Tag Archives: entertainment

What’s Wrong With Dr. Phil’s Wife’s Face? Seriously. Someone Tell Me.

So, I should probably be working towards my final for this online class and my other articles, but you all know me and my spontaneous writing sessions. It’s like my gaming sessions: I’ll game for a week or two or three, every day for hours until both of my hands shrivel and turn black and my finger tips fall off, then I won’t game for a few months.

May is “mental health awareness” month or whatever, yada yada. If you all want my opinion on this, you can refer to this post particularly, because I’m sick of reiterating the same thing every year.

But, this post will probably seem fitting for that cult-mindset (Ooh, bringin’ out the big guns now), because it’s about another person who claims to be a mental health advocate herself. Well, it’s not really about her, but more so about what was said to her, that I don’t necessarily agree with. And you know when I don’t agree with something, I have to put it out there on the internet for a bunch of people to not agree with me. That’s the way of the world, right?

I am not a Dr. Phil fan. I think the show is highly dramatized, and although subjects are approached with caution, I feel we’re pressured to believe that this Phil dude (who isn’t really a psychologist, did you know that?) helps people in a way no other person could. His wife’s face scares the fuck out of me (Sorry), and these people’s lives are almost exploited on television. I don’t really know how that makes mental health issues look, particularly if he advocates things like “bipolar disease“.

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Is This Meme Still Relevant?

You all remember the girl who was on there who believed she was pregnant with Jesus or whatever and claimed she’d been diagnosed with “paranoid schizophrenia” and her parents argued and said she “hadn’t been” . . . what was that episode even? Jesus Christ. Personally, I liked the man who said he wrote one of Taylor Swifts’ songs. I think Taylor should just give him the rights, because she’s only embarrassing herself by admitting she writes that shit she sings.

Anyway, A few weeks ago I guess this woman, Emily, who says she is a mental health advocate and posts pictures of herself online with her multitudes of self-harm scars, was also on Dr. Phil. She says that she shouldn’t have to be ashamed of her scars and she should be free to wear the shorts and short-sleeves that she does without feeling shameful for it.

As a self-harmer (although, I haven’t struggled with it in a while, since October 2016) I agree with her. Would I go around posting every scar and cut, old and new, online: no. That’s my personal preference not to do that. Whether she does or not, whatever. People who say she’s influencing people to cut themselves–I don’t understand that. If those people who see her are choosing to self harm, they are dealing with far deeper issues than just watching her on social media. Trust.

She said she continued to struggle with the self-harm, PTSD, and the accompanying anxiety and depression that comes with PTSD, and Phil asked why she thought she could call herself an advocate if she struggled so much.

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Well, that was the first thing he said that made zero sense and proves he has very little personal experience with mental health struggles. You can easily be an advocate and have moments of struggle within yourself. You don’t have to be “perfect” or “cured” to be an advocate, to be understanding and compassionate for others. In fact, if you think you’re “perfect” or “cured”, you must be one strange advocate, because no one is perfect and you can’t cure or rid yourself of your humanity so . . . that’s some fake bullshit. If you think you have to have never struggled at all to be an advocate, than you’re really fucking stupid.

In the same clip, they were speaking about the influence she may or may not have on people. The woman says she gets many people who message her and tell her that her confidence with her online persona has helped them see a counselor, talk more about their struggles, e.t.c, you know the deal. Phil responds with this exact quote:

“But you understand, my point of view is, mental illness of any form is nothing to be ashamed of, but neither is it something to celebrate”.

Well fuck me, let me sit in a hole of pity over my “illness” and be afraid to be proud of who I am, how I am, how I act, and my quirks. Fucking God FORBID we embrace this portion of our HUMANITY. Oh, the HORROR.

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In my very experienced opinion, it is something to celebrate.

In his very professional opinion, these “illnesses” are proven biochemical and neurological, well, defects. You wouldn’t celebrate someone’s terminal illness, right? Than let’s certainly not celebrate the diversity of the human mind and the human condition. That would be horrific.

It’s something to celebrate to me because it shows there are multitudes of ways to experience this reality. It shows people deal with pain and life in different ways. It shows that the human mind is much more complex and real and human than we will ever know. That, to me, is fascinating, and worthy of celebration.

And just because we can celebrate it, doesn’t mean that’s invalidating the struggle. If anything, it helps prove that struggles can make you stronger.

