Speaking of Perception Problems
By Patricia Lefave, Labeled, D.D. (P)
I want to talk here a little bit about some of my former perception problems as related to my own case. After talking to so many of the psychiatrized from around the world, I think many of you can relate to this topic very well.
I think my number one perception problem was the assumption that my protagonist was sane himself, and filled with good intentions. I hesitate though to even use words like 'sane' or 'insane' anymore as I know psychiatry is busy training the whole world now to see problems of human thought and relationship in terms of disease process, which they, dressed up in their white lab coats, are going to 'fix' with a script for a bottle of pills to make everyone's feelings just go away. It was because of my first error in perception that I misinterpreted both my protagonist and the group of others which he involved.
It was intended in my case, that I should do just that, but I didn't know that at the time. Though I no longer see him or the group in the way that I used to, they still see me basically the same way, since my perspective on this whole event was invalidated as 'illness' and I was silenced by those who used the system to protect themselves. Because of that, they still don't know they are wrong about what they believe they understand. They don't know because the individual who did it, and the originally small group that joined in, acted it all out, and supported him, then hid the truth to take care of their own interests. One of the psychiatrists even told me that is what I could 'realistically' expect them to do. At the time, I was flabbergasted by the suggestion, yet it seemed to be regarded as 'normal' behavior to them. The reality of the situation is that they don't want to know. This is just what my protagonist expected them all to do. He had played this 'game' before. What he did not know is that I understood it. I have played this 'game' before too. It's just that it was not called the same thing when I 'played' it before.
His power over them depends upon keeping it all concealed. They do what ANY dysfunctional group does. They defend their position by closing ranks and denying their own behavior and the groupthink that led them to act out as they did.
The next perception problem I had in relation to these people was in connection with all the smiling, much of it better described as 'smirking' actually. The whole group smirked away, all their eyes aglow with great amusement while I tried to reason with them, or just tell them exactly what it was that was really going on and the effect it was having on me. Though they heard my words, they were all psychologically deaf to what I was saying. They don't really know what the words mean. They have been trained to hear the SAME words as having an alternate meaning, so they hear that. They were hearing what I said in the terms they were told they SHOULD hear it. Since I made no sense to THEM, they concluded that I made no sense, period.
I have learned from this experience that when I am dealing with egotistical people, as many involved very obviously are, they never think of what is an obvious other possibility. That is especially true when they are doing their thinking in groups. The possibility that if I make no sense to THEM, it could be THEY, who are 'having trouble making sense of things,' doesn't occur to them. Few people think to ask, 'what 'things' exactly are we all talking about. Instead, the whole business is treated like an abstraction. Most of the time as they do this, finding something lacking in their own thought processes is an idea that does not even get consideration.
Next Perception Problem
As a result of their own assessment which includes the 'secret' belief that I am stupid and/or crazy, many of these same people were (and in fact, still are) acting out all of their contempt and various opinions of me from three or four feet away. But wait! It gets even more bizarre. Most of them DON'T KNOW I can SEE them! They also don't know that I can hear them and understand them perfectly. I can hear you guffaw as you read those last two sentences. You don't believe that do you? You're thinking, 'Come ON lady! How could adult human beings think someone couldn't hear them or see them three or four feet away?
If that is what you are thinking, you are making them same error I used to make. You are looking for reason in this. This isn't about 'reason' it is about groupthink. They also don't suspect for even a minute that I know MORE about what is going on then they do; MORE not less. This is why the group which psychologically assaulted me as an individual looked (and still often looks) like they are all conspiring together to drive me insane. How could they be unaware of themselves in such a way?
They looked to me like they ALL got together and planned to pressure and invalidate me until they broke me. At least one of them expected this result. The group he led was blind to it, blind to me, to my protagonist, and blind to themselves as well. From MY point of view though they looked fully aware of what they were doing and the endless smirks, nudges and conspiratorial winks were displayed constantly while I stood there looking right at them doing it. They did not see me seeing them. They looked like they were enjoying every minute of it, because they WERE. My error in perception was that I believed they knew that I knew that. They didn't know that I knew. They were too arrogant to know. They were amused by my supposed 'stupidity/insanity.' That was something that was a self fulfilling prophecy; the insanity part I mean. As 'we' like to say, I was crazy not stupid. More than that, YOU are what made me crazy in the first place.
