Tag Archive: Broomhill House


Broomhill House

In my last post I said the regimentalism here was getting me down.  By regimentalism I meant the 10 am get up time and the slots for meals.  Possibly it wasn’t that fair of me to say that because when it comes to it most people are quite flexible, some more than others.  For the time being this is my home, and it’s not really too bad, all things considered.  There is a lot of banter and humour between the staff and between ourselves and the staff.  However, the serious issues remain, it’s just that they are not looked at very often, and I fear that if we tried we might end up feeling the worse for it.  The serious stuff comes out at tribunals.  They said I was grandiose and had pressure of speech.  They said I lacked insight.

As a Christian I believe I need to be kind and forgiving.  That doesn’t seem to be far away from giving the impression that I am complying happily.  But then the guns come out at tribunals, the guns they have trained on me.  Dismissing me as grandiose, for what reason I do not know.  That is the people who sat on the panel.

The worst thing about sleeping here is the plastic mattresses.  Every night I wake up several times too hot and throw the duvet off, and every morning I can feel the sweat pouring off of me, and my hair is plastered to my back.  I’ve been told that my bedroom is next to the one which is right over the boiler, I don’t know if that makes any difference, or if it is just the weather and the building.  My mother says she prefers the cold weather, because if she is too cold she can do something about it, whereas it is a lot harder if you are too hot.  We haven’t got fans or anything, if we had the noise would be a disturbance.

I’ve thought about going back to the place in Sherwood to ask other neighbours if they heard the woman shouting hallelujah above me.  It seems to me that the psychiatrists want to put that down to auditory hallucinations.  I don’t know how they can be so definite without making proper checks, maybe it is just a delusion in their own heads, subsidiary to their own delusions of grandeur and power and importance.

Maybe this is a period of transition for me.  I no longer have my nice flat apart from the neighbours and the bitumen on the floorboards.  I might not get a garden this time.  I wonder how long it is going to take them to come up with a property for me.  People are saying I’m on priority listing, but there must be others as well.  I was told some Salvation Army flats were being withdrawn from people who were living in them and the number 70 was mentioned as the number of people who would be consequentially homeless.  What with that and the present shortage of one bedroom flats I imagine I might have to wait for a very long time before something comes up for me.  The tribunal said something about wanting to have me moving on by July, but I can’t see that happening.  As much as I am trying to be reasonable and understanding and friendly towards people who are really so different from me, I really don’t want to have to make this my home for a long time.  The humour and banter are just distractions from the very important fact that, ultimately, it is a power relationship that I am on the wrong side of.  I have said in the past that this is little more than an open prison.  For me that is true, being on a Section 3.  I hate coming back here when I go out.  I am trying to work on my tendency to see this as a them and us situation, but it is hard.  I have no choice but to be here, I can’t leave if I want to.  People talk about state kidnap in relation to this situation, and that does feel true at the end of the day.

People have looked at my post ‘Striking Poses’ over the last few days, so I re-read it today and still find it relevant.  Let it be noted that I had problems at Macmillan Close even on medication that I am not experiencing here.  My key nurse asked me if the fact that I am not experiencing the same problems here didn’t suggest something about being on medication, but it is not that simple.

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Nightmares

I had a nightmare last night about John Coles and John Knight.  John Coles was the vicar at St Barnabas, Woodside Park, North Finchley and John Knight was one of his wardens.  John Coles is now someone in St Paul’s Cathedral.  I had a very unhappy time at St Barnabas.  Near the end it came out that John and Anne Coles thought I had tried to harm their marriage.  They never moved from that, they made me very distressed and unhappy.  I wrote them some ill-advised letters, and we were all unhappy, but they refused to acknowledge that there was any problem at first.  I kept saying I was sorry I had hurt them, they kept saying I hadn’t hurt them, so in the end I decided enough was enough and that if they were saying I hadn’t hurt them I no longer had any responsibility for trying to make amends, but when Anne told me that I had tried to harm their marriage I suppose that made it obvious that they thought I had hurt them.  When people prayed for me John Knight used to pull them away.  They set about isolating me.  They said some really hurtful and harmful things to me and I was beside myself with pain and anger.  In the end they told me I couldn’t take communion anymore, because they said I wasn’t walking in love.  I went forward and John Coles just walked past me without even offering a blessing.  There is nothing to say anymore.  I wish there was.  At the very end they even wanted to control where I was allowed to sit, first telling me I had to sit at the back on the right, then telling me I had to sit at the back on the left, and calling the police on me because I refused to sit in the seat they showed me to and moved forward a bit.  They told me I had a choice, to sit in the seat they led me to, to leave, or have them call the police.  I started calling out to John Coles saying it was harassment, and they called the police.  The police took me out and wouldn’t let me go back in.

