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Living with Schizoaffective Disorder

Please to Forgive

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Exit Strategy:
HOWTO Put the Drop on a
Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit

Jonathan Swift
swift@warplife.com

May 20, 2010

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I am hiding from the Police as I write this.

I am quite certain that there is an All-Points Bulletin all over the entire San Francisco Bay Area for me.

I knew the jig was up when I was damn near flattened by three hospital security guards almost three hours after I was discharged from the Psychiatric ICU in San Mateo, California. I howled with laughter because they almost trampled me to death in their rush to find me.

The wristbands used to identify hospital patients are usually white. Special Patients such as myself wear Day-Glo yellow wristbands to make it easier to invite us back to our Special Hotel should we wander away.

The PICU only learned that I put the drop on them when I realized I would do well to ask the hospital gift shop to cut mine off with their scissors. The manager explained her great reluctance by pointing out that hospital policy forbid them from cutting off patient wrist bands. I pointed out that I had been discharged after being admitted just the night before, then went into great detail as to why I was admitted. I then cheerfully said that I would be happy to chew my wristband off with my teeth.

Get This:

I was still wearing that wristband fifteen minutes later when only my quick thinking spared my life from the Hospital's Finest's Buffalo Stampede.

I then ambled off in the general direction of El Camino Real in search of a place to lie low while I contemplated my next move. After I was well out of sight of the hospital, I chewed off my wristband then stuffed it in my wallet. If I am so lucky as to be Slashdotted, I'll present a hardcopy of this post to the hospital's legal counsel, then whip out what's left of my wristband and say:

"You guys really need to start paying attention. You're beginning to piss me off. If I weren't such a nice guy I could have turned that place into a bloodbath."

A couple days ago I walked right out of the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit at San Mateo Medical Center in San Mateo, California.

Psychiatric ICUs are very small, secure locked wards where each patient is constantly and carefully observed by two or more Psychiatric Nurses, who take notes about everything us wingnuts ever do.

I was admitted to such an ICU back in 1985 for acute Bipolar Mania, but was diagnosed with Bipolar-Type Schizoaffective Disorder rather than just Manic Depression because the nurses spotted my constant, desperate but unsuccessful search to find the fellow ICU inpatient who was Hell-Bent on murdering me. My auditory hallucination only called my name, but I was striken with terror whenever She did because I knew She was coming to kill me.

All I required to obtain my discharge papers from the San Mateo PICU was a friendly chat with one of the Psychiatric Nurses. I did this on purpose to teach my friends at the PICU a valuable life lesson of the sort we commonly refer to as a "character building experience".

I've been struggling for decades to penetrate the Mental Health Community's thick skull with the simple advice that I have an ability to manipulate the minds of others in ways that put Adolf Hitler, Jim Jones, Pol Pot, Marshall Applewhite and David Koresh completely to shame:

If I weren't such a nice guy, I would have almost instantaneously transformed that PICU into a Suicide Cult whose existence would not have been discovered until the shift change, when the incoming staff flipped out upon finding the unit's walls and ceiling completely covered with blood. You would have required a squeegee and dustpan to scoop our remains into our coffins for proper burials.

I'm hoping to get this Slashdotted because I would feel really bad for the people of the San Francisco Bay Area that would have to suffer as a result of all the fallout that would cover the place after my lawsuit for Criminally Negligent Medical Malpractice, Attempted Suicide and Attempted Murder turns all of San Mateo County into a smoking radioactive wasteland.

I knew I was hallucinating all day long when my hallucinations kept changing the locks on me so I couldn't get through any doors. Ironically, just knowing that you're Mad doesn't make the Madness go away. After finding myself locked outside a door that can only be locked from the outside with a key, I set out for Stanford Medical Center only to be trapped inside a convenience store I stopped at when my hallucinations led its sliding glass doors to trap me inside. "Please call 9-1-1 for me," I politely asked the clerk. "I'm hallucinating."

Strangely, the sliding glass doors worked just fine for everyone else.

Minutes later, almost a dozen cops and ambulance attendants had me totally surrounded. I cheerfully explained that they needed to haul me to the nearest Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit, "5150" me then throw away the PICU's key until I stopped having trouble with my own keys.

