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.
Tag Archive: harassment
I heard this song on Radio 2 this evening, I Might Be Wrong, I Might Be Right, and thought about what seems to be the difference between the psychiatric position and my own. They say the voice I heard piping or screaming hallelujah repeatedly was definitely, an auditory hallucination and are prepared to forcibly inject me with brain damaging drugs on that basis. Whereas I am at least prepared to entertain the idea that it might have been an overwrought imagination. The voice sounded real enough and it burned right through me.
The trouble is, neither I nor the psychiatric team have asked other neighbours whether they heard anything. The difference between the psychiatric team and myself is that I see the desirability of finding out and the psychiatric team doesn’t, they think their academic knowledge is all that is needed. In reality, they have less of a basis for judging it as an auditory hallucination than I have for believing it to be real. For one thing, it was limited to the place I was living, it didn’t follow me around outside. If it was an hallucination I would have expected it wouldn’t be limited to the building. I don’t know what their thinking is on that .
But they think they can decide that something is hallucinatory without reference to the reality of other people who would certainly also have heard it if it wasn’t. That is arrogance. When I was living as homeless in Lincoln many years ago there was a loud bang on the ceiling above my bed. There was another woman there in the other bed and I asked her if she had heard it and she said yes, and that it was above my bed. The psychiatrists don’t check things out that way, and that is unscientific.
They have no basis for deciding that something is real or imaginary since they don’t refer to the reality of other people’s experience around me. The best they can legitimately say is that they might be wrong, they might be right, but they go beyond that to justify depriving me of my freedom back in 2012 and on previous admissions, and forcing drugs on me. At least they seem to go beyond it. If they don’t, what is the foundation for their actions? You can’t open yourself up safely to people who are so adamant, and yet they accuse me of being guarded and only having superficial conversations. As far as I am concerned no one has the right to expect deep conversation from other people, especially not from people held and drugged against their wishes with unanswered community questions. I think them calling ME guarded is projection anyway. I have seen enough evidence of their own guardedness.
I have become acquiescent with medication, it seems to be OK. But things here are generally peaceful, so there’s not much provocation to make me feel really bad about anything. The door slamming gets to me, but there isn’t much else.
I don’t know how most of my readers and followers feel about the things I have said, I don’t often get comments. I suppose I can see the position of psychiatry in saying that people who don’t know they need medication still have a right to it, and detention makes sure that right is received. I suppose the view is that we still have the right to treatment no matter how cruel and provocative some of the staff are, at least on an acute ward.
My position has been that the cruelty creates the illness and disturbance. I don’t know, it is hard to say what the position of the staff actually is when they are cruel and harassing and angry. I still wake up burning with anger and feeling upset at some of the things I remember.
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.
So, what happened this morning? R in the wheelchair told me it was either Sue or Sharon who said she had legs, she should use them. When she told me that they were both sitting opposite me and she just said the one sitting opposite, so that is as close as I have it for now. They started whispering together and laughing. It came up about Sue swearing at me and telling me no one liked me again, and she said I had no proof. They told me I was boring and my blog, which they say they haven’t read, is boring. They told me I don’t know how to use my brain and that I am paranoid. Sue said I was paranoid when I was saying about her swearing etc.
OK, I don’t have proof, but she and I both know, and I know she is lying. She lies even to say she isn’t lying. What sort of person says that another has no proof when they are expressing that kind of concern and offense? I believe I should not need proof. They have almost absolute power over me and I think that I should not need proof in the same way that a person reporting a past sexual offense against themselves does not need it. We are that vulnerable. I hope it turns out that I do not need proof.
They were all shouting at me this morning and laughing at me and letting other people, patients, shout at me. They kept taking their side and using them to have a go at me. I tried to talk to the doctor about what was happening and they wanted to hang around outside the door and watch, as if I was dangerous, so I said I would talk to someone else. Jesus said the same thing – why have you come at me like this?
I couldn’t eat lunch, it was too spicy.
Whatever these people want, I will not work with them. They are Nazis. I will not have it said that they are working with me by my consent. I’m not sure what they think they are trying to achieve, if it is not just trying to disempower and humiliate me. Helen was there again, Steve who was responsible, so I was told, for the decision to not even help me with my bed. Steve stayed laughing in the background, the women worked me over.
It started because I was told I needed to be out of my room so they could do a cleaning audit, and I let them bully me out. I wasn’t dressed, I hadn’t showered. When I pointed that out Sue gave me an empty stare and said ‘tough’. I’d had a bad night because a woman on my corridor kept slamming the door again, I think it was Kerry, but I’m not sure. It also could have been staff. When I wanted to go back in my room Sue was sitting there and she said ‘she won’t come out again’, then we got into an argument about my right to stay in my room, and the fact that they can’t manhandle us out if we are not a danger to ourselves or anyone else. As I said last night, they know it is the only place I have and they are taking full advantage of that. They were saying the other patients were all out and I said they didn’t have to be because the law protects us. They were goading me, with complete disrespect. They stripped me naked and insisted I stay among them in my distress, with them tossing me around on their horns. I’ve had the hospital as my only home for nearly 16 months. It has always been untenable. I told them I would probably be gone within a month because accommodation and discharge is being talked about, and one of them threw up their hands and said hurray, or something to that effect. Two of the other patients started on me, one said I should be in prison or in a hostel and that they were going to phone the police. She got on the phone and asked for Scotland Yard. I told her I would happily be in a hostel but they wouldn’t let me go. I’ve got to wait until after 4th September when my Care Co-ordinator gets back from leave, unless I can find out from my advocate that there is a quicker way of doing it.
I had a dream last night that I was looking after Brian May’s house for him while he was away. I also dreamt about the whole of the original Queen cast, but their hair was up in frizzy bunches on each side of their heads, while they were singing.
Oh, apart from putting me in the wrong all the time they asked me if I wasn’t sick of the sound of my voice.
Of course my constant fear about my blog is that it isn’t making the difference I want it to make, that in spite of all the clicks people don’t read it and they do think it is boring. All I can say is that I am a real person coping,or trying to, with a terrible situation. And I think I have something to say which should be taken seriously and should make the difference I keep saying I want it to make for myself and for others.
