Tag Archive: Friendship


Yesterday Was My Birthday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Oh Happy Day!

I’m very happy today!  Yesterday I saw my psychiatrist and nurse, and my Community Treatment Order has been extended to next April so they can make sure I am OK when I finish coming off my meds.  I’m not happy that the CTO has been extended, but I am happy that I seem to be OK coming off the meds, I feel better than I have felt in a long time.  And there is no problem with my new neighbours, and I don’t expect one to develop.

I suppose that, even if no problems develop here, the psychiatric team will still say that I was ill before, and that I was imagining women shouting ‘hallelujah’.  It seemed real, both here and in Bulgaria, where it first started.  But the psychiatrists say it was only real to me, that it was an auditory hallucination.  I don’t know, I have no proof, but neither do they.

Today I feel hopeful for the future, and happy that I feel hopeful.  Yesterday I felt a lot of grief.  I had a disturbing dream last night about John and Anne Coles, but I can’t remember it now.

On Tuesday I went to Coventry to see Michael Palin.  He was funny and interesting.  I missed him here in Nottingham because the tickets were sold out.  As Jennie, my nurse, said, it is probably the biggest thing I have done since I came out of hospital.  She said I deserved it, even though it turned out to be more expensive than I was happy with.  I booked a night in a good hotel to make sure I got a decent night, but it was a way out of town and in the opposite direction from Warwick Arts Centre, where the evening was held.  I didn’t mind the price of the hotel, but I did mind paying nearly £100 in taxi fares over less than 24 hours.  I did take out £100 to cover taxi fares, but I didn’t expect to have to use nearly all of it.  Oh well, it’s done now, and it was a good evening.

I just watched ‘What A Girl Wants’ with Colin Firth on ITV2.  That was good, it gave me a bit of a lift.  Last night I posted something a bit despairing on Facebook on the Speak Out Against Psychiatry page, but so many people came to my rescue I don’t feel despairing now.  I’m still quite lonely, but I’ll have to do something about that.  My nurses have been the closest thing I have had to friends over the last year.  Pete, the nurse I have coffee with every week, is helping me find voluntary work and is taking me to The People’s Choir next Thursday.  I don’t sing so loud here as I used to in London because I don’t want to cause problems, so it might be nice to have the choir as an outlet.

Anyway, that is my update for the moment.  Thank you for reading.  Please leave comments if you have time.

Beginnings and Endings

Tomorrow my tenancy starts in my new home, but I won’t be moving in immediately.  I still need to decorate and I’m going to see if I can get some volunteers for that, but I’ve never decorated and have no idea about things like how many pots of paint I am going to need.  I have been awarded 45 points by the council to buy decorating stuff with, but their colours are very limited and a bit boring (I love the way the WordPress site puts a squiggly red line under ‘colours’ spelt the English way! It doesn’t like ‘spelt’ either!)

The idea is that I should erect a shed in the garden to store the stuff that won’t fit inside my bungalow.  It would be a metal shed, which is both cheaper and more secure than wooden, apparently, but it will still be very expensive and security will be a constant worry.  I had wasps in my kitchen last week, they were coming down the boiler flue, and the man who came round to sort them out commented that the back was open to intruders, being on the corner with nothing beside.  I’ve been in that situation before, before the new houses were built next door to me in London, and I was burgled several times.  It’s not a nice feeling.  I woke up one morning to find someone in my bedroom.  But he broke in through the front door.

I’m looking forward to moving in now, but the shortage of money makes it a time of great anxiety for me.  If it weren’t for the fact that I need to buy a shed I would be OK, but I’m just short of what it is estimated I will need for that.  At the moment I am waiting for the outcome of a budgeting loan application, and I expect that to take another 3 weeks to come through.  In the meantime I have a discharge meeting on Tuesday, and I’m hoping they will give me longer than just two weeks to move in.

I’ve called this post ‘Beginnings and Endings’.  Obviously it will be a new beginning in the bungalow, and an end to nearly two years and five months in hospital, and an end on three years homeless, but that wasn’t what I had in mind when I named my post.

