Tag Archive: Fear


Time To Take A Break?

I was watching Sunday Brunch this morning and Romesh Ranganathan said something that made me think.  I feel I’d really like to take a break from writing at the moment, whether I can or will or not remains to be seen. It feels and has felt essential to my survival, but at the same time it feels like a violently stimulated, twitchy muscle that needs to relax and heal, then maybe I can, too. Just a thought.  It might come to nothing.  You know me  🙂

Last week I decided to take my issues with Kensington Temple, among others, to Kensington Temple’s website.  I posted some stuff, I’m afraid it reads a bit distressed and I’m not sure it’s very impressive, at least in the form it takes, or even in some of the ideas expressed.  But I still maintain what they are doing to me is stalking and harassment and therefore illegal.  I refer my readers to it, here is the link. http://www.kt.org/live   I recommend if you decide to read it while the service is on that you mute your speakers!

I wrote on there this morning because I said last week that I am right, and today they have decided to preach a sermon about saying ‘I am right’, calling it self-righteousness.  My point which I tried to make in what I wrote was that, if you insist you are legally right, that is NOT self-righteousness, and the point I make now is that saying it IS is just manipulation and a false accusation to try and silence you.  They also finished off their post, which I thought they wrote in my style (if I have one!), by saying Kristian Lythe will be talking tonight about breaking through prison doors or something like that.  He’s a shouter.  He frightens me.  A lot of things they are doing frighten and disappoint me.  They had obviously read my posts last Sunday night, I could tell by their faces, but Bruce Atkinson rejected what he felt (which to me looked good and honest and genuinely spiritual and an understanding of truth) and chose to work himself up into shouting, passing it off as God’s anointing and power.  I happen to think it is not OK.  I don’t want them maintaining a conversation with me, I want someone to take this to court.  I can’t, they have made me into someone who, legally, by definition of my so-called ‘illness’, has no credibility.

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Update 09.06.2016

These days I can be found a lot of the time at https://www.facebook.com/sue.barnett.547.  I hope you will come and connect with me there.  I will continue to post on here occasionally.  This is a pinned post, so please scroll down a couple for my latest entries.

And if my nurses are reading this, please respect the fact that this is my SPACE.  As one of my lecturers once said to me, I can say what I like.  None of it should find its way into a clinical decision or into my notes, as it has done before.  If you MUST stalk me, please keep a respectful distance between this and our offline relationship.  I reserve the right to say what I like on the internet, whether you think you should respect that or not.  I have had this conversation with one of you, and you said you would have to look into the legalities of it.  I think the legalities are, if you don’t like what you read on my blog, stop reading.  If they aren’t, they should be.  I’m sick of censoring myself out of fear of consequences.

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.

Strongly Suggested Reading

Last night I revisited my posts on Highbury Hospital, where I had a very distressing time.  I hope you will read them and gain an insight into what goes on behind closed doors in a psychiatric hospital, in terms of bullying and abuse.  I especially hope any Christians who are prepared to urge members of their congregation to seek help here and think they are qualified to assess someone as needing psychiatric ‘help’ will read them and see what it is really like.

I can’t understand why Christians would see psychiatry as a good thing, since over 100 years ago psychiatry declared war on Christianity and religion.  I have written in another post how Thomas Szasz said in at least one of his books that turning a person over to psychiatry is akin to witch hunters in centuries past ‘relaxing’ their victims into the hands of the state so they could be put to death.  I hope and pray and plead for you to see sense.

Psychiatry is not Christianity’s friend, nor is it humanity’s friend.  When a spiritual organisation turns a member over to the police and psychiatry it is an act of betrayal.  I am afraid of churches these days, not only because of my own betrayals, but because the church gives up on people and turns them over to the state, when they express distress, instead of trusting a loving spiritual involvement.  Patience and forgiveness and empathy give place to psychiatry and harmful drugs and inhuman bullying.

I no longer expect to find a church which is antipsychiatry and has no time for psychiatry, as psychiatry is fundamentally anti Christian experience.  I expect the church to attack me with a belief in psychiatry and to hurt me by upholding decisions that have been made about me.

For the posts on Highbury Hospital just click on the tag of the same name at the bottom of this post.  Please be prepared for a long read.  I trust your perseverance and respect will be rewarded.

Suggested Reading

I have just been reading through my entries tagged Highbury Hospital, and it brought back memories.  I had an awful time there.  I would like to direct new readers (and old) to those posts.  It was not a healing atmosphere, and I believe I was very victimised there, probably in retaliation for my blog and speaking out.  Please read some of them and leave comments.  Click on Highbury Hospital in my tag cloud a little way down on the right.

Coffee With My Nurse

Every Thursday one of my nurses and I go out for coffee, it’s part of the social inclusion programme.  He’s a nice man, his name is Pete.  He helped me out practically when I first moved in here.  We talk about a lot of things, including religion.  This week religion came up because I said I hadn’t heard anything about Raif Badawi this week.  Raif is the writer and activist in Saudi Arabia who has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for his blog on free speech and liberalism in which he criticised some of the clerics, which was taken as an insult to Islam.  (For a petition by Amnesty International seeking to get this stopped please see here).

Pete said it was terrible what was being done in the name of religion, and said the Church used to do the same thing with its witch trials, for example.  The subject of demon possession came up, and I told him about my experiences of being told either that I was demon possessed or that I was ‘heavily demonised’.

The time I was told I was demon possessed was when I was a 12 year old girl in 1973.  I had lost my frightening father to suicide the year before.  Two of the elders of the church I was going to told me that I was demon possessed because I stared too much.  I suppose I did stare.  I stared particularly at one of them, because he was my father’s age and musical like my father, and I wanted to be a part of their family, informally.  He was a father figure.  The other elder – no, deacon – his wife told me that the man I saw as a father figure just saw me as a silly little girl.  They must have thought I fancied him or something (he was 38, I was 12, he was married with 3 children).  When they first tried to pray for me they decided I didn’t want help and told me I wasn’t to go back until I wanted help.  I think they also told me I couldn’t have communion.  The second time they prayed for me the deacon was bothered that I had practised a prayer instead of just praying on the spot, but the man I saw as a father figure said he felt good about it.  Apparently they saw a mouse which I didn’t see, and they told me the demons had gone into the mouse.  All I knew was that I wasn’t allowed to get close to the people I wanted, and I was hurt and upset, and frightened.  That fear left me briefly about 20 years ago, but it quickly came back when I was disrespected at the church I was going to in London.

At the church I went to in London, St Barnabas, Woodside Park in North Finchley, soon after my first experience in a mental hospital, I was so traumatised I was shouting when I was afraid.  I asked the vicar, who at that time was John Coles, what he would tell God when He asked him why he called the police on me, and John said he would say that he was dealing with someone who was ‘heavily demonised’.

I told Pete about both of these experiences and he said about the first one that I was obviously traumatised and they should have been dealing with trauma, not performing an exorcism.  He said it was child abuse, which I agree with.  David Shearman once told me he had been angry when he found out about it.  Unfortunately his anger did not relieve my pain and fear.  I lived for years worrying about demons, and looking into the mirror and seeing something evil in my eyes.  I can’t remember what Pete said about the second time, in London, that I had this forced on me.  But he said it all sounded medieval.  He also said that he thought people were like a piano, with all the notes available, and you just decide what you are going to play.

My worry is, have I misrepresented the Church?  They meant well, didn’t they?  Although I find that hard to believe, given how much anger was expressed.

I looked up the two people involved when I was 12.  One of them died in 2012 (the man whose family I wanted to be part of), and the other is an elder in a Christian Fellowship somewhere.  I didn’t recognise him but I recognised his wife, easily.

