Latest Entries »

31.08.2014

My radio is playing up, it won’t transmit properly without interference unless I’m sitting still in the middle of the room or right on top of it, so I’ve been playing my way through my Napster library (yes, I’m still with Napster) to see why I downloaded the items in the first place.

I don’t normally play my music during the day, but I’ve got a few that I go to at night and play in an attempt to get myself off to sleep, so yesterday and today I thought I’d do a whistlestop tour of everything in my library, except it’s not whistlestop, I’m playing them right through in alphabetical order of artist.

I’ve got some ‘music for deep meditation’ on at the moment called Bansuri.  I’ve had Alfie Boe on, someone called Antman reading the first 29 Psalms, Amy Grant, AudioBible reading of the Gospel of John, Andy Williams (downloaded for my mother) and Arthur Rubenstein playing Chopin’s Nocturnes.  That’s just the first few.  I’m into the Bs now but I can’t be bothered to list them.  While I’ve been listening to all this I have been tweeting and retweeting on Twitter.  I’ve had a few new followers today and I’ve gone over the 200 mark.

I’ve got a move coming up in the next 2 or 3 weeks to an absolute rabbit hutch of a bungalow.  I’m very anxious about it.  There is plenty of garden so I am erecting a shed in the back to store my belongings which won’t fit into the bungalow.  Within 4 months it will have paid for itself as the alternative would be to keep my stuff in storage.  I’m worried that the shed might not be big enough, I’m worried about money, and I’m worried that I won’t be able to find the things I want inside the bungalow.

In my planning I am compensating for not having a lot of space in my bungalow by working towards being able to afford a cheap house in Bulgaria.  You can get something really spacious for about 6 or 7 thousand euros, and I’m thinking of taking my stuff over there with me.  I know it seems drastic but it’s the only way I am going to have my own space, and the countryside is lovely.  Without a landlord breathing down my neck there I should have a different experience from my first one, if I own my own property.  I should feel more secure.  I should feel secure here, but I feel doomed to a cramped and impoverished existence.  Maybe it’s my fault and I’m being too negative and ungrateful.  I can’t honestly see how I can make it home though.

I’ve got the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band on now, ‘Gorilla’.  Tommy Boyd introduced me to that on his radio programme.

The war on grief

Originally posted on Beyond Meds:

by Robert D. Stolorow

traumaThe DSM5, the most recent version of psychiatry’s diagnostic bible, makes it possible to classify grieving that endures beyond a rather brief span of time as a mental illness.

This pathologizing of grief has ancient roots extending back at least as far as the Stoics, whose stern ascetic morality preached a perfect indifference that eschewed all passionate attachments. The ideal of selfless asceticism was carried forth in early Christianity, showing up dramatically, for example, in the Confessions of the prominent 12th century monk, Saint Bernard, who was wracked with guilt over his grief for his beloved dead brother. His brother, after all, was enjoying eternal happiness in heaven, so Bernard could only feel his grieving his loss as a manifestation of a wicked selfishness on his own part.

The pathologizing of grief was continued by the philosopher Rene Descartes, usually considered to be the initiator of…

View original 391 more words

Robin Williams 2

It isn’t possible to know what was in Robin Williams’ mind when he committed  suicide, as there has been no mention of a suicide note.

We are all in the dark.

It emerged today through his widow that he was in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease.

That might have been a factor in his suicide, it might even have been the deciding factor.

He might have done it for himself, he might have done it for those who would have had to care for him,

His mind might not have been clear at all in determining his final act.

Some of us are left wondering who he was, and feeling a bit betrayed.

Maybe there is something in the assertion that suicide is selfish.

(My father committed suicide.  I was 11.  I have missed him and made excuses for him to myself for years  I have felt a responsibility to understand and love him.  I have to see myself and my experience as separate, the burden of responsibility and identification is too great.)

Whatever may emerge, we don’t know why he killed himself, not really.

We can only guess and maybe come to a conclusion that is most comfortable for us, that we feel we can understand.

I feel sorry that he has gone this way.

He was obviously in great pain.

Why this need to make a god and a benchmark of a frail and aging man?

Robin Williams RIP

Today I like so many others mourn the death of Robin Williams.  It came as a complete and unbelievable shock to me in the midnight news last night.  Robin Williams, the world has been a better place because you were in it. Your depression got the better of you, but you were an inspirational man.

Like so many people I laughed at Mrs Doubtfire, the man who was so desperate to be with his children that he pretended to be a woman to become their nanny.  It was light and entertaining but with a serious message to the children that sometimes mummies and daddies split up but still love the children.

Dead Poets Society, Awakenings and What Dreams May Come are some of my favourite films.  Serious films with serious and heartbreaking material.  I don’t remember as much of them as I would like to, a lot has happened since I saw them.

What Dreams May Come made quite an impact on me, as Robin Williams, the man killed in a car crash, is guided through the afterlife and told that everything he sees around him is the product of his own mind.  He goes on a rescue mission to hell to save his wife who died later through suicide, and he is reminded that all the turbulence he is experiencing is also the product of his own mind.  It is a very painful film, showing the pain of interplay between the wife’s surviving world after the crash and his attempts to comfort her from the other side.  There is a scene where he embraces her from behind and she screams.

Awakenings is a fictionalised drama based on the true account by Oliver Sacks about some victims of encephalitis who have been catatonic for years and then a new drug wakes them up to a new life.

In Dead Poets Society Robin Williams played the part of an English teacher who sought to inspire his pupils through poetry.  He tried to draw out their individuality and self-expression.  He was later fired after being blamed for the suicide of a boy who played Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream against his parents wishes.  The boy had wanted to be an actor but his father had wanted him to go to Harvard.  It was a traditional school where Keating (Robin Williams) used to go himself and he was challenging the system.

I liked Robin Williams because he could play roles where he was both moved and moving.  I found all three of these films completely absorbing.

Death is always hard.  Suicide is harder.  I asked some people this morning if they had heard about the death and most of them had.  I asked a couple of the domestics if they had heard and they ended up saying it was selfish.  I was horrified by the judgmentalism, especially from staff working in a place like this, it made me feel sick.  Robin Williams was loved, and for good reason.  One of them said it wasn’t as if he didn’t have a pot to piss in.  Depression can affect anyone, regardless of their status.  I was disgusted by this.

I have been heartened today to see and hear the tributes to him.  I feel as if I am going to be affected by this news for the rest of my life.  One person I didn’t expect to be going anywhere soon was Robin Williams.

I’m a Christian.  I have been taught to believe that Christians go to heaven and non-Christians go to hell.  I don’t know where Robin Williams stood with things, but I hope God will be merciful.  I hope he will rest in peace.

Pastures New

People who have read my blog over the past months will know that I am homeless and have been since 20th September 2011, almost 3 years.  I have now been in hospital for 2 years and 4 months, because they have had no home to discharge me to.

Today I had some good news.  It looks as if my homelessness is about to come to an end, because the council has found me a bungalow with a big garden in Wollaton, Nottingham.  Wollaton has a name for being a nice area, so I hope my part will be as well.  I also hope the bungalow will be big enough to accommodate all my belongings, most of which I have to move from London storage.  I have been told it will cost me £800 to move everything up.

The bungalow will also need to be carpeted, so I think at the moment I don’t have enough money to do both.  I will have to apply to the DWP for a budgeting loan, which mentions carpets and removals as part of what it covers.  I did apply for one before, estimating I would need about £1,000, but the offer was only between £300 and £400, so I didn’t take it up, thinking it would be months and months before anyone found me anything and I’d have time to save.  I have saved quite a bit but the extra loan would make things possible.  I pity those who can’t save.  £300-£400 was supposed to cover both carpeting and removals, which isn’t possible.  After carpeting and removals I will be broke.  The council said the bungalow would be ready to move into around the end of the month, so I still have time to make a further application.  And the hospital won’t just throw me out, but will wait until I can move in properly before discharging me.

Edit note 6th August 2014:  Today I was told that there is laminate flooring in the bungalow, so I won’t need to carpet :-)

Broomhill House

In my last post I said the regimentalism here was getting me down.  By regimentalism I meant the 10 am get up time and the slots for meals.  Possibly it wasn’t that fair of me to say that because when it comes to it most people are quite flexible, some more than others.  For the time being this is my home, and it’s not really too bad, all things considered.  There is a lot of banter and humour between the staff and between ourselves and the staff.  However, the serious issues remain, it’s just that they are not looked at very often, and I fear that if we tried we might end up feeling the worse for it.  The serious stuff comes out at tribunals.  They said I was grandiose and had pressure of speech.  They said I lacked insight.

As a Christian I believe I need to be kind and forgiving.  That doesn’t seem to be far away from giving the impression that I am complying happily.  But then the guns come out at tribunals, the guns they have trained on me.  Dismissing me as grandiose, for what reason I do not know.  That is the people who sat on the panel.

The worst thing about sleeping here is the plastic mattresses.  Every night I wake up several times too hot and throw the duvet off, and every morning I can feel the sweat pouring off of me, and my hair is plastered to my back.  I’ve been told that my bedroom is next to the one which is right over the boiler, I don’t know if that makes any difference, or if it is just the weather and the building.  My mother says she prefers the cold weather, because if she is too cold she can do something about it, whereas it is a lot harder if you are too hot.  We haven’t got fans or anything, if we had the noise would be a disturbance.