Am I trying to claim that NO ONE does this sort of thing deliberately and with intent to harm? No, I am not saying that at all. I am saying most of the people who involve themselves in this stuff are actually pretty clueless. They are mostly followers, not thinkers. Oh sure, sometimes they memorize the things OTHER people have thought out, but parroting back the thoughts of others is not intelligence. It is sometimes just good memorization skills. We have all met people who sound intelligent, at least at first, until you realize they must constantly quote someone else or employ the liberal use of platitudes to sound that way.
Out of the crowd of the easily led I found that some of them were indeed enjoying the assault, fully conscious of the fact that I knew what was being done to me and that they knew I knew. These ones represent our present and future sociopaths. Every community must have its minimum percentage apparently. To deny they exist because they can't be anyone's brother or mother or uncle is to live with our heads in the sand. In this kind of action though, it is the group that supports and enables the phenomenon. The community sociopaths, and a variety of other card carrying a**holes who are like hangers on, couldn't do what they do without the blind group support. That is why I am trying to create a literary 'contact lens' in this particular post. It remains true that the majority of followers in the groupthink session have no idea that I am now, and always was, fully aware of them. Those who do know now are trying to keep it a secret to keep themselves from suffering any losses as the consequences of their own behavior.
I know this is all very hard to bend you mind around. I had a very difficult time figuring it out myself and I think part of the reason I was able to do so is because I was so old when it happened to me. I have told many others that if I had been fourteen instead of forty seven when it happened, I don't think I would have been able to get out of it, and, if not, I would have been promptly proclaimed to be 'schizophrenic' as though it was something bubbling up from within my inherently defective brain. It is not true but how would I have ever convinced 'experts' of that? I doubt if at the age of fourteen, I would have even tried too hard. They would have been too intimidating to me. Frankly, they are STILL pretty intimidating right now but, being so old, I am more determined to be in their face with it. (The 'advantage' of having one foot in the grave perhaps?)
So, most of the group members delude themselves that they are my 'superiors' and because of that they are telling themselves, (sometimes out loud and right in front of me) that since I am crazy and/or stupid and all, I will have no idea what they are so amused about, or what they are doing whenever they decide to 'have them a little good ol' boy 'fun' harassing me for an audience of their 'peer' group. (Yuk Yuk) Sometimes they told themselves and others that I didn't know they were amused (while they smirked and giggled like four year olds) but most often they were correct when they decided that I didn't know WHAT they were amused about.
You see what amuses them, and what amuses me, are not at all alike. I don't think like them. I don't WANT to think like them either. I did need to know HOW they thought though before I was going to be able to deal with them effectively. They were not trying to resolve anything, which was especially true of my protagonist. They were trying to avoid resolution. That was something I did not know, but now I do. We had opposing viewpoints and also opposing goals. I also didn't know that many of them didn't know I could see them and hear them from four feet away. After all, why would I believe that? It didn't make any sense.
I don't know why I even considered it at first, but I am very happy that I did since that was some of the vital information that was missing in my case and would have remained that way as far as the group was concerned. That was also a perception problem of mine which I no longer have. Believing everything had to make logical sense to be understood was one of my main perception problems. I had perceived my protagonist and the group that got involved as 'rational' and none of them were. They were operating on emotion, mostly negative emotion, and out of their limbic brains. They were defending their territory; peeing on trees. (So to speak) In other words, I was giving them too much credit for brains they don't actually have.
Just as they were projecting their lesser understanding on to me, I was projecting my higher understanding on to them. It was a great delusional reversal, times two. I have known this for many years and have even told one or two of my team of psychiatrists but, unfortunately, they believe strongly in the platitude, 'There is no "I" in team. Being non compliant myself I believe, 'there is no team in 'I."
Remarkably, when they 'found out' they had been visible and audible all along, they decided to try to deceive me into believing they had not done what they KNEW they had done and what they ALSO knew, that I knew, they had done. They even announced a couple of times, while in my presence, that they were going to pretend they hadn't done anything, so that I would 'have to think' I 'had imagined the whole thing.' It boggles the mind doesn't it? Don't tell anyone the term I just used as someone will try to get 'Boggled Mind Syndrome' into the next DSM as well.