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 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.

Dreaming

I keep dreaming about church, and they are always very vivid dreams.  Last night I dreamt about Talbot Street and David Shearman.  I dreamt he was having conversations for me to hear.  I wanted to ask him if he wanted to talk to me but I thought he might say no.  I dreamt about two little girls who looked exactly like Esther and Rebecca Shearman, but realised they might be their offspring or something like that.  I’m always really involved in the dreams and don’t like it if I am woken out of them by people banging doors or laughing or shouting.

There are a few ideas about dreams.  One is that dreams are symbolic.  Church is where most of my love and anxiety are.  I’m not sure what it can be symbolising.  Most of my actual anxiety at the moment is around finance and housing.  But church itself figures quite strongly in my thinking.  Sometimes I think I am going to hell.  Most of the time I think that, when I think about it.  My situation with church is so bad it burns.  At the end of my dream this morning I had some knitting and stitches were coming off the needle.  I asked my mother to get the needle and save the stitches, but she was getting it wrong.

My mum believes that the church is made up of people who love the Lord, to use her words, and that they don’t necessarily go to church, but they are the church.  For me it just burns and I feel as if hell has already started for me.  I’ve been told to stay away from the Shearmans, but Christianity is about forgiveness and that is inconsistent with forgiveness.  David Shearman was my pastor in my teens.  I think if I should be able to turn to anyone it should be him, regardless of the fact he has now stood down as senior pastor.  But he waved in my direction and said I wasn’t getting any of it.  I’m not sure why he felt he needed to do that.  It seems quite mean to me.  I find it frightening.

Frozen Shoulder 2

I went to see my new GP this morning, as arranged for me by Enright Close.  I told him I had frozen shoulder and told him I had read that it had been helped by HRT.  He said he hadn’t heard of that and wouldn’t want to start me on HRT for that reason, but he could give me steroid injections.  I don’t like injections so I was terrified, but when he offered me one immediately I said yes, just to see how far I could get with allowing it.  I asked him how much of the needle went in and he must have shown me an inch or 2.  I was ready for something so excruciating that I wouldn’t be able to bear it, but he said ‘sharp scratch’ and all I felt was the needle on the surface of my skin, as I do for my depot injection.  I couldn’t tell at all that there was any depth to it, it was really easy.  He said the important thing was to do exercises to mobilise the shoulder, and he gave me co codamol to help with the pain involved in movement.   The painlessness of the injection was a very pleasant surprise after reading about excruciating treatment.  I hardly felt anything.  He told me there were not many pain receptors in the shoulder.

So that was the first of a few injections.  My GP told me it speeds things up.  At the moment there is no change in the way my arm feels, and the sort of movements he wants me to perform with my arm are still very painful.  He wants me to put my hand behind my head and behind my back and I find both movements difficult, behind my back is harder than behind my head.  My fear is that if I can’t cope with the exercises my frozen shoulder is not going to clear up, and that it will always hurt too much to do the exercises properly.  I can’t imagine a freed up shoulder that doesn’t hurt.  The lady I read about who said HRT helped her shoulder seemed to know what she was talking about.  I had been told that steroid injections might or might not help.  Obviously I hope they will help.

Nelson Mandela

To start with, Nelson Mandela died yesterday.  I was watching Mrs Brown’s Boys with two of the women from the bungalow when the programme was interrupted for President Zuma’s address.  I got the giggles listening because we had all just been laughing, and because it was no great shock, at his age, 95.  I saw President Obama’s address and wondered how he felt to be the one delivering it, as the first black president of the US.  It must have been an awesome moment for him.  There were a lot of moving tributes, and seeing the celebrations outside the old family home, now a museum, was very encouraging.  There are still racial tensions there and apparently some white people are afraid that now the reconciler has died revenge will start to be meted out.  I hope those fears prove to be unfounded.

It’s not an ideal world, and violence is a part of both rule and struggle.  He was fighting for equality between all races, but he was fighting for his own as well.  Otherwise the threat of violence towards the racist white rulers might never have been.  I don’t understand a lot about politics so I can’t write as eloquently as some, but I am in awe of the Civil Rights campaigners and activists.  Once I wanted to be a missionary in Africa.  I was only a child, I didn’t understand everything that was involved, the possibilities of death and mistreatment and everything.  In recent years I have had a very painful relationship with black people around my home and in church and hospital. I’ve had more than one black Christian call me a witch and turn away from me in self-satisfied rejection of me.  I have been called racist a lot.  I’m now very nervous of black people and some types can really make me feel amazing levels of anger.  White people can as well but I feel it more with black people because I’ve never been called racist towards white people.  It hurts, because time once was when I wanted to marry a black person.  I feel a mixture of helpless rage and heartbreak, I just can’t get it right, and neither can they.

I fear the fact that Nelson Mandela never renounced violence.  I know everyone is saying wonderful things about him and I feel touched by those things.  I daren’t say too much for fear of betraying my ignorance of politics and the profound changes which have irreversibly come about in relation to his name.  President Obama said he belongs to the ages.  Hopefully the ages won’t forget and go backwards.  Hopefully the ages won’t employ the violence that was not renounced by their revered father.

Edit note:

I feel really stupid.  I watched a documentary tribute tonight by David Dimbleby which reminded me of the Truth And Reconciliation councils and I saw some of the footage.  I also saw where Nelson Mandela told his followers to take their weapons and throw them in the sea, so he did renounce violence and asked his followers to.   I remember hearing about the truth and reconciliation hearings a long time ago.

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?

Managers’ Hearing 19.11.2013

One of the things Dr Moldavsky said was that past behaviour is a guide to future behaviour, and he was talking about the fact that I had taken an overdose of paracetamol over 10 years ago.  He thinks I might do the same again, so he says, if I am off medication.  I was four years off medication recently and didn’t even consider suicide, and I decided years ago that I wasn’t going to overdose or anything else like that again.  I said that in the meeting.  It seems as if I am dealing with a determinist in Dr Moldavsky.  I doubt him, I don’t think his presentation was altogether honest.  It certainly was full of put downs.  He said I was trying to hide things and was guarded.  I have the right to decide how much I can psychologically and emotionally cope with saying to whom, and I do not choose to say the same things over again to a psychiatric team just to have them dismissed as delusion.  I have said it is like forced marriage.  It is life rape and I want it to end.

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.

Like the writer of this blog, I sometimes feel as if I have nothing valuable to say about the mental health system and my experience, but the article referred to and linked to here is something I think is worth reading, in spite of or because of its length, you decide. It portrays the American DSM-5 as dystopian literature and the writers as blind and obsessive.  http://thenewinquiry.com/essays/book-of-lamentations/

This blog needs more windows

I hope I’m not speaking too soon, but the second half of today has got me thinking (hoping!) that I might be coming out of my month+-long funk*! I still have a sinus infection, which makes me grumpy, but I feel lighter today and I actually have been slowly progressing through the edits I have to do. A couple of small but notable happenings that have made me feel so hopeful:

1) I went to the mouth doctor today (forgive my lack of knowledge of medical terms) for my bi-annual monitoring of a hole in my jaw (I don’t know the proper term for this “condition” either. All I know is it’s rare but no big deal as long as it remains benign). Anyway, the doctor said that since my biopsy, the hole appears to be filling in with bone (apparently a good sign- yay!) This is good, but the…

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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.

Am I Just Gullible?

