When the shit is hitting the fan… this is a phrase that I heard Story Waters use, several times. I think, it must have been a pretty big pile, this time…
I know, this is a pretty strong picture. But this is really how I feel, right now. Especially regarding the fact that what I am going to write about in this article only makes up one part of the circumstances.
In my article in September I wrote about An Inconvenient Truth.
I pointed out, that
I have many talents and contribute them lovingly to society. Yet, at the employment office nobody knows that because there is neither job training nor a matching document for it where one can make their little x.”
I am a strong personality. I am healthy. I am just different. If I try to integrate into the system which is now dictated to me, I get ill, however. I experienced that, before, and even now I notice the first symptoms. I get depressive. I feel confused and worthless. I lose my courage. I forget who I truly am. I become exactly like it is meant to be for people like me so that they finally can be shown their place – preferably in the mental asylum, probably.”
Fortunately, my angel at the employment agency understands this situation perfectly. They recommended to me to go into the direction of getting my disability to flourish in the current system attested.
On Disability, Shame and Illness
It feels strange to go on the path to get a disability attested when you only feel disabled when trying to integrate into a system that is known to be ill and rotten. We are talking about a system that is based on the pillars of slavery and oppression. Our banking system as well as our tax system in the world is still based on the same foundation as serfdom and seigneury.
So, maybe it is not a bad thing to be unable to connect with this kind of energy. In fact, I don’t believe, anyone really is able to. Some people just notice it earlier than others.
As I mentioned in An Inconvenient Truth, I had problems to integrate into this kind of framework, before. I have a history with it. Actually, it already started in kindergarten. It continued in primary school, did not stop in high school, it put me off staying in college and I also never made it long in any job or job-creation-scheme.
For a long time I was ashamed of the fact that I just could not integrate into the society as I thought I should.
I choose to not be ashamed, anymore.
If I had a reason to be ashamed, how can it be that everybody is seeking my support and advice when “the system” they say you have to integrate into has put them down, again? If I had a reason to be ashamed, how can it be that people are seeking my presence because it simply makes them feel better to just be near me? I do not believe in an original sin. I do not believe in shame.”
So, I have a history with my disability to integrate into this slavery system in disguise. It is on file in several practices of various medicals and psychologists. I had to fight hard to be posted healthy when I went on the path of self-employment. I got posted healthy. I ran through a job-creation-program for self-employment. I worked hard on getting started. And, once more, I failed to integrate into the system.
It should be obvious. Everybody can see it. It is on file. And frankly, after forty years I am tired of trying. All I want is a space to be that I am. I currently do not care very much how others label this. I just would like to feel like I have a place in this world, again.
I felt like I have a place in this world during the last four or five years. Especially after Kim stepped into my life. It was wonderful to not have to justify myself for being me in front of the governmental authorities, anymore. I began to flourish. I might even have found a place from where I could operate and earn some money, eventually.
But alas, it was not yet meant to be.
Now I had to go back to the employment office. I had to go back to feeling ill and misplaced. I had to go back to the doctors and tell them:
“You know, I really need somebody to attest that I am not made for all of this.”
I started with my house doctor. He’s known me since I was old enough to not go to a paediatrician, anymore. He often had to issue notes which confirm that I cannot work because of the psychosomatic symptoms that eventually forced me down.
I would like to clarify a misconception, here, that many people seem to believe in:
Psychosomatic problems are not made-up, imaginary or fictional issues that the patient uses because they really are lazy assholes. Psychosomatic problems are real. The body produces them as a symptom of overwhelm when serious psychological symptoms are ignored over a longer period of time.
My house doctor knows my history. He has it all on file. He often officially confirmed the symptoms I had. He also wrote several referrals to specialists for me. So, I started with him.
I went in and explained my situation. He nodded vigorously (that is not to say: madly), and said:
“The last thing I have on file is a problem with your blood pressure. That is not enough for a disability certificate.”
Then he wrote a referral do a psychiatrist with the brilliant tip:
“They all do the same thing, anyway. Just go to the one who has the first appointment for you.”
And then he shoved me out the door after not even two minutes of his time. I later learned that per law he has to give every patient at least seven minutes. So, he owes me five.
Of course, the blood pressure problem is not enough to certify a work disability. But what about all the other stuff he put on my file over all those years? I mean, I understand that after five years of absence from any medical or psychological practice on my side I won’t get a disability certificate right away. But what about taking my current problems on file and starting a case history?
