It’s a while since I have been able to update my blog.  We are not allowed computers on the ward.  It was in brief when I started. 

I absconded from Macmillan Close and was 12 days in London.  The last 4 of those were spent falling asleep upright anywhere and everywhere because I couldn’t afford a bed.  When the police eventually picked me up after many close opportunities I was taken to a hospital in London where I was put behind the nursing station and alternately I was told 4 times I could or couldn’t have my door closed.  The nurses were badly behaved all the time I was there, when in the evening I finally got my meal and tried to close the door for privacy a nurse became aggressive and said she would call security.  I was brought back to Nottingham between midnight and 2 am in something which said ambulance outside but was like a police van inside.

When I got to Rowan 2 I was met by two staff, one male and the other female.  I made it clear that night that I didn’t want to get too close to the staff as I was there against my wishes and believed I had a right to protest.

The next day I was lying in bed relaxed, I wasn’t bothered by anything that normally had bothered me, like door slamming and shouting.  Although it was happening it was separate from me and identified it easily as out there and hardly noticed it.  However, during the course of the day 4 groups of nurses woke me to confront me about getting up, and after this happened I realised I was again feeling oppressed by the other noises.  I was afraid of their unreasonableness, and angry.  One of them said it wasn’t fair to the other patients, I said something about care being patient specific and needing sleep.  After 4 confrontations all feelings of safety were undone and any benefit from any sleep I had managed was destroyed.

I haven’t got long to write this so I’m going to try and put in everything I feel relevant but it won’t be particularly ordered.

Today I have an appointment with a Second Opinion Approved Doctor.  The first time he came I was only given 1 ½ hours’ notice and I managed to get it rearranged so I could arrange to have an advocate present.  However, although I am sure that when I phoned the advocacy service last week and left a message on their machine I gave them all the details they needed, when I picked their response up on Friday they wanted me to phone them again with the time.  I’m usually good about giving all necessary details, and even on Friday when I spoke to someone directly she asked me what time it was going to be when I knew I had already told her.  They have a 48 hour call back policy so at the moment I don’t know if I will have an advocate or not.  I am worried about having to go ahead without an advocate because last time he kept interrupting me, said he wanted to ask me 2 questions then after that I could decide whether I wanted another meeting or not, and he asked me if I thought I had an illness and if I thought I needed medication.  I said no to both and he said we wouldn’t need another meeting.  I insisted pointing out he had said it was up to me and that the purpose of the meeting was to do a proper assessment, not just get my opinion of illness and medication.  I was shocked and disturbed by his rudeness and ground shifting and believed it to be deliberate, knowing that even I in his place would not behave as he had.  I shook his hand at the end and he was holding a pencil.  He didn’t even put it in the other hand.

The first meeting I had with my psychiatrist seemed quite friendly and reasonable until I mentioned that my English degree had involved a critical method path of psychoanalysis and reader response.  She looked shocked and nervous, not to say afraid.  In meetings after that she got heavier.  She told me that if I named people in my blog they could or would sue me.  I said good, it’s about time it was made legal not medical.  I’ve thought about it since and thought that must have been deliberate intimidation, as they already have enough to sue me with from before and have threatened it before but have not taken that route.  She often wears a mocking and provocative expression on her face when I am talking to her.  She has told me that because I believe things are happening I need medication, and has said that if I am heard shouting or talking to myself in my room or laughing I will be medicated.  She tried to reinstate a depot the other week.  On the day of the following review my advocate told me that that wouldn’t happen as the paperwork was not up to date and it would be illegal without seeing a SOAD.  I can’t believe she didn’t know that at the time she told me it would be reinstated.  2 or 3 weeks ago she terminated the review because I tried to tell her that what they wanted to do to me filled me with fear and revulsion, and she said she wasn’t prepared to have me speak like that.  She said she wanted to keep it rational.  I have said that when people introduce physical threat as something they believe they have a right to they lose the right to expect reason from the person they are dealing with and to expect to be seen as reasonable themselves.  Recently she has been harassing me, asking me to take just a little medication knowing how I feel about it and that we are waiting for a SOAD.  I have told them that I believe in natural healing, sleep and rest and self-management.  I’ve also said that I am afraid of what they want to do and asked how fear is good for someone’s mental health.  I pointed out that last time I was in London the panel said that in view of my feelings about medication and the fact I had held them for a long time they were not going to force me and were going to end my section, and have said that although Nottingham is a different authority this decision should be taken into account and respected.  This has been ignored.  I am worried that I have heard people here tell me they have been in hospital over a year and up to 3 or 4.  I’ve been in hospital here now since 1st May last year.  I’ve never been in hospital this long before.

