Shop talk. (JP, mea culpa, but you're not here, and it looks like dink is on vacation too...)
Three years ago when I got sucked into the maelstrom of a major spiritual crisis, I was wallowing in self pity and surfing from Internet site to Internet site, reading about the newest in treatment of schizophrenia, and psychosis, and the whole bit. And I hooked up with a big French public forum on health care that I promptly proceeded to get tossed out of (wonder why, right, Dinky ??), but fortunately there was a handful of people who appreciated my.. cantakerousness, my honesty, my ability to call a spade a spade, to disturb the peace, and they invited me onto a private forum where I have been writing and working ever since.
This is a democratic forum. I don't pull rank (very often, at any case...). I participate alongside of the others. I offer my advice. I encourage. I hold hands. I even occasionally tell off. (Yes, that can happen...) I offer these people my rather unique point of view.. that of someone who willingly hangs out with them, and takes great pleasure in their company (most of them). And... I reveal to them what is going on in the heads of the couch crowd.
I am a firm believer in democracy (I can already hear Thai's disbelief...). Even if I sometimes get nostalgic for the Ancien Regime (the ideal of the Ancien Regime, not the reality of it...).
I tell them that what is going on in their heads is not too far away from what is going on in the heads of their shrinks, and the people who are taking care of them.
I remind them that it is proverbial to say... "it takes one to know one".
That there are good reasons why we say "it takes one to know one".
That the people who hang out with people who are labeled "mentally ill" have their own personal, private agenda for "taking care of", for "protecting" the vulnerable "mentally ill".
I tell them that we live in a society that is obsessed with autonomy when we come into the world naked, mewing, and our dependancy just shifts places, moves around with time.
I tell them that we live in an incredibly punitive society where, as more and more people can't make ends meet by working, and are whiling away their existences in hand to mouth fashion, the more and more privileged few who have jobs take out their incredible agressivity, and unhappiness by pointing fingers at those who are more vulnerable, and cannot keep up the inhuman pace of all of this.
I tell them that they are not worthless louts because they are not working, or because they are vulnerable.
I bolster their opinions of themselves, WHILE ENCOURAGING THEM SOMETIMES to do something about their situations IF THEY ARE UNHAPPY IN THEM.
I tell them that in a society where we have accepted as a religion that full employment is not possible, WHY SHOULD THEY NECESSARILY FEEL GUILTY ABOUT NOT HAVING A JOB ?
When the machines have destroyed work, when people with literary, artistic bents are laughed at, and scorned.. WHY SHOULD THEY FEEL GUILTY ABOUT DROPPING OUT ?
So I tell them... WHY NOT take your allocation, for example, and PRODUCE in an immaterial way ?
You can be "productive" without producing something for the numbers charts...
You can "produce"... tenderness. Joy. You can "produce".. a smile.
And I have learned that beating people around the head while telling them that they SHOULD be doing this and that is really counterproductive. Playing on guilt produces more guilt which produces more guilt.
And... they stay in the same ruts...
This is NOT WHAT WE WANT, right ???
That's all for now...
Everybody is doing MUCH MUCH better.
And... at least they feel better. The first step, I say.
AND... they are taking fewer drugs. They are looking for competent therapists, and not pill pushers, or chart readers.
Good... JOB, right ?
I almost forgot... my goal. My priority... To teach them how to think critically.
To question their prejudices. To question.. MY prejudices too.
Pretty much the same.. goal I have here.
While having fun, of course...