I’m always better when I go out. Yesterday I didn’t go out because I wanted to save money. Having just bought a month’s top up for my internet dongle I am down to £5 per day until next Wednesday, when I get my DLA.
Have I mentioned that there is a deaf lady on the ward who screams and shouts at the top of her voice? I got in in time for dinner so I wouldn’t have to spend money on food and almost as soon as I walked through the door, as I was having a conversation with one of the staff, she suddenly exploded right near me, and I just felt shock waves, as I do every time she does that. I screamed myself to let the shock out.
Going back to money, it is really hard for me having 5 hours a day off the ward when I have no home to go to. Everything I want to do is going to cost money, especially if I want to eat. If I use the free internet facility at places I feel obliged to buy something. If I was at home it would not cost me nearly so much for a cup of tea/glass of wine and a sandwich. At the moment both the housing people and the hospital are maintaining that they are waiting on each other before I can be housed. Tomorrow I have a meeting with my key nurse and the housing advocate. I hope some progress has been made.
Calling us mentally ill if we don’t believe that about ourselves is a visceral, mind-burning thing. To then have people making fun of the way you speak, clashing pots and pans at significant intervals, and competing with you for your own breathing and speaking and generally acting like pack animals is more than you should be expected to deal with. But that was what I had at dinner time. It is open season for mockery. Jess was scowling. I see them hugging and sharing the love with each other as they leave, but some of us don’t even get a real personality to speak to, let alone love. Today Linda was in the kitchen, and Liz and Luke. It appears they thought my upset was hilarious, if Luke’s reaction was anything to go by. It is war, nothing else. When dealing with people who do not recognise their right to label people that way, mental health staff are engaged in a civil war with captives they hold and torture with drugs and other forms of torment. I see their anger and sometimes I think I shouldn’t trust them and other times I think I should trust them. It isn’t going to happen though. Because I am writing this, and they are reading it. I am fully convinced, after several instances that were too close to be ‘just coincidence’, that the police are monitoring both my blog and messages I have sent via my phone a couple of times.
As I came off the ward I spoke to someone on the building staff and it was obvious from his response to me that he had no time for anything I had to say. I had thought he was a decent person, but his voice was full of derision when I spoke to him today.
There is a nurse called Vymla who has a couple of times burst out with ‘hi honey’ either to me or ‘on the telephone’ when I have been around. Something in the tone of voice made me feel it was deliberate. On the day that I was first due to be assessed for a section 3, having just a few days before discovered that I had been in hospital for nearly a month and none of my relatives knew, because although one had been nominated as closest relative, it came back in the paperwork that no one had been nominated, I was really upset because I was being given only 3 or 4 hours notice with no one knowing I was even there. Vymla opened the office door and said she was sorry she had to open the door, but I wasn’t shouting loud enough. I told her to stop being sarcastic and she said she was never sarcastic. Am I supposed to laugh at this later when things have calmed down and take it all with a pinch of salt?
I don’t think I’ve mentioned Vymla before. There is another one called Annie who comes at me with faces, it is really grotesque. One day just as I got back, when the olympics were on, she got me in a long conversation and followed every change in expression in my voice. I started doing the raise at the end of my sentences, like we have learned from Australia, and she matched me move for move.
I managed to get the first assessment for a section 3 moved to a few days after, maybe Monday where it had been Friday. They weren’t willing to give way at all until I brought out a pen and paper, then suddenly it all changed.
My last section before this one, a section 5(2) involved a Dr Singh who acted as if he was giving me the third degree. I hadn’t met him before. He said, and Liz backed him up, that I had said something I hadn’t. At that point I wished that I had legal representation and witnesses, but apparently you can’t get them for an assessment. I forgot his name part way through and asked him to remind me and he was very aggressive, demanding of me why I had forgotten his name, I shouldn’t have forgotten, I had forgotten other things as well. But I answered all of his questions correctly about the day, date, time, who is the prime minister (though I had to think about that one, I had Margaret Thatcher in my mind). What I am saying is that the assessments can be, and in my experience have been, a free space for bullying and belittling the patient when neither advocate nor solicitor is there to see. I think I should have been entitled to an advocate and I can’t remember why I didn’t have one, but as the law stands at the moment I am only entitled to a solicitor after the decision has been made to put me on a section.
Then they act as if what they have done is a perfectly normal way to behave in any relationship.
Someone recently said you don’t get any peace until they have you on drugs. It seems to me that fits my experience, that they want you on drugs, possibly it makes them feel better. I asked at one point if I could have the section 3 without the drugs, if they were worried about me leaving hospital with nowhere to go. When they get you on drugs it seems like ‘fight over’ in many ways, for them.