What I don’t like about Szasz is his position that we are all entitled to take drugs.  It seems to me that this is a position that people would have good reasons for opposing, and I myself feel that his argument against institutional psychiatry, which I agree with, is undermined by his position on so-called recreational drug use.  We all know about ‘bad trips’ and I don’t know if bad trips would be eradicated if the supply were officially controlled and therefore ‘pure’.  I suppose no one else knows either, and that because of the effects of ‘bad trips’ it isn’t something that could be tested out on scientific research volunteers or paid people, the risks might be too great.  I do not feel as supported by his argument against institutional psychiatry as I would like to feel because of this.  I myself do not have a history of drug use, and cannot say that I know that people with such a history are not helped by psychiatric drugs.  I wish he did not take this position on recreational drugs.

I’ve also never really read or understood any Foucault, I just know he is a big name in French literature, philosophy and politics, and I’m only using those three classifications to make sure all my bases are covered, because to me he is just a name.  I have got a book of Essential Foucault from the library, though, which I intend to read soon, with my other reading.

Also I get confused at the moment because I am feeling more or less OK and that the only thing which is negative about my present existence is that I am having an injection every two weeks.  I do realise that people could say that I am feeling OK because of the injection and not in spite of it, but my feeling of OK is very limited, because I am a lot more inhibited than I was off medication, and hopeful that people in the hospital will see that I am really OK and don’t need to be on drugs.  I can more or less cope socially and feel that I could before as well, even if things could have been interpreted as being more painful.  There is an argument for saying that other things that break down are sent for repair and things added to them to make them work right, so why not me as a person?  But inwardly I am constantly so much hoping that I will be taken off medication, and I resent the abuses I experienced on other wards that led to the decision to restart medication.  Abuses like being told my problem with door slamming was all because of my mental illness, for instance.

I phoned Richard at Macmillan Close yesterday because I was sad it hadn’t worked out and wanted to tell him so and that I thought he had been really kind to me.  I’m sure it was an easier conversation by phone than it might have been face to face.

There are so many things that confuse me in the Bible.  I was just thinking that Paul says to submit to authority and to obey every law instituted among men for the Lord’s sake.  But Peter and the apostles were told not to preach anymore in the Name of Jesus and Peter told them they should obey the Lord and not men, and preached anyway and got flogged, and imprisoned, and an angel let him out in the dead of night.  I suppose again it is just a matter of confidence or of no confidence whichever of these church leaders give to any one of their people at any time, or opinion as to which they preach to a congregation.  Yet they say obey your leaders as if they really have a divine right.  You can only go so far in obeying your leaders.  Surely honesty recognises that their own denomination probably exists because they or someone before them did not obey a leader?

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.

Mish-Mash Musings

I’m not sure why I have called this Mish-Mash Musings except that I know where I am going to start but not where I am going to finish, which I suppose is OK if I’m not writing an essay but a blog entry, and not hoping to make Freshly Pressed (though I would love to).  I feel like trashing this already and starting again, but I never trash anything I write, so I’m afraid it rests.

The place I am going to start is with an incident I read about in a book called ‘The Manufacture of Madness’ By Thomas Szasz.  The book compares the mental health movement (his term, not mine) with the Inquisition.  It says that the two things are the same, in that first they decided what one was (heretic, witch, mentally ill person) then they went looking for them and treating them as their law allows/requires/demands.  With heretics and witches under the Inquisition he talks about the church ‘relaxing’ heretics out of its own hands into the hands of the law and legal process – a bit like the Jews did with Jesus, because they had no law to put a man to death (see also John 16:2, “Anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God”).

In psychiatry, if the psychiatrist says you are mentally ill and you say otherwise, it is said that you lack insight.  I know this and Thomas Szasz also says so.  He has us down as the people that are called paranoid schizophrenics.  This has definitely been my experience.  Under the Inquisition unrepentant heretics were burned alive, while those who changed their minds were strangled and then burned.  The incident a read about the other day talked about a man who, faced with the fire, said that he would convert himself to the faith of Jesus Christ, and that this was apparently a time of great rejoicing for the inquisitors, where the hugged him and welcomed him back into the arms of the church, then immediately afterwards they had him strangled and burnt.  Thomas Szasz draws the same parallel with psychiatry.  I’m not sure if Thomas Szasz wanted to see an end to all psychiatry or only the enforced kind, but he did say in this book that the inquisitors didn’t want too many heretics to be burnt whereas they shouldn’t have been burning any at all.  The Inquisition was torture, and Thomas Szasz says that so is psychiatry.  That has certainly been my experience.  He talks about having the idea of mental illness accepted by the popular mind, just as heresy used to be so feared and so treated/punished.  Both the Inquisition and psychiatry had two purposes, one for the protection of society and the other for the ‘good’ of the accused/patient.  By putting the word ‘good’ in inverted commas I am staying true to the message and spirit of the book, as well as owing the inverted commas as my own.

I have been reading quite a bit about Transactional Analysis as well.  I’ve read (again) Games People Play by Eric Berne MD, the founder of TA, and I’ve Just started reading I’m OK, You’re OK by Thomas A Harris MD.  Dr Harris points out in the opening pages of his book that not only do the words Parent, Adult, Child have different meanings from usual in this context, but so does the word OK, so I’m looking forward to reading this book to the end.  I didn’t read it when it first became popular because a Church I was in said the message was untrue to Christianity which says we all need redemption because we are not OK.  There is also a chapter in the book about this approach to human relationships in the context of morality, which is a chapter I am looking forward to reading.  Dr Harris advises against just dipping in or reading the end first as understanding is established and built on from beginning to end.

This Is Madness

I’ve read a bit more of this book and I’m finding it very interesting.  For me one of the most important things it says is that with physical illnesses diagnosis starts with something happening in the body and ends up with the diagnostic concept, but with ‘so-called’ mental illness it is the other way round, that it starts with a concept and mental conglomeration in the minds of physicians and they then go looking for people who fit the concept, like crusaders.  The concept is fleshed out in committee and applied to individuals, rather than subjective symptoms first being recognised in the individual and a remedy sought.  That is my memory of what was said in the chapter called ‘Diagnosis’.

I’ve just ordered another book as well called ‘Untrain Your Parrot’ by Elizabeth Hamilton.  It is a well grounded and often humorous approach to Zen.  The book is in the Multi-Faith room at the hospital but we are not allowed to take them out, and sometimes no one is there who can unlock the cabinet where the books are kept.  It makes sense that the books shouldn’t leave the room, it keeps them available and in good condition.  I have found that when I have spent time reading it in there I approach things in a better and lighter mood.  I’m looking forward to having my own copy because I think it is something that I will read and dip into more than once

I’m a lot more open and self-controlled on the ward these days, but I still feel angry, hurt and frustrated at what I see happening with other people.

I’ve got a bad cold at the moment.

We have started making approaches to accommodation.  It seems to me it could move either very quickly or more slowly than I would like.  I would like it to move quickly.

I’ve been reading a few ‘Freshly Pressed’ selections and really enjoying them.  They are so interesting.  I just read one called ‘There was no escaping his father’s words’ which made quite an impact on me.  It’s about a man who meets up in later life with his father who had told him that he was going from fad to fad and I felt those words from his father had partly shaped the man’s life.

