Archive for July, 2013


Update 28.07 2013

Last night I didn’t sleep much, I was too hot.  Then this morning the team on night duty (Mandy, Sylvia, Reward and Aka) started bashing and banging at about 5.30 am – Sunday morning and all.  Out in the real world they might have been reported for disturbing the peace before 7 am.  And they shout down corridors all day, they don’t go up to people and speak to them.  Everything sounds loud and singsongy.  I was in the shower this morning and when it came to washing my hair I felt sick and giddy.  This is common for me here.  Apart from anything else I am having to judge how much water I can use if I want to do the job properly.  I went out this morning and felt ill, too ill to walk.  I had been heading for church, but I could hardly keep my eyes open.  I thought in terms of I might not be ill, it might be the Holy Spirit making me feel that way.  I wanted to get to church and collapse.  I was convinced in the end that it was God but decided to go back to the hospital anyway and try to sleep.  I was afraid in case I tried to get help at church but they were unable or unwilling to accommodate what was happening to me.  I thought they might call an ambulance or something.  I came out again this evening heading for church, but I’ve stopped off at a hotel for a drink and to use the internet and write my blog.  I feel really bad about that, unforgivably so.  It’s lack of faith and trust  I’ve put writing my blog before going to church.  Going to church feels like the right thing to do, but in spite of what I want to happen and what I want to be communicated by me going there, I have little confidence that it is going to help and I was afraid, earlier, that keeping on going and not responding to appeals might cause tensions that might explode on me.  John Pettifor was speaking this morning, and something is happening with the interns tonight.  People talk about an open heaven.  If feeling positive about how it would be if I went and bad about not going is an open heaven, I suppose that might be what I’ve had today, and I’ve gone against it.

I just had ‘tea’ at the hospital.  Kiran was serving.  As soon as I sat down and started talking to someone else she adjusted her voice upwards in relation to mine, then she started talking to people like children and babies.  It always upsets me when she or anyone else does that, because to me they are not part of the equation in a conversation with someone else sitting at the table with me once they have served the meal.  I explained to the person I was talking to how it made me feel angry and hysterical when Kiran does that, and how it was made even worse because if I confronted her with it she would deny she was doing it, even though it seems obvious to me that she must know.  I asked another patient how she found her and she said OK, but when I told her what she does with me she said she does it with her as well.  If it is deliberate and she knows I don’t like it why doesn’t she stop?  If it is a problem she has and she can’t help herself, apparently, why can’t she get it sorted out when she knows it upsets me, at least?  I came out feeling as if my head had been kicked in.  I sneezed in my room and someone copied me.  I sneezed twice, they followed up with exactly the same thing.  This place is making me desperate.  Then I blame myself for being unkind in my reactions, or failing to have a sense of humour.  I tell myself it proves I am really selfish for it to bother me so much, and that I see myself as superior to other patients.

I’ve noticed that staff sometimes touch their ears, as if adjusting their hearing or something.  Chantelle used to do that a lot, she would do it at a distance, and she would stare into my face every time something strong and confident came out of my mouth.  If she was behind me a little way off she would put herself in my face to do it.  I find this outrageous and am afraid of people who don’t seem to think it isn’t and do it, who are also calling me mentally ill.  I can’t cope here anymore, I am desperate.  I really can’t cope.

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A Slightly Different Update 27.07.2013

I thought, about an hour ago, that my biggest anxiety is not having a home, not knowing where it is going to be, and not knowing how it is going to work.  I thought that, whether it is accurate or not.  I’m 22 months homeless now, and maybe immediate things should be more a cause of concern.  But no one is officially acknowledging any of the things I have said about previous experiences.  I just felt like jumping up and running to Tommy Boyd, but I don’t have enough money to pay the fare.  I wouldn’t have anyway, today.

Relationships and comfort zones with other patients are cooling, and at the same time I’m becoming a lot more fudged in my relationships with staff.  I have made some of them special to me, more honestly, some of them have made themselves special to me by their kindness.  All this stuff about boundaries I was asked to learn by the church, to be used against me, so it seems, seems to be going by the board at the moment.  But that may be only because I feel inhibited about being angry, most of the time, unless I flip and start shouting in my room.  If I say I am having a problem with anyone on the ward the official position and statement seems to be ‘I don’t think so’, or ‘I don’t think s/he is’.  It is never opened up or examined.  So it continues and I can’t talk about it.  I’m still being voice and expression-matched, and I find that so upsetting.  How can doing me back at me be good communication?  I thought that communication was about two or more different and distinct individuals interacting and revealing themselves, being themselves.  Have I lost the plot somewhere?  Have I missed something, a shift in what communication is?  I think copying is about power.

