Re: Fwd: Understanding-Compassion-Inshight

Liberty (
Sun, 19 Apr 1998 16:33:27 -0400


Mr. Mills,

At 01:03 AM 19/04/1998 -0700, Theodore Latham wrote (by R. Mills):

>RE: Understanding-Compassion-Insight

>The individual and societal cost of depression, anxiety disorders, compulsive
>behaviors and personality disorders is incalculable.  Many individuals who
>are homeless suffer from many forms of psychiatric disabilities: Post-
>Traumatic Stress Disorders, Bipolar Disorders, Paranoid Schizophrenia,
>Psychosis, Polysubstance Abuse, which is, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or 
>OCD, they are a danger to themselves, others, and to society (spreading 
>communicable illnesses, infections, and lowering of community standards).

Excuse me, Mr. Mills, who do YOU think YOU are?  I am a forty-year old
businesswoman who is married, lives to the north of Toronto, and is 
responsibly raising a young child.  My business is successful, employs
many people, brings a lot of revenue to Ontario's rebounding economy, and
provides a necessary service to many businesses throughout North America.
I am also someone who has been formerly homeless, and yes - I also experience
what is called bipolar affective disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

My early life was filled with "compassionate" sorts like you, many of whom
believed I would never make it.  These same "compassionate" people saw fit
to try to write me off on disability, shortly after working in the mental
health field delivering a much needed service for several years.  When I
refused this "help" (because this "help" is sort of like a roach motel;
once you get "in", you never get "out"), I was thrown to the whims of
society's own stigma about people like me, and further denied the right
to use my skills and abilities in a remunerative fashion.  All you so-
called "compassionate" folks can promise me was a piddly monthly cheque 
that did not even pay the rent for my husband and myself, and you called 
that adequate. No wonder many folks like this are and/or were homeless! Of
course, the thousands of dollars a month you "compassionate" folks provided 
me in health care was supposed to be some kind of favour, when all I needed 
was a leg up in this world - not forced treatment.

Then you "compassionate" sorts continue to run and operate programs that
pretend to serve the needs of the "consumer" (a term so eloquently used to
justify further funding for the same useless programs we always had), just 
so that your "compassionate" work continues to result in paycheques for you
and your like-thinking colleagues, regardless of any harm, or at least, the
ineffectiveness of such programs.  Have any of you "compassionate folks"
considered taking a very good look at your programs, and figuring out if 
they are actually helping people get off the streets, get off the dole, 
and rebuild their lives again?  No, it seems that people among the most
"compassionate" in our society, are the same ones that seem to want to 
dodge a real objective audit and evaluation of what they do, because they 
KNOW that what they do, has done little or no good for the people they 
serve, except add more years to their tenure in the field and stabilize 
the system to continue acting much in the same way it always had.

>Most are untrusting, hide from others,

Is it any small wonder?  With the threat of forced treatment made under
the guise of "compassion", one couldn't blame them one bit!

>have few skills,

That's bullshit!  If people with mental health problems were only 
recognized as having the skills they do have, the world would be a much 
better place... all I found to be the case involved people denying me my
right to use my skills, writing me off like a "case", and not trying to
find ways to get me back on my feet ... I'm sorry, but putting people
with mental health problems on welfare and disability (which usually
doesn't pay a whole lot more) will not help them rebuild their lives
or raise their self-esteem.  It will only get them into an entitlement
mentality, that certainly will not teach them to take more responsibility
for themselves ... and instead will, only make them objects of pity, so
that people like yourself, can continue to look at folks like us as your
inferiors, and go to bed at night believing, you did "good".

>and those that do are unable due to mental illness to use those skills 
>to get off the streets.

My BIGGEST barrier to getting back on MY feet was "compassionate" people 
like you, who believed they knew what was best for ME.  Secondly, the next
biggest barrier was the social assistance system, that has it in their
interests, through their social worker unions and so forth, to keep
people like myself forever on the system, so that we can never "graduate"
to make ourselves into something more than these bureaucratic minions
ever made themselves out to be ... God help those that ever manage to
make more money than they do, they are heresy!

>>Most have given up on life: they have no choice; life gave up on them, 

I never gave up on life.  If I did, I would be living in the back wards!

>most are a product of dysfunctional families,

Yes, my family was a dysfunctional one, but guess what?  This can be 
overcome!  One's childhood and their past does not determine their future!
If I had nobody around to tell me I can make choices to affect my own 
future, I would still be weak-kneed, begging for sympathy and support
from "compassionate" folks like yourself ... I am sure your goals were
never to help folks like myself get into the position I am in now, where
I am pulling in more than six figures, enjoy a comfortable life ... only
because I had to bust my butt for so many years and buck the very system
that continued to tell me I can't do stuff, and just DO stuff ...

>>	We have the resources in this great country of ours to help those that 
>>suffer from this degrading, involuntary homeless lifestyle.  However, we 
>>blame the homeless for the trauma and pain they suffer, when in fact,
>>neglected them as children, and now as adults society cares even less. 

And, unfortunately, most of these resources are going into the pockets of
middle-class social workers and administrators that continue to need the
presence of the homeless and the crazies to justify the need for their jobs
and their high-priced agencies.

Pardon me, but there is nothing I dislike more than so-called 
"compassionate" folks that seem to know what is best for us poor, 
pathetic, helpless mentally ill folks.


Liberty (Lillian)