Mental Case 101 - Janice Williams Story
Janice Williams (Junco Jan) My Story- Mental Case 101
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Return Trips:
Walks on the Who, What, Where, When, and Why
Sides of Self-Identity, by a Woman Born
With Her Mind Outside Her Head

Dedication and Thanks

I hesitated before writing this dedication because there are countless people I ‘should’ list, without whom I would simply never have survived: Dr. L, so many years back, who had faith in me and who taught me the basics of ‘grounded-ness’ when I was drifting so very, very deep in space; Andrea T and others, who saved me from going ‘back out’ when I couldn’t stand ‘being in’ one last second…! The list, going back, is infinite.

But I’ll stick to the top four: Bill M, who gave me a home when I was lost, making it possible for me to begin my journey back to myself; Dr. Susan P, who talked me out of suicide more times than I can say during the darkest of darkest times; my dogs Sealegs and Moose, to whom I owe a debt of gratitude which of course goes beyond words—and last, but NEVER least, Lorne B, my beautiful, loving partner who danced his way—quietly, gracefully, joyfully, playfully, steadfastly—into my heart, spirit, soul, and terrified being, and who has ‘re-configured’ me in astonishing and absolutely unimaginable ways!

Now, on with the show!

photo credit - Lorne Berman

Janice Williams

The Mental Case 101 Story

I was born with my mind outside my head; this website contains the words and images I created in my rough-roads quest to coax it back. The website is richly illustrated, graphic, earthy, spirited, raw, inspiring, and often very funny.

Background: In childhood I was overwhelmed with horror. By my early teens, I began searching for help behind my own back. I spent decades clumsily constructing semblances of self, trying to find the answer to why I’d been born and if it was worth it. Bulimia, anorexia, drug addiction, alcoholism, poverty, repeated psychiatric hospitalizations, and unsuccessful remedies for chronic depression and anxiety dictated my days. I started being treated for Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) in my early forties, and the treatment continued for over fifteen years.

Early on in that psychiatric therapy for DID, I discovered an astonishing tool for inner connection—art! Soon after that, sadly, I became enmeshed with another ‘professional’, and saw them as well, for over twelve of those years. They ‘adopted’ me, then gutted my hard-won sense of trust with a series of brutal betrayals.

This shattered my fragile belief that life had purpose and value. When I desperately reached out for help from the larger mental health community, I learned that there was no regulation of therapists in BC. Because the person who had violated my boundaries was not registered anywhere, they could not be held to account.

A near-lethal cynicism poisoned my outlook for the next several years; searches for non-existent safe housing, coupled with the internal instability of PTSD, led to several suicide attempts. Forced to finally become my own therapist, and after losing my ability to feel safe expressing myself in ‘hands-on’ art, I began using a camera as a new tool for healing. Reclaiming trust in myself and others has taken thirteen painful years.

Because of my struggles with the unregistered therapist, I fully support efforts by FACTBC (Federation of Associations for Counselling Therapists), an organization of thousands of registered clinical counselors in BC, to bring regulation to the field of therapy.

After all those decades spent searching for a true, steady, reliable ‘sense of self’, I feel that I’m now living a life rich in love, friends, hope, achievements, laughter, and connections with my community. This website, ‘Mental Case 101’ is a record of that quest for my present authenticity, integration, ability to be intimate, to love and be loved, and my joy.

Going through my own hell of ‘lostness’, I wish I’d found this website! I’m hoping other searchers can identify with it and be inspired by it, and even laugh out loud sometimes at the absolute craziness of being this way in a world that feels filled with ‘others’! Freed from hosts of issues that kept me captive so long, I’m delighted to share my bumbling, awkward, earnest journey from chaos to the celebration of this very happy ending I’m living every day.

Works In Chronological Order

List of Writings and Books

A list of my writings and books in chronological order from before the move to my Coast home.

My Work

Tools I used to return my mind to my body

Books

Dissociative Identity Disorder and Integration

Amphlets

Books Expanding on Specific Issues

Artwork

Miscellaneous Art and Creative Expression

Photography

Local Photos Taken Over Time

News / Events / Updates

What People Are Saying...

Here is what some of my valued peers and experienced professionals have to say about my work…