Well… if you made it this far… two things perhaps have occurred…. The first… it is like watching a train wreck where you cannot turn away from…. Second… my story just might be that interesting…. Either way this last essay will be what I have learned about the Ontario dysfunctional mental health system at the hands of associate minister of Mental Health and Addictions (MHA) Michael Tibollo and Minister of Health Christine Elliot; what improvements to MHA system could be deployed to be more effective; the modalities that have worked; the Ontario complaints processes and laws/legislations and finally what I have learned about understanding self so self could be understood.
Dysfunctional Ontario MHA system (including the Ministry Attorney General- MAG)
My most recent discovery as of last week (it is noteworthy to mention after four years of fighting the system to retain my rights, respect, dignity and freedoms) our political system uses two different emails for official Minister business and their Constituency Offices – that’s right how confusing is that!). Overall what I have discovered is even though there are government documents published online that states there are safeguards, processes and agencies to protect the public and public interest… the truth of the matter is there is nothing… governments/politicians/governing bodies and agencies in my case will use any means necessary to protect their professions. The MAG has laws to protect the public however there are civil and criminal divisions with limitations after the fact to file a case. However, since I followed the complaints processes with every governing bodies, agencies and institutions which take time the laws do not reflect or use considerations for following the industry processes. This is a major flaw within the alignment of MAG and MHA community, yet since these issues are primarily MHA systemic problems the MAG has no empathy for my situation and circumstances. Besides… since I am considered a criminal now (at least for the next two years until my conditional discharge runs its course) under the MAG system… even when I try to file a criminal case against my abusers I am met with discrimination and prejudice within a system designed to be neutral, trustworthy and fair.. this is not the case.
Where there could be improvements:
- MHA Triage – there must be a mechanism that could be put in place for the vulnerable and marginalized mental health diseased population to ensure they find the correct therapist to fit their needs or in my case my charming personalities (DID reference) as how the hell would I have had known that I was that mentally sick from childhood trauma that a buried for close to thirty years. Another factor is the type of personality (reference to conscious self) you have; for example my entire life I have been a 0-100mph type person… rip the band aide or peal the scab off in one go… Marie for example was all about titration; however, I believe we were making progress, but then again… she held the measuring stick… was at the time the “only” expert treating me in the early days. From speaking to many whom deal with mental illnesses and brain injuries … the stories are all too familiar… the vulnerable and marginalized mental health diseased populations (on their dime) have to go through several practitioners before they find their fit. Another burden placed on an already burdened individual. There should be a mechanism in place to ensure within the first three years (as mental illnesses will reveal themselves over time… in my case over two years and counting….) where an independent (Triage or case worker) would monitor the progress, solicit and receive feedback from both the practitioner and patient on differing criteria in order to determine a solid healing and recovery solution.
- MAG/MHA alignment – through the complaints processes with numerous organizations I have encountered too many inconsistent policies, procedures and legislation contradicting one another or making it difficult to understand which item has priority in the sequencing of deployment. Governing bodies “Best Practices” guidelines are based in legislation however are lost in interpretation whereas the public will use the information published on a governing body’s website without knowledge of the legislation only to be denied in Tribunals/Courts as truth. As of this writing I am currently yet again faced with such rhetoric in my upcoming proceeding. Needless to state – the MHA and MAG need to align themselves as mental illnesses after the covid ordeal will be on the rise taxing perhaps both systems while on a trajectory towards one another at which point someone or something will incur fatal damage. Then again why not expect this result as voters we get what we deserve I suppose… no one nor politician will ever put a mechanism in place that will hold government agencies including politicians along with public administration accountable, responsible or take ownership of the miscues. Your defense of stating there is a possibility as you can vote them out… surely as a civilized species (as well arrogantly and ignorantly perceive such a notion) we can do better!
