Friday, January 11, 2008

What I Will Not Do
OR to those who are there to make me 'better'

Because your ideologies are incompatible with mine, this is what you will do.

~ You will deny me what I need. After all, you know best.

~ You will assert your reality over mine. After all, you know best.

~ You will expect far more from me than I am able to give, then you will tell me I need to do even more. After all, you know best.

~ You will devalue my choices and my existence.

~ You will make your power felt.

~ You will blame me, and my faulty thinking, for my failures. I don't see failures, but you know best.

Because I have choices and autonomy and a mind of my own, this is what I will not do.

~ I will not accept less just because I need more. You made promises. Now you realise they involve more effort than you thought. That doesn't mean you can deny me my rights.

~ I will not accept that, because the way I live my life is threatening to your Map of the World, I have to be the one to change. It's just possible that your view, informed by textbooks and cases and experience as it may be, is not my reality.

~ I will not live with the contradictions that can ruin my life. Either you expect me to spend my time pursuing paid work and being financially self-sufficient, or you want me to crawl towards your idea of 'normality' by giving up hours, days, weeks, months, years of my life to treatments that may or may not be effective. I cannot do both, and I will not. When you have more insight than "Try harder," I might be willing to talk to you.

~ I will not accept the myth that my life is less important because there is less that I can do. Telling me you want to make sure that I "won't have to live [my] life in a wheelchair" is not going to impress me. Neither is suggesting that only with your help can I contribute to society. Show me that I matter, regardless of my personal choices in the areas of mobility aids and part-time work, and maybe we can work together.

~ I will not let you bully me just because you're bigger, an 'expert', and good with excuses. You work for a large organization with a lot of power over a lot of people. I am one person with very little control over my own life. I'm aware that this makes me insignificant to you. I am not insignificant to me.

~ I will not allow anyone to suggest that, because I have a history of mental health problems and a lot of very current anxiety, my views, feelings, reactions and needs aren't important. I am not crazy. I am not stupid. I am not being difficult. I may be very stressed indeed, but for some reason that only happens when you are involved. How interesting.

I'm aware that, through my use of this 'you', I define and dichotimize and demonize and discriminate. I wonder, if I could tell you all this, how you would feel to be on the other side.

But I won't tell you any of this. You know best, of course.


Tanya said...

That first list sounded really like my ex-boss. He was an asshole.

grace said...

Have you actually sent that to the relevant person/people? Would be interested to read their responses...

andrea said...

That is a powerfully strong post!


The Goldfish said...

The last time someone strongly recommended a "treatment" to me, it was a curious nutritional therapy which was costing the lady about £12K a year and she was still rather unwell. But "Surely you can't put a price on your health?"

Uh... I think I might.

One good trick is to defer responsibility to someone else. If you do have a good doctor or some other therapist, then you can respond to this crap with, "Thanks but I spoke to my doctor about this and (s)he said..."

This can even be effective with people who have some expertise but are spouting things which contradict what you know for sure; if you ask a doctor if he or she is questioning the professional competence of another doctor, they tend to back down very quickly.

This is an excellent post, thank you.

lilwatchergirl said...

Grace: I think I might actually get sectioned if I showed any doctors that. But it was great to write it.

The Goldfish: Sadly, this is about medical professionals.

Andrea: Thanks. :)

rachelcreative said...

I think you're absolutely right and I'm inspired by your inner strength.

Never That Easy said...

To realize you have the power in all of this - that the decisions are yours to make - is one of the hardest, yet most important lessons I've learned dealing with all of this.

I'm sorry that someone (medical professionals, even) would make you feel this way, but so, so proud that you can stand by this statement:

I will not accept the myth that my life is less important because there is less that I can do

Elizabeth McClung said...

Nice articulation. Not that the "you"'s ever seem to be that empathetic. I would ask "Considering what has happened up to now, and what I face in the future and that I am here being told things by you which WILL have an impact on my life but which I cannot confirm the final value of without risking MY time and body which is more likely: Joy and happiness or Anxiety, depression and a feeling of either frustration or helplessness?" They would stare, then simple start speaking to my partner (Since anyone who would question them or suggest alternative feelings is definately mental....or out of control, or both).

I really hope that you find an advocate to help you get away from the toxic medicos and toward the 14 in the 300 miles around you who are competent and give a damn.

I don't suppose when they tell you they want to make sure you "won't have to live my life in a wheelchair" you tell them you want to work with them to "make sure they don't spend the rest of their days dead-ended in a job working with people having physical limitations they have never experienced themselves."

deborah said...

very inspiring. I can so relate to this; unfortunately, most of the views up on top. I have had the opportunity to spread my own points to those I do disagree with. I can be my own worst enemy at times, I suppose. or not. I have no problem speaking for myself, and am not easily intimidated.

to date, those who are working with and for me, are doing exactly that; working FOR and WITH me. Anything else is worthless.