These are people who like to tell themselves how mentally healthy and ethical they are and yet they stood around together and discussed how they were going to avoid responsibility for their own actions. I kept thinking they were joking. After all, how could such people NOT be joking when they did that? When they made the decision to try to cover it all up it became a conscious act to do harm, but it hadn't been before that. Before that, they had been conned as a group by the same guy who conned me. The same group though, decided they were going to let me take all the losses for the group behavior in their place. Some of them even discussed sticking together to do it and discussed that also right in front of 'stupid/crazy' me.
So, they claimed their group behavior was non existent and all in my imagination; just my perception problem. They claimed my emotional reactions were reactions to nothing at all for they had done seen and heard nothing. Therefore, I only thought this had happened. You know what 'thinking' something happened when a group says it did NOT happen means don't you? It means my protagonist was reaching his goal, for he is the one who suggested I was 'crazy' in the first place. (Allegedly)
Doing as they did destroyed my life as I knew it, and my financial security. (Which was quite small but important to me)It also destroyed my sense of safety in my community, my privacy, many personal relationships, my job, my reputation as a sane and capable person, and ultimately all of it, together, caused my breakdown. I was then faulted for finding fault in the 'faultless others.' You know who the 'Others' are don't you? They are the ones who can never be blamed for anything. The key word in that is 'ANYTHING.'
All these years later, they still don't own their own behavior and the community members which they all involved stay involved, and the abuse has grown due to their collective silence about what they did. The excuse making for it and blaming of me has gone on ever since. Yet those who cry most loudly that 'no one must be blamed' do not hear themselves constantly blaming 'Others' for what they, have in fact, done! From my point of view, it is utterly absurd and non stop irony.
It has not mattered what I have said, how often, or to whom. No one has taken responsibility for his or her own behavior but many of them have been all too willing to hand it to me, over and over again. Besides embellishing their OWN stories, often which started with at least a grain of truth in them, they have added to the chaos by making up more stories, and spreading them everywhere. They do this as a way of justifying themselves for the other rumors they spread. It is like they are telling themselves, " OK that other stuff we may have been wrong about but THIS story 'proves' we were still right to attack this 'defective' person. Could all these people be wrong?'
They still want to believe that reality can be defined, and affirmed, by group consensus while ignoring all evidence to the contrary. The mental illness system here has promoted that idea and their public silence about the matter, and the concealment of the whole truth has reinforced the groupthink beliefs.
The patronizing behavior towards me has increased with every passing year. I think that happens because an idea of who I am is accepted and after that, I am made to fit into that paradigm. Like all psychiatrized people, I have been magically transformed into one of 'Them' which has allowed scores of people in my community feeling perfectly all right about talking about me, and all they have 'heard', while I sit there and listen to them. I am not 'allowed' to confront such rude people as it would be considered by the mental illness profession here to be 'inappropriate behavior' on MY part. Does that mean the group's behavior is considered to be 'normal'? No, not really because it is considered to be non existent and only my 'imagination' or paranoid delusions. Psychiatry you see does not believe that communities behave this way.
Silence and concealment is also what allows groups of people who DO behave this way to keep right on doing it and getting away with it. It is a 'secret' that everyone knows but which we must all be willing to pretend we don't know. That is how we keep up the illusions of abstract 'niceness' we all seem to prize so highly over the reality of life. I am therefore reduced to the level of an object, or disease process, for groupthink assessment. My open objection to it as expressed in writing is viewed by many with undisguised contempt and disdain. It has been diagnosed by some as my 'obsessing' about it. (Oh good; another new 'symptom' for me justifying more 'help' to anyone who decides I need it 'for my own good.'
I have heard people discuss how they should speak to me, how they should 'handle' me, what mental illness I have, how dangerous I might become, or may have been, and what is the latest news and opinion of me. This is coming out of the psychiatric hospital, supplied by the same staff who did it, the rest who gossiped about it, all over the city, the doctors who studied me, and the psych students who point me out to each other, and then to the rest of the student population as well. This all comes originally from the staff there who know me; the ones who set me up for the attack in the first place at my protagonist's direction.