Does that mean I agree with this woman, this Emily? No. I don’t disagree with her either. If she feels free and content with herself by posting these things, fine. I wouldn’t do it, but I’m not her.

If you want something to talk about for #MayMentalHealthCultMindsetMonth, why not talk about the diversity of how our brains react to this life we live? Because that’s essentially what’s happening: life is a traumatic experience in itself and we all have different ways of dealing with that. If you want to believe that makes you defective, be my guest. Seems kind of self-defeating if you ask me.

I think I’ll go put on a party hat and grab some Whiskey Sours for Thoth and I.

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A Comment On “Split”

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There are a list of movies, documentaries, Sundance films, and Lifetime drama’s that juggle carefully the topic of mental health and these things people still call “mental disorders”.

“Split” is not like any of them.

There are boycotts of this movie. I’m assuming that’s because they haven’t yet seen it.

If you’re new to this blog, you may not know I am someone who struggles day in and day out mentally. Were you to skim through old archives, you’d breathe in the demons and the angels: they’re spread liberally throughout this blog, like Neosporin on an open wound. If you do choose to dip your big toe in the pool of tar that is my daily experience, be warned you may be sucked down, you may be splashed with acid, burned, maimed, and/or killed. Be warned what appears angelic may indeed be the hybrid: Angehellic. Sign your name in the comment section and hit the follow button to agree to my terms and conditions, and to agree to the liability waiver: i.e, it’s not my fault if you die.

I would like to kindly ask the people who have been opposed to this movie simply because they believe it portrays Disassociative Identity Disorder in a poor light to go out and see it, or, at the very least, watch it illegally online: particularly if you believe it’s advocating the stigma we often face with mental health issues: we’re dangerous, sick, and crazy.

I saw none of that in this movie.

It’s M. Night Shyamalan. You really think it’s going to be a straight forward movie documenting the life of a “crazy” guy with DID going out and kidnapping young girls? Get real.

In fact, what makes this movie a great mental health movie is that it has absolutely nothing to do with mental health or DID. It has to do with pain, trauma, life, belief, and how all of that contributes to what we don’t know about the universe and our own brains.

There’s great information in this movie about DID that are true. I.e, different personalities harbor different health ailments, experience different memories, ages, the loss of time, and pupil sizes. One personality may have diabetes while the others don’t. One may have high blood pressure or high cholesterol while the others don’t. They have the capacity to know what other personalities think, they have the capacity to overpower one another and become the host.While I’m no expert on DID, as I don’t have it myself, I spoke once to a man with it, listened to his story, and I’m fully aware this coping mechanism the brain has created is both life shattering and fascinating just like any other mental health issue.

thinking-008What does something like DID tell us about the human mind? About life? About pain and trauma? About our own resilience and ability to adapt? If anything, Shyamalan is on our side with this. It’s not a matter of being broken or sick. It’s a matter of being pained, of being innocently human through traumas ( of any kind) that take away that feeling of humanity.

*SPOILERS*

Synopsis: A man named Kevin has 23 different personalities. Dennis and Mrs. Patricia (I think that was her name), now host the body of Kevin after stealing the spotlight from Barry. Dennis is highly neat and obsessive in nature with cleanliness because of Kevin’s mother’s abuse. He’s strong and punctual. He’s a protector; what Barry once was. Hedwig is a nine year old who spearhead’s the beast’s arrival alongside Dennis. Dennis kidnaps three young girls who he believes will be food for The Beast, as they aren’t “pure”. Several other hidden personalities reach out to Kevin’s psychologist hoping to stop it all. She is in the process of using his case, and others, to promote the reality of DID and the authenticity/power/possibilities of the brain.

In Dennis’ sense, pure means ” highly damaged”. He meant to kidnap just the two girls, but the third one came along by accident. The two girls he targeted for days, watching the ease of their lives. Those are the ones The Beast and personalities like Dennis believe need to be purified–i.e, made to suffer. What The Beast learns is the one girl kidnapped by accident has been sexually abused and physically abused, and as a result lets her go. She’s evolved, he said, and she should rejoice.

