Hey, blossoms! There are times when we get ill, which is perfectly natural. To be honest, I am currently sick, so this is kind of a refined version of my thoughts from a few days ago. I was worried about missing school, and I thought that some ideas I have could help you!
The most important thing to do when you’re sick is to take care of yourself and get better. This may mean putting your studies aside, but health always comes first. Here’s some tips:
- Certain types of tea, like chamomile and ones with lemon, can soothe sore throats.
- (Side note: I’ve heard that marshmallows are also able to help sore throats because of the gelatin they contain, but that may not be true and I don’t have a credible source for it.)
- Make sure you drink lots of fluids, like juice, milk, and most importantly, water! One of my personal faves is Tang, which is this orange powder that you dissolve in water. It used to be really big in America a while ago but I don’t know widespread it is elsewhere.
- Try to shower regularly if you’re congested because the steam will clear out your sinuses.
- If you can’t shower regularly, nasal rinses will work just fine too! You can get a system for that at your local pharmacy. (There’s also this thing you can do where you fill a sink with hot water, put a towel over it, and stick your head underneath the towel. This allows the steam to build up, which means you can decongest a little.)
- Medicate regularly!! Check the directions on whatever type of medication you’re taking to see when it wears off and set a timer so you can stay on top of it. This will help your recovery process along a bit faster. However, DO NOT ABUSE MEDICATION. Take only as much as is prescribed because taking too much can actually be worse for your health.
- If you’re on antibiotics, make sure to eat well because antibiotics are designed to take out all types of bacteria within the body, even the good ones in your digestive system. (I’d personally recommend eating foods with fiber and protein and staying away from dairy if you can. That’s just my personal experience! It may be different for other people.)
- Get some rest!! You may want to catch up on your studies but you’ll be able to catch up quicker and understand material better if you’re well rested.
So, you’re feeling alright and ready to begin making up work. Where do you begin?
- Here’s someposts on catching up after being away for a while (note some of these are travel based, but there’s still some good information in there)
- Email your teachers! Text your classmates! Ask for notes, for homework, and for additional help if you’re unclear about what’s going on.
- If you’re feeling well enough, you could run in to your classes in order to get the homework and briefly conference with your teachers, but it’s always best to make sure you’re not contagious or feeling poorly before doing so. Email is pretty much just as effective.
- Start small. Trying to catch up on all your work in one day is never good. Try to do the work for maybe one class, and if you’re feeling well enough, do another.
- Do what’s most important first. If you’re in a group project and they’re waiting for your input on a presentation or something else, get that in ASAP. Don’t affect the grades of others with your illness.
returning to class
As you return to your usual schedule, here are some things to note:
- Before going back to class, ensure you’re in a good place mentally and physically. For example, if you’re still running a fever or you still feel very ill, take some more time and wait.
- Make sure your study space is functional so that you can begin to return back to your normal schedule. The desk reflects the mind.
- Keep up on your fluids! If you’re still a little under the weather or you haven’t finished that course of antibiotics, keep taking those meds!
- Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t understand something. Being gone is hard. Ask for help and self-advocate.
- If you’re on a sports team or doing some other strenuous activity, it’s okay to take a couple more days away from that to let your body recover completely.
- The most important thing is to take it easy, even after you’re well enough to come back to class. If you overwork yourself while still recovering, that can lead to backslide, so please be careful!!
I hope this will be useful, darlings!! Take care of yourselves and remember that so many people are rooting for you to do well, including me :]
Eating and Drinking: Make sure you eat food, and drink water
regularly. Carry a water bottle everywhere you go if it helps. I always have a
water bottle, and something I can snack on in my bag, because I tend to forget
otherwise. Eat healthy foods where you can, but honestly, something is better
than nothing. Take the time to eat, and drink. Nutrition and hydration is
important for fueling your body and will help you focus, and stay focused.
Taking breaks: These are necessary. It doesn’t have to be long, but you should
aim to take at least five minutes every hour, and some longer ones here and
there. It can be hard to stay focused, and you can burn yourself out easily if
you try and study for hours on end, day after day. Listen to your needs.
Getting a headache? Take a short break.