I’ve seen a psychologist twice and he has given me the impression he is on my side in things I have said to him, and my key nurse told me as much last week.

I’m on an all women’s ward but we have male staff.  Although I tend to enjoy relating more to the men at the moment I still can’t see why there are male staff on a women’s ward.

One man keeps positioning himself near me and saying ‘My God’.  I have told him I find it offensive but he still does it.

One man, when I had my bedroom door open with a nurse inside one morning, looked straight into my eyes as I was lying in bed with piercing disapproval.  Recently the same man came out of the office and started playfully teasing a patient who interrupts me every time she engages me in conversation and had just done so.  It feels as if they deliberately affirm anyone who gives me a problem.

There is one female nurse who told me that she wished she had a mute button so she could switch me off.  I told her that was verbal abuse and she said she didn’t care.  I said she might not care but I did and thought she should because she had no right to be talking to patients that way.  When I told my psychologist this he said ‘good for you’.  The same woman the next night heard another patient shouting and swearing at me, calling me foul mouthed and evil and saying I should wear a sign round my neck saying I was evil.  She came out of the office and sat in a chair and watched it for about 5 minutes without saying anything.  When the other patient got up and walked away (I hadn’t sworn during the whole conversation), this nurse turned and said to me, ‘See, Sue, nobody likes you’.  I told her she had no right to say that and that it wasn’t true anyway.  She asked me why I had involved her in the conversation in the first place and I said I hadn’t, she had come and sat down, and she told me to F off.  I reported this in a review meeting, it was handed to the ward manager for investigation and I have been told that this nurse denied it happened and the ward manager said she didn’t feel that any of her staff would behave that way.  I had a concert booked one night and I was at breakfast and this nurse was on again.  One of the patients started shouting at me and I said I was tired of her shouting at me and of the nurses letting her.  One of the other nurses on with this nurse, instead of trying to diffuse the situation, made it worse, saying I was rude to nurses.  I was shouting because I was so upset and the nurse who had called me rude threatened me with an injection.  I said it wasn’t going to happen and the nurse who had sworn at me before said to me that I was going to get an injection and that when I did she would be there.  I said she wouldn’t and she said do you want to bet.  When she saw my fear when it was first mentioned she was pleased and laughed, then the first nurse told me I couldn’t go to my concert or go out at all that day and that I was restricted.  This woman has thrown a tantrum several times when she has not wanted a conversation with me, though she started it, and has threatened me twice with an injection when I’ve got upset about it.  Medication has only ever been raised as a foreseeable imposition or threat, never as an offer.  I didn’t go to the concert.  That night the man who keeps saying ‘my God’ around me stood at the end of my corridor singing ‘soldier, solider, won’t you marry me’, and ‘Red red robin’ sounding really upset.  It was two nights after I had been upset because I had been told that a depot was going to be reinstated.  I was saying they were psychological terrorists and rapists.  They just walked around me ignoring me, not offering help or support.  He said ‘bloody hell’ to another nurse and I told him to stop swearing, because they came down on us like a ton of bricks of we swore, and he repeated it.  I was touched by the singing and thought he was going to be on that night, but he wasn’t and I was upset and disappointed.  He was finishing his shift, not starting.  My advocate told me the afternoon staff would have let me go to the concert, but they never tried to communicate that to me.  I was offended by what had happened in the morning and I didn’t want to approach it with them.  I felt it was my own fault that I had missed it for not approaching them.  But I have often felt that they are making me ask for things rather than offering in an attempt to break me, because I have said that I am not playing patient to their doctor nurse and I have a right of protest.  I have missed quite a few meals through a combination of fear of harassment and protest, and in my tribunal the other week one of the members of the panel asked the staff about it in such a way that gave me the impression that they were so cynical about me that they just put missing meals down to a ‘bargaining chip’, that was the terms used.

