pay for this kind of treatment when what she really needed was a good trauma counselor with an understanding of the sexual caste system and sexual violence against women? Why is nobody talking about this? I tried to talk about this with mutual friends on Facebook and was promptly silenced.

I was shocked by all this news and all the more so, because this could very easily have been my story. Amy and I have similar histories and similar experiences with the mental corrections system;  the same doctors and hospitals and counselors in Vermont. There is something very wrong with the medical system, there is something chillingly wrong with a psychiatric system that would recommend an operation on a woman’s body to change her so that she APPEARS to be male but not make sure that a severely traumatized individual HAS A FUCKING PLACE TO LIVE. What kind of priority is that? It’s an ECONOMIC priority. The made money from diagnosing her as “gender dysphoric” and prescribing her hormones. There’s no money in telling the truth, avoiding medical harm and struggling for social justice for rape and incest victims.

Amy died because incest is soul murder. It destroyed her sense of self and made her vulnerable to the social control agents of the Corporate-Industrial Medical Corrections System. It put her on the street and made her a murder victim. They had given her drugs to control her behavior that affected her hormones  and they kept hammering home the message that her problems were the result of genetic brain chemical imbalances and not simply the result of being battered and sexually assaulted by her father. And thus she came to believe that the solution to the problem of being in the rapable class, i.e., female, was to become male.

 

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Tranz Trances, Session 2

In this Session I will be dis-enchanting the Tranz Trance with a bit of scholarship from famed gyno/ethicist,  Mary Daly.  I recently picked up her book Gyn/Ecology after 30 years and the effect of reading it now as an old woman is nothing less than shattering. I heartily wish I had taken heed of her message the first around.

Erasing Women

I came to this college town 3 years ago,  I lived for nine months in a student housing coop.  I went to a local rape crisis center looking for support for my post-incest trauma, I considered connecting with a woman’s center associated with the university and I became involved with an arts organization. And what I noticed happening in all of these organizations was the arrival of the Tranz and the beginning of the erasure of women.

The housing coop had Tranz members and at every meeting we had to go around the circle and state our pronoun preferences so that no-one would be mistaken for the sex they were born as. The rape crisis center did not deal with male violence against women, but with gender-based violence. The woman’s center welcomes “people of all genders.” (although I think they recently changed it to “people of all identities”.) They also state that they work toward “Violence Prevention,” neatly erasing the fact that the overwhelming majority of interpersonal violence is committed by men against women.  When I wrote to them and tried to engage them on why this might be a problem, I was ignored. They did not even afford me the dignity of a reply. The arts group includes a man pretending to be a woman. And I am forbidden to say anything about these lies, lest I be marked as an evil bigot. I chose to abandon these groups rather than to confront what I see as blatant violence against women in the form of the Tranz sado-ritual that I am not allowed to question.

witches_being_hangedIn her book Gyn/Ecology,   Daly  discusses  The Pattern of the Sado-Ritual Syndrome. The Sado-Ritual Syndrome is the patriarchal method of behavior-control for women, including suttee, or widow-burning, footbinding, female castration, the European witchcraze and modern gynecology and psychiatry.  This is my synopsis of the seven features of this syndrome:

  1. obsession with purity.
  2. abdication of personal responsibility to authorities.
  3. “catching on” and spreading from the elite to the poor.
  4. scapegoating victims and setting up “token torturers”
  5. compulsion: orderliness, repetition, fixation on minute details.
  6. normalization of atrocities through conditioning.
  7. legitimatization by authoritative scholarship.

For the purpose of this Session I want to focus on element lll:

Element III

These ritualized practices have an inherent tendency to “catch on” and spread, “since they appeal to imaginations conditioned by the omnipresent ideology of male domination. Moreover, since the patriarchal imagination is hierarchical, there is a proliferation of atrocities from an elite to the upwardly aspiring lower echelons of society.”