Mental Health Days: We’ve all had those days where we’ve had good intentions to
write notes on some chapters, maybe work on an assignment, read a chapter in
the text book, or whatever, only to wake up, and feel like our mental illness
is getting the better of us, and study just isn’t on your radar. It’s okay to
take a day off to do something mindless, or enjoyable, or relaxing. It’s
important to take these days when we need too. Don’t feel ashamed to take a day
off for your mental health.
Socialising: Go to that party, catch up with that friend for coffee, Skype with
that friend, catch up with your dash board, or Facebook news feed, whatever it
is, it’s okay to do those things. Just as long as you don’t always do those
things. Not letting yourself do those things, especially when you’ve been
struggling with mental illness and motivation to study, and you take your
socialising away from yourself entirely as punishment, can contribute to the
cycle of not studying. Find a balance that works for you.
Talk to someone: A therapist, a friend, a
significant other, sibling, parent, teacher, whoever. If you trust them, and
ask if it’s okay to talk to them about things that are bothering you/going on
for you, then you should talk to them. Talking about things can really help you
to start working through things one by one when it all seems overwhelming, and
upsetting. Also, don’t be afraid to let your teachers/professors know that you
are going through difficult times. Utilise the programs and resources your
school/college/university has to offer. Ask for that extension if you need it.
Exercise/Stretching: It’s good to not only have a regular routine for your
overall physical health, and fitness, but during your study sessions, it’s also
good to get up, and move around, and do some stretches every once in a while.
Just like with taking breaks, you can use those break times to incorporate some
movement. Get up, walk around the house, stretch, do some star jumps (I think
some people call them jumping jacks???). I am terrible with exercise regimes. I
am working on trying to include walking around the block, weights and resistance,
and other things into my week, because I know that exercise is supposed to help
with focus, and my overall physical health. And it’s supposed to help with
mental health too.
Sleep: Get some sleep, and get some good sleep! 7-9 hours of good quality sleep
per night, is ideal for most people. Know yourself, and how much sleep you
need. I personally need about 8 hours, anything less and I struggle. Sleep can
be hard if you’re struggling with insomnia (I do) but giving yourself as much
opportunity to sleep as possible (within reason), will really help. Also, taking naps during
the day can really be helpful. I often take short naps when I get home from
classes, because I find it helps me to consolidate the knowledge better, and
revitalises my body, and my mind for me to continue with my day, as classes
take a lot out of me mentally, and physically. Don’t stay up all night, you’re
better off getting some sleep earlier, and getting up earlier. And take naps if
you need too!
Be fair to yourself: This is really important. Know your needs, and treat yourself fairly. Even if you don’t get everything done that you wanted, even if you had to take a mental health day when you have so much to do, it’s okay. Your feelings are valid, and you are not weak/worthless/incompetent/insert other self-hating statement here. You’ve done so well to accomplish what you have managed today. You are amazing.
This is the last post to my post series Studying
with Mental Illness:
Ideas for Studying, Motivation, and Self-care. Here can find my general post, studying post, and motivation post.Thank you for reading. I know these ideas won’t work for everyone, but I hope that they might be useful to someone. Take care.
aries: hey, i miss you. snap me sometime? I miss your smile. i miss laughing with you and eating ramen. i miss those summer nights where we turned night into day. you were my best friend and I’m not entirely sure what happened. but i sure miss you a lot.
taurus: you were my go to. the one i could trust and knew would be there for me. im really sad you broke that. i miss you, or i miss who i thought you were. because what you did isn’t what you would do. so maybe you’re very different than what i thought. hopefully sometime you would be willing to talk it out. i know you’re stubborn as shit and wont apologize. so ill do it instead. i love you. im sorry.
gemini: oh you. well i still love you, you know. hopefully you do. i repeated it to you the last few times we spoke. i miss laying in my backyard and looking at the stars with you. i miss getting popsicles and walking downtown with you. i miss your hands. but i heard someone else is holding them now. i miss your hair. i also that heard you cut it all off. i hope one day ill get to see you again. maybe you’ll come back here to visit. or ill stop by colorado. and we can smoke a bowl or something. you’re always in my heart. sometimes, you even sneak your way into my daydream.