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.
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.
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 . . . .
What actually happened yesterday was that Kerry had been vocally trolling me all weekend. She said I was full of myself as well. One of her friends said I had deserved it when something happened, either that I was forcibly medicated or dragged out of the dining room by staff (I wonder if Kerry knows that I am virtually a Londoner?), and yesterday she was sat outside on the pavement near the doors smoking with Sa and Re, and I passed them to go out and said see you to Sa and Re but not to Kerry. She took exception to that andsaid something about carrying on like that and I told her what someone associated with my care had told me, that staff on the ward had listened to things I had said and tried to make changes, i told her I had been there 3 months and that many changes for the better had happened because I had fought for them for people like her, and she started doing a really horrible voice at me and I spat in her direction twice. I was nowhere near her and it had no hope of reaching and obviously wasn’t intended to. She got up and said I would run away then asked if I was spitting at her and I said yes, and waited as she approached, and she kicked me in the lower abdomen. Someone was passing that I asked to be a witness and she agreed and she got kicked in the ribs, but we both went back to the ward to report it. If this woman had not been passing I don’t know what I would have done. So that is the whole story.
I’ve called this ‘Pastiche’ because i wanted to mention a few things. I thought there were four but I can only remember three at the moment. I’ve already covered the first.
When all this started with the mental health system, after my first admission I came back to Nottingham and spent a while with my uncle and going to Church at Talbot Street. One day in London I bought a card intended for David Shearman’s birthday, a card with dolphins on. I can’t remember if I sent it or not. It was in Victoria Station in London, in the days before they had any public seating, and I was feeling beaten up and exhausted. I bought a bag of fruit and nuts and sat on the floor in front of a store, and I was approached by security guards who tried to move me on. I said I was tired and didn’t want to move. Eventually the police were called and it was quite nasty and when I got to the London Transport Police Station I was met by this oldish officer and I was really upset and I told him I hadn’t even been told my rights and he took me by the hair and told me I didn’t have any. I was sobbing loudly in the cell and when I was released the officer who let me out told me it would be all right.
The other thing I wanted to mention was a girl who was on the ward here, this time around, called Michelle. She hardly ever spoke at first and when she did start speaking she was quite aggressive, but in the first place i took to her because, as I told Terry, she reminded me of a woman who tried to get close to me when I was working as a volunteer at an HIV respite care centre. This woman did not have long to live and I left shortly before she was expected to die. After talking to Terry about it I felt horrified that I had basically walked out on a dying woman that had warmed to me enough to move from a little suspicion to coming to sit next to me, without speaking, if I came in and sat down. I can’t express the depth of horror and shame I felt as I saw it that way, just about three months ago.
I have my radio on sometimes in the evening and on two nights Michelle, who I didn’t know was the woman next door to me at the time, banged violently on the wall, and I was afraid because I didn’t know who it was. When I found out sometimes I would vent in my room if I thought she was disturbing me in any way, and I would vent at her. So I had gone from being friendly and saying hello even though I got nothing back to being verbally angry with her. Sometimes she barged into me in the kitchen and started shouting at me. She was verbally and physically aggressive to other patients as well, and one day I heard a nurse telling her about her behaviour and she didn’t want the police back. I can’t remember if this was the day she was being generally aggressive and she ended up coming to me and spitting on my hand. I was so locked up in myself at the time, so depressed, I didn’t feel anything in particular, I just looked and ignored it. I wasn’t offended, in fact I felt a bit relieved. I have thought about it over the past 24 hours and realised again, if not for the first time, that that meant I meant something to her, she was angry and she spat at me. Later on that day or the next I wanted to say to her ‘thank you for spitting at me, I deserved it, and if you feel you want to spit at me again any other time you have my permission, and I won’t retaliate’. I struggled with that all week, and I never said it, and then she disappeared. I feel i failed her. I keep thinking she must have gone to a more secure place or something and that if I had just dared to be vulnerable enough I could have helped her. I feel really upset about that, and it isn’t a distress I feel proud of. I failed her, and I resisted God.
Definitely for the first time in the last 24 hours I thought about the phrase ‘hatred is the flip side of love’. During that period my thinking has been, accurately or not, that that phrase is seen as negative but it could be seen positively and it would be more helpful if it were. She spat at me = she loved me, she trusted me. She kicked me in the stomach = she was angry and disappointed because she had a need or positive expectation that wasn’t met. I heard J John use ‘AHEN’ as an acronym for tracing anger back to its root. Behind anger is hurt, hurt comes out of an unmet expectation, and expectation comes out of need, in this progression. Part of me wants Kerry punished, the other part doesn’t. But I have little hope for the relationship. I am tired and cannot cope with her needs. It is possible that I am interpreting her craziness as a deliberate attack on me rather than an attempt to help herself, which it might be.
What I do find difficult about patient confidentiality is that it does separate people who would be friends, sometimes. You’re not sure what is what most of the time. It leads to a psychological isolation if you don’t or don’t want to trust or validate the staff approach or system. Can do, if you are someone like me in my position, anyway, but for the rest of us as well, I am sure.
Here is the fourth thing I was thinking of. There was something on radio 4 this afternoon on the afternoon play that reminded me a lot of Tommy Boyd on the radio. I was thinking last night that I wanted to be welcomed back into the fold and that I wanted Tommy to be the one who did it.
I am feeling very soft and vulnerable at the moment, but also angry, possibly, but i find myself wanting to get on with staff and even validating what they have done, and I’m just not sure. The Bible says let a righteous man strike me it is a kindness. What does that mean, is it right, or was it just a depressed king talking rubbish? Listening to Tommy Boyd led me to want different forms of child discipline than smacking, so how can it be right for me as an adult, the restraints, forced medication, etc. Joseph said to his brothers ‘you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good’, but this is supposed to be meant for good. I’m sorry, I’m so tired and I feel very tearful. Probably over-impressed with the depth of my perceptions in this post. Crying over what a precious and deep person I am. That’s better, that has made me smile. What has made me smile? The thought that Terry might read this. I stare at him sometimes and I think it makes him feel awkward, and I don’t like that. I told someone the other day that when I stare at him like that it is because I think he is beautiful at that moment and I am awestruck. Suck on that one, Tel! Much obeisance. Much love.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today I have decided to use names and hope that, in this situation,it will not lose me my blog.
