Mental health charities – the tail wagging the dog?

I joined a new mental health forum which is run by one of the large mental health charities. I’ve posted a few times, shoved some photos on there and chatted to a few people. Shortly after joining the thing that makes me grit my teeth about these places happened. It wasn’t anything huge but, it’s the kind of thing that really makes me wonder if mental health forums purely for those with mental health problems are wise though I find the ones where families, friends and professional people are can be problematic too.

I’m quite a clear cut person I think. When I’m ill you know about it. I don’t speak about the extremities with people I’m not entirely comfortable with, those are reserved for the people I trust absolutely but I do talk about being mentally ill. It’s important to me that the people I meet when I’m well, who accept me in that wellness, know that behind that wellness is an illness that devastates my life but that the core being remains. When I’m well I waffle on aimlessly and it’s good for me to do this. I find it enjoyable though I’m sure I really piss people off at times. Whatever state I’m in though there are no hidden and secret messages in what I say.

I’d made a post on the mental health forum to say I was tired and there would be probably tear and tantrums as I had a lot to do. Someone replied presuming I was frustrated and pressuring myself. I wasn’t frustrated I was merely saying what was in my head at that moment. I clarified my statement already feeling a bit ratty with this person and their reply was a little indignant. It felt like I’d said “look at those dust atoms” and someone had thought I’d found a pile of dust and they’d immediately built it into a molehill and were more than ready to convert it into a mountain at a moments notice.

Another person responded to one of my innocuous waffles in a manner that ordered me to do something. My response was short and to the point. I was told off and it was intimated that I had to swallow rude and abusive behaviour whilst the other person was basically patted on the head. So it seems that rudeness is tolerated in some people but a natural but polite defensiveness is criticised in others. If the face fits eh?

This makes me irritated, feel misunderstood and less than comfortable about using the site. I don’t like people trying to second guess me. It’s not possible so don’t start. I have a mental health problem, a big one, but this does not make me mentally ill. I am not unable to cope with everyday things right now. I’m in a good space, I’ve worked hard to get here and I’m working hard to stay here. It is important to share frustrations, hopes and problems as a well person. It is vital to emphasise that a lot of the experiences I have when I am ill are just normal experiences seen through a magnifying glass.

I’ve left the forum after less than a week. I’m an adult, I can’t see eye to eye with everyone and I won’t take rudeness on the chin just because someone else can’t resist bullying someone else. Abuse is abuse is abuse and I don’t take it from anyone.

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