Burning Bridges (TW: Mental Illness, Suicide, Depression, PMDD, Emotional Abuse)

I am no longer working for the M Center as a belly dance teacher. While it is not my policy to talk shit about others–I’m a Kemetic, I do my best not to be an asshole, I am also not one to keep silent when I see misinformation that can be truly hurtful floating around, especially in regards to mental illness.

Today on Facebook, Mary, the lady who owns the M Center, posted this stupid article. To make a long story short, this supposed African shaman went to a psychiatric ward and not only did he claim that mental illness was caused not by neurotransmitters, as is proven by science, but “by a spiritual crisis that requires a shaman to be born” and that schizophrenia was caused by energy blockages.

Now, I didn’t tell HER that. I merely said that I didn’t agree due to personal experiences and felt that you need to manage mental illness with a combination of medication, therapy, diet, exercise, and spiritual coping techniques, should you be spiritually or religiously inclined.

She attacked me for disagreeing with her. I wish I was kidding. I don’t have a screencap of the entire thread, but I do have her bitchy personal attack saved. Check this out:

“lol…you guys are proving him right! All the article is pointing to is the belief that in other societies Shaman do wonderful work recognizing that there is more than science can know. The Birth of a Healer is a wonderful thing and shouldn’t be ignored and in our hyper medicated, non-spiritual, over medicated and science reliatnt society many don’t see any other way. Amanda Kali I disagree with you as I have seen mental illness and physical illness stem from a spiritual crisis. Unfortunate that your “minds” are so closed to any other possibility but the one you were fed all your lives. I’d also say…you both could use a good Shaman! lol.”

And this:

Amanda Kali I think you missed the idea of the article. Of course when one is so sure that what they believe is correct and that nothing else in the world makes sense your reaction is totally sensible. Re-read and attempt to not use your mind but see if anything in it appeals to spirit. I never, nor did the article say ever that science or biological causes are not real. Aries…just loves to argue! lol. Why don’t you stop doing that now and let those that need the information in this article attempt to get it. Thanks.”

I was fully prepared to utilize the two-response rule because it was not worth arguing with this crazy bitch when she fuckin’ PM’d me on Facebook and this conversation happened:


Mary:IF you’d like to work for me and you’d like money and PR I suggest you refrain from trying to embarrass me in public. Thanks.

Me: *thinking WTF is her problem*  I wasn’t trying to embarrass you?”

Mary: Well you did.”

Me: I just feel that as someone who does have a mental health issue it’s not fair to say it’s one thing.”

Mary:I suggest you consider where you disagree and why. I run a healing center with Reiki and herbalism as part of that as well as Spiritual Counselling. If you don’t agree with those modes of healing perhaps that is why you have no students. I wasn’t saying anything of the sort. It was an article. Posted for information to many of my friends who practice witchcraft, shamanism and things like Reiki.”

Me:It was never my intent to embarrass you, I was merely speaking from my own experience and from what I’ve seen with fellow friends and family members.”

Mary:Hun you aren’t the only one with problems. nor is your family and I have seen these things work for mine.”

Mary:you are wayyyy too young yet to be so sure of what you know.”

Mary:I’d suggest you be quiet and learn for a while.”

Me: *thinking omg wtf STFU I AM SO DONE WITH YOUR BULLSHIT* I have no doubt they work, but if you disagree with my point of view, then perhaps we should part ways.

Mary: “Fine with me! Good luck if that’s what you want. You’d cut off your nose to spite your face then eh?”

Me: *thinking WTF IS HER PROBLEM GODDDAMN* No, I just feel our POVs are incompatible and it’s obviously not working out

Mary: “LMFAO ok honey. I have another belly dance teacher all lined up. I wish you luck with your stubborn sure ways of knowing everything at what???? 22 years old. lol”

Me: *thinking bitch, I’m 28, go fuck yourself* “Good luck to your M Center, I have nothing against it and I wish you well. Have a wonderful afternoon!”