This morning I went in for breakfast and sat with R. Sharon and Kiran were serving. They set up a certain tone and volume of conversation which I felt was harassing and barracking. I said something to R about them wondering why I trusted others and not them, and that it was because they were not the others and that I choose my friends and my friends are not those who force themselves on me. R said people who force themselves on you are not friends. Sharon was picking up on the last ‘note’ of my speech and using it in her conversation with Kiran, in such a way and with such a history with me as really hurt me and made me feel desperate. Sharon is a burly, loud, ugly mouthed brute of a woman who I have heard become verbally abusive to other patients when she has not been able to get her way, started talking about smacking legs and things to others when she has not had a good response from me. When they saw I was desperate they were both looking at me and giggling. R said she thought Flora was something I could eat as a vegan so I said I would look at the ingredients, at which point Kiran turned away in a way that I believed to be deliberate. I was angry about that and said so. They continued to look at me and giggle, and I brought up that I had seen Sharon push N out of her way with her foot then walk away and say she didn’t care. Sharon said “what did I effing do to N”. She was taunting, smiling and staring. They told me to leave the dining room and I said no and said they should get Jim, my key nurse. At some point Steve came in. Steve has given me a hard time while I have been there. After what he did yesterday when I approached and talked to Jim, which he denied today when I confronted him with it, I had decided that he was not a reliable person and not to choose his involvement. He shouted at me today, I told him to leave me and Jim alone, that he had jeered and mimicked me when I was talking to Jim yesterday, and he said he hadn’t. I told him what I thought and what I had decided, saying I was withdrawing everything positive I had ever said to him and that he was not a reliable person, and he said good or something like that. Eventually Roy came up and started confronting me, telling me to stop shouting and that it wasn’t acceptable. I told him to leave me alone as he hadn’t been there. I was shouting because I felt molested and hysterical with their intimate psychological harassment. If they weren’t doing that nasty mimicking I might be able to cope without shouting, but I have had it almost non-stop while I have been there. Last night I said to Alex, a female nurse, that I had been thinking of the staff team as a seamless robe, but that I was realising there were some who were OK and others who were not, and she agreed. But the reason for the seamless robe feeling has been the invasive nature of their harassment. I had decided to start relating to some and not others. I started out saying I didn’t want to get close to any of them, but they found this unacceptable and broke me down emotionally until I see them as emotionally important in my life. I am thinking of hospital as the place that I have to make relationships with staff work and where I can be treacherous and shouldn’t be.
I went outside into the corridor still upset and shouting, and he came and started the same thing again. Sharon was behind him and I thought he should be speaking to her, not me, so i put my hands on his arms and tried to turn him round. I thought with him this was OK as he presents himself as a friend who just takes people for walks. It was his intervention leading to my assumption that it was OK to touch him and try to turn him round to make a point that made things worse. I wasn’t violent, it was part of a heated conversation. Sharon was taking the lead in asking him what I was doing to him, and suddenly she descended on me saying I was going to my room. She grabbed my arm and started pushing me, then she started twisting my arm. I asked her why and she said I was going to my room. I said she didn’t need to twist my arm to take me to my room. In the corridor Jim came out of the clinic room and i pleaded with him to help me. I was saying please. He had said please in the situation I wrote about in an earlier blog post, and I never managed to have the conversation with him about all the times they ignore us saying please. He wouldn’t get them off me but came with them to my room. On the way Sharon was saying do this, don’t do that, like don’t kick the door, but we were nowhere near my room at that point. They sat me on my bed and told me to calm down. I asked Jim to get Sharon off me but he wouldn’t. I said she was abusing me, he said the only abuse he had heard was coming from me. I told him he was selectively blind and deaf. I asked him if this was his way or idea of asserting authority. They are trying to say I have a problem with authority rather than with what I see as abusive, intrinsically. I told him he was inconsistent, having fun with me when it suited him and joining in something like this when it didn’t. He said he would have to medicate me if I didn’t ‘calm down’. I said I was calm, just saying what I thought and angry, and that he couldn’t medicate me for being angry. I also pointed out that it was Sharon who was sitting beside me breathing fast and clearing her throat. At some point she loosed her grip and I automatically tried to free my arm. They began to remonstrate with me and told me not to try, that she had loosened her grip into something called something or other – as if explaining what it was called made the situation any more acceptable. They had said something about being irrational and I said that trying to loose my arm when someone looses their grip was a perfectly rational thing to do. Jim said I was affecting other patients, I said I was being affected. I asked him where he had been when I needed him and was asking for him, he said he was doing medication. I asked him about yesterday when he had said he would try to find me when I left a note for him about what Sharon had done to N, he said he had looked for me in the corner I had told him about earlier. When I left the office I had gone straight up the corridor to my bedroom, and they can see the whole corridor from the office. He said he would be perfectly prepared to talk to me when i calmed down, and I told him I might not be prepared to talk to him. Roy offered to get me a cup of tea since I had been saying before they brought me to my room that I wanted to get my tea. I declined it on principle. They kept telling me to calm down, I told them not to tell me to calm down. You can’t order someone to calm down. I said I was going to lie back on my bed and I did, and as soon as i took that position they all walked out on me. I opened my door and shouted “Occupy, Occupy, occupy until I die, shame on you”. I have done that before. They laughed. I said it again and said “recognise a gift when it is offered you”, meaning that shame was a gift. I have said that before as well. I was shouting why is it OK to force me but not to hug me. Sharon had been parading in front of me earlier with a smile on her face, which I had said i interpreted as, “come on then, hit me, and see what happens”. That is the impression I get from their behaviour with all their legalised arsenal behind them. After I managed to stop shouting I lay on my bed, wanting to go out but not daring to say in case they decided to stop me. When I eventually went to go out I asked Paul to open the door for me and was upset and felt humiliated at the almost desperate, begging tone I had adopted because I felt so intimidated. There were four nurses in the office when i went out, Jim was one of them, Steve another. These two were both facing the window. As i had walked down the corridor I had seen Jim and said “I have a legal obligation to myself and other people I see you abusing”. Legal was not the right word, but I still have an obligation. As I passed the window I said that it was hypocrisy with them having instruments of assault as part of their normal job and treating me the way they had because I got angry at their abuse and harassment. I said it was an expression of civil war and they knew it, and I told Jim to look at me, twice, but he refused, as they all did. So in the end I said “don’t look at me then”, and left. This man who thumbs his nose at me and sticks his tongue out at me as a way of being friendly, to the first of which I reciprocated and the second I initiated, yesterday. I thought we were OK with each other. I thought about it later. That looking down and refusal to engage with me was in itself passive abuse, which is a term I learned when reading a book about boundaries years ago, before I was ever admitted. I got outside, i was shouting again. The other night he had been on with someone else who I have felt really helped by this week, and from the office at a certain point while one of the other patients and I were singing, he had called out “apologise, say you’re sorry”. When I was outside shouting I referred to that and said “try some of it yourself, when you are ready to apologise to me. That day won’t come, it never happens. The illusion of emotional security is just that, an illusion. I began to cry and scream walking away from the ‘hospital’.
