Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Living in a Fractured System

On the lower left of this painting are the words: 'Don't ask us to live in the cracks of the system'.  Yet that is exactly what is expected of people living with a mental illness in today's society.

What you can't see in this photo is the taser wire from when I was shot with a taser gun in my own home.

My home was filled with people I didn't know, my advocate had left.  The police had come and insisted I go to the hospital because an involuntary commitment had been issued.  I had no choice and they had no choice.  They wanted to get it over with.  I needed time, I told them this is my life we're dealing with.

I never raised my voice or became combative, I was trying to wrap my mind around going to a place I knew I wouldn't come out of because of my history.  They wouldn't listen to the options I was giving them.  I turned my back and faced my art table and suddenly I was grabbed from behind by a policeman and an emt.  I was frightened by the sudden assault and grabbed what I could.  It was a small palette knife from my table.  They had my arms out stretched and I was completely restrained.  I could do nothing to help myself.

Suddenly someone yelled there is something in her hand. I was released and pushed back, I looked up just in time to see the policeman shoot me with the taser gun.  I never felt so much pain.  I couldn't breath and I thought my heart would explode.  I was then insulted, handcuffed and charged with assault and battery upon a police officer.  I was charged and dragged through criminal court.

The only reason I grabbed the palette knife was because of my traumatic history, I was frightened from being assaulted from behind. It was pure instinct to protect myself, there was no intent to hurt anyone.  I never waved it or raised it at anyone but that was put in the report to justify shooting me.

Life goes on and this past week through Dance in the Rain I put on an art event called Mindset it feature my art and another artist.  We brought together the mentally ill peer community , the mental health community and the community at large to view some thought provoking art and perhaps help rethink their views on the mentally ill, mental illness and recovery.

Below is the video I made from the event from pictures my friend took.


1 comment:

Shazeel Parwaz said...
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