Of course there is a supernatural element that is greatly appreciated, and maybe this is where people get all huffy. No, he’s not insinuating that people with multiple personalities (or anyone with a mental health issue) are monsters like “The Beast”. Stop thinking literally and start thinking critically. In fact, “The Beast” isn’t a personality at all. The beast isn’t human: he bends metal bars, grows taller, more muscular, has veins of blue/grey all through his body, climbs up walls, runs and behaves like a lion or tiger, and devours the innards of the two impure (undamaged) girls.

The personalities within “Kevin” (the main character) all recognize The Beast as something greater than themselves, something greater than a human, and within that recognition they become the beast. The beast is the manifestation of pain and growth, and the almost egotistical strength which comes with it. That strength can be used for good or bad. Or both simultaneously.

I believe The Beast is correct. The things you suffer force you to grow in strength or succumb to nothingness, and you may unlock portions of yourself and your brain beyond average comprehension. You learn things others may never learn. That I do rejoice in. It’s not invalidating anyone’s struggle. It’s simply suggesting that maybe we don’t know all we think we know. 

When you’re in an introductory fiction writing class, one thing many professors or teacher ask you to do is think of a character. Think of their name, personality, likes, dislikes, e.t.c. Then, compose a story, or an outline of one, and plop your character in that realm. That’s what Shyamalan has done, and gracefully so. He’s created a multi-layer character (literally) that get’s dropped in a multi-layered story.

The story in itself isn’t about DID. The character happens to have it, but this isn’t Russell Crowe in “A Beautiful Mind”. That was a movie (based on John Nash) where the story was built around the ailment (schizophrenia) of the character. “Split” is a movie where a supernatural character is absorbed into a universal, and relevent story: two separate concepts merged together. This was a movie where a message was thought of, and the character most fitting was plopped in the story to explain.

So, before you jump on the bandwagon of hating this movie, twist your lens a little and dig a little deeper, particularly if you struggle mentally yourself. This isn’t a movie to portray you as a monster, as a crazy person, as a freak, as a sick criminal. It’s a movie that reminds you although you may be different, although you may suffer, there are many things in life we may never be able to understand. There are many things about the brain we may never understand. And because you struggle in the way you do, you get a sense of life, of the human mind, that most other people never will. And that is something incredibly special.

Painfully special, even.

The Music In My Veins

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I’ve always had a deep connection to rock and roll. It’s unwavering and unbreakable. I’ve been a fan since birth, I like to think, and didn’t discover my hidden passion until I was ten and my mother received a local “battle of the bands” Compact Disc from her job.

I am a devil child. I’m into the metal.

Nothing can kill the metal.

Grunge tried to kill the metal.

They failed as they were thrown to the ground.

NewWave tried to destroy the metal.

But the metal had its way.

No one can destroy the metal.

I bet all of those lyrics are copywritten and I just infringed upon them. Luckily, I’m not anywhere near internet famous enough for Jack Black, Tenacious D, or Epic Records to sue me.

I grew up listening to James Brown, The Temptations, Michael Jackson, The Neville Brothers, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and e.t.c. So the closest thing I got to “pop” music of the 2000’s was the first “Now That’s What I Call Music” CD (which I still own) and “The Cheetah Girls”.

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My favorite song was something about twirling like a hurricane. I don’t know.

If you’re laughing right now, I don’t blame you. Does anyone even remember The Cheetah Girls?

I didn’t like pop music anyway. My ear just wasn’t tuned for it. I don’t like high pitched voices and a lot of the female singers sung like they were cats with their tails being smashed under a car tire.

I used to hate Sucker Free Sunday on M.T.V (remember when they played music?) and I’d fight with my father on Saturday nights to stay up and watch HeadBangers Ball where I first saw Cradle Of Filth and their “Temptation” video.

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From This Album

Does anyone remember that? As an eleven year old kid, I was pretty disturbed. In a good way. 

“Pulse Of The Maggots” by Slipknot was my favorite as an angry, confused 11 year old.

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I got my dose of classic metal and rock from the music videos they showed before the heavier portion of HeadBangers ball. It’s where I was really introduced to Metallica, Pantera, (I knew about The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, The Band and all those classics from my parents too) and I just saw metal and rock as a different way to interpret life. Soul music had it’s signature “from the gut, from the soul” type of bellowing songs with trumpets and saxophones and partial orchestras on stage (from my little kid point of view) and if you go back far enough they all had matching outfits and did matching dances and even though they smiled and sung smoothly, often songs were about grief and sadness and depression and struggle and loneliness and those deeper human emotions in general.