They all think it is OK for them to behave this way as I am identified as one of 'them' rather than one of 'us.' Besides that, stupid and/or crazy people like myself don't know what is going on around them anyway now do 'we'? We apparently are not believed to know what is going on, even if it is going on right under our noses, often quite literally. I remember standing at the desk of the hospital when I worked there and watching one of the nurses talk about me out of the side of her mouth, apparently believing (as I NOW know) that she was rendered invisible by doing that. At the time though, I thought she was joking as I had been led to believe that the whole thing WAS a joke which was including me in the 'fun.' I realized later I was the OBJECT of the fun, not expected to be able to see all the obvious acting out.
As far as stupid/crazy people 'not knowing what is going on right under their own noses', I find myself, somewhat strangely, in agreement with that statement as an abstract idea. It is just that I am now often seeing the 'stupid and/or crazy' people from the other side of that definition.
If you who are psychiatrized learn to try seeing this in reverse, I think it will click and make sense to many, many of you. It is so confusing when you are the target, usually alone, and often forced into an emotional/psychological isolation) because it becomes nothing short of absurd. All of the words and phrases being used (on an abstract level) are true but mean the opposite because they are actually about the other person or sometimes the group.
Let me give you a couple of concrete examples of that. Some of the people involved in my case, stood four feet away from me, observing me like a specimen, while saying, 'Apparently she thinks people are talking about her.'
I sincerely thought they had to be joking. They were all smirking like they were joking. You know what the idiots doing it really thought? They thought they were 'hiding' in plain sight.' The 'unconsciousness' they assign to us is actually their own which they have disowned by way of the very popular defense mechanism known as 'subjective projection.' That means they convinced themselves that their OWN flaws were actually mine. Since they have deluded themselves that I am unaware of them, the 'people' I 'think' are talking about me can't be them since they have decided FOR me that I am unaware of them. Basically, they have created the usual tautological argument for themselves which is used to 'prove' themselves right. All arguments used against the tautology, or attempts to penetrate the group doublethink, only results in MORE doublethink to protect the system and the people inside the loop. How do they do that?
Well, they reinvent what we are saying by giving it an alternate meaning used to explain it away. Since the mental illness system is trained to do the same thing, and to teach others to do it also (now including the A.C.T.ors) they keep reinforcing the group delusion and invalidating the individual's accurate perception of reality.
All of this mess can start with just one person, with a hidden agenda of domination, turning reality around one hundred and eighty degrees and by manipulating a group to join in and reinforce the idea that the reality of the situation is the exact opposite. Even R.D. Laing didn't really get all of this, though I find it remarkable that he understood as much as he did. It is like hearing and seeing the perfectly obvious but then skipping OVER that, and denying it, because it is too stupid or senseless to be accepted as 'real.' If we just accepted 'senseless' as the answer, we would not go in search of an alternate meaning for what we see and hear in an attempt to make sense of the senseless. Let me give you two examples out of R.D.Laing's own work. I forget now which of his books I got these from but I remember them because they impressed me at the time, both for what they said, and also for what they did not say.
In the first example, a young woman who was assigned the patient role said:
'My father is a liar.'
(I imagine some audible gasps followed this bold statement)
Her family confirmed it. 'She SAYS her father is a liar.'
They all then searched together for the hidden meaning behind the statement that her father was a liar. There was no 'hidden meaning.' The girl stated a fact but it was a fact that the family, and many others, did not like and wouldn't accept at as stated at face value. Since they did not accept what she said as truth, there was nothing she could say after that and be heard. She has now then been pulled into the infinite loop and has begun her (likely) life long attempt to escape the system which traps her in the name of 'help.'
Psychiatrists will tell you (if you can get them to talk) that THEY are taught not to accept anything a person in the assigned role of patient tells them at face value! The idea is idiotic of course but they don't hear it that way. "Anything, nothing' etc.. are abstract notions delivered in absolute terms. They're the stuff of which group dysfunction is MADE. Why don't they know that?