I don’t feel able to write much more today.  I am generally feeling quite upset and that I need to cry.  That is what I usually feel inside.  I’ve had no intimacy for a very long time now, and I feel very much that I am getting old.  I am nearer death than birth.  For a wonderful period in my 30s I was unafraid, but now I feel a bit wobbly.  I’m not sure if I’m a real Christian, and I have been taught and believe that only Christians go to heaven.  I have not been taught to be a liberal, and my emotional attachments don’t really allow it.  I have been taught, and believe, that there is a hell for people who are not Christians.  I know to some people that will make me sound really archaic.  I have found myself praying that love and mercy will be my judge in the end, that love (God is love) will save me at death.  There is also the teaching that not everyone will die but Jesus will come back and some people who are living will be caught up to Heaven.  I suppose many people want to believe they will be among those who do not die.  I would like to live beyond 80, even to 100.  I’m afraid I will die much sooner.  I’m really afraid that I might go to hell, and I’m afraid that there will be no one who cares for me intimately when I die.  I have no children and no partner, and the only member of my family I am in contact with is my mother.  I would like not to feel so tired and worn out, and upset and vulnerable, and as if my time now is not worth anything and won’t be, that I have passed a point where there was a point.

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.

Sharon

I think Sharon must like bad publicity, because she certainly seems to be going out of her way to get it.

She keeps whistling at me.  She also keeps saying ‘babe’ around me.  Yesterday morning when I went into the clinic room because it was depot day, she stood outside for at least 5 minutes like an armed guard.  I felt harassed and demeaned.  She has pushed medication from the beginning.  I saw a film some years ago where a boy went into the headmaster’s study to be physically punished.  When he came out a female member of staff was waiting for him and started to make strong physical advances towards him.  That was what I thought of when I came out of the clinic room in regard to what Sharon was doing.  I went and sat down in the public area in front of the office and she came and sat there as well, and every time I spoke she whistled, or started speaking at the same time or something similar.  She did it twice today as well, once when I went out in the afternoon and I made a face at her in response, and once this evening when I was in my room and someone kept yelling and banging something really loudly and I shouted shut up.  She whistled at me then as well.

When I first met her we were sitting around chatting and she seemed to be misunderstanding everything I was saying about time seeming to go faster when you are older because when you are young you don’t have the perspective of age and things seem to last a long time.  She put it down to impatience if things seemed to go slowly.  Then someone called her away and when she came back she seemed to me to blank me.  I have got used to that happening over the years.  The next day I was making noises like in the Goons and I engaged her in conversation about it and Spike Milligan and she asked me if I was on medication.  I said no I was medication-free and I intended to stay that way.  She coughed very uncomfortably.  I believe I was relatively happy and normally confident at that time.  I felt strong, now I feel weak and vulnerable, more than I did then.  I talked about quantum physics and the fact that it says that everything which is observed is altered by the fact of being observed.  I heard a programme on the radio a little later saying the same thing and that the thing observed seems to know when the microscope or whatever is switched off.  She said it was a load of rubbish and that she knew better than quantum physics.  I was offended because those kinds of snippets are things that I happily and cheerfully incorporate into my view of life and my anti-psychiatry/anti-drugs position and to me it is coherent.  I just accept what they say and she was disrespecting something she didn’t understand.  That attitude frightened and angered me.  I told her with a little strength but not offensively or over-angrily, I believed, to eff off and she started finding fault with me for saying that, but it was just in a throw away fashion it might have been in a not overheated discussion between friends.  Also I had said something about brainwashing, and she said she wasn’t into that.  When she told me off for saying eff-off I said what about all the things they say to us, including the diagnoses, that we are supposed to receive meekly.

A little later the same day, or the next, I was sitting watching television with N and she came up and picked up a newspaper and sat down.  Someone came on the tv I knew from listening to the radio and she said she had been in something or other I had not heard of and I was off and snooty with her and said I didn’t know what she was talking about, which I didn’t.  But I tried to make it clear I didn’t want a relationship or conversation with her.  She answered me starting with the last note of what I had said, saying I didn’t want to have an argument with her, and I said if she wasn’t into brainwashing why was she using the same note to start that I had finished with, after making her silent observation for a few seconds.  It sounded menacing and I felt harassed.  N started shouting at me and as is the fashion no one cared what it was about, the argument, they just told us both to be quiet, like children who can’t communicate, or dogs that need separating.  Sharon sat there while I was there and I got up and went to my room because I believed if I did she would get up and walk away.  She did.  I think I had made it clear after the previous conversation with her where she claimed to know more than the quantum physicists but also was disrespecting my position of valuing their insights and being able to incorporate them into my view of and approach to life that I didn’t want to talk to her.  I told her, when she asked me how I was, that I would feel a lot better if i was being looked after by people who respected people who knew more than them.  This is where the mimicry started in earnest from other staff, I think, and the picking up for something unrelated where I have left off.

I remember Alan McMurtrie, my old English tutor, told a story about the praying mantis and that the female was observed to eat its mate after sex.  But when the observation was moved further away and wasn’t an intrusion, the female stopped doing this.  It’s similar to the quantum physics observation in some ways.

Update 18.08.2013 It’s as if they think they are the ones who should shine.  It seems to be more about them being wonderful people and nurses than about me as a person, what they call patient.  Sharon is calling everyone ‘my swede-art’.

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.

Bad Afternoon on Rowan 2

Jim has been on for the last two days.  I asked him if I could talk to him and it didn’t materialise either day.  When faced with situations which aren’t presented to him as talking he seems to have two modes with me – one is slightly crazy friendliness – tongue -poking, winking, etc, and the other is grabbing me by the arm and making me go wherever he wishes.  I think I have had another bruise left on my arm today.  I have quite a nice collection.  The one on my stomach remains the most pronounced, from being kicked.

This afternoon Re started on me, being rude, saying I had been kicked in last week and to shut my mouth.  I had forgotten that she had been there and wondered where she was getting it from.  Kiran came out from behind us at the noise and Re started to spin her a yarn and she said ‘I know, darling’.  Jim came out and told her she could go outside (it was my understanding that he asked/told her to move away, and she did.  But then she came back on the phone and I got upset and I thought he had asked her to move for my sake, so I started getting really wound up and they came out and told me if I didn’t calm down I would have to leave the ward.  They might have said I could.  I said something and Jim grabbed me angrily and started forcing me up the corridor.  I think Tracy was involved, Sean was definitely involved, and they grabbed me roughly, and I can’t remember what I was saying but they wouldn’t listen.  I know I said that when I was upset there was a reason, but that one minute they were nice and the next they were doing that to me.  I said they were the ones who were schizophrenic.  I hope there are people reading this who recognise the reason in what I said.

I wanted to go to the toilet, and I told them and they told me the toilet in the corridor was open.  It wasn’t.  I told them I had no money to go anywhere and they wouldn’t open the door.  I confronted Kiran with what she had said and she said she didn’t have to discuss it.  I said she had a duty to discuss something she had done which was an issue to me with my care.  I believe she has a personal duty if not a moral one.  When I got back later they were playing laughing, giggling hostesses.  I said if they wouldn’t discuss it with me then I will tell who I like how I like, and that I chose blogging.  While having dinner I was saying stuff about abuse and assaults and that in any other situation than a mental hospital or a prison I would be told that my first concern should be my own safety and that I should get out or get a restraining order against the perpetrators.  I seem to remember you can do that with the police these days, though I don’t know in what circumstances.

In the meantime I went outside and met the boyfriend of one of the other patients, and he let me literally cry on his shoulder.  I ended up going to the multi-faith room and Katya was there.  We had quite a stormy time.  I felt angry with her for what I felt to be her broad brush approach.  I can’t by any means remember everything we said.  We did a meditation at the end, and I wondered if in any circumstances a meditation with one person would permit them to cry and scream and come out the other side feeling washed, not repressed.  It said something about noticing the sensations in your body and not judging them, and at that point I asked if it would be OK to cry and scream.  I talked about repressing emotions being a way of judging them, because if you didn’t judge them you would just let them happen, even insist on them and your right to express them, as in other situations where social steps forward have taken place.

