Dangerous Compassions


I notice people are often called “mentally ill” to take away their power.  And I see people called “mentally ill” just for having any unwanted behavior.

Yeah, I hear voices–I have strong moods, etc.  My mental health is more intense than most, maybe.  But anyone pushed to an extreme or really hurting can have strong feelings, and that doesn’t make someone “mentally ill.”  I don’t believe in us vs them.

Us vs them is a fake way to feel safe.  It might be fake-comforting to say, “Those crazy people over there made poor choices and deserve their crazy fate.  I made good choices, so I will be safe forever.”  No one is safe.

I was thinking of all this in terms of suicide.  The first person I loved who killed himself was not anyone I thought of as “mentally ill.”  He was a seemingly-happy teenager who shot himself one day.

Disability is confusing; there are a lot of ways to conceptualize it.  I think about power all day.

Suicide prevention makes me think of how some people want to be a hero at that dramatic moment.  But they might not be willing to help people in a longterm, meaningful way.
I would rather change culture.  Stop the jumper from jumping as a youth, not when they’re a crying adult on a bridge. The best way prevent suicide that I can think of would be to destroy capitalism.  I want to make a culture about love, not money.
If not Everything Is Free Forever, I’d like to have a universal basic income everyone gets to live on.  It can be assumed that everyone is working, whether raising kids, volunteering a lot, going to school, being ill or disabled or elderly, resisting addiction, being abused.  Caring for disabled people or elders, running a nonprofit about caring for cats.  Growing gardens, cooking, singing a lot.  Reading a lot.  Making zines, writing blog posts, riding bikes / trikes, dancing in the kitchen.
Who isn’t working?  It would be work, not to work.


“I like when I surprise myself,” I told Ming.  “This blog post was called mental illness.  Then it was called disability.  Just now I looked, and I saw it’s called power.”
Thank you for trying to understand my weird ideas.  This morning I fried my brain on a four hour zoom.  Some sense is somewhere inside me–it’s got to come out, some day.  I’ll let you know, if I find it.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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