I see this element very clearly in the Tranz fad. It is chiefly a trend of upper class white males who can afford the doctors and chemicals and surgery and the time off from labor to recuperate. The Tranz fad is in fact spreading into every corner of my world, places such as rape crisis and women’s centers, where previously I could expect safety as a woman and where I could voice my opinion. And now I am constrained from speaking up about my recognition of Tranzing as an atrocity against women.  I am certain that if I extended my analysis I could find all seven elements being expressed within the Tranz phenomenon.

The Tranz fad is not about liberation of the sexes and freedom of sexual expression, although this is the ad copy that is being presented. It is nothing less than the new face of Goddess Murder, another face of the sado-ritual practices that silence and oppress women, in this case the underlying idea is that males who Tranz are more womanly than women and women who Tranz are sacrificing their womanhood, in the time-honored tradition. As long as there is a gender caste system, there will be an unequal power dynamic between the sexes. Changing your pronoun and/or chopping off/mutilating your sex organs does not change your sex, it only reinforces the terrible sex ROLES that we are forced to inhabit by the threat of violence from males.

Raised To Be Silenced

Another clue as to the phallocratic nature of Tranz phenomenon, i.e., that is about males taking over female space and obliterating female reality, is illustrated by this personal experience of mine:

sad-depressed-little-girl-sitting-near-wall-grunge-34480298The condition of belonging to the male-dominant, misogynistic family I was born into was that I had to keep silent about being raped by male family members and take the blame for these rapes when they became too egregious for others to ignore. My father continually warned me that if I told anyone what he was doing I would lose my family. I did speak up, I sued him in court. And now I have no family.

downloadThe condition for my belonging to the housing coop or the rape crisis center or the women’s center or the arts group was that I had to keep silent about men pretending to be women (less frequently, vice versa) who are forcing others to go along with the lie that it’s ok to mutilate your body to match some artificial social role that was dreamed up by patriarchy in order to enforce women’s slavery. I chose to walk away from the social groups that are silencing me. But, I have this blog where I can tell the truth about my experience.

I see an exact parallel of oppression in these two situations. The shame associated with talking about incest is the same shaming and being pressured into silence that surrounds the Tranz phenomenon. Which makes it about male privilege and sexual violence against women and not about liberation and equality between the sexes.

 

 

Tranz Trances, Session 1

This essay is the first of a series I’m writing about my reactions to and analysis of the Tranzing phenomenon, from cross-dressing to hormones and surgery, and it’s effect on women as a class.  The first time I considered the Tranz issue, other than wishing I had been born a boy in order to avoid sexual assault by men (beginning with my father),  was when I was 17 and read this popular novel by Robert Heinlein:

 l Will  Fear No Evil

downloadPlot summary

The story takes place in the early 21st century against a background of an overpopulated Earth with a violent, dysfunctional society. Elderly billionaire Johann Sebastian Bach Smith is being kept alive through medical support and decides to have his brain transplanted into a new body. He advertises an offer of a million dollars for the donation of a body from a brain-dead patient. Smith omits to place any restriction on the sex of the donor, so when his beautiful young female secretary, Eunice Branca, is murdered, her body is used. He changes his name to Joan Eunice Smith, with the first name given “the two-syllable pronunciation” Jo-Ann to mimic the sound of his original name.

After Smith awakens after the transplant, he discovers he can communicate with Eunice’s personality. They agree not to reveal her existence, fearing that they would be judged insane and locked up. Smith’s identity is unsuccessfully challenged by his descendants, who hope to inherit his fortune. Smith and Eunice decide to have a baby together and so they (Joan and Eunice) are artificially inseminated using Smith’s sperm from the sperm bank. Joan explores her new sexuality at length. She goes to visit Eunice’s widower, Joe Branca, to help reconcile him to what has happened.

