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There is nothing that inspires revenge, vindictiveness, vengefulness, use what term you will, as much as being made to feel powerless.

At one point, Will was diagnosed by the Ray Graham psychologist as having  “intermittent explosive disorder”. The definition for this disorder says that those afflicted with it react “out of proportion” to events or individuals; that they exhibit rage over seemingly minor events.

I was intrigued by this. Will’s clinical file, I noticed, mentioned the “trigger event” for one such episode, but failed to mention the numerous, complicated events leading up to the trigger event. When taken as a whole, his outburst – while not helpful – was hardly “out of proportion”. He felt his independence was being threatened, and surely that is a significantly powerful trigger for most of us?
Talking to Will about these events shed more light. There was a pattern, I noticed. The Ray Graham staff would attempt to keep him in, or return him to, a dependent situation. He’d resist. They’d persist. He’d react, and they’d use his reaction – his anger – to get him on psychotropic drugs, to document his irrationality and his inability to cope with normal stress. He persistently refused to take the drugs, and eventually refused to see their “in house” therapist, who was also a member of their Board of Directors, an ethically “iffy” situation at best (although he was keen to seek therapy for the issues he wanted to address, on the “outside”, as he would phrase it).

His roommate, the elderly “Mike”, had become ill and required a stay in a rehab facility after hospitalization. Mike was also his landlord. It wasn’t long before Ray Graham staff approached Will to paint a bleak scenario. Mike might not be able to return to the condo. In that event, Will would need to return to the “group home”, the hated “Sunrise Courts”. Will, who’d made it clear to me that he would not live in such a place ever again, regardless of what his other options were (and he cited both homelessness and suicide as preferable) did not take such threats – and that’s what they were, for certainly the Ray Graham staff were aware of his feelings – lightly. Will’s eventual response, after repeated threats, was to pick up a couch and toss it. Naturally, an “incident” report followed and more pressure to deal with his “anger management problem” via drugs.

But that incident was, as I said, part of a pattern. Will’s independence was persistently threatened by Ray Graham staff, who represented an organization that would profit financially from moving Will (or any “client”) to a more highly supervised and less independent living situation.
“I fought back.  They didn’t like that..” – William Thanet French  .” –


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