Afraid Of Myself


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175 in stock


By Initially NO

ISBN: 978-1-78382-125-9
Published: 2014
Pages: 157
Key Themes: Mental Health, Poetry, Fear, Psychiatry


Fear, fear of not being good enough, of not being likeable enough can mean a person compromises their own sense for another and derails their own logic. Once that happens, then there’s further reason to be afraid of yourself when the psychiatric system gives labels: mentally ill, sick, wrong, paranoid, delusional, schizophrenic, disease, deterioration… The psychiatrist then insists that you agree that you are all those things that make you afraid of yourself and that you take drugs that you may well be very allergic to, as the author of this book is.

That system of punishment for symbology, abstraction and parallel thoughts, isn’t comforting, doesn’t love, doesn’t appreciate, does not enable. Validation, support, open discussion, understanding… those things work far better. But recovery is a slow and hard journey. For this author, it’s been 14 years of voices and other unusual sensory experiences.

This book of poems is in five parts and takes the reader on a journey of how the author carries transgenational protest; fights unwittingly, then knowingly, gets crushed then tries fighting in a parallel dimension, then is able to connect with people who show love and appreciate what she has to say.

The poetry explores the landscape of dreams and nightmares, that took hold of the author while in a waking state. So pressing it was to her mind, to acknowledge the distress that society was and still is attempting to bury, that her mind attempted to find a symbolic way of explaining the truth.

Unfortunately, even this was denied support, so her mind kept trying to go further and further into the abyss of imagination, to dig up a way to describe what was going on, in a way that might be acceptable. This effort, only made things worse, because she had no one who anchored her to a consensual reality. We all need that, especially when we’ve had to confront monsters that threaten and harm and don’t seem to make sense. Attempting to make sense of such monsters, really requires that we have support, or we get swallowed in our attempts and our outrage gets called a monster, a wrong, a sickness.

The author eventually finds support and gains her the ability to speak and be understood, to throw away manacling labels and escape further fear of herself, sectioning and mandates. This book finishes on the pivotal point where reasoning starts to clear and sense can be seen.

About the Author

Initially NO was born in 1972, the year the Australian government got the troops out of Vietnam. When Gough Whitlam was sacked by the England’s appointed man, many Australians worried that there would be a civil war and stocked up on weaponry.

The family initially NO was born into was not into fighting, they went to a bushland commune and lived a self-sustaining environmentally forward thinking life-style for half a decade or so. That part of the earth, Yalam Baluk, has a welcoming vibe to Initially NO whenever she visits. It is a part of the earth that grew her, an environment that let her in on secrets of safety and taste, nutrition and collective earth thinking.

It is not always easy for those brought up differently to adjust to a society that is dismissing and demanding of conformity. Parents can get stressed when they’re not supported, then they’re marginalised and abused, and this in turn affects the children, who then have to look after the parent’s needs rather than being allowed to develop their own sense of self and negotiate peers. Understanding this, Initially NO has made a long journey of adjusting to a society that was volatile to her opinions, to a society that condemned voice-hearing as ‘illness’, when really it was more about Transgenerational protest, dealing with sexism, environmentalism, racism, psychiatrism, abuse and alienation.

Finding support in her society, being finally allowed to speak about psychiatric abuse, Initially NO is feeling less discombobulated by the grief of alienation. She is allowing herself to feel angry at the denial, shaming, blaming and fear driven propaganda that surrounds her. She is lucky to have a good understanding of automatic art, so she can express her feelings effectively and easily and make product out of this. She is lucky she has a government that gave her a loan to pay for a Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing. She is doubly lucky that her government gave her another loan to pay for a Diploma in Transpersonal Art Therapy. She has a huge debt, but she has the skills and techniques to communicate with other professionals in an acceptable style, her protest and theory of mind, that is innovative, progressive and really needs to be heard.

Book Extract

Holy medicine

They indoctrinate you
By saying that unless
You understand the need
For their kind of religion
And their rituals
You will be kept longer
In their custody.
The restraint on you
Will be increased
The more you resist
Their belief system.
So do not fight.
They break you down
By slandering you
While they drug you.
They are above the law.
They are allowed by law.
They are doing
The community a service
They say, by keeping things at bay
That might get out of hand.
They rule by fear
That propagates in papers
To warn the population
What might happen if
They didn’t do what they do.
Eventually the patient/prisoners
Get broken down
And agree to everything
Their goodly keepers say.
Then it is time
To allow the indoctrinated
Out of the hospital/prison,
Into the world, for
Parole/Treatment Order,
Where they will practice
What has been preached,
With the threat still there
That if they stray
From the rules again
And stop the religious rituals
They will be detained again
So they can be educated
Into submitting to their betters
Judgemental righteous schemes.


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