My Book: Not As Crazy As You Think, Introduction

crazy fix

 

 

My creative non-fiction memoir, Not As Crazy As You Think, is a critical exposition of the psychiatric institution and its philosophical roots in scientific racism. While working at the American Museum of Natural History in 1993, I travel to India and suffer from an acute form of dysentery alone on the streets of New Delhi, where a Sudra class taxi-driver, Mahander, comes to my rescue and gets me to my emergency plane departure on time. But when a near-death-experience on the ride home offers me a perfect glimpse at Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, an altered perception tailspins my mind into a spiraling tornado, and I am thrown into a mental institution and labeled with bipolar disorder for the rest of my life. I am belittled over the course of two decades by the psychiatric establishment, as they treat me like an unevolved ape through their classification of the mentally ill. But I can only fight the system in my imagination, which keeps landing me inside their hospitals over the course of 20 years in states of psychotic shamanic journeying.
In order to win my freedom from the system in my own mind and finally psychologically arrive home from India, I need to enter the matrix code and time travel back to the 1800s to expose the historical roots of this mess. A mental case turned warrior class, I must dislodge the vile thought-form of the Dead White Man Virus, which circulates all throughout psychiatry releasing the tone continually into our language system, “we are better than you.” I must take on a number of avatars to succeed in conquering my enemy—from a freedom fighter for the New York City school kids that are held in place by their psychiatric labels, to the smartest girl in the universe so that I can tell off these smarty-pants scientists who concocted all these theories throughout the decades about what the mind actually is in the first place.
Here is an excerpt of Not As Crazy As You Think. It’s the first 7 of the book, and I hope after reading it, you will want to read more…

 

Chapter 1

A Dream of India

 

Stuck in time since India, I was imprisoned in a black and white dream with no color in sight. Gravity was time here in this sector, and I seemed to be the only human alive that had the capability of feeling its fluctuation. For in this dense gravity matrix, time was slowing down again.

Like obedient altar boys waiting for a priest’s cue, they stood there in silent and solemn mood with glazed stares of pity—the kind reserved only for the insane. “Why aren’t you listening to me?” I pleaded, desperate to be heard by any one of them. They ignored me with such disregard that I began to wonder if I was invisible.

I had been living amongst the collective density of the rest of my fellow humans for such a long period of time that I sometimes forgot they couldn’t see through my eyes. But I was done with having to prove everything. They never could see the three levels of play inside this gravity system as I could: the past, the present, and the future. And yet, I was the one who was crazy.

The fluorescent light burned my skin; its flickering electricity and hard noise zapped my exposed crown. The sharp frequencies of the white, sterile room filled with stinging metals jabbed at me from the inside out.

“Nobody is listening to me!” I cried out again for what must have been the thirteenth time. “All I need is some sleep! All I want is to be with my family!”

All surrounding parties—the genius doctors with tiny imaginations alongside my mournful, doggy-eyed, brainwashed family—watched this drama unfold with pathetic sympathy in their distant eyes, withholding response to my words as if we were separated by a dimensional shift. I was often the time traveler unrecognizable to my own blood relatives. But this time I was lucid.

I had agreed to admit myself once again—and I checked in for good reasons. On this occasion, it wasn’t just to get some much needed rest with a sleeping pill or to ease my family’s worries, although those reasons were front and center. What was also quietly motivating me was the fact that in all these years of writing this book, I wasn’t 100% sure that my hunches were right.  It seemed as though the only way to prove my theories was to one day be a victim of its oppression in an undeniable way. If I agreed to go inside voluntarily, I could soon enough come out on the other side unscathed in just a day or two, and with new information. With courage and resolve, I needed to go into this stay to get the ending for my book.