The day after the missed concert I got to the breakfast hatch 5 minutes before it was supposed to close and it was already closed.  The nurse who swore at me was on and I asked if I could have some breakfast and she gave me a one word answer – ‘no’.  I asked her if she had brought her whip and stilettoes that morning and as I walked away she asked me if I had enjoyed the concert.  As I was trying to answer he she shut the door in my face and I pushed on it to finish my answer to her question, and she suddenly let the door go and I ended up on my back in the kitchen, so I finished my answer from there.  Another nurse threatened to have me removed if I wouldn’t get up but backed off when I said it was illegal if I wasn’t a danger to myself or anyone else.  Eventually she asked me if I wanted breakfast and I told her I had been told I couldn’t have any.  She told me the nurse had said I couldn’t have anything hot, I told her the interchange that had taken place and she said ‘that is what you are hearing’.  I said ‘that is what I am hearing because that is what was said’.  She was trying to put it down to symptoms of mental illness.  I have had this with two other nurses on two different occasions, they refuse to have a normal conversation without putting something they don’t understand down to delusional beliefs.  That’s why I don’t like talking to them.  I talk to other patients, but when I do the nurses interfere with my conversations, start mimicking me, talking loudly over me at intimate points in the conversation, matching my tone of voice to say something in the office.  They have denied that any of this happens, but other patients say it happens as well, and we are all angry.  When my psychiatrist told me I would be medicated if I was heard shouting and slamming doors I said to her that a lot of people feel and act the way I do, and rather than face the fact that the staff might be doing something wrong and need to change, they threaten us with medication on our own in the review, in isolation.  That night I went to bed determined not to let anything come out of my mouth.  I fell asleep and had a nightmare that someone was hammering continuously on my door and I was shouting ‘please stop shouting at me’.  Somewhere between asleep and awake I wasn’t sure if I was actually shouting, and waking up I took myself in hand so that I wouldn’t verbally express the distress of my nightmare.  I felt like a child in an abusive situation who lies quietly in bed as they hear an abuser coming in the hope that if they are really quiet this time it won’t happen, and in fact I have been in that position many times on the ward, but it always does happen, because it is deliberate, but when I say it is happening I am told my belief is a symptom of mental illness.  It’s like a gagging mechanism.  This morning before 6am a man who had been on duty overnight came into the corridor talking loudly and making a sound like throwing up.  That is the kind of wake up we get every morning.  Staff shout, we can’t.  Staff shout at us, and threaten us if we get upset.  If I talk confidently about something I have seen as positive for me that is not ‘treatment’ related, staff nearby laugh in derision.  When they knock on my door they hammer.  They mimic, they walk past ignoring, sometimes with disdain on their faces.  I believe this is an expression of civil war.  Because I made my position clear I feel they have withdrawn service and support and are often deliberately opposing me.  The first time I heard bedding being offered to people I wasn’t offered any.  I had been there about a week.