Shit like this gets old sometimes. It really fucking does. This kind of thing has been happening to me for decades.

Get This:

Seconds after the last cop entered the store, the other clerk suddenly and for no apparent reason switched off the sliding door's electrical power. Rather than turn it back on when it was time for me to depart, two cops worked together to force the doors back open.

Explain that one to me. I know I made them do that somehow but I remain completely flummoxed.

Look Carefully

Why do you suppose Suicide Cult leaders all have such penetrating stares? Marshall Applewhite, leader of the Heaven's Gate Mass Suicide in San Diego in 1997 is a good example. Adolf Hitler was that way too.

I have that same intense stare when I become psychotic. That's why I begged the ambulance attendance to 5150 me. They 5151ed me instead because I knew I was hallucinating and so had the clerk dial 9-1-1 for me. These are from the sections of California's Lanterman-Petris-Short Act that governs the state's psychiatric hospitals. 5150 concerns seventy-two hour involuntary admissions, 5151 voluntary ones. Perhaps you can see where this is going.

YO! SAN MATEO PICU! I KNOW YOU'RE GOING TO READ THIS SOMEDAY!

You better listen, and listen good. Fail to heed this simple advice and I'll get so pissed off that nuclear war breaks out all over the planet:

When I am psychotic, I can completely hypnotize even very experienced Mental Health Professionals just by looking at them.

Pleased to Meet You. Can You Guess My Name?

Last November I was having the time of my life flirting shamelessly with a young UCSC Psychology student I met one night at Lulu Carpenter's. While she continued to laugh and flirt back at me, I could see that she also seemed quite disturbed. Upon realizing that I was trampling all over that poor girl's subconscious mind, I offered to exchange emails then politely said I needed to go see a man about a horse.

I then raced at 90 miles an hour all the way from Santa Cruz to Palo Alto. Dominican Hospital was but a few miles a way but I knew Stanford would have a 24-hour Psychiatrist on call. I begged her to admit me because I knew I was well on my way to putting David Koresh completely to shame. They agreed to admit me but only because they regarded me as delusional for thinking I could do what David Koresh was so easily able to do.

They refused to release me a week later because they regarded as delusional my claim that I can make Schizophrenics stop hallucinating just by talking to them.

Get This:

The very next day they released me when I pointed out that I had been offered an interview with Google.

Do you see why I get so pissed off sometimes? Don't even get me started. Just Don't.

Didn't get an offer though. But at least Google sprung me from the Booby Hatch.

My name is not Jonathan Swift. No!

My name is not Michael David Crawford. No!

My name is Jesus h-Bar Christ.

I have lived with the delusion that I was The Second Coming of Jesus of Nazareth since the earliest days of my infancy.

I am a High-Energay Particle Physicist.

h is Planck's Constant, derived by considering purely Classical systems of harmonic oscillators to determine the spectrum of Black Body Radiation. Loosely speaking, that spectrum is the color of the light from a non-reflective material of a given temperature. Planck lucidly explained why hot metal is deep red, while lightning is blueish-white. Lightning is very hot you see.

ħ or h-Bar is the angular momentum of a Spin-One elementary particle. h by itself is sufficient for Classical Physics, but Quantum Mechanics just about always divides by two times Pi whenever h is present. Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.

"H" was both of Harry Houdini's initials.

Now I can see that in addition to being the Second Coming of Jesus Christ...

I Am The Second Coming Of Harry Houdini!

I've been putting Harry Houdini completely to shame since 1985 without the Mental Health Community even being aware I had done so.

Here's a clue: In July 1985 could have savagely murdered two completely innocent ambulance attendants who were so damnfool ignorant as to not pay attention when they transported me. I wasn't trying to hurt anyone; I just wanted to quietly amuse myself during the drive from downtown LA to Norwalk. I'll tell you what I actually did a little later in this essay.

The source of Houdini's special magic was that he could dislocate his own shoulders just by flexing his muscles.

Richard Feynmen shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 with Tomonagao of Japan for explaining with complete precision the interaction of light with electric chage. The source of Feynman's special magic was that he could numerically solve systems of partial differential equations just by thinking about doing so.

