Lies and Confabulations

I wrote this post in June of 2015 when Rachel Dolezal was in the news.

Rachel Dolezal is the White woman who claims that she is African-American.

When I read Rachel Dolezal’s story I wondered if she dissociates.

What if Rachel Dolezal she believes that she is African-American, and if  she does, she’s not lying.

When is a lie not a lie?

When it is a confabulation.

Confabulation is defined as the spontaneous production of false memories: either memories for events that never occurred, or memories of real events that are displaced in space or time. These memories may be elaborate and detailed. Some may be obviously bizarre, as a memory of a ride in an alien spaceship; others are quite mundane, as a memory of having eggs for breakfast, so that only a close family member can confirm that the memory is in fact false.

 

Confabulation is not lying and people who confabulate are not deliberately trying to mislead other people. In fact, patients are generally quite unaware that their memories are inaccurate, and they may argue strenuously that they are telling the truth. Neither should confabulation be confused with false memory syndrome, the phenomenon whereby otherwise normal people suddenly “remember” supposedly repressed incidents of childhood abuse or other trauma. Confabulation is a clinical syndrome resulting from injury to the brain.  Memory Loss Online

The primary function of the brain is the survival of the organism.

To that end, the brain will use all of its resources.

I did a Google search for Rachel Dolezal and got pages of outraged commentary along with video of her recent interview with Matt Lauer.

This was the second hit: The Nightly Show Goes in on “Crazypants White Lady” Rachel Dolezal.

Crazypants is a descriptive word that means weird or insane, not insane in the sense that it means cool as in crazy cool or that’s totally insane! Crazypants means insane as in a mental illness.  The Urban Dictionary

Crazypants is an N-Word for people with mental illness

This was the third hit: Rachel Dolezal’s parents: We taught our kids ‘always be honest’

Dolezal’s parents on TODAY denied charges they were abusive parents, calling the claims a “dramatic change” to what they knew of Rachel growing up, who always wanted to introduce them to her friends.

“We still hold out hope that we’ll be able to be reconciled someday,” Lawrence Dolezal said.

His wife added, “And we hope that Rachel will get the help that she needs to deal with her identity issues. Of course we love her, and we hope that she will come to a place where she knows and believes and speaks the truth.”

They say they were not abusive and they hope that she gets help with her identity.

How curious.

I decided to experiment and Googled Rachel Dolezal Abuse.

The first hit: Rachel Dolezal’s brother, author Joshua Dolezal, faces trial for alleged sexual abuse of a black child

Within that story is this nugget: Hours after their daughter told NBC’s “Today” show that she identifies as black, Rachel Dolezal’s white parents went on Fox News to dispute several elements of her interview. For starters, Ruthanne Dolezal told the cable news channel that her 37-year-old daughter’s claim that she self-identified as black starting at a very young age is a “fabrication.”

Rachel Dolezal told “Today’s” Matt Lauer that as a young child, she “was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon and the black curly hair. That was how I was portraying myself.”

The 37-year-old said she began to identify with the black experience at age five.

Her parents went on Fox News to accuse their daughter of fabricating the way she remembers her childhood drawings.

Did you show everything you drew as a child to your parents?

image of a child with a caption that reads there was no one to tell and no place to hide
There is no safety for children with abusive parents-Image found on Pinterest

This is where the story becomes painfully familiar:

According to reports, Rachel Dolezal’s biological brother raped an adopted sibling:

“In 2013, Joshua was charged with four felony counts of sex abuse of a minor. The incidents, according to an affidavit obtained by the Post, happened at his parents’ home in Colorado “in 2001 or 2002.” The victim “was 6 or 7 years old,” and Joshua Dolezal was “19 years older.” Dolezal allegedly made the victim perform oral sex on him twice and he performed oral sex on the victim “7 or 8” times, allegedly telling the victim “Don’t tell anyone or I’ll hurt you.” The affidavit also lists another allegation of abuse in 1991 of another victim that had a racial element.”

According to a police report obtained by People, the alleged victim told Ruthanne that Josh was abusing her, but Ruthanne “did not believe her and told her to stop telling lies.”

Joshua is an English professor at Central College in Pella, Iowa.

The same article describes the family from Joshua Dolezal’s autobiography, Down from the Mountaintop: from Belief to Belonging:

“Joshua Dolezal watches his mother praying while listening to his father read an entire chapter of the Bible before dinner, “as is customary.”

