(TW) Installment #3 from “Angry Grrrls: Mad Resistance(s) to the Ψ Industrial Complex”
The forest creatures gather underground inside the root tree cave away from The Natural Elements and look deeply into each other’s eyes. Communicating telepathically the way animals do, they sigh and whisper and share.
She says semen is a poison to her, men pull out and spit poison on her, poison on her, poison in her, poison on the sheets. She is angry now. She says the second time she got pregnant he left her. She says it cost over $500 and she had to work double shifts.* She says she ate pills in a clinic, different poisons. She drove herself home. Stacy says 3 days after the second pill her mom opened the door abruptly. “Get up.”
*Madness costs different money for people in different social locations. Because Mad Pride has many roots in the anti-psychiatry movement, it’s relevant to call attention to class/ism and medication. Class is ALWAYS a crucial axis in a Mad intersectional analysis. I will cite myself here, from a blog post on fuckyeahmadpride.tumblr.com January 31st, 2012: ( http://fuckyeahmadpride.tumblr.com/post/16805824502/medz )
1. sure a mad person can (possibly) do an absurd amount of verbal and experiential therapeutic work to get to a place of valuing their self and being where they want to be in life, but for some/many, achieving a state of non-anxiety (read: a safe(r) place to address oneself, or do therapeutic work, or set about a life trajectory, or something) in which it’s even possible to work the project of our own development is nearly impossible/takes fucking forever/seems a part of some terrible feedback loop/etc. medication is and can be an extremely important/amazing agent which punctuates mad experience and allows for maybe moments of calm, or just clarity about oneself amidst neurotypical situations. maybe this is too wordy? basically meds can let crAzy (the A is for ANXIOUS) people calm down for a moment to think about things in a new way, a new way that is hopefully full of self-authored conclusions and ideas.
2. if u can’t function, this moment in capitalism/neoliberalism will swiftly kill you. it is way beyond my business to judge someone’s decisions about things that may help them be able to hold down a job, for example. i think mad people’s strategies for living this world are deeply personal and deserve respect/ful feedback. this is still true when we’re talking about self-medication. one of my favorite psych professors kinda shocked us all one day when she told us that people who are recovering from an addiction are often taught that they were degrading their lives with the drugs, when in fact they were making extremely creative choices to survive, to make life livable. this is a radical reframe.
it can become some messed up classist shit when some members of our community have EXTREMELY difficult bureaucratic battles even to achieve access to meds/counseling/whatever, and some others of our community have been overexposed to access to drugs leading to our rejection of them, and then people can’t see where each other are coming from… you see what i’m saying? this is just a small part of a much bigger discussion of course (including topics like forced medication in confinement, the colonization and destruction of traditional medicinal approaches to healing, bipolar people who truly mourn the loss of their ups and downs when medicated and might even then become clinically depressed because in fact they are their best selves when thriving in those dynamic polarities, drugz that aren’t vegan, drugs and the military…, meds and minors/the adolescent brain….etc).
i think it’s probably more progressive to organize ourselves around resisting and changing sinister pharma-industries, oppressive psychiatric systems of power, and forced medication in confinement, than being super rude about people’s personal and seemingly autonomous decisions with the drugs that industry produces. talking with my medicated friend about their experience of taking drugs we both see is helping them from an industry we both know is bad can be a conversation much more sensitive to the nuance and context of my friend’s situation and social location. being medicated in mad pride is a brave and troubled terrain in which one must actively house contradictions and risk a lack of support from reactive peers. … afterthought 2/1/12 is that it’s important not to get victimy about it though. not getting victimy is like the most important thing in my world, because i value a differentiation between when i feel ew and victimy about stuff, versus when i have truly been victimized. holding space for feedback about my relationship to my medz or the idea of medz could be vital! information for me about myself. my madasfuck friend who is unsupportive of meds or a neurotypical white alpha het cis en-abled dude is super mean about it IS NOT THE SAME AS INSTITUTIONALIZED OPPRESSION (unless that dude is my dr), and is instead some form of interpersonal prejudice or politically loaded rudeness (which yes can be emotionally traumatic, but needs to be distinguished as a different battle, i think)… after, after thought, just to be clear i am making a pro-choice argument around meds, which for me is still housed under the ideas of anti-psychiatry. i am not pro meds.”