Let's look deeper. In the case mentioned above, the young woman either had to deny the reality of her own life and relationship, which meant that SHE was the liar and NOT her father, OR, she could keep insisting that she was telling the truth and be called crazy, or be ignored, or be manipulated until she gave in and gave up, or be punished like a naughty child. No matter what she did in a set up like this (including suggesting it WAS a 'set up') the problem of relationship was GOING to be found to be in her, and not in her father.
It does not really take an 'Einstein' to see that the psychological trap which has been set here by her 'denial' that she is the 'sick one,' is inescapable. It is also true that denying one is sick, when those "Others' say one is, is, in itself, another sign that one is sick. We, who are sick, frequently deny we are sick, don't we? If you think about this for about two seconds, it is more about whose 'denial' is pathologized and whose 'denial' does not get pathologized. Psychiatry believes it is right in the abstract. However, real life lived by humans is not an abstraction to which all cases can be neatly applied. There is denial in this, for all involved, hovering like a vulture on a wire between opposing viewpoints.
While Laing was interviewing a man labeled 'schizophrenic,' and after asking the man to tell him about what he thought, wanted etc., the man answered:
'Oh, I don't decide who I am. Other people decide that for me.'
Once away from the man, R.D. (no doubt with the most honorable of intentions) 'interpreted' that statement in the pathological terms in which he himself had been trained to hear such things. Yes, even him, because psychiatrists, like all other mortals, hear things through the filter of their own expectations and R.D. expected to hear hidden meaning. He then went into an 'explanation' of what the man had meant by his statement. He claimed he meant that he 'needed' other people to TELL him who he was.
Since I don't automatically expect to hear 'madness,' I hear something quite different in what the man said. What I hear is a trapped, institutionalized man, tired, despondent, giving up on the idea of penetrating the minds of psychiatrists, and sick to death of being analyzed and assessed, by one well meaning, but psychologically deaf doctor after another. I hear him being sarcastic: Period. I also hear his sarcasm as reality based and for obvious reasons. I did not hear him claiming he NEEDED other people to TELL him who he was.
Since his obvious sarcasm was not heard, as usual, he made his point about not being seen as a person, with perfect, Zen-like precision. They say we 'laugh for no reason.' We know we laugh for 'no reason; at least for no reason that those who judge us can actually hear or understand. To try to see this paradoxical trap better, hear the words, phrases, platitudes and judgments of the psychiatrized as running in the opposite direction.
Psychiatrists tell patients that if we 'find' ourselves 'looking for hidden meaning,' it is a 'sign' that we 'need an anti-psychotic.' Yet, which group of people spends more time looking for hidden meaning where there is none than psychiatrists? They split reality in two so they don't have to see or hear themselves. It is all an illusion; a basically simple metaphysical trick, that has grown into a complex mess because of the refusal to see how the thing starts in the first place. It is basically an event and/or relationship problem but that is denied as the real cause.
Patients are seen as if they existed in isolation without relationship to others or the world around them. Once defined that way, we are treated 'as if' that were reality. Wanting it to be so is not going to make it so, but unfortunately it does make it APPEAR to be so to many people. Appearances have a great deal to do with all of this. If we see that what we are actually looking at (or hearing) are two sides of the same problem, we can understand it and get past this point in our psycho spiritual history.
One of my international friends, who is still hearing the voices, even while loaded with anti-psychotics, tells me that they often yell at him to 'GET OUT'! He has also told me that he has told THEM to 'GET OUT'! What if collective consciousness is a reality and these are two people who are altered into that state, yelling at each other, in an attempt by each to defend his own 'space,' which is being violated by the other? What if neither of them can change the reality of their shared 'space'? What do they do then? (Humor me. I'm the nut)
Whether or not this phenomenon is symbolic of reality or actually reality, doesn't it have a familiar feel to it? What if we all dealt with it 'as if' it were real? What if we treated the voices like other people, all our equals, no more and no less? What if we all acted the same on both levels, physical and metaphysical, using the principle of equal worth as our mutual premise of reasoning? Could we, as a group, cure the world's relationship problems? Could we balance psycho spiritual power again? Could we perhaps even cure the metaphysical dis-ease of 'schizophrenia'? Shouldn't we at least try?