I went back for dinner and it was as I have said.  Katya had talked about fighting fire with fire and how it wasn’t good, and I said that was the staff, in their relationship with me.  I said I wanted to go out and asked for someone to open my door.  I demanded it, as far as I dared, rather than asked.  Tracy said she would come.  I said I was going to find out whether or not I had an obligation to go back on the ward since I had been forced off.  She wanted to talk reasonably, she said, but I told her I didn’t want to, that you can’t go from being unreasonable to reasonable whenever you felt like it.  I She said when I tried to find out if I had an obligation to go back on the ward to make sure that I told them I wasn’t the innocent party.  She just walked away, went into the clinic room and slammed the door locked behind her.

I talked to my ‘Old Wife’ who very kindly let me have a cup of tea on the house.  Both she and Katya said I should go to the Women’s Centre.  I phoned the police afterwards and asked them if I had an obligation to go back under the circumstances, and they told me there was no bar on me going back and I could go back when I liked.

But I have to go back to the same possibility of abuse and assault all the time.  In any other situation I could walk away and never go back, if I chose to deal with it that way, with impunity.  I’ve had verbal assaults and abuse from staff and patients, but the only physical assaults I’ve had really apart from last week were from staff.  My section is supposed to be coming to an end this week.  I don’t know what they are trying to do with that.  I really would feel safer on the streets.  At least I would have my benefits back, and be able to pay two lots of storage every 28 days without feeling it so much.

I can’t have special people on the staff, i can’t try to make friends of them, because the truth is that when I need them they are either not there for me or they lose it for some reason, regardless of former tongue poking and winking.  Jim did that because he felt like it.  He was really angry and he turned that into an assault he could rationalise professionally, to other people if not to himself.  Terry was on the ward.

Tracy acts as if she is the one who has a right to offendedly and pettishly disengage and not talk.  She walks away and leaves you in pieces behind her.  for me she leaves me wanting to get my own back.  I think the patient has a right to disengage from nurses or staff they don’t get on with, but these people are betraying relationships all over the place.  They overheated and dragged me and pushed me out, with no money and wanting to go to the toilet.  They left me crying on someone else.  When I turned round a nurse was watching me from inside, and walked away as soon as I turned round.

If you express concern for these people and their personal circumstances they take it for granted.  If you don’t who knows what they think, but you might feel less human, until met with a situation like this.  I feel very human in my hatred and distress at the moment, and my deep rage and anger, and hopelessness.  I said to Katya that I wanted to laugh but that there was nothing to laugh about, that it would be belittling it.  I said if they are going to call me mentally ill they should do something to make me feel better and give me hope, not give reasons for considering suicide.  I have something in my religious background that says that suicide is the ultimate act of manipulation, so I feel guilty saying that.  I feel I know better, but I can see no way out of this.   In ordinary situations of abuse and assault you are told that in no way is it your fault, but this is different, we are told.  ‘If you don’t we will have to’.  Like, ‘look what you made me do’, ‘I had no option’.

I listened to Blake 7 last night on Radio 4 Extra.  That was interesting.  It  could have been written about me.  It says rebellion is not a malfunction, but an imperative.  The woman says she hates the system and she doesn’t want to rejoin, that it has murdered her friends and robbed her of her identity.  This is just sci-fi, but it is more than that.  For me it is serious.

What is happening to me in the hospital is demeaning, degrading and dehumanising.  It isn’t about being friends with the staff.  I don’t want their so-called solutions.  I would happily be friends with some of these people, but they are unavailable for friendship, both ethically and by nature of what they do, professionally and not so professionally.  I’ve said it is like living in a gangland and that I would not choose to have such people in my life, and nor have I chosen to be there, but that there is no support or protection.  I don’t act like most of these people and don’t want to.  People have started calling on Norma around me.  I feel like the new Norma.  She said the other day that people should speak to her because she was not allowed to speak or to shout.  She is very quiet these days, i hardly hear her at all, and she used to be very voluble.

I am a victim.  I do not have a victim mentality.  I want to leave and repair my life.  I do not have a victim mentality.  Any more than any other abused group has had.  They have been made victims by other people.  They wave Section papers at you and use it as a cover for all kinds of abuse.

They don’t take Kerry off when she is being violent and abusive or behaving in ways people don’t like.  They let her get on with it.  One of the women who had a go at me last night then got nice had a go at me again today, and stuck her middle finger up at me as I was pushed off the ward.  Tonight she is not going to get such an easy reconciliation, if she wants one.  For me it is heartbreaking, because I didn’t do this to other patients when I first came on the ward, but people who didn’t know me then and how active I was in speaking out are doing it to me.  It seems obvious to me, though it might sound ludicrous, that the staff wanted to use me or silence me, while at the same time ‘treating me as though I am schizophrenic’.  It is obvious to me that they don’t like what is happening and the representations on TV and radio, but they don’t want to acknowledge any of it to say they were wrong about me.  It is hypocrisy and terrifying abuse.

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.

Who Do You Think YOU Are?

I was told this morning that my key nurse has been changed.  i said I was a bit disappointed that what I had said in anger had been so quickly acted on without talking to me about it.  I was told it was an overall decision that couldn’t be gone into that much.  I wonder if all the changes I have had over the last 17 years have been as a result of decisions of the same nature.

I found out because I asked to speak to my new key nurse not knowing she was my new key nurse.  I wanted to tell her that while I didn’t want to be churlish about not seeing my psychiatrist today, if the only reason she wanted to see me was because I had requested a sleeping tablet to be prescribed for me I had rather leave it.  I said that I was concerned that I had had no structured support since I was assaulted and no one had really asked how I was in connection with it.  I said that I had even been left to myself to decide whether or not I wanted to involve the police, and that since I am meant to be mentally ill I might not be in the best state of mind to decide for myself, and that it had happened on their premises and the woman was in their care, not mine, and that I am also in their care.  I said this is not a one off thing and that I have said things of this nature are happening to me in the community but what I have said has been put down to schizophrenia.  I said I didn’t want to talk to my psychiatrist hoping and believing that she might soften and modify her position in light of what has happened and that the effort should not be having to come from me putting myself in that supplicatory position with an authority figure who might remain distressingly adamant.  I said it should be being treated as an emergency, extraordinary event and that there should be some form of trauma counselling.  I said there had been a witness, as it seemed that this was not known, I was being told that I had said it happened and they had seen the bruising, but it is far too casual.  I’m hoping that on Saturday, when the police come, they will be wanting to take a swab or whatever it is called from my clothing to establish a shoe came into contact with my stomach.  Dr Bradshaw was in the office a couple of days ago when I mentioned it, but her only concern appeared to be that she should see me about the sleeping tablet.  On reflection, she might have been concerned but be trying to maintain confidentiality, but it seems to me to have been a little too opaque.  But perhaps I should go back for the review, I don’t know.

I was shocked and didn’t believe it when my nurse told me there was no provision for trauma counselling as such.  She said I was seeing my psychologist anyway and didn’t seem to pick up that this was a separate event and should have been treated as an emergency.  It also didn’t seem to make an impression that I said the next time I am due to see him is on the 27th as he is on leave for 2 weeks.  She said this is an acute ward and things like this happen, I said yes, but I’m a person, not theory.

I asked her as well, as an adult, that since in any other abusive situation I would be able to take myself out of it, how did it stand in law under a section 3 when I am being abused in an environment where I am supposed to be receiving care, what were my rights.  She asked if I meant being moved to another ward and I said no, there is no guarantee that it won’t happen there as well.  In fact as far as both staff and patients are concerned it has always happened wherever I have been.  I think my experience as a patient in this setting is not unusual.