- Transparency – Now in the province I live (Ontario, Canada) in, we have the following mental health service provider hierarchal categories (which I put into priority based on the individuals I spoke to with and without mental illnesses) 1. General Practitioner MD, 2. Social Worker/”Psycho” therapist (on par), 3. Psychologist, 4. MD specializing in psychotherapy and finally 5. Psychiatrist. Now the MHA community will argue this point… hell most will argue this point… Anyways there is no clear hierarchy published any where… this just ads to the confusion of the dysfunctional Ontario mental health portfolio currently run by Michael Tibollo and Christine Elliot. The complaints process is so murky at times you will not be able to see the end of your nose… if all these government agencies had full transparency could you imagine how things could be improved for the greater good of humanity. Regardless, mental health system reform is needed in the province of Ontario. The politician’s state mental health is a priority; however, from this user of the dysfunctional system mental illness recovery is not.
- Rating System – Not all brain injuries or symptoms are equal. Part of the problem with what happened to me by Marie (ex “psycho” therapist); College of Registered “Psycho” therapist of Ontario, Canadian Mental Health Associate was the misunderstanding of my illnesses of CPTSD, DID and BPD. Perhaps the mental health community would consider a rating system for these illnesses… equivalent to burns (1st, 2nd and 3rd degrees) I believe this should be a serious consideration for future programs towards treatment, healing and recovery plans.
What I learned about self so self has a chance to be understood
Admittedly, this is the most difficult element of these essays, not because of my illnesses symptoms, more likely that my learning keeps evolving… in a constant state of dynamic external and internal inputs to how I view the world through my crooked and broken lens. Considerations have to be acknowledged of how all the negative things that happened to me not only within my family of origin in addition to what has happened to me within the dysfunctional MHA and MAG portfolios. Nevertheless, I have to begin somewhere. So I will begin with the most obvious of self conclusions. Throughout my entire life I have been a 0-100mph personality (this version of conscious self) with no regulation within the center. I have lived a hard life of excess to the extreme. This is important to understand and I struggle with. However, when I reflect back on what happened between 2014 until early 2019; I abused my body and mind all in attempts to numb the pain I was experiencing on all four pillars (emotional, mental, physical and spiritual). Now I do not blame any of my care takers throughout this time; however (I anticipate the medical, mental health and legal professionals will read this) all in these professions completely missed the obvious… what did they expect when you give access (blindly) to someone with this personality type experiencing a complete mental breakdown… I abused prescribed pharmaceuticals, narcotics and alcohol… I should have died ten times over for what I was consuming a day (it should be noted I am off all of the prescribed pharmaceuticals – the poisons that polluted my body and mind… I have so much clarity now— speak to your MD to ensure you get off the meds if you so wish). I count myself lucky though as throughout that entire time I only suffered one overdose where I was hospitalized. This is the only time I will publicly thank Marie post therapeutic relationship as if she did not answer her telephone that night I know I would not be here… shit… I am crying now… if Marie did not call 911 I would have missed the birth of my granddaughter. So here goes… Marie if by chance you read this… thank you!
I learned about myself what modalities have worked for me as I will not discuss what has not as there are too many to list. First off, DBT (Dialectal Behavior Therapy) is something worth exploring … I have gained my respect for this modality because it was developed by a person with lived experiences which in my opinion is most valuable. Secondly, PE (Prolonged Exposure Therapy) continues to be effective as the entire premise behind this modality is to expose yourself to your trauma until a point you are desensitized. Who would have thought I could speak openly about the day my mother pulled a knife on me and stated she was going to gut me like a pig without any emotional discharge whatsoever. Now I will put on record this modality is not for everyone or if you are thinking about exploring this than please do your homework, find a good practitioner and prepare yourself for the pain as the consequences could be dire. The last modality I would like to address is Equine Assisted Learning (EAL). I know I have mentioned to some… how humanity for the most part has rejected me within my own community… since Marie’s unethical and unprofessional actions I have lost my tribe… my fellow group members who understood me… could relate with me; however, I have gained … shit crying again… the unconditional acceptance into the herd… they know who they are… fuck it… I will acknowledge them here… Theo… you’re big, lovable and at times just a goof… Big Al… you are a protector and I know you would have my back… Logan… well hell… you are a young buck with so much curiosity… Tammy… the oldest of the bunch with so much wisdom and lastly… Candy… you were aloof our first year working together… yet when I needed to feel as though I belonged somewhere in this world… it was you while I was sobbing in the paddock who approached me… buried your head into me chest not once by twice until you placed your head on my shoulder … shit I am crying again… you accepted me unconditionally… I felt your compassion towards me… it was at that point I felt I belonged. I might have lost my tribe, but I gained the gifts of a herd. All the aforementioned modalities have and will continue to have a positive outcome in my healing adventure.
