About that Integrity Thing


I promise you, everything you read here is true and not contaminated by any politics.  Nobody controls or influences what I print.

There was one attempt to compromise me by psychiatrist Dr. Peter Breggin and his wife and administrator, Ginger Breggin, for their Center for Study of Empathic Therapy, Education & Living.  The Breggin’s had discovered my blog, “Behind the Locked Doors of Inpatient Psychiatry,” and publicly declared me to be wonderful.  So wonderful, in fact, that they invited me to come and work with them.  I was to produce and direct a page on their website that would tell the stories of people damaged by psychiatry, and I would be covered by their tax-free status and have other benefits, although no income from my work–just association with their great name.

Then Ginger directed me to not accept the Wikipedia link to Peter Breggin but link to his web site when I mentioned him in my blog.  We are all self-serving little beasts when we write about ourselves and I thought that Wikipedia was more impartial and objective, which is what I wanted to give my readers, so I did not link to Peter’s web site.  Then Peter called me and directed me to change something I’d written in my blog.  I was powerfully offended.  This was me, writing in my own blog, as I had been doing since before I’d ever heard of the Breggins.  This was me doing what had attracted the Breggins in the first place.

If I had been writing on Peter Breggin’s web site then arguably he would have had the right to direct me to change something but this was me, writing on my own blog.  I proposed to Peter that if he disagreed with something I had written then he should send a comment and I would post it, in the same manner that he would write a letter to the editor of the New York Times if they published something with which he disagreed.  He did not do this.

Consequently, the Breggins decided not to anoint me as director of survivors’ services.  They needed to control me and I was not willing to trade my integrity for a place in their organization.  I write the truth as I see it, without influence from any source.  You can trust that.

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About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
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