When I got back this afternoon Tim came and let me in and said “Uh-huh” as he opened the door. i said just opening the door was fine, I didn’t need a comment, he said OK, I said stop answering me back I got to my room, discovered it closed, and went back to the office and said I wanted it opened. Kiran was there, she chimed “OK”. I said “what did you say?” and she said “I said OK”. I said she had a short memory. She didn’t say anything, asked another patient if she was OK and opened my door. I said “thank you” but obviously annoyed, she said “you’re welcome”, ignoring my tone and my right to it as they always do, and walked away. I said “you kids won’t accept correction, will you?” and she chimed back “I don’t need it” and kept walking. That response was a bit of an eye opener to me as to how much disrespect they actually have towards us. I had named Kiran in my note to Jim as someone who might have witnessed the incident between Sharon and N.
I am still waiting to be told the outcome of the SOAD report, nearly two weeks on. I was saying yesterday that I am finding it surreal and disorientating. Some people seem to be trying to make me feel I am special and cosy up to me and give me what seems to be preferential treatment. Sharon was winking at me the other day. She has known for some time I don’t want to relate to her. I have felt a few times that I am becoming unavailable for patients who are on medication and expressing an objection to it. I am far too happy in their faces when I myself am not there and seem to be developing helpful relationships with some staff. Those relationships have today shown themselves to be unreliable. Even in the conversation with the nurse last night we were OK until she adopted the usual stance to which she referred in what I had thought was a safe conversation, that they ‘have to force medication on people’. I feel bad about not giving a conversation with Jim another chance before posting this, but I know as always that I am not the only person this happens to and many people could not get what they wanted from such a conversation, and that he could have stopped the whole thing when he saw me begging him to in light of the relationship I thought we had. He could see I was desperate and upset and not violent. Whatever my personal feelings I know it is not my role to negotiate and help reform from inside without any accountability from them. And the last written complaint I sent that I waited several months for a reply to got the response that it was my mental illness that made me perceive things that way. In a mental hospital awaiting a report from the SOAD I am not different, I am not special. Sometimes I have so much fun with other patients and some of the nurses but if they decide to medicate me they won’t be stopped, and I am intermittently aware of that and become frightened, and I think what the staff are doing to me in this no man’s land is unfair, whatever their intention.
I have become so confused that I find myself doubting that my position on enforced medication is right and not being sympathetic to other patients. But I know I am more tolerant and reasonable than the staff have shown themselves to be today. If they required e to go through what they did today before being prepared to talk to me that is wrong. Their position seems to be they don’t do what we say, we do what they say, because they are in charge, and they will not undermine or be seen to be undermining each other no matter how treacherous of a relationship that makes them or how unfair to the patient they personally think that makes them. I have said a few times recently that it is closer to zoology than anything fit for human consumption. Veterinary practice. I am the same person happy or enraged. They would not do this with their relationships at home. Maybe some of them wish they could.
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.
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.
What does that mean? When you are woken up at 6.30 in the morning with repeated door slamming and you feel so desperate and isolated that you feel you have no one and nothing to turn to but your blog, which you seem to have made your forever friend?
I shouted at her to stop and she wouldn’t. Eventually I got out of bed to see who it was and it was Zara and when I told her to stop again she told me to fuck off. I said ‘you fuck off’, and she kept going. I’ve said before, our doors don’t slam like that left to themselves, so it seems to be deliberate. I was shouting so much that two male staff members came to my room and they seem to have this thing about always insisting on the last word. They aren’t allowed in without permission. I’m wondering why they thought it was necessary to send in two men. There was a woman with them, but she didn’t speak and I didn’t see her. They seemed offended that I saw it as intimidation.
Anyway, apparently Zara apologised, but if it had meant anything she wouldn’t have continued, as she has. My experience just before the slam every time tells me there is definitely a ‘psychic’ element to what I am experiencing and maybe to what they are doing. I called her a violent, two-faced rabbit.
I’ve been in my room almost all day. I went down at lunchtime and Julie, who won’t talk to me, did her usual thing of coming into the kitchen behind me, banging something sharply then starting to hum. It outrages my mind and hurts me emotionally.
Zara is leaving on Thursday. Maybe she is just giving it large. But in the meantime I feel quite battered and emotionally raped. I’ve been told I can have her room when she leaves. Yesterday she very kindly showed me her room and said I could ask for it. I had no idea, given the size of mine, that it could be so big. It;s got 3 chests of drawers, a big wardrobe with shelves and loads of space.
