Editorial note: some articles which were originally written in your native tongue (my case is Spanish) could be a challenge for anyone willing to translate with accuracy their contents (e.g., Spanish to English). The article entitled “Loca de Rebeldia“ (NoGracias) is certainly one example of this situation. I started the translation of this article a few weeks ago with Marc Casañas (his native tongue is also Spanish). Below you can read the translation of the full text.
We believe this article is very important to understand a reality that very few are willing to openly discuss: political abuse of psychiatry. Please feel welcome to suggest any improvement to this translation, we will appreciate your feedback a lot.
There is a theory of the origin of schizophrenia in which a person could lose their head due to the exposure during their childhood of conflicting messages transmitted by – often their mothers – or anyone who is in charge of their upbringing. An extremely protective and controlling mother continuously depriving the autonomy of their child, but at the same time she acts emotionally distant, hostile, even threatening, without offering a minimum of affection to protect the mental stability of their child. These contradicting messages – according to this theory – could provoke the loss of the child’s models of reference, confusion arises without any possible way out, an irrational mind in the adulthood is the only possible certain outcome for this individual.
It was not easy to live in a country like the Soviet Union, which was protecting by one way in the know to all “Stalin’s constitution”, of 1936, the freedom of the press, the association, the opinion, the manifestation and the conscience, but in the other way was focusing all his efforts in controlling the citizens life’s and restricting his liberties. Such double-message was creating the ideal environment for getting mad anyone. Not in vain, the URSS ranked 1st worldwide in the number of persons diagnosed with schizophrenia. But this dubious honor was not having as only cause the ambivalence of Mother Country / motherland. It was much easier to get a diagnosis of schizophrenia in the eastern side of the iron curtain. And it was not something casual, at a large extent it was more part of a political strategy/plan.
In this insane atmosphere was born Natalia Gorbanevskaya at the same year of the promulgation of the Iósif Stalin’s constitution. Lived and grew between the library’s books of her mother. She took a degree in philology, was working as a translator of polish writers and was writing poetry. Like Don Quixote, found in the stories read by Natalia to nurture for her fantasies, the fuel for her rebellion, the air of her sights of freedom. She was very sensitive and unmanageable, a daydreamer, and insolent. But, above all, Natalia hated injustice with a mad passion.
At the age of thirty she already had joined the dissent, and together with a number of his fellow was editing a samizdat “The Chronicle Of Current Events,” (clandestine magazines, self-published in a rudimentary way, about politic criticism, which was passed from hand to hand) named “actuality columns” created with the purpose was of denouncing the contradictions of the communist regime as well as the hypocrisy of their leaders.
When at the end of August 1968 the cold soviet tanks crushed the Praga’s spring, Natalia, pushing with one hand a baby carriage with his son of only 3 months of age and with the other hand hoisting a sign which beg “for our freedom and ours”, she was one of the 7 persons who assembled in the Red Square of Moscow in solidarity with Czech. Some KGB agents hurried to dissolve them; luckily Natalia was the only one who remained in freedom. Unfortunately, that joy didn’t last for a long time.
A few months later Natalia was declared crazy by a psychiatric tribunal headed by the sinister Dr. Andrei Snezhnevsky. In the same time of year where a wave of protests was going over the four corner of the communist bloc countries, the all-powerful psychiatry relied on the theories of an entire tradition of scientist, who were holding it was not necessary to have lost sanity for being considered psychotic, for invent a new form of schizophrenia, of continuum process and slowly progressive and minor / mild intensity (sluggish squizofrenia in English, vyalotekushchaya shizofreniya in Russian) characterized, inter alia, strangely, by the same qualities who involved dissidents like Natalia: ‘inflexible convictions’, ‘inclination to formulate ideological formulations’, ‘originality’, ‘fight for the truth’, ‘perseverance’, ‘reformist wishes’, ‘conflicts with paternal or politic authority’, and ‘incapacity to adapt at the social context’.
[In 1976 the singer Joan Baez dedicated a song to Natalia Gorbanevskaya, which was converted into a symbol of resistance and courage]
Natalia was reclosed two years in a psijushka (psychiatric prison) the Serbsky Institute, walls that 44 years were used as a sit by the polemic Russian artist Pyotr Pavlensky, he was naked and brandishing a machete, a macabre performance called “Segregation”, which conclude with the mutilation of part of his right ear lobule in protest against the use of psychiatry with repressive purposes. The wall (Berlin Wall) has fallen down so many years ago, capitalism reigns around the world and the Russia of Putin is a sui generis democracy, but the peculiar form of schizophrenia continues being an assist diagnostic for label and control those rebels who dare to bother the regime, like the recent case of opponent Mikhail Kosenko.
A year before this radical act, Natalia, remembering the 45th anniversary of her impudence, came back, obstinate, to protest in the Red Square. Same as before, the pacific concentration fueled the involvement of the police.
It was her last act of rebellion. A few months later she died at her home in Paris (November 29, 2013).
Physician of persons, families and communities. Imperfect being but free. Searcher of himself. Ants in his pants. Preacher in a distant deserts. I cooperate with @polimedlabs and @nogracias, nice people every one of them. I life in Weissichtwo, province of Extrelucía. Marital status: in the rear-guard.