Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Are mothers welcome in the recovery movement?
I've been thinking a lot about the recovery movement lately. Most of my contact with it comes through the Mad In America site. I recently got into an exchange of comments on the MIA site with a person who appears not to want to hear what I had to say because I was a mother, and therefore not a person who qualifies as having "lived experience." The fact that mothers, too, have lived experience in the recovery movement is not respected in the recovery movement, I am sad to say. Many people in the movement have their own stories to tell about how their parents contributed to their problems. This particular commenter assumed because I am a mother writing about my son that I am an oppressor, an infantilizer, even a castrator, and kept pestering me to allow my son to speak for himself, which is rather a silly attack because there is nothing stopping my son from speaking for himself. He can create his own blog, get his own Twitter account and go for it. But I own my experience and I feel that mothers, too, have a place a the table, whether others in the recovery movement like it or not. Many in the more radical wing of the recovery movement do not want to hear from people who hold opinions that even occasionally differ from their own firmly entrenched view and the hit list includes parents, psychiatrists, people who accept their diagnosis, people who claim they can function on meds, people who believe that vitamins and diet cured them, people who think they have a brain disease, etc. Is the recovery movement big enough and sophisticated enough to learn from each other's lived experience?