Tag Archive: Anger


Yesterday Was My Birthday

Yesterday I was 55.  Some of my Facebook friends wished me happy birthday, which was nice, and Peter and Jennie, my two nurses, took me out for lunch and gave me a card and two bars of Lindt chocolate, which Jennie knows I like.  I asked Jennie a while ago if we could go out for my birthday and she said yes.  As I have said before, in real life they are the closest thing I have to friends at the moment.  I wouldn’t have celebrated my birthday at all without them.

Because of my antipsychiatry beliefs I actually have an ambivalent relationship with them which isn’t altogether comfortable.  I am aware of their clinical relationship with me, and resentful of it, and feel I have to be careful what I communicate at this time while I am almost at the end of coming off my medication.  It is quite confusing trying to relate to them as friends.  Peter, especially, seems to have that role towards me deliberately as we meet for coffee every week, but also with Jennie, I offer her coffee when she comes to do my depot and she accepts and we sit and chat and watch television.

My anger at their clinical involvement is never far below the surface, and I wish that involvement didn’t exist.  I realise by saying this I open myself to a charge of ingratitude.  They didn’t have to take me out yesterday or help in all the ways they have this year.  But the reality is that the basic nature of my relationship with them is clinical, and I feel strongly against that.

I’m sure it must be difficult for them as well.  They know how I feel about the clinical side of things but, especially for Jennie, it is part of her job.

Someone in Speak Out Against Psychiatry said they are only nice because I’m being compliant.  If I weren’t they might want to put me back in hospital, although at this stage, where my last depot is due just after Christmas, that might not be the case.  But certainly a lot earlier on it might have been.  I get the feeling we are keeping each other sweet.

It would be nice to think there is some real friendship there, but there is no way it can be fully expressed, that is the nature of this kind of professional relationship.  I am sure a real fondness exists, at least on my part, and regardless of the resentment and anger.  And fear, I should say fear too.  It is frustrating.  In spite of what I want to feel, I feel subjugated.  The clinical relationship is the only reason that any relationship exists, and I am totally against the clinical relationship.

It was nice to go out for my birthday, though.  I hope if they read this they will understand and not be offended.

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This post is two interviews given by Monica Cassani on Nonduality Talk. I find I resonate with a lot that she says. She talks about her own experiences in the mental health system in America, and about her pursuit of healing Beyond Meds, which is the title of her regularly maintained blog. Each interview is about 55 minutes long and well worth listening to.

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds

PART ONE AND PART TWO ARE NOW INCLUDED IN THIS POST

For more visit Nonduality.Org

Jerry Katz says: We talk about the possibility of living without psychiatric medications, the implications, and Monica’s personal story of withdrawal from meds.

Listen to PART 2 here

Tracks:

0:00 – 4:35 Introduction to Monica Cassani. Monica talks about the possibility of living without psychiatric medications and the need to sometimes live with them to some degree. The nature of safe withdrawal.

4:35 – 11:21 The radical decision to stand up to the authority of psychiatry. Non-compliance: care and support needed, especially from the psychiatrist. “It shouldn’t be viewed as non-compliance.” It should be a right to get off drugs or to explore an alternative. Currently, people don’t have a choice. There’s no infrastructure to support options to standard psychiatric care.

11:21 – 15:20 Monica’s attempt to educate people as a first step toward building…

View original post 965 more words

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.

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.

 

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.

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?

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.

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.

It’s Not My Fault

Actually, that’s not how I think.  I have what I believe to be a really unhelpful habit of looking back and blaming myself for so many things.  The way I think, it sometimes seems as if I must hate my younger self.  I feel as if I can see that I was totally wrong.  There are people who would rejoice in that, people who have already told me it is all my fault and take no responsibility for the inhumanity of their own words and actions towards me.  Some church people have been so strict and confrontational with me you wouldn’t know it was church people you were dealing with.  Those people, according to what has been said to me, still don’t want anything to do with me and are insistent that I stay away from them.  The Shearmans, the Coleses, are only two examples.  At the Christian Centre, Nottingham, one of the pastoral staff told me I was welcome to come to church but that I had frightened the Shearmans with silent calls about 16-17 years ago and I was to stay away from them. First of all they and their staff had frightened and angered me, and I was just being frightened, angry and confused OCD with my first ever mobile phone.  I’m sorry that I frightened them but they and their staff had also frightened and offended me.  They were targeting me from the platform.  I know this because one day one of them approached me and told me to leave because I wasn’t doing what I was being told to do.  As I remember it it was only coming from the platform, they weren’t talking to me otherwise.  And I think what the Coleses and their staff did to me was really nasty.  I was angry without any sign of violence, and it seems they have such an exalted idea of their position that they thought it was OK to pronounce sickness over me.  That was Moira Knight, one of their trusted few, in John Coles’s presence.  He didn’t say she was wrong.  I couldn’t believe what she had said to me, and it exploded in my mind how far they were prepared to go to resist me and keep me under.  It was a very effective double bind, which R D Laing said was operational in a lot of people called schizophrenic.

Paranoid?

One of the questions I used to get asked by psychiatrists was ‘do you think anyone is trying to harm you?’  My answer now would have to be ‘yes, I do.’  The man who viciously slandered me saying I had chased him up the street with a knife obviously has done something injurious to me.  I did not chase him up the street with a knife.  I didn’t chase him, and I never had a knife in my hand when outside my flat.  Other things have also been made up, presented out of context, or exaggerated.  Yes, someone has been trying to harm me, and has succeeded.  He is not the only person.  Other people have spoken and acted injuriously also.  I know what they have said and done, and have documented some of it in this blog.  It isn’t paranoia and shouldn’t be called paranoia.  That is bad practice and a miscarriage of justice.

Mish-Mash Musings 2

In my last post I wrote about how the Church, during the Inquisition, used to ‘relax’ people into the hands of the state so they could be burnt, and wrote about the parallel drawn by Thomas Szasz between this and the mental health movement.  He said that in a religious age ‘heretics’ were ‘relaxed’ into the hands of the state, but in the so-called enlightened age the parallel is that society turns to the mental health movement for the upholding of the dominant culture.  However, the Church is part of the society which does this, and does it itself.  So for the mental patient who is also a Christian, there is no ‘comfort’ for them in religion.  The mental health system is part of the new way of dealing with ‘heretics’ for the church.  The church believes in this, or says it does, and largely it accords the mental health system the same authority as the rest of society does, except for some people.  It might decide that some people are really not mentally ill and try to help them, but on the whole it validates the mental health system and its ideas.  So someone like me can become very isolated since the Church refers me back to the mental health services.  Admittedly I have not been to every existing church, but the ones that have been part of my life to date have all said the same thing, that they believe I am mentally ill, so accepting the categorisation in the first place.  Many other religious bodies do the same thing.  Scientology does not.  I have only recently discovered that Thomas Szasz had links with Scientology.  For some people this will put them off him, but there are others who hold the some of same views who do not have those links, the writers and editors of This Is Madness, for instance, and Foucault, and R D Laing.  R D Laing was ridiculed for turning to Buddhism, apparently.  I was told this by one of the nurses on Rowan 2, I think, and they said how ironic it was that the psychiatric system is itself now looking towards things like mindfulness as a way of raising people’s consciousness.  They wouldn’t call it raising people’s consciousness, but essentially that is what it is.

I’m not on Rowan 2 at the moment, I was transferred to Newark on Friday night. It is a place like Macmillan Close, complete with door slamming!  I’m not sure how I feel and I hope it is not a matter of my choice, because there are pros and cons with both.  I was told at 6.30 pm on Friday evening that the transfer was going to be made and that I had no right to refuse.  Steve, who was on duty, told me it was only temporary and that I am expected to go back some time this week, citing my housing situation and residence in Nottingham a a reason for me going back.  However, the staff in Newark are under the impression that I am here long term and that housing can be dealt with from here.  I’m confused and feel very disorientated.  I said I didn’t want to come because I don’t know Newark, and that seems to me a good reason at the moment.  I have been homeless 2 years now, Friday was the anniversary, and it can’t be good for me to keep being so uprooted.

Can’t Be Bothered

I can’t be bothered keeping up with everything, everything is too much of an effort.  I’m not helping myself, possibly, assuming that no one would want to be my friend.  I’m realising, I think and hope, that I have had plenty of opportunities to make friends away from the hospital with people who stop and talk to me, but I am afraid for when it goes further and gets complicated, not to mention even the first risks, because I feel as if I am unsure what being and having a friend is these days.  I’m not watching TV so it almost feels as if the things I have believed to be happening aren’t anymore because I’m not watching to see it.  Enough.

Another Shouting Match

Tonight, for as I write it was tonight, just 1/2 an hour ago since it started, thought by the time I finish writing it will be last night, I’ve just been involved in a confrontation with staff and a patient.  This is what happened.

It is now a minute past midnight, so it happened last night now.  One of the rowdiest people on the ward has just started singing.  I don’t appreciate it.  It is Kerry.  I feel weak and undermined for not daring to tell her to stop, and no one else will.

I tried to have an early night, and for ages I wasn’t able to sleep.  Too hot and restless.  Eventually, around 10pm, I put some meditation music on, and I fell asleep to that.  Soon after it finished People started shouting in their rooms, to themselves, but loudly and angrily.  I don’t think it was anything to do with my music.  There were two of them.  I don’t think this time Kerry was one of them.  I was annoyed because I had been woken up, and I have been absorbing this most of the time for about a week.  Absorbing it has affected me and my level of well-being.  I have felt tired and very upset and lifeless.  The shouting, and the door-slamming, have been horrific.