“Down from the Mountaintop chronicles a quest for belonging. Raised in northwestern Montana by Pentecostal homesteaders whose twenty-year experiment in subsistence living was closely tied to their faith, Joshua Dolezal experienced a childhood marked equally by his parents’ quest for spiritual transcendence and the surrounding Rocky Mountain landscape.” WorldCat

When I read Joshua Dolezal’s author comments, I felt that something terrible must have happened to him as well:

“From my earliest school days, when I wore handmade clothes to kindergarten and carried a fringed leather lunch satchel, I knew that my childhood experience in the mountains of Montana was different from everyone else’s. I write essays as experiments in explanation, efforts to make what was and is foreign in my life comprehensible, maybe even familiar, to a reader. In Down from the Mountaintop, like many memoirists, I try to make sense of my past.” Iowa Center for the Book

“What was and is foreign in my life.”

That’s an odd choice of words.

In an interview, Rachel Dolezal’s Mother states that the sibling that Joshua Dolezal is accused of abusing suffers from Reactive Attachment Disorder:

“… A condition in which a child can’t bond with a parent or caregiver, and “seeks to cause trouble in the family.”

She goes on to say she never left the child alone with her son.

“The aligning with Rachel on this is a very bad combination,” she says. “Our son wasn’t even home a lot of the time it was alleged it was happening,” she says, “and I was a stay-at-home mother and very attentive to the kids because of her disorder. I never left her at home with our son or anything like that.” People.

Why would Ruthanne Dolezal be that specific?

Why insinuate that the child is “disordered” and “out to make trouble”?

She says she was a stay at home Mom and attentive to all the kids because of this one child’s “disorder.”

She never left the child at home with her Son.  Why?

Why does she describe the child as aligning with Rachel?

It all sounds so damned familiar because these were the kind of lies told
in my family.

The strategies survivors use to survive seem normal to us; even the act of becoming a different race is normal and possible for an abused child of five with an active imagination.

“Alters within the same patient may be of different ages, genders, races, and even species, including lobsters, ducks, and gorillas. There have even been reported alters of unicorns, Mr. Spock of Star Trek, God, the bride of Satan, and Madonna. Moreover, some practitioner’s claim that alters can be identified by distinct characteristics, including distinct handwriting, voice patterns, eyeglass prescriptions, and allergies. Proponents of the idea of multiple personalities have also performed controlled studies of biological differences among alters, revealing that they may differ in respiration rate, brain-wave patterns and skin conductance, the last being an accepted measure of arousal.” The Scientific American

If I told you my name is Mateo and I am a Black, would you call me a lying crazypants?

Probably.

It sounds to me as if Rachel and Josh Dolezal are trying to make sense of a past that they can’t fully remember, understand, or escape.

And even if they weren’t abused as children and enjoy perfect mental health the thought of it is sad.

RG 2015-2017

 

 

 

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Fear of a Liberal Planet: Did You Know that Hillary Clinton has a Mental Health Plan?

356368-mentally-ill-people-were-imprisoned-in-2012
Do you know that Hillary Clinton has a Mental Health Plan?

in 2012:

• Approximately 20 % of state prisoners and 21 % of local jail detainees have a “recent history”
of a mental health condition.

• Approximately 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness and an estimated 46% live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders.

• In 2012, it was estimated that 23.1 million Americans needed treatment for problems that related to drugs or alcohol.

• Pew Research finds that 67% of Americans say that the government should focus more on providing treatment for those who use illegal drugs such as heroin or cocaine. Just 26% think the government’s focus should be on prosecuting users of such hard drugs.

Brave New Films

Did You Know that Hillary Clinton has a Mental Health Plan?

Lot’s of people don’t.

You’d think Matt Lauer would ask about it when he got the chance:

LAUER: The word “judgment” has been used a lot around you, Secretary Clinton, over the last year-and-a-half, and in particular concerning your use of your personal e-mail and server to communicate while you were secretary of state. You’ve said it’s a mistake.

CLINTON: Mm-hmm.

LAUER: You said you made not the best choice. You were communicating on highly sensitive topics. Why wasn’t it more than a mistake? Why wasn’t it disqualifying, if you want to be commander-in- chief?

And later:

LAUER: But Director Comey also said this after reviewing all the information. He said there is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.

Lauer then shifts to Clinton’s vote in Iraq.

She’s already said she believed Bush was telling the truth.