I’ve thought about going back to the place in Sherwood to ask other neighbours if they heard the woman shouting hallelujah above me.  It seems to me that the psychiatrists want to put that down to auditory hallucinations.  I don’t know how they can be so definite without making proper checks, maybe it is just a delusion in their own heads, subsidiary to their own delusions of grandeur and power and importance.

Maybe this is a period of transition for me.  I no longer have my nice flat apart from the neighbours and the bitumen on the floorboards.  I might not get a garden this time.  I wonder how long it is going to take them to come up with a property for me.  People are saying I’m on priority listing, but there must be others as well.  I was told some Salvation Army flats were being withdrawn from people who were living in them and the number 70 was mentioned as the number of people who would be consequentially homeless.  What with that and the present shortage of one bedroom flats I imagine I might have to wait for a very long time before something comes up for me.  The tribunal said something about wanting to have me moving on by July, but I can’t see that happening.  As much as I am trying to be reasonable and understanding and friendly towards people who are really so different from me, I really don’t want to have to make this my home for a long time.  The humour and banter are just distractions from the very important fact that, ultimately, it is a power relationship that I am on the wrong side of.  I have said in the past that this is little more than an open prison.  For me that is true, being on a Section 3.  I hate coming back here when I go out.  I am trying to work on my tendency to see this as a them and us situation, but it is hard.  I have no choice but to be here, I can’t leave if I want to.  People talk about state kidnap in relation to this situation, and that does feel true at the end of the day.

People have looked at my post ‘Striking Poses’ over the last few days, so I re-read it today and still find it relevant.  Let it be noted that I had problems at Macmillan Close even on medication that I am not experiencing here.  My key nurse asked me if the fact that I am not experiencing the same problems here didn’t suggest something about being on medication, but it is not that simple.

How Should I Blog?

I’ve been feeling for a while now that I am writing for an audience and I should give it something interesting or relevant.  When I first started blogging there was a lot of emergency feeling to the material I was putting out, I’m not feeling that so much now.  I have wondered if my blog has come to the end of its useful life.  I have also thought that writing on my blog is an indulgence I can’t afford if I’m to handle my relationships right, and that maybe my blogging and fear of the consequences  has been the problem in a lot of situations.  I think my blog needs to take a different direction, or maybe it’s just me that needs to take a different direction because I am stuck in a boring rut.

I feel incapable of writing about anything of interest, and as if I have said everything there is to say about my situation.  I can’t just keep going over the same old stuff all the time, there is nothing interesting about doing that.

I get anxious as well when I see some of the posts people are visiting, I think back on it and think it must all come across as paranoid rambling.  Also I don’t know who is accessing my material and why, because comments are left so seldom.  I wish more people would identify themselves and leave comments.  At the moment my statistics show I get between 20 and 30 views per day, but people don’t stop to comment.  Maybe they find my posts unreadable and all they do is alight then leave quickly because they can’t deal with what they find.  I continue to get followers to my blog.  I used to think my readership was church people and some people from the media and maybe the police, but I don’t think like that anymore.  It might have been true once, or maybe it wasn’t, but it certainly seemed true from things I was seeing and hearing, including sermons from church websites.

Off of my stated topic, I still feel worn down by the regimented life here at Broomhill House.  I still know about studies which show that antipsychotics cause brain damage and also shrink the brain and that people on medication have a shorter life expectancy, apart from the suicides of people who can’t take it anymore.  I feel so tired I want to acquiesce to everything and forget I have read these things, to comply and be happy to comply as if none of the things I have read by other people with concerns are true.  I want to forget everything I know has happened to me and dismiss it as paranoia, just as the psychiatrists do.  It would be so easy, at the moment, just to forget.  I want to approach church people and ask them, but there seems no point because they are closed and wouldn’t tell me the truth, they want to dismiss everything as just mental illness, but I know what I have heard from them.  They would rather have it that I am mentally ill than admit to anything that might be a bit untoward.  They would want me to accept everything they have done as OK or not admit to any of it to me.  I particularly feel that about David Shearman.

Nightmares

I had a nightmare last night about John Coles and John Knight.  John Coles was the vicar at St Barnabas, Woodside Park, North Finchley and John Knight was one of his wardens.  John Coles is now someone in St Paul’s Cathedral.  I had a very unhappy time at St Barnabas.  Near the end it came out that John and Anne Coles thought I had tried to harm their marriage.  They never moved from that, they made me very distressed and unhappy.  I wrote them some ill-advised letters, and we were all unhappy, but they refused to acknowledge that there was any problem at first.  I kept saying I was sorry I had hurt them, they kept saying I hadn’t hurt them, so in the end I decided enough was enough and that if they were saying I hadn’t hurt them I no longer had any responsibility for trying to make amends, but when Anne told me that I had tried to harm their marriage I suppose that made it obvious that they thought I had hurt them.  When people prayed for me John Knight used to pull them away.  They set about isolating me.  They said some really hurtful and harmful things to me and I was beside myself with pain and anger.  In the end they told me I couldn’t take communion anymore, because they said I wasn’t walking in love.  I went forward and John Coles just walked past me without even offering a blessing.  There is nothing to say anymore.  I wish there was.  At the very end they even wanted to control where I was allowed to sit, first telling me I had to sit at the back on the right, then telling me I had to sit at the back on the left, and calling the police on me because I refused to sit in the seat they showed me to and moved forward a bit.  They told me I had a choice, to sit in the seat they led me to, to leave, or have them call the police.  I started calling out to John Coles saying it was harassment, and they called the police.  The police took me out and wouldn’t let me go back in.

I’m self conscious about writing this because some of the nurses at Broomhill House read my blog.  If I name names people in other places have got heavy on me, talking about a care plan in relation to my blog.  No photos or recordings are allowed here.  Another waking nightmare is that I’m going to be here for ages and I won’t be rehoused.  Another is that anything they offer me will be really small and not have a garden.  I had a garden in London and was just beginning to enjoy it, in latter days.

Trip to the Pub Revisited

What a silly idea to think that getting drunk could be a regular thing for me.  I had a hangover this morning!  I fell asleep almost immediately last night when I went to bed.  I didn’t get a hangover on the wine though, only on Guinness.  So maybe it depends what I drink.  But I don’t want to develop an alcohol problem, I couldn’t afford it for one thing, and for another I don’t want high blood pressure and a pickled liver.

I first thought that being drunk was a good alternative to my usual state of mind when I was in Bulgaria and things were happening there.  My psychiatrists want me to believe it was all in my head, but I know it wasn’t.  How they have the face to say something they weren’t there for was all in my imagination I can’t quite fathom.  They command people’s lives because they can’t or won’t believe what some people go through in the outside world.  I know I dealt with it badly but that doesn’t mean I’m mentally ill.  It really was happening, it wasn’t in my imagination.

Trip to the Pub

There is a pub 2 minutes walk away from us, on the other side of the road.  I’ve been in there a few times, and I was there tonight.  I went there tonight with the express intention of getting drunk.  I had 2 pints of guinness, but I was nowhere near as happy as I was the other day, unintentionally, on 2 glasses of wine in the Hilton restaurant.  I don’t go there that often, but I like it when I do.  They were doing lunch at half price, so I got a light 3 course lunch for a reasonable price.

Tonight at the pub there was a very sweet older couple just sitting at a table with some drinks and a packet of crisps.  The woman smiled at me.  As soon as the football match started they moved tables so they could see.  I looked at them and thought ‘there’s nothing wrong with this’.  An old couple enjoying a pint and a football match.

There is a lot in the Bible about getting drunk and how it’s a bad thing.  I enjoy being drunk, though, it makes me more mellow.  And Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding when they ran out and the guests were already well oiled, so what was he saying by doing that?  Would He have sacrificed a belief that it was wrong to be drunk in order to rescue a family from the social disgrace of running out of wine at a wedding?

I like to go on my own and just be with everyone else there, even though I’m not with anyone.  I like to soak up the atmosphere and just sit there on my own and enjoy it.  A few people smile at me, and I smile back.  It’s just a place to sit, with a drink and maybe some food, that isn’t the hospital.  I would do it at home if I had a home, with the radio or tv on, or something on my laptop.

Meanderings

I haven’t written a blog entry for a while so I thought I would sit down and write one.  I have no settled subject in mind so I’ve called it ‘Meanderings’, because that is what it will be.

I’ve just read something that was on Freshly Pressed a few days ago, about a kiss on television in America between a sportsman and his male lover.  It was calling people who had a problem with it bigoted.  I read the comments section and there was a smattering of people who said God and the Bible were against it.  I am someone who was brought up in Church to believe that.  You can’t just ditch your beliefs, no matter how many people call them bigoted.

When I was 17 I had a relationship with another woman which featured sex quite a lot.  This woman was about 36, and she had been one of my teachers in secondary school.  The balance of power was on her side and although I loved her, I was also frightened of her.  Sometimes I felt the way she turned her anger on me was sick.  I remember once she cooked a stew and the meat wasn’t properly cooked, but she told me to eat it or she would rub it in my hair.  When Lord Mountbatten was killed by the IRA she said she would hang them upside down and flay them alive, and before they fainted she would cut their testicles off.  I felt sick at what I was hearing.

Sometimes, a lot of the time, she was affectionate, and I liked those times.  They were times when I felt really close to her and safe.  But at the same time I was aware that I was a disappointment to her in many ways, including socially, she used to lecture me a lot.

