feminism · Mental Health · patriarchy · schizophrenia · Uncategorized

Feminism, schizophrenia and incapacity

I never really understood why feminist were the way they are for quite a while. Despite the first organization to have given The Red Door it’s seed grant is a feminist organization (CREA) , I couldn’t see the issues they were raising until I began experiencing life as a woman and not just someone with schizophrenia.
 
I would keep quiet most of time and try to observe why they say what they say and do what they do. But since I’m a ‘feeler’ (irony of disliking touch) I could already feel what they say and in that I felt accepted.
 
Then I met women with disabilities who are feminist. And I can tell you how strong these women are and why many men and women included can’t stand them. I often heard how their positions were something I had to be careful of if I were to crack any joke.
On the other hand I couldn’t understand why many of my male friends had problems with these set of feminist and the ways of such feminism. They were calling themselves feminist as they felt it applied to them too. I understood their end of the argument and battle as men. But yet, I couldn’t understand why the feminist I knew insisted that men don’t belong in the same space as they do. Men were even trying to hijack those safe spaces.
 
In time, I understood why through obvious personal experiences.
Off late, I have had many ‘friends’ correcting me all too often. Often from a place where they think I should do something because I don’t know anything about it. An assumption to the lack of my knowledge about something.
I’ve also been told how I should do something and how I shouldn’t do something. Or what I should say and what I shouldn’t say.
Or what I should attend or what I shouldn’t.
 
First I really thought I was being paranoid and since I have schizophrenia the amount of self-doubts I have to go through to reach a point of not feeling I am thinking crazy or being paranoid isn’t something anyone can understand. So I journalled it all first in my head and then in writing. What each person said, when and why. I’ve even meditated and tried reflecting where my anger was coming from and I’ve refused to engage in anymore conversations these days. I went to the top of the ceiling to observe the room (astral observation) but no one told others in room what to do and how when they asked for something. No one corrected them when they made a mistake or disrespected another in their fallen illusions of reality or pain. But somehow, since I am the only diagnosed schizophrenic in the room there are more hands pointed towards my incapabilities.
 
I can safely say that everyone seems to always think they know better than the ‘schizophrenic’. You don’t even know what is happening in your life needless to say the solutions for it. What makes you think you can tell me what to do?
 
As a woman, I even have men with their own experiences of schizophrenia or other ‘mental illness’ or even other disabilities telling me what to do. Have I ever told you what to do and how to do it unless it was a mutual conversation over problem solving something? Then why the fuck do you think you can show up in my personal domain of things to ‘correct’ me or my knowledge and indirectly suggest I need to know better. Do I question your beliefs, practices or methods or schizophrenia? Then why do you feel entitled to do so with mine? There is a difference when we are sharing, debating and brainstorming. But if you have the intelligence to correct me then you should have that much intelligence to not be pushy about your views. I would expect another person experiencing ‘schizophrenia’ to at least understand the measures of our personal voices and controls. But clearly I am wrong. Maybe I need to be specific in my search and maybe this will require losing friends in the process, but it is nothing I am not used to. I rather have 100% humanness, respect & authenticity rather than 90% saviour complexes and socially constructed ideologies. 
 
Women for a long time and till date feel incapacitated. If you are a woman/man who doesn’t mind being told what to do by higher positions in your life it doesn’t mean I like being told the same. Don’t pass the buck down just because you still think my schizophrenia makes me less of a capable person. I know my schizophrenia and I know what I can and cannot do with it.
I’ve crossed that level where I had to do things extra or be extra aware of things just because I have schizophrenia or scar epilepsy. What makes you think you actually ‘know’ what is better for me and what is not? Do you even know your own life?
 
As a person with a mental illness trying to fight all these notions in society and laws that have already told the world ‘Schizophrenics are incapable of making decisions and choices’ – why the hell would you continue undermining my very conscious decisions and choices? Only those I choose as my support person have that say because they clearly have the brains, awareness, and respect to understand what I ‘can’t’ do. They don’t possess the knowledge of my can’t and cans. But they possess a simple human trait of asking ‘Do you think…’, ‘Would you like…’. For those of you who think your English education puts you on some higher pedestal, please learn how to form respectful sentences when you are interacting with others. Learn to ask! Don’t command. Don’t call me rude for ignoring and questioning you especially when you have zero human intelligence. My weirdness surfaces when I feel disrespected by you because I know that no matter how much I explain, you will simply not understand because you don’t want to. If you wanted to understand you would have avoided feeling entitled over me.
 
As a woman with a mental illness, men from other said disabilities or mental illness themselves need to stop practicing their control over us. If you don’t like being told what to do and how to do it, keep your patriarchy to yourself. It is very easy for men to say they know better. History tells you that you are allowed to make mistakes and hurt others. And because the male gene was allowed to learn from his mistakes – he could move to the next level. Unfortunately despite feminism existing, women are still corrected when they make their mistakes. They are still told how they should do things. They are still made to believe they are less. If a man really thinks he knows what feminism is he would know this basic truth of what repression has meant for a woman. That his ideas around feminism isn’t going to apply for those of us with multitude layers of patriarchy.
If a woman (mostly the over-confident intellectualist & youth of India) who keep thinking they can stand for a cause without experiencing it – think again and experience life before doing so. I am not trying to undermine you even if you probably think ‘Who is this kid to be saying this?, truth be told I am no kid and never had the chance to actually be one. There is a difference that the child in me lives and expresses but no kid. Maybe if you had childhood schizophrenia you would get it, but you don’t so you won’t.
The irony of it all lies in the fact that women who are my age or older (and few younger ones) don’t tell me what to do. They get it. We might argue, debate and not even agree with each other at many levels but there is this safe space that naturally exist.
I really wished people could work their own issues out instead of projecting it on to me. Just because I am patient & give my time it doesn’t mean I have to tolerate your stupidity. I live in a human body too and it hurts more often for me than I portray. This is what makes my schizophrenia what it is.

But it is why I will stop giving my time so easily.

and it is why I am disappearing for a while in samadhi.

People live in an illusion of appearances.

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