Friday, November 4, 2011


This is a drawing I did a few months ago when I was bored by oil paint and had to take a break. It is called "The Chopped Tree". I'm in doubt what to think about it. Reading it from right to left, you have a man holding a sword, and with one swing he has simultaneously taken a chunk out of the tree and chopped a man's head off. In the right hand corner a woman throws an orange up to a man sitting in the tree. Of course there is a large leopard sitting in the tree as well.

The pencil drawing underneath was done several years ago, I modified it slightly. Haven't worked in oil pastel in a long, long time.

I don't know where my drawing abilities are going on this lesser dose of Geodone. I think my self doubts as a artist are not drug related - I'm not depressed, I just don't know what to think about myself. I know that I long to have more talent then I already have. I long to be extraordinary. Yes, I know, big fat swelled head. But it comes from a childhood where I hated myself. I can't grow up and be a confident adult when I spent my youth with so much insecurity. I hope therapy can help, but over the years I've had ooodles of therapy.

The books my therapist has given me to read increase my insecurity with their constant writings of brain damage done to psychiatric patients. Thank god I've never had electric shock therapy. I'd rather be depressed than have that type of brain damage.

Supposedly there is brain damage already from the drugs I've been taking, brain shrinkage and atrophy. It isn't just the antipsychotics, its the Klonopin too. Minor tranquilizers shrink the brain in the same way that chronic alchoholics get brain shrinkage. If I should mange to get off antipsychotics, or at least severely reduce them, I want to tackle next my addiction to the narcotics. I want to use narcotics sparingly, only when in emotional crisis to calm myself.

Its amazing what psychiatrists turn a blind eye to. One woman went to a psychiatrist because her husband beat her. His response was to prescribe her valium. He continued the prescription, and the beatings continued, for over five years.

Another psychiatrist gave electric shock treatment to change the personality of a housewife and make her more dutiful and noncomplaining to her husband. Turning a person into a zombie through so much brain damage from electric shock can be done, I've seen it be done. My roommate in one hospitalization had almost no personality, both before and after shock treatments. She was in for routine treatments, she had them on an ongoing basis. Why? Because she had nightmares. I have never seen a person act like they were in such a fog, such a non-person as this woman, not even people on high quantities of antipsychotics. My new perspective is why didn't they give her therapy before the shock treatments? I bet the nightmares were from childhood abuse. I've met people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that had bad nightmares from things that happened in their childhood.

There is actually a movement of people who have had shock treatment and brain damage that protest the use of shock treatment. I know most hospitals here in Vermont give shock treatment. Problem is, if you have brain damage, you aren't necessarily going to recognize it in yourself. But then there are those who I think do. Ernest Hemingway famously got depressed and killed himself with a shot gun. But before he did that he had shock treatment. After the treatment he wrote to a friend that he felt like he had lost his writing gifts. I wonder if the damage from the shock treatment contributed to him killing himself. Also the writer David Wallace Foster most recently killed himself, again, after having shock treatments for depression. They say he was really struggling with a book. No doubt the shock treatments made it all the harder for him to write. Does genius get erased from shock treatments?

My therapist said that people who kill themselves because they can't write have over identified with being a writer. He says to be safe, about the only thing you should identify with is being a human being.

I know I over identify with being an artist. Its the beginning and the end with me, and I guess that isn't healthy. But I want something to define myself as. I've got a hollow place in my core.

Today I saw my therapist and I told him that my father called me as a child an asshole, a little ball of crap, and of course, spoiled. His favorite was asshole. Being quite young, I picked it up and called other little kids assholes. Dad thought this was cute. I don't want to see my Dad this Christmas. I just don't. Probably I'll play the part of a dutiful daughter and go and see him some day near Christmas, before or after. But only if he invites me and pushes the point.

My therapist says that if I become a brat off meds, he'll support brattiness. But probably the lower the med dose, the more I'll have to confront my feelings about my father. The man has left me with little shreds of self esteem. I asked my therapist whether what my father called me and my dislike of myself as an artist were connected. My therapist said they probably were.

I talked recently on the phone with a lady I know, she is in her seventies. She is lovely and warm hearted. She said that when she was young, a Christian missionary in an Islamic country with small children, that she suffered from extreme anxiety and depression. She said it was all biochemical and treated with drug therapy. Now she has recovered and doesn't need drugs. But has she recovered? She is the most unhealthy person I know. She walks with a walker, has trouble breathing and is morbidly obese. Her husband has to help her with stairs and getting in and out of the car. As I see it, the root of her problem with anxiety and depression was never worked out in therapy. So her troubles shifted to eating too much. Naturally she is very concerned with me going off medication and says that my problems are like hers, biochemical. But I don't think so. To a certain extent my brain is damaged, yes I will agree. But I was emotionally abused before I got a mental illness. I'm willing to live with mental illness, but I would prefer to address the emotional abuse with my therapist.

Mental illness isn't so bad to live with if you are a recluse.

I guess I'm gonna be a recluse.

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