Now to address what the last thirty-two weeks and counting have taught me…. To recap… I experience nightly the complete atomization of self on all four pillars (emotional, mental, physical and spiritual) … I am pulverized into oblivion… rinse and repeat… until the episodes are through with me… nature has to takes it course… I was terrified when these began… than I was terrorized by the experiences… I have cried… mourned… screamed in agony… I have lost most motor control at times… all my senses have been twisted inside and out… to the point where you cannot rely on them… my reality has been lunacy and lunacy has been my reality… as Dr. Bill has stated… my experiences have put me into no man’s land… which really puts all my supports and I on a level playing field as what I go through… you will not find in books (well… not yet anyways… depends how well this series of essays are received I suppose) … there is no pharmaceuticals for this (I anticipate none will ever exist) … there is no one who can help… there are no fixes either… anyone who states otherwise is full of shit. The best thing that has happened to me was an unorthodox prescription by Dr. Bill and to be honest this one action has had a tremendous impact on me… I believe if I did not receive this direction from Dr. Bill my demons would have broken me by now and I would have broken my word to all my supporters by stating I will fight for every sunrise until Feb 2021. Dr. Bill prescribed a story that has given me purpose. He prescribed the following book “Lame Deer: Memoirs of a Sioux Medicine Man” by Martin Copeland. From this book I received the following messages that resonated with me: 1. every medicine man has to experience all the good, bad and ugly the world offers in order to become great… 2. The significance of the Sundance ceremony… from this I recognize that my nightly episodes are my rite of passage to become a modern day healer using unorthodox modalities to challenge those with degree’s in arrogance and ignorance… overpaid cheap wall art. My purpose is to challenge the current dysfunctional global Mental Health communities. I do not state this with my own arrogance or ignorance as I state this with the utmost humility… as this is a continued lesson I am learning. I have realized just how fragile our human existence truly is… oddly enough… it is our own societal arrogance and ignorance transcending borders, cultures and nations that will be are demise as a species. I have learned that currency, precious metals and material possessions are of no value; however, are a necessary evil to survive in this dysfunctional world albeit societal preference in all categorical elements of living we have been preprogrammed to believe. It has been instilled at a very young age we have choices and control… well that’s bullshit. I will explain this over the next few sentences. Before I begin we must consider the relationship between choice and control as you see one cannot exist without the other. To have control we must believe we have a choice to impact the outcome and reverse is true…. To have choice (black and white thinking in my opinion) we must believe we have control. Through my reflections every night for the last 32 weeks I have pondered this. I have concluded that choice and control are our species constructs to not understand natures course for us… rather it is a derivative of arrogance and ignorance to resist the natural fluidity contained in nature. With that said I have observed as a species we have the right to make decisions based on experience, internal and external stimulus and instincts to influence our next step.
This is a great transition to the most important teaching of all that I have been blessed with…. What I have learned is movement is the key to living, healing and recovery. The aboriginals knew this from the beginning. The Sioux nation observed (from my interpretations from my readings of Lame Deer, Sitting Bull, Black Elk and Fools Crow) that the Europeans (White Man) lived in boxes or squares which is a shape of unnatural origins. The boxes with their hard edges and corners discouraged the natural fluidity of movement; perhaps a byproduct of the control and choices constructs. The Sioux always spoke of the endless circle which promoted consistency in constant movement. Now in a three dimensional space the circle becomes the sphere… yet another natural vehicle promoting movement in all directions. Some of you or perhaps all of you may think what you want about this; however, you cannot take away the healing elements to my adventure with CPTSD, DID and BPD.