I shouted back, told them to stop, I was trying to sleep.  I said they were making everyone feel so good, and finally I said one of them was mad.  That is the kind of thing I have had from the staff.  I am vulnerable and impressionable and exhausted.

Some of the staff came round and started having a go at me, saying I should have compassion, people were ill, and people were trying to sleep.  I said I was trying to sleep but I got woken up.  When they adopt a tone and attitude to me the best I can do for myself is shout back, and I found myself out of control in the same way the other women were, but from me it was not tolerated.  Alex said I was unbelievable and it wasn’t worth talking to me.  That’s when I lost control.  I said they were unbelievable, that if this could happen in here it can also happen in the community, but because I have said it is happening in the community I’ve been told it is all in my head and I have had what was my home taken from me because I am in hospital.  They kept telling me I was shouting, but they were confrontational or dismissive and not letting me finish sentences and walking away in contempt.  M involved herself again, saying she was going to call the police and I was waking everyone up and I should be in prison, and she got the ‘darling’ treatment, whereas I was vilified.  I had Alex saying I had a high level of understanding.  She had been telling me there are some ill people on the ward, and I had asked her why she was telling me that as if I was not a psychiatric patient.  She said it was because I had a high level of understanding.  I said just because I have a high level of understanding doesn’t mean I can go on absorbing the rubbish while they normally sit in their office and do nothing about it, other people shouting and screaming and slamming doors.  I’ve started yelling at people to stop because the nurses don’t normally do anything about them, the same as they have left me to shout myself hoarse and upset.  She kept going on about finding it almost impossible to work with me, but there are things she doesn’t want to hear, because I start talking and she talks over me.  Kevin did it as well.  One of them said they were warning me.  How come even when I am upset at being woken up and trying to deal with it in the only way I felt I could, rightly or wrongly, wrongly obviously, I’ve got it from the way I have been dealt with, I am the only one of all the people who are upset who gets short shrift?  Keven said he couldn’t tell what I was saying because I was shouting,but I can tell what people are saying when they shout, and when I lowered my voice he started talking over me, so I raised it again to be heard, then he told me I was shouting.  When I said about doors being slammed hard Alex said the doors don’t shut quietly, as if we hadn’t already had a conversation where I had complained about Kerry and Alex had acknowledged that a lot of other people had complained.  My door closes quietly.  Here on Rowan 2, Highbury Hospital, Nottingham, I am being victimised and am on the wrong side of favouritism.  It doesn’t work for me.

I’m not going to commit suicide.  But some people would.  I don’t want to be driven like this just because people judge (perhaps) that there is no risk of suicide.  If I get distressed to the point of being beside myself and enraged I don’t want these confrontations from the people who have been responsible for it, trying to make out I am a special case and have more understanding than the average psychiatric patient.  Alex says she has often said she doesn’t think I should be here.

Stuck for a Title

Because what they are doing to me is so mean, so opportunistic, knowing I have no one to turn to, it beggars belief.

A few times this week I have gone back on the bus hardly able to sit upright and keep my eyes open, I felt so ill.  Today was one of those days.  My bed has been stripped and I asked if it could be made for me because I was upset and didn’t feel well.  First I was told someone would help me and someone was named, then they completely changed their minds and told me not feeling well wasn’t a good enough reason.  I said I was going to A&E because I don’t want to feel like this anymore.  They were full of sarcastic sweetness.  I didn’t go, because I thought they are all as bad as each other and I would be making trouble for myself.  I have no one I can turn to, no visitors, they have kept the harassment and sarcasm and terseness and rudeness just coming at me.  Sharon has been mainly responsible.  There is a nurse called Helen on today, white British (there is another who is black) and she was really rude to me as I came out.  I was talking loudly because I was upset and she said ‘go on’, gesturing at the door, and started talking really hard at me.  They were laughing.  I can’t take anymore, I am tired and upset and everything they do is designed to undermine and humiliate me.  Terry was laughing.  I saw something between him and Sean I wished I hadn’t seen, at least I saw Sean’s reaction, I can guess the rest.  He had just told Terry I wanted my bed made.  I don’t want to go back to this.  I never wanted to do this, and I don’t want to do it anymore, it is inhuman.  Helen was responsible, as a new person, for moving against me and getting me medicated when all I wanted was to get my lunch in peace a few weeks ago, just a few hours before Kerry kicked me in the stomach.  I’ve still had no support over that, I feel upset every time I encounter hr, and she puts herself in my face.

That’s something else.  I saw John in the car park and he ignored me.  He is one of the OT people.  The other day he invited me to a Moving On Group and I said no thanks, the things I would want to talk about as anxieties for moving on are things I’ve already had dismissed as symptoms of mental illness, so it would be frustrating for me.  He said OK and moved on, then I changed my mind, at which point he told me it was a confidential group and he didn’t want me blogging and describing and naming people.  I said I hadn’t described anyone, he said I had described Kerry.  So it was another bit of opportunism.  Why did he invite me in the first place?  I said I had no legal responsibility to not name anyone, staff or patients, and he talked about common law, whatever that is.  He said if I was going to blog he would have to ask me not to come, so I said I would forgo it.  Anyway, he was there in the car park tonight, silently walking up and down and refusing to get involved, as though angry, hurt women are not to be spoken to.  This is vicious.  It is just vicious.  And talking to me about common law, when legal law is being used to do things to me that I don’t want or need, and as well as that I am getting such inhumanity and cruelty.  And wide eyes innocent insolence and discrimination.  They never take my side or other patients’ sides in a conflict between a patient and staff.  I’m worn out and tired, very very tired, and I thought, I’ve tried to believe, that Terry is a friend.  Sometimes it really looks that way. I hurt him and made him angry by accident, and I was angry as well at his reactions.  But I’ve seen him cry, especially after I wrote him a letter.  He had suggested writing a letter before and I didn’t, so I wrote a letter coming out of that, and his tears were real, I saw them.  I’m afraid of him these days, and at one point it wasn’t like that.  When he is with some of the others, anyway, I’m afraid of him.  I was told he was going on a course for dealing with aggression and I became afraid that he would come back changed.  I didn’t realise it was something they have to do every year.  My experience of him to that point had been that he only needed to put himself in a situation and stand there for things to calm down.  I was afraid he would come back like some of the rest.  They always have to have the last word as well, some of them.  What I wrote about earlier today, Tracy did her normal thing of walking out after throwing something at me and me trying to answer her and challenge what she had said.  She is the one who tells me she can’t be bothered with me.  Sue told me she didn’t like me and didn’t want to talk to me.  Sharon is just pig ignorant (apologies to pigs).  I said I didn’t want to look at something they wanted me to look at this afternoon because I didn’t trust them and would look in my own time.  I was told they didn’t care that I didn’t trust them.  It is wrong.  They are determined not to be nice to me in a conflict situation.  I’m dealing with savage animals here who should be struck off.  That reminds me, someone who knows told me today that Dr Bradshaw is leaving.  Dr Bradshaw leaving, Tony off the ward for about 2 months and I’ve been told they can’t tell me why.  They have said he is still team leader, or whatever his title is.  I don’t know how I feel about him at the moment.  I felt sorry for him at one point.

Dr Alan has gone.  I thought he was nice, as anyone connected with psychiatry could be.  He was on the ward one night saying in ‘that voice’ that he would help any way he could.  I thought he was talking to me but I was afraid and not sure.  I had intended to try and talk to him, but now he has gone.  There are some people to whom I want to say, ‘do you think I can help you and if so, how?’  He was one of those people.

Sharon was taunting and bear baiting today.  She always does that with me.  She has started walking past coughing and clearing her throat at me.  I have become too free in saying this kind of thing.  They rarely challenge me, especially not if I am talking to another patient who feels the same way, but I suppose they are still putting it towards a diagnosis of schizophrenia, as though no one could be doing these commonly done to people things to me, it has to be mental illness, because I live in a pristine, antiseptic bubble where none of the things people do to each other are ever done, according to their theories about me.

I have said over the last two days that these people are brainwashed as to how they think it is OK to treat another human being, and that the rest of us aren’t supposed to have a problem with it.  I have heard it said that many people fear mental illness and wouldn’t talk about symptoms because they don’t want to end up in hospital.  It’s a political rule of fear, if that is true, in my opinion.

Another thing I am still confused about is Ruth.  In the wheelchair with MS.  She is often sitting in the corridor in her chair waiting for someone to help her.  Today, apparently, one of the nurses who did breakfast told her she had legs and she should use them.  I don’t get this.  I don’t like being in the dark about something like this, but they call it confidentiality.  Except that this morning wasn’t very confidential.  I often help her, but I am becoming impatient and reluctant myself because I am thinking the staff must have a good reason for making her do things for herself.  She told me they had taken the spacers out of her wheels.  I don’t want to be unkind but I don’t want to contribute to a problem the staff seem to think is made worse by helping her.

My back hurts and I am upset.  There is nowhere i can go and no one I can turn to.  They are taking advantage of that.

Sandra started off really badly.  I was just enjoying myself dancing to the radio and I walked up the corridor really happy.  Next thing I knew she was behind me saying for my hearing but not to me “what are you . . .? But you have down days as well don’t you”.  Later that day I tried to talk to some medical students about what she had down and she came out of the office and stared.  Then later in the evening a Chinese takeaway man came to the ward and he had a tee-shirt on saying ‘cover me in chocolate and feed me to the lesbians’.  Being intelligent and having a sense of humour I read it out loud and he looked agog at Sandra and Sandra made a ‘oh, just dismiss it’ gesture at the man, but I continued, saying would it be pleasurable for lesbians to ‘lick him off’, and he was nicely embarrassed and Sandra laughed, but it was the three things that went before that were the problem and prejudicial to me.

