I’ve often wondered why it was I broke my hip at the tender young age of 59? Then, I got to thinking about my life, and what I’ve begun to see is that I’ve been falling down regularly, as an attention getting device, since my early twenties, within a year or two of having my first breakdown at the age of 20, just before my 21st birthday in 1972. Being in state hospitals from that early time in my life, I was not really treated to much concentrated psychological or psychiatric help, except for the time I was in the private hospital when I was 23 thru 24. Somehow, I thought I should not cooperate with the staff and doctors at that hospital. I clammed up.
They kept me in the private hospital for a year and a half, but they did not particularly help me, because I wouldn’t let them. They kept trying to get me to talk to them, but I kept thinking I should not talk to anyone about my life. I kept screaming obscenities at them, when anyone would reach out to me there, and ended up being discharged after a year and a half, without ever opening up about my issues. For years after that, I kept staging fake epileptic seizures, trying to get the staff and doctors to do something to help me. At that time, I had not learned yet, that I needed to help myself, or how to go about helping myself. I was all confused, withdrawn and upset. Now, I’m opening up.
About the time I was up for discharge from the private hospital, there was this very nice young lady, who was a psych assistant at that hospital. She took me for a walk in the nice, spring evening. She told me that there was something inside of me that was very, very wrong. They didn’t know what that was – and if I did not start talking about it – I was going to die. I said, “Now you tell me. Who am I supposed to talk to, now that you guys are kicking me out?” She gave me the phone number of a crisis line.
That was 1975. I called that number, even some of the times while I was in state hospitals, throughout the years, until 2010. What is that, 35 yrs? I ended up talking about child abuse, which I eventually realized was what happened to me in my own childhood, and in all those 35 yrs, I succeeded in giving the children a voice and credibility for reporting their abusers to the authorities in the United States. I brought that issue out of the closet.
Now, I’m trying to bring the grave emotional and mental disorders of the populous out of the closet, in the United States, and in the world. I have schizophrenia. There are also manic depression and bipolar disorders, to mention just a couple of the other, prominent diagnoses. There are other diagnoses that people suffer from in this world. Not treating them will not solve the problem.
It’s time for the world to realize that it doesn’t work to just kick all of us mentally ill folks out into the streets and close up all the asylums, force us to panhandle on the streets. President Reagan closed down all the Federal programs, to force all the people with mental problems to have to fend for ourselves. I especially feel bad for those who don’t have families with money. There are people out there who are literally starving and dying of exposure. Does that sound like the American way of taking care of our own to you?
When I was abused in childhood, I had to bottle the whole thing up, because little boys did not talk to their parents about neighborhood men sexually assaulting them in the 1950’s. That was not acceptable behavior for children then. I tried it in 1958, telling my father a neighborhood man had “rolled my dice,” but when my father took me to confront the man, the man simply denied my allegations. Then, my father turned to his seven year old son, in the face of my abuser, and asked me why I told stories? You can count on it that when I was sexually assaulted again in 1964, at the age of 13, I didn’t tell anyone, and especially not my father. Now, I’m telling everyone. I told the hotline for 35 yrs. Now I’m telling the world on my blog. I don’t know the identities of my abusers, but God does. What goes around, comes around.
In the early 2000’s, my therapist diagnosed me with selective amnesia, when the amnesia finally broke loose, after 20 yrs of uninterrupted sobriety and private psychotherapy. I ended up on a psych ward when I was in my early 50’s, crying like a wounded child, for two weeks running. I was very sick with the overwhelming nature of the memory. But I realize that I need to talk about the things I think about. As I’ve said, that was not something I always knew. For a long time I believed I should not tell anyone the workings of my thoughts.
The other thing is that I developed suicidal tendencies when I was 24 yrs old. When I cut myself at that age, I learned that what I need to do when I want to hurt myself, is go tell some other person what I’m thinking before I do it. Planning to attack your own body is an illness, and it needs to be brought to the attention of the medical community. I have permanent nerve and tendon damage in my left wrist.