What I meant to say yesterday when I said I had been talking in the lunch time about courage of convictions etc was that while I was talking one of the women behind the counter said ‘anyone for bread and butter’ and a man who seemed to be staff of some description who had seemed to be listening to me and being affected suddenly snapped out of it.  I took her to mean that they had to protect their jobs.  Cleaners have been interfering with my conversations, making mocking faces, collusive smiles and things.  I feel softer and more yielding than I should because of the vocal tone of the constant assault on my ears.  It is completely reminiscent of a devoted ‘hallelujah’.  Nurses have been saying things like ‘baby’ inappropriately, and ‘bear with me’, one of them kept repeating in one conversation.  The Malaria/Malaysia man went into a really rough regional accent when I started to speak intimately with another patient.  Normally his accent is quite educated.

I feel bad about the details I put up yesterday.  Of course it could all be complete coincidence – er, what am I saying???  Even if it is, is the fact that I am finding it hard to copew with a sign of my over-sensitivity, or is finding it hard to cope with completely normal?

There I am locked up where I don’t want to be, where reports of harassment have not even received a written acknowledgment, and I have said what I said about namesakes dying to the staff without it being treated as an abnormal occurence in itself, and I live with the shadow of the syringe hanging over me, a constant threat for many years.  Without that threat my behaviour and thinking would not be so weird.  Most people can make mistakes and do or say stupid things without it mattering, but if I do, I am constantly in fear of the medical consequences, even if I am not under a section.  Most people can collapse emotionally without feeling threatened, whereas I am communicating in a way which is almost professional in order to try and prove that I am not mentally ill and to compensate for the lack of professionalism among the staff.  They blank me often.

I was watching the news and it was talking about the need for more midwives.  I thought and said to those with me that the real problem, at least in nursing as a whole, is about attitude and honesty and openness more than numbers.

From what I heard of the nurses conference a few days ago I thought they had a real rabble attitude, like people ringside at a boxing match.  That is also evident on the wards.

Just generalising now, because I can’t remember all the details of what was said, but I think that, instead of being militant and working to rule, etc, we need professionals who will go the extra mile and say ‘yes, we will do that, we are not going to bay, etc, but also we want the changes.  Hopefully that would still receive the same news coverage and publicity.  Some people have a problem realising that their militancy, if it belongs anywhere, belongs in their meetings, and not being manifest in any way towards the people they are employed to care for.  Unfortunately the militancy, where it exists, is often not switched off on the wards, or wherever the profession is worked out.

Staff are meant to be a locus of normality on the wards, but often they wear a mask, even aggressively throw one in your face.  And they don’t ask you questions which might suggest that the things you have said are real and not mental illness.  I feel my staff are operating their own vigilante clique.  I’m wondering at what point it was agreed to do so.  As soon as I entered the ward on the 1st May, even before assessment, people were miscommunicating all over the place.

They regularly use our quiet lounge for their meetings when there are meeting rooms available.  I challenged it once when I was in there, and I was successful on that occasion and they left, even if in a bit of a fluster.  But they haven’t changed the practice.  And our quiet lounge is through the TV lounge, and people can see in and look in, from both the TV lounge and the office on the other side.  There is no privacy in any shared space, all the rooms have big windows.   Staff look in and stare quite obviously and deliberately, I think, and I find that unduly invasive and unsettling.

The excuse I was gven for them using our quiet lounge was that it was more convenient for them when they are short staffed to be right by the office.  Apart from anything else, that to me says there is a multi-tasking mentality even about interviews with patients, and I think it is inappropriate in a situation like ours.

But the other day I came out of a meeting with my psychiatrist, and I was very emotional and shaken because I had just had to fight very hard to communicate with two people who were saying they thought I had an illness that needed treating and they were considering a section 3, and I opened the door and had to walk in that state through the TV lounge where 4 other women were sitting, facing the door I was coming out of.  I felt very uncomfortable.  If there is bullying it can very easily be the walk of shame.  Thinking about it, I think it is a fearful situation altogether.

To me the arts are the best way of dealing with mental distress, especially music.  But we are talking about not having enough money to fund the arts, while people who report harassment don’t even get their letter answered, and are sometimes treated so badly by the police they are reluctant to approach them in time of need, because they, if anything like me, find the anger to which they can be roused in a situation like that if officers abuse their position frightening in its possible consequences, let alone any ideological objections to enlisting the help of the police which some people might have.  People not getting their letters answered or their complaint properly dealt with are put into hospital and drigged or threatened with drugs, sometimes also being abused by the staff and other patients, and it costs about £700 a night, the last I heard.  But we can’t afford to fund the arts.

If people didn’t believe in the drug approach to the distress of a person, hopefully they wouldn’t go for the job in the first place???  Would anyone sell their soul that much for a living?  So how they feel, having chosen the job, is not my responsibility if they will not communicate.  I am my responsibility, and so are those who trust me.  Another woman today told me something similar about her home situation which wasn’t dealt with.

As we know with the Leveson Inquiry, media people stalk people.  Some do, anyway.  Organisations do.  But so does the psychiatric system, and that also damages lives.  And it seems to me that things shouldn’t go that far anyway, and that the treatment and attitude on the wards is what causes a lot of the behaviour interpreted as mental illness.  We are their bread and butter, after all.  They have a vested interest in people being admitted for treatment.  If more time were put into resolving the reported problems in the furst place, including organised stalking, the stalking could be dealt with, especially if their were fewer people afraid of professional abuse and the shadow of the syringe for speaking out and saying they have a problem in the first place.

The way our country deals with its people’s problem’s is unbelievable, Brave New World-ish.  You couldn’t make it up, except someone has, and made it what is supposed to be an accepted reality!

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