I don’t talk to people because I expect them to lie to cover themselves, it has happened before.  I just asked Ruth today, the ward manager, if she still believed that none of her staff would tell me to F off and that no one liked me, as Sue did.  She said yes, she had no evidence.  I said that I should be the one protected, not her staff team, and walked away.

Sue and Sharon, and Tracy and Steph had a go at me today.  They are like bear baiters at a circus.  It was lunch time.  Sharon started it.  Then they wouldn’t let me go somewhere else to eat, not even the area where everyone sits and eats crisps and chips etc.  They can start on you at lunch time and you can’t go anywhere for peace.  It’s sadistic.  They are out of order and out of control.  I am not the only person they are doing this to.

Angel of Light

The Bible says that the devil can appear as an angel of light.  I said that this morning meaning psychiatric staff, but obviously I am aware that it can have as many applications as people want to give it.  So let’s not go there. Maybe for me the biggest angel of false light is that which says ‘it’s nothing to do with me’.  Perhaps a twin would be ‘the experts must be right’.

I was thinking and saying tonight, 16th August, that I can’t understand how someone can, in good conscience, take a job which empowers them to commit acts that in other contexts would be viewed as assault.  I find it appalling that someone can assault you one day and, without apologising or anything, act as if nothing has happened afterwards and put it down to general relationship problems on the part of the patient, or mental illness, if the patient doesn’t go along with that.  If they did at home what they do to us here they might not have a relationship to go back to.  I would certainly find it hard to consider having them in my home,  Do they apologise for major failings at home?  If so, why don’t they apologise to us?  Are they trying to kid us that they really think their behaviour is an acceptable part of a normal relationship, or that they think we think it is, all of us, and that we wouldn’t want or expect an apology?  When Jim grabbed me I wasn’t putting myself or anyone else at risk.  So it really was an assault.  He wasn’t the only one involved.  I’m worried about the reasons for having me on a Section 3 as well, that while I am not a danger to myself or anyone else I suffer from a mental illness of a nature and degree which requires treatment in hospital.  Being mistaken about the reasons for harassment or violence or antisocial behaviour from others does not, in my mind, constitute a mental illness.  And if people believe I am not mistaken all the more reason for them to say, unilaterally and without any assurance of my good will, that they have made a mistake.  From the bits I’ve seen and the much that I’ve heard, we are all over the broadcast media, and it isn’t because of me.  It was happening before I started blogging about them.  It’s been happening to me, to my knowledge, for nearly 18 years.

Saturday 10.08.2013

Well, what a day, and I don’t mind telling you.  I’m sitting in a hotel restaurant drinking a non-alcoholic Mojito, because I wanted to avoid a certain HCA at dinner who keeps insinuating herself on me.  She would probably have been serving.  Today she was playing the ‘how have I upset you today‘ game, as if it wasn’t obvious.  She still has not, to my knowledge, admitted swearing at me etc.  Everything she does to me is out of bounds.  She has a daughter who sometimes works on the ward as well, in the same capacity.  I wouldn’t have thought that was good practice. There is another mother and daughter among the domestics, and a twin set also among the domestics.  I don’t think any of that is OK but certainly I don’t think it is OK to have two HCAs on the same ward from the same family.  That is called nepotism.  How can that be professional?

Police came this afternoon.  Wasn’t really after a statement.  One of the first things he did was accuse me of spitting, as if dealing with a playground fight instead of the complaint of someone who has been physically assaulted.  It was like we have to sort it out.  He wanted to know why I didn’t want to talk to Kerry with him there.  But she lied, apparently, according to him.  She said I assaulted her and she kicked me in self defense, and nothing could be further from the truth.  I never touched her and didn’t move as she came at me.  Apparently the witness has been reported as a missing person.  I told him I was afraid she might have a gang behind her or something but he was insistent she did not.

Went out for breakfast this morning with another patient, then went with her to Boots and Clarks.  Went to the Alley Cafe for a sandwich and a vegan version of Guinness.  Sat in the Market Square for a bit watching the fairground rides and the pigeons.  Passed a lot of police, including PCSOs.  God loves police people, the same as He loves the rest of us.  It’s just their misbehaviour affects people more.  I passed a PCSO this evening and wanted to go and thank him for making himself vulnerable to protect us.  Passed a lot of boisterous and loud people and decided they weren’t all drunk and/or disorderly.  There is a hen night to the right of me.  I feel as if I am raining on their parade, doing this.

Would people run from the police so much if they didn’t expect sass and force?  Don’t know.  Feel as if I need to come back into line with ‘the majority of law abiding people’.  The occasional bit of bad behaviour, inefficiency and violence doesn’t make a bad cop, does it?  Unless I am its victim.  I am very tired again.  Seeing hospital as home.  Too much over-familiarity coupled with fear and anger for straight and appropriate thinking and perception.  I feel really upset and disorientated.  My section ends on 16th August.  I’m hoping they don’t renew it.  If they do it will be for a year this time.  It really is an abusive atmosphere, I’m not wrong.  It takes its own rightness for granted and has too many physical powers, not to say illegality as well.

Old ‘Wives Tales

I spoke today to someone who turned out to have been a midwife before her present business.  I told her what had been happening to me in hospital, the forced treatments with PRN medication and the restraints, and I find this hard to believe since the practice is so widespread, but she told me that what happened to me is illegal, but that it happens all the time.  I don’t know if it is equally true for people on a Section 3 or not.  I know where this lady is, she will be there for the long term.

While we were talking I said to her that I had thought earlier, but had forgotten to put it in my post, that the question ‘can I help this person without putting them on drugs’ does not seem to be one of the questions on a psychiatrist’s check list.  I told her I was homeless and she asked me if I was in a hostel, I told her no, I had had problems at home but they had said the problems were just in my mind and had put me in hospital, and she seemed outraged.  I told her I thought I went too quickly and cynically to the political view of things, but she said she thought it was right, and when I said that they always said there is so much call for beds that they don’t keep people in unless they are really ill, she was skeptical about that as well.  In fact thinking about it, of course she should be.  I heard someone say that the psychiatrists are the front men for the drugs companies.  Of course this is right.  Jesus, help us.

She also said that the fact they have acronyms for things doesn’t make them legal.  But if all this really is illegal, how come they are getting away with it?  I can’t understand this.  She was adamant that it is political and not a health thing, and I said that I believed that as well, but that it was different hearing it from a professional.  Of course, though, many people in other branches of medicine have no time for psychiatry, but she said the practices are actually illegal, and this is a different professional perspective for me.  I hope she is right, because then there might be some hope of dealing with this.

While I am here I might as well say that no formal support or counselling is in place to help me deal with what happened yesterday with Kerry and the kicking.  They’ve basically said talk to us if you want to, but they know how I and some others feel about talking to them about anything and it seems to me there should be something solid and more formal with appointments in place.  I have had no support offered with this at all except informally, apart from the fact that a young student took the details of what had happened and said it was to my credit that I had handled it calmly and had come back to the staff.  But it was completely by chance that the woman who agreed to be a witness for me had been passing at all.  I don’t know what I would have done otherwise or how it would have been handled.  One of the other patients told me when I got back on the ward last night to be careful because she thought she was going to try and provoke me again.  No one has followed me up and asked how I am after it.  I think I am more alone in this than I should be.  I would have thought that in a situation like this other disciplines should have been involved as a matter of course.

Update 30.06.2013

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.

Life at Macmillan Close

I am being trialed off my medication at the moment.  I have spoken to the psychiatrist just once in the 4 months I have been here, about two months ago, and he agreed to it.  I told him that I believed I was suffering from grief and trauma issues, not schizophrenia.  I was told by a nurse that if I started to deteriorate they would put me back on the medication.  However, I am still unsupported in grief and trauma issues.  It seems they are watching me without giving me any counselling support.

I’ve had an upsetting week this week, and thought a lot, and put in a complaint.  Since I have been here there has been shouting and swearing and door slamming, from the staff as well as the patients.  When I have complained about the door slamming I have been told that that is just communal living and some people slam doors.  The staff have acknowledged that they do it as well.  In my complaint I said that since we are here against our wishes without the normal choices of communal living I think it is a duty of care issue, not a communal issue.  I said that although the staff’s acknowledgement that they do it as well is disarming, it is still ill-discipline and unprofessional and there needs to be a rule about it, not tolerance.  If this is a place that sick people are supposed to get better a peaceful environment needs to be provided and maintained.  To know you can’t go to the staff about door slamming because they slam doors themselves, and just having to hope for the best, that it won’t happen, is highly detrimental to security of mind and the ability to rest.

Two days ago a member of staff came upstairs calling out my housemate’s name like an excited mate, and when she got to my room and asked me how I was I said I’m not asleep though I would like to be, and if I had been she would have woken me up.  She said sorry she didn’t do it on purpose, and it was 3pm.  I said this is a hospital and sometimes people want to rest and I am 18 months homeless and tired.  This morning I was between awake and asleep when a nurse entered my room.  She didn’t say anything, but when she went downstairs she slammed the door.  I don’t think that is an acceptable way to communicate that you think someone should be awake and out of bed, or maybe she didn’t even think.  I lay there for another hour or two trying to get my mind where I wanted it, then when I got up I thought it would have been better if I had done that in the first place, because I felt better.  But my attention kept darting nervously all over the place, like it would at repeated loud noises and shock.  I’m afraid they are going to want to say that is evidence I need to be back on the medication, rather than recognise that I have said I am dealing with trauma issues and am having to deal with fresh shock and trauma every day.

