Wednesday, 22 October 2008


Yah, I know. I haven't been posting anything here for almost a week now. Not even a music-vid. And it's not that I don't know what to write about. The list of possible subjects is long, and it gets longer and longer for every day, that I don't get a thing done about it. Well, at least I do get done a lot about it at my Danish blog, and that's one of the reasons why this one is left a bit unexploited, for now. The other reason is that I promised myself, not to engage in the production of any major piece for this blog, before I haven't made a certain phone call. A phone call, yep. A frigging phone call, I've tried to make for the past, uhm, how many months?... The thing is, I loathe having to make phone calls to people I don't know, and I especially loathe having to make phone calls to authorities. And this is a phone call to an authority. That I will have to make in order to get a translation finished, that would/should/could have been finished, yeah, months ago... "Disabled"??? Did anyone say "disabled"? I'll show you "disabled"!

Well, in the meantime, here are some pictures of Bibi and her son Sasha.

Friday, 17 October 2008


About ten days ago, I received an e-mail from a Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge, M.D., Ph.D., "Invitation to be a featured Health Blogger on Wellsphere".

This is the e-mail:

Hi Marian,
I was searching online for the best health bloggers when I discovered your blog at I want to tell you I think your writing is great. My name is Dr. Geoff Rutledge, and I've taught and practiced Internal and Emergency Medicine for over 25 years at Harvard and Stanford medical schools. I'm also the Chief Medical Information Officer at Wellsphere (, where we are building a network of the web’s leading health bloggers -- and I think you would be a great addition.
Wellsphere is a fast growing, next-generation online platform that is revolutionizing the way people find and share health and healthy living information and services. Our platform connects millions of users each month with the valuable insights and knowledge from health leaders and knowledgeable writers like you. 
We recently launched a new series of health communities, and I would like to invite you to be a featured blogger in the Mental Health Community. By joining our network of over 1400 of leading health and healthy living bloggers, you will be in great company, and will benefit from exposure to the expanded audience of the Wellsphere community (now over 2 million visitors per month, and growing fast). When you join, we also will feature you on our very popular WellBlog (, with a link back to your blog.
We will republish the postings you’ve already written for you, and feature them not only on the  community pages of the site, but also on our WellPages, where we give users a comprehensive view of expert information, news, videos, local resources, and member postings on topics you write about. Your profile page on the site will give you special status as a featured blogger on Wellsphere. If you are an active contributor, we also will feature your posts on our homepage at
By connecting to the Wellsphere platform, you will greatly expand the audience for your postings and attract additional readers to your blog. Also, your posts will link back to your blog, so you will benefit from Wellsphere's high ranking and large readership interested in your topic, which will give you more traffic, additional relevant audience, and a higher ranking for your blog.
If you would like to be a featured blogger on Wellsphere, just send me an email to You can see examples of our WellPages on our live site. For example, take a look at
Good health,
Geoffrey W. Rutledge MD, PhD
Chief Medical Information Officer
Wellsphere, Inc.

The first thing I do in cases like this, where I have no idea, neither of who Geoffrey W. Rutledge nor of what "Wellsphere" is, is that I do a Google search. And I must admit, the rather exaggeratedly flattering rhetoric had aroused my suspicion. So I primarily looked for a possible snag with it. My Google search brought me to this blog entry, and from there I eventually arrived at this one.

Now, as I write in my comment at Jeanne's blog, it's not that I don't want "my message" out there. And it's neither that I don't want to share. But:

1. my stuff is out there, and if people are interested in the subject(s) of my blog, they can find it;

2. I prefer to keep my right to decide whom I want to share with, and in which context my stuff is going to be published, reserved;

3. I have a full time job, a social life, and, apart from blogging, another time consuming hobby: my own horse. I don't feel up to entering into a continuous collaboration like this;

4. my blogs are sort of a sanctuary for me, and I want them to remain that. Independent, free from any obligations. While a collaboration with a site like Wellsphere inevitably would be an obligation;

5. my intuition says: "Don't." And one of the most important things crisis has taught me, is to trust my intuition.

So, I reacted to the e-mail, as I usually do react to this kind of e-mails: not at all. Which resulted in another e-mail, received today - note the last sentence:


Hi Marian,

We are excited to recognize you in our new YES, WE CARE! Campaign that honors everyday heroes, like you, who put themselves on the front lines in the quest for a healthier, happier world by spending their time and putting their hearts and souls into helping others in need. We’re particularly excited to have this chance to honor you, for dedicating your time and writing to help people improve their health and well-being. We've nominated YOU as one of our Everyday Heroes! 
As part of the YES, WE CARE! Campaign, we are creating a special video to highlight some of the amazing stories we’ve heard that demonstrate that caring for others is alive and well today all over the world. We would love to include YOUR story in the video! If you would like to send us a short video (cell phone or webcams are just fine!) about what moved you to start your blog, or to share a moving story of caring that you were involved in or heard about, we’d be happy to include it in the video. You can also interview someone you think is an Everyday Hero, or tell their story. Please keep the length of your video between 20 seconds and 2 minutes. The video can be very casual and definitely does NOT need to be professional or polished - just be yourself! 
Please send us the video ASAP, and no later than Sunday, October 19th. 
We can't wait to see your videos and are looking forward to recognizing you and other Everyday Heroes you know for your extraordinary contribution to the world!