I started out saying that these people, the staff, knew what was happening as well as I did and that it was up to them to say so/stop it, with open commitment, whatever they got from me by way of anger and hysteria.  Now I feel I am softening and thinking maybe now we can talk about it.  But the fact is that in the meantime they have bullied me with mimicry and interventions and put me on medication, all the time knowing that what I have said is true.  It doesn’t augur well for anyone else, does it, if one person has to become reasonable to stop the assault and get the help they need.

I keep approaching this in a general way and not posting a lot of stuff i would like to have posted.  I have thought I should list people by name and their offenses, as I see them.  But I have also thought in the last 24 hours as I have before, that the best way not to be like someone is not to be like them.  But that is just in personal terms.  The relationship I have with the staff is not a cosy, life-affirming personal relationship and never will be.  I don’t think I know the best thing to be or do in this situation anymore, and its effect seems to be that I am developing a distaste for and aversion towards my blog, and an aversion to naming and shaming.  But what is the alternative?  For me personally, it doesn’t make things comfortable by any means, some people are reacting quite badly, but at least I won’t be having painful conversations with people who use their positions to abuse or disengage, from whom I later have to get food and medication and be let off the ward.

I overheard Alex say last night ‘he won’t get anything out of me’.  No idea what it was about.

I’m beginning to think of the hospital as a community run by the nurses, and interactions in public as group therapy.  It’s wild, it’s weird, it’s making my ears ring thinking about it.

Update 26.07.2013

I’m in a pub in Bulwell again and not very focused.  Jim went off ill soon after the bust up entry.  I’ve been told he has injured his back.  We have had quite a few staff on who are not normally on our ward.  The only thing really on my mind is an incident a couple of weeks ago where R was told to clean up her own vomit.  R is in a wheelchair, she has told me she has MS.  I spoke to the shift manager that day and said I was concerned about it because this was what I had been led to believe but after thinking about it thought perhaps her wheelchair was a concession to a delusion or something.  Obviously he wasn’t free to discuss her with me, but I expressed my concern and he said things aren’t necessarily as I have been led to believe, but even that can’t be seen as a definite because that would have been discussing her with me.  I have thought though that even if the wheelchair was a consession to a delusion, to confront it that way seems to me cruel and brutal, but I don’t know what has gone between them before.  She is quite big as well, and a lot older than me.  Having been 3 stones heavier than I am now and knowing how hard it was, and sometimes still is, for me to bend and get up, I expressed concern, but basically said the bottom line for me is that she is in a wheelchair and that it was distressing to me to have had to witness this.  Personally I have been uneasy if this was a way of confronting a delusion.  I talked about the time that I vomited in church and my stomach was hurting and a woman came up with a bucket of water and cloths or something and I said thank you, and she said ‘I’m not doing it.  I’ve seen this before’.  It seems she assumed I was drunk or something.  I can’t remember if I cleaned up or not, I know I was in a dreadful state after being sick.  I supposed that R must have felt the same way.  I haven’t submitted a complaint.  I haven’t named the staff involved.  Personally I have tried to have a good relationship with the person concerned, it isn’t my purpose to name him.  I feel bad even about going this far.

Update 22.07.2013

Last night nurses were up and down the corridor all night switching lights on and off.  I heard them with other people but not me.  They didn’t turn mine on.  This morning shortly before 7 Sharon positioned herself outside my door and spoke in a jeering voice.  Last night Sandra, a nurse I haven’t mentioned yet, kept starting her speech on a note I had used just before finishing mine.  She often starts on the last note and last week one day she kept using the last words of my utterances.  I have thought of this in terms of NLP, neuro-linguistic programming.  As I came out this evening and asked Terry to open the door for me I am sure that Alex, a female nurse, spoke straight after me in my rhythm deliberately.  Just before I was restarted on medication she was mimicking me at least one night but denied it when confronted with it.  She was present when I was told I was going to be restarted and I talked about risk and she said the risks I was afraid of were unlikely.  I said that didn’t mean anything and that they were possible and that she should stop hiding from it by using those terms and say every time she told someone they were going to be forced to take medication that serious side effects are a possibility.  Does that make me a bully?  I fear it might.  Am I a bully writing like this on my blog?  A few weeks ago the ward manager told me that if I didn’t remove names from my blog then they had been advised by their legal time that they could do it themselves.  I heard something on the radio yesterday about a right to confront service and trades people who deal badly with you.  I think it was set in 2025 though and am not sure if that law exists at the moment.  I’m sure it must.  This is a safe way to do it without involving verbal and physical confrontation.