At the end of the relationship, which lasted 2 years, through my sixth form college time, I started to be attracted back to church.  I had left because, as I told God at the time, it wasn’t working for me and it couldn’t be working for Him either, so I was getting out for a while.  That while lasted 2 years and at the end of it I believed myself to be an atheist.  I was devastated at the end of the relationship.  She told me I didn’t need her anymore.  I’m wondering if she despised my mother but was more intimidated by the people I was then lodging with, because it was when I went into lodgings with a middle class family that she backed off.  I don’t know, I’ve only just thought about it after all these years.

Before I started to be attracted back to church and at the end of the relationship I still had feelings that I would like to have another relationship with a woman.  I think I was aware for about 3 weeks of a group where I could meet other gay women, but for those 3 weeks I kept failing to go.  And then I started to be attracted back to church.

To cut a long story short, knowing that homosexuality was against the teaching of the church I had been involved with, I inwardly cried out to God to deliver me from feelings towards other women and I believed that He did.  To me that was a great relief.

While writing this I have found myself thinking that maybe I should seek a relationship with another woman.  At the moment I don’t have any romantic relationship with anyone.  You could say I’m a bit confused.  I have had sexual encounters down the years, mostly when I have been vulnerable and I have felt taken advantage of.  Those encounters have all been with men.  I have not sought encounters with women.  As a Christian (and these are not the feelings of all Christians) I sometimes feel anger and great opposition towards homosexuality, because the Bible says it is wrong and I believe people know that and practise it anyway, in rebellion.  Of course that isn’t the whole truth, for many people it is just the way they are and they have been brought up to believe it is OK.

My feelings for myself are ambivalent.  I think I wouldn’t want a relationship with a campaigner, for instance.  I wouldn’t want a stereotyped relationship either, if I were to have a relationship with another woman.  I don’t know what I want.  I’ve not allowed myself to think about it for some time and I think this is the first time I have really written about it.  I would like a relationship.  The person would have to be a non-smoker, since I hate the smell of smoke.  I’m 53, I feel it is a bit late for me to be thinking about a normal relationship with a man, I can’t have children anymore.  I don’t want to fall into the arms of any of the men I see around me at the moment.  I haven’t been to church properly for quite a while now.  I have been taught that is where to find someone suitable.  I don’t feel the part anymore, but I still believe it is right.  Maybe I would be more at home in a gay-friendly church.  I don’t know where I am with my own sexuality at the moment.

Update 02.05.2014

I had my tribunal on Tuesday and as I expected, I was not discharged.  It was funny though, when I went back in for the result they all looked uncomfortable, as if they hadn’t wanted to reach the decision they had reached.  They didn’t discharge me and they recommended I be discharged into the community eventually on a CTO (Community Treatment Order).

Joanna Moncrieff (and many others) say antipsychotics cause brain damage, within a year.  I quoted Joanna Moncrieff at my tribunal, saying that she had said that medicalising suffering leads to loss of meaning for people.  I am in the process of having brain damage forced on me.

The Council for Evidence Based Psychiatry met with people in parliament on Wednesday.  One can only hope that people in power are going to start listening and making changes to the power relationship.

At the tribunal the hospital staff said I had not made progress while I have been here and that I don’t engage at any depth.  I said I don’t engage at depth because I know what they think and I disagree with them, and that it would cause conflict and I don’t want that.  I said I had a right to be distressed without it being medicalised.

I said that people who say they are being stalked should have that looked into properly and not be put in hospital, because stalking is a crime now, since very recently.  I am shocked that it was not a crime before.  I told them I believed I was a victim of organised stalking, I also told them my brother had been on television following the murder of a child in Bestwood, where we used to live and where my brother had continued to live, and that he has said that if things that have happened to him got out his own life would be put at risk.  I don’t know where he has got that idea from or what has been happening to him, he doesn’t want any of us to know where he is living.  The conversation I had with him was during a chance meeting at the Victoria Centre.  Would they want to write him off as psychotic as well?  He sounded very heavy but if he is living with that kind of fear it isn’t surprising.

Update 26.04.2014

Nearly 3 weeks ago Homelink told my Moving Forward worker Natasha that in 2 weeks they would offer me a place to live, but my new worker phoned them again on Thursday, 2 days after the 2 weeks, and they said they haven’t got anything suitable yet.  So why did they say 2 weeks in the first place?

On May 1st it will be exactly 2 years that I have been in hospital, mainly because of housing difficulties, and I can see myself being here another year yet, that is my fear.  They’ve only recently decided they have a responsibility for me.  They were saying they had no responsibility.

Homelessness here sucks, if I want to go off the ward, unless I ride the buses, which I haven’t done, it involves spending money.  I have no place to go off the ward.  I can’t afford to have to spend money every time I go out.

On the ward I am playing cards and dominoes quite a lot at the moment, I play Patience if no one else is available.  I never thought life would come to this for me.  This is what old people do.  There is a swimming group but I’m not too keen on swimming, especially as it takes me ages to get dressed again afterwards, I wouldn’t want to go as part of a group.

I’ve got my concessionary bus pass now so travel is easier, but before I wasn’t going out because I didn’t want to spend the bus fare, but now I am going out I’m spending more, and I really can’t afford it.

In a couple of weeks I am going to file for bankruptcy.  That costs £525 if you are on benefits, and a lot more if you are not.

In 3 days I have a mental health tribunal hearing.  I want to be discharged from my section but I can’t see it happening.  I hope finding a home won’t take too much longer, I’m sure it is worse living here than living in a hostel.  Some of the staff are nice and try to be kind, but homelessness is homelessness, and I am tired of being in hospital just because I have no home.

This article by Leah Harris on Mad In America argues that the way to address the roots of suffering and violence in American society is to be trauma-informed rather than to think in terms of mental illness.  I believe it applies just as much to the UK.

She talks about the effects of war, of 9/11, of homelessness, and of the effects of being abused or witnessing abuse in the family as a child.

She points out that most services are not trauma-informed and that a person can be re-traumatised by what they experience at the hands of the services, and she talks briefly about a community that is making an effort to be trauma-informed.  I think it is well worth a read, and hope my readers will give it their attention.  Thank you.

The Fat Lady Has Sung

This article on Mad In America is an account and display of studies that have been done that show that over a 7 year period patients not on antipsychotics are far less likely to display symptoms of psychosis than those who are, strongly suggesting, at least, that antipsychotics are no good for long term treatment and are in fact harmful.  The writer says that the fat lady has sung, and asks if psychiatry will continue to be deaf to her voice.  My question is what could be the motive for continuing to be deaf?  Profit?  Laziness?  Fear?  or what?

When I Absconded Last Year

When I absconded from hospital last year I found it much more helpful to realise I was having panic attacks than to believe that what I was experiencing was a symptom of schizophrenia and not being on medication. I was gone for 12 days only but I was a lot happier with the way I was dealing with myself than the way the hospital dealt with me. I could talk myself through things, calming down and breathing. I was very gentle with myself and I think I helped myself during that period a lot. When I was finally apprehended by the police (I was on the streets, I’ve been homeless for 2 1/2 years) they said they thought the hospital should discharge me because I was lucid.

The hospital didn’t discharge me though, they kept me and reinstated my medication, and I was unco-operative with the psychiatrist who asked me about something then wanted to move on before I was finished. I believe he decided I was schizophrenic and needing medication because I stood up to him. I shook his hand and he had a pencil in it and he made no effort to remove it, the same as once before. I thought he was a very rude little man. I had hoped for better from him.

They didn’t reinstate my medications straight away because the paperwork wasn’t up to date, but they tried to. This little man who came to see me (and he was little, he was shorter than me, and I’m only 5’1″) was the second opinion doctor. It took them 3 or 4 weeks to relay his decision to me, and all the time I felt completely normal and functioning well, except inwardly I freaked out over the fact they might put me back on medication. They didn’t relay his decision to me because he hadn’t relayed it to them. I was open and vulnerable and you hope that is going to count for something, but it counted for nothing.
There is nothing that justifies what they have done to me.  That is my downfall, I keep thinking it is my fault and they are justified. I keep believing in what they have said to me.
They think we don’t understand, they must do.  They must believe that they are best looking after our human rights by killing everything joyful and spontaneous and strong and making us take medication.  I’ve told them I had a woman upstairs constantly screaming hallelujah and making me beside myself but they have decided to believe that what they are dealing with is psychosis.

 

This is the title of a blog entry on Mad in America, but it actually concerns Britain and the British government.  The writer, James Davies, PhD, who has worked in the NHS and was first accepting of the mainstream view of psychiatric categories and drugs, has since changed his mind and realises he was wrong.  Even better, he belongs to a group, the Council for Evidence-Based Psychiatry, which from April this year will be speaking to MPs at the Houses of Parliament about the harm being done by psychiatry and its drugs.

“The official launch of CEP will take place on 30th April 2014 in the Houses of Parliament, London. And to mark the occasion two eminent critics will address the invited audience of journalists, MPs, policy makers, practitioners and survivor advocates. Dr. Joanna Moncrieff, a senior researcher and psychiatrist at University College London, will first talk about the exaggerated benefits of psychotropic medications, discussing the largely ignored evidence of their toxic and long-term debilitating effects.

She will be followed by Professor Peter Gotzsche, director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre and co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration, the gold standard for the review of medical research data.  He will talk about failed drug regulation, buried negative clinical trial data, conflicts of interest at medical journals, drug-induced harms, and other issues familiar to Mad in America subscribers.”

