Tag Archives: death cw


Assumptions to be Challenged

•Seclusion and restraints are therapeutic

•Seclusion and restraints keep people safe

•Seclusion and restraints are not meant to be punishment

•Staff know how to recognize potentially violent situations

[Facts About Seclusion and Restraint]

•Seclusion and restraints are not therapeutic. There is actually no evidence-based research that supports the idea that restraints are therapeutic.

•Seclusion and restraints do not keep people safe. The harm is well documented; not only the physical harm, but also the emotional and mental harm. Restraints actually harm and can cause death. Broken bones and cardiopulmonary complications are associated with the use of seclusion and restraint (FDA, 1992; NYS OMH, 1994).

•Even though most staff would say that seclusion and restraints are not used as punishment, 60-75 percent of consumers view it as punishment for refusal to take meds or participate in programs.

•Holzworth and Wills, 1999, conducted research on nurses’ decisions based on clinical cues with respect to patients’ agitation, self-harm, inclinations to assault others, and destruction of property. Nurses agreed only 22 percent of the time on what constituted a violent situation. The longer nurses have worked in mental health positively correlates with greater consistency in determining potentially violent situations. 

•In 1998, the Hartford Courant completed a series of investigative reports concerning the use of seclusion and restraints and found an alarming number of deaths. The majority of deaths related to seclusion and restraint are a result of asphyxiation or cardiac-related issues.

•Even more disturbing was that many of the deaths were unreported. Few States require the reporting and investigation of a death in a private or State psychiatric facility. The Harvard Center for Risk Analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health estimated that the annual number of deaths range from 50 to 150 per year—which translates into one to three deaths every week (Weiss, 1998)

from Roadmap to Seclusion and Restraint Free Mental Health






I have long said that in order for any comedy to truly succeed as a story, there has to be meat beneath the jokes. There has to be that moment when it is not funny any more.

This. This is that moment.

#honestly even though this is one of the best scripts there ever has been  #that is the greatest line  #it’s /groundbreaking/ in terms of how it frames vengeance quests; temptation beats; inigo as a comedic figure throughout the movie  #you know because this is a happy book (film) that inigo will get his revenge  #but will he get JUSTICE  #will he get ABSOLUTION  #will he get CATHARSIS  #those are the things we don’t know  #and that line sells it more than any of the previous scene (x)


well now I’m crying


Okay okay somebody already pointed out the way the chorus from Billy Elliot’s “Once We Were Kings” can go really well with the amis if you take it symbolically but I want to ramble about it anyway:

We walk proudly, and we walk strong
All together we will go as one
The ground is empty and cold as hell
But we all go together when we go.

And they did go proudly, with their jibes at the cannon and their remarks about those who did not join them and their choices to lift up wounded soldiers and their crossed arms as they said “Shoot me”

And they did go strong, with “Long live the future” and leaps into gaps and daring bullet runs

But more importantly, they went as one. Believing in the same future, holding fast to the same hope, fighting by each other’s sides, staying to the bitter end.

The ground that will hold their bodies on the morrow? Those graves are empty now, awaiting their sacrifice, their planted seed. And though they march towards heaven, the way is cold as hell as the warmth of their blood seeps out.

But they all go together when they go. They go enacting the fraternity that they believe will soon permeate the world. Death is lonely, but even the last of them is not alone. The very last act of the revolutionaries is a taking of hands.

We will go down but our heads are proud
We will go down with our voices loud
We will go down, but come again
And we all go together when we go.

They go down with their eyes firmly fixed on the future—staring down guns, gazing up to heaven, smiling at the one who has just proclaimed himself one of them. Their heads are proud, even as they bow in death.

And their voices? Long live the future, long live the Republic, I am one of them. But their voice is something greater than that. It is the voice of the sacrifice itself, and we are still hearing that voice. 

We will go down, but come again. Here day embraces night, and says: I will die with you, and you will be born again with me. Into the shadow, that is, toward the light. There is eternity in just causes. And the call to death is a call to resurrection.