cancer: you’re the only one who doesn’t hate me, i think. even though you have good reason to. when you saw me standing alone today, you were the only one to come say hi. i appreciated that more than anything. thank you. thank you, for being kind. thank you for taking care of my friend.
leo: hey, im constantly torn between talking to you or not. I’ve learned my lesson not to play with fire with you. but the sun soaks up water and maybe thats why im constantly drawn to you. you were my only friend for most of high school and i appreciate that. maybe its best if we keep a distance. and just remember the good times.
virgo: hi. i miss you the most, probably. its your third year away from home and i miss your face like hell. i wish you didn’t have to leave at such an early age. i wish we got to spend our last teenage years together. thanks for making me always feel okay with myself. even if no one else is okay with me. and making me feel normal. i love u to the moon and back. and then again, a couple more times.
libra: im sorry. im really sorry. there isn’t any use apologizing or explaining myself because i was in the wrong. but sometimes, i wish i could tell you i wasn’t the only one. and your friend who tells you things about me that aren’t all true, also did things to you. but i wont tell you that. i dont want to be like her. but i dont think you would believe me even if i did. i do care about you. you’re one of my only friends. i hope i can repaire that.
scorpio: i dont get to talk to you much. but the day i was sat with your friends and they all left, you stayed. i really appreciate that. more than you know. it warmed my heart. and that was the first time i felt something like that.
sagittarius: hi u. you’re like my brother. i feel like i can talk to you. and you wont judge me. i like hanging out with you. you’re about the only guy who will talk to me and listens to me, not what everyone else says about me. you’re real. when you let me see that part of you its wonderful. i wish it would come out more.
capricorn: i dont know what you think of me right now. i really care about you. i hope being the friend that i have you can see that. your smile is breathtaking. i know he’s taking care of you. thats all i ever hope for. i love you.
aquarius: im sorry i put so much pressure on you. thank you for being there while i figure out my situation. im sorry if i seem clingy. i would hug u all the time if i could. but i know ur aquarian independence is important. i admire that a lot, actually. i love you so much. thank you for always trusting me. xx
pisces: hi. i wrote you another letter. i wont give that one to you though. it hurt me when you told everyone about the one i wrote you. i poured my heart into 6 pages. it took me an hour to put together. everything put together in a system that would translate as genuine. i hope when you’re older, you’ll learn something like that stays in your heart, and not your mouth. i looked over at you today. you were already looking at me. i don’t know what to think about that. i hope we can be friends again, at some point.
Woohoo! It’s here! My very first Klangst comic — actually, you guys, this is my first comic ever…!!! WOO!!! I did it!!! Damn that was a lot more work than I thought it would be. There are some issues, but oh boy am I spent with this one. Suspension of disbelief on some proportions, yeh? Merci ;)
I wanted it to be longer, but I think this is good for now, considering my current skillz. Maybe one day I’ll clean it up and add the final panels I had in mind.
you don’t get to tell chronically ill people you wish you were ill because they can stay home and don’t havee to go places or do this and that
you don’t get to act like you know everything about someone’s illness, be it just because or because you know someonoe else with a similar illness, you don’t get to act like you know better than them, suggest they try yoga or drink more water or do this and that.
you don’t get to act like chronically ill people are not doing enough and if they wanted to, they could be healthy and it’s completely their fault they aren’t
you don’t get to argue with chronically ill people about being ableist, if someone chronically ill says you are being ableist, then what you need to do is listen to them and learn
you don’t get to make someone’s illness the only topic of your conversation, you don’t get to act like it’s suddenly okay to keep pointing out the way their body looks or doesn’t look because they’re ill
you don’t get to tell people ‘but you don’t look sick!’ or on the contrary ‘you look terrible, just do something with yourself!’, some illnesses are invisible and that doesn’t make them less an illness, some illnesses are visible due to acommodations etc. but it’s not up to you to decide whether a person is ill depending on their appearance
you don’t get to tell us ‘everyone gets tired sometimes!’ or ‘everyone feels a bit bad sometimes’ and dismiss our struggle like that.
you don’t get to act like you know what it is like to be chronically ill or in chronic pain if you are not the one experiencing that
you don’t get to act like chronically ill people owe you an explanation, have justify their limitations etc.