I still feel as if I am being precious, saying things like I feel battered and emotionally raped. Have I decided to be angry, or is it a response I can’t help in the circumstances? If I had gone down might it have sorted things out a bit? If I had taken the brave step of putting audible music on in the first place instead of just listening through my earphones, might I have felt better and would it have helped calm things? Oh yes, men were shouting at me to shut up. I just remembered when I heard a man cough outside. It is exactly like Sherwood was, though Dr Jaffer said it was all in my head, and hence I am being force-fed anti-psychotic drugs.
I feel as if I am burning, inside and out, and that I don’t even have enough strength and confidence to have a shower. I feel too weak. I’m hungry, but I feel too distressed and afraid and embarrassed to go down and eat. I’m hungry but I have no appetite.
When the staff, who also bang the doors, ask if we are OK it feels as if the required answer is ‘yes’.
About mid morning someone was slamming doors and I kept shouting shut up but they kept repeating it. After one repeat I didn’t shout and they stopped. It might have been Veronica the cleaner, as she deliberately slams doors and comes on with contemptuous and defiant religious harassment, and also she talks to Zara a lot. When Zara came back I heard a conversation between them that went something like ‘is she in?’ ‘yes, I can feel her’. It is punitive and dominating and horrible. Some people would say just laugh. I feel I am failing not to. It is very quiet now. I’m going to get a cup of tea and something to eat. Maybe I’ll slam a door or two myself. ‘What’s good for the goose . . .’. I’m not in the mood though, and I don’t want to open myself to further harassment. Opening myself doesn’t seem to come into it though. It is something they have decided to do. The staff have talked to them and they have got worse, if anything, and obviously contemptuous. It feels like a hate crime. But my thoughts and feelings about it might not be right.
I’ve been thinking that about myself in relation to going back to church. I have had the same battle every Sunday for three weeks. I wonder if anyone else can put their hands up to being a coward? I hear the preaching style and its content and I don’t want to go back, in spite of its historical place in my life. At the same time I do want to go back. But if we approach each other the wrong way it could explode in our faces, again.
I;m writing this in a hotel restaurant at 22.27 09.12.2012 UK time. In Bulgaria it has just tipped over to Monday 10.12.2012. I was reading in the Times yesterday, which I bought with a coffee, that President Putin wants to rebuild the old Soviet Union under another name, but that the West wants to avoid that happening or slow it down. I was wanting to go back to Bulgaria ad buy there, but I’m not sure now. I have heard that Bulgaria, of all the old Soviet countries, is closer in sentiment and politics to Russia than any of the others. A lot of Russians buy in the country. When Bulgaria first entered the European Union a Russian official expressed the wish that Bulgaria would be Russia’s Trojan horse in Europe. There is an anticipated change in Bulgaria’s relationship with the EU scheduled for 2014 which is supposed to bring property prices into line with the rest of Europe. What we have at the moment, if that is true, is a window of opportunity. Opportunity for what? To exploit the average Bulgarian who is selling at the moment at around 10,000 euros? I can’t see how someone with self respect and respect for the people of Bulgaria could do that to them. It seems quite a ‘sharp’ thing to do, to me. After 2014 they could sell for more.
So there, I’ve committed it to writing, that I think it is just sharp business practice. I wonder how people will feel if this re-establishing of the Soviet Union becomes a reality, if those who have bought will quickly get out. If I buy and that happens, I won’t be staying. I suppose he would want to go towards being closed, like before. What about all the murders under the old communist regime, would they come back, or have lessons been learned?
I’m just writing, for no particularly good reason. I told myself on the way down here that if I was repentant I wouldn’t be heading for a hotel to drink wine and download stuff. I imagine David Shearman being angry with me and believing that he shouldn’t talk to me until he sees evidence of repentance. Do I really want to go back to seeing the rest of the world as Egypt and ruled by demons? But that is what the Bible says, that Satan is the god of this world, the ruler of the powers of the air. I have felt loved by some of these people, rightly or wrongly. I can see myself sitting happily in a congregation and rejecting everything. I can see myself doing it, happily, it isn’t even a hope or a fear.
Repentance makes amends and seeks reconciliation. What about everything I’ve said about not being able to be in church because they validate the mental health system and sometimes use it as a weapon or offend by taking it for granted, apparently, that it is right and that the person judged as mentally ill is rightly so judged?
I feel both sombre and happy. I’m very tired. Because of where I am at as a woman, every time I feel I have made a breakthrough in understanding how best to handle myself ad my relationships it also hurts deeply that I didn’t know before and then I feel unable to maintain any feeling of having made progress in any solid way.
That will do for now. A bit more self-display. It would not be so bad if it didn’t get into the wrong hands as well as kind ones. Where’s Tommy Boyd? He’s disappeared off the planet, by the looks of it. I can’t believe he’s finished broadcasting for good. It’s only his 60th birthday this year. I thought he was more professionally committed than that. He’s just gone, and I feel bereft, as well as anything else. That sounds stupid and pretentious. I’m also a bit pleased he isn’t there so I am not constantly infuriated. I wish he was around for me because I feel I need him. He was there once, when I sat with him in his car. I wasn’t, I said no. He pointed to his chest and said ‘I’M in here’ and looking back I always remember that as very touching and tender. He didn’t seem to be trying to pull any tricks. Every time I phoned up he said something to remind me of that night and it was too late, perhaps, that I realised it was possibly an invitation to talk some more. Although how I could have done I don’t know. If it was an invitation I didn’t understand that at the time.
Here’s one: because I am getting on in years I am entitled to some of the luxuries of life, and to establish the lifestyle I have always wanted.
Yesterday coming home – sorry, back to the hospital; I must be getting institutionalised – I thought that was a lie put out by pension and financial investment providers. We aren’t entitled to anything just because we are getting older and feel we have always been entitled to it. Not even respect and facilitation of the lifestyle we would choose for ourselves.
Is that true? Is that really true? Because at the moment it feels such a desolate thing to say and believe.
To bring it back to my situation, I am being told that they want to transfer me under my present section to shared housing which comes under another hospital. I have chosen, by default or otherwise, to live on my own. Knowing the kind of harassment I have had towards me in places I have lived, I am afraid of it springing up in my actual living space and turning really nasty, maybe even dangerous. We, I and my proposed housemates, are not people who could expect to be taken seriously if we said what was happening, because I, at least, am not being taken seriously by the psychiatrist now. I am getting tired. I would like some peace and protection and safety on my own terms.