Joan marries her lawyer, Jake Salomon, and moves her household and friends onto a boat. Jake has a massive rupture of a large blood vessel in his brain and dies, but his personality is saved and joins Smith and Eunice in Joan’s head. She (Joan, Eunice and Jake) emigrates to the moon to find a better future for her child. Once there, her body starts to reject her (Smith’s) transplanted brain. She dies during childbirth.

tootsie_impThen the movie,  Tootsie came along. Then there was Torch Song Trilogy, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar. I thought I had a pretty good understanding of the Tranz phenomenon, at least as it sugared-off for men. I saw Transvestitism and Drag Queens as kind of fun and essentially harmless. I had read Mary Daly’s Gyn/Ecology in the mid nineteen-eighties and I registered her disapproval of men pretending to be women, but this was before the hormone/surgery option to become the opposite sex started to become widely socially acceptable and at that time I didn’t see trans-genderism as much of a threat to anyone.

In the early 2000’s my daughter started reporting to me about the gender-bending trends among her peers. Non-binary, gender-fluid, etc. people in various combinations hooking up. And I even thought that was ok, because they seemed to be challenging the patriarchal gender hierarchy and searching for new ways to express their sexuality.

Miss Fame © Leland Bobbé

Miss Fame © Leland Bobbé

I had some dire health problems and wound up moving in temporarily at the student housing coop where my daughter was living. There were transgender people living at the coop’s houses and before every business meeting we had to go around in the circle and voice our preference of pronoun. I went along with this, also thinking that it was somehow liberating of traditional gender/sex roles and a progressive move in the direction of female equality with men. Many of the coop members identified as feminists and the structure of the meetings was supposedly based on something known as feminist process.

I went to the local rape crisis center both for support for my own post-incest recovery issues and to offer support to others. What I found there were posters talking about “gender-based violence.”:

“Gender-based violence (GBV) is the general term used to capture violence that occurs as a result of the normative role expectations associated with each gender, along with the unequal power relationships between the two genders, within the context of a specific society.” (Bloom 2008, p14).

I don’t know if it’s obvious to you, but it seems really creepy to me that the word “woman” has been erased and omitted in favor of the word, “gender.” At the rape crisis center the posters pictured girls being sexually abusive to boys. Yeah,  I get it that this happens, it happened to my brother, but in fact all men do not live in fear of all women who are stronger and more socially powerful than they are. It doesn’t matter what the statistics are, what matters is that the sexual caste system oppresses ALL women and gives ALL men privilege. And this fact is being minimized, hidden, erased.

And that is a problem for me and for all women. Because erasing women is not a new thing within patriarchal cultures.

The Tranz Trance is simply the most recent phase of torturing and obliterating females and female bodies. It is the same kind of  behavior-mod practice as footbinding and clitoridectomy , essentially products of virulently patriarchal, misogynistic, body-hating cultures. Just the normal modus operandi of the phallocratic sadostate. The human body is part of nature, and nature is seen by patriarchy as something to conquer, control, commoditize and destroy. It’s part and parcel of the thrust of the Corporate-Industrial Medical Corrections System’s intent to take control of and take credit for fertility and reproduction, from invasive and painful “fertility treatments” to genetically-raped organisms.  It is the Male-Mothering that Mary Daly describes so eloquently in her books on feminist ethics.

It took awhile for me to be able to put together the severed parts, but the fact that Tranzing is a psychiatric and surgical matter was a strong clue as to what, exactly, I was confronting.

Trans sexual, trans gender,  we are supposed to go into a trance and overlook the horror that is at the heart of the matter. I have been attempting to understand this incursion into the Sacred Space of Female Integrity but more as more I can see the roots of the ritualized sado-masochistic Goddess dismemberment and murder that is being re-enacted by the adherents of this ideology.
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The Enchantment Model Of Addiction

Support Groups PicI stopped in at a Al-Anon meeting at Thanksgiving, hoping it would help to listen to other people talk about their family pain, but first thing they hit me with the proselytization and the disease model. I just can’t ignore it long enough to sit and listen, that’s my defect I suppose. I felt pressure to read the steps and recite prayers, did not feel safe to refuse, and that is crap.