you don’t get to act like people who are friends with chronically ill people are saints and are doing the world a huge favour by putting up with a chronically ill person and how brave they’re for that ,,, truly what the hell
you don’t get to guilt trip disabled people and yell at them because them being ill is difficult for you
you can educate yourself and be respectful and supportive instead
as chronically ill people
sometimes we just don’t have a choice, we get limited, we can’t do many things we wish we could do, we have to give up activities that we used to love, being limited by an illness is not a choice and it’s not fun and it’s not us being lazy
we face sexist system in which women are often dismissed, told they are exaggerating when it comes to their pain, are told they’re just sensitive girls, our symptoms are dismissed and yet when i bring up sexism in healthcare many people don’t believe it actually exists
we are told ableism doesn’t actually exist
we are the ones who determine what doing our best means
we don’t want pity, we don’t need your pity, saying all we want is to be pitied is just plain wrong
we face many difficulties every single day that become just normal or part of a routine
for some of us there is constant pain
maybe we have better days, for some of us no days are good by your definition, it doesn’t mean that by wanting to do something fun we are suddenly healthy and all other things were made up and we are using the illness as an excuse
we are allowed to love things and want to experience things and have fun and we have feelings? and yet some people act that the only way you can be fully human is to be healthy
we also face ableism in a form of healthy people who think they can somehow ‘save us’ or change us
I had a lot of fun drawing this!! I may not have gotten their heights exactly proportional, but I think I guessed them pretty close. The two dad friends are bound to be eachother friends (or more??) Right?
Request: Imagine request for Pan? The reader is extremely shy so she barely talks at all and if she does it’s merely a whisper, all the lost boys have trouble talking to her, including Pan. Pan makes it his mission to make you talk and hear your voice by trying almost everything, from jokes, teases, tickles, etc. Thank you! :) I love your imagines!
Warnings: child neglect, speech disorder
Notes: I took this from a different approach, so hope it’s okay xx
The quietest thing on Neverland wasn’t what you’d expect. It wasn’t the wind or the plants. Not even the bugs and other animals. It was Neverland’s one and only Lost Girl. You never spoke. Ever. And if you did, it was such a delicate whisper that no one would ever hear your exact words.
Peter and the Lost Boys would always try to get you to speak. They never reached that goal, but they never stopped trying. The Lost Boys would try to scare you or prank you. Hoping you’d scream or laugh. When you would find something funny or get scared, that’s when your voice would come out more of a whisper. Sometimes it’d get a little loud, but still very quiet. No one knew why you were this way, however.
“Y/N, please, I need you to speak. Talk to me.” Peter begged, dying to hear your voice and get to know you. “I want to know your entire story. I want to know why you’re lost.”
You only shrugged, an innocent smile on your mouth. You tried using hand motions, but Peter had no idea what you were saying.
“C’mon, you have to make some kind of sound! You can’t be entirely mute!” He groaned, becoming annoyed.
That’s when Peter would tickle you. It was the usual routine, and you were far used to it. He would either tickle you or do something funny in hopes you’d laugh. But again, it would always come out faint.
“I will get you to talk, I won’t stop until I do.”
Again, you only shrugged with an innocent smile. You walked away aimlessly, gazing at the tall trees. You were in your own world and it blew Peter away. He was floored by how mindless you were. Nothing mattered. You never seemed afraid of the perilous forest that was Neverland. Nothing fazed you–unless the Lost Boys played a good trick on you.
Little did peter and the boys know that you were raised very differently…
As the next couple of days passed, Peter still tried with everything he had to get you to speak. Even is magic didn’t work. He couldn’t see into your mind because there wasn’t really much there. He began to question if maybe you were mentally ill. Or if you had a special disorder. You didn’t seem to know much except for how to walk and keep balance.
“Y/N, please. Just say one word.” peter once again begged.
You grinned. “M…Ma…”
“Yes, what is it? Say it.”
Your voice was still quiet, but louder than normal. “Mama.”
Peter cocked an eyebrow. “Mama? Mama? Why would you say that? You’re around the age of twelve, you have to know more than the word mama.”