As Dr Davies points out himself, it is all very well being in the critical stream, but the problem is that the decision makers, like MPs, don’t get exposed to it, but this is a change and it is good.  At the end there are links to their website and Facebook page.

This is an interesting article by Deepak Choprah about the nature of reality.  He argues that reality is located in the quantum sphere beyond the 5 senses, and that science which fails to recognise this is deficient.  He talks about how consciousness is necessary for reality and meaning, pointing out that reality is changed at the quantum level by observation.  He talks about parallel universes, and Maya, which often translated as illusion actually means distraction.  The world of Maya is the world of the 5 senses alone.  He says that observation could not exist without consciousness,and that consciousness is capable of self-knowledge, which is the world of the subjective mistakenly rejected by science.  Even the world of mathematics is seen as a limited system, being ultimately a system devised by the brain.

I am interested in this as yet another article which says that science as it is most widely practised is inadequate for reality and everything it entails.

 

- Sue Barnett, BA English:

Joanna Moncrieff is an academic psychiatrist who recognises that meaning is lost and marginalised with the medicalisation of distress.

Originally posted on Joanna Moncrieff:

People have used psychoactive substances to dull and deaden pain, misery and suffering since time immemorial, but only recently, in the last few decades, have people been persuaded that what they are doing in this situation is rightly thought of as taking a remedy for an underlying disease. The spread of the use of prescription drugs has gone hand in hand with the increasing medicalization of everyday life, and a corresponding loss of the previous relationship that people had with psychoactive substances.

Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel Mary Barton was originally to be named after Mary’s father John Barton, a working class factory hand addicted to opium (1). The novel depicts the unimaginable poverty and exploitation of industrial Manchester that made opium-induced oblivion an appealing escape. Although Gaskell clearly disapproved of John ‘s addiction, the reader is left in no doubt that opium use in 19th century Britain was a symptom of…

View original 1,554 more words

Looking Back

I am often embarrassed  by seeing the posts that get the most traffic on my blog.  I feel embarrassed by my communication style and by the content, especially when I have said that I and my close contacts are being stalked.  It was real enough at the time, but looking back it feels unreal because now I am not feeling as I did then.  What I can’t say for sure is that all of this embarrassment is justified.  It is possible that I was being stalked.  Certainly I was angry and afraid at the times I wrote that way, as well as feeling guilt over the fact, as I saw it, that I was failing in relationships.  I feel as if I was wrong because it was so long ago and nothing seems to be happening now.  I still hear the odd thing, but nothing major.

I want people to read my blog because I want them to get hold of the antipsychiatry that I wish to communicate, but I feel as if most of my blog is embarrassing rubbish, so it isn’t very easy for me to drive traffic by way of my blog.

I’ve still got lots of library books out about antipsychiatry.  I know I have been in agreement with them but my position gets weakened by the fact that I continue to be detained and that things seem relatively tolerable at the moment.  I’m not aware of any major feelings of being stalked, and I’ve got a place to eat and sleep and shelter.  As much as I would like to go on reading these books it seems pointless and that I am fruitlessly in strong agreement with them, when nothing I say or do makes any difference to the way I am viewed and treated.  It’s a waste of time and mental energy to keep reading, though I can see where they go and I agree with them.  I’m a patient, it doesn’t matter what I think about these things.  The psychiatric staff where I am believe they are the people with the right view and way of doing things.

So being constantly confronted on my dashboard with post titles that make me cringe with embarrassment is taking its toll on me when it comes to confidence that my blog can communicate anything worthwhile and understandable to a new reader.  I don’t know why people look for these posts as opposed to some of my more rational ones, but they keep going for posts the content of which makes me cringe.  So I have a difficult relationship with my blog at the moment.

This article in The New Scientist details attempts which have been successful over several periods, including a 7-year period, to treat the classic symptoms of schizophrenia using talking therapies and computerised methods without medication, and says that people who are medication-free rebuild their lives more successfully.  It questions the dopamine theory as well.

At the end of this article is a link to another called Antipsychotic drugs are schizophrenia’s hidden gulag, which says that it is a human rights emergency that people diagnosed with schizophrenia are expected to take antipsychotics for the rest of their lives.

I am pleased that these articles are in a publication like The New Scientist and that they detail instances of successful treatment without drugs.  The groundswell against the present treatment of people diagnosed as schizophrenic needs to grow, and that is one reason I write this blog.

These articles were posted by the Facebook group, Speak Out Against Psychiatry.  This is an informative, supportive and active group which campaigns against psychiatry and its abuses.  Please apply for membership.

Glyn Y Mul Farm 2

I submitted an edited version of my first post about Glyn Y Mul farm (Lone Wolf Campsite) as a review to coolcamping.co.uk and ukcampsite.co.uk.  I was silly enough to think they would display it, but they didn’t.  I suppose it was too negative.  I suppose they couldn’t display a review by a woman complaining of sexual harassment and violence from the campsite owner.  So I’m pleased to see that my post is displayed 2 and a half pages down a Google search for Glyn Y Mul farm and hope it has some readers.  I’m not sure what I should have expected, why they couldn’t display my review.  It seems a bit unfair and inbred, I imagine they might have passed my name around the campsites as someone to avoid.  It’s only imagination, not sure how well-founded it is.

For the last few days I have been tweeting and retweeting on Twitter, and have gained 22 more followers.

I did some washing and had a shower this morning and it was completely claustrophobic.  There is hardly room to bend without getting burnt on the pipes, there is just enough room to stand under the unrelenting shower.  The curtain doesn’t go all the way down into the tray so there is water on the floor.

I can hardly bear my situation any longer.  I heard someone call someone ‘madam’ earlier.  Talk about respect.  If they called us sir and madam here without joking and if they were really available to meet our needs I think that would do more for some of us than all their medication.  Someone let themselves into my room at 9.55 the other day, while I was still getting dressed.  They said they knocked but I didn’t hear them.  The rule as I understood it was that we had to be up and dressed by 10, but she told me we also had to be downstairs for 2 hours between 10 and midday.  Maybe it depends who’s on and how lenient they are feeling, because they didn’t enforce it yesterday and they aren’t enforcing it today.  Inconsistency isn’t good, it leaves you unsure all the time.

We had a ladies’ meeting the other day and the nurse told me Broomhill House was a family and even when we have left we can come back and do things.  I’m not sure about that.  I know they have an outreach among people who are living in the local community, and some of those people come in during the day.  It seems to have got right away from seeing itself as an institution with legal powers and it seems to want us to not see it that way as well, if we are supposed to see it as family.  Maybe it was just that lady.

The sun is shining and it is forecast to be dry today, which will be nice.  Obviously the flooding in other parts of the country is desperate and awful.  I hope they can get it sorted out and that it won’t be an annual occurence.  They were showing leafy foliage which holds a lot of water, last night on the news.  I suppose the idea is to plant it as a barrier.  They must have other ideas as well.  It must have been a nightmare for these poor people.  I was thinking myself that I might like to live in one of those areas, but the flooding has changed my mind.  They say it is climate change.  They said that in about 200 years some parts of the country will be completely under water.  It looks as if this might be the start of it, if it is climate change.  They say it has been 250 years since we had a winter like this one.  I wonder if people were flooded out then?

I’ve got Gem 106 on in the background, it’s quite a nice station.  I used to listen to Graham Norton on Radio 2 but I don’t fancy it recently.  Radio 4 picked on him a few months ago as an example of what the masses are fed as entertainment.  They found fault with him shouting ‘Oh, Oh’ when he starts.  I don’t really mind that, I suppose it is one way of exciting and bonding with an audience.

I feel a bit sick today, probably nerves about staying in my room and the same nurse who barged into my room being on in the kitchen.  We’re not going to get on, probably.  It’s lunchtime now, and I’m going to go down and get my first cup of tea of the day.  Someone just banged on my door and told me I need to go down now and cook.  That’s a bit off, there’s an hour and five minutes yet before lunchtime finishes.  They probably want to close the kitchen early.  That hasn’t happened before.

The Closing of the Scientific Mind

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/the-closing-of-the-scientific-mind/

My thanks to Deepak Chopra for tweeting this article.

Broomhill House

I’ve survived my first two days and it’s not that bad.  This morning I met Vince the cook and my care-co-ordinator’s husband.  He got my food shifted to a lower shelf for me. The person below me is a lot taller so he swapped us round.  He also told me that if I wanted to cook properly from scratch they could open the kitchen a bit earlier for me, and that they preferred it when people cooked from scratch.  So what is written is a guideline only.  However, I still wish the kitchen was open whenever we wanted it.  Maybe with so many people it would be harder to manage.

Ben is back tomorrow so I am hoping that we might be able to sit down and talk about accommodation and getting me a bus pass.  I’m going to register with a GP today as well.  One of the student nurses is taking me there.  We went yesterday but it was closed for staff training.  I bought some food yesterday as well – a loaf of bread, honey, a fish pie, a lamb hotpot, some onions, some ice cream and other bits and pieces.

My depot is due today.  I always hate that but recently I have been forgetting about it, so I’m not anxiously counting off the days.

I’m waiting to see some people from an organisation called Framework.  One will be helping me appeal against an over-payment of DLA and the other will be helping me with accommodation.  I spent the over-payment.  It feels a bit grubby saying that, but I did tell the nurses three times that my DLA needed to be stopped and they said they had got in touch, but it still wasn’t stopped.  At the moment they want to take it back incrementally.  My finances are a real mess at the moment, as I have indicated before.