When I first got there there was a lot of shouting and overt bullying.  I stood up for someone a couple of times.  The shouting has largely turned to boy scout behaviour and uproarious laughter.  A male nurse shouted at a patient outside the office once, went back in and closed the door and everyone in the office laughed loudly.  I thought it was inappropriate.  I have said to my psychiatrist that I don’t want medication and that some people used it for bullying and sadistic pleasure and that it turns into a grotesque theatre of subjugation.  Two nurses have said to me when shouting at me and having threatened me that they will be pleased when I am on medication (taking it for granted it is going to go that way with the SOAD) and that they will be there when I get the injection.  They will also use it verbally and cruelly at other times.  When they first said they wanted to restart the depot I told them I wanted it once a month not once a fortnight, because I know it is available and that I was limiting their access to me.  I have told them that if they force medication on me I won’t co-operate with them over anything else and that it will be an assault.

I was out on leave one evening and a couple of times I was so touched by people’s humanity and vulnerability that I wanted to break down and tell them what was happening.  I didn’t.  But on the way back I thought that I was being roughed up in the name of medicine, and that wanting to break down and tell complete strangers my story was evidence of that.  When I got back on the ward I was upset and told some of the patients what I was thinking.  I got more and more upset until I went to my room and gradually regained control of myself and went quiet.  After I had been quiet for ages I suddenly thought, ‘I’ve got shoe laces in here, and electrical cables.  I could have tried to harm myself, and no one cares to check if I am OK.  This is an acute ward, and they aren’t even checking that I am OK after being upset for ages then going quiet’.  I started shouting that and the male nurse on duty eventually walked past my door and yawned loudly and offensively.  At least, anyone else might have seen it that way, but when I told one of the nurses they said that might be just the way he is and he might not have been meaning to be offensive.  I’ve contacted the police several times since I have been here, including about this incident.  I was given a crime number for this incident.  I’ve heard nothing back.  I have said before and know it is true, that these people can get away with anything and are completely unaccountable because all they have to say is that I am a paranoid schizophrenic and that my perceptions are part of my illness.  I said to a patient the other day when we were talking about having to send our washing away and wait 2 days for its return and I’d been told sometimes things didn’t come back, that I hadn’t expected to be here so long anyway, and a nurse laughed as if it was a funny joke.  The man who says ‘my God’ around me laughed or said something contemptuously when another female patient said she had had enough and was going home.

The staff say things like ‘vain’ and ‘rude’, just throwing the words around, apparently.  They used to say ‘baby’, which seemed to be a stop word, or acted that way anyway.  I confronted it a couple of times and for now it has stopped, more or less.  I hear them talking about other patients by name, gossiping at and after meal times.  I am sure I get the same treatment, and one or two times domestics have had a hard time hiding their outrage at me when I’ve just been relaxed and normal.  On one of these occasions it was followed by an apparently untargeted ‘we all know’, after using the word ‘wee’ which has happened a few times recently.  Patients have started mimicking each other, and one commented that the staff mimicked me a lot, but if I say so it is my mental illness making me think that.  I’ve told my psychologist this and from what he said and my key nurse said, he is on my side.  The person using the word ‘vain’ was a man, and so was the one who angrily and derisively mocked my accent from the office, which I have been told never happened and that the fact I think it did is just more evidence that  need medication.  They look through my slats without speaking and I have said I feel like a lizard at a zoo.  None of this can be good for my mental health.  There are three patients they let shout at me or tear into me in other ways.  They don’t try to stop it or express any concern for me.  I used to like talking to the patients but I have withdrawn a lot now because of staff harassment.

I realised last week that I have been having strong urges to self-harm as a result of all this.  I won’t do anything about them but the urges have been there.  I’ve wanted to cut my hair, even thought about shaving my head.  I’ve wanted to run forks down deep into the flesh on my cheeks.  I’ve thought it would be a good thing if someone would whip me.  The other day I sat upset and rigid in a wooden-armed armchair in the multi-faith room.  I was upset because of something that had been said by a volunteer I had seen as a friend.  I realised I was wanting to self-harm and dissolved the emotion by saying the words quietly out loud as a realisation.  I thought about the electric chair.  I asked myself what would be the worst thing that could happen and I thought I might wet myself and defaecate and fry, but that would be all there was to fear, and it would all be over.  When things first started years ago I used to think a lot that I wanted to go to America and be executed judicially by lethal injection because everything was my fault and if I died everyone else would be free of the problems association with me seemed to bring on them.  Now I am correctly identifying urges of self-harm as a result of what people are doing to me and not my fault.  They don’t need medication, they need a change of situation.  Enforced medication is one of the things that adds to my feelings of hopelessness.