And we all go together when we go.






my night manager (who is a gay man) and i sometimes sit down and exchange stories and tidbits about our sexuality and our experiences in the queer cultural enclave. and tonight he and i were talking about the AIDS epidemic. he’s about 50 years old. talking to him about it really hit me hard. like, at one point i commented, “yeah, i’ve heard that every gay person who lived through the epidemic knew at least 2 or 3 people who died,” and he was like “2 or 3? if you went to any bar in manhattan from 1980 to 1990, you knew at least two or three dozen. and if you worked at gay men’s health crisis, you knew hundreds.” and he just listed off so many of his friends who died from it, people who he knew personally and for years. and he even said he has no idea how he made it out alive.

it was really interesting because he said before the aids epidemic, being gay was almost cool. like, it was really becoming accepted. but aids forced everyone back in the closet. it destroyed friendships, relationships, so many cultural centers closed down over it. it basically obliterated all of the progress that queer people had made in the past 50 years.

and like, it’s weird to me, and what i brought to the conversation (i really couldn’t say much though, i was speechless mostly) was like, it’s so weird to me that there’s no continuity in our history? like, aids literally destroyed an entire generation of queer people and our culture. and when you think about it, we are really the first generation of queer people after the aids epidemic. but like, when does anyone our age (16-28 i guess?) ever really talk about aids in terms of the history of queer people? like it’s almost totally forgotten. but it was so huge. imagine that. like, dozens of your friends just dropping dead around you, and you had no idea why, no idea how, and no idea if you would be the next person to die. and it wasn’t a quick death. you would waste away for months and become emaciated and then, eventually, die. and i know it’s kinda sophomoric to suggest this, but like, imagine that happening today with blogs and the internet? like people would just disappear off your tumblr, facebook, instagram, etc. and eventually you’d find out from someone “oh yeah, they and four of their friends died from aids.”

so idk. it was really moving to hear it from someone who experienced it firsthand. and that’s the outrageous thing – every queer person you meet over the age of, what, 40? has a story to tell about aids. every time you see a queer person over the age of 40, you know they had friends who died of aids. so idk, i feel like we as the first generation of queer people coming out of the epidemic really have a responsibility to do justice to the history of aids, and we haven’t been doing a very good job of it.

Younger than 40.

I’m 36. I came out in 1995, 20 years ago. My girlfriend and I started volunteering at the local AIDS support agency, basically just to meet gay adults and meet people who maybe had it together a little better than our classmates. The antiretrovirals were out by then, but all they were doing yet was slowing things down. AIDS was still a death sentence.

The agency had a bunch of different services, and we did a lot of things helping out there, from bagging up canned goods from a food drive to sorting condoms by expiration date to peer safer sex education. But we both sewed, so… we both ended up helping people with Quilt panels for their beloved dead.

Do the young queers coming up know about the Quilt? If you want history, my darlings, there it is. They started it in 1985. When someone died, his loved ones would get together and make a quilt panel, 3’x6’, the size of a grave. They were works of art, many of them. Even the simplest, just pieces of fabric with messages of loved scrawled in permanent ink, were so beautiful and so sad.

They sewed them together in groups of 8 to form a panel. By the 90s, huge chunks of it were traveling the country all the time. They’d get an exhibition hall or a gym or park or whatever in your area, and lay out the blocks, all over the ground with paths between them, so you could walk around and see them. And at all times, there was someone reading. Reading off the names of the dead. There was this huge long list, of people whose names were in the Quilt, and people would volunteer to just read them aloud in shifts.

HIV- people would come in to work on panels, too, of course, but most of the people we were helping were dying themselves. The first time someone I’d worked closely with died, it was my first semester away at college. I caught the Greyhound home for his funeral in the beautiful, tiny, old church in the old downtown, with the bells. I’d helped him with his partner’s panel. Before I went back to school, I left supplies to be used for his, since I couldn’t be there to sew a stitch. I lost track of a lot of the people I knew there, busy with college and then plunged into my first really serious depressive cycle. I have no idea who, of all the people I knew, lived for how long.

The Quilt, by the way, weighs more than 54 tons, and has over 96,000 names. At that, it represents maybe 20% of the people who died of AIDS in the US alone.