All I want to do at the moment is cry.  My eyes are black with held back emotion and the repeated shock of being vocally tagged and mimicked and having no way to deal with it.  I have begun to think my problem with it is my fault because I should know better how to deal with it without getting precious about it, but it isn’t something i should have to deal with anyway.  The people I am happy to trust are the people who have not done this to me, or who used to and have stopped.  That makes about 4 people, off the top of my head.  It is something I experience as so aggressive and violent that my facial muscles feel as if they are spastic as this is imprinted on my fragile psyche.

Last week I said to someone that it is inhuman to keep me in hospital as long as I have been kept in knowing I have no home and no visitors, and that I have felt they have taken advantage of my situation.  There is at least one other person that I know feels as emotionally wretched as I do.  I asked my psychologist if we were allowed to touch each other today, if I could be hugged if I felt I needed it and he said no, it might be OK with a woman.  I asked what if i were lesbian, or just didn’t care?  I then pointed out that I have no relationships that are supportive in this way, that the only really contact I have is hospital care.  We talked about something quite difficult today.  I didn’t go out this morning.  The hospital is my home, and home is a place I want to spend time.  I didn’t know how to approach today at all, whether to go out or stay in.  It was like wading through mud.  I got fed up with myself because I felt it was me that was making it that way, that I was making it heavy weather, but what else could I have made it?

We had no water in our basins from Friday afternoon to this afternoon.  Someone said something about E-Coli.  It’s been a difficult weekend in that respect.  We had showers, but the hassle involved in trying to wash my hair would have been too great.  When I told Gareth, my psychologist, about the shower and what I have to do to wash my hair he seemed appalled.  He said that a bath or a shower is a soothing thing and that that was what we needed, and that I shouldn’t trivialise my dissatisfaction about it.

I find the mimicry and the intimidation/invalidation that goes with it should i try to say anything about it drives every thought and ability to communicate out of my head.  I had things I wanted to say but I have forgotten so many of them.  And when I write like this, as I am in this paragraph, I feel as if I am just being moany and pathetic.

I had a review with Dr Bradshaw, my psychiatrist, last week.  She is talking about trying to find me accommodation and starting me on a community treatment order.  The psychiatrist in the community is a Dr Cheetham.  She is on maternity leave at the moment.  I understand that when she spoke to me last year she recommended that I not be treated against my wishes.

It has been so hot here, as across the country.  I feel so miserable.  I don’t know how much of my tiredness is down to medication.  I have slept almost all the way through dinner time two days running.  Last night I didn’t sleep well.  Last night one of the patients had their name called as if it were a dog’s name, and she immediately got up and responded.  I believe I know that feeling, it is so visceral the safest thing you can do with it is stuff it down.  It was literally like hearing a dog being called.  She hadn’t come the first time.

Update 15.07.2013

Last Friday the decision to restart medication was communicated to me, almost 3 weeks after the SOAD interview.  Myself I think this is appalling and I have never experienced it before, and when I have mentioned it to staff in other areas they have said they found the delay a bit strange.

I am still quite disorientated, attaching too much emotional importance to some relationships, strictly speaking and according to current official guidelines on boundaries.  Now I’ve said that I am questioning it, but certainly I don’t think much about the future, occasionally my anger erupts, a lot of the time a lot is being fudged for me.  I feel as if I am being tamed the same way as an animal might be tamed, with punishments and rewards.  Not having much privacy, if any, for writing my blog I’m not doing a very adequate job.  I’m sitting in a Wetherspoons pub at the moment.  Not many people in this section.  I came to download something from the internet.  I’ve just remembered I did make quite a few notes last week which I intended to be for a blog entry.  I haven’t got round to using them yet and I don’t want to use them at the moment.

