Monday, May 11, 2009

Silence is a Prison.

Context for the protest.
This is my very first blog and it is dedicated to an other first in my life - the series of protests I am doing outside Friends Psychiatric Hospital (near Adams Ave. and Roosevelt Blvd.) I am protesting the physical and psychological abuse that I was subjected to more than four years ago by Friends Hospital staff (including nurses and doctors). The abuse was not the behavior of one or two rogue staff members, but it was a systematic and methodological abuse carried out in collusion and with deliberate intent. The abuse started out psychological (such as the staff yelling unnecessarily and being kept in the waiting room for close to 20 hours) and progressed to the very physical; culminating in having tubes down my throat, up my nose, and in my urinary tract. As a result, I ended up in Frankford Hospital E.R. and had to be hospitalized for four days while I recovered. I will not go any further into the details of the abuse presently, as it is very lengthy to go into and painfully difficult to write about, but I am currently working on documenting the incident as well as I can and I will ultimately provide a hyperlink for my readers to fully read about the incident. This blog is directed more to the purpose of documenting my protest.

Protest Goals and Procedure.
I will say foremost that my protest does not include any scenarios of public disturbance. At no point do I plan on trespassing onto F.H. (Friends Hospital) property or engaging in conflict oriented behavior, and will ask all supporters to follow the same standard of conduct. So what then will my protest consist of? It is more of a 100 day observance; both a remembrance of the abuse that once took place and a reminder of the abuse that many others are still experiencing - it is an opportunity for me to begin speaking out (after four years of silence) to the world at large. For a hundred consecutive days (an hour or more per day), I plan on carrying out my protest. Like I mentioned, I will not be on F.H. property or physically interfere with their operations in any way. There is a time and context for civil disobedience, but this is not it. I make that point especially clear precisely because I am a most ardent believer in civil disobedience, when carried out intelligently and responsibly. Society could not have made the progress it did if it were not for those who challenged the inertia of countless brutal customs through the deliberate and reflective practice of civil disobedience. However, my protest will consist simply of standing with my sign that reads 'I Was Abused At Friends Hospital'. I will be on the North bound median on the Roosevelt Blvd. in front of the F.H. premises. I have no intention (for now) to organize a public protest. If any one wants to stop by for a few minutes and show their support, that's fine. There is a time for everything of course and hopefully there will come a time when the public conscience is roused to action and demands change.

Thanks for reading.


  1. I saw you out there on Monday- May 18th. I started to think about a few people who I know went to friends, and although I agree that there situations warranted them to be there, I wonder if they were treated fairly? Were they also abused? I'm sure you are not the only one! I respect your courage and your effort. Don't back out and don't allow yourself to be intimidated enough to back out. I'm sure you have a lot more supporters out there who won't take a few minutes to get on here and let you are not alone!! So on behalf of them and myself, keep going!!!

  2. Thanks. I truly appreciate your support. You were also the first to comment. I was beginning to wonder if anyone even reads this. Thanks for letting me know that I am not alone. Change such as the one I am hoping for cannot be the work of any single individual; we must all work towards it.

  3. My daughter was hospitalized briefly 3 times last year for her violence and self-destructiveness. I always hated to visit her as I felt like she was exposed to so much more than she needed to be.

    On the other side, the only way to get change is by doing what you are doing. I support you in this 100% and hope that you get what you need.

  4. Mina, thanks for your comment. I hope you will consider alternatives for your daughter other than psychiatry. The dangers of taking anti psychotics over long periods of time are very serious (both for the mind and the body). Please email me and I will give you more information if you are interested. Thanks for your support.

  5. I found you through Mindfreedom (who I found through the Icarus Project). My boyfriend is currently at Friends. While he hasn't been through what you have, he certainly has suffered indignities that nobody should have to deal with. Admissions was a nightmare and he feels coherced into signing himself in. All he wanted was to get CBH outpatient services, but now he is being doped up and warehoused, and wasting everyone's time.

    We are scared, confused and lost within the mess that is Philly's public healthcare system.

  6. Hi, I'm so sorry for what you and your boyfriend are going through. Thanks for your courage to speak out about your situation. No one deserves to be 'doped and warehoused' against their will. Do not wait until thing get worse for you and your boyfriend. Please get in touch with mindfreedom to see if they can assist you in any way or provide you with some advice. The longer this persists the more the individual gets trapped within the system. Please contact me via email: and I will try my best to help. I hope everything works out okay.

  7. Civil, conscientious disobedience is something that the Quakers highly approve of.