I can’t afford to keep going out for something to eat but I don’t like having meals there anymore, I feel harassed and intimidated.  Kerry went to the hatch effing and shitting and no one pulled her up about it.  If it had been me it would have been different.  I’m feeling too much guilt about a supposed lack of gratitude on my part when all I really have here, apart from a duty not to be abusive without provocation, when It just comes out sometimes because I am upset and tired and stupid, is rights, a right to protection, a right to respect, which includes a right to be believed, in my opinion . . . .

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.

Kicked in the stomach

Today has been a day from hell.  Kerry had a go at me again, staff didn’t help, it escalated, they wanted ME to go to my room, at lunchtime, 30 minutes before I was due to see my psychologist, they brought medication, after 6 women, at least one of which had been nagging me in the dining room to calm down, had been standing around in the corridor near my room.  I said I didn’t want medication, that I wanted to speak to my psychologist with a clear head, and they said if I was shouting I wasn’t going to see him, so I accepted oral medication so that, if unchallenged, I could pretend to swallow it then spit it out.  I decided to hang around the communal area so that he couldn’t be sent away in my absence.

Kerry kicked me in the stomach this afternoon.  I have been told by one of the young students that even if I report it, because it is an acute psychiatric ward, I might not be separated from the threat.  I hope she is wrong.  The staff mismanagement of this has caused this situation.  Yet I feel it is my fault.  I had my door locked on Saturday, for the first time since being there, then told myself my suspicions were racism and my objection to her trolling outside my window was the same.  I told myself she had been risk-assessed and that she would not be on the ward if she was a threat to other patients.  I am tired this evening and have kept bursting into tears.  I feel even if I were to press charges successfully it would be a sign of failure on my part.  As a Christian.  There are no adequate words for my distress and desolation and fear at the moment.

There is a new patient on the ward, Kerry, a tall, black woman who has been harassing me for days and calling me racist every time there is a conflict.  She accuses and abuses me in religious terms mingled with hate words like bitch, says fuck God and Jesus, etc, and when I have taken issue with it the approach from staff has been to tell us both to be quiet.

Jim came back on the ward this week, he is doing nights.  He seems to think that all he has to do is turn his lovely face on me and all will be forgiven.  Or maybe it is just me that thinks it should be that way and I need to free myself from that requirement I have of myself and from the power of the need I want met by being able to do that.

His first night on was last night.  He was on with Sue, the nurse who told me to f off then lied about it and has since been calling me love and darling.  I find that aggressive and mauling, especially in the particular circumstances with her.  Last night (Sunday) I asked Jim if we could have some time to talk.  I was upset about things that had happened in the day (I didn’t tell him that), and he said no, he had things he needed to catch up on, but he would try today, but wouldn’t put anything in the diary because ‘sod’s law doesn’t work that way’.  So everything is handed over to the whims of sod’s law then, is it, with nothing to oppose or raise as a goal?  I noticed that before midnight he had time to sit around the office having casual chats with the members of his team, including one from Eastern Europe, asking her about her family, but he didn’t have any time to talk to me, and he has been away 5 weeks or so.  During this time other senior members of the staff have also been doing duties off the ward, following, it seems, my blog post about the ‘bust up’.  Ruth, the ward manager, approached me a few weeks ago saying some of the staff were hurt and upset about the fact their names had been used in my blog and that she had been advised that if I didn’t remove the names they could.  I haven’t had that in writing.  I think I should ask for it, through my advocate.  I tried to settle to sleep last night and after midnight I found I couldn’t, so eventually I went out to Jim and said I couldn’t settle and needed either ten minutes to talk or some lorazepam to help me settle.  He told me they weren’t allowed to have one to ones after midnight and that I would have to have lorazepam.  Last night was at my request, though a begrudging request.  Tonight they forced an injection on me.

Tonight Kerry kept winding me up and picking on me and eventually Judita, one of the health care assistants, told me she thought she was doing it on purpose to wind me up.  I asked her why she hadn’t tried to stop her if that was what she thought and she asked how she could.  I said she should have told Jim, the nurse in charge tonight.  Kerry started calling me racist, saying she was black and I am white, I told her it was nothing to do with race, it was just that she was harassing me and being a nuisance.  She started saying I thought I was something and saying that everyone was scared of me but too frightened to say so because I had physical bulk.  I said no one was scared of me.  I felt it in my womb every time she started on me and I interpreted it as something to do with her energy and the nature of her accusations (I think now this might have been wrong, that the fact I felt it there was more to do with the oppressiveness of the whole place and power), and I said I wasn’t a prostitute.  She has told me she had been, in what I thought was a good and promising conversation yesterday afternoon, and I felt sympathy for her, because she was on benefits and her father, she said, was a paedophile who had hurt her and her mother had thrown her out.  But tonight I realised she had had no moral necessity to go that way, not everyone who has been a victim of paedophilia does, and I said there were plenty of agencies which could have helped her and that being a prostitute had been her choice which not everyone in her position makes.  She was also saying she wanted a spliff, so I realised she was a drugs user.  Someone else told me they used cocaine, and suddenly I began to wonder why I am here, subjected to everything I get from the staff, whether deliberate or incompetent, when I don’t use drugs, I don’t hear voices, I don’t have a drink problem, and although I can shout when angry to defend myself I am not violent.  When I shout it is because I am angry or afraid or FEEL violent.  It is a substitute for violence, not a lead up to it.  At one point Jim came and told Kerry to behave, but then it started all over again with her being blasphemous and vile, and I was telling her not to attack and accuse a child of God.  She was saying she was Satan, and all sorts of things, then when I started telling her to leave me alone she started to mix in Sarah instead of Satan, out of the Bible.  No one was moving to stop her.  I threw a plastic coke bottle across the room at the floor.  It didn’t hit her, but she jumped up to attack me.  I was sitting down and I put my foot out to keep her at a distance.  I told her I hadn’t thrown it at her and she insisted I had.  Jim came out to tell her to go to her room, and I felt immediately calm and safer.  Then he told me he wanted me to go to my room.  At first I said I would because I wanted to go to the toilet but I said I didn’t want him in my room while I went to the toilet.  Jim said he wouldn’t be in my room, they would be outside.  I went to my room, then got angry at how unreasonable and unfair it was, and kept coming out shouting things, like they had just given Kerry permission to do that again any time she wanted to, that I had been calm when she was taken away from my space but now I was not calm because what they were doing to me was unjust and the dispeace I now felt was a direct result of their actions towards me.  Perhaps it had also, before, been a result of their inaction in what they knew was happening.  They said to ignore her, and I said I couldn’t because I couldn’t just walk away and be able to stay away, I had to keep coming back to it.  I told them they had no comparable situations in their own lives which were not a matter of their own choice, and that it was unreasonable of them to tell me to ignore it.  Staff had said to me on Sunday that they knew she was a problem and that I should tell them if she was upsetting me.

