In Orlando for Thanksgiving, thinking of a client who shares a name with a mouse….
A staffing yesterday was much about my guy having gotten into a physical altercation with a peer on the unit. It seemed hard to know for sure who really started it or whom to blame, but after some discussion, there were a couple takeaways for me.
One. I have always told every client I’ve ever worked with, that they must cultivate a reputation, in their circumstances as a psychiatric slave, of being more able than anyone else in sight, to walk away from fights and frustrations. Don’t punch back, don’t tell anyone to suck your dick. You can take great pride in this, it has huge historical, religious and philosophical pedigree (e.g., “Turn the other cheek…”).
Nietzsche said recalcitrance is the nobility of the slave, but a soldier’s nobility is in obedience. My clients have to understand that their relationship with psychiatrists and with the nuthouse is that they are slaves. But their relationship with me and with their peers should reflect that they are soldiers.
This is not absolute from the beginning, I am a lawyer and I do follow rules. It’s just highly aspirational. The distinction by the philosopher points to my very best clients.
The guy whose staffing I attended yesterday is really good at recalcitrance, and he’s very funny, so I love him for that, it’s how he got my attention. I just hope he’ll do what I tell him, because I believe he can be one hell of a soldier.
Two. In the obvious understanding of nuthouse staff or “mental health professionals”, any so-called “patient” is absolutely nobody. A member of my guy’s treatment team, during the staffing yesterday, insisted that nobody saw him get slapped across his face by a peer to precipitate the altercation being discussed.
My guy protested, that was a lie! The incident was witnessed by somebody named Shonterellio (or something like that, I probably have the name wrong). So I asked him who Shonterellio was. He said Shonterellio was a resident.
Oh, OK! The witness was a patient, which means he is a total nobody in the eyes of staff. He’s not believed, his information doesn’t count, he’s just another subhuman slave. To check this, I asked the staff who said nobody ever saw my guy get slapped, whether she would believe Shonterellio if he told her that’s exactly what he saw, that’s how the altercation began, my guy only fought back after he was hit first. She would not answer my question.
Which proved my point, I think. “Patients” in a psychiatric institution are subhuman slaves. They are nobody. I spoke to Shonterellio myself later. He seemed pretty competent to me, and he told me categorically, my guy got hit first, he saw it.
The staff are idiots because they believe they are more able to perceive and understand than the patients. They make the same error that was made by the British in Kenya, and even by my hero, General “Billy the Torch” Sherman: discounting the value of intelligence from black slaves.
They will pay for that mistake, if my guys can just follow orders. Unlike the psychiatrists at EMHC, I do not confuse control and help.
Psychiatria delenda est!