This afternoon I decided to go to bed and try and sleep a bit before trying to write this blog entry.  Within about five or ten minutes of me lying down ad beginning to feel as if I was pleasantly going to sleep, one of my flatmates started slamming the door downstairs, hard and repeatedly.  I felt a surge of anger and frustration go right up my back.  I lay and listened to what was going on outside, and thought it sounded more like a rough council estate than a hospital, with people shouting and music blaring out, and no one was doing anything about it.  Eventually I accepted the music and felt better about it, but I still thought it is more like a war zone than a hospital.  After a while the same nurse that said it is 3pm two days ago knocked on my door and I didn’t answer.  She came in and saw me with my hands up near my head as if i could be asleep, I felt as if I was in that zone, and she came in and insisted on a cheery ‘hello Susan’, as if insisting that I shouldn’t be asleep at that time.  I believe the recovery experts who say ‘listen to your body’.  It seems to me she has no respect for that, and she isn’t the only one.  These places cause trauma and mental illness, nervousness, fear, anger.  You feel as if you have to keep a lid on your anger and distress because it could well be met with medication, even if your feelings are  justified.  It’s like living with a load of chavs and rebellious teenagers, and that includes the staff.  If a traumatised person feels they need to sleep outside of what might be considered normal hours, they will eventually right themselves if they sleep when they want to during recover – won’t they??  I’m also menopausal.  Rest is good.  It’s natural.  A nurse insisting on making themselves heard by a resting person is bad, unless there is an emergency.

I thought this afternoon that the walls are so thin, people peck at each other in different ways, like chickens, and like chickens our beaks are cut off, by the fear of medication etc.  I get terrified when I show anger, because I know what people have done to me in the past, making notes and putting me back on sections and things.  I hope it is not the same here, but I don’t know.  I was traumatised when I was first taken into hospital, and doors slammed then and people, including staff, shouted and were abusive.  On an acute ward the excuse given was that there were a lot of ill people there.  Here it is not an acute ward and the excuse has been that some people slam doors, that’s life.  I do not feel that this is a place, for me as a traumatised person, to be, especially with the threat of medication constantly waving itself at me if I am not coping.  I am so tired and angry and afraid that I am in survival mode, doing only those things that are necessary to survival.  I’m not washing my clothes or showering.  I don’t go out much.  I have no friends here that I can just go round to their house for the day.  Effectively if I go out other than to shop I’m walking the streets, or having to think where I can go to spend money that I won’t feel too uncomfortable.  Going out already traumatised by your living space is not a good idea.  There are nurses who peer at me and make a big thing of registering the state of my room, like a silent criticism.  Sometimes they seem angry with me.  I have started thinking it is not a good idea to talk too much about things because they would either not understand or not care much.  I’ve started feeling that all they ‘understand’ about us is what they were taught on their psychiatric courses.  As I patient I feel objectified.  There is so much game playing.  I just want to sleep.  I feel as if I have been ousted from my room by the door slamming that happens when I go inside it, and hearing one of my housemates saying ‘ahem’ every time I move.  This particular housemate has been here a long time and she seems to be a bit of a pet with the staff.

People have been talking about the ‘Time to Change’ campaign.  I have thought of getting a tee shirt made saying ‘It is time to change, and realise that some people in mental hospitals have been accused of things that have never come to court’.  Sometimes the staff come on so bright and shiny and super-normal, it seems obvious to me they are trying to prove something about themselves in relation to the patients.  We couldn’t possibly have a heated argument about the rights and wrongs of psychiatry and psychiatric practice.  I realised yesterday evening that we are in the perfect place for a good snowball fight, instead of stressing about the weather.  No one made a move in that direction.  As I said, this afternoon it felt more like a rough council estate, or ghetto or enclave, than a hospital.  One of my housemate told me that te guys next door drink regularly on the premises and the staff know about it and don’t stop it.  If it was me I would get my drink confiscated.  At Christmas I had some non-alcoholic ginger wine and when a nurse saw it on the dressing table she tried to tell me I couldn’t have it because it was alcoholic.  I would love the occasional individual bottle of wine, to cook with and drink.  But I wouldn’t dare.

I sent this complaint to Nottingham NHS Trust on 12th August 2012.  I have been promised a reply several times.  The last time I sent an email to them asking for the written response was 28th December as a response had been promised to me for 14th December.  I haven’t received a response to that email so I have just emailed again.

This is the complaint:

This morning at 4.30 am I heard a man coughing in the courtyard outside my bedroom where the cigarette break takes place several times a day.  When I looked outside there was a man I didn’t recognise with the night staff from my ward sitting around the outside table.  I got upset and yelled at them to be quiet, also saying something about promoting sleep, and one of the women started to talk louder and kept it going for about 20 minutes longer, laughing as well.  I was really upset but felt powerless.

 

Noise on the ward happens all the time, even at night, door slamming included, and when I have complained I have just been told that there are some ill people on the ward.  I am also there since my unsatisfactory admission made me homeless from temporary accommodation, and I suspect collusion between the authorities, and I also am becoming ill through sleep deprivation, and also bullying by staff and patients. I can discharge myself when I want to technically, but I have no home to go to, and sometimes I feel as if the staff are giving me a hard time to try to make me leave before I have a home.  I believe they are experiencing problems they have dismissed when I first raised them as I came in and since, and various abuses have taken place which have never been apologised for, including mimicry of voice and gesture and also interfering vocally  from a distance with conversations I have been having with others.
On Tuesday 31st July 3 staff members I have had particular problems with in the past were on night duty and opened the slats on my door at 4.30 am and then switched the light on.  I was already desperate from previous broken nights, and I lay there for a while terrified with my heart pounding as it used to when I was harassed in the night from my upstairs neighbours.  I have had bad eczema on my lower abdomen for weeks, which only happens in extreme stress, and around 5.10 am I was scratching it and it was so uncomfortable I made a noise, and the male nurse and one of the female nurses started a jokey conversation about it in the corridor, as if they were walking along a beach on holiday, I thought at the time.  They have accused me of racism, and the male nurse, who is black [Errol], was then standing in the corridor with the female patient who had been partly responsible for that and who started a major coughing fit when I coughed (part of the mimicry and harassment and domination, she has also sworn at me badly in conversation in the past), then they hung around chatting and he said something about arrogant and she said tell me about it.  Then he went outside and started talking and I was desperate and shouted at him to be quiet.  Then all 3 staff came and stood at my door, one of the female staff, Lucy, with her foot against the door so I couldn’t close it, and asked me if i was going to calm down.  I said i would find it easier if she (Sam) wasn’t nagging me, and she said she wasn’t nagging me, and carried on pushing and they wouldn’t leave even when I said please and said I wanted to sleep.  She is 21 I am 51.  I said she would[n’t] speak to her mother like that.  Everything I said she negated and said she didn’t care.  In the end she said something and I said you do that and see what happens.  She asked me if it was a threat and I said yes. She said she would discuss it with the doctor and I said she would also have to tell him what I was threatening and find it in her head without having asked me what it was I was threatening.  I made it clear, several times, that I had been threatening a complaint.
They brought in a big team, including staff from another ward and started insisting that I took medication.  I said all I wanted was to be left alone to sleep and that my threat had been to make a complaint and that I wasn’t a danger to myself or anyone else.  They offered me a tablet which I rejected so they started making intimidating moves to turn me over and inject me.  At that point I said give me the tablets, and they said OK we won’t inject you because you are accepting the tablet.  I said I am not accepting it, you are forcing it on me, then one of them started to speak roughly and snatched my duvet away, saying right inject her and started moving to turn me over.  It was just perversity and an anger or malice I didn’t understand because I had been clear in what I had said.
They refused to give me my duvet back which was on the floor until I had taken the tablet, then they tried to give it back to me as a gift or concession rather than my right, at the same time dumping it on me.
The next night the same thing happened with my room and the light, but an hour earlier.  It has never happened before and no explanation was offered either night.  I was upset the first night at having been woken then talked about abd they bullied me.
I spoke on the Friday to a solicitor who told me it was illegal to medicate me if I am informal without my consent.
My name is Sue Barnett and I am on Redwood 2 at Highbury Hospital.  I also have other incidents and complaints I need to report.
Yours sincerely
S B Barnett

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

I found this article on the internet.  Also this one from the NHS.  So much of it is so close to symptoms of schizophrenia it makes me wonder why someone was lazy or therapeutically incompetent enough to establish that in the first place.  If anyone is reading the links I have posted on my Essential Links Page they might have seen an article on Schizophrenia: A Nonexistent Disease, by Lawrence Stevens, JD.  I have read it, though I can’t remember much about it at the moment.  It refers to a book by Szasz (professor emeritus of psychiatry) – “Schizophrenia – The Sacred Symbol of Psychiatry” – in which he says there is no such thing as schizophrenia.  From the outset Stevens calls it a dazzling term which sounds scientific and has charisma.  Please read the whole article, it will be better to do that than to rely on my precis anyway.  It is long, but for anyone concerned with this I think it is worth it and it will be helpful to you.