Lastly, I have come to the self realization that for my entire life I was told I needed to be like a rock, solid, rigid and strong in order to survive in this chaotic, unpredictable, vile… yet beautiful human condition we call life. Well… you see this was inaccurate from all aspects. Now I am fan of Bruce Lee and his philosophical belief we need to be like water; shapeless, colorless and fluid is of utmost accurate for the world we live. You see as a rock… you are strong, yet stationary…. There is no room for growth only decay over time… to be shaped by water ironically. As water we are in constant movement as when water become motionless in all sense then life cannot be supported hence life would die. It is with this fluidity where we can find solace… the opportunity for change within an instance… perhaps there is a reason the human body contains water, perhaps why the majority of our planet is covered by it… water can change its form…. From vapor, solid and fluid once again… my observations have noted that the direction of movement is of inconsequential insignificance as long as we move within our four pillars (emotional, mental, physical and spiritual) we are alive to follow our natural paths along the endless circle… think about it… how many endless circles from trees, rocks and water itself can you recognize throughout you day or perhaps within your thoughts.
As I stated in the beginning this was the most difficult element in this series to write as there is so much territory to cover in my teachings of understanding the true essence of self so self has a chance to be understood. Except for my societal norm to live in a box within boxes which we all exist; I have pledged to myself to transform my philosophical beliefs from being a rock to the strongest element of water. I understand now to a certain degree the importance of my astrological sign of Aquarian. I now know my true strength… it like the endless circle is endless. I know now that I will conquer my demons… I do understand now there is no “fixing” me… I will learn how to better manage my symptoms as I concede I have a life long sentence with no parole… I am okay with it… as I will continue to struggle… I will continue to heal… I will be like water my calling sign of Aquarius… my strength… is that I am shapeless, colorless, of no form; yet fluid… always moving… where I am going… does it really matter…. I am on the pathway of healing… I am survivor… I am the Water Warrior.
This is my healing adventure in a nut shell. For me my only wish for all of you, my readers, my supporters and even my nay sayers … when you take you own inventory…. I wish all of you to appreciate what you have… by this I do not mean your worldly material processions as this it much deeper than that. Perhaps the next time you see anyone with a disability… perhaps you too will be like water… understand so they have a chance to be understood… be a positive influence in someone else’s struggle… do something meaningful… yet I caution you by avoiding terms like “hope” and “faith” as this is like telling them to believe in the tooth fairy and unicorns… be more than a cute antidote… be their water vessel. Remember hope is not a strategy… dedication, perseverance and hard work is.
I would like to leave with a poem I can take no credit for as it came from one of my DID personalities from within… only shared (without my knowledge) with my immediate circle of care… I would like to introduce to the global community for the first time “The Poet” and his work entitled.
We live between flesh and bone
We are one in same
Yet there are some of different origin
He lives between concrete walls
As night falls
He leaves the TV on … and the radio
We are young… we are ancient
We feel what he feels
Some the source of his pain
We as he will not break
The darkness of shadows
The concrete walls… protect?
He is not alone
When he suffers
We all experience the same fate
We are brothers
Living between concrete walls
When he bleeds
We feel the same
Bodies of flesh and bone
Built to protect
However colorless and cold
It’s crowded in here
A lifetime in a box
Acknowledgements of past deeds
We know payment is now due
He… pays the heaviest price!
Tragic is his existence
Pain and suffering
Isolationism fails him
A vessel of life
Encouraged we are
Still…. no longer
Shapeless… fluid once again
He lives between concrete walls
Of inconsequential insignificance
Growing over time
Knowledge and insights gained
Constantly bending…. but not breaking
Insights of optimistic nihilism
Exploitation of realized atomization
Yet gifts of insights
Never ending circle
Boxes we all exist in
Hard edges and corners
No fluidity in movement
Stocks of courageousness
Out of the ashes
He will rise up again
Not a man of societal preference
A beautiful being of healing and of wisdom
Oh how he tries!
Constantly bending… but not breaking
Oh there is a changing tide!
An adventure of inspiration
Pain and suffering
Dynamic and volatile
Within our arms
Two wings of the same spirit
He leaves the TV on…and the radio
Spread your great wings
Soaring the skies
Essence of the four winds… the spirit flies
The truth of being…. the warrior.. the survivor.
When the endless circle… realized.