I haven’t really unpacked anything yet.  I have so many bags it’s a nightmare, and storage space in my bedroom is limited.  I have a chest of drawers with 3 drawers, a bedside table with a couple of compartments, and a wardrobe which is half shelves.  We could do with a bin in the rooms, but I don’t have one, I assume I’m not unique in that.  I don’t really have the energy to deal with anything.  The thought of having a shower is daunting, it is so small it feels claustrophobic.  I’ve set my radio and speakers up and also I have my laptop with a lot of my music on which I can also connect to my speakers if I want to.  At the moment I have Radio 3 on and I think they are playing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, in fact I know they are.  The familiar Ode to Joy theme.

It’s lunchtime now and I have a pot of bean salad to eat, so I’ll be going down in a few minutes.

I’m still waiting for Housing Aid to get back to me with their decision, whatever it’s going to be.  I asked for an idea of how long it might take and received no answer.  Overall I feel quite positive at the moment.  It’s amazing what some good food can do for you!

Moved!

I moved this afternoon at 2pm.  I had no lunch as everything was packed away, I just had a boiled egg and toast for breakfast, to get rid of the egg that needed using up by today.  I was counting on a roast dinner being provided this evening. but when dinner time came round it was just scrambled egg and baked beans on toast.  People had miscommunicated with me by calling lunch dinner.  The roast was for lunch, and I wasn’t there.  Food is provided for us here on Wednesday and Sunday, the rest of the time is self-catering.

I am worried about my food cupboard as it is just one shelf in a cupboard above the sink, and I can’t reach it.  Everything I have cupboardwise is jam packed onto that one shelf and there is a sink underneath it, so nowhere to put the things I would need to move to get at the things behind them.  Although there are 12 of us to feed ourselves the kitchen is locked longer than it is open and mealtimes are regimented into 1 1/4 hour slots after which the kitchen is locked up again until the next designated hour and a quarter.  If you miss it you can’t just eat later.  That means on days I go to see my mum I might miss two meals, lunch and dinner.

My room’s OK.  It’s got an armchair and en suite shower and toilet.  No rails for towels.

The staff seem friendly and have suggested a way to deal with the cupboard situation ie stand on a step but it’s still not going to solve the problem completely.  There is far too little space and things are likely to fall out if I try to negotiate my way around it.  Enright Close was better, this feels like organised chaos and I resent it already.  Ben is here from Macmillan Close and he is my key nurse.  I’ve got a dripping tap in the bathroom and it is really loud.  I turned it so it wouldn’t drip but it has started dripping again.  This is the stuff nightmares are made of.  I know I’m going to be really anxious here.

Moving Again

I’ve just been told in my review meeting that tomorrow I have to move to a place in Nottingham called Broomhill.  I understand it has 10-12 residents all sharing the same lounge and TV.  Bang goes choice and privacy.  Here it is 4 people in my bungalow.

I have a Tesco order I need to cancel on the advice of one of the staff there who says I should wait until I see how much space I have in the fridge.  I’m not really looking forward to this.  Just when you’re getting on all right where you are they decide to move you.  My nurse Jennie says I might find it upsetting as some of the residents are more ill than I am.  Her husband works there as a cook.  It was him who said I should cancel my delivery.

The idea is to build up my time in Nottingham so I become eligible for housing there.  I’m still waiting for someone from Housing Aid to make some sort of decision about something, she seems to be taking a long time.  Jennie suggested I should email her and ask her how long she thought her decision might take, but I did that about 2 weeks ago and she didn’t answer me.  Jennie thinks it is rude of her not to reply.

Anyway, so all change all over again.

Hopefully it will be nice to get back to Nottingham though.  I’m going to have to sort out a disabled bus pass because there is no way I can afford bus fairs at the moment.  In Newark I have never needed to use a bus.  I’m only a 10-15 minute walk away from the town centre.

Another worry is that someone said they had had a note of some sort to say I am not eligible for Housing Benefit.  I hope that is a misunderstanding.

Dreaming

I keep dreaming about church, and they are always very vivid dreams.  Last night I dreamt about Talbot Street and David Shearman.  I dreamt he was having conversations for me to hear.  I wanted to ask him if he wanted to talk to me but I thought he might say no.  I dreamt about two little girls who looked exactly like Esther and Rebecca Shearman, but realised they might be their offspring or something like that.  I’m always really involved in the dreams and don’t like it if I am woken out of them by people banging doors or laughing or shouting.

There are a few ideas about dreams.  One is that dreams are symbolic.  Church is where most of my love and anxiety are.  I’m not sure what it can be symbolising.  Most of my actual anxiety at the moment is around finance and housing.  But church itself figures quite strongly in my thinking.  Sometimes I think I am going to hell.  Most of the time I think that, when I think about it.  My situation with church is so bad it burns.  At the end of my dream this morning I had some knitting and stitches were coming off the needle.  I asked my mother to get the needle and save the stitches, but she was getting it wrong.

My mum believes that the church is made up of people who love the Lord, to use her words, and that they don’t necessarily go to church, but they are the church.  For me it just burns and I feel as if hell has already started for me.  I’ve been told to stay away from the Shearmans, but Christianity is about forgiveness and that is inconsistent with forgiveness.  David Shearman was my pastor in my teens.  I think if I should be able to turn to anyone it should be him, regardless of the fact he has now stood down as senior pastor.  But he waved in my direction and said I wasn’t getting any of it.  I’m not sure why he felt he needed to do that.  It seems quite mean to me.  I find it frightening.

Glyn y Mul Farm

22 months ago I was on Glyn y Mul Farm campsite for a week, in Aberdulais near Neath in Wales.  It was only a week because it went badly wrong.  I had hoped it was going to be OK, it seemed as if it might be.  I was on my own.  The first night I slept in the cabin where the staff work because I didn’t have a tent until it was delivered, then they lent me a tent which I used for a few days.  The staff seemed friendly enough, except for the fact that one of them, Mark, every time he appeared, was effing and blinding in front of me.  The old man touched me.  I kept quiet about it at first, because I wasn’t sure if I should be offended or not.  Also, there was a washroom which was open to the outside in that it had nothing up at the window to shield users from people walking past, and several times when I was using it the men found a reason to walk past.

Eventually I got my tent and one of the staff put it up for me.  He was an eastern European, I can’t remember where from.  But I found at bedtime that I couldn’t zip up the flap and it was frosty, and because I didn’t want to bother anyone with it late in the evening it stayed open all night and the frost got inside.  I had a very cold night’s sleep.

When I emerged the next day I met Ian, the campsite owner, in the kitchen, and he asked me if everything was all right.  I said no, I couldn’t zip my tent up, and also told him that Ted, the old man, had touched me.  His response was that if I was saying that, I should leave as soon as possible.  I didn’t realise he meant immediately until he snatched my tea out of my hand and started forcing me off the stool I was sat on.  I had thought he might mean in a couple of days, to at least give me time to sort myself out.  I had bought a fair bit of camping equipment a day or two before and I had no transport of my own.  But he grabbed me by the arm and started forcing me out of the kitchen and into Ted, who was standing there, and he fell over.  Ian started accusing me of pushing him down, I said I had been pushed into him, Ian said he had 3 people there who had seen nothing.  He kept pushing and pulling at me, calling me a disgraceful woman and telling me not to go back there.  He said I was now homeless and owned nothing.  The things I had bought I had bought with money my uncle had lent me.

I went to the police (Ian is an ex-policeman) and they kept me ages.  All the time I was giving a statement they were talking and jeering in the next room.  I had gone to the wrong area and they found a hotel for me overnight and told me to go back to Neath the next day.  I can’t remember, I don’t think I did, not to the police station anyway.  I was too intimidated.  Ian’s handling of me left a big bruise on the inside of my forearm which took 3 weeks to fade.  I emailed them twice about my belongings but they didn’t reply.  When I called it theft to the police they said that technically it wasn’t theft.  Regardless of police technicalities, of course it was theft.  They deprived me of all my belongings which I had had with me at the time – clothes, mobile phone, books, food, all my camping equipment – because I, a woman on my own and vulnerable, told an ex-policeman that one of his staff had touched me and I had expected proper treatment instead of what I got.  That was a bent copper.  Also it was an appalling way for a commercial enterprise to deal with any complaint, let alone one of this nature.  They will have other women and children there, yet they dealt with me like this.

Frozen Shoulder 2

I went to see my new GP this morning, as arranged for me by Enright Close.  I told him I had frozen shoulder and told him I had read that it had been helped by HRT.  He said he hadn’t heard of that and wouldn’t want to start me on HRT for that reason, but he could give me steroid injections.  I don’t like injections so I was terrified, but when he offered me one immediately I said yes, just to see how far I could get with allowing it.  I asked him how much of the needle went in and he must have shown me an inch or 2.  I was ready for something so excruciating that I wouldn’t be able to bear it, but he said ‘sharp scratch’ and all I felt was the needle on the surface of my skin, as I do for my depot injection.  I couldn’t tell at all that there was any depth to it, it was really easy.  He said the important thing was to do exercises to mobilise the shoulder, and he gave me co codamol to help with the pain involved in movement.   The painlessness of the injection was a very pleasant surprise after reading about excruciating treatment.  I hardly felt anything.  He told me there were not many pain receptors in the shoulder.