But I’m not entitled to it just because I am aging. Or am I? Have older people, like myself (I will be 52 next week) been demeaned a little bit too far? There we are, I am striking a pose again. I am tired, I am grief-stricken, I am menopausal. Is a safe and peaceful living space, and a little respect and self-determination, too much to want and aim for? What is this third age? Is it a new age of helplessness?
Yesterday I had my managers’ hearing, and they decided to keep me on a section 3 and ignored everything I had to say, though they took a good long time over their decision.
Spoke to John Butterworth, Benefits etc adviser, today. He was nice and friendly and reasonable and helpful.
At 5pm, dinner time, today, Annie came and said that Dr Malik wanted to talk to me about a Section 206. Not knowing what it was, I was scared. Turned out that it was to tide them over the period where the 2nd opinion doctor is overdue, so they can medicate me without my consent. First he asked me if I would consent and I said no, that I was only taking oral medication because otherwise I would be really treated like just an animal, and that forcing medication onto non-consenting people was more akin to veterinary medicine than anything to do with humans. He said they would use a Section 206 then, and I said that was his choice, which it is. I hope one day before I die they will be brought to book for all this.
I didn’t get to open the reports for yesterday’s meeting until after it had happened, because I didn’t know what they were when I got them on my bed just before going in. I am wondering why things seem to be going the same way as they went in London where I always got the papers an hour before the meeting, when for the tribunal I had here I got the papers in good time.
I’m putting weight on so Dr Jaffer wants to change my medication. In the meantime we had hotdogs for tea, or sausage, chips and beans, followed by pudding.
The woman who screams and shouts, reportedly because she is deaf, Chris, a male nurse into religious harassment and mind games, was talking to her at 10.15 onwards near my room, with me feeling as if I was being sprayed with acid. He was doing it in the open regardless of my feelings or anyone else’s, when he could have left her in peace (and the rest of us), or encouraged her to go to her room with him, since it was obviously causing at least me distress. She was as sulphuric as the woman who used to live over what was my temporary accommodation, but Dr Jaffer is insistent that it didn’t happen to me there at all, even though here it is all over again on the ward. I was so upset I was shouting at them to stop, saying things like ‘steal my home then bring me into an environment which is an exact replica’.
I’ve got a manager’s meeting Wednesday 14th November. I hope they will see their way to being more reasonable by then. Dr Jaffer has not told me she has changed her mind about nothing really happening. Chris calls himself a Christian. He did a quiz which I only became a part of because I happened to see it in passing. In it he talked about pride, and baby animals, the sphinx. He said it was compiled by the staff. I tried a few times recently to say hello to him but he turned away so his gaze was somewhere else, before saying hello. At the time I thought it was like trying to train a dog. He calls people in my hearing like ‘yip, yip’, here girl style.
Housing has said that it might be down to the therapeutic decision as to whether or not I can be allocated a home. There is little, in my opinion, which is therapeutic about this place. Occupational therapy is supposed to be therapeutic, but I find it controlling and judgmental. I don’t know what their stance is at the moment but I need it to be something better than keeping me homeless in hospital while I have to keep paying about £160 a month for storage.
I’m always better when I go out. Yesterday I didn’t go out because I wanted to save money. Having just bought a month’s top up for my internet dongle I am down to £5 per day until next Wednesday, when I get my DLA.
Have I mentioned that there is a deaf lady on the ward who screams and shouts at the top of her voice? I got in in time for dinner so I wouldn’t have to spend money on food and almost as soon as I walked through the door, as I was having a conversation with one of the staff, she suddenly exploded right near me, and I just felt shock waves, as I do every time she does that. I screamed myself to let the shock out.
Going back to money, it is really hard for me having 5 hours a day off the ward when I have no home to go to. Everything I want to do is going to cost money, especially if I want to eat. If I use the free internet facility at places I feel obliged to buy something. If I was at home it would not cost me nearly so much for a cup of tea/glass of wine and a sandwich. At the moment both the housing people and the hospital are maintaining that they are waiting on each other before I can be housed. Tomorrow I have a meeting with my key nurse and the housing advocate. I hope some progress has been made.
Calling us mentally ill if we don’t believe that about ourselves is a visceral, mind-burning thing. To then have people making fun of the way you speak, clashing pots and pans at significant intervals, and competing with you for your own breathing and speaking and generally acting like pack animals is more than you should be expected to deal with. But that was what I had at dinner time. It is open season for mockery. Jess was scowling. I see them hugging and sharing the love with each other as they leave, but some of us don’t even get a real personality to speak to, let alone love. Today Linda was in the kitchen, and Liz and Luke. It appears they thought my upset was hilarious, if Luke’s reaction was anything to go by. It is war, nothing else. When dealing with people who do not recognise their right to label people that way, mental health staff are engaged in a civil war with captives they hold and torture with drugs and other forms of torment. I see their anger and sometimes I think I shouldn’t trust them and other times I think I should trust them. It isn’t going to happen though. Because I am writing this, and they are reading it. I am fully convinced, after several instances that were too close to be ‘just coincidence’, that the police are monitoring both my blog and messages I have sent via my phone a couple of times.
As I came off the ward I spoke to someone on the building staff and it was obvious from his response to me that he had no time for anything I had to say. I had thought he was a decent person, but his voice was full of derision when I spoke to him today.
There is a nurse called Vymla who has a couple of times burst out with ‘hi honey’ either to me or ‘on the telephone’ when I have been around. Something in the tone of voice made me feel it was deliberate. On the day that I was first due to be assessed for a section 3, having just a few days before discovered that I had been in hospital for nearly a month and none of my relatives knew, because although one had been nominated as closest relative, it came back in the paperwork that no one had been nominated, I was really upset because I was being given only 3 or 4 hours notice with no one knowing I was even there. Vymla opened the office door and said she was sorry she had to open the door, but I wasn’t shouting loud enough. I told her to stop being sarcastic and she said she was never sarcastic. Am I supposed to laugh at this later when things have calmed down and take it all with a pinch of salt?