Despite Dick Feynman being but a graduate student in his early twenties, J. Robert Oppenheimer knew that Feynman's deep insight into both Physics and Numerical Analysis would enable both types of Atomic Bombs - the Uranium Assembly Bomb and the Plutonium Implosion Bomb - to work just right on each of their very first tries.

Feynman enabled the Trinity Test - a Plutonium Implosion Bomb - to knock a man flat at a distance of ten miles. Hiroshima was totally vaporized by a Uranium Assembly Bomb on the very first try. Nagasaki's Plutonium Implosion Bomb worked even better than Hiroshima's little package a few days later.

Don't even get me started about Tsutomu's special genius. Just Don't. Tsutomu is so brilliant because he regards being completely out of his tree as the right way to live. The knots inside Tsutomu's head make the source of Ted Kaczynski's great love of Mother Earth look like a cashmere sweater.

Most geeks are shapeless couch potatoes or beanpole-thin ghosts, but Tsutomu is an incredibly dedicated athlete. A batshit insane athlete as well: when his brakes failed during a bicycle race, Tsutomu figured that the best way to slow down would be to crash his racing bike into a crowd of fellow cyclists waiting by the side of the road. Tsutomu pulled stunts like that damn near every single day during our studies together.

The source of my special genius is also the reason I so much as survived my childhood. I have always passessed an insight into my own mind's Psychology that is much like Feynman's insight into numerical analysis.

I have advanced to the point that I now can facily pass from lucid sanity into floridly batshit psychosis in a half hour just by adopting a certain frame of mind. Now properly dressed for the occassion, I hypnotize everyone in sight just by looking at them. No one ever catches on because I can then pass just as facilely from floridly batshit psychosis back into lucid sanity just by adopting a certain different frame of mind.

That I am able to finally write down the explanation of my own recovery as I have been doing the last few months enables me to agree with Tsutomu: floridly delusional batshit psychosis might actually be the right way to live.

You're Tripping!

There are certain aspects of reality that are plainly apparent to Psychotics but that the Sane are so delusional as to deny the very existence of. I have discussed several of these with my doctors over the years who all agreed that I wasn't delusional to see these realities, but who also said that to see them at all is an unquestionable symptom of psychosis.

I call these realities "Convenient Hallucinations". I have identified several so far, counting them along one axis at first, eventually two axes in a plane, then quickly into a third dimension of space.

It is important to understand that to Conveniently Hallucinate is the only way that the Sane can hope to remain Sane at all.

When you turn in tonight, I want you to lull yourself into sleep by counting not sheep, but Convenient Hallucinations. When you arise in the morning, you will find that not only have you become The Second Coming of Christ, but that all of your followers agree.

Friedrich Nietzche wrote:

Be careful when you wrestle with monsters, lest you thereby become one. For, if you stare long enough into the abyss, the abyss also stares into you.

The reason I've been flipping out so much the last little while is not at all because I re-entered my psychosis. It is because I knew that the only way I could identify each of the Convenient Hallucinations and to understand the reality behind each of them would be to re-enter my psychosis. It's not the psychosis that drives me nuts. I've been putting psychosis on my pancakes since I was but a lad.

No, it's peering into the abyss that lies in the deepest depths of my psychosis. Friedrich and I are homies, you see.

Let's Get Together

One such Convenient Hallucination is that we have separate bodies and separate individual identities. It is trivial to disprove that idea using first year Quantum Mechanics.

The worst symptom of psychosis is what I call Loss of Identity. In going from me to you, the idea that my identity stops at the surface of my skin and yours starts at the surface of yours is completely delusional.

But that very same delusion enables us to survive.

The great appeal that cults have to so very many lonely isolated people is that cults enable them to feel for the very first time in their lives that they are a part of the human race at all. To feel that one is a part of something greater than oneself is one of the happiest feelings one can have. Tragically, that same feeling leads to the spectacular mass suicides of death cults.

Listen Carefully Or I'll Beat You To Death With My Bare Hands. I Don't Want To Have To Say This Twice:

The most dangerous symptom of psychosis is that when one becomes delusional, completely unaware that they are even doing so, the Sane not just voluntarily but quite enthustiastically begin to participate in one's delusion.