So that was the first of a few injections.  My GP told me it speeds things up.  At the moment there is no change in the way my arm feels, and the sort of movements he wants me to perform with my arm are still very painful.  He wants me to put my hand behind my head and behind my back and I find both movements difficult, behind my back is harder than behind my head.  My fear is that if I can’t cope with the exercises my frozen shoulder is not going to clear up, and that it will always hurt too much to do the exercises properly.  I can’t imagine a freed up shoulder that doesn’t hurt.  The lady I read about who said HRT helped her shoulder seemed to know what she was talking about.  I had been told that steroid injections might or might not help.  Obviously I hope they will help.

Medication

I have become acquiescent with medication, it seems to be OK.  But things here are generally peaceful, so there’s not much provocation to make me feel really bad about anything.  The door slamming gets to me, but there isn’t much else.

I don’t know how most of my readers and followers feel about the things I have said, I don’t often get comments.  I suppose I can see the position of psychiatry in saying that people who don’t know they need medication still have a right to it, and detention makes sure that right is received.  I suppose the view is that we still have the right to treatment no matter how cruel and provocative some of the staff are, at least on an acute ward.

My position has been that the cruelty creates the illness and disturbance.  I don’t know, it is hard to say what the position of the staff actually is when they are cruel and harassing and angry.  I still wake up burning with anger and feeling upset at some of the things I remember.

Happy New Year

Some people don’t mark the New Year, but I think it’s a good thing to do.  It introduces hope and expectation if we mean what we say.  It’s putting the old behind and opening up to the new.  How simple is it?  Is it about forgiveness and dropping offenses?  Can and should that be done?  Forgiving people means not demanding a price from them, so I’ve been told.  Yet I have plenty of complaints and would even like to sue for damages.  It sounds as if ‘Happy New Year’ should be a clean slate.  That might lead to less overcrowding of the prison system.

In the Bible there is the concept of a Year of Jubilee every 50 years, where land is restored to its original owners, and all debts were forgiven.  I wonder if and how that was enforced, if people were reluctant?

The Bible says ‘do to others as you would have them do to you’.  It doesn’t say only to others who have not damaged or offended you.  I was thinking about it the other day, that doing as you would have done is making a statement about yourself, it is living out of your own value system, and that has to make you an easier and happier person, over all, if you do as you would have done.  I passed some lads on the street the other day and one of them wished me a happy new year.  I just answered ‘thank you, the same to you’.  He answered back ‘yeah, and a happy Christmas’.  I wasn’t sure how sincere he was, he was a bit rowdy, but I felt better that I had answered his words as I would have wanted mine to be answered rather than dismissing him altogether in the first place.  Everyone needs a blessing.

I have wondered if my blogging is just slander of people who have hurt me.  Slander can be true as well as false.  If it is slander it seems to me I should stop blogging about the hurts and atrocities I have encountered in the mental health system and in my neighbourhoods and in the church.  The problem is, I feel so despised by these people, especially in Church, that I have felt as if making it public has been the only realistic way forward.  I was at Talbot Street when David Shearman was preaching.  Before he got up to preach he turned and stared at me.  I have thought that I didn’t know what I was supposed to do, if I was supposed to go to him at that point or not, what did he want his staring at me to achieve?  He got up and preached and at the end he waved a hand in my direction and said ‘you won’t be getting any of it’.  I’ve had that before from other church leaders.  All I know for sure is that it showed something about his thoughts, feelings and attitudes towards me, it wasn’t a reflection on me as a person, it revealed more about David.  Certainly at that point he was not doing as he wished to be done to him.

I’ve grown up believing in heaven and hell, and I fear that I am going to hell sometimes, because of this treatment I get.  Other times I think I could and should just dismiss all thoughts of heaven and hell from my thinking in relation to the church and just count on God’s mercy, if there is a God and if there is mercy, and if there is a heaven and hell.  I have experienced physical healing instantaneously in response to the prayer of another, I can’t just dismiss that from my experience.  New Age people say we all have the ability to heal, it is not exclusive to Christianity.  Pentecostal Christianity says that healing in other religions is from a demonic source.  Certainly I find myself more at ease with Buddhist meditation music than Christian music.  Christian music for me opens up hope and pain, whereas Buddhist meditation music seems to minister peace and healing for my mind and emotions.  It makes me hopeful about myself and my own abilities, rather than about others who can and do hurt me.

I started off saying Happy New Year, and I wasn’t going to go into church stuff again, but I have.  I feel I could and should trust them, but I know they disappoint me.  They want to be over me, they want power over me, they don’t want a conversation of equals.  They don’t want me to see myself as an equal, and they want me to be in the hands of the mental health services and really believe the mental health services can help, according to a conversation I had with Pat Hopewell at Talbot Street.  She said no to everything I asked and said and told me to stay away from the Shearmans.  If that ‘no’ is coming from the Shearmans I think they are lying.  That is why I am afraid of them.  It’s a cloak of religion over actual facts, it’s like a secret society to which I have no admittance with my needs and experience, unless I go crawling and begging and using the language they like to hear.  Their power over me comes from my entanglement with the mental health system, and that’s where they want to leave me, in spite of all its cruelty and abuses.  They see this as being in the hands of the tormentors until I pay every last penny or forgive.  It is a way of rejecting me.  Those are my fears, I believe they are true.

The Ledge

- Sue Barnett, BA English:

I’m not suicidal, but I understand these feelings. About broken trust and nothing left except the oppression of nothing left to rebuild with.

Originally posted on theoutsiderguy:

Image

 

It creeps onto you,
It grows like a vine,
Clouding your chest,
Procreating seeds,
That disperse themselves
Onto anything that can
Give you a justification,
of how and why?
Your trust is like
A vase, that falls
from all of their clumsy limbs
and shatters it,
Leaving you those fragments, to reubuild it,
With a few pieces missing every time.
But this time, there’s nothing left to rebuild.
The glue is gone, the Vase is gone.
The pain still stays,
The hate still greys .
The shock recovers,
and the deception becomes clear.
But your chest is still cloudy.
Your thoughts are still muddy.
The vase is still broken,
Your mind is still shaken.
What is left to be done.
You know the answer.

The Ledge is cold,
But does it matter?
All you think about,
Is the vase that shattered.
The ledge is cold,
But is it as…

View original 63 more words

Christmas at the Asylum

Christmas has definitely started here.  The staff put a tree and decorations up about a week ago and today they gave our bungalow two tins of biscuits and two tubes of sour cream and onion Pringles.  They told us there was tons of food and if we couldn’t see it to ask.

We’ve also got painters in, and they are in the kitchen at the moment, from whence can be heard lots of laughter and giggles.  Last time I saw I think they were laughing at something on one of their mobile phones.  They did the bathroom and shower earlier this week.  They are starting on our bedrooms after Christmas.

At least two of this bungalow’s residents are going to be away for an extended leave at Christmas, and one is possibly going to be gone for two nights, which means I will be on my own in the bungalow for possibly two nights but definitely for a fair bit of Christmas day.  I’m getting used to being here and sharing now, it could be odd being on my own when I leave.  Hopefully it will be nice though, having my own space.  Being able to drink a glass of wine in my home space again will be nice.

All the women in this bungalow get on all right with each other.  There is none of the nastiness that existed at Macmillan Close with the two women who kept picking on me there.  Three out of four of us are homeless, the other has a home but I think some work is being done on it, if I remember rightly.  Something like that anyway.

I can’t remember if I said that my benefits have been slashed by £50 a week to £60.90.  If it weren’t for my storage I could cope with that quite happily, but things are going to be extremely tight.  I can’t afford to go out, so I’ve been staying in.

I’ve also started buying meat, eggs and cheese again from the supermarket.  I decided that if I was going to eat omnivorously when I am out sometimes I should bring the decision home and start cooking omnivorously again.  I am enjoying it most of the time, tastes that I’ve not had for ages, butter instead of sunflower spread, for instance.  I sometimes feel revolted by the fact that I am eating dead animal which stays in my digestive system, and think of all the animal fats clogging my arteries and the increased risk of diet-related cancers.  I’ve also found bowel movements more difficult.  For now though this is the decision I have taken, and am enjoying the variety of tastes and textures that are available to me again.  I have forgotten how to cook meat though, so I find myself looking things up on the internet.

Visit to Housing Aid

I went to Housing Aid yesterday with my care co-ordinator and spoke to someone called Rebecca.  She said that I’m not eligible for housing in Nottingham but that I am still eligible in Lewisham because I’ve lived there for three out of the last five years, so she is going to try and sort that out for me. I’m not sure that I am eligible though because I’ve now been homeless for almost 27 months. She said my sister isn’t a link because she hasn’t lived in Nottingham for three out of five years.  And she gave us the name of another housing association for direct application.

My benefits have now been cut to £60.90 per week because I have been in hospital for over a year.  I’m not sure how I am going to manage if I don’t get a realistic offer soon.  I still have to pay over £140 per month in storage costs.  To me a realistic offer is a place big enough to put my things in so I can bring them out of storage.  I’m very attached to my belongings, so I don’t want to get rid of anything.  It feels as if I could lose them because I might not be able to keep up with storage costs.  If that happens, everything I have spent on storage will have been a waste of money.

Nelson Mandela

To start with, Nelson Mandela died yesterday.  I was watching Mrs Brown’s Boys with two of the women from the bungalow when the programme was interrupted for President Zuma’s address.  I got the giggles listening because we had all just been laughing, and because it was no great shock, at his age, 95.  I saw President Obama’s address and wondered how he felt to be the one delivering it, as the first black president of the US.  It must have been an awesome moment for him.  There were a lot of moving tributes, and seeing the celebrations outside the old family home, now a museum, was very encouraging.  There are still racial tensions there and apparently some white people are afraid that now the reconciler has died revenge will start to be meted out.  I hope those fears prove to be unfounded.

