Last night the light was turned on in my bedroom at about 2-3 am.  I was asleep and it woke me up and I was very upset and angry.  They told me they had to do it, I said they didn’t and it had only happened about 12 times in 17 years.  They told me to stop shouting.  I said at some point yesterday that if people in our position being treated as we are start shouting in anger and hysteria it should be understandable, but that when carers shout at us it is not acceptable and it is not our fault.  About a week or so ago Sh___n, the nurse who pushed the patient out of her way with her foot, started saying something I have had them say several times down the years, that if you give respect you get respect.  When they have said that they have been talking about patients who don’t get respect because they don’t give it.  I said that is OK among equals but that it is a playground rule, not OK for nurses and doctors and domestics to use against patients.  If we supposedly have mental health problems and are having things done to us we don’t want and being abused as well, we might find it hard to be respectful in our state of fear, anger and hysteria.  Yesterday morning K__h the domestic hammered on my door and presented herself in my room arms up and talking loudly.  I told her that when people hammer on my door it shocks me so much that I don’t answer them.  I asked her why she couldn’t knock quietly like Jim did when he knocked on my door.  She said she was sorry she couldn’t change the way she knocked, it was just her, and I said she could if she knew it was upsetting people.  She grabbed L___a who was passing and asked her to come in for support, and she stood in my room and she said my music was nice and they were having a smiley conversation with each other with Linda standing there exuding security guard and smiles.  I said they wanted me to change but didn’t want to change themselves.  I was also angry that they were in my space presuming to say that my music was nice and I didn’t like the fact that they were doing that.  A few weeks ago Sh___n knocked on my door and I was trying to insist on boundaries with her because she had offended me before.  She asked me something, I said no thanks or words to that effect, and she started commenting on my radio, after having been insistent on her own agenda towards me already.  She asked me where I had bought it from and I said I couldn’t remember and it was obvious I didn’t want to talk to her.  She asked if she could have a look and I said no, but she insisted on coming into my room anyway and touching my radio and ran out.  I tried to remonstrate with her but she blanked me and went to another room then told me she was with another patient.  To me it was about staff respecting my boundaries, as so many issues I have had here have been.  I just thought of the patients’ charter and looked it up as I have been meaning to for a while.  I looked at the section on respect and it said you should be asked whether you want to be called by your first or last name and should have your choice respected.  I was offered that choice once on a general ward, I’ve never been offered it on a psychiatric ward.  In London I fought unsuccessfully for years to have them call me Sue rather than Susan, and ended up really confused about myself and what I called myself, to the extent that I felt I had betrayed my parents by shortening the name they had given me.  I started to feel that Susan was the real me and Sue a false me and I felt superficial and artificial for having called myself Sue for so many years.  I felt ashamed for having decided to call myself Sue and sometimes I still do.  When I insist on it it sometimes feels as if my name is nothing to do with me and nothing I say about anything matters or is reliable.  I’ve often objected here to being called love, duck, darling, dear and sweetheart but no one takes any notice.  They say that is the way they are and they do it with everyone.  Sometimes they seem to be quite aggressive and purposeful in doing so.  There are two of us who sometimes object, that I know of.  When I was in London I fought for years just to be called Sue, not Susan.  I said once or twice I would like to be called Miss Barnett.  No one took any notice.  It’s about boundaries and presumption.  They all assume and presume so much, and for patients in my category that damages lives.  They make decisions with legal implications in my life.  And recently, as I have said, there has been deliberate dishonesty and maybe illegality.  In fact I would say there is a lot of illegality.  They wave section papers at us as if that gives them absolute power, but as well as the legal power of these papers is all the illegal abuse they get away with.  ‘You have to this, that and the other because you are on a section’.  Is that really true?  Do I really have to have my life subjected repeatedly to people who deliberately abuse and lie and misrepresent apart from the powers they have under the mental health act?  Not only that, but some of them seem just plain stupid and thick and insensitive.  Yet they say I have no insight.  They don’t like the insights I have.

Apart from the light being turned on last night (it was the night before as well) There were doors slamming through the night and a lot of shouting almost non-stop between 6 am and 9 am this morning, after which it went strangely silent for quite a long time.  I noticed that when my key nurse had been in charge of the night shift recently there had been no disruptions that I had been aware of for those three nights and we had all seemed to have a peaceful night.  There were no rude awakenings in the mornings either.

I remarked to someone last night that in just the same way that we don’t have to be available to everyone outside, we also don’t have to be available to everyone in hospital either, that healthy people choose who they are going to be available to.  Yet some of the nurses get rude, offended and giggly if you are not making yourself relationally available to them whenever you meet them.  It is disrespectful and not recognising my right to privacy and choice about the relationships I choose to engage with.  They won’t let me be an ordinary person, they are demanding from me all the time, some of them.  I went into dinner on Friday trying to think about and envision meetings I have planned with other staff next week, and rather than leave my head space alone they were smiling at me insistently and when I got annoyed the Eastern European girl who was on started running around and giggling and touching surfaces as I have seen so often since this mental health thing started for me.  They can’t leave me alone.  They won’t request a conversation but the keep grabbing at me and imposing on me psychologically.  It is the same for others as well, they have said so.  To me there is something wrong with that.

I was talking about doing my laundry last night with another patient.  There is a laundry service that your washing has to be sent to and you get it back in 2 or 3 days, but people have said that things go missing so I decided to get mine done at the launderette.  She asked me if it had been OK and I said yes, everything had come out that needed to, and a nurse passing by started uncomfortably.  If that had been one of us and we had said something we would have been told that no, the other person was just talking about washing and why did we think otherwise?  I noticed that all the staff were walking with security guard body language and suddenly ‘realised’ this was deliberate.  Inwardly I turned away from them and when one of them passed me I stayed turned away and not acknowledging her and her body language changed and she looked guilty.  On another occasion she had walked past me a few weeks ago and when she noticed me she looked as if she was going to smile and she literally wiped it off her face and ignored me, continuing with the same hard body language.  They swan and glide and make annoyed or blank faces.  They pitch their hardness against my softness.  It leaves me feeling like a confused and angry mess.

Last night one of the other patients said it was illegal for them to keep her there.  She is a Christian.  The nurse in charge, S___a, came quickly out of the clinic room and looked at her, afraid and uncomfortable.  I encountered my psychiatrist in the corridor during the week.  She rushed past me uncomfortably.  The SHO of another psychiatrist looked redfaced and upset.  I don’t know what is going on but it feels as if it has to be good, from my perspective.  Having said that, I had the meeting with the SHO last Monday and was told he was waiting for the psychologist’s report before a decision was made.  I would have expected on to be made by now, it has normally been a same day decision and action, but no one has told me anything, if there is anything to tell.  I feel as if they are withholding it from me deliberately to keep me on tenterhooks.

I know these things are happening, I still have problems settling on why and what my responsibility is with it.  A lot of the time I feel as if they are desperate and I am wrong and unmerciful.  I told my psychologist that last week.

Advertisements