Lot’s of people believed GWB was telling the truth:

“Well, [President Bush] has either got to do something or not do something, perhaps. Because perhaps [he] shouldn’t be doing it yet and perhaps we should be waiting for the United Nations, you know. He’s under a lot of pressure. He’s, I think he’s doing a very good job.”

The invasion of Iraq began on March 20, 2003. One day later, Trump praised the effort during another interview with Fox News. “[It] looks like a tremendous success from a military standpoint and I think this is really nothing compared to what you’re gonna see after the war is over. . . . I think Wall Street’s just gonna go up like a rocket,” Donald Trump,  Washington Post

Art by Rob Goldstein
Let’s get this straight: Hillary Clinton’s mistakes with her email has no impact on the quality of our lives.

Did you know the last candidate for President to discuss mental illness was John Kennedy?

John Kennedy saw the future and he called it The New Frontier.

It was a New Frontier of opportunities produced by emerging technologies.

Kennedy described this New Frontier in his 1960 acceptance speech at the
Democratic National Convention:

“The New Frontier is here whether we seek it or not. Beyond that frontier are uncharted areas of
science and space, unsolved problems of peace and war, unconquered problems of ignorance and prejudice, unanswered questions of poverty and surplus.

In explaining what he means he echos Abraham Lincoln:

Can a nation organized and governed such as ours endure?

That is the real question.

Have we the nerve and the will?

Can we carry through in an age where we will witness not only new breakthroughs in weapons
of destruction, but also a race for mastery of the sky and the rain, the ocean and the tides, the
far side of space, and the inside of men’s minds?

That is the question of the New Frontier.

That is the choice our nation must make — a choice that lies not merely between two men or two parties, but between the public interest and private comfort, between national greatness and national decline, between the fresh air of progress and the stale, dank atmosphere of “normalcy,” between dedication or mediocrity.

All mankind waits upon our decision. A whole world looks to see what we shall do. And we cannot fail that trust. And we cannot fail to try.

John Kennedy, The New Frontier, July 15, 1960

And look where we are now:

Art by Rob Goldstein
It’s as if Dorothy Dix had never lived. The GOP dragged the mentally ill back to the early 1800’s.

The election of our President and our representatives in Congress is matter of life and death for
billions of people.

Hillary Clinton is no John Kennedy and that’s OK..

The times demand a President who is willing to work hard.

And Kennedy’s vision shapes hers:

“Every generation of Americans has come together to make our country freer, fairer, and stronger.

None of us can do it alone. I know that at a time when so much seems to be pulling us apart, it can be hard to imagine how we’ll ever pull together again

But I’m here to tell you tonight — progress is possible”

The tragedy of our age is that we define ‘progress’ as a return to the kind of government our grandparents elected to have.

It’s been so long since a political leader has discussed the obvious failure of our Nation’s Mental Health System NAMI considers Clinton’s proposal groundbreaking.

its-ground-breaking

Clinton’s Mental Health Program will:

Promote early diagnosis and intervention, including launching a national initiative for suicide prevention.

Integrate our nation’s mental and physical health care systems so that health care delivery focuses on the “whole person,” and significantly enhance community-based treatment

Improve criminal justice outcomes by training law enforcement officers in crisis intervention, and prioritizing treatment over jail for non-violent, low-level offenders.

Enforce mental health parity to the full extent of the law. Improve access to housing and job opportunities Invest in brain and behavioral research and developing safe and effective
treatments.

Clinton’s program is not as comprehensive as the Community Mental Health System
dismantled by GOP tax cuts,  but it’s a start.

Those of us on the receiving end of this nation’s barbaric treatment of the mentally ill
need your vote this year.

Let’s get this straight: Hillary Clinton’s mistakes with her email have no impact on the quality of our lives.

Were the Republican Party not so debased as to use false allegations of misconduct for political gain we would not be discussing her email at all.

If you don’t think your vote counts remember that but for a few votes our government might not have closed down State Hospitals, shut down community mental health, cut funding for treatment and rehabilitation, closed community colleges,  privatized our medical system, privatized our prison system, or invaded the Nation of Iraq.

Please, if you support Mental Health Reform, re-blog and spread the word: Hillary has a Mental
Health Plan.

Below is a film from Brave New Films.

Unlike Matt lauer and his Commander-in-Chief Forum, this film is relevant to the quality
of our lives:

Rob Goldstein 2016


 

 

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