Section 3

A Section 3 is a prison, in which you are forced to take drugs (literally forced if you will not comply, often with contempt and disdain), which might cause long term damage, whether you have committed a crime, or not.
When it is spent, after 6 months, it can be renewed at the discretion of the psychiatrists.
They have this power in law even if you have not been in a court for them to be given power specifically over you. Many people start off with the police who hand them over to the mental health system .  The police are corrupt, as we see repeatedly, and coercive medicine is inhuman.

Christmas

Have I mentioned that word yet?

Happy Christmas to my readers, and thank you for reading my rubbish – most of it is that.

I joined Facebook last night in an attempt to find a band which is no longer there.  I have 15 friends, about 3 or 4 of which I recognise.  I just put through all my aol contacts on a page without un-checking any of the boxes.  After the first page I clicked ‘skip’ and wasn’t able to recall the other contacts to send out as friend requests.  The friends that came through came through so fast I thought they must be on automatic accept, reject later mode, if there is such a thing.

Today I cooked a chickpea curry with onion, green pepper and tomato.  It was very nice.  I’ve been reading, which has alternately felt like denial and also felt good for me.  I’ve got two books on the go at the moment.  I have started Catch-22 (of course, bit masculine), and today I also started, and am now reading, Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, which I am really enjoying.  Catch-22 I have found funny but it is beginning to get darker, shocking in places, to me.  Like the bit I just read today that obeying orders trumps being able to go home after so many missions and that if they refused to obey they would be shot.  I don’t know how serious that is at this point.  It could be just someone being nasty and on a power trip that ultimately ends with words.

I feel like Scrooge (except that I don’t have a workforce that I am mistreating).  I haven’t bought any presents, I have given a few cards.

Julie is still not talking to me and is slamming doors.  I left a card for her by her cupboard. I suppose she just found it because the response was a lot of angry door slamming.  I wish I hadn’t bothered.  It’s put me against her again.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but I wasn’t expecting that.  It is so violent it makes me want to hit back.  I feel violated, literally.  It sends my thoughts reeling and jumbled all over the place, it is like psychological and emotional acid.  It is so violent that I feel groggy and get thoughts come into my mind that are nothing to do with me and make no sense.  Words suggest themselves out of nowhere, as if physically put into my mind.

There is a character in Catch-22, Hungry Joe, shouting himself hoarse at noises and screaming nightly at nightmares.  I feel a bit like him, but I don’t scream now, I have to keep it all inside.  I think Julie must have been really hurt by something which might not have anything to do with me.

This blog entry is worth reading.  Julian talks about a spiritual crisis experience where he realised we are all divine, that was treated as psychosis.  It speaks for itself, it is a serious bit of reading, if you want to read something which is going to speak to you and engage you.  Please read it.  I found it fascinating.

As he says, the enforcing of drugs ignores what has formed the person and everything they are apart from their inability to handle a crisis.  He says he wasn’t ready for the spiritual experience, that he wasn’t grounded (he was also taking drugs at the time, which might have triggered the experience too early for him).

One thing he said which frightens me is that, after prolonged use of anti-psychotics, the pre-frontal lobe atrophies.  I believe it.  I’m not sure that damage can be reversed, though it might be possible to find ways of trying to compensate for it.

Anger and Drunkenness

I can’t drink wine angry, I immediately become drunk and emotionally incontinent.  I’m sitting in a hotel drinking a glass of Merlot, and something about the way I was asked if I wanted to order offended me, and I felt drunk within two or three mouthfuls.

My New Home With the NHS

Part of the problem with the house is its almost non-existent sound-proofing.  On my side of the house we are right on top of each other bedrooms-wise and the floorboards creak when you move.  This can be heard in the next room.  My next door neighbour/fellow patient can hear when I move and I can hear when she moves.  I get nervous because of the door slamming and wonder what her movement means all the time.  The other lady doesn’t even acknowledge me when I say hello.  The door slamming started 2 days after I got there.  I had told the staff this was a pattern that was following me, but previously it has been insisted that this belief is all a part of what I believe to be my non-existent mental illness.  At the moment I feel weak and tired and my chest hurts.  My blood pressure was taken this morning and a stethoscope held to my back, because I told them I wanted to pass out when I was outside.  She told me to take deep breaths and when I did I started to cough, clearing my airways.  She commented and I felt inhibited.  Coughing and clearing my airways would have been a good start to deep breathing.

I have been afraid/reluctant to write like this about the new place I am in because I don’t want to stir up bad feeling.  But I think the building is largely responsible for the tension in the house.  Doors are made to slam which would not slam left to themselves, and they should be slam-proofed anyway.   It looks as if nothing has been done to make these buildings, which used to be offices, apparently, suitable for the purpose they are now used for.  Also even the largest bedrooms are really small.  Mine is one of the smallest.  It is 2 or 3 paces from my bed to the door.  One of the staff who spoke to me acknowledged that the unit was not fit for purpose, but the acknowledgment doesn’t make it any easier.

It is exactly the same with social housing.  The sound-proofing is appalling. I heard a story on Radio 4 recently where it said that thin walls made bad neighbours.  That is true, definitely. They also make angry, desperate people.  I don’t like to sound strident and political, but the truth is that in the places I have been in we can hear so much from each other’s space it is humanly indecent.  It really is like being packed together like farm animals.

I’m saying all this stuff, but sometimes, when it comes down to it, I feel as if I am being precious and giving myself ‘airs and graces’.  Really I am no different from anyone else except that I have been silenced by intimidation and vigilantism, delivered subliminally.  Knowing that is what is happening makes me too angry to speak.

My Website Design

Most of my comments go to the spam section of my correspondence, and I have stopped looking on the whole as I think there is probably a good reason.  However, it might be that my settings are too tight and that I have designed it that way.

I have noticed that some people like my site and are asking me if I designed it myself.  The answer is no, it is a theme on WordPress called Motion, by Volcano.  The only hand I have had in its design is the choosing and placing of widgets.

Thank you for liking my site.  I like it myself today, but I tend to feel that when people praise my site they are being sarcastic.  Certainly I like reading other sites which are plain white background, or at least brighter than my dark blue.

I noticed a whi;le ago when I had much more spam than usual that there were a lot of copied comments praising my site.  It reminded me a bit of organisations I have belonged to – well OK, the church – when they have said about writing to MPs that we could use a form letter.  I’m afraid that I have dismissed their sincerity, rightly or wrongly, and some of them were very praising or grateful, it seemed.

Please forgive me if I have wrongly left things in spam which were sincere comments and appreciation.  I suppose the same should go for criticism as well, but I am getting heaps and heaps of praise and I am suspicious of it.  Again, sorry for those who really meant it.

I had a conversation with my advocate today and discovered that it is possible to complain about the tribunal hearing.  I asked her, and she said it was the first time anyone had asked, but yes it is possible.  Otherwise it is a bit like having a bin lid shut on top of you.  People (including me) freak out or go into decline because they don’t realise how many rights they do have.

Today’s Dinner and Matters of the Heart

I was thinking today about a couple of people we have on the ward.  One lady cannot speak intelligibly after an accident and/or damage/operation on her brain.  Another is said to be deaf.   For both of them I think this is the wrong place for them to be.  It is frustrating for them and all of us.  The lady who can’t speak has learned to speak a few words, strengthening my belief that rehabilitation of her speech is possible.  I am not aware that she is getting any support or therapy towards that end.  If my awareness is accurate it is obvious that, having not been a party to any decision on things at that level if any has been taken, I don’t know why.

The lady who can’t speak started ranting at me when she reached over me and put her sleeve in my dinner at the hatch. For all I know she might have been saying ‘sorry’, but all I knew was that she was shouting and wouldn’t stop, right next to me, with staff standing by and not intervening.  I told her to stop talking at me like that because she knew I couldn’t understand her.  I thought I heard one of the domestic staff say ‘bitch’, and I said ‘I’m not a bitch, I’m sick of abuse’, and staff standing by and doing nothing.  What are they doing, standing by and watching it unfold before deciding whether or not to stop it?  Luke said he didn’t think anyone would be calling me bitch, and he should know, in that situation, he was standing right next to the domestic that I thought had said it.  I’ve heard other things like that as well, so I’m not discounting my own understanding – angry at me and despising me for standing up for myself when they don’t stop the woman ranting at me.  Why?  I came away feeling and believing that Luke was just playing the role of the nice guy, even if he didn’t do anything to help.  They started giggling and laughing behind me, among themselves.  They rebuild themselves and help themselves relax while ignoring us.

I asked another patient if she watched ‘Doctors’ at 1.30pm weekdays on BBC1.  I told her that yesterday there were definitely 2 of the ‘staff’ characters recognisable from here and that they had done exactly the same thing with staff in London, and that they were blaming me when I had already told them from the beginning that this was happening.  For trying to act responsibly I have been told that it is evidence of ‘(my) mental illness’ and medicated into exhaustion, while having other people pull shocked disapproving faces at me and calling me bitch – or using the word against someone else and me mistaking it for being aimed at me.  Both are equally unacceptable.

Someone else was saying, before that, that she had been sent the same sort of food for weeks running, and I sympathised with her, saying they shouldn’t employ someone in a place like this who doesn’t know how to cater properly for different diets, because this is not a hotel.

The girl I said was being bullied in one of my last posts has become dependent on everyone rather than being the strong, forthright person she seemed to be when she first came in.  We all pipe sweet pipings in the end.