By endings I was thinking about the end of life.  I’m 53, which isn’t old, but it is still the wrong side of half way through my life.  I’ve been thinking I don’t want to grow old alone.  I have no partner, I have no children.  My mother has arthritis and uses a wheelchair.  Apart from her shopper and her cleaner I am the only person she sees, every two weeks, which is how she wants it.  I’ve been thinking about suicide as an alternative to getting very old and dragging myself around lonely and in pain. Lately I’ve been thinking about Dignitas.  I’ve been thinking about them because I wouldn’t know how to commit suicide myself, I wouldn’t have the tablets and I can’t see me hanging myself, I don’t think I’d do a good job of ending my life.  I’ve also thought how unnatural it seems to me that an organisation like Dignitas exists to help people to die.  I don’t know if they exist for anything else.

I’m a bit confused.   I’ve been seeing old people out and about and they seem OK, talking to each other on the bus.  Many of them seem mobile enough.  But I feel a general despair because I don’t think I have any friends and I don’t think that, at my age, I can make the kind of friends who would be able to stand in for lifetime friends, of which I have none.  I think my last years will be very, very lonely.  I don’t have much hope at the moment about anything.  I think boredom is going to be a longstanding problem for me, and I can’t see the point of hanging around for that.  I also don’t fancy the idea of a care home, which might be a necessity later on.  Ever since the mental health services got involved in my life I have felt insecure and that I have no reliable freedom, I don’t want to end my days in care.  I don’t want to drag my way through the last years of my life subject to situations I don’t want to be in.

I’m not planning to do anything at the moment.  I was thinking maybe some time in my 60s.  I’m not sure if I could if it actually came down to it, but I’m not so afraid of the idea of ending my life as I once was.  I am afraid of the possibility  of vandalism and intrusion in my new home and whatever future home I establish, thinking of Bulgaria.  I don’t want to live out my life subject to those things, I don’t want to be in fear of things being spoilt all the time, and mental health teams and police refusing to take it seriously.  Saying I’m having auditory hallucinations rather than acknowledge something real and not OK is being done to me.

The End.

 

 

The Ledge

I’m not suicidal, but I understand these feelings. About broken trust and nothing left except the oppression of nothing left to rebuild with.

theoutsiderguy

Image

 

It creeps onto you,
It grows like a vine,
Clouding your chest,
Procreating seeds,
That disperse themselves
Onto anything that can
Give you a justification,
of how and why?
Your trust is like
A vase, that falls
from all of their clumsy limbs
and shatters it,
Leaving you those fragments, to reubuild it,
With a few pieces missing every time.
But this time, there’s nothing left to rebuild.
The glue is gone, the Vase is gone.
The pain still stays,
The hate still greys .
The shock recovers,
and the deception becomes clear.
But your chest is still cloudy.
Your thoughts are still muddy.
The vase is still broken,
Your mind is still shaken.
What is left to be done.
You know the answer.

The Ledge is cold,
But does it matter?
All you think about,
Is the vase that shattered.
The ledge is cold,
But is it as…

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My Imaginary Friend

I have a friend, at least in my imagination, that I always want to contact with sensitive and intimate information.

On Friday I was walking along Queensway/Bayswater Road and for some reason I was remembering the time when an old lady died who had always been in Church, never said much, or anything at all, that I remember hearing, but always, without fail, had a smile on her face.  I thought she was lovely and beautiful and serene.  I know nothing about her life.

I was remembering that, when I heard she had died, I went back to my grandparents’ house crying my eyes out.  When they asked me why I was crying and I told them, one of them said ‘what are you crying for?  She wasn’t family’.

I can’t remember who it was so no one can be betrayed by me saying so.  I can’t remember if and how I answered the question.  I know my feelings and crying were not affirmed.  For a moment in Queensway I felt the pain and the emotion again, and I wanted to write and tell my imaginary friend.

I believe my imaginary friend reads my blog.  Imaginary because we have never had a close up relationship, and imaginary because, except for when things seem very simple and obvious in his favour, I feel and believe and know that things are far too complicated.  It is imaginary because I am in denial, even having it as imaginary.

But there is pain in my heart as I am writing this, and it is always him that comes to mind when this kind of thing comes up and I want to tell him.  I used to write to him a lot.  Almost always, as soon as I started, I had to push through my ambivalence and anger to do so.  He knew that, I told him so.

I once heard him saying, in answer to someone’s question, that if someone attacked him (or something like that) he would hold them in a bear hug.  On my side there is often so much resentment, and on his there must be some exceptions, that even if no attack was involved not everyone would be treated equally.  Even if there are no exceptions for him, I think, apart from my imagination which tells me I am wrong in the strongest possible terms, that I would find it awkward and difficult.

 

 

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