[Noisebridge-discuss] Mental health professional training?
jake at spaz.org
Sun Feb 12 23:17:51 PST 2012
There is at least one person who has mental health issues which contribute
to problems, but overall I would say that most of the people who I feel
are bringing down noisebridge are not mental at all, in fact they're doing
exactly what is reasonable for their own benefit.
When one finds a place that provides a lot of needs, like shelter,
security, internet, a fridge and kitchen, and sometimes a place to sleep,
one is wise to behave in a way that doesn't jeopardize ones chances of
using that place. Usually that means acting friendly and avoiding social
mistakes which can cause friction.
However, the other night i encountered a very unpleasant person who was
taking a different strategy, one of dominance, to preserve his entitlement
to the space. He was talking loudly about how he was not responsible for
the actions of people he brings to the space, because everyone is
responsible for themselves.
Feeling invited to his very loud conversation, I tried to explain that
while he may not be responsible for their actions, he was still
accountable for the act of bringing people to the space and if he brought
too many people who caused trouble he might be made unwelcome himself..
but i was unable to make any of my points because he simply talked over me
and asserted himself on top of me until i gave up on trying to interact
with him. In practical terms, he won, because I was apparently not up to
the task of challenging his right to be at noisebridge.
He said that since we're avertising ourselves as open to the public, we
can't exclude anyone from the space at any time. He seemed quite
convinced of that and would not tolerate any suggestion to the contrary.
I sincerely hope he fucks off and leaves, he was really obnoxious. I can
understand why someone just wanting to hack would not want to be at
noisebridge if he were there.
But he's not crazy, he's actually being very strategic about holding onto
his ability to use noisebridge whenever he wants. Maybe if he's smart
he'll also invite other loudmouth assholes to "back him up" in case people
try to tell him he's not welcome.
I don't post here much anymore, but I noticed there has been some friction
with an unwelcome guest or two. I've seen a lot of people make various
claims about different incidents, but it seems like people still feel
scared and threatened.
I've found that when I've felt that way, reaching out to a professional
has worked for me. Would people at Noisebridge be open to inviting a
mental health professional to come and give a session teaching people what
to look for and how to handle situations when they come up?
Just a thought. It seems like a positive and productive way to help the
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