There's no room in Clinical Psychology training programmes for survivor Mothers who speak honestly about their experiences in psychiatric settings. It seems they prefer bad mothers who failed their children or took to drink and drugs to cope. Or mothers who themselves had bad mothers, mental illness in the womb, "slumbering time bomb" according to Gumley's colleague Schwannauer. These highly paid academics shore up biological psychiatry, using attachment theory to situate problems in families.
There's no money to be made or jobs to be had if you are a whistleblower about systematic abuse in mental health settings. It's not a good career move and won't make you any friends in academia. Rather they will set you up to fail and poke fun at your straightforward ways and plain speaking. They will assume the high ground with you and take every opportunity to manipulate, undermine and make out that you are "less than". Then it will be all your fault.
I'm just glad that I was 55yrs old in 2008 when coming into mental health matters from the "lived experience" perspective, otherwise I wouldn't have survived the onslaught of exclusions, bullying and personal attacks. It's been vicious, the worst of it being the psychological manipulation although even then I learnt from the experience and it has made me stronger. But that's no excuse. Raising expectations then dashing them is very cruel. It demonstrates a lack of compassion.
I've had to come to terms with the feelings of betrayal and attempts to "shrink" me, for no-one likes to think they are worthless. It's been a battle and has required externalising on social networks so as not to let it affect my emotional wellbeing. Even that was used against me in a bullying letter from McLeod, Programme Director at Glasgow DClinPsy. He was probably getting back at me for criticising his Anhedonia and Metacognition work. That doesn't make it ok. I'm an unwaged Carer, pensioner of 65, psychiatric survivor Mother. We are not equals in status or money, so he was out of order.
Recently I was engaging with Dr Crichton, Chair Royal College of Psychiatrists Scotland, about "truth and reconciliation":
I think it would be useful to hold events on theme of truth & reconciliation; this would require skilled facilitation & creative ways of organising it; I think NHS Health Scotland under Shirley Windsor could do it— Chrys Muirhead (@ChrysMuirhead) April 26, 2018
I think we need to create opportunities for people to externalise their hurts & not be straitjacketed or defensively attacked; I've had a lot of that since even before 2012— Chrys Muirhead (@ChrysMuirhead) April 26, 2018
Then yesterday I had a positive meeting in Dundee with another NHS Health Scotland lead where I was treated like a fellow human being, with respect, shared information and experiences. Community education a common denominator. No clinical gaze or diagnostic lens. What a difference it makes to be on a level playing field.
|Macmanus Galleries Dundee 27Apr18|
|on Commercial Street, Dundee, after meeting, 27Apr18|