Angela floss Profile picture
Sep 14, 2018 12 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Imagine an experiment. You take a healthy person and put them in a bed. You tell them they’re not allowed to sit or stand up, at all. If they do, the next day they will be strapped to electrocution devices to stimulate pain, and keep awake long past exhaustion without knowing—
when they’ll be allowed to sleep. They will also have to cancel/ miss out on any activities they had scheduled for the next five days. They’re not allowed to move around too much, if they do, the above applies: Electrocution and sleep deprivation for an indefinite amount of time.
I wonder what they’d do, how they’d feel.
If you wanted to get cruel and unusual, you’d give the problems they were unable to fix. Leave their pet stuck outside the door but they can’t get up to open it. Let them run out of food when there’s more in the fridge, but they can’t get to it.
My favourite: spill a packet of salt in their bed but they’re only allowed to brush at it to remove it 8 times, or the electrocution.

Make them choose: visit from a friend? Yes = sleep deprivation, electrocution and future solitary confinement.
To mix it up, create ambiguity & inconsistency in the punishment, vary the duration & severity in an only vaguely discernible (but mostly erratic) pattern. Mix up the timing. Respond a week later. Allow them to do a small action 10 times, on the 11th time, abruptly punish them.
When they start to scramble wildly to try and discern the pattern, look at them like they’re crazy. Tell them to stop googling. Offer them antidepressants. Better yet, tell them to just move through the pain, and stop focussing on it.
The possibilities for punishments to enforce the restriction are endless. Make the room burning hot, then freezing cold. Drench the bed while they’re sleeping. Feed them laxatives. Take away their favourite foods. Startle them. Mix it up.
It’s unfathomable, but say we extend the experiment for weeks, or years. Keep it the same, or make it worse over time. Maybe stop for a short while, a day, a week, so the person thinks it’s over.

Then start again.
The human being is remarkably resilient, capable of adapting and fortifying itself under almost any circumstances, and capable of hope & joy, in spite of immense suffering.
To an outsider looking in... How could such a person answer the question ‘how are you?’

What could they possibly say?

The whole thing just defies belief.

#ruok #RUOKDay #MECFS
The inspiration for these tweets came after I forgot to ask my carer for more papertowel and wetwipes before they left for the night, then spilt food on myself. This made me wonder how an ordinary person would cope waiting overnight to be able to wash themself. #reallife

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