Monday, May 28, 2007

Millness: On a stretcher

Praise for my sister's arts; praise for my mother's arts.

... I must be a very slow learner in some regards because it has taken me a long time to get to Alanon. By the time I went, I wanted to be taken on a stretcher -- taking full-time, unpaid care of a wealthy alcoholic NY poet. I need to continue attendance and try not to worry so much about further associations with AA people and their drug addict counterparts. I, too, loved reading Alice Miller, and if I had had more wisdom, I would have insisted on putting her center and leaving out certain others, such as M. Scott Peck, favored by my gym-teacher of a therapist in Houston. There is another gym teacher at econ. rehab. who required my med. records from two doctors before offering to find me p-t work. Their degrees were M.Ed. and I think Mr. Hanson thinks his stands for medical doctor.

My father died six mos. after my dx. I, too, experienced sexual violence, mostly by boys as an adolescent girl and a type of date rape, followed by lesbians' and my male counterpart's insistence on blocked memory of early childhood incest (which did NOT occur). There is a true story line and a false one; the false one, rumors, slander, and later domestic abuse run behind the scenes of disability law. Anyone rumored to have a mental illness is covered by disability, even if they don't have a mental illness.

I'm glad that my short stories and poems stay off these topics, that the writings preceded dx, when writing was good. This discussion has caused me to realize that the stigma of mental illness (millness) scared me off from further, more consistently beautiful creative writing, from continuing as a younger writer, in the realization that writer/readers want their writers to be in pitch-perfect health and that the stigma applies to brilliant Plath herself to keep readers afraid and from her.

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