I’m self conscious about writing this because some of the nurses at Broomhill House read my blog.  If I name names people in other places have got heavy on me, talking about a care plan in relation to my blog.  No photos or recordings are allowed here.  Another waking nightmare is that I’m going to be here for ages and I won’t be rehoused.  Another is that anything they offer me will be really small and not have a garden.  I had a garden in London and was just beginning to enjoy it, in latter days.

Update 26.04.2014

Nearly 3 weeks ago Homelink told my Moving Forward worker Natasha that in 2 weeks they would offer me a place to live, but my new worker phoned them again on Thursday, 2 days after the 2 weeks, and they said they haven’t got anything suitable yet.  So why did they say 2 weeks in the first place?

On May 1st it will be exactly 2 years that I have been in hospital, mainly because of housing difficulties, and I can see myself being here another year yet, that is my fear.  They’ve only recently decided they have a responsibility for me.  They were saying they had no responsibility.

Homelessness here sucks, if I want to go off the ward, unless I ride the buses, which I haven’t done, it involves spending money.  I have no place to go off the ward.  I can’t afford to have to spend money every time I go out.

On the ward I am playing cards and dominoes quite a lot at the moment, I play Patience if no one else is available.  I never thought life would come to this for me.  This is what old people do.  There is a swimming group but I’m not too keen on swimming, especially as it takes me ages to get dressed again afterwards, I wouldn’t want to go as part of a group.

I’ve got my concessionary bus pass now so travel is easier, but before I wasn’t going out because I didn’t want to spend the bus fare, but now I am going out I’m spending more, and I really can’t afford it.

In a couple of weeks I am going to file for bankruptcy.  That costs £525 if you are on benefits, and a lot more if you are not.

In 3 days I have a mental health tribunal hearing.  I want to be discharged from my section but I can’t see it happening.  I hope finding a home won’t take too much longer, I’m sure it is worse living here than living in a hostel.  Some of the staff are nice and try to be kind, but homelessness is homelessness, and I am tired of being in hospital just because I have no home.

Update 22.02.2014

For the last few days I have been tweeting and retweeting on Twitter, and have gained 22 more followers.

I did some washing and had a shower this morning and it was completely claustrophobic.  There is hardly room to bend without getting burnt on the pipes, there is just enough room to stand under the unrelenting shower.  The curtain doesn’t go all the way down into the tray so there is water on the floor.

I can hardly bear my situation any longer.  I heard someone call someone ‘madam’ earlier.  Talk about respect.  If they called us sir and madam here without joking and if they were really available to meet our needs I think that would do more for some of us than all their medication.  Someone let themselves into my room at 9.55 the other day, while I was still getting dressed.  They said they knocked but I didn’t hear them.  The rule as I understood it was that we had to be up and dressed by 10, but she told me we also had to be downstairs for 2 hours between 10 and midday.  Maybe it depends who’s on and how lenient they are feeling, because they didn’t enforce it yesterday and they aren’t enforcing it today.  Inconsistency isn’t good, it leaves you unsure all the time.

We had a ladies’ meeting the other day and the nurse told me Broomhill House was a family and even when we have left we can come back and do things.  I’m not sure about that.  I know they have an outreach among people who are living in the local community, and some of those people come in during the day.  It seems to have got right away from seeing itself as an institution with legal powers and it seems to want us to not see it that way as well, if we are supposed to see it as family.  Maybe it was just that lady.