You were young, and Peter knew he had to be patient. He didn’t want to scare you too hard because then you would never speak. He had to analyze you from your physical actions. But all he gathered was that you weren’t all there.
“Okay, how abut we write something.” Peter stared at you once he realized you weren’t going to say another word. He made pencil and paper appear and handed them to you. You held them both in your hands as if you didn’t know how to hold them.
“Please write something. Anything.”
You held the pencil in a weird way, and only scribbled on the paper. You handed it to him afterwards.
“This says… nothing. They’re all scribbles.”
Then it clicked in Peter’s head.
“You… You never learned basic cognitive skills did you? Or basic communication skills? No one ever played with you. No one ever taught you how to properly speak, or read or write. You’re like a baby almost… a baby who can keep their balance, which is weird.”
You furrowed your brows together. “N-No.”
“We have a lot to work with then, huh? We can get you started right away then. I can teach you words. I don’t know how, but here we won’t need to know how to read and write. Just speak. We’ll get you there in no time.”
With that, Peter made it his new mission to teach you words. Back home, your mother was never around to teach you basic, everyday skills. You really were like a giant toddler, only knowing a handful of words. The only reason you knew how to keep balance so well was because as a baby learning to walk, you learned to grab hold to things. Eventually you were able to teach yourself walking without help. other than that, your mother was never there to teach you anything, or put you in school. You really only stayed in one room for your first twelve years of life. You knew nothing. But Pete would help you, and so would the Lost Boys. They would try their absolute hardest to help you learn basic skills. It would just take time.
it’s @gdipalomo today/tomorrow !!! (still like 2.5 hours left before ur bday in my timezone but this way i can get it out while youre asleep H AH) so here take some fuckin CHURCHNUT YA DINGUS [excessive commentary under cut]
Started thinking about Shiniida and I really like the idea of them having a super slow burn romance. I imagine once Shinsou got into class 1-A Iida would help him out a lot, just kind of doing what he can and helping him move into dorms and stuff.
I think it’d be nice of then to be together because Iida is so naturally nurturing and supportive that it would really help boost Shinsou’s self confidence. He’d be a big help with helping Shinsou improve physically and he can help coach him for the hero license exam.
Then once they graduate they ended up teaming up a lot and generally just kept hanging out and maybe got an apartment together and they’re not dating and there’s probably gay feelings but over all theyre just really good friends like super bffs
And then one day they gay…gay it up and then they get married and they live happily ever after
So you're saying we just let the mentally ill won free and hurt people. Ok then I hope a mentally ill person doesn't kill you
How the fuck did you get that from what I said? I said institutions shouldn’t exist. I didn’t say there should be no constraints on people who hurt other people. Institutions cause more violence than they solve.
And mentally ill doesn’t mean likely to hurt people. Most people who hurt people are not mentally ill. Most people who are categorized as mentally ill don’t hurt people. (I’m using your words and concepts here, not mine, mind you.) The question of what to do about people who hurt people is entirely separate from the question of whether people with psychiatric disabilities belong in institutions.
Like… I’ve been in mental institutions, okay? I’ve been hurt by other patients but I’ve been hurt worse and more consistently by staff with no known mental illness diagnosis. The best institution staff I ever encountered was a psychiatric nurse with a diagnosis of bipolar. She was good because she treated us like human beings. She never had to use violence to stop us doing anything because none of us wanted to do anything to her and even those of us who got worked up would calm down when she talked to us because she fundamentally treated us like human beings.
Other crazy people have saved my life. I hope a crazy person saves your life one day. Maybe you’ll think differently about us.
Mind you, I’m not saying we’re all totally innocent people who would never hurt anyone. I’ve hurt people before. I’ve been hurt and gotten death threats from other people who’d probably be categorized as mentally ill. I’ve also been hurt and gotten death threats from people who are categorized as completely sane. I’ve had more sane people than crazy people hurt me. By your logic all sane people should be locked up, since they’re the source of most violence, both inside and outside of institutions. And most violence of institution is staff-on-patient, not patient-on-patient or patient-on-staff, although those two certainly happen. Worse, a lot of the violence is invisible to those committing it.