There were many trans women dying, too, btw. Don’t forget them. (Cis queer women did die of AIDS, too, but in far smaller numbers.) Life was and is incredibly hard for trans women, especially TWOC. Pushed out to live on the streets young, or unable to get legal work, they were (and are) often forced into sex work of the most dangerous kinds, a really good way to get HIV at the time. Those for whom life was not quite so bad often found homes in the gay community, if they were attracted to men, and identified as drag queens, often for years before transitioning. In that situation, they were at the same risk for the virus as cis gay men.

Cis queer women, while at a much lower risk on a sexual vector, were there, too. Helping. Most of the case workers at that agency and every agency I later encountered were queer women. Queer woman cooked and cleaned and cared for the dying, and for the survivors. We held hands with those waiting for their test results. Went out on the protests, helped friends who could barely move to lie down on the steps of the hospitals that would not take them in — those were the original Die-Ins, btw, people who were literally lying down to die rather than move, who meant to die right there out in public — marched, carted the Quilt panels from place to place. Whatever our friends and brothers needed. We did what we could.

OK, that’s it, that’s all I can write. I keep crying. Go read some history. Or watch it, there are several good documentaries out there. Don’t watch fictional movies, don’t read or watch anything done by straight people, fuck them anyway, they always made it about the tragedy and noble suffering. Fuck that. Learn about the terror and the anger and the radicalism and the raw, naked grief.

I was there, though, for a tiny piece of it. And even that tiny piece of it left its stamp on me. Deep.


A visual aid: this is the Quilt from the Names Project laid out on the Washington Mall


I was born (in Australia) at the time that the first AIDS cases began to surface in the US. While I was a witness after it finally became mainstream news (mid-85), I was also a child for much of it. For me there was never really a world Before. I’m 35 now and I wanted to know and understand what happened. I have some recommendations for sources from what I’ve been reading lately:

I don’t think I can actually bring myself to read memoirs for the same reason I can’t read about the Holocaust or Stalinist Russia any more. But I have a list: 

Read or watch The Normal Heart. Read or watch Angels in America. Read The Mayor of Castro Street or watch Milk. Dallas Buyers Club has its issues but it’s also heartbreaking because the characters are exactly the politically unsavory people used to justify the lack of spending on research and treatment. It’s also an important look at the exercise of agency by those afflicted and abandoned by their government/s, how they found their own ways to survive. There’s a film of And the Band Played On but JFC it’s a mess. You need to have read the book.

Some documentaries:

Everyone should read about the history of the AIDS epidemic. Especially if you are American, especially if you are a gay American man. HIV/AIDS is not now the death sentence it once was but before antiretrovirals it was just that. It was long-incubating and a-symptomatic until, suddenly, it was not.

Read histories. Read them because reality is complex and histories attempt to elucidate that complexity. Read them because past is prologue and the past is always, in some form, present. We can’t understand here and now if we don’t know about then.

*there are just SO MANY people I want to punch in the throat.

They’ve recently digitized the Quilt as well with a map making software, I spent about three hours looking through it the other day and crying. There are parts of it that look like they were signed by someone’s peers in support and memoriam, and then you realize that the names were all written in the same writing.

That these were all names of over 20 dead people that someone knew, often it was people who’d all been members of a club or threatre group.

Here’s the link to the digitization:

As well, there are numerous people who were buried in graves without headstones, having been disenfranchised from their families.
I read this story the other day on that which went really in depth (I would warn that it highlights the efforts of a cishet woman throughout the crisis):

I’ve had several conversations recently with younger guys for whom this part of our history isn’t well known. Here are some resources for y’all. Please, take care of one another.