I moved rooms a few weeks ago.  My old one had a fan or something really loud right outside, and the cigarette break.  I’ve moved to the quiet side.  There is a man in one of the buildings who kept crying out ‘oh’, loudly and pathetically.  People kept trying to stop him.  One day there were two of them, one of them ended up crying out ‘help us’. I’ve had that on my mind ever since but for some reason I’ve only just got round to writing about it.  A woman in the ward told him to ‘shut up’, women from here were imitating him and ended up shouting ‘we love you’.  I shouted to him to shut up at least once.  When I was upset a man shouted at me to shut up.  This place is awful.

Gawdon Bennett . . .

WE ARE THE POWERLESS!!!!!!!

If people who are afraid in circumstances from which they cannot extricate themselves because the authorities won’t let them (ie authorities are irresponsible in their positions) get angry and start slamming doors, while it is uncomfortable for the rest of us, that doesn’t mean they are mentally ill. If they are afraid to speak about what is happening or about what they are feeling, for fear it will make things worse for them in terms of deepening their diagnosis, the professionals need to be the first ones to come out explicitly and say they have the same awareness of things happening outside of our control.

I can remember when it first started happening to me.  I would shout and scream and hit my door with my umbrella because in my fear and anger I felt I had no other outlet.

It needs to be explicit, otherwise if people are not willing to respond in an attempt at psychodrama they can be left with an added burden of guilt feelings towards the initiator.  As much as we might like them, that isn’t fair.  It is engaging our emotions in what, for us, is a non-consenting situation which is not required by law because we are children to be taught or prisoners to be punished or rehabilitated.

Incitement, Provocation and Harassment

There is such a thing, which is still legally recognised, so I believe, as incitement and provocation which might, ordinarily, were I not already tagged schizophrenic and dangerous, be seen as mitigating elements in any way that I were to react to it.

Last night a hostel booking fell through.  I couldn’t afford the key deposit in cash, the hostel didn’t take cards and I couldn’t withdraw money as I had less than £10, which is the minimum withdrawal from a cash point.  I tried to apply for a crisis loan earlier in the day and I was holding for 20 minutes, after which someone picked up the phone and said their systems were down and they couldn’t do anything about it or make alternative arrangements for making payments.

Because I didn’t have the key deposit they asked for photo ID.  I don’t drive, I have lost my passport (again, 2nd time in my life), and I kept insisting that, because I was British, I didn’t need photo ID.  But although the booking had been made and I was able to pay for the room itself, they told me I couldn’t stay without providing photo ID, so I went to the airport.  I won’t say which terminal.

I was harassed by ‘yellowjackets’.  At the end of their shift, their was plenty of space in which they could have talked, but they positioned themselves right next to me and talked while I was listening to audio.  I turned round later and saw them looking at me and hanging out to me almost with a lovelorn look.  They were like dogs after a bitch on heat (I used to have one.  They tried to mate with my leg when I took her out).

If they have something to say they should say it.  If they don’t I shouldn’t be getting their demands for attention.  What they are doing is harassment and invasion of privacy and feels psychologically violent and without justification.  It is that simple.

There is a lady at Deptford Reach, Dee, who keeps vamping at me with my voice and mode of expression. She is one of the workers and she does it to me all the time when she is supposed to be helping.  A homeless project worker doing that to a homeless client that she knows doesn’t like it.  She said quite deliberately today that something ‘drove her insane’.  I remained silent.  It was confrontational and I believed it was inappropriate.  She knows how I feel, we have had the conversation/argument many times.  She is imposing herself on/over me with me.  It is emotionally and psychologically disturbing and draining.  Then I have to go out, her having done that, and deal with all the other sickos.  She knows everything, I have told her, on the first day.  I didn’t tell her so she could do this to me with it.  I told her to help her and warn her and so that she could better help me.  That was about 2 months ago.  It is as if she is queening oin front of me with my personality, saying ‘what are you going to do about it, because I’m not going to stop’.  In the context it feels violent and I feel clubbed blind and stupid.

I feel I am answering my own questions as I am writing and believing she is trying to find a point of identification and to help and not to dominate.  But I go in trying to avoid getting hurt in the first place.  My guard is already up, because all the workers know and no one is saying anything.  Some of the male workers stare at me for ages with this energy, and keep shifting and marking and calling over me if I speak.  I makes me angry, but I know my anger is impotent, and so do they, and that makes it worse because they don’t move from doing it and I get the impression they do it because they think they can get away with it.  Every time I try to reclaim myself someone is on top of me.

I’ve noticed loads of people touch their ears.  I don’t.  Sometimes it has been obvious they are hearing a voice or some sort of psychic thing is happening to them.  I don’t do the ear-touching thing.  Maybe because I am in too much shock and am continually being forced under or open.

Mentally, emotionally and physically I am ready to lash out at these people, both those who demand of me or make me vulnerable, and those who look at me in fear or as if I am some sort of personal offence and to be treated as an object of disgust, them not even knowing me.  Those who take advantage of my fear of confronting them to impose themselves on my immediate space in a way they have no right to.  Yellow jacket almost skinheads (say what you like about moving with the times and it being OK, extreme nationalist groups still use it for initiation/identification, and a person’s first impression is created by sight and association), imposing themselves on a tired, homeless woman trying to get through the night, silently demanding attention from me, or standing almost right on top of me when I have my headphones on, with all the space that is available to them at this terminal.

The thing is they do this, and I can’t cope with the things I need to do, or remember to communicate (since most people do the voice takeover thing on me), so if these people are going to freak me out with this kind of activity, they should make the phone calls I need to make and pay for all the stopgaps I have to pay for while I am too hurting and distracted by the abuse to help myself.

O . . .

(Public Health Warning: more mangled blood and guts, but also an attempt to address the issue of goading and chain-yanking, failed, unfortunately, on the whole, and I’m not the sort to incubate a post and try again.  I talk about the guy who got water thrown in his face by Spurgeon, I think, when he told Spurgeon he was perfect, and he got angry, which I think might have been the perfect reaction to Spurgeon’s mischief and therefore did not disprove his statement).

That is my open mouth, made silent with hysterical fear.

I’m living in Sofia now.  The woman above me screams hallelujah in the most hateful voice every time I feel I have a good communication and I can communicate it.

I want to scream for help and I can’t, it is that psychologically, emotionally and spiritually abusive.  I can’t express anything without feeling dishonest or that I am going to disintegrate or, if I am angry, be attacked, even physically.  She makes me feel she is my friend and I should ask her to forgive me and help me, whatever I feel she voices differently.  I said that because . . . well, if you read this blog, you know.  There is a man from whom the only vocalisation I hear is an angry or frightened throat-clearing.  That feels to me like part of the illusion, if it is an illusion, of their goodness.  If he spoke it might not persist.  But his vocal silence is also part of the oppression.

She is attacking my soul and spirit with razors and bludgeoning me with hatred which feels like a physical mallet to the head.

Combined with the banging . . .

So is this orchestrated, because it is happening everywhere I go.  Who is behind it?

The most torturous thing about this for me is the church’s dishonesty and use of these things.  Someone on Premier was talking about chain yanking this morning, and that is what she is doing and that is what Premier and the church have been doing for years – the way they have kept saying ‘crazy’, for instance, and pushing psychiatry.  This man said so this morning, he pointed it out himself.  What they have been doing is sadistic, cruel and abusive.  That must always have been obvious to them, surely, and if it hasn’t been . . . either way they are not fit to  hold ministerial duties of any description.

I don’t know if I’m imagining that when my recording was interrupted near the end this morning, John Pantry became annoyed because his attempt to build a bridge had been interrupted.  How would he have known, without illegal access to my computer?

Sometimes it feels like protection and I feel unworthy and shameful calling it criminal.  But it isn’t really.  It isn’t really protective.  They are keeping me imprisoned by their evasion of responsibility, procrastination, holding on to power, refusal to apologise officially, if not openly.

I don’t want a bridge back to the world where leaders are not first prepared to own their wrongdoing before I cross that bridge.  Own it where everyone can see, in a committed way. . .

One of the ministers involved, I think it was R T Kendall, but I’m not sure, told this story of someone who said to Spurgeon, I think, that he, the person speaking to Spurgeon, was perfect.  That he believed he was perfect.  Spurgeon (if it was him) said ‘oh, really?’ and threw a glass of water at him, and the man became angry, and everyone laughed at him.

The same chain-yanking.  That is hardly perfect, is it?

Now, was the man expressing imperfection to express anger in that situation?  Is anger a sign of imperfection?  But the Bible says Jesus was angry.  Our teachers have had it for ages that Jesus’ anger was different, that it was perfect and righteous anger.

It doesn’t say, though, that He ever pulled anything like this self-righteous, judgmental, proud, debasing, mischievous and malicious chain-yanking.  At least, not on true seekers and people who expressed something they thought they had grasped as a truth.

An exception comes to mind, possibly, in Mark 7.

Jesus Honors a Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith

24 Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre.  He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. 25 In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. 26The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.

27 “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

28 “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

29 Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”

30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

I’m not supposed to criticise this man, but what was he about here?  If he wasn’t being provocative, it could be put down to insensitivity because of tiredness, or some sort of irritation.  Our leaders say He was correcting her attitude.  But if it wasn’t that, if it was a lack of perfect response, where does that leave us in terms of my Friend Jesus’ perfection?  He;s my friend, I can’t talk about Him and theorise about Him like this.  But I just have, and for the usual reasons it has to remain.

But back to the perfect man who got angry when the person he told threw a glass of water at him.

In the Bible David said that God’s enemies were his enemies, and that he hated them with a perfect hatred.  I’ve heard it said that David did not have the complete revelation that we have today.  Would they say that of this occasion?  No, not all of them.  There would be different opinions backed up with chapter and verse and personal experience they felt was surrounded with the approval of those that matter to them.  I know for sure there would be some who agonised more over the truth than to be satisfied with that low standard of agreement, potentially low, at least, but I don’t know how many.

