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Why I Live Beyond the DisUnited States of America

Why I Live Beyond the DisUnited States of America

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Published by Anthony St. John
DisUnited States of America
DisUnited States of America

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Published by: Anthony St. John on Jun 28, 2014
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08/27/2014

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Why I Live Beyond the DisUnited States of Northamerica 
he philosophical psychiatrist, R D Laing, was endowed with immense courage, visionand vigour, and by reason of his unique skills made valuable contributions topsychiatry and caused to come to be events which startled and disrupted long-established analysts of the mind. Laing was a member of that mental health infantry squadroncarrying out a mission meant to clear the way for the main body of troops. His insights intoschiophrenia, the world!s most debilitating mental disease, will never be forgotten.
 "
Like many illustrious warriors favoured with superhuman eminence, Laing!s first #umps, off the high board into the murky pools of the unconscious, neurosis and psychosis, were belly flops. Heroic in nature, Laing did not return home from battle after his preliminary overthrows. He climbed up far above the ground again, lunged, cut through gloomy waters,and touched bottom where he scraped his skin and bruised his bones yet more. He went back again and again and again and persevered, until his death, searching for something new in thetreatment of mental patients.$rom page %&' to %&( in
Self and Other
, Laing!s masterpiece, he talks about a little boy of five who runs to his mother holding a big fat worm in his hand, and says, )*ommy, look what abig fat worm + have got. he says, )ou are filthy/away and clean yourself immediately.  "he mother!s response to the boy is an e0ample of what Ruesch 1%2345 has called a )tangentialresponse. +n terms of the boy!s feeling, the mother!s response is at a tangent. he does notsay, )6h, yes, what a lovely worm. he does not say, )7hat a filthy worm/you mustn!ttouch worms like that8 throw it away. +n this response there is a failure to endorse what theboy is
doing.
 9 state of transitory confusion, an0iety or guilt might be generated in him.:ateson, ;ackson, Haley and 7eakland in their article, )"oward a "heory of chiophrenia,
Behavioural Science
1%23<5, discuss this condition and term it the )double-bind pattern. 9ccording to the authors, the likelihood of such a configuration e0ists when these si0 elementsare present= two or more persons8 repeated e0perience of the state of affairs8 a primary negative in#unction= )Do not do this. + will punish you if you do8 a secondary in#unctionconflicting with the first at a more abstract level, and like the first, enforced by punishment orsignals which threaten survival= a negative gesture, a tone of voice, a posture, etc8 a tertiary negative in#unction prohibiting the victim from escaping from the field= false promises of devotion, affection or love8 and, the absence of these constituents when the victim learns thathis or her universe is composed of, essentially, double-bind patterns. "he victims, in this scenario, are caught in a mesh of contradiction between two conclusionsand they cannot decide how to act or react rationally. He or she cannot make a sane choice. "he prey is deceived and, to survive, must mislead others to protect himself or herself. "hey learn to re#ect what is genuine, and lay blame on what is unreal or real ridiculing as immature
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 what might in fact be responsible. >ersons trapped in this double-bind pattern cannotestablish a sensation of genuineness with another human being. hen + pranced home from ?ietnam in 9ugust %2<4, + began to en#oy one of themost beautiful times of my life= + had made it home successfully--alive@ + was inone piece and had not been seriously wounded or maimed@ + had read seventy-twobooks in ?ietnam where + had not wasted one moment@ ?ietnam had not brought me to thenightmares of mental instability, and if people want to say + am )cray nonetheless, + tellthem + was the way + am long before my tour in outheast 9sia@ Aood comes from :ad8 :adcomes from Aood. >erhaps the most fortuitous souvenir/what + cherish the most/that +hold from the horrible twelve months + passed in the Bentral Highlands with the nowflakeDivision near the Bambodian and Laotian borders 1>leiku, Contum and Dak "o5, and in theBhu Lai and *y Lai locales of the 9merical!s area of operations, is this= *y life had beenthreatened so many times that when + came back to ew ork and set off to unwind so as tobecome a normal person all over again, + was so e0ultant that the tension of combat had beeneliminated, + stayed in a secret state of euphoria for months. 9nd from that day, + have valuedmy life the more/certainly much more because it had been put in #eopardy by elementsbeyond the e0pectations of my own wishes.