I’ve had wonderful fine upstanding sane heroic citizens try to kill me. As in, literally fucking try to kill me. In a mental institution. That kind of experience is the root of the violence problem I later developed. The violence in institutions is contagious. Being constantly on the bottom and stepped on can create in some people an unpredictable rage-violence that comes out at random times. It would happen to anyone in our position, not just crazy people, either. It develops in people in other kinds of institutions that are not specific to crazy people.
And that stereotype of mentally ill people as violent is exactly why they were able to try and kill me. It’s also why they were able to get away with beating the shit out of me until there were bruises on every part of my body – everywhere. And that was just the violence done to my body. It’s the violence done to my mind, heart, and soul that are much harder to take, and much harder to put a finger on and explain to people. And I doubt someone whose response to “institutions are terrible and shouldn’t exist” is “then crazy people will get out and kill everyone” would even understand that kind of violence or that it matters or that it can be the root cause of the stereotypical unpredictable violence supposedly found in so many crazy people (but actually found in few of us compared to the amount of violence found in people in general).
Because people saw me as crazy they jumped up and down on my hands in front of teachers and when asked to stop said “But she doesn’t feel it” because I couldn’t moe when they were doing it. It’s why my first-ever stay in a mental institution a guy was able to insert his foot up my butt and wiggle it around sexually in front of an entire room full of patients and staff and nobody did anything except later whisper to me that it happened because they thought I hadn’t noticed because I couldn’t move. (Being unable to move, in such contexts, is almost always thought psychiatric. It was actually an early sign of a progressive movement disorder I have to this day that was made worse by some of the meds they put me on.)
Like… I’ve had both sane and crazy people hurt me. I’ve had both sane and crazy people help me. People who hurt people need to be stopped. Systems that hurt people also need to be stopped. This goes no matter what category people do or don’t fall into. Institutions are systems that always hurt people on a level far deeper than you can probably imagine. They are not full of people who hurt people naturally. They are full of inmates and staff. Staff almost inevitably hurt inmates even without trying because the system forces them into that role. That’s why institutions are far more dangerous than what you’re talking about: They take people who would not ordinarily hurt people and force them into a power relationship that can’t easily avoid people getting hurt.
It’s interesting though when you talk about closing institutions. People – no matter what their stance on things in general – almost always think that you mean just instantly removing everyone from a building without changing anything else about the society you live in. Most people who want institutions closed are not talking about doing that.
So to be clear:
Closing institutions means finding ways to support disabled people without forcing us into a building with other people like us where we’re treated like non-persons and where the system forces an unnecessarily adversarial and sometimes physically violent relationship with the people who are supposed to be taking care of us. Most people in disability institutions are not there because they hurt or try to kill people. Those who are, will probably become more violent as a result of the institutions, and will definitely – like everyone else – experience a kind and level of violence that cuts much deeper than physical violence ever could.
I personally was never particularly violent until I’d experienced institutions, and was only able to stop being violent by staying away from them. And it’s other crazy people running around loose like me, who taught me how not to be violent and helped me heal from the violence I’d experienced. As i said, I hope a crazy person saves your life one day. Many crazy people have saved mine. And I don’t mean indirectly and figuratively, I mean without these people I would have died many times over.
At any rate, as I said, there is absolutely nothing done in institutions that can’t be done better without them. And that includes keeping people from being violent, although I honestly don’t think institutions do a very good job at that.
Also, if things were the way you want them to be, then I would in no way be protected from violence. Because I would still be locked up. And if crazy people are as violent as you say, and if we were all poised to kill people all the time, as if we’re nothing but violence-creating machines… that would mean if you lock us all up together, we’d be at more risk of violence from each other. I suppose you probably think that’s okay.
That’s one thing I learned from disability-segregated settings. We were all removed from being around nondisabled people for various reasons. Many times, the reasons were simply that they didn’t want to have to deal with us. Sometimes because we were loud. Sometimes because we were violent. Sometimes because we were “distracting” (read: did things that were unusual or unexpected, not necessarily violent). Sometimes because we had “too many needs”. Lots of things.
But fundamentally we were put there because other people refused to adapt to our presence near them.
But somehow, even though we were supposedly more limited in all areas including social ones. We were supposed to adapt to each other. And we mostly did.