Anyway, I kept coming out of my room and shouting things about respect and dignity and unjustly robbing people of theirs when they had not been the problem, and I kept scuttling back to my room in fear of what they might do to me if I stayed in the corridor, so I came out of my room and confronted it in those words, saying why should I have to stay in my room and not be justifiably angry and say why for fear of what they would do to me.  I think they came and asked me to go to my room again and I refused, saying they were causing my distress by their unfairness.  I was speaking loudly, if not shouting, I hadn’t touched anyone.  Given that the law says I cannot be manhandled if I am not a danger to myself or anyone else I understand what happened next to have definitely been illegal.  They grabbed me by the arms and started dragging me to my room.  Altogether in the end there were about 8 people involved, one of whom was called Mark, who had hold of my left arm.  Adem from Redwood 2 was another.  When I said they had given Kerry permission to do what she liked whenever by what they were doing to me he shook his hand off at me and turned his back and started walking away.  As soon as we got to my room they told me to get down on the floor, and I said I wanted to go to the toilet, and they said I couldn’t.  At first I thought they might let me go but they forced me down face to the laminate flooring and told me to calm down.  I said I had good reason to be angry and that I wasn’t going to become calm for them if this was the way they thought they could enforce it.  On my way to my room I was telling Jim I wanted a change of key nurse and that I didn’t want another, that he was a hypocrite and however proficient he was in philosophy he was not fit to be in charge of this situation.  I told him I would write in my blog.  I also told Kerry that I wouldn’t protect her by using only her first initial as I had for other patients, that I had no legal duty and recognised no moral duty towards her.

At one point I said while I was sitting on the bed before they put me on the floor that I hadn’t been violent, and Mark said ‘not yet’.  I have never been physically violent to people here, even though provoked, as he was provoking me at that point.  When they had me down they wanted to gentle my arms and I told them to stop, saying they should choose between violence and assault and being gentle, but not try to mix the two.  I asked them to turn my radio up because it was interesting, but they wouldn’t.  It said at one point that if we acted in real life as we might in a lucid dream we would act more kindly.  At around that point they withdrew from my room without saying anything.  They kept stroking my arm, stroking my hair, and given what they were doing I completely resented it.  At one point they told me that this had been my choice, when it evidently had not been, they grabbed me and forced me down.  It was their choice.  People who act like this often tell their victim of assault that it was their own choice when that is factually a lie.  They turned away from reason.  At one point someone said something to Mark and he spoke jeeringly.  I said that was what they had done to Jesus.  I said they were evil and that I was not going to make that any more palatable for them.  I told them not to sigh at me but to go and deal with their own relaxation needs away from me.  I called him or them bastards and Mark said ‘that’s right, I am a bastard.’  Something was tickling the bottom of my leg and I told them to move their hand.  I was told there was nothing on my leg.  At the very least it might have been my own trousers.  I called them mental sadists who would swear that black was white then call me racist for using that expression.

They came with medication and offered me tablets or it would have to be an injection.  Bearing in mind I was calm when Kerry was removed, immediately, and that this second distress was their doing.  For them it seems to be all about power and being obeyed and not being seen to back down.  They are very high handed then won’t back down even if their unreasonableness becomes apparent, and they just go ahead obeying orders as a team even if personally they think something else.  In a situation like this I think that is not acceptable human behaviour.  They broke my metal watch strap.

After they had gone I was still shouting, even from the toilet.  I passed the office and Jim was laughing with his colleagues.  They were taking a position of not needing to acknowledge me while I was shouting, even though they had just visited a physical assault on me.  So they sat there pretending, in every way available to them, that I wasn’t there.  Jim seemed to be mirroring the rhythms of my voice with his body language.  While I was on the floor in my room they wanted me to shuffle so that I was properly inside my door.  They said something about my dignity.  I said I didn’t care what they wanted and if they cared about my dignity they could restore what they shouldn’t have taken from me in the first place.

In conversations with people I have been told that Jim does not hold grudges.  I’m beginning to doubt this or that it was ever an appropriate thing to say anyway, as if there were not issues that needed to be discussed and he was blameless.  I think they removed me from that situation because they didn’t want me there calm and rational and back in control of myself without their intervention, but all they did was make me feel worse.  I felt no feelings of violence at that point, the feelings of violence, (against my beliefs and convictions?) and practices, came directly out of their assault on me and everything that went with it.  If they can perpetrate an act of assault and violence on me, why is it not seen as acceptable if I reciprocate?  Even to acknowledge the feelings is to open myself up to detrimental decisions about me from the staff.  This tonight has been a deliberate act, out of control or coldblooded, of subjugation and humiliation.  I feel that something happened after I wrote my ‘bust up’ entry that took so many key staff off the ward for so long.  I think talk about illness is lies, eg back injuries.  One person I do believe, I talked to him yesterday morning (yesterday being Sunday).

I confront with words when I feel necessary.  They react and confront with threat and physical force and injections.  And yet am I to feel I should make exceptions for them and concessions to their so-called humanity?  I am supposed to be protected at the moment at least in my room, let alone I think what they have done tonight would have been illegal anyway, because I wasn’t a danger to myself or anyone else.  Free speech which is not unprovoked defense or harassment should not be seen as being a danger to anyone.  So Kerry is fat-ist, I’m dangerous and violent because I am fat.  How many other people are approaching and judging me that way?  I don’t blank people, I listen, that is my problem.  I listen and think.  Thinking that way is her problem, but her communication is so quixotic it cuts me to the quick.

The time when Jim said please in a way which was so painful to me afterwards, something else came up in the conversation and I said that they weren’t the ones being threatened with the closest thing they could get to gang rape, meaning forced medication if I didn’t willingly comply, on a regular basis.  He put it in my notes that I had merely meant being asked to go to bed so they could clean the chairs.  I don’t want this relationship to be retrievable now, I don’t like what he does.  But for me that is hurtful because he has this knack of making me feel as if it is one of the few that does anything like work.  His responses were visceral tonight, calling both me and Kerry selfish people, for a start, because people wanted to sleep.  But when I continued to be angry until and beyond 12.45 am he made no attempt to stop it, just ignored it, and I believed his appeal to people wanting to sleep had just been self-serving in the first place.  He was unreasonable.  He was telling me to calm down when he had just made me uncalm again, and he himself was agitated.  Unreasonable, unjust and illegal.  I said they should join Mugabe’s regime, that what they had done was so wrong and unjust they must be deliberately and knowingly participating in social engineering.  Also I said I had won by letting them play out the full extent of their savagery on me, because now I can document what happened.  I think Jim must be afraid of me to treat me this way.  I still don’t know why he was calling out ‘say you’re sorry, apologise’ from the office that day.  It had been one of the things I wanted to talk to him about and find out what it was about.  Meeting tonight didn’t happen either.  He didn’t even think it was important enough to insist on making 10 minutes for me.  He told me he had to do an admission.  I’m sure the admission could have waited 10 minutes.

Also the reason it is difficult for me when this kind of thing happens is that my love and trust and obedience kick in just because, for over a year, I haven’t really been touched by anyone else.  I can be sitting next to complete strangers and want to rest my head on their shoulders and maybe look for support.  I want love and hugs.  I’ve heard from the church that physical force is OK and should be submitted to, that it can turn people to obedience, which is where they should be.  I find this situation too cruel for words, and also my own requirement of myself within it.  I don’t go with this anymore.  Adrian Plass said in one of his books that when he had an interview with the main man at work when he was working with troubled children, the man lay on the carpet and let him talk.  Something else as well, he didn’t react punitively to someone who broke a window in his home, or something.  He loved him, from what I remember.  I can’t remember if this is also Adrian Plass, but it is definitely Tommy Boyd, that if someone came at him he would hug them from behind until they calmed down.  Those are my values, the awesome perceptions and right modes of operation, in my eyes.  A hug without further threat, even though seen as restraint, with no further threat, could easily be accepted as love and the kind of physical contact we are made for.  Men who won’t hug me here will restrain me as they did tonight.  I am struggling to recover my humanity.  I’m 52, childless and menopausal.  I feel now as if saying that is just manipulation, but I think and feel that having to feel that way is appalling.

