Editors note: Much of this post came from a comment previously published on MadInAmerica.com. The comment was by Marian Goldstein. Because comment copyright ownership is still a matter of debate in the internet era, we’ll be glad to pull this if anyone objects.
It is my experience that whenever our immediate reaction to something is, when we say “You’re“crazy!” we’re actually dealing we’re our own craziness, a block in our own consciousness, usually produced by fear, not another person’s craziness.
We can quote studies and statistics, and understand with our rational mind, “This or that percentage of all children in any age group experience/have experienced abuse. ”So what? It’s just a number, statistics, purely rational, technical language, stripped of all emotion.
“You’re Crazy” Is about Our Fear
That’s why we can quote the numbers and statistics without putting ourselves at risk emotionally.
But real understanding doesn’t happen unless we also understand the statistics on an emotional level, unless the numbers in the statistics become real human beings, and we’ve listened to them, and overcome the block that our fear has created, allowing ourselves to feel what the words of the real human beings do to our emotions.
It’s easy to find the numbers and statistics out there. Even psychiatry itself has no big problem quoting them. It does have a huge problem when the numbers in the statistics become real human beings expressing real human emotion.
“You’re Crazy” Can Be a Compliment
When we say,“You are crazy! Incoherent! Mentally ill! Psychotic! Now, take your meds. Shut up, because we can’t deal with the emotions your words stir in us, because we can’t deal with our own pain!”
Quoting the numbers and statistics is important. But, on its own, it won’t do much. Real change will only be possible if we can allow ourselves to feel of our own pain and hurt. “Crazy?” I’d take that as a compliment.