I don’t think I’ve mentioned Vymla before. There is another one called Annie who comes at me with faces, it is really grotesque. One day just as I got back, when the olympics were on, she got me in a long conversation and followed every change in expression in my voice. I started doing the raise at the end of my sentences, like we have learned from Australia, and she matched me move for move.
I managed to get the first assessment for a section 3 moved to a few days after, maybe Monday where it had been Friday. They weren’t willing to give way at all until I brought out a pen and paper, then suddenly it all changed.
My last section before this one, a section 5(2) involved a Dr Singh who acted as if he was giving me the third degree. I hadn’t met him before. He said, and Liz backed him up, that I had said something I hadn’t. At that point I wished that I had legal representation and witnesses, but apparently you can’t get them for an assessment. I forgot his name part way through and asked him to remind me and he was very aggressive, demanding of me why I had forgotten his name, I shouldn’t have forgotten, I had forgotten other things as well. But I answered all of his questions correctly about the day, date, time, who is the prime minister (though I had to think about that one, I had Margaret Thatcher in my mind). What I am saying is that the assessments can be, and in my experience have been, a free space for bullying and belittling the patient when neither advocate nor solicitor is there to see. I think I should have been entitled to an advocate and I can’t remember why I didn’t have one, but as the law stands at the moment I am only entitled to a solicitor after the decision has been made to put me on a section.
Then they act as if what they have done is a perfectly normal way to behave in any relationship.
Someone recently said you don’t get any peace until they have you on drugs. It seems to me that fits my experience, that they want you on drugs, possibly it makes them feel better. I asked at one point if I could have the section 3 without the drugs, if they were worried about me leaving hospital with nowhere to go. When they get you on drugs it seems like ‘fight over’ in many ways, for them.
I just thought, while having my almost 0% protein content lunch: If they can tell me that hostels here are bad, why can’t (or won’t) they ‘believe’ me when I say what has been happening to me in the community – why do they maintain that what was happening to me there, and the way the council and the police dealt with it, weren’t bad, but a product of ‘my mental illness’?
Are things only bad if judged so out of the minds and mouths of these dubious professionals? One of them even said to me that the police are a law to themselves. It is difficult for me to know with any certainty if there is anything to choose between these two bodies of professionals with regard to that.
At my appeal the other day they were saying that I wrote ‘derogatory’ remarks about the staff. Isn’t it hard not to?
Yesterday was really unsettled here and a nurse interrupted my time with another nurse to say they needed to be out there and seen. The tv room was the point of conflagration and congregation.
I’m all over the place today. and was yesterday as well. Should I go to church, or contact the media, or make contact again with my uncle? Last time I went to him he turned me away. So has everyone else though, at different times.
Who is the least to blame for their hacking of my computer and telephone? Who can I least condemn for that and justify the most?
Life on the ward is violent and angry. It runs completely counter to my life choice. I was on a section 3 until I finally moved all my stuff out of my temporary accommodation on the Friday, then my section was rescinded on the following Monday, so technically I could leave, but I now had no home. After a period off my section but feeling really distressed by the violently broken nights, when I tried to discharge myself they didn’t seem to know, between them, what they were doing, but they put me back on a section 3.
This place, patients and staff alike, are hurting me. Being here is making me very unhappy and repressed. I know this place is bad for me, but they are telling me I need to be here. I know I don’t and that it isn’t good for me to be here. It isn’t good for anyone. The kind of relationships that exist in a place like this, doing what they do, can only be diseased. I can’t even discharge myself at the moment into the ‘really bad’ hostels they say exist here. At least if I could do that I would be taking responsibility for my own life. It might be easier if housing seemed to be doing something, like offering me accommodation. I can’t remember the date I was interviewed, but it is over a month ago, maybe 2. Even if I am offered accommodation I assume that the lifting of my section 3 won’t automatically coincide with that.
I keep coming out of my room to see staff members immediately change the expressions on their faces, when they see me. There is something wrong with this and I am frightened.
And to think I raided my credit card piggy banks because I thought it would be dealt with within a month. I didn’t realise I would run out of money before I was re-housed. The date on this post will be 21.09.2012 because I have kept the blog in Bulgarian time to save confusion. It is also Greek time and Syrian time. Imagine how that felt to me last year when I was watching the news and Syria was in my own time zone. It made me forge a strong emotional connection with events there. Perhaps that is why some of my past posts areas they are. Emotions were being stretched in every direction.
I have marked the anniversary by playing loads of music and buying a CD off eBay. That is the first eBay purchase I have made since before I first left for Bulgaria.
That’s it really. I can’t be bothered writing anything else tonight.
Oh, I can watch the BBC with my dongle even if I can’t watch anything else. I can watch live tv, but not archives, and I can’t play live radio.
After my last post I thought I had better check and see, though it seemed obvious, what disablism is. I put ‘what is disablism’ into Google and the search came up with some sites, including this one from a feminist perspective. I would add to it that disablism is saying that everything you say about your social situation and background is false because you are judged to have a mental illness. Or is it that you are lying about your life so you must be mentally ill? Though I’ve been completely honest and said nothing which isn’t true.
I talked about Emily Pankhurst in my first meeting with my psychiatrist here and I was told not to start on that one, though I meant it earnestly with all my heart and mind. I said she had not fought for women’s rights and suffrage for women in power to subjugate other women or define them as they did not wish to be defined. They dismissed it as the ploy of a mentally ill person who would use anything to get out of the psychiatric situation.
‘What Is Disablism’ is a good search to put into Google. I have only used the first result but there are others of interest.
Saw Dr Jaffur and Dr Fahy today with Alison Harrison, the ward manager. Dr Jaffur was the only one of the three who spoke.
Dr Jaffur asked me a few questions about how I was feeling. She asked about medication. She asked about the ‘feelings’ I was having. of being harassed, etc. I asked her to tell me if she was acknowledging that it was not all just in my mind and she said she was not acknowledging that, she thought they were just feelings, after I had told her about the times men have drawn level with me and cleared their throats straight into my ear as they pass. Like the people in London who used to draw level and scream in my ear as they passed. I heard someone talking about it on the radio, acknowledging it as a phenomenon, however much it is magnified or not magnified by my sensitivity and upset about it.
