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Friday, June 12, 2009

To Lose Control

Nothing is more humiliating than being controlled. To lose control to others is something I thought I would never experience, but I see those around me pulling strings and I detest the manipulation. People assume a person who has struggled with mental illness is progressively handicapped until he reaches a time when total incapacitation requires special treatment. That special treatment is cloaked and focused toward isolation and eventual abandonment of human civility. In truth, the mental patient is not a horse with a broken leg to be graciously put down. He is a functioning human being. A controlled individual becomes someone to talk around, not talk with, and to live around, not live with. He is not a member of any social circle, but an isolated thing. Smaller than life, the thing recedes to the corner and begins to doubt his self-worth. Dehumanization of the thing is very important to those in control. Treating the thing as subhuman preserves the dignity of the master as any association might be mistaken as shared tendencies. Remember the racist who actually thought black might rub off? Or consider the snob who would never be seen among "low lifes." Sub-life assures no validity of opinions. The most reasonable expression of opinion is automatically discounted because good opinions by a thing do not register in the real world. The thing is usually ignored or reminded of his appropriate station when he offers a dissenting view. His condition invalidates his flights of fanciful thinking. His options soon become maintaining silence or playing the babbling idiot. Sub-life also cancels past life. Once the manipulation is complete, the master confidently points out its ugly past maturation as something that was "bound to happen." The thing can expect no recollections of normality from those around him. It's "look at him now." Ruins make interesting territory for those who wish to tramp through them for their own amusement and possible benefit. An artifact or two could not be missed in a state of devastation. I do hate to be controlled, especially when those in control do so without consent. It robs me of something I think I have earned. Freedom for anyone who has been disabled in any way is a struggle. Like a caged criminal, a person labeled "broken" is starved for freedom-- freedom of movement and freedom of expression.
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