Mary:and I guess Phil will be happy to hear any plans we had for his working with us will have ended as well. Oh and no help for your adoption cause either. You need some healing little one. So sorry you are so in pain. I hope you find it. One day you will learn to get out of your mind, into your body and spirit too and that day you will find success…”

Me:Leave Phil and Love Wanted out of it. I’m sorry that you were offended and I I wish your center nothing but the best. Cheers!”

Mary:I will leave Phil out of it. Jay was looking forward to working with him, and paying him. He would have had a lot of contacts come out of this association. I wasn’t offended at all btw. I just don’t think you read the article and don’t think you thought before you wrote. I hope you see this as a lesson. I will never do anything to harm you or yours or your work. However, since we have parted ways there is no reason for us to have an association with Phil or the other work you do. I wish you the best on you path. I hope you find healing Namaste.”

Me: *thinking y’all motherfuckers need science* Good luck to you as well.

I am still so angry. Look, I have nothing against someone wanting to incporporate spiritual methods to help them manage their mental illness, but to say we need to toss out fuckin’ SCIENCE  for some woo-woo bullshit is not something I can tolerate nor stay silent against.

I suffer from PMDD, migraines, anxiety, and depression. I’ve flirted with suicidal ideation. I was NOT having a spiritual crisis; I have fucked-up brain chemistry.

I loathe both the stigma and the romanticization of mental illness. My issues are not a way for you to prove your shamanic woo-woo bullshit and I am not crazy. You wouldn’t pull any of this bullshit on someone who has asthma, or cancer, or allergies, would you? No! So why all of this bullshit surrounding mental illness? It’s a disease that often has a genetic component, much like how my hearing loss is genetic. No more and no less.

I also found the article to be quite offensive because aside from my own personal experiences, I’ve seen mental illness and dysfunctional family issues destroy my family. It’s not pretty, and no, my emotionally abusive mother was not feeling spiritually blocked and no, my schizo-affective Aunt is not in need of a fucking shaman.

It’s also destroyed my boyfriend’s family. I don’t talk about it much, but his biological grandmother murdered his mother’s half-siblings.

His Aunt Lori, his mom’s only surviving sibling ALMOST DIED. Her mother slowly poisoned her oldest child, and one night shot her second two oldest kids. Lori only survived because her mother ran out of bullets and Lori started to cry.

My boyfriend’s mother was born in a mental institution and we don’t know who her father is.

She reunited with her sister on Dr. Phil and had to learn about her tragic and fucked-up family history ON AIR. 

Don’t believe me? Here’s a clip:

Tell my boyfriend, his Aunt, and his mother that they lost their relatives because their biological grand/mother “had a spiritual crisis.”

Tell his Aunt that all the shit she went through after finding this out was just because her biological mother needed a shaman.

Try it. I dare you.

So yea, needless to say, I am fucking furious and I wanted to warn everyone. If you are against both stigmatizing and romanticizing mental illness, then stay far, far away from the M Center.

It’s not worth your time or your money, trust me, there’s better places to support that don’t sweep mental illness under the rug.



About The She Wolf

Amanda: Belly dancer. Feminist. Writer. Geek. Book nerd. Pagan.
This entry was posted in belly dance, Feminism, Paganism, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Burning Bridges (TW: Mental Illness, Suicide, Depression, PMDD, Emotional Abuse)

  1. Sugar Free Mountain Biking says:

    Can’t agree enough on this, I’m lucky my friends with spiritual beliefs are fairly sensible and look to try a medical solution before resorting to any belief based assistance. We’re mostly Thelemites with a bit of general pagan thrown in.

    Hope things turn out well with the dancing and work.

    • The She Wolf says:

      Thank you! I am the same way–everything in moderation. I feel that you need a good, healthy balance of medication, therapy, working out, and if you desire, belief-based assistance. I hate causing more drama, but misinformation about mental illness is one of the fastest ways to piss me off, for the reasons why I described in the post.

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