It’s not an ideal world, and violence is a part of both rule and struggle.  He was fighting for equality between all races, but he was fighting for his own as well.  Otherwise the threat of violence towards the racist white rulers might never have been.  I don’t understand a lot about politics so I can’t write as eloquently as some, but I am in awe of the Civil Rights campaigners and activists.  Once I wanted to be a missionary in Africa.  I was only a child, I didn’t understand everything that was involved, the possibilities of death and mistreatment and everything.  In recent years I have had a very painful relationship with black people around my home and in church and hospital. I’ve had more than one black Christian call me a witch and turn away from me in self-satisfied rejection of me.  I have been called racist a lot.  I’m now very nervous of black people and some types can really make me feel amazing levels of anger.  White people can as well but I feel it more with black people because I’ve never been called racist towards white people.  It hurts, because time once was when I wanted to marry a black person.  I feel a mixture of helpless rage and heartbreak, I just can’t get it right, and neither can they.

I fear the fact that Nelson Mandela never renounced violence.  I know everyone is saying wonderful things about him and I feel touched by those things.  I daren’t say too much for fear of betraying my ignorance of politics and the profound changes which have irreversibly come about in relation to his name.  President Obama said he belongs to the ages.  Hopefully the ages won’t forget and go backwards.  Hopefully the ages won’t employ the violence that was not renounced by their revered father.

Edit note:

I feel really stupid.  I watched a documentary tribute tonight by David Dimbleby which reminded me of the Truth And Reconciliation councils and I saw some of the footage.  I also saw where Nelson Mandela told his followers to take their weapons and throw them in the sea, so he did renounce violence and asked his followers to.   I remember hearing about the truth and reconciliation hearings a long time ago.

Interesting Week

It was my birthday on Sunday, I was 53.  I got 3 birthday cards, 1 from one of the women who lives here, 1 from the staff and one my sister sent to my mother for me which I got on Monday when I went to see her.  The staff bought me some presents, a snood and gloves, some Laura Ashley smelly stuff and some Milk Tray chocolates.  My mum gave me some money.

On Monday I got a call from Guinness Housing Association about a house in Bacup, in Lancashire.  They sent me an email with an outside view.  I made a mistake, I thought Bacup was in Derbyshire, but I must have mistaken it for Bakewell, because Bacup is in Lancashire.  The outside view is lovely, rolling hills and everything, white house in the middle of a terraced row.  I was a bit nervous about that, these days I am not very tolerant of noise and I want my home to be quiet.  Contrarily I have also wanted to be able to sing in my home, but I think those days might be over.  On the other hand it would be nice to think they were not.  I can see it in Bulgaria, but not here.  Even Bulgaria will take me some time to save up for.

Last Tuesday, the 19th, at the Managers’ hearing, Dr Moldavsky told the panel that I had talked about going to Bulgaria but that he thought it was unrealistic.  I brought that up with my allocated nurse yesterday and she told me he hadn’t said that at the time, but that we would have to talk about it.  I don’t know why he has suddenly decided it is unrealistic but he seemed to want to present it as a symptom of mental illness.  I resent him deeply, and especially the fact that he took that position.  He asks me questions to which I give short but adequate answers, then he eyes me in silence before asking me something else.  Every time I answer him he eyes me in silence, as if what I have given him is not enough or as if it is plenty to uphold the diagnosis.  He does not respect my boundaries because if he did he wouldn’t interpret them the way he does, as indicators of mental illness.  They have been dragging me emotionally through the same stuff with the same kinds of questions and disrespect for nearly 18 years.  Surely I have the right to say ‘no more’, but he won’t see it that way.  He wouldn’t tell me what part of the world he comes from but I suspect him as coming from a culture where people cow tow to professionals and where women cow tow to men.  He doesn’t see me as having the right to reject what he wants from me in terms of self disclosure.  I have the right not to disclose my pain and vulnerability to people who are going to define it in ways I fundamentally disagree with.  I hardly ever see the staff unless I need to ask them for paracetamol or Peptac for indigestion or heartburn, and they always on the surface accept my answer that everything is fine, and last week they said I had neither declined nor made progress, but I don’t think there has been enough engagement for them to make that assessment.  They thought it was positive that I accepted the injection, but I only accept it for fear of the consequences they would visit on me if I don’t.

I’m going to stop now.  I am writing in the lounge where a male nurse has just come in and called me darling and is cutting someone’s hair for her.  He is showing her photographs from his modeling shoot, one of which is for Playboy.  I think it is an insult that people who are prepared to model for Playboy should be contributing a professional opinion on my mental health.  They want him to go to London tomorrow to do some more.  I think it is his modeling agency, not Playboy.  I’m sitting here afraid to say anything about the morality of it and his morality in comparison to mine for fear of the backchat or straightforward lack of understanding it would provoke.  He’s Oh God-ing it now.  I am deeply offended and angry, because they play blind even if they are not.  Actually I should feel sorry for him and not judgmental, because he obviously is blind.  But I wonder if the unit manager knows about his extra work activities?

Coping With the Unavoidable Passing of Time

- Sue Barnett, BA English:

I can identify with this tonight.  I’m moving away from being vegan, or even vegetarian.

Originally posted on The Seeker's Dungeon:

photo credit: Sreejit Poole

photo credit: Sreejit Poole

I compromise my
truth with lies in order to
take step after step,

breath after breath as;
I caress my illusions
with death after death.

Grasping fantasy
as I compromise my truth
with lies, illusions

sooth the pain of a
soul whose warden can’t accept
life ticking away

– victimize every
lesson as I compromise
my truth with lies. Bent

on self-destruction
instead of realization
of truth; perceptions

are all moot when to
great lengths I’ll go to hide, that’s
why I compromise

my truth with lies, and
become the person that I
had once most despised.

 

For the Weekly Writing Challenge: Haiku

View original

Managers’ Hearing 19.11.2013

One of the things Dr Moldavsky said was that past behaviour is a guide to future behaviour, and he was talking about the fact that I had taken an overdose of paracetamol over 10 years ago.  He thinks I might do the same again, so he says, if I am off medication.  I was four years off medication recently and didn’t even consider suicide, and I decided years ago that I wasn’t going to overdose or anything else like that again.  I said that in the meeting.  It seems as if I am dealing with a determinist in Dr Moldavsky.  I doubt him, I don’t think his presentation was altogether honest.  It certainly was full of put downs.  He said I was trying to hide things and was guarded.  I have the right to decide how much I can psychologically and emotionally cope with saying to whom, and I do not choose to say the same things over again to a psychiatric team just to have them dismissed as delusion.  I have said it is like forced marriage.  It is life rape and I want it to end.

Much madness is divinest sense
To a discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness.
‘T is the majority
In this, as all, prevails.
Assent, and you are sane;
Demur, — you’re straightway dangerous,
And handled with a chain.

Dickinson, Emily (2011-03-24). Poems by Emily Dickinson, Series One (p. 26). . Kindle Edition.

Amazing You-Tube testimonial by former drug rep Gwen Olsen.

I can’t watch this at the moment, but what caught my attention was something in the comments about a niece who killed herself because hope and human rights to freedom are withdrawn from psychiatric patients.  That’s what it looks like anyway.  I’ll leave you to watch it.  They might mean well, but in the opinion of many of the unwilling recipients of their well-meaning, they do bad.  It’s as bad as a forced marriage.  In Britain it either has been or is about to be made illegal to force someone to marry, but I and others like me are forced to have a relationship with these psychiatrists and their teams and we have no way out.

This morning I had a managers’ hearing at the hospital.  The doctor kept using emotive and demeaning language when talking about me.  He said I was strongly deluded and trying to hide paranoid thoughts, etc.  He said it was unrealistic for me to want to go to Bulgaria, even though I’ve already spent 21 months there.  I’m not sure how his name is spelt, he wouldn’t even tell me when I asked him what part of the world he is from, but he pronounces his name Moldovsky.  When I started reading an R D Laing book it said in the introduction that people have a right not to believe in the term ‘schizophrenia’ and all its baggage, but that if people said they don’t believe in it they are said to lack insight.  He kept saying that about me, and that I was guarded.  I told the managers’ panel about this quotation from R D Laing, but it didn’t change their position.  They have kept me on the section 3.  I was strongly advised by my solicitor this morning not to blog about this place.  Tonight I was invited to play bingo in one of the other bungalows and the man who was in charge slipped the word ‘schitz’ in twice, with no context for it.  If I complain about it I will be told that I am mistaken and that he wouldn’t do something like that.  I am afraid to write because it will bring bad feeling into sharp relief.  I am at Enright Close in Newark.  One of the women asked if he would only speak to her to be cheeky and he said yes.  I don’t now what kind of relationship they have with each other.  I can’t see why he couldn’t let himself be pulled up and say he was sorry.  They don’t take anything seriously except their job to observe us and write about us, and throw food away.  That’s how it feels today.  Given that that might not be too far from the truth, I can’t see how anyone can expect anyone to recover from anything here.  Not even enough respect and security to acknowledge when someone says they are being cheeky.  I’m afraid of it turning really nasty, as it did at Highbury and Macmillan Close.  When it matters, they are not approachable and not accountable.  That is my belief born of experience.  Trying to keep it nice is just hypocrisy, it isn’t nice anyway to keep it that way.