Update 28.07 2013

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

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

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

A Slightly Different Update 27.07.2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update 22.07.2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update 15.07.2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Esther

She looks at me as if she despises me, every time I see her.  It makes my head feel as if it is being held in a cloud of sedation and I start to feel tearful and like wanting to scream, and I have no way to process all that.  It doesn’t go away, it stays with me.  My housing advocate said she looked at her as if she was angry because she was in her way.  I told her, I get that all the time from her.  If you say anything they don’t take your side and it isn’t helpful to mention it.  I hesitate to say they take each other’s side and all get on your case, because I haven’t really put it to the test.

I was thinking the other day, we have different experiences of our relationship and different approaches.  The staff and I, that is, not Esther and I.  The staff and patients, really.  For the staff, they work with us, and go home.  We have to live with them, no way out.

They talk about flattened affect, but it is our relationship with them,including the constant threat outside, that causes the flattened affect, in my opinion.  And anyway, why is ‘affect’ so important?  What about not being ruled by ‘affect’ and letting your mind come into play?  People are frightened to show their emotions in an unequal relationship.  Either that, or they use them to manipulate, or try and change things whereas the other party wants to keep it as it is.  Try and be yourself in the face of a person in power in close proximity who is telling you you are something negative you believe you are not.  They look as if they feel threatened by your confidence and that bodes badly for you when they are the decision makers in your life.

 

Today at Macmillan Close

We just moved back (three of us) to our own house on the close after we had to move out two weeks ago for decorators.  Can’t see much difference myself.  It smells of paint and one of my windows has been repaired.

Last week I wrote Dr Leaske, my psychiatrist, a long letter explaining that I thought my diagnosis should be more around trauma and grief and menopause.  I was hoping he wouldn’t renew the section 3 (I thought he wouldn’t anyway) but he did, and he wasn’t at all impressed when I said that I wasn’t violent and that the things from the community were just malicious slander.  He said he had to take them into account.  So white van man with a nasty streak is allowed to dictate the decisions made about my life.  Dr Leaske talked about building up trust, but really it all seems to be required one way.  Even when I gave my word that I would continue to take the poison if he didn’t put me on another section he wouldn’t accept it.

After we moved this morning I had an appointment with my key nurse.  All the time she was talking and reading me my rights, all I wanted to do was cry.  I believe that would be more healing than any drugs they gave me. She didn’t seem to pick up on that though.  Some nurses vent around me, reacting in not their normal voices when I open my mouth and sound relaxed.  One man actually shouts out, like ‘oh’, effectively.  I find that shocking and frightening.  Also abusive.  It is like psychological rape.  I know I’ve said all this before but this saga continues and elicits the same feelings.  It’s control and domination, and its unprofessional, I think.

I feel what they are doing to me despises me as a human and a woman in grief and menopause.  In spite of the fact that he (my psychiatrist) reduced my medication and agreed to let me come off it and see how I got on, they are still defining me and controlling me as before.  I feel normal and happy and positive, under the grief, if they would just leave me alone.  He wants me to see a psychologist/psychotherapist.  We are at loggerheads but I feel as if I am having to come round to seeing some things his way in spite of that.  I don’t want to deal with my situation under the auspices of the mental health system.

Possible Side Effects of Abilify (Aripiprazole)

This is my medication and the leaflet in the box lists these possible side effects:

Common side effects (affects 1-10 users in 100) uncontrollable twitching or jerking movements, headache, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, an uncomfortable feeling in the stomach, constipation, increased production of saliva, light-headedness, trouble sleeping, restlessness, feeling anxious, sleepiness, shaking and blurred vision.

Uncommon side effects ( affects 1-10 users in 1,000) some people may feel dizzy, especially when getting up from a lying or sitting position, or may experience a fast heart rate.

The following side effects have been reported since the marketing of ABILIFY (sic) but the frequency for them to occur is not known:

Changes in the levels of some blood cells;

unusual heart beat, sudden unexplained death, heart attack;

allergic reaction (e.g. swelling in the mouth, tongue, face and throat, itching, rash);

high blood sugar, onset or worsening of diabetes, ketoacidosis (ketones in the blood and urine) or coma, low sodium level in the blood;

weight gain, weight loss, anorexia;

nervousness, agitation, feeling anxious;

thoughts of suicide, suicide attempt and suicide;

speech disorder, seizure, combination of fever, muscle stiffness, faster breathing, sweating, reduced consciousness and sudden changes in blood pressure and heart rate;

fainting, high blood pressure, blood clots in the veins especially in the legs (symptoms include swelling, pain and redness in the leg), which may travel through blood vessels to the lungs causing chest pain and difficulty in breathing (if you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical advice immediately);

spasm of the muscles around the voice box, accidental inhalation of food with risk of pneumonia, difficulty in swallowing;

inflammation of the pancreas, inflammation of the liver, yellowing of the skin and white part of eyes, reports of abnormal liver test values, abdominal and stomach discomfort, diarrhoea;

skin rash and sensitivity to light, unusual hair loss or thinning, excessive sweating; stiffness or cramps, muscle pain, weakness;

involuntary loss of urine, difficulty in passing urine;

prolonged and/or painful erection;

difficulty controlling core body temperature or overheating, chest pain, and swelling of hands, ankles or feet.

Adolescents 15 years and older experienced side effects that were similar in frequency and type to those in adults except that sleepiness and uncontrollable twitching or jerking movements were very common (greater than 1 in 10 patients) and dry mouth, increased appetite, and feeling dizzy, especially when getting up from a lying or sitting position, were common.

In elderly patients with dementia, more fatal cases have been reported while taking aripiprazole.  in addition, cases of  stroke or “mini” stroke have been reported.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~//~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If the symptoms listed are really seen as possible side effects I don’t like the fact that such chances are being taken with my physical health and even my life, no matter how slight the possibilities.  Twitching and jerking are symptoms of tardive dyskinesia, which in the case of Jenelle (see the last link on my Essential Links page) has put her in a wheelchair and is thought by doctors to be irreversible.

It is almost as if listing them in this way makes it OK to take the chances.  But as someone on this drug (and others act like it) I think it is dishonest and the worst kind of bullying to be told that this will improve my quality of life while these side effects, some of them resulting in death or incapacity, are possible.  Most of the time they can’t be bothered with us and they are not interested in how we feel or what we have to say.  That is the truth.  Psychologically and relationally they, among others, have abandoned us even while they have a duty of care.  They force these drugs on us while ignoring our requests and assertions that other things are the problem and there are better and different and less harmful and more effective answers and therapies.

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

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.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Someone on Facebook gave me the link to this useful list.  I decided to tack on the end that PTSD is said to “mimic” schizophrenia.  I would say all of these ‘early warning signs’ could equally be a part of post traumatic experience.

“Schizophrenia is a challenging disorder that makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally.” “The most common early warning signs of schizophrenia include:
Social withdrawal
Hostility or suspiciousness
Deterioration of personal hygiene
Flat, expressionless gaze
Inability to cry or express joy
Inappropriate laughter or crying
Depression
Oversleeping or insomnia
Odd or irrational statements
Forgetful; unable to concentrate
Extreme reaction to criticism
Strange use of words or way of speaking

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/schizophrenia_symptom.htm#conditions

Conditions that can look like schizophrenia

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a traumatic event, such as military combat, an accident, or a violent assault. People with PTSD experience symptoms that are similar to schizophrenia. The images, sounds, and smells of PTSD flashbacks can look like psychotic hallucinations. The PTSD symptoms of emotional numbness and avoidance can look like the negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

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.

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