Tuesday, February 6, 2007

I Do Not Recall this Part of the Contract

Once upon a time--back around 1990, the buzz phrase among the psych nurses on the unit I was on--my last hospitalization--changed into a rather infuriating chorus: "What's the Pay Off?" The theory being that each one of us was getting something positive [the Pay Off] for our crazy behavior and way of thinking...in addition to our self-harm stuff [from suicidal ideations to self inflicted you-know-what]. It was maddening to us. It was like a slimly disguised accusation of "if you want to be happy all you have to do is snap out of it!" So we were not amused even after multiple reassurances that that was not the intention at all. [And the trust and morale level dropped even further on the unit.]

Anyway...after my release one of the patients I became friends with [we met in Aftercare] started a conversation one night on the phone about why we did not just snap out of it and get well. We played fill in the blank or complete this sentence: "I do not want to get well because...." The conversation ended when we were having trouble breathing because we were laughing so hard. Here are some of the answers I still remember:

"I do not want to get well because..."
  1. my therapist needs a new car.
  2. my therapist will end up homeless without my business
  3. I LUV therapy!
  4. I am contributing to my therapist's continuing education
  5. I will be the patient who will make my therapist/doctor famous!
  6. I need more experience before I can write a best seller about my life.
  7. No one ever asked me if I wanted to.
  8. I DO NOT RECALL THIS BEING PART OF THE AGREEMENT WHEN I STARTED THERAPY!
I remember during my first hospitalization that Watergate was nearing its climax and then suddenly President Nixon resigned. And I remember thinking at the time...the world out there has gone crazy...and I am the one locked up?

I still wonder about this at times....I got better through the years and have been a functional participating citizen--working full-time and paying taxes. [I am deteriorating now and picking up speed but I have contributed quite a bit into Social Security that I will likely never see a penny of.] I sometimes reflect about how hard I worked and what I went through in order to enter the 'real' world and hide my insanity well enough so I was accepted. And I wonder why on earth I went through the hell that I did. The world is crazy and growing moreso by the day...if you doubt me, watch the news. The pay-off for being a participant in society is that I get to pay taxes, owe money, be a slave to my employer...I can be abused, a victim of a crime, be falsely accused, fired or laid off. Yes siree bob...I can be a member of the rat race! I can watch the cruelty of others to the helpless. I can the exploitation and the injustice. I can observe politicians and elections Tell me something, all you people out there....what is the pay-off of enduring this insanity? What is the pay-off of participating in it? Because you know what? I just can't see it. And why do you want me to "get cured" and join you in it? Misery loves company, right.

To any mentals out there reading this...beware...the push to cure you is a cruel trick...don't fall for it. And to you OUtsiders out there...you really need to come up with something better as a reward than paying taxes, bills, politics, the silent suffering all around you, the rampent injustice, and the freedom that others have to inflict pain and torture upon you.

I should have asked more questions before asking for help oh those 30+ years ago. Even as I watch my slide backwards--further than I ever was before--while I feel some fear since the authority figures will have the ultimate POWER over me once again, there is a vague feeling of relief. For I know the darkness and I know the shadows well...there is safety there.

1 comment:

LJG aka Pennsylvania Independent said...

I have been hospitalized twice, and the primary thing I was told is I will not snap out of it.
I was diagnosed with ADHD at 15 or 16 and bipolar disorder type one at 20.
I have been hospitalized twice as a result of complications of my bipolar disorder.
I have not been on any medications for about 1 1/2 months, because I decided to walk out on western medicine.
The reason being is I discovered they (doctors, nurses, therapists) are not really out there to help you. they are out there like everyone else and earning a paycheck. Who could blame them, I come to work to earn a paycheck, but the point is they are schooled in a specific area, i.e., psychiatry. They are schooled specifically, in the psychiatry area and seem they only care about a paycheck.
My proof is my insurance. It will not pay for many things that are psychiatric related such as therapists visits, many medications, and mental health realted visits except for hospitalizations.
I have never been hospitalized under the insurance I have now, but would hate to use it for hospitalizations.