Updated link to the quilt



Stop sad Combeferre posts 2014

#this fucking book though#combeferre tidied his rooms and packed his things carefully before leaving for the barricade#so that his parents and landlady would have less work if the worst should happen#combeferre wrote to champollion three months before the rebellion to express his admiration and show off his own translation#champollion’s reply and congratulations arrived on june the 7th#until her dying day combeferre’s mother never understood why her son considered strangers more important than his family#and why it was that he never came home#combeferre never let himself cry in front of his patients’ families#and came home every night scared that one day keeping his eyes dry would stop being a struggle#combeferre’s youngest sister was seven when he left for paris#she doesn’t remember his face anymore but she’ll never forget the way she once made him laugh#*until he nearly cried#(thinking about it brings tears to her eyes too#but for a very different reason)#i’m sorry#i couldn’t resist#i’m an asshole#i’ll see myself out now (via kingedmundsroyalmurder)



Once upon a time there lived a little girl who read a marine biology book that also talked about the lifecycle of stars and planets, and thus realized that she was going to die, and her mommy and daddy were going to die, and her grandparents were going to die, and everyone she knew was going to die, and everyone who lived was going to die. Being just 4, she didn’t realize that 5 billion years is a very long time, time enough for the fullness of human life. She was utterly terrified, and went to her mommy to see what she’d have to say about this. What her mommy had to say about this was “don’t be silly” and “stop reading books for grownups” – advice that obviously discouraged our little girl, whose only friends were books for grownups, from investigating further into her mother’s plans for the impending apocalypse. She then asked the neighborhood elderly ladies about it, but they cared more about religion than Hertzsprung-Russell diagrams and told her that she was right in her fears, people can die at any time, even at night while sleeping, so be good at all times or you won’t go to Heaven. Confirmed in both her worries and her emerging suspicion that adults give no thought and have no solution for any problem that’s truly important, our little girl faced mortality all alone. Every night, when her mommy turned the light off, she’d stare into the black and try to stay awake for as long as possible, so that if the sun went nova that night, she’d have a bit more life to take with her in the forever dark. And every night, she’d eventually sink into the depths of sleep.

There are some who say the little girl grew up into a gigantic anglerfish who lived in the hadean dark where next to nothing lives and hungered for the slightest taste of warmth and heat and life – which she tried to get by sending the luminescent, astronaut-shaped tip of its antenna into the upper world, where it could travel far and wide and find sustenance – be it books or astronomy or music or lifethreatening experiences or the love of the rare sailor who sees a bright girl in a spacesuit floating in the sea, thinks her fascinating and doesn’t let the pulsing tube of blood vessels heading from between her shoulderblades into the depths stop them from caring for her or wanting to help. Problem is, the first four are measly fare, human mouths can never eat enough to fill leviathan stomachs, and while the sailors were fascinating and warm and both fish and bait loved them deeply, the situation would come to an impasse since bait wanted to run off with them and sail the stars (which she couldn’t do, on account of having no heart of her own and sharing a circulatory system with the fish) whereas fish, being a fish and half-starved, couldn’t always resist trying to have a bite – which didn’t sit well with anyone, especially the sailors.

There are some who say little girls grow up to be women, and should a woman’s heart reside at the bottom of the sea inside a giant fish all spikes and scales, it’s her responsibility to take good care of said fish, and rather than try to eat for two ensure the sea is rich enough in life that enough nutrients descend to the hadean level, and also go visit more often than when the fish has had enough and drags her back to the bottom. The way is long and difficult, as descents in the Underworld invariably are, but submarines exist and she and fish can build a better one than the Communist-era nuclear one with failing shielding they got from their mother. And once she’s unclogged the hydrothermal vents and warmed the place and the local ecosystem right up, she and fish can actually spend some non-emergency time together. They can share the books and music they both so love, and she can tell fish what she’s been building on the surface, and how the stars look this season, and fish can show her the strangeness and the phosphorescence at the places where life was first born, and lovers can visit without worrying about getting bitten.

And there are those who say that distance is strange in this world, strange enough that a heart can hold depth and  surface, hydrothermal vents and far away stars, shining astronauts and deep sea fish and mothers and sailors, and what growing up means is the growing realization of this – the healing and the building and the knowing and the exploring. I don’t know much about this. To be true, my senses don’t reach here yet, my maps lack even the dragons. If I wrote the above in experience, I write this in words and the trust that there’s magic enough in my guts and the marrow of my bones to make them someday ring true.