I heard the same thing in metal and gravitated towards it. I hear it all music.

My father never agreed with me on the subject. He’s too old school and stuck in the music he grew up with, the stuff he made me grow up with. When he saw me listening to bands like this:

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And this:

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He was very confused, to say the least.

When I say music, I’m NOT, for the love of God, talking about girls who run around in mini skirts in rap videos saying some guy needs to “eat the booty like groceries”. That . . . that’s fucking nasty, first of all. Second of all, there’s no emotion in that. In fact, there’s no humanly connection at all and therefore I get confused. My brain hears it and searches for a reason and a connection and joy or sadness or anything to indicate it’s another human being rapping or singing and . . . it’s just void of all humanity.

There’s emotion in Piano, in orchestra, in opera, in metal, in punk, in grunge, in rap, in improvisation, in every form of music on the planet . . . except something that’s been written for the sake of profit. Like a line about eating ass.

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My first real band obsession came when I heard the album “Freak on A Leash”. Obviously, I’m a youngster, and I wasn’t born yet when Korn came out with their first album. The first song I heard of them was from when their album “See You On The Other Side” was still fresh. But that just fueled my fire. I immediately bought all of their albums.

You can try and mention a metal or rock band I haven’t heard of or listened to at least once, but it would be pretty hard.

Thinking of Meshuggah? That’s a horrible guess, of course I’ve listened to them.

Cannibal Corpse?  You know damn well I used to head bang to that shit.

music-the-universal-languageI sometimes settled for softer songs from 30 seconds to mars and Shinedown, H.I.M and Breaking Benjamin and Taking Back Sunday or Avenged Sevenfold. But the point is I jumped around the entire rock/metal spectrum, just like I do every music genre. Music, arguably, is the most versatile, universal languages. I listen to Rammstein (Klavier, America, and Moscow are three of my favorites) and although I can only get the jist of the songs from my limited understanding of German, it hits a nerve in me that connects me to them. Same with songs I’ve heard from India, the middle east, China, Korea, Spain, Mexico. It connects you to people you’ll probably never know in a way you wouldn’t be able to even if you did meet them.

You know whose music has always had a special place in my heart? Bjork. Very unique.

What many people don’t know, is that when I had the space, when I had the drive and the motivation and the time, I dedicated every waking moment to music. I played the guitar, the bass, the clarinet, the piano, and more than anything I wanted to be a singer.

Lots of children gravitate towards what their parents do, and my father’s title of Vocalist/Dummer in his band appealed much more to me than my mother’s title of “classified clerk” at the local newspaper business.

So I emulated my voice around those musicians I adored and obsessed over. I learned how to manipulate my throat and I learned a lot of new curse words I’d never heard before. It was the greatest time of my life within one of the worst times of my life.

I haven’t had the focus or discipline to keep up my hobbies. And I miss them. Terribly.

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My Soul Is Apparently Very Colorful And Geometric. Math Is Everywhere. Fuck.

What is life without that kind of emotional release? It heals the soul. And the soul takes a lot of hits in this day and age.

My confidence has plummeted as well. I used to be ecstatic about showing off some of my talents, but I’ve become even more reserved and now I’m out of practice. I used to love to show off to my former friends (also metal fans) the different metal vocalists I could imitate and we’d always wanted to start a band.

I’ve never posted a vlog or anything, so I know you all have no reference of what I sound like when I talk. But, despite being of the female variety, my voice is pretty gender neutral. It’s not high pitched (unless I force it to be) and it’s not low pitched. I don’t sound girly or manly. I’m . . . I’m a girly man. Or a manly girl. I’m a unisex. In terms of voice.

So rock music fits my range.

You won’t hear me singing Adele like a perfect little princess. If I did, it would probably sound like some mix of David Draiman (Disturbed) and Maria Brink (In This Moment) with a little dash of that one chick from Otep. And some Linkin Park.

I don’t know what the hell.

The point is, I need to reignite my passions. It’s might be what’s been dragging me down lately. I have no space or freedom in this apartment. I can’t blast music or instruments without a neighbor or my parents complaining.

But the stress is building. When music was my life, my stress never built like this, never to this level. 

I can’t neglect something that runs through my veins just as deep and nutrient rich as my blood.

My state of mind at the moment: