As much as the

As much as the contents of the anti-terrorism legislation that was just pushed through scares me (apolgies about the link...the flashing bugged me to....just scroll down and it goes away), this stuff scares me even more. If I am going to have my civil rights unjustly removed, I would rather that it was for unfounded allegations of treachery than for unfounded allegations that I was psychotic.

My own brushes with the mental health profession have been slight, but have been enough to leave me sceptical.

(Necessary backstory: From time to time I get lightheaded and dizzy, or even black out if I stand too quickly, particularly if I stretch. My doctor told me this is due to low blood pressure and is fairly common, but nothing to worry about.) During my freshman year in high school I fainted while leaving homeroom. I had been kneeling for about 15 minutes, and had sprung from my seat when the bell rang. UsuallyI can remain standing and even carry on as if nothing was happening during blackout, but as I was already in motion when it happened, I smacked down onto the floor. I was escorted to the nurses office to lie down for a bit and drink some oj. I had no objections to this, as it got me out of class for a while. As I was sipping the juice, the school's guidance counselor showed up. I have no idea if he actually had any credentials for was a private school. He had been a grade school principal the year before and the next year he became the principal of the high school.

He told me that he had concerns that I wasn't eating. He basically said that he thought I was anorexic. I told him that, yes, I was eating and no, I was not anoxeric. Sure, we all know what denial means, don't we? I was badgered for over and hour before I realized that the only way I was ever going to get out of there was a tearful "confession". The Gulf War had just begun, and I had joked around with friends about going on a hunger strike to end the war. I decided to use that as my story, summoned some tears, and sniffled out my sad little tale. Fortunately he bought it despite, or maybe because of the melodramatic cheese. I studiously avoided any contact with him the rest of my years at that school.

Nowadays, as I look at the children that the school system has given over to be labeled and medicated, I am wary and sad. I have a feeling that if the child that I once was were placed in the public school system today, she would be given a label, a case file, and medication. I know they tried very hard to do the same thing to my younger brother. I was a good kid, but I was shy and sensitive. I cried easily when upset. I had a fierce temper that other children delighted in provoking. I was also used to the way my parents and their friends treated me with the same respect as they gave each other, and I expected it from the adult in charge of me in school. I was used to questioning authority when they gave me ridiculous commands. (My parents usually backed me up in this. Ask me about "brick red" sometime.) I did my work, but preferred to spend my time reading or drawing. I had an extremely active imagination. I see my young self reflected back at me in some of these "cross-categorical special education" students.I can relate to them, especially when they chafe against the rigidity of the school heirarchy. I feel for them, and the child in me wants to intercede for them, to translate for them so that the adults can understand what is going on. It wouldn't work, though. I amone of those adults now,and part of the heirarchy. I am the authority figure against whom they will now rebel.

How does this happen?

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This page contains a single entry by Kayjayoh published on March 21, 2002 11:27 PM.

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