What an interesting connection you bring up between the imposed isolation due to Covid-19 and the isolation individuals who struggle with their mental health experience daily.
When we discuss the place for the chronic mentally ill in our city is not uncommon to hear opinions colored by all sorts of feelings. It is a mix of suspicion, curiosity and sometimes a bit of compassion that can be quickly put off by terror stories and turn into hatred.
Lacanian Psychoanalysis highlighted that is the hatred toward the unknown in the Other, the hatred toward the way the Other enjoys (which ultimately points to the intolerance of our own jouissance) the most general form of prejudice. Even though many people are willing to recognize the Other’s differences from afar, it is a different story when they live next door, when they inhabit the shared spaces of our town. Borrowing the verses* of the Brazilian singer Caetano Veloso : “When I faced you face-to-face and didn’t see my face… I called what I saw bad taste, bad taste… Is that Narcissus finds ugly what is not a mirror…”
The chronically mentally ill often encounter this type of prejudice in their neighborhoods, parks, institutions, workplace, and public spaces… Because they do not enjoy as we do, their otherness can become quite intolerable. However, such discomfort is not even a fraction of the existential threat they can experience with our demands for them to act “normal”.
I wonder if in our “Space City”, so skilled in interacting with planets and stars that are light-years away, we could also look beyond our mirrors and listen what the other has to say. I believe that by challenging our own supposed knowledge we can let ourselves to be taught and maybe allow something new to appear.
The MendCenter was already a “Place to be me”, I hope “My Say” can open the doors of this place into the social bond, to favor links and new creations. Thanks for opening this platform!
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