I spoke to my psychologist this morning.  He was talking about boundaries to protect vulnerable patients.  I know technically he is right.  I just saw something else on WordPress about game approaches to mental health.  I’m not sure if this fits here.  I feel upset and disorientated in this pub.  Jim, my key nurse, is on night shift tonight.

I have been trying to deal with a personal offense between myself and a member of staff.  I have been trying to approach it as a personal thing, not a professional thing,, but so many other people are somehow involved without me having given it to them I feel disorientated and confused.  I am desperate, I want to scream, and I feel as if it is my fault, that I am failing.  And the truth is I am, but also i am getting confused with all the people either inputting or piggybacking or sometimes, I feel, blocking, and I keep finding fault with myself and knowing, when I am alone, that I’m not handling it right.  I’m not feeling great in here, I’m not seeing things straight.  It matters to me, but I feel as if I am trying too hard to do something and that can’t be right or good.  Underneath I am raging because I feel as if I have been manipulated and bullied into this position.  I’m really upset, really tired, quite afraid, and I’m not sure what is happening.  I’ve been suppressing laughter for quite a while out of respect and sensitivity to this situation.  What I am afraid of in this instance is that we are not going to get satisfactory closure.   I’ve seen this person cry.  I’ve seen a few people cry.  Staff.  It seems to matter to me so much I am worried about why.  But in my mind I am contradicting myself even as I am typing.  There is a lot of psychological violence I am experiencing from some staff.  This is not a personal relationship, so how can I handle this powder keg?  We both seem to be trying.  I have thought this person’s tears were about this issue between us but I have realised I might be wrong, and my greatest fear is that if I raise this I might not get any answers.  That matters to me.

I have been trying, sometimes, to respect the office, in general, if I can cope with the person filling it.  But I have realised that, a lot of the time if not all the time, I believe it is the office itself which is evil.  I have been taught to respect the office when dealing with authority and officials.  I have had disturbed sleep for the past three nights.  I am much more distraught than I am showing.  I feel as if I am at home or in church, not a place I hate and despise.  There is so much laughter underneath, and tears.  My sense of humour keeps having a go at me, but often I am afraid to show it, or ashamed.  That will do for now.

PS on the practical side, as well as the delayed SOAD decision and broken sleep caused by noise on the ward, mainly, I think, staff talking and even shouting last night, and slamming doors, on Friday and Saturday morning we had no water on the ward.  I managed to brush my teeth Friday morning but there wasn’t even enough for that on Saturday.  I mentioned it when my psychologist asked me what I do for self-care and he asked if we had been given any warning and i said not that I had been aware.  Also in the shower we get four one minute jets of water for everything we want to do, and they are not awfully powerful.  If I want to wash my hair I have to load my sponge up from the basin and basically give myself a wash down and use the shower for my hair.  Even then I still find I need to put my head under the basin tap two or three times even if I use the shower only to wash my hair.  I think this is a contributory factor to my low mood.  I think a shower should be a pleasurable experience, but at the very least it should be sufficient for everything you need to do in it.  It feels like very basic survival.  I’m in a hotel restaurant now, just had a coke.  I feel like a very miserable and repressed wet blanket.  My mood here has been better in the past.  My psychologist said I seemed vulnerable this morning.  I can’t remember if he said emotionally vulnerable or what.  This morning I was not totally unhappy to be feeling vulnerable.

Going back to the relationships issue, I am getting very confused.  I have started thinking about the role of community in handling what I had wanted to deal with myself.  I’m getting confused because I feel as if the level of expectation of me from myself and others is inconsistent with the fact that I have a diagnosis of schizophrenia and am not expected to be fully functioning anyway.  Something happened last night – I said something, i can’t remember what or who to, then I made a joke of it saying I was speaking to an hallucination, and didn’t the person know I had hallucinations.  I don’t, it was a joke of sorts, but I became afraid it might be taken seriously as consistent with my diagnosis and documented.  What seems strange though was that the shift manager laughed when I said it (oh yes he did).  That seems to me to have been inappropriate.

I feel I have done violence to myself this week by requiring of myself, maybe feeling it was required of me as well, that I stay quite serious.  On Friday I became very upset after an encounter straight after I had been injected with a test dose of the drug they want to use (I have been given no information about it).  I remained upset for hours and no one came to help me until the end of that time, and I found her approach intimidating.  I thought that to leave me in that state, especially at that time, was mental cruelty.  They always have left me.

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