Frozen Shoulder

Today I was told that caffeine and alcohol are both bad for frozen shoulder, which I suffer from.  Apparently they block the action of natural anti-inflammatories  in the body.  The good news is things like turmeric and soya are good for it.  Last night I read that it can be linked to menopause and one woman found it helped to start HRT, in spite of the risks, as she said.  I understand there is an increased risk of cancer or something if you are on HRT, so obviously I would rather there was another remedy before that.  I saw a tweet from someone who was actually going to have an operation to solve the problem.  I was told it takes about a year to work itself out, but  something I read last night said it can hang around for seven years.  The article I read last night, recommending HRT, said it is a form of tendonitis and/or arthritis.  It is completely debilitating and painful, right down my arm, sometimes, and into my hand.  All the pain is on the outside of my arm, and it’s a nightmare.  I’m also getting the feeling that all the different choices of remedy might or might not work.  Some people say exercises work, but some people have steroid injections when exercise doesn’t work.  From what I can gather it is caused by something sticky in the shoulder socket.  I can lift my arm quite a bit as long as it isn’t outwards, the way the physiotherapist wanted me to lift it.  It makes me unfit for any real physical work.

Giant Niggles

1.  People who pepper their conversation with ‘like’.

2.  People who ride their bicycles on the pavement.

3.  Women who talk in a little girl close to tears voice and expect to get what they want all the time.

That’s all I can think of at the moment.  I might add more later.

Bulgaria Better Than Psychiatry

I’m thinking about Bulgaria again, and have been for a while.  I am still homeless and it is still possible to buy a house in stages there, if I can make peace with the person who was sending me details of such houses before, or find someone else who does the same thing.  I became annoyed with the last person I was talking to because he kept talking about crazy and mental, and it offended me.  In the end he said he didn’t think we could do business.  I don’t know of anyone else offering his terms.

The beauty of Bulgaria, apart from the natural beauty, is that I could shortly afford to buy a property there and it would be my own.  This would put me in a position I have never been in before, would alter my relationship with the country and its people and would greatly increase my personal stability, because the property would be my own.  Nothing to fear from landlords, and therefore not much cause for fear from anyone else really.

The UK and Bulgaria have an arrangement with each other whereby my British benefits could be paid into a Bulgarian bank account, except I would lose an element of my DLA.  I could take great joy and pleasure living in Bulgaria.  This is something I need to look into further.  When I was on Redwood 2 there was a man called John Butterworth who told me about this international arrangement.  He was the benefits advisor, but he left and he wasn’t replaced, so the job no longer exists.

We are getting to 2014, when Bulgaria comes into full relationship with the EU.  Very soon after that house prices there could soar, so I need to act almost immediately, except I can’t, because I don’t have enough money.  I need accommodation here first so that I can get all my benefits back in full, if saving is going to be a viable option.  In all my thinking I had really forgotten the stability that owning a property would give me.  I feel it as a joyful necessity and opportunity.

 

Updated Books Page

I’ve updated my books page today with some books by R D Laing.  I’ve read two and am reading one.  The two I have read are Knots and Sonnets.  At the back of Sonnets are some thoughts in prose which I found helpful.  The one I am reading is Sanity, Madness and the Family: Families of Schizophrenics, which is a book of case studies and transcriptions of taped interviews.  I’m not sure if it is of its time or not, but it is very interesting.  I have provided UK and USA Amazon links for each book.

R D Laing was a leading figure in the Antipsychiatry movement and established some houses in London as part of the Philadelphia Association which provides an alternative approach to mental distress.

Update 02.11.13 Housing

I have had a letter back from the housing association I registered with and because the council hasn’t accepted me as their responsibility I have only been allocated 45 points instead of 1,545 which I could have.  1000 would come from the council accepting me as statutory homeless, and another 500 would come from where I am now at the hospital if I had provided proof, but proof wasn’t asked for, as far as I remember.  My CPN has said that she will try to get the council to write a letter saying that I am homeless but not their responsibility , that would get me 1000 points.  When I first came to Nottingham I was their responsibility because I had an uncle and a sister in the area, but they have since changed their rules so that you have to have lived in the area for three out of five years to qualify for their help.

The housing association I registered with covers a lot of areas in the north and in the midlands, and I have asked for my 6 areas to be expanded so that I can be offered anything anywhere.  Really I want to move back to London or somewhere like Cornwall, Dorset or Devon, but there aren’t a lot of housing associations which, like this one, you can use independently of the council points system and bidding.  Most of them are linked to the bidding system, so I’m going to have to do some research.

Apparently I can get help with a bond and the first month’s rent if I go private.  I read today that it might be social services’ responsibility to offer me help, but I don’t know what is meant by help.  Maybe I am getting all the help they can give me at the moment.  I am in touch with a team from Framework, my CPN is trying to help me.  I’m not sure what else I could or should expect, or how quickly.  I am in hospital, but it seems it is being treated as temporary accommodation.  Although it is shared bungalows it is still hospital and I would have hoped things might go a bit faster.  I am not eligible to bid anywhere at the moment.  The charity/housing association has said it will not be in touch again unless it can offer accommodation, and that if it can’t offer anything within 6 months I’ll be asked if I want to stay on their list. Obviously I’m hoping to be housed before then.

By deciding to see my problems in the community as completely a product of mental illness the authorities have taken away the home that I had as emergency housing with Nottingham City Council and I now have to start all over again, not eligible to bid anywhere.  In the meantime I am still having to pay £140 every 4 weeks to keep my belongings in storage.  I wish now that I had just let my belongings go, it has cost me so much already and I don’t know if I am going to get a big enough place to accommodate them all.  I asked customer services if I could apply for a house or bungalow with two bedrooms, on the basis of a very small flat I saw in Nottingham, nothing like the one I had in London, and they told me I could if I was prepared to pay the extra.  But the letter I have had from them says I qualify for a one bedroom property and doesn’t even acknowledge the covering letter I sent with my application, so I’m not sure what is happening.

Coincidence

I can’t remember if I have written this already, but a few weeks ago I was on a train back from Nottingham and I sat next to a man I got talking to.  He seemed very nice, and he had just started a new job as a salesman.  Near the end of the conversation it came about that we found out that his grandmother used to live where I live now.  That is something, isn’t it?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-24720069#TWEET937913

This prison is exactly like psychiatric hospital acute wards in the UK, except for the electric shocks, the acute wards don’t do that.  They call people’s credibility into doubt as well in the same way that doubt is cast on a psychiatric patient.  The news story this links to shows a guard being interviewed and acknowledging that electric shocks were given and that inmates were forcibly injected.  There is a man who says he wasn’t a danger to anyone and my own experience gives me no reason to doubt him.  The fact that he is a criminal doesn’t mean his testimony about this isn’t reliable.  A man was injected for complaining about the food.  The guard says that inmates had to be made afraid of them because they are few, even though they knew it was against the law.  Psychiatric hospitals are the same.  Most compliance comes from the fear of the consequences of not complying.  It is torture and terrorism.  Someone has to help us.  Please.

Update 27.10.2013 – Hospital and Housing

I’ve been obsessive about my stats recently and it’s been an obsession that has pushed everything else out.  I could have kept my blog up to date but I haven’t, so here is a bit more.

Last Saturday I sat down and filled in an application for housing with a housing charity, and at the moment I am waiting to hear what points I’ve been allocated.  I am hoping very much that things will move quickly.  There were boxes for six separate area codes and I filled them all in, but even that might not be flexible enough.

Life in the residential hospital is not too bad.  The main thing for me at the moment is that the fridge-freezer is easily big enough for a family, but not for four individuals.  It looks to me as if two of us are doing a weekly shop, and there just isn’t sufficient space really.  It is frustrating that we are doubling up on things and I’m sure there is a lot of wastage because things don’t get eaten quickly enough.  I’m not the one with the least space, apparently, and the one who thinks she has the least space keeps putting her stuff on top of mine, and it annoys me.

Also people doing big sharp knocks on the door and asking if I’m all right when I am trying to relax.  It jolts me out of it.

About two or three weeks ago I had a problem with one of the residents who keeps staring at me when I am focusing on something else.  I asked her why she was doing it and she said she wasn’t, I was being paranoid.  Then she told me to shut up and said I was kicking off when I didn’t like that, so now I’m not talking to her, nor she to me.

The nurses I encounter are nice, usually, but I daren’t talk to them about how I feel about my diagnosis and medication, normally, because I fear they won’t understand.  I’m keeping a low profile at the moment about the things I don’t like which I usually see towards other people on occasion.  I don’t want a repetition of Rowan 2 and other places.  When I become aware of it, normally in the shower (and I’ve self-neglected a fair bit recently), I suppress an urge to scream.  I guess screaming isn’t allowed or looked on very favorably, and I have an iron grip on myself to make sure I don’t scream, I daren’t put myself in that situation here.

That’s all for now.  Thanks to my new followers for following.  Welcome aboard.  I hope it won’t get too boring for you.  I’m pretty monomaniacal at times.

Beyond Meds

Alternatives to psychiatry, interdisciplinary & integral holistic well-being

The Sir Letters

A Tale of Love

Seroquel Nation

Onward and upward...

We are all in this together

it's gonna be okay.

my last nerve

psychology | psychiatry | neuroscience | n stuff

A Philosopher's Blog

A Philosopher's View of the World...assuming it exists.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 347 other followers