To submit your video, send us your video as an attachment via email to If you would like to send a video directly from your cell phone, just email me at and I'll send you the cell phone number you can send a video-text message to.

Good health!

Geoffrey Rutledge MD, PhD
Chief Medical Information Officer
If you prefer not to receive updates from Wellsphere, please just reply to this e-mail with “Unsubscribe updates"

Obviously, at Wellsphere, not reacting to their e-mails equals to subscribing to updates. At least, with the best will in the world I can't recall ever to have subscribed to any updates from Wellsphere directly. Now you can call me hysterical if you like, but in my opinion this is both aggressive and intrusive. I now will have to react, and reply in order to unsubscribe.

In regard to #2 in my above list of reasons not to join Wellsphere, I today came across a blogger who is part of the Wellsphere community. A woman who identifies as suffering from "clinical depression" and "ADHD", and advocates mental health screening... I like the idea, that I would work together (???) with someone who has nothing but HURRAY!!!s for crap like "The National Depression Screening Day" - "If you are at all curious, please take an hour out of your busy schedule and get screened." - and, if not from "clinical Depression" nor "ADHD", anyway suffers from the delusion, that "ADHD" would be a neurological disorder. Just follow the link in the post and get "refreshed" about "ADHD"... One has to draw the line somewhere.

I wonder, did those guys at Wellsphere actually read my blog?? I guess not.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Soteria San Francisco 1972

A 15-minute documentary about Soteria House, filmed mostly on location in 1972.

Soteria San Francisco 1972

In my mind, if these hippie undergrads can cure schizophrenia, than anybody with courage and a big enough heart can do the same! -bipolarorwakingup, comment on YouTube.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Emergencies I

Some time ago, a friend told me about an incident on a Danish discussion forum, more precisely: at the forum's chat room. A guy announced, that he would take his life, right there, while being online. Everyone of course got extremely upset, and everything was tried to find out who he was, where he lived. I don't know, if they succeeded. Of course, the idea was to call the police, make them check up on him, and, in case, get him admitted/committed.

Each time I hear about situations like this, if it's about suicide or someone "just" going "manic"/"psychotic", it seems people's first reaction is to call the cops, or get the person to an ER at the rate of knots.

It was the mid-eighties, I was in my twenties, studying at Munich, living downtown where I rented a room at a woman's, G.'s, apartment, at the mezzanine. It was about 11pm. I sat in the kitchen, contemplating a rather early retreat, since I had an early class next day, and I was dog-tired. G. was out that night, and wasn't expected to come home before the next day. The doorbell rang. 'Now?' I thought, 'Nope, sorry.' A few moments later, I heard a woman shout G.'s name in the street, right under the kitchen window. Three times, and I went to the window: "Hey there, what's up? G.'s not home," I reached to say before I realized the confused and terrified expression on the young woman's face, and added: "But you can come in and have a cup of tea, if you like." She liked.

We talked a bit, or, more like: she talked, I listened, before I asked her her name. "S." I'd heard that name mentioned a few times before, in context with the term "schizophrenia". The term didn't mean much to me. I'd read some Jung, some Alice Miller, that kind of stuff. But I had no idea about psychiatry's definition of the term. Actually, I hadn't much of an idea about psychiatry at all. So, basically, the only thing I had at hand to relate to was S. herself.

We sat and talked for about a couple of hours. She was obviously agitated, talked fast, and a little incoherently every now and then, but nonetheless perfectly intelligible. I offered her to stay and crash on G.'s sofa, which she accepted, so I equipped her with a pillow and a blanket, and went to my own room. Mistake. Ten minutes later, she popped up at my bedside - or: mattress side, that is - telling me, she thought, she was the phone, or some kind of medium at least. The word "rubbish" immediately crossed my mind, and although a 'No, not rubbish at all!' also crossed my mind at the same time, I reached to say it: "Rubbish." Second mistake. Luckily, she wasn't offended, and I suggested some more tea and talk. We passed the phone on our way to the kitchen. I gave it a glance, and thought: 'Never. That would be the ultimate betrayal.' No mistake.

We spent about an hour more at the kitchen table, talking. I made my third mistake in asking about her father when talking about her family, which resulted in some "word salad". Obviously the core problem. Her father. I can only guess... Well, I changed subject, and, voilà, no more "word salad".

Eventually, we went to sleep again. This time I stayed at her bed- or: sofa side, until I was sure, she was asleep. She was quite all right the next day, and went home.

We kept in touch for a while afterwards, then I moved and lost contact.

What really maddened - and saddened - me, was G.'s reaction, when I told her about what had happened. G. was one of the "enlightened" ones. Reading the Tao, the I Ching, Jung and stuff. And she hardly ever touched as much as an Aspirin herself, since she considered all drugs to be poison. Which they are. Nevertheless, this is what she said: "Oh no! She's such a pain in the behind! She's got pills at home, but won't take them. It's entirely her own fault. I don't want to get involved!" I didn't know anything particular about the "pills" either at that time. What I knew was that pills impossibly could be the right answer to S.'s problems. Especially not when you're oh so enlightened. So much for G. being "enlightened".

