Tag Archive: Favouritism


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.

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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.

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