One way we are defined in Christianity is like, "the body of God." I have always been one to question everything, and to look for meaning which is sometimes hidden from me, and others, as well. That is why I find it so odd that psychiatry keeps a double standard on all of this. Don't we all look for hidden meaning at times? Anyway, I have a meaning for that too. Maybe our souls are like metaphysical cells in the metaphysical 'body' of God and the original one is the God-head; a sort of nucleus of Being. I feel now though like whatever I say, about pretty much anything, is going to be heard in a psychiatrized way, quite automatically. Personally, I think we had better get busy trying to fix the collective spirit of humanity before the BELIEF that we are, or have, a 'spirit' is firmly established in the DSM (Dark Secrets of Metaphysics) as a disease.
I intend to write more about this genesis of chaos based on the idea of flipping reality around 180 degrees. It is a simple trick done by those who feel a need to be right when they are wrong but, unless you KNOW that, it is very hard to see, especially when a group of others gets involved and keeps adding more and more to the growing chaos of the situation. Meanwhile, those of you who have been psychiatrized try seeing the traits with which YOU have been labeled as belonging to your protagonist and/or the group of supporters, and see if it starts to make some kind of sense to you and sorts itself out. Try to relax with it and don't rush. You don't even have to try to convince anyone else. Just give the idea to yourself like a gift. Remember that if you have been psychiatrized, reason won't penetrate the beliefs of the "others." This is not about reason or logic in the first place. It is society's attempt to deny our collective reality so that it won't have to face the truth.
Psychiatry (and now many others) believes that my own account, of my own experience, at the hands of others is NOT reality, but merely some delusional construct of reality, bubbling up from within my own supposedly defective brain. Still, the system has spent some time 'humoring' me based upon its well conditioned belief that it really can't talk to one of 'them'. So, they refuse. Since in their opinion my reality is NOT reality, then it follows (anti-logically) that my emotional reactions to it can't be real either. So, that ALSO gets redefined in pathological terms and it goes; and goes; and goes.
The fact is, my account IS reality and psychiatry's construct is delusional. They are the ones who can't, or won't, face reality. Now that statement of mine can also be invalidated by giving it the '180' turn around. For is it not also a symptom that 'they' (me and those like me) turn it around' and 'claim' there is something wrong with psychiatry's thinking? We all know that can't be possible right? So, my 'thought' that there is something wrong with psychiatry's thinking is the NEXT thought that needs to be pathologized in an endless stream of incorrect thoughts. This is how the system itself maintains its own position and beliefs, just like any other dysfunctional group. This is how reality is defined by 'groupthink.'
I could argue my points endlessly. It won't make any difference since psychiatry keeps its own power by invalidating every point or argument I can think up. In my own case, the CEO of the hospital even pushed my concrete evidence out of the picture, quite literally, back across the table at me, which I believe he did in order to protect the staff from exposure of the truth.
We can never 'fix' what we can't see, or, in our cases, what we are not 'allowed' to see. We are often told by these experts that 'there is no reality only perception.' I beg to differ and would like to flip that right back to you.
There is no perception (that changes truth) only reality. Deal with it.
I have some sad news for you.
The attempt to redefine this experience in spiritual terms has already been proposed by some mental illness professionals, who mean well, for inclusion as another new category or 'symptom' for the next version of the Dark Secrets of Metaphysics (DSM-V). It has been proposed (So I hear) under the heading 'Spiritual Emergency.'
There is always a sense of irony in these ideas. The term 'spiritual emergency' was used by John Weir Perry also in an attempt to change the way his profession looked at patients, the way they thought about us, and treated us. It is quite bizarre that the profession is actually considering doing this but with the usual perverted view of it. It would not really surprise me if Fuller Torrey (or some enthusiast like him) one day proclaimed Perry quite 'mad,' post mortem, for trying to see it that way and perhaps even used him as the 'subject' for 'proof' of the existence of this 'disease' slated for inclusion. The 'Others' in this, with their adversarial nature, like to see everything in the opposite way as the method of choice for canceling out all possible escape routes. It is done a lot by these doctors who feel just fine about diagnosing anyone, anywhere, from any time, in psychiatric terms.
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Patricia's Blog: www.beyondthepsychiatricbox.blogspot.com
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