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Excerpts from the RC journal RECOVERY AND RE-EMERGENCE

One piece at a time: Dismantling "Mental Health" Oppression - from an Ally

'Mental health' oppression is the same oppression which makes it difficult for many to even consider taking a counselling class; once there, it creates the greatest barrier to fully unleashing our discharge and showing our humanity as well as our patterns. The same oppression convinces us that our hurts are permanent, unhealable wounds, which we must learn to cope with. It teaches us that conforming to an oppressive society is the definition of 'normal'. It grabs anyone who doesn't 'fit in' and calls him or her 'abnormal', 'dangerous', and 'crazy'. It tells us that certain distress recordings are more difficult to heal from than others. It convinces us that the hurts we have experienced are our fault rather than the products and results of living in an oppressive society.

'Mental health' oppression convinced my parents after the Second World War that there was no hope of healing from the loss of most of their family members during the Holocaust. It made them believe their destiny was to live permanently scarred. ...

Michael Luft, East Minneapolis, USA
Recovery and Re-emergence, No. 5

The Adult Role and Feelings of 'Going Crazy'

As a child sometimes but certainly as a teen or young adult, one must fit into the adult role. We get punished, scolded, ignored and humiliated into no longer running, playing, laughing, crying, raging, jumping up and down, stomping feet, trembling, hugging, snuggling; being loud, joyful, enthusiastic, spontaneous, silly and eve talking much. When was the last time you, as an adult, were moved to do any of the above in public, did so without intense embarrassment or discomfort, or did so at all?

The adult role includes 'looking good' and not needing to heal; 'being responsible' - young people's nature is the opposite. Our role as young people allows us to stay somewhat close to our nature, at least for a little while. ...

Janet Foner,
ILRP for 'Mental Health' System Survivors
Recovery and Re-emergence, No. 5

'Mental Health' Oppression


We feel bad about ourselves in every way it is possible for people to feel bad about themselves; also terrified.

Key specifics of our internalised oppression.

* We find it hard to trust other people

* We blame ourselves for everything

* Often we 'do well' out in the world and 'freak out ' in private.

* We tend to be single. We probably have less sex than any other group. Both can be good life choices, but it's better if they are freely chosen.

* We forget what happened in our experiences with the 'mental health' system or dismiss it as unimportant.

* We expect 'mental health' system survivors in RC to be the most sunk, worst counsellors, etc.

Jim Read, London, England
Recovery and Re-emergence, No. 5

Last modified: 2021-06-01 12:29:59+00