Undiagnosed (Part One): Why Was I Given a Psychiatric Diagnosis?
On April 13, 1988, approximately 11,971 days ago, I swallowed the first of more than 80,000 pills. My parents were born in the early 1940’s in Boston, Massachusetts. Their mothers, my grandmothers, were sickened by the news reports of what was happening to Jewish people in Europe. They did not tell their toddlers about the Holocaust; however, the emotional abuse never ceased and my innocent parents were both childhood victims, before they could even speak. My parents were taught that “love” was the same as “abuse”; and sadly, it has always been that way.
When I was 14 years old, after 7 years of my parents fruitless attempts to find a Psychiatrist to agree with them that there was something wrong with their son, their doctor shopping paid off, and I was institutionalized. The week before I was locked away, I was brought on a tour of the hospital. I just wanted my parents to love me and to be kind to me. I even spent two days packing my suitcase. I never went back to my school again. I didn’t know that life as I knew it was over. Much to their dismay, the Psychiatrists in the hospital agreed with the 6 previous assessments; that I was not sick and that they needed help. Well, when you have enough money, most everything and everyone has a price.
The first diagnosis they purchased was; Schizophreniform Disorder with Positive Prognosis. In layman’s terms, this is “Temporary Schizophrenia that will go away”. Ugh, I know what you’re thinking, he must be delusional. Believe me, it would have been a much easier life for me if I was. For years, I have been asking my therapist and so many others, to please tell me that I am crazy, please tell me that there is something wrong with me; and they say they cannot. They say, Craig, you were hurt, violated and abused, for most of your life; and you’re doing great. They say anybody who would experience what I experienced is going to relate with the world and other people in a very different way.
On July 27, or so, 1988, I was transferred to a long term residential home, at 47 Park Street, Newton Corner, Massachusetts.
Many people insist, and I am paraphrasing, Craig, your parents must have thought you needed help and just wanted to help you, or they say, I’m a parent and I cannot consider harming my child, it is beyond comprehension, and it disturbs their peace. They cannot empathize, and usually, because those people don’t know what to do, they do nothing except walk away.
I relive the childhood abuse and abandonment every time this happens, and it can trigger an unmanageable frightened child trauma response, in an adult body. I always do my very best (and more) to cope. What happened to me, at times, offends people, and sometimes they become quite angry at me, and sometimes they become sadistic.
This is part of my life. It has been this way for longer than I can remember. I feel confident stating that what happened to me, has been used to exploit me, by more people than I can count. Something about what was done to me, and how I have survived; has resulted in people who are generally decent, dignified and kind; not always being so decent, dignified and kind.
I try not to get angry at people who don’t understand. I have long known that any reaction I have to people discussing my life experience with me, can be twisted into blaming me for me being victimized, because they cannot make any sense as to how two well educated, Jewish, upstanding professional adults (my parents) and a whole bunch of licensed mental health providers, would engage in or allow, this degree of careless harm to an innocent, intelligent, loving, creative and trusting boy.
I’ve been trained quite well, via my childhood and adolescence, to identify, process and work through, narcissistic violence. This does not result in a particularly easy life; however, it results in me sharing what I know, with you, the reader, and perhaps, encouraging the world to create Better Days, for us all.
Check back here next week and I’ll share with you about the direct and personal connections I’ve shared with Bill Cosby, Ruby Rogers (US Supreme Court Case ‘Rogers vs Okin’), Benjamin Netanyahu, NYC 1980’s Hardcore Punk band Ed Gein’s Car and the Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal in Boston. Not much of what you will read will be pleasant, however, you’ll understand me a whole lot better, in, “Undiagnosed” (Part Two).