I’ve seen a lot of lookalikes from my present situation on the tv this weekend, and I noticed one woman noticing a lookalike of herself.  It’s the multiplicity and density that makes it unlikely to be coincidence.  I am sure the staff are aware of it and I think they are blaming me.  I have said it isn’t my responsibility to address it as I have been talking about it for years and having it put down to mental illness, and that it is their responsibility to approach me and say they think they might have made a mistake.  I feel I am being harsh and unreasonable, but if they won’t raise it with me and it has been rejected for 17 years . . . I hve said that people who resort to physical assault in the name of medicine have no right to tears around the people they treat that way, but I have started feeling responsible for their emotions and obligated to them.  I think that has been manipulated and what they are expressing at the moment is cruel and puerile cowardice.  I think the same of myself though.  I keep thinking it isn’t about feelings, it is about facts.  Being rude, vain, irritable etc are not evidence of mental illness and a need for medication.  I have been told I am paranoid schizophrenic because I believe that things related to me and my situations appear on the media and that I am being stalked and experiencing vigilantism bordering on and occasionally involving violence.  I see my time in hospital as one of these latter situations.  It is psychologically violent, physical assault.  I have said and meant that it is Nazism and scientific totalitarianism and that it is barbaric and brutal.  I have said I can’t trust people who will operate this way because it is an easy out and I think there is something wrong with them as humans that they cannot or will not see themselves as cruel and unreasonable, especially when someone says that other things help them.  I have said that I don’t want doctors taking serious risks with my physical health without my consent, risks that have been known to put people in wheelchairs as a result of ‘rare’ side effects.  If there is a risk like that, it isn’t right to say it is minimal to a person you are forcing medication on and denying them a right of refusal, while refusing to acknowledge that that person might be one of the people so affected.

I’m also afraid that even if they acknowledge they have been mistaken about this longstanding ‘reason’ for calling me mentally ill, they will shift their ground and insist on calling me mentally ill for other reasons which have arisen as a result of the constant bullying, untruthfulness, misrepresentations, etc, over the years.  I was up one night at 4 am and heard one of the male nurses up the corridor, a constant stream of ‘bastard’.  I have said they are employed to do a job and I have been there on my own time for over a year, but they come down hard on me and others if we swear, although swearing is a part of life.  Enough for now.  Oh yes . . .  My psychiatrist says the expressions on people’s faces don’t mean anything, then sits there with a provocative look on her own face.  A look passed between her and the clerk which knocked me out for the whole tribunal hearing, because I didn’t dare say anything.  I’ve started confronting this, talking about drama training and conveying thought process and feelings through facial expression.  I’ve also said most people disagree with her, and sometimes I have put it stronger than that.  Everything I say is put down to mental illness, everything said about me is used as fuel fir their invalidating, undermining and subjugating theories and decisions.  I have started saying that It is untruthfulness and dishonesty.  I said when first told I would be sued if I named people that it is a humanitarian obligation to name and shame these people, but I haven’t.  Sometimes I have felt guilty that I have protected myself by not writing at the expense of others who need me to speak.  Today I feel as if I am letting myself down and being dishonourable to the staff by writing.  And I’m scared because I’m not going to have an advocate this afternoon.  I have felt it is treated as a sign of weakness and validation of the staff if I don’t write, and also that it is a validation of their position and something they can blame and hate me for if I do write.  I’ve been hoping that if I don’t write they won’t medicate, but I feel they take advantage of my silence and will medicate anyway.  I feel that this strong feeling of certainty and relief that they won’t medicate if I don’t write is a true feeling from God to which I am being disobedient and that by writing I am not trusting God.

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