The sun is shining and it is forecast to be dry today, which will be nice.  Obviously the flooding in other parts of the country is desperate and awful.  I hope they can get it sorted out and that it won’t be an annual occurence.  They were showing leafy foliage which holds a lot of water, last night on the news.  I suppose the idea is to plant it as a barrier.  They must have other ideas as well.  It must have been a nightmare for these poor people.  I was thinking myself that I might like to live in one of those areas, but the flooding has changed my mind.  They say it is climate change.  They said that in about 200 years some parts of the country will be completely under water.  It looks as if this might be the start of it, if it is climate change.  They say it has been 250 years since we had a winter like this one.  I wonder if people were flooded out then?

I’ve got Gem 106 on in the background, it’s quite a nice station.  I used to listen to Graham Norton on Radio 2 but I don’t fancy it recently.  Radio 4 picked on him a few months ago as an example of what the masses are fed as entertainment.  They found fault with him shouting ‘Oh, Oh’ when he starts.  I don’t really mind that, I suppose it is one way of exciting and bonding with an audience.

I feel a bit sick today, probably nerves about staying in my room and the same nurse who barged into my room being on in the kitchen.  We’re not going to get on, probably.  It’s lunchtime now, and I’m going to go down and get my first cup of tea of the day.  Someone just banged on my door and told me I need to go down now and cook.  That’s a bit off, there’s an hour and five minutes yet before lunchtime finishes.  They probably want to close the kitchen early.  That hasn’t happened before.

Broomhill House

I’ve survived my first two days and it’s not that bad.  This morning I met Vince the cook and my care-co-ordinator’s husband.  He got my food shifted to a lower shelf for me. The person below me is a lot taller so he swapped us round.  He also told me that if I wanted to cook properly from scratch they could open the kitchen a bit earlier for me, and that they preferred it when people cooked from scratch.  So what is written is a guideline only.  However, I still wish the kitchen was open whenever we wanted it.  Maybe with so many people it would be harder to manage.

Ben is back tomorrow so I am hoping that we might be able to sit down and talk about accommodation and getting me a bus pass.  I’m going to register with a GP today as well.  One of the student nurses is taking me there.  We went yesterday but it was closed for staff training.  I bought some food yesterday as well – a loaf of bread, honey, a fish pie, a lamb hotpot, some onions, some ice cream and other bits and pieces.

My depot is due today.  I always hate that but recently I have been forgetting about it, so I’m not anxiously counting off the days.

I’m waiting to see some people from an organisation called Framework.  One will be helping me appeal against an over-payment of DLA and the other will be helping me with accommodation.  I spent the over-payment.  It feels a bit grubby saying that, but I did tell the nurses three times that my DLA needed to be stopped and they said they had got in touch, but it still wasn’t stopped.  At the moment they want to take it back incrementally.  My finances are a real mess at the moment, as I have indicated before.

I haven’t really unpacked anything yet.  I have so many bags it’s a nightmare, and storage space in my bedroom is limited.  I have a chest of drawers with 3 drawers, a bedside table with a couple of compartments, and a wardrobe which is half shelves.  We could do with a bin in the rooms, but I don’t have one, I assume I’m not unique in that.  I don’t really have the energy to deal with anything.  The thought of having a shower is daunting, it is so small it feels claustrophobic.  I’ve set my radio and speakers up and also I have my laptop with a lot of my music on which I can also connect to my speakers if I want to.  At the moment I have Radio 3 on and I think they are playing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, in fact I know they are.  The familiar Ode to Joy theme.

It’s lunchtime now and I have a pot of bean salad to eat, so I’ll be going down in a few minutes.

I’m still waiting for Housing Aid to get back to me with their decision, whatever it’s going to be.  I asked for an idea of how long it might take and received no answer.  Overall I feel quite positive at the moment.  It’s amazing what some good food can do for you!

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