And why is it not at all rubbish, if someone thinks s/he's the phone, or a medium of a kind? Because if you've never been allowed to establish a language of your own, if your own emotions and thoughts consequently were denied by others, while you were told what to feel and think by these others, then, at some point, all you feel and think is others' emotions and thoughts, and you become a medium through which these others feel and think. You become the phone, others talk through.

Applies just as well to believing thoughts are put into one's head. They are. In the dim and distant past. Or believing others can read your thoughts. If the person someone was most dependent on, apparently could, why would other people not be able to?

The term "schizophrenia" still doesn't mean a lot to me. I experienced S., a couple of others, and I experienced myself. What I experienced wasn't "schizophrenia", not "insanity". It was, the circumstances taken into account, absolutely reasonable and sane confusion, terror and anger.

For Sylvia

Supertramp - The Logical Song

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Gaderummet - from "a space in the street" to a space in the street

Although Gaderummet's case is far from settled in court, the picture in my sidebar will be history on Friday, October 10th. Since the past weekend, the young people at Gaderummet have been busy packing all their goods and chattels, and moving them out - into the street. Gaderummet has not yet found a new place to be in, and on Friday they have to leave the building at Rådmandsgade 60 in Copenhagen. About 40 young homeless people will, once again, be without shelter. They're collecting tents and sleeping bags to establish a, hopefully, temporary "space in the street" literally in the street.

All I can say is: my heartfelt congratulations to Mayor Mikkel Warming and the Municipality of Copenhagen for showing such a thorough lack of reason, accountability, and human decency.

The pictures in this post are taken by my friend, peace, environment and social justice activist, Pia Qu. You can see the whole series here.

Graffiti at Gaderummet - also this will soon be history.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Maybe it's in my genes??

I'm sure, I have a typewriter-computer-keyboard-pen-and-paper-gene...

Monday, 6 October 2008

An overdue book

In a recent blog entry, Ron Unger asks if anyone knows about a book for people with mental health problems on how to "manage" their family. Personally, I don't know of any such book. I only know about tons of books for families on how to manage their "mentally ill" offspring, and I think, a book for people with mental health issues on "managing" their family is overdue, and I hope, it will be written, as Ron's blog entry suggests it may be.

I myself am in the - as I choose to see it - lucky position, that my parents both died quite a long time ago, before it became clear that I had "mental health issues" that would require professional intervention, and that the only family I have left are some French(wo)men, whom I've never had any contact with.

In one of my first therapy sessions, my therapist asked about the whereabouts of my parents - of course the ulterior motive was to get them involved. (Or maybe that was just my "paranoia", instantly smelling a rat?? I don't think so.) My immediate, (survival-) instinctive, and not at all thought out reaction was panic - to put it mildly - followed by an enormous relief when I, after some seconds, that seemed to last an eternity, spent in terror, recalled, that they were dead, and thus couldn't be involved at all. Phew!!!

I've pondered a few times over how my folks probably would have reacted. There's no doubt whatsoever, that my mother would have welcomed the opportunity to re-establish a relationship where I would have been totally dependent on her. When I was in my twenties, she once said, she thought it a good idea if she could keep me under her surveillance and completely cut off from the outside world for at least a couple of years, so she could put my screwed up head straight. Not that this was the only time, she'd say stuff like that. But it was probably the clearest statement on how she saw things, she ever made. - And the system seriously suggests it's all biological??? No what the system's polemics call "bad parenting" involved??? I just wonder.

So, that she abstained from asking me to see a professional certainly wasn't because she didn't realize something was wrong. But, unfortunately (for her - luckily for me) she wasn't aware that a more and more purely biological model was about to be adopted by the mental health system during the '80ies. The thought, that she might be blamed, kept her from seeking professional help on my behalf. "Freud" was a naughty word at our house. She would have loved the biological model! A potential NAMI-mother. Without doubt.

My father... I don't know. I never really knew that man, although he lived at our house, and was married to my mother.

And how did I "manage" this mother-terrorist long-term? Well, I withdrew, to my safe-places, both inside and outside myself, to Munich, and eventually to Denmark. The geographical cure - that didn't work out, not even when she died, since the problem remains the same, as long as it isn't addressed directly.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Living Now

Did I just say, I probably wouldn't post for a few more days? Uhm, well, I came across this video, ten minutes ago. Really like it. I guess, the peace and calm about it is exactly what I need right now. And it's just so true.

Living Now


This is all I have to offer for now and probably for some few more days ahead. I just finished a major piece on Loren Mosher and Soteria, both virtually unknown in Denmark, for my Danish blog, that turned out not only to be enormously time and energy consuming, but also somewhat emotionally challenging. Especially since the "colonized" are on the streets again these days, demanding more hospital beds... - Will they ever get it?? - I met one of the less colonized the other day. He started fishing, but, 'no, sorry, don't count on me as long as you want hospital beds'. It's a tragedy. It's literally the (colonized) inmates running the asylums. This is how Don Quijote must have felt...