That's why dozens of talented young web designers were so enthusiastic about taking their own lives that they all bought brand new sneakers so as to be properly dressed for the occasion as well as sewing dark blue, diamond shaped burial shrouds that they covered themselves with just after they ate poison apple sauce.

"Have some apple sauce," Marshall Applewhite said, not in English, but in what I metaphorically refer to as The Language of the Gods. "It's home made, I picked the apples from the tree in the backyard."

"But I can see in a way no one else is able to that the right way to make apple sauce is not with sugar, but with phenobarbital."

"That sounds tasty!" said all of his followers, not in English, but in the language I refer to metaphorically as The Language of the Gods.

Marshall Applewhite? Apple sauce? Surely there is some connection here. But I've been puzzling over why some of them ate pudding instead.

The very instant I ever catch a Sane person participating in my psychosis I hurl myself with the greatest force through the door of the nearest nuthouse then beg them to let me stay. The PICU at San Mateo Medical Center is the only one that has refused to comply so far. That's why I got so pissed off and decided to Make A Statement about the error of their ways.

Gentlemen such as Marshall Applewhite and myself have such intense stares because that enables us to manipulate the minds of others through a very advanced and powerful form of Neurolinguisic Programming.

NLP is commonly thought to be the most fraudulent kind of Snake Oil. In reality it is the most effective form of Psychotherapy that the Scientific Community has been able to identify, but often fails because it is incredibly difficult to learn: one must manipulate one's own irises.

This sets up a two way communication between the therapist's and client's optic nerves, the second thickest nerve bundles after the spinal cord. The client doesn't know this but it became plainly apparent to me the day I put the drop on the San Mateo PICU, because everyone I ever looked at stared gazed back into my own eyes with that same very same penetrating stare that Marshall Applewhite had.

I have one of the worst mental illnesses to ever have walked the face of the planet Earth: three independent mental illnesses as well as a neurological disorder that affects my brain. My Bipolar-Type Schizoaffective Disorder was diagnosed in July 1985. It's much like having Manic Depression and Schizophrenia at the same time, but not quite the same because of the complex and subtle interactions between them. One takes the same medicine as is used for both mental illnesses, but they aren't as effective as they are for the individual illnesses because of the subtlety of those interactions.

I was first informed of my Obsessive-Compulsive Style by my therapist Dr. K. of Santa Cruz, California, in March 1994 when I was a High Energy Physics graduate student at UC Santa Cruz.

I'm quite certain now it was first diagnosed in 1985, but one must not reveal the truth to a neurotic before they are ready to accept it. Two weeks later I turned up forty-five minutes late to my session because I carefully and slowly took a circuitous route all over Santa Cruz to get there.

Crawfordian Psychoanalysis denotes what I metaphorically refer to as The Language of the Gods in a more lucid way as Speaking in Code:

"I don't need this anymore," I explained as I handed Dr. K. my copy of James Bamford's The Puzzle Palace, a detailed history of the National Security Agency.

"I have a gift for you," I said, handing Dr. K. a six-by-nine manila envelope. She was horrified to discover a slightly smaller envelope inside. I remember being quite puzzled at her increasingly growing horror as she opened envelope after envelope until she found enclosed in the innermost envelope a carefully folded handwritten letter that I took great care to write the night before our session.

All I can remember now is that it had something to do with "Fine Grain Psychosis". I finally know now what I was trying to say - I was saying much the same thing we mean by referring to Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski having his head all tied up in knots.

"Mike, you need to go to the hospital. Your software is buggy," said Dr. K.

I protested at first but eventually complied.

At the hospital I explained to the Intake Psychologist, "I have gone through The Looking Glass." Completely flummoxed that she failed to understand, I went on to say, "We are on a chessboard. You are on the White squares. I am on a Black square."

