Echoes of Pride’s
Goodbye walk
Inaudibly into voicelessness;
Confidence’s skin flushes;
Embattled with 
Stubborn’s confidence.

Last Stand Broken

Self Portrait
Mirror Observation
Meditation Reflections

Violence is not a mental illness.

She sat nervously on the edge of the table as he held her left arm in one hand and melodically caressed his fingers over her scars with the other hand.
Blood pressure forgotten, he averted his glance,

“Now Husband. . .”
his third person condescension
slapped past her face in the
uncomfortable silence.

(do i deck him one?)(he can stop rubbing my scars anytime now.)(is this doctor a pervert?)(please stop caressing my arm.)(i see my husband. is he going to deck him one?)(i see it in his face.)(neither one of us know what to do)(this guy is a creep.)(my thought is to leave.)(this is wrong.)(is that rude.)

“Now Husband. . .
this is the part where
you say to the doctor,

“Oh, Doctor,
my wife has a lot of problems
and is so depressed. can you help her?

(her??? i have a name.)(arrogant creep. cheap move. exaggerating yourself. yes, we see you, we know you are indeed the doctor. that is why we are here.)(am i stupid?)(what is so wrong with me?)(maybe i am the creep.)

“You are headed in the wrong direction, Doctor,”
my husband states. Connie, is not depressed.
You have it wrong. As you can see, those scars are long healed.
They were well healed when we met. We have been married for years.”

We have great psychiatrists we can send her too.

No, again, really, my wife is not depressed.
Please listen and believe me. You do not know her.
Connie does not need a psychiatrist.
You are interpreting her scars wrong,
and again you see they are long healed!
We are here because she has blood in her urine and bowel!

She probably has a small ulcer. Take some tagament. The nurse will show you out. Good Day.

When did violence become a mental illness?
And when did mental illness became the end?

The very profession I once perceived to be based in science and fact; simply was not. When did assumptions, opinion, and lack of physical examination become treatment and fact?

Did this doctor ask any questions?
No, he did not.

I could have told him about being chattel; about being human property. I could have told him about attempting to make myself ugly, so maybe I could avoid being called “pretty”; which leads to, i must have you; equating; i will have sex with you whether you like it or not because I own you.

I could have told him this also equals purposely wearing cat-pee stained clothing for the same reason.  so desperate not to hear the words, “your smell is so irresistible. . .”
so desperate to be rejected.
simply so desperate.

Story after story, experience after experience, I fought.  Does past violence effect me? Yes, certainly. I fully accept this.

~ Does that mean I am dull in intellect? ~
~ Does that negate pain? illness? ~
~ Does that mean I don’t get cancer? or the flu? ~

Violence means I learned a different way to function in the world, or did not learn as the case may be.  I quelled my experiences for so long, embarrassed.  I spoke with a professional caregiver for severely disabled adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. Training included looking for physical ailments first.  This meant when a person was acting out in some way; say grunting or vocalizing; training rules out physical first; maybe a toothache, etc.  The physical illness is ruled out before any behavioral problem is considered.

I sat wondering why is it that a person, having survived horrific violence, is stigmatized and discounted as being “hysteric” first before investigating physical illness?

Take my above experience.

I had a pain in my side for quite some time.  “Eat more fiber.  Drink more water.”  It can’t be anything, Connie, because where you are pointing, there is no anatomy.  Therefore, it can’t be anything more than radiated pain of constipation.

Even with my records in front of them, even after I state, “Where exactly were my ovaries moved?”  Even so, I hear, no.  No exam. No anything.  Except, so tell me, “how is your mood?”  I see you have had a lot of trauma.  Or any combination of the like.

In the end, after near collapse in Home Depot, it was indeed a mass on my ovary.”  The mass was impinging on my other organs; intestine, kidney.

Guess where my ovary was?  

Yes, in the exact spot the doctor said, “Connie, there is no anatomy there.”  After I asked to reference my records as to where my ovaries were moved.
Thankfully, it turned out not to be the return of my previous cancer and instead a benign tumor.  (If you want to read more about it, you can read the story:  Killing Fields a.k.a. Contemplating Humor Part I)

I begged for my life as property.
I will not beg for my life now.

Violence is not a mental illness,
And, mental illness is not the end!

As frustrating as these experiences are.  As unfair, unjust, and ridiculous as it is.  Is this right?  No.  Not even close.  Does it change anything?  No, it does not.

The only thing I can change is myself.  I looked at the community I lived in.  The ratio of doctors to patients is astronomically high.  We had a major shortage of doctors.  This in and of itself creates a problem.  Appointments are meant to be 5- 10 minutes at most.

I had a doctor once be flat honest.  Connie, my hands are tied.  Insurance will only pay for certain things.  Even if I know there is a test that would be better than regular blood-work, insurance dictates that I can only run that test if the regular blood-work shows something abnormal.  My hands are tied.

I think it is easier to blame violence.
I simply do not accept this.

paint much love, always,
Connie Karleta Sales

a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

Discover Challenge ~ Portraits

Ashen Skin, 36″ x 24″, charcoal, acrylic, ink, pastel, graphite, thread, cotton, ©CKS, 2012-13
Ashen Skin, 36″ x 24″, charcoal, acrylic, ink, pastel, graphite, thread, cotton, ©CKS, 2012-13
Posted by:Connie Karleta Sales

artist, poet, educator, public speaker and thriver! Smiles and unpaved roads are the way I roll :D