So, I decided to act it out as if I was experiencing the real thing. Throughout my life I had efficiently learned the process, so pretending to be what they wanted me to be wasn’t too difficult. All involved would be appeased. As usual, the hospital diligently and obediently recorded notes, not speaking directly to me but to my family. They understood what was really going on, after all. How could I possibly comprehend being such a sick pup? I didn’t really know what to say at the admission interview, but when my brother kindly said to me, “Jennifer, please. Just do it for Mommy,” I believed he understood.

Jimmy always grasped these incidents on a deeper level than anyone else. Even if he wasn’t completely aware of it, he took the journey with me (as far as he could consciously agree to) because our DNA linked us in a profound way. In times like these he could practically read my mind. He acted as my guardian inside that world because it was his judgment I trusted over everyone else’s. We were from the same bloodline, the same tribe. And I knew his language with all its idiosyncrasies and quiet calmness. I inevitably always lost my vision inside this circus arena, and I was grateful that, once again, I could lean on him to be my eyes and ears.

“So what brings you here? How are you feeling?” the admittance nurse asked me. We were still in just the regular hospital, the first leg of the protocol.

Suddenly, I felt compelled by my guides to assume my mother’s demeanor. Like a shapeshifter takes on a form to know its true essence, I slumped into her skin. Now sitting in my mother’s shell, I finally saw how she must have felt so many times in the hands of doctors. My mother had little belief in her own ability to regulate her own health and had always put her full faith in these men and women in scrubs who, in her mind, “acted like they actually cared.” She had always placed such revered trust in doctors, willing to align herself with what they judged was wrong with her even on occasions that didn’t require it.

The nurse waited for my answer. I was careful not to incriminate myself. The first time I ended up on the inside I said the worst thing possible at my admittance interview. That God called me to India. After that, I was called crazy, and they’ve been collecting data on me ever since to prove it. What should I tell her? Is she merely looking for symptoms? I knew full well that in asking only for a physical description of my so-called ailment, the modern medical community never wanted the whole story. Largely because of the time they didn’t have or because of the way these archaic medical school programs had taught them: memorize the symptoms, treat the symptoms alone with meds, you need not be healers, just make your patients feel comfortable. The medical establishment was not in the business of health. It was in the business of sickness. The pharmaceutical industry only wanted customers.

Even though I felt fine, my guides with such purity and compassion continued prodding me, “You must.”  I knew I couldn’t lie to the nurse so I tried to remain somewhat honest by accessing something my mother might have said as I sat there still in her skin. “Well, my head feels a little clouded. I’m having trouble focusing.” Hmmm. Not enough to admit me?

“What else?” The nurse did not look into my eyes but at her pad and sometimes at her computer, to type in my words that she was convinced by some immutable law became fact as soon as she entered them into my permanent file.

“I just can’t sleep. It might be the power outage that threw my rhythms off. I feel a bit disoriented.”

Hurricane Sandy had thrown everything off. Schools were closed now for almost a week, all local electricity in housing grids was down, gas pumps were out of gas, and tensions were on the rise. And as for me, even though I was taking my meds, I couldn’t sleep. This failing affected all those around me and was in their eyes, purely pathological. From the way everyone was acting, I was committing a high crime.

She still refused to look at me. She was busy filling out the rest of the form. Weight, age, and height—the medical establishment’s outdated notion of the most important information to collect when interviewing a patient. No questions about diet, lifestyle, or relationships. I suppose a much more complex response from me might have caused the machines to stop computing. Not the desktop computers but the automaton staff.

She then asked, “Do you have any prior illnesses?”

“I have hypothyroidism.”

“Ok. Anything else?”

“And bipolar disorder.” She fell silent and looked officially detached. No longer in her eyes did I own any personhood.

I always hated to divulge this juicy nugget of info to doctors or budding friends, and I never revealed it to employers. By sharing this label I was submitting to society’s stigma and thwarted conclusion of what this “illness” actually was—an abnormal state, a deformity within a flawed set of genes. After years of therapy and self-loathing, and then waking up to an acceptance of myself, I knew this was ridiculous. But I was ahead of my time. The medical world, along with the rest of the masses whom the establishment had successfully brainwashed over the years, thought otherwise as they continued to champion biological psychology above all other perspectives on the primary origins of mental illness. Obediently, they had bought in, and I was the dangerous one.