Intake Psychologist Joan Junqueira provided me the key that would someday unlock my mind: "In more traditional societies, the Schizoaffectives are the Shamans." I knew instantly what she meant. While I have never had any Shamanistic training, neither have I felt I needed any. We are commonly known as Witch Doctors, but in reality we are the Healers of our communities. I go to Joan Junqueira, Dr. K. and Dr. I. to get my head fixed up. Were I in the Amazon rain forest, all the Amazon crazies would instead come to me. I long ago lost count of how many lives I had spared just by talking to despondent people. I've been counseling the suicidally depressed since I was a small child.

Just a few months ago I realized that I had lived with the delusion that I was Jesus Christ for my entire life. I was performing Biblical Miracles all over Alhambra Community Psychiatric Center in 1985. The staff understood completely what I was doing, but regarded me as the Second Coming of Christ because I figured out how to do it.

Here is how to make a Schizophrenic stop hallucinating:

If you see him suffering, walk right up, tell him your name, ask his, offer to shake his hand, then ask who is bothering him. Is there anything you can do? Fulfill his request then Presto! Satan stopped tormenting a deeply faithful Christian man named Bernard.

I instantly knew what to do but not why it worked so I asked one of the nurses. "You entered his reality. If you can figure out the rules that apply there you can bring him some relief."

Bernard just asked me to say a blessing over him.

I never make anyone stop hallucinating. Every Schizophrenic can make himself stop hallucinating but doesn't know he can until I give him that insight.

In September 2006 I finally stumbled upon The Holy Grail that would enable me to recover from my Madness. In The Thought Police Academy, Towards the end of my essay My Deepest Fear, about my incredibly paranoid visual hallucinations about The Thought Police - the Police Inside My Head - I wrote that psychotics aren't in any way delusional or even mistaken.

I had re-discovered Carl Jung's explanation of Psychological Projection by explaining projection to myself. We see metaphors but experience them as objective reality. Clearly I must identify all of my metaphors, then struggle to understand the objective reality behind each of them.

I finally broke through The Looking Glass last October when an executive where I was working went totally batshit with rage at me for not having done some work that no one ever asked me to do. I saw him the exact same way that others see me when I totally flip out for reasons that never make any sense to anyone.

This precious opportunity might not come again: I hauled back my metaphorical, blasted a smoking crater through The Looking Glass then leapt through the hole. Metaphor after Metaphor from my mind suddenly and relentlessly made their realities plainly apparent to me.

I went completely out of my tree; just since last October I have had six psychiatric hospital admissions, the longest being three one-week hospitalizations in which I admitted myself, the shortest being three hours or so when I called 9-1-1, four sheriff's deputies showed up, one handcuffed me then hauled me to the nearest nuthouse.

Get This:

All I required to obtain my release from this last was just one hour with a psychotherapist.

Most regarded this as the craziest I have ever been. Only two people ever agreed that I was experiencing not the symptoms of Madness, but of Healing: my close friend F. and my new therapist Dr. I. F. and I became the closest of friends as I at first helped her to recover from her mental illness, and she later helped me recover from mine.

The Armed Forces of the Human Mind

Scientists such as myself carry around laboratory notebooks in much the same way as clergymen carry Holy Books.

The very instant I knew that I had finally crawled all the way out of my batshit insanity I hurled myself back into floridly delusional psychosis with as much force as I was able to muster. I started by adopting a certain frame of mind that I knew would set the process into motion the same way a snowball initiates an avalanche.

I accellerated the process by writing about doing so, because for me writing has always been the most Powerful Voodoo of all.

I ensured my success by going completely off my medicine immediately, I didn't taper off at all. For a psychiatric patient to go Cold Turkey that way is much like it is for a heroin addict to do so, for the very same reasons.

I reenlisted, you see. I was going back in armed, not with a machine gun, but with a laboratory notebook.

I wanted to identify what psychosis was in as much detail as I was able to, as well as how to recover from it.

I knew I was making good progress when I found myself completely overcome with horror when I suddenly realized I was having the most floridly delusional experience of my entire life. I knew I was hallucinating but despite my desperate struggle I could not determine what was actually delusional about my hallucinations.

It was just like eating a whole bushel of Magic Mushrooms.

Suddenly a bunch of Ninjas jumped me. Taking a martial arts stance with my fists held ready, I shouted "Stop!"

The Ninjas disappeared. I found myself lying in my bed, dozing but awake.