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 "here were a couple of )7elcome Home from the 7ar gestures from relatives and friends,and +!ll never forget the doorman at the Esse0 House who greeted me with a )7elcome home,Lieutenant, gave me my room number, saluted me, and pointed the way to where + found acomplimentary bottle of champagne and a bowl of fruit. 9fter a pair of weeks passed by, +)escaped to $lorida. + had to get out of ew ork and + followed my plan, formulated in ?ietnam, to do so. + did not really comprehend at that time why + had to break away from my much-loved ew ork. + would understand later on.+t did not take me long to gather that + had achieved the status of having a new unsavoury reputation= ?ietnam ?eteran. +n fact, my relatives were the first to hint to me that my serviceto my country was of dubious make-up. + was told, flat out= )"he 9rmy screwed you, youshould screw the 9rmy@ + was dumbfounded when it was suggested that + fake back pain, goto a ?9 hospital, and obtain a lifelong disability check@ + think it was this mind-set whichinstigated in me the predisposition to reflect at that time upon the level-headedness of theFnited tates of 9merica/and quite seriously so. + had to know why my fellow countrymenand women thought they deserved to have their cake and eat it, too@ 9nd + wanted to know  why + was being wedged into a double bind state of being.6utside of closed social circles, ?ietnam was not a sub#ect habitually broached with ?ietnam veterans, accordingly + had to rummage around the mass media and, in particular, political#ournals and other outlets of enlightenment which replicated the thoughts of my confreres. +speculated that, in the %2<&s and %2G&s, about si0ty percent of my fellows disapproved of  what + represented because + )killed babies, and forty percent approved of me for doing so. 9n outlandish emotional rift. "he fact of the matter is that + did not kill in ?ietnam. + state this unequivocally and to thebest of my knowledge. + soldiered as an artillery %%2 and even though defective pro#ectilesand inaccurate maps frequently complicated, to an inordinate degree, our missions as +
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)humped with the grunts on the battlefield, +, personally, cannot refer to an incident in which+ was involved killing people with artillery or any other armament. + heard that one erraticartillery shell had slayed nine 9merican soldiers because the $ire Direction 6fficer hadconfused an )4 with a )8 moreover, on my first day out to the field in close pro0imity to the$ourth Division :ase Bamp, we were )attacked by a volley of our own %33mm rounds whichset our company into such a state of terror and turmoil that, to my utter amaement, it causedone grunt to fall to the ground/in the foetal position, his *-%< discarded/praying withrosary beads wrapped through his fingers.
What had I done to merit this lunacy? 
 "he folly did not terminate there for me. ears later + would hear on B that during the ?ietnam )7ar an almost G&I of Fnited tates! military personnel were killed or maimed in ?ietnam by mines, and that 2&I of these armaments were F military ordnance@ 9nd + canbelieve it. 7henever + was transferred to a different artillery unit, + came into the red leg foldasking= )7hat!s the dud rate hereJ &IJ (&IJ 3&IJ +t is certainly true that e0ceptionalmeteorological )tricky situations compromised the accuracy of our $DB calculations, yet noone can deny that the haste/it makes waste/to #oin in on the economic boom 1rememberthe %2<' recessionJ5 which e0emplified the ?ietnam )7ar, caused pro#ectiles to bemanufactured with substandard worth. 7hen these rounds were converted into booby trapsby our clever enemy, the results could be sordid. 9s an artillery battalion liaison officer flying  with the infantry battalion B6 in his BKB Huey, we often swooped down to a grunt brokeninto pieces by a booby trap, and then *ED+?9Bed him to the nearest field hospital wheremaintenance crews hosed off the blood on the helicopter!s floor before we were able to returnfor more.  "he *y Lai area was notorious for the percentage of booby traps it secreted. +magine. ouare marching with your buddy through rice paddies when, in a flash, you see him go flying  with members of his body slashed or gone astray. ou can!t find a way to embrace a fondaffection for the ?ietnam people8 and, you have to be a finicky person not to want to seek outa vendetta. ineteen-year-olds cannot be depended upon to discriminate #udiciously especially  when under pressure. 1+ was a university graduate, with a degree in philosophy, and it was hardenough for me to weigh up at times these niceties, but not even a ten-star general could haveordered me to kill women and children and old folk/even in a ditch.5 + have no condolencesfor Lieutenant Balley because all of us/arriving in-country/read and
signed that we read
theAeneva Bonvention and division memos instructing us how to treat prisoners of war and ?ietnamese nationals. "he Fnited tates! government and the Fnited tates 9rmy commanded us to behave in one way 1B9= Bover our 9ss@5, and when we did not, they turned their backs on what was dishonourable and not above-board making out of the ?ietnam conflict something that it unquestionably was not= a righteous initiative, one to besatisfied about supporting. 9 double bind state of mindJ $or the ?ietnam veteran this forked tonguing was remarkably crass when he or she returnedhome to the Fnited tates. "hey knew very well the shenanigans that had gone on in ?ietnam, and to be thought of as a loser in a war which 9mericans did not cheer on but madeprofit of by benefiting from the business enveloping it, was truly more than a let-down. ome veterans could not bear the rebuff that awaited them and they blew away their minds andbodies, or their schioid fellow citiens, in tragic acts of violence. "he history of the ?ietnam veteran is well-documented, but + have never seen price estimates for the heart-rending 
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