I know now that AA softened me up for harvest by the psychopharmaceutical cartel. I first attended AA when I was 28 and planning another baby. I’d had a few drinks during of my last pregnancy and felt guilty about that, didn’t want to do it again, and in general, drinking made me sick and depressed altho I enjoyed the painkilling effects. I went to women’s meetings for the first year. It was clear to me that I drank to kill the aftereffects of being raped on a daily basis by my father for the first 12 years of my life, and that’s what I wanted to work on and it felt safer to be in a women-only group.

pillsBack then nobody was taking psych drugs, but we were all being sold on the medical model brain disease/genetic defect theory. So sadly, I was easy pickinz when my GP offered chemicals to fix my congenital brain abnormality. I looked tired because I was engaged in  a lawsuit against my rapist parent and raising two toddlers by myself and I was having trouble sleeping. The doctor, John Matthews of Plainfield, VT, said I was biologically depressed and the drugs were like insulin for diabetes. Then once on the drugs there is the spellbinding effect along with all the other subtle and not-so-subtle coercions I was subjected to. In 2007, when I decided to begin tapering the drugs (after reading Mad In America) AA was a hindrance because just about everyone was on the (safe, non-addictive) drugs and we were not allowed to question the holy doctors. I got a lot of hostility from people who were threatened by my withdrawal, and nobody had any support for me or had information about safe withdrawal.

godthe fatherFor me personally, the whole Protestant religious moral model of the twelve step model is a big problem. For one thing, it is emblazoned upon the deepest reaches of my consciousness that GOD IS MY FATHER, for another, it is a victim-blaming philosophy that totally separates the individual from the violent, addiction-generating culture. So I have to do the mindsplitting thing to be able to sit in a 12-step meeting and I am not up to it anymore. I joined an online group for people who are tapering from behavior-control chemicals. At first, as it was forming, it was a good support but then the admins started in with the 12-step liturgy and dogma. I tried to point out the heterosexism and christian values and got shut down.

The way I see it now is that we are ALL addicts. The word, addiction, literally means: to be spoken over to slavery. It comes out of the Roman court system, where captives were legally made into slaves. Western culture has made us all into slaves to oil, if nothing else. No-one escapes modern slavery. But, some of us run into bigger trouble faster, with whatever we are doing to kill our pain and distract our attention, that is the difference. It’s a continuum. And absolutely, without question, everyone I know who struggles with destructive addiction is a survivor of trauma, usually the good old interpersonal violence kind. I also saw this as a member of a support group for the psychiatrically labeled in Montpelier, VT. Every woman, at least, who was diagnosed and labeled as a psych case was a survivor of childhood rape. I kept telling the staff of the MH center about this, I wrote about it in The Counterpoint, a psych survivor rag in VT, and went before the state legislature to talk to them about it as they made policy on MH services. But nobody really listened. They are not listening now.

The only way that addiction could possibly be considered a medical/physical disease is by thinking of it as a reaction to BEING INJURED. It is a maladaptive attempt to heal an injury. Once we start to damage organs with whatever we use to kill pain THEN it becomes a medical issue.

earAs I have been struggling to understand what addiction has done to me and the people I have been close to, it has occurred to me that since the medical model is such a destructive metaphor, that maybe a good way to characterize what is going on is that it is a kind of enchantment. It is like being under an evil spell. (Certainly being on the psychiatric chemicals felt like this to me. I lost my power to choose and I believed things that were not true. I was trapped, I was a prisoner, a slave.)  How does this enchantment come about? Well, I’m not sure, and prolly there is no one answer, no bogeyman to blame, no witches in the hedges casting spells, BUT, in my case I can trace the enchantment right back to the ugly things that ignorant and cruel adults kept chanting into my ear, all the insidious messages about my lack of human worth that surrounded the incest drama and the simple fact of my having a female body in a patriarchal, misogynistic culture.

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