How can it be that I am sitting in front of my long-term house doctor in his practice with pretty strong heart palpitations that show as one of the symptoms that I recently have to deal with (and which do not come from me being agitated or nervous or something) and I do not even get a chance to mention it?
I took the referral for the psychiatrist and started to research. My old one has retired and the colleague who took over his practice is the one I went away from when I was twenty years old because he treated me outrageously bad. So, that was not an option. I found another practice which is even closer by and sounded wonderful. The website talked about how they wish to find the path that is right for you and support you in that. Also, they simultaneously work as a psychologist which in my case is very helpful for the understanding of my situation, as it is less a medical condition but more a psychological one. But as far as I know, a psychologist cannot write certain certificates, as they are not medicals. That might have changed since my last encounter with this. But I have to start with what I know, do I not?!
I got an appointment at the chosen psychiatrist. I made sure that they take publicly insured patients, as we obviously cannot afford private health insurance. I asked them, if they need to know in advance why I want to see them. They said they did not. I went there. I pointed out my matter of concern. And they said:
“I do not know you so I do not do that.”
What kind of an answer is that?!? I know you do not know me. So, get to know me. Start doing your work!
I mean, I did not expect to come out of the practice after the first appointment with a disability certificate. But I expected them to start a case history, and send for my file from the community practice of my former psychiatrist. Instead I was put off. I gotta give it to them though, they gave me the full seven minutes that the law requires.
I cannot put into words the kind of energy I encountered at this practice. It maybe does not look like it from what I wrote, here, but it was horrible. I think I actually never got treated that badly in my whole life – and I have encountered quite some bad treatment from people. The really awful part in this case is that the psychiatrist saw my situation and was perfectly aware of the fact that I needed help. I could see that. Kim could also see that, as I had brought him with me. But they chose to withhold this help from me. It is very probable that they did so because I only have public health insurance.
When I stood in the corridor of the practice I broke down. I sobbed and cried on Kim’s shoulder. I just could not keep it inside, anymore. I also could not keep the sound of it down. As I could hear the psychiatrist talking to their assistant behind the closed door of the counselling room, I am very sure that they heard me, too. They did not check back on me. They did not offer me a glass of water or a handkerchief. In fact, they did not even do so when I was sitting and crying inside the counselling room.
How can it be that I stand in the corridor of a psychiatrist after a counseling from them and feel like I may as well leave this world because there is no place for me in it, anyway?
I wonder how an attitude like that towards the patient goes together with the Hippocratic Oath that every medical is bound to…
How About An Open Door?
The psychiatrist told me to contact my psychologist. For some years I went to a social contact and counselling centre to see my psychologist. As this is paid for by the deaconry, you can go there for free without running through the rather complicated system that the health insurance sets up if you need them to pay for psychological counselling.
The thing is, my psychologist meanwhile opened his own practice and does not work at the counselling centre, anymore. I am very happy for him, but it might make it more complicated for me.
I still wonder how he can help me when I go there without a referral from the psychiatrist. When I last had psychological counselling that was covered by health insurance, you needed such a referral to get the counselling.
Angels – Everybody Can Be One
I contacted my contact person and assigned angel at the employment agency to let them know about the recent development. And I started to cry. I told them everything. They listened, comforted me and built me up, again. I do not think that this is part of their job description. Yet, I am grateful that they are there for me. They also gave me time and officially directed me to be good to myself and to stabilize my health situation over the holidays. I begged for a break; although, there was no need to beg, because my agency angel understood the situation.
I know, this is not exactly a happy story and might not match with what people like to hear during the holidays. But it felt important to me, to share it.
Nobody wants to hear stories like this. Nobody wants to experience stories like this. Nobody wants to share stories like this.
But, fact is they happen.
Nobody wants to stand in a fateful shit-storm. But sometimes the shit is hitting the fan and you have nowhere to run.
We need to talk about experiences like that. We need to share and to let people know about it. We need to show interest in each other. We need to change our attitude. If we try to hush it up – hush it to death – nothing will ever change. The only death this leads to is our own.”
This is also one of the reasons why I started the campaign Together Better (#KBFTogetherBetter) over on my blog Kokopelli Bee Free Blog. Let’s share our expertise and support for each other. Everybody is an expert in something. It may or may not be valued in our current work system. But it definitely is valuable for a healthy, peaceful, supportive society.
I mean, why are we here? What is the reason of all this?
Now, everybody who ever encountered Douglas Adam’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy knows the answer to this:
But honestly, what is 42 to you? What does it mean for you? What would you like it to be?