As I had suspected, my confession to having a “mental illness” was the very thing they wanted. No questions or further conversation beyond this. They got the piece of information they needed that tagged me like an identity chip tags a pet. They had no interest in speaking any further to an ill mind. It was common to witness this posturing in others towards me from the medical community. What always circled in my thoughts, though, whenever I saw this blatant disrespect for my uniqueness was: Don’t judge a book by its title. You will never—because I will never let you—read the words on the pages inside the book of my mind.

How could anyone who has not been on the receiving end of getting tagged and put into a category of the “mentally ill” for their personal thoughts and emotions, know the feeling of being singled out and ostracized as abnormal? Only we can truly understand the warped mindsets originating from long ago, which intended to alienate particular groups of the population, weeding out the undesirables with the covert intention of limiting their rights.

These ideas of superiority from a select few prevailed throughout our entire history, permeating our society and the world at large like a massive cockroach infestation. Eugenics, or the practice of improving the genetic composition of a population, fueled philosophical ideologies for over a century and influenced much of the way psychiatry tends to evaluate the mentally ill, or as I saw it, people who suffered from problems with human living.

That some genetic personality compositions are better, or “more normal,” than others is a poor first starting premise, and only rotten fruit can grow from its tree. An entire “science” has stemmed from the attempt to answer this question: “Why are people abnormal?” At psychiatry’s onset, the problem did not arise from the question. The problem arose from the fact that only a small population of the world was allowed to answer it—namely, white European males.  As psychiatry thrived throughout the decades, it continued to see itself as a real science—the saddest attempt I ever did see. To me, it was pseudoscience at its best. And at its worst, a perverse expression of a Freudian fantasy gone too far.

I had pondered these issues for my entire adult life because two decades ago, I was marked as having faulty genes at the young age of 22. No one else around me could possibly understand the amount of reading I had done on this subject, the amount of philosophical consideration I had given the origin of these views. I have heard over and over again that, “if you knew your baby had the bipolar gene, wouldn’t you change that?” As if the bipolar gene is a speck of dust that can be flicked away. These genes are inextricably intertwined with dozens of other traits that show up with bipolar DNA—flourishing creativity, moments of enlightenment, vivid dreaming, and innovative genius. It’s called an artistic personality. But in their eyes, it isn’t “normal.” And it didn’t really matter where you fell on the bipolar spectrum. To most of the general population, bipolar simply meant severely and chronically mentally ill.

After she left the room I straightened my shoulders, turned to my husband and brother and said, “There, are you happy?”

And Jimmy responded softly, “They’re only trying to help you. And we’re all here because people are concerned about you.” And even though I was hurt by the fact that the rest of my family never fully understood my story, I believed in my heart that was true. So I respectfully continued the masquerade.

Unlike gentle Jimmy, my husband had completely overreacted to this ordeal out of gripping fear, motivated by a distant memory of seven years prior when everything in our lives had shattered into pieces. I understood this but intensely resented his exaggerated worry nonetheless. It was yet another piece of evidence that I alone was to take this journey. But as I pleaded in distress and anger with my guides who had led me here once again, all I could hear from them in a most loving tone was, “It’s necessary.”

I knew what that meant. Being here in this hospital wasn’t to squelch a psychotic experience of mine as in times past; but rather, to give this experience to my family surrounding me so that they might someday understand what I knew to be true, what my ongoing premonitions were, what my sadness was all about, and how I long ago awakened to a world they could never see. They couldn’t see it because they were trapped inside it. And now, I was at its mercy.

I’m aware it’s hard to fully understand my journey unless I start from the very beginning. But trust me—I’m not as crazy as you think.

 

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