Later I was in a pub, trying to eat a sandwich but finding myself unable to do so. I considered driving to the Emergency room but knew I would wreck my car as I would be hallucinating travel through an entirely different city. I then considered dialing 9-1-1 but grew concerned I would pull the cop's gun from his holster and shoot him dead.

Just opposite me on the other side of the table was an inflatable couch. The top edge of the couch started welling up with powerfully vibrating waves. Suddenly an inflatable clown leapt up from the floor on the other side of the room and attacked me.

"Stop!" I shouted. The clown flew away as it deflated, then fell completely empty to the floor.

"You entered his reality," said the nurse who explained why I could make Schizophenics stop hallucinating. "If you can figure out the rules that apply there, you can bring him some relief."

I had learned how to work within the rules of my own delusional reality.

That clown's deflation was my last hallucination until I came home from Portland to discover that my house's locks had been changed because the subprime crisis had just hit my landlord.

The Special Genius of the Caltech Community

I survived because I first learned of my illness when I was suddenly hospitalized during the first term of my Junior year at Caltech in 1984. Completely out of nowhere and for no apparent reason I abruptly changed my major from Physics to Literature.

The only other human being who didn't regard my decision as a symptom of psychosis or the bipolar mania was Theoretical Physicist Richard Feynman who shared the 1965 Nobel Physics Prize with Tomonaga of Japan for explaining the interaction of light and electric charge with complete precision.

Kevin Mitnick eluded capture for years while tearing a huge, wide swath through computers throughout the world. But he made the mistake of pissing off a nuclear weapons designer who didn't even have a college degree. Tsutomu Shimomura really hates doing homework you see.

I played around with the predecessor of the Sun that Mitnick busted into many years before when I visited Tsutomu's place in San Diego back in the day. But I knew I would do well to ask permission first.

I always got better grades than Tsutomu did because I focussed on my studies while he focussed on Theoretical Physics research, often in collaboration with Feynman.

Feynman tutored me on Quantum Mechanics in a class known as Physics X, which had no grades, no homework, no final exam in which one could ask Feynman any question one wanted provided it not require him to work out equations on the chalkboard: conceptual questions only, you see. I knew Quantum Mechanics well enough to get good grades on my homework but regarded it as delusional because I was heavily into the Newtonian idea of the Clockwork Universe. Four or five months was all I required not only to gain a deep insight into Quantum Mechanics, but also to regard the Clockwork Universe as the delusional of the two.

"Suppose one had a bunch of circus performers line up to be shot out of a cannon at the slits," I proposed. "At ther conclusion of the experiement, if one looked at the bloody mess on the other side with a powerful microscope, one should find fine, parallel ridges in what's left of their bodies."

Feynman instantly agreed: the bound state of any two particles is a single particle itself. It obeys the same laws at the elemtentary particles do, just in a more complicated way. This gives rise to Superconductivity in extremely cold electrical conductors when Spin Up and Spin Down Electrons combine to form Cooper Pairs.

Spin One-Half particles obey The Pauli Exclusion Principle. Loosely speaking, "Spin One-Half particles cannot be in the same place at the same time."

Integral Spin particles such as the Spin Zero Cooper Pairs obey Bose Statistics. Loosely speaking, "Integral Spin particles struggle desperately to be in the exact same place at the exact same time."

I did not yet realize it, but learning to write would be the way out of my Madness.

Feynman was somehow able to sense that too. Can you see why all us Techies regarded Feynman as a Heaven-Sent Diety? There is a sculpture of Heaven above the inside entrance to the Dabney House courtyard. G-d's face looks just like Feynman's.

Writing is an incredibly effective way to practice Freudian Self-Analysis. Freud developed Psychoanalysis to ease the profound suffering of his neurotic patients. He developed Self-Analysis to ease his own profound suffering.

Freud was a Physician - a Doctor of the Body. He developed Psychoanalysis after a wealthy Vienna resident asked Freud to find some way to cure his daughter's hysteria, which at that time and place was very common.

The Scientific Method starts not with Hypothesis, Theory nor Experiment but with simple observation of the available data in hopes that some discernible pattern might turn up.