I got to this stage with St Barnabas’ Church.  They opposed me in every way, locking down on me and preaching at me.  I had read a book recommended by a Christian counsellor, on boundaries, which said that negative emotions were a sign that something was wrong.  I was going home, time after time, feeling devastated, and one night in bed I was frightened by a feeling of hatred.  I was also angry, I thought they were opposing what God was doing in my life.  I find that a bit embarrassing now.

But that was the verse which came to my mind, and I embraced it, because I couldn’t get rid of the feeling of hatred, so I actively justified it.  Hindsight says if I had done this or that . . . but nothing within me which is saying anything gets much chance to be heard at the moment, it is silenced by the violence around me, and as soon as I can strongly own and express anything from within, the harassment starts without and I am left too hysterical to cope.  I’m trying to argue something when I want to scream and beg and cry, since every time I feel I can and should surrender I refuse it.  I feel I should go up to them, apologise and ask what the problem is, then we could begin to sort everything out.  That is what I see and what I feel condemned by.  Her hallelujah makes me feel joy, but what about the rest?  It is chaos.  It is also illegal, and they know what I think of that.  It is the word I am reacting to, not the people or their activity.  I feel she even steals, with her occult violence, the tone of joy which would be in my own voice if I said it myself.  That must be where the confusion comes in.  I can’t validate this, it is so wrong.  I’m not the only one who hears them, and not everyone rejoices, I am sure.  I don’t want to be patronised by people saying poor Sue, come home.  I want people to focus on the issue of chain-yanking, and if I could focus on it myself it would help!  I try to be serious and have to be humorous.  Why?  I feel thumped in the head and I can’t cope with the pain.  There is no point waiting for a better time.  It never happens.  Don’t get bogged down in the circumstantial stuff that comes pouring out just because I don’t know how to edit it away. They seem to feel it when I calm down and start justifying them in my mind, and I hear them say dobre with a smile.  But I know what they are doing and it isn’t OK?  Or is it here?  Is this a valid and acceptable expression of Christianity here?  If it is, I’m out of step.  I feel as if I want to join in, like a party.  Go up and say hello and bubble along with them.

It’s a form of psychological harassment and censorship.  Who wants to read the silage that I insist on letting pour out of me, or allow by default, instead of being a normal, generous, kind, forgiving, friendly person and neighbour?

The point I was going to make was that I think there is something wrong with the theory and theology of leaders who can make a good and positive thing out of this incident of cruel chain-yanking in one of their traditions major heroes.

If that anger from the man came out of a damaged emotional place, it was incredibly cruel for him to expose it in that way.  Granted I don’t know the whole story, maybe it was just a bit of robust male joshing. I don’t know how the man took it after his anger was over.  But what if it wasn’t from a damaged emotional place?  What if it was the perfect reaction to such mischief and malice towards what he believed God had said to him?  Then who is the laughingstock?  If there should be one at all.  If our emotions are appropriate to the situation then they are perfect in that situation, aren’t they, so what he said wasn’t disproved at all.  In a sense we are perfect, and not just by imputation.  In a sense, as individuals, we are perfect, if people don’t interfere with us.  But they do, when we are too vulnerable to resist or realise.  I can’t do this, I’m tired and hurt.  I can’t think and write it through.  I’m mixing everything up all over the place when I started out believing I knew exactly what I wanted to say and where I wanted to go with it.  I’m already editing after first reading, and that isn’t doing me much good either.  I am ill and traumatised, I must be, to put this abortion out.

Another thing:  I believe this thing we call robust joshing is itself a manifestation and denial of pain.  Or is it just a healthy switching off every now and again?  It must be.  It must be me that is crazy.  So someone invite me to come and have some fun?  To live your whole life in the perfect therapy session and healing moment after healing moment, at least one participant has to be perfect.  And where have I got this idea from that therapy and healing is all about deep and querulous and earnest talk and tears and quietly and meditatively going about your business? ‘Tain’t, is it?

But what if, instead of throwing water over him and laughing at his anger, he had accepted the statement with respect and watched his friend over a period and tried to understand what he was saying and learn something instead?

It is thump in the back salvation.  I’m wondering if I am being a pathetic wimp if I object to that.  The people I have felt close enough to to love over recent years, and want to model myself on, I am thinking possibly I have only seen them awkward and afraid and desperate and making an effort, because of me and my situation.  Maybe they too are back thumpers and I have just not seen it, and I myself need to enter the real world of rough and tumble where people do not always treat each other with reverence and respect and it is OK.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

OK that is it.  That is my communication after being butchered by upstairs and everything knowing my account/computer is being hacked is doing to me, turned into a bucket of unmentionable stuff and screaming.

Enjoy!

All My Stalkers

All of my stalkers and blog readers are pawing over me affecting intimacy and the right to identify and instruct, and not one of them is making proper committed contact.  Is it any wonder I can’t cope with life?

I just got up.  I went to the toilet.  My upstairs neighbours started fluttering over me and expressing signs of distress – because I’m going to the toilet?  Next thing I know, I’m thinking about what I want to say about it on my blog and am trying to approach it kindly, when savage voice zhena (woman) cries out again, straight into my head.

This is constant, I need it to stop.  My eviction procedure has gone into its second stage and so far I have not felt able to touch it – because I just can’t think straight.  So I’m naming names.  Nick Clegg, you lovely boy, don’t just bang about on your podium, imitating, as you think, the banging from my neighbours (assuming that you have read my blog and that was what you were doing yesterday).  Do something!  I emailed you, and you didn’t reply.  Now DO something other than a dramatic presnentation in parliament.  Contact me properly.  Please.  If that is appropriate and not taking what is properly a legal issue and making it a party political issue.

And while I am on the subject of parliament, for the past two days it has been impossible to watch it live streamed on the internet.  What is going on?  I suppose I can safely assume that I am not important enough for it to have anything to do with me.

I’ve sent Joan Ruddock, my MP, all the emails connected with my eviction and asked for replies.  I have received none.  I did this at the beginning, over a month ago.  From something that was said, by her, I think, it appears she is on strike over me until she gets the gratitude she believes she is entitled to, as if I have to prove myself to her.  The first time I went to see her she wouldn’t let me talk and all but threw me out of her surgery.  She stood up to dismiss me in a way which made me feel that if I didn’t go, the next step would be calling the police.  I have mixed feelings about her, I think she has tried to be nice, and I’m really upset about this. 

I was thinking about how I wanted to word that last sentence to most accurately express my feelings and say what I wanted to say, when my neighbours upstairs banged, leaving me with so great a feeling of desperation and outrage and enormity I didn’t know what to do.  Whatever words I had, or connection with the feelings I wanted, they went, as always. I continue to assert it is their awful mix of hallelujahs and violence and personal invasiveness which is causing this.  I say this kind of constant occurence is the result of their witchcraft.  I’m terrified.  I feel raped in my soul.  I feel as if I can’t speak without speaking to them.  I am effectively their hostage.  Or am I just hostage to my resentment and fear of all the prejudice and discrimination I face here continually, because of the way I am dressed and the way I look?  Security people in supermarkets relax when they see me get my money out, and I think that is gross.  Where before they have marched me and commanded me as if I am beneath them.  But I get my money out and suddenly I am not.  I was in Sofia a few weeks ago.  I wanted to be taken to a hotel in a taxi, and several drivers rudely and aggressively refused.

Then that stupid woman upstairs, with her violent male (if it isn’t her) and all the neighbours knowing what is going on and doing nothing, maybe even part of it, shouted hallelujah.  Whatever the dynamic and explanation, she does it every time my mind comes in to land.  It makes me feel I am being unreasonable losing it in a situation like this, because I am just telling myself that if I didn’t get upset at what they are doing, I wouldn’t need to calm down, and this wouldn’t happen, and everything would be OK.  They impose a sound or vocalisation over everything I do here, whether it is turning on the television, or something on my computer, and if I go into thought it is something that continues, as I have just said.  They have been messing about over my shower and toilet for ages, and today I was having a shower and they started a commentary over me, and I shouted at them to go away, and one of them hammered on my ceiling.  They have been like this almost non-stop for 8 weeks.  If I cough in the middle of the night, she complains with savage contempt and anger in her voice.  And whatever she does, she has to bring herself back to an innocent little girl voice, and I’m still living with what they do.  Today I realised that, at least for a moment, I had turned my shocked and frightened animal reaction to her hallelujahs into a duck.  I just ducked it and smiled and thought, yeah, this is OK, I can do this, I don’t have to be ruled by it’.  Then about 5 or 10 minutes later she shouted it out again, only this time it was more aggressive, and I had an ‘I don’t believe this’ reaction.  She does it just about every day, every 10 or 15 minutes or so.

Now, hallelujah is for me a heart word.  Does that mean I owe this woman anything?  I’m not sure she is even a Christian, she just uses the word.  Jesus is also a heart word.  Someone in computing knows that, because Iwas in a computer shop the other day, and saw an advert for something called ‘Asus’ or Isus’ or something, and it said, ‘it touches the heart’.  To me that is a misappropriation of language.  That kind of misappropriation of language is responsible for a lot of distress and violent feelings in society which are sometimes converted into action and mental illness.  It is deliberate, and aggressive as advertising and brainwashing are, and even violent.  I think I have just realised, since it has been going on for so long with such clockwork regularity, it must be deliberate, the hallelujahs, and she is deliberately using brainwashing and torture techniques.  As soon as I said so, they banged violently on my ceiling again.  I’m a nice person.  I like people.  They can’t treat me like this, it is inhumanly cruel.

