Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A reluctant post


Had a strange dream last night about going to an Ashtanga class (Mysore-style) and being completely clueless about even the most basic of sequences. Which is ridiculous, because I'm not an Ashtanga yogi, and the thought of a Mysore class scares the shit out of me. Interesting anyway - see, Yogamum, it shows how much I actually do pay attention to you and Cody!

Getting - sadly - a little bored with practice. Coddling the knee is good, and I'm not as tight in the mornings as I usually am when I push too hard the day before. But the breathing isn't there, and the attention wavers. Since the Kest workshop is over for this year, I guess there doesn't seem to be a distinct goal in mind, i.e., don't make a complete ass of yourself.

Hopefully I'll make it to class this weekend. It's always a welcome change.

I don't like to comment on current events, as I mentioned last week. But there are some things about which I simply must write, or else they'll haunt me in the shower, in the car, and in my dreams. This is one.


Yesterday the AP reported this story about a woman who is trying to dissolve her adoption of a very troubled teenager. Here’s the story – and it’s worth reading in its entirety. The word that CNN hooked onto this morning was “bipolar.” According to their report (which lasted about fifteen seconds) the woman claims she wasn’t told about the boy’s past history of abuse and his bipolar condition. And that’s it – that’s all they say before they move onto the next headline.

What the AP story says is heartbreaking in its complexity. Turns out his history of abuse was that he had been abused. The mom had been told he was “hyperactive” and she thought his meds were for hyperactivity. She talked to a medical doctor (NOT a psych doctor, I’m guessing) and started to wean him off his meds. (Know anything about bipolars? This is Not a Good Idea.) He told her he was hearing voices. She thought it was “his conscience talking.” Eventually he abused his adopted siblings, which was enough of a crisis to prompt her to get the case managers involved again. There’s more. (Strangely enough, the details have been excised from today's version.)

And that’s the point – there’s so much more to this story than, “history of abuse – bipolar condition.” That’s what people are going to remember – that the kid was bipolar and therefore unwanted.

Thanks, CNN. The bipolar population thanks for your simplistic, sensational portrayal. I’m not saying a thing about the story itself – which I could not begin to evaluate except to cry in powerless empathy with the kid, his mom, and the kids he abused. I’m talking about the way it was reported on TV. It’s not the first time I’ve heard “bipolar” used as a new-fangled way of saying “severely fucked in the head.”

I’ve been struggling with this for nigh on my entire life, but it’s only been in the last couple of years that my own condition has been clearly diagnosed as bipolar, and that after a suicide attempt. It’s taken over a year to get the meds right. It’s taken two years to get stable, and I still have hard moments. So I’d like to thank you, CNN, once again, for equating my condition with insanity. Thanks a lot, asshats.


1 comment:

Yogamum said...

Wow, an anxiety dream about something you don't even intend to do -- that's rough! I still have those dreams all the time about college math classes.

CNN...that sucks. You're right, there are enough misconceptions out there without them making it worse. You should send them this post (leave the asshats part in!).