It’s interesting how other people see us. They throw us out of where they are, thinking we’ll become someone else’s problem. They don’t care that we then have to deal with each other.
Which among other things means that people who get thrown out for doing things that harm other people, get thrown into the exact same places as people who are more vulnerable to harm or less able to tell anyone (or to be believed) if this harm happens. And there is little to no effort made to protect us from each other.
In special ed this meant there was a boy who hurt several girls sexually and none of us were allowed to warn anyone about him because “confidentiality”. And then it was our fault for being near him when he decided to do that to us. And it was basically seen as okay that we were hurt by him. He was removed from regular school for doing things like that. But when he did things like that to other special ed kids, there was nowhere to remove him to, and we had to adapt to his presence, we had no choice and nobody would help us when he did something.
Mind you I’m not saying there should’ve been another more restrictive place they should have put him, away from us.
I’m saying there’s something broken about the whole idea that we can be removed from regular classrooms for reasons that just come down to convenience so that regular people don’t have to deal with us. But then we have to deal with each other. It shows that nobody actually cares if we get hurt, and that the segregated disability system is not designed to stop people from getting hurt. The people within that system are simply not people and what happens to us doesn’t matter. So lock us all up together and let us get hurt by each other as much as possible and nobody gives a shit as long as we’re not hurting them.
That’s what’s broken about your idea, about the whole idea that institutions protect people. They sure as shit don’t protect the people inside them. And despite everything I’ve just said, the people we most need protecting from aren’t each other, it’s the people who work there. The sane people. The nondisabled people or disabled people who can pass as nondisabled to some extent. The people who, plugged into a violent system, will always to some degree become an automatic delivery system for violence that you can’t even imagine probably. And that violence automatically happens to people you don’t seem to give much of a shit about.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who guards the guards themselves? My favorite Latin saying.
Anyway. There has to be a better way to deal with violence than to put people into a system that is inevitably violent and that creates more violence than it stops. There has to be a better way to protect everyone from violence than to remove the violent people to a place where they can hurt people with impunity because the other people they are hurting, like them, have become nonpersons to society at large, and are also usually assumed to be violent whether we are or not.
(And apparently if you’re violent then you are a nonperson who it doesn’t matter what is done to you. But I’d think even if we’re all nonpersons to you you’d give a shit that the system makes us more violent, not less. I did not seriously hurt people until I’d been in institutions a few times. It took me years to unlearn the violence I learned there. I didn’t learn it from other inmates. I know someone who very non-coincidentally, almost did a school shooting immediately after being released from a psych ward. If they’d done it, people would’ve blamed mental illness. The psych ward stay was actually the final trigger that made them almost go through with it. This was before school shootings were a well-known thing. If they’d done it, the consequences in copycat crimes would’ve been like the consequences of Columbine. And the despair that drove them in that direction was triggered by witnessing and experiencing severe violence at the hands of those fine upstanding saintly sane citizens who just happened to be horribly violent, sometimes murderous, to the people under their “care”, but who were seen as saints for dealing with crazy people at all.)
Institutions have a weird habit of creating the problems people claim they solve.
People think mental institutions protect people from violence. They actually subject people to horrible violence, and do things in a way that makes even nonviolent people sometimes become violent, and violent people become more violent, as a result of what happens to them there.
People think nursing homes protect people from falls and dying and things. Disabled people in nursing homes die younger and faster than people with identical disabilities receiving the support to live outside.
People think mental institutions somehow make people less crazy. In many cases they make us more crazy or do nothing. One of my experiences of them was I was told they were the only place I could turn for help when suicidal. Suicide is sometimes a response to a feeling that you have no options and no hope. When the system was seen as my only hope, and presented as my only hope, then when I didn’t feel any better there, and actually felt worse, I lost hope and became more suicidal not less.
I know that sometimes institutions do what they’re supposed to do. But more often they do the opposite. And even when they do what they’re supposed to do, there’s always a way to get the benefits presumed to exist in institutions, without the whole power structure that makes an institution an institution.