I don’t run and get out immediately.  I still have too much of the mental coping mechanism and muscle memory of not being able to run away from frightening and anger-inducing behaviour from both staff and patients on a locked ward.  Also i have no confidence in the authorities over this anyway once they discover I have a mental health diagnosis, they are more likely, judging from past experience, to have me put back in hospital, than todeal with the deliberate violence and harassment which has started in a brand new place with no provocation from me whatsoever.   As my home this should be my refuge.  They have turned it into a place of torture.  I want to dissolve in tears all the time, I want to fall into the arms of those who are harassing me with violence and think maybe I’m imagining the harassment and violence and all I need to do is dissolve and go to them and say i’m sorry and everything will be OK.  Thinking like that is the nearest I ever get to seeing normality on the horizon.  I daren’t go to the police, even though it seems I obviously have to, if they are going to react to me with the disdain that people here react to Roma and people they call gypsys, like someone did me the other day, because I feel volatile and that also wouldn’t be tolerated, and having been abused for so long I’m a bit of a mess, and people don’t sympathise with you for that here, they treat you with disgust, even more than they do in the UK.  They judge you.  If you are a mess it is your fault.  I suppose that is an easy mistake to make, with so many abusive media and government people looking so smart and the picture of innocence.

Anyway, I was going to say, I’m watching Animal Planet, and a man was handling an animal with his legs, and it reminded me of when I saw a man in the West End, lying on the street as if asleep, and the police came to move him on, and when he didn’t move, one of them shoved him with his foot.  This isn’t an isolated incident, and I’ve had equivalent things done to me, but people like the squeeky clean church brigade advise people that, if they have committed any crimes, they should go to these people, these thugs, and confess their crime.  Yes, thugs, whatever the consequences.  I know too much about them.  And certainly I don’t feel able to go to them with crimes of harassment and violence which are being committed against me, with the sweet little girl trusting adoring attitude, or just togetherness, which appears to be required here.

I was angry the other day about the language used about sports teams and people.  how much they talk about punishment and humiliation and being humbled and similar things.  They must feel this, and it must affect their behaviour.  A day or two ago I saw a sportsman on BBC World News, delivering the most grovelling and abject apology and saying how they had been given chances and how they had offended everyone, etc, etc, and if this is what they are being made to feel is required of them, as people, the hypocrisy of those who require it of them makes me feel sick, and I’m glad I don’t contribute financially to that world.

I’m sorry, I know it’s about Egypt and everything, but I was OK with Hew Edwards last night until he talked about a doctor at the end of his report and stared intently into the camera, and I felt he was trying to make a point or something.

And in the one o’clock news on BBC 1, it was either Tim Wilcox or Jeremy Bowen who stood coaxing into the camera saying that Egyptians were being told to ‘go home for the sake of the country’ – I think it was Egyptians, it must have been – and giving an eager and reassuring smile behind him was a lookalike of my old psychiatrist, the one who never believed anything I said when people accused me falsely, Dr Gallo.

The blonde girl on the programme seemed to be oozing disapproval. It was a combination of both her expression and her words. Maybe those close enough to me, if they look, will be able to see what I am talking about without me needing to explain it.

So it’s made me nervous again.  Is this deliberate, just to sabotage a new move with suggestions, or is the suggestion true about what they want to do to me?

I had a biology teacher in my grammar school called Margaret Bowen.  Nice lady.  I made her a tape once, with my first tape recorder, trying to convert her.  She wrote to me saying, among other things, that I could end up becoming bigoted.  I just called her a nice lady.  I meant it, I wasn’t being sarcastic.

Question: is a traumatised person mentally ill?  They are really pushing the mental health thing again at the moment, including in Parliament where they are talking about allocating more funds.  Especially for the young.  Which is where Miss Disapproving came in.  I assumed it was because of my post last night calling the Newsround kids ‘savage puppies’.  If they are not, then their scriptwriters are.

As for Egypt:  I wonder how much of the angry backlash and the raised expectations are due to the fact that they have been able and encouraged to do all their happy stuff into the cameras, maybe acting for the cameras, and talking their talk about it not being safe to go home now.  The cameras have been an encouragement, I have thought.

It has turned violent and ugly, but some ugly expressions were being made before it was officially acknowledged to be the case, and they seemed to be condoned and encouraged.  And now they have been parading with a hung efigy.

They think they have approval for this.  Big men for the cameras.

Can something like this produce something good?  If they can do this to Mubarak, what is to say they won’t do it to someone else?  Mob mentality.  The cameras were part of it and part of building it.  And now they talk over it in poetic tones.  Tones, it feels to me, that have been got through listening to me on the phone sometimes, like when I was reading down the phone.

Has their very presence built up the atmosphere and acted as an incitement to violence?

Edit Note:  I just went to check BBC News at One for yesterday, 2nd February, and it has been taken down already.  It is 4.14 am.  It is supposed to be on the website until 1pm the next day.  This happens often.  Too often.

Yesterday’s Newsround isn’t there either.

His name is Esteban.

(Copy with some tags I had to exclude.  First published 11.08 am Bulgarian time.)

I watched the recording last night of last week’s sermon by Kristian Lythe.  I had forgotten his name, I’ve not seen or heard of him for ages.  But Kristian mentioned him in his sermon, he had made a traffic lights illustration.  He was saying something about red lights, among other things.  I don’t know how much of the sermon I would need to talk about to have you understand.  It can be found at http://www.kt.org/media. (note: please don’t be distracted by the shouting and his insistence on having the word of the Lord or anything else you see and hear.  If any of it is true [how much of it can be?] it is still not the point).

I don’t know how they get hold of information like this about people in my life, but it particularly concerns me that they have sufficient information about this man, Dr Gallo, to use a lookalike of him. Maybe my concern and the way I am handling it are stupid, selfish, treacherous and ungrateful.  I was assuming that they had the information through having had direct communication with Dr Gallo, but that might not be true.   But if it is true, although personally and emotionally I would like to come out and patch things up, I really think there is cause for concern here.  They had told me to leave the church.  I haven’t been there for over a decade.

What are they doing with something like this, it is none of their business, and neither Dr Gallo nor anyone else has ever brought this connection up with me. I’ve known for ages they do the same things with close family and past friends and acquaintances.  As I have said before, I do feel love and I do feel loyalty, but this is stalking, in a way the psychiatric team has told me doesn’t happen, or at least, isn’t happening to me, and they have partly based their diagnosis on my insistence that it does and is.

My Christian response is my biggest felt response, but also I need to keep identification with others in the psychiatric patient community (excuse terminology, maybe I should talk more in terms of mathematical sets, for which being a part of one doesn’t necessarily imply relationship)  and recognise that this is stalking, it is a step, or more like several steps, too far in ruling a church and church discipline and discipleship, I need to employ the term ‘heavy shepherding’ because people recognise it, and recognise myself that this is what is happening in this situation.

They and other churches I’ve been involved with have been challenged many, many times by me about this, in emails, through my blog, and emails are not answered and no conversation entered into through my blog.  David Shearman’s church bounces my emails back to me, whether I have mentioned his name or not in the address or body of my email (I no longer send them and have assigned any responses to ones I do send to the spam folder) saying david.shearman@christian-centre.org is not a valid email address.  If this is supposed to be heart talk for please come home, then I am sorry, and it is probably my loss.  That email address used to be valid, I don’t know if it is only me that gets that kind of response, or used to until I stopped emailing.

I’m very, very sorry, but this is awful.  I feel awful for handling it this way.  I’m not even fully convinced that they are wrong to do this anymore, and that is one of the reasons I need feedback and help from people in whom I have expressed trust who might be more convinced than I am.  I am too emotionally caught up to fight, and the way my readers distance me, on the whole, makes that worse. These people know who they are, and some of them know I love them because I believe they are the sort of people who would want to help and not cause injury.

I might be mistaken in my assessment, in fact at the moment I would like to cause injury myself and have obviously felt that way for ages.  I don’t think in a situation like this that makes me nuts or dangerous, even if under extreme provocation and in distress I even employ gestures to demonstrate how I feel when everything else is ignored.  When I was a kid ‘I’ll kill you’ meant ‘you have gone too far’, not ‘you’d better take steps to separate yourself from me and protect yourself’.  It might be crass and it might not be used in the kindest of relationships, but that is still the way it is for plenty of people who are not considered to be in need of incarceration.  I had it said to me plenty of times.  I’ve never thought of considering that anyone who said it should be locked up.  But maybe I should, on hindsight.  It is emotional thuggery if nothing else.

Ps I have heard Christian leaders involved in this say ‘prove it’.  In something like this that is neither honorable nor Christian.  Robb Thompson was one of them.  He might have been talking about something else.

Tommy, I really do believe this is something that needs to be dealt with, not only for my sake, but for that of others as well.  You have taught me well on that and I’m grateful (even if I don’t always feel I like you very much).  It is as close as a church can get to kidnap.  I know even this gesture towards you rather than coming to you directly is enough to break trust.  I feel that and it feels irrevocable. Partly I feel I’m disempowering myself in any way I could relate to you, and I believe you also need me to be empowered in any relationship we might have, as I need it myself.  So maybe this is just useless empty gesture time again.  I am implicating you, but I’m implicating you to try to empower you, if you think that is something I’m capable of.

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