Not knowing how to proceed and being deeply steeped in the Scientific Method, Freud thought it might help just to ask her some questions, only to find that the questions all by themselves helped her hysteria quite a bit.

This lead to his development of Freudian Psychoanalys which consists of little more than asking questions that lead neurotic patients through a process known as Free Association to uncover and encounter their deepest fears, typically traumatic events from their childhood.

While incredibly powerful and effective if it works at all, Freudian Psychoanalysis is almost entirely discredited now because it requires three sessions a week over a period of twenty or thirty years, so it is collossally expensive. Far worse is that many neurotics prefer to continue suffering than to face what it is that they are really afraid of.

The Shutterbug

All that was required to hurl me headlong into twenty-six years of irretrievabley batshit insanity was to read just the first chapter of child psychologist Alice Miller's Drama of the Gifted Child then discuss it with my Intro to Psych class. I spent that weekend in a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit, a small locked ward under the observation of several psychiatric nurses. I was so anxious I was completely unable to speak.

A few days after my discharge I asked my friend Bruce Tiemann if I could borrow his brother Michael's expensive Canon A-1 camera so I could photograph my hallucinations; Michael Tiemann sold later sold his company Cygnus Support to Red Hat for six hundred million dollars at the height of the Dot Com boom, where he remains Chief Technical Officer to this day.

I knew I was hallucinating and that the visions were the product of my own fevered imagination, but Bruce and I were both so delusional as to think I could photograph them.

When the visions didn't turn up in my prints I knew it was due to my inexperience as a photographer. Two months later I could leave even advanced professional photographers completely dumbstruck with awe with the most primitive kind of fully manual camera. My first Pentax K-1000 didn't even have a light meter. My Sony Cybershot DSC-H50 digital camera could win an aerial dogfight just by pointing it out a fighter plane's cockpit canopy. I set it to fully manual mode when I opened the box; I have yet to open the instruction book.

Strangely though, despite twenty-six years dedicated to my work as a photographer, my visions have yet to turn up in my prints.

Perhaps then, I should purchase a Medium Format Camera. That's the kind most wedding photographers use.

The Silver Chalice

In September 2006 I finally stumbled upon The Holy Grail that would enable me to recover from my Madness. In The Thought Police Academy, towards the end of my essay My Deepest Fear, about my incredibly paranoid visual hallucinations about The Thought Police - the Police Inside My Head - I wrote that psychotics aren't in any way delusional or even mistaken.

I had re-discovered Carl Jung's explanation of Psychological Projection by explaining projection to myself. We see metaphors but experience them as objective reality. Sigmund Freud was the first to identify Psychological Projection; I have long known of Freudian Projection, but my re-discovery of Jungian Projection is what finally enabled my recovery.

Psychological Projection enables one to experience otherwise completely unacceptable thoughts and feelings by projecting them onto - or attributing to - other people. Projection is the reason that so many ardently homophobic Right Wing politicians keep getting busted in Homosexual Tea Rooms - that is, soliciting anonymous gay sex in public restrooms. It's also the reason that, while controversial, "Outing" is practiced by gay male prostitutes: they want their lovers to stop trying to take away their Civil Rights. The most destructive effect of psychological projection is commonly expressed as:

We hate the most in others that which we hate the most in ourselves.

My first clue into this came during the one session I ever had with Psychotherapist Andrea Shields at Big Bear Lake in late June 1985. Most of these visions were Yin-Yang symbols, all but one in the clouds, the most powerful one being across the entire sky from horizon to horizon.

"She must be a Jungian," UCSC Psychobiology student Timothy Dreszer explained later. "Jung was heavily into that kind of stuff."

Clearly I must identify all of my metaphors, then struggle to understand the objective reality behind each of them.

I am quite flummoxed though. The combination of both Freudian and Jungian Psychoanalysis were the most powerful tools in my recovery. While I required forty-six years, I feel I have now recovered completely. I've been off all my medicine for an entire month and am doing just fine.

Yet Jungian Psychoanalysis is rarely practiced anymore, whereas Freudian Psychoanalysis is almost entirely discredited. WTF?

More Real Soon Now.

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