They’re also supposed to save money. They generally don’t. Sometimes they do. Often they don’t. People need to be cautious throwing this fact around because it can suggest that if we really are more expensive outside of institutions (and sometimes we are) then we belong in institutions because of the “cost to society”. But nondisabled people have their needs (some of which are both very expensive and unique to people without certain disabilities) met without institutions for the most part, and so can we.
I currently live in my own apartment. I get services through a system that gives services to people with developmental disabilities. I qualify for admission to either a nursing home (institution for people with physical disabilities and chronic illness and old age related disabiliites) or an ICF-MR/ICF-DD (institution for people with developmental disabilities). I’m not in either one of those things because people before me fought for the rights of people like me, to live in our own homes and receive the support we need here. The support I need is pretty extensive.
I can do very little entirely on my own. I have complex medical needs, two feeding tubes (long story, but one’s for putting stuff in and the other is for taking stuff out), other medical implants and equipment, and a tendency to almost die in random ways that people barely figure out in time (my last ICU stay was almost exactly a year ago, I’d stopped breathing). Until a couple conditions were properly diagnosed and treated I was in a complicated motorized wheelchair that tilted you back on the rare occasions I wasn’t in a hospital bed. Throughout all this i’ve lived in my own home except for hospitalizations when very ill. Throughout all this I’ve had to fight for my right to live in my own home as people freaked out by my care requirements tried to persuade me and/or those around me to put me in a nursing home or group home or etc.
People who would normally be put in mental institutions deserve complex, appropriate support. Of a kind that rarely happens for us either inside or outside of such institutions.
People need to be stopped from being violent to other people.
The two groups of people referenced above are far from identical.
If you want to stop people from hurting or killing other people, creating an institution is the absolute last thing you should be doing. Institutions take people who would never hurt anyone and make them hurt people, sometimes without even realizing what they are doing, sometimes realized but rationalized to themselves in various ways. Institutions take people who normally would hurt people, and give them a mostly-blameless outlet for their violence. And I’m talking mostly about nondisabled people here – the people who work in institutions. If you want to save people from their violence the last thing you want to do is create a system that encourages and even mandates violence. That would be obvious if you cared as much about stopping violence as you did about locking up crazy people.
And it also causes inmates to be more likely to be violent, whether we were originally prone to violence or not. This hardly seems like a place for getting rid of violence.
I don’t know if you’ll listen to me, especially because I’m not giving you a lot of credit here. I can’t make myself after what I’ve seen and the mood I’m in right now. But maybe someone will read this and understand what I’m saying. Like, I don’t care that people disagree with me, I do care that you seem to sincerely believe that institutions stop violence. Or that you institutions would protect me (someone likely to be an inmate) from people you presume to be violent (other people likely to be inmates). When they haven’t and they don’t.
Like, I’m not some starry-eyed utopian optimist. I’m someone who’s seen the underbelly of a system I hope you never have to see the underbelly of. And who can’t turn off that knowledge just because some people assume crazy = violent.
And yes I can use the term crazy, for anyone offended by it. I prefer it to diagnostic terms or the idea that our minds are sick in the same way bodies get sick. Other people have their own preferences and that’s fine. This is mine. I can’t say mentally ill for long without feeling like a liar. Psychiatric disability is a term I sometimes use in mixed company to be polite or something but it doesn’t quite cover it for me. YMMV.
If you want a more coherent and organized view on this, try Critic of the Dawn. You’ve just basically brought out the ‘Bruce’ caricature she mentions and made it stand in for everyone in mental institutions (except staff, who are actually almost invariably more violent than inmates when taken as a whole).
Again, who guards the guards themselves? That’s the problem with institutions.
[ETA: I corrected the Latin spelling. I didn’t bank on autocorrect… It’s “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” Translated variously as “Who watches the watchmen?” “Who guards the guards themselves?” “Who watches the watchers?” etc. You can see the Latin root of English words such as custody, custodian, custodial, etc. And to the person who commended me on my patience, thank you, but I didn’t feel patient, i felt pissed. Because it’s one thing to disagree with my views on institutions, it’s another to act like I’ve seriously never thought through that question despite the amount of thought i’ve clearly put into it. And because that mentality that crazy people are dangerous is quite dangerous to crazy people and justifies some of the worst things that happen to us.]