I got up, refusing to continue the review. I held my finger up and said she had a vested interest in the situation and in not acknowledging the outer reality of what I was saying.
I came out really upset and angry. I was saying that she was stupid or dishonest, that she was insisting that my whole life experience as I recount it is just feelings born of my mind. I was saying she had no right to say that, just because in her judgment I am mentally ill, real things like harassment don’t happen to me. I was saying I understood my life better than she did because I had a background in real therapy. I said ‘oh, she must have a gift in clairvoyance, then, which is more than I have’. I meant distance viewing but couldn’t remember the term. I don’t have any of those gifts.
Tommy Boyd once said that his dog once ate his shit. I thought he was talking about me swallowing an act. Whether he was or not, I have swallowed this, whether he meant it or not: he said something about God and not believing in Him, but rather being alone and acting and deciding alone. This is something I have come to value, even though I believe in God. It is, of course, the existentialist position. Certainly you can’t go to the Bible and apply it to your situation when it involves people in power who do not share your position. Christians differ with Christians. You have to think with the material and spoken facts and limit yourself to those, in some situations. I love Tommy Boyd. I don’t know if he could love me.
I felt, rather, looking back, that it was Dr Jaffur who was putting herself in a position of deep denial, medical book guided fantasy, spinning something from her training which is not true of my life and has no connection with it of my choosing.
We all know about hate crime, including hate crimes against disabled people. In our dining room we even have literature on the wall which says that this trust doews not tolerate disablism. I think that is what the doctors and nurses here are engaging in every time they relate a concern you express back to mental illness. They don’t want to know about reality. Especially when they themselves abuse their positions and don’t recognise proper boundaries. They seem to reason that we are ill therefore they can be lazy, or act as if they are in a disfunctional intimate relationship as the abusive, ridiculing, begrudging, demanding and superior partner.
Linda the nurse came in and told me to calm down as there were ladies who wanted to get their lunch. I said i wasn’t saying anything they wouldn’t say themselves and that they were on my side. I asked another patient what she thought and she said she didn’t know what to say. Linda told me it wasn’t fair to involve the other patients, even though she was the one who had first invoked them on her side. I think Errol, who was serving lunch,was coming in every time I stopped speaking. Maybe that was why I didn’t feel able to stop. I asked the person serving with him for a plastic white spoon to take out with me, and his body language seemed to me to indicate that he was unhappy with my use of the word ‘white’, though for me it was natural and just a description of the spoon, to create a focus on what I was asking for. He has involved me in accusations of racism in the past, and has taken his own actions towards me and made out that it is me harassing him rather than the other way round.
Linda left as I was still speaking and I mentioned the night before the 40th anniversary of my father’s death and how she had not defended me against a patient who had hatefully and angrily said that everyone had problems and she didn’t want to know mine. I said Linda had no rights towards me at all.
We all know about hate crime. Dr Jaffur is not willing to acknowledge any possibility that I may be subject to it in any circumstances. I wonder what she thinks of the very publicised case a few years ago where a mother in Leicester took her own and her disabled daughter’s lives after years of harassment they had not received adequate help and attention for from the police, who I think publicly apologised for this and said they would try harder in the future. Short of corruption and self-protection, why is it not possible, in her mind, and the minds of other staff, that I am actually experiencing the harassment I say I am? I don’t have bruises to show for most of it, and they made a mental health assessment justification out of the bruises they did see when I was advised to go to Queen’s Medical Centre and have it looked at.
Are they so scared of the consequences of this kind of abuse towards me that, for some reason, even though it has been recognised for others, they are unwilling to recognise for me that I am in a situation of ongoing harassment and intimidation unless it gets stopped? That is the only reason that makes any sense for this willful presentation of themselves as blind to the possibility that I am paranoid because I am being harassed.
On Wednesday it was reported on Radio 4 that around 100 police statements were altered following the Hillsborough disaster and the situation was made to look like the fault of the public rather than the police. Someone speaking on Radio 4 said that they did not normally believe conspiracy theories but that this time it was evident.
But that fact has taken all these years to be established and be reported.
To me it seems reasonable to believe that there are many other conspiracy theories which are equally true, including the conspiracy of the mental health system and its brutal approach to helping people to deal with their mental health problems, relationship problems, emotional problems.
I say therapy which is therapy is consenting, and nothing involuntary can fit that description or be ultimately therapeutic (unless it is shock therapy or reality therapy, but then is it really therapy, or just more repression/suppression and ‘learning your lesson’?).
Twenty-three years after Hillsborough this has come out, though the event is over and done with. For people enmeshed in the mental health system it is ongoing and some do not survive. People have been killed by inappropriate restraint methods and application, as well as by death at their own hands for others, preferring, I suppose, to die at their own hands rather than to keep going through the seemingly endless cycle of crisis and hospital admissions where the facts they know of their lives, better than the mental health service staff do, are often invalidated and contradicted by the insistence on a mental health diagnosis.
I have recently felt hopeless and helpless and that, if I were a different person, I might kill myself rather than continue to go through this cycle. I did deliberately overdose once, in 2003. I took almost 100 paracetamol and lay down to sleep, not caring whether I woke or not. I woke and stumbled into the kitchen and vomited. The church I was going to at the time didn’t know this, but it was just before I was confirmed. I ended up in hospital on a drip.
I have heard since Wednesday another programme on Radio 4 talking about the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) and the experience of some that it has failed to deliver for them. I have only approached them about one thing and I didn’t follow it through to the end. I tried, but the police service was not very co-operative and I ended up leaving it because of other more immediate pressures.
I spoke to one of the nurses recently and told her that the support I needed was legal support in the community when situations arose which I had not contributed to in the locality and which were a disturbance to me. I mentioned that the police are supposed to do something after the third report from one individual, and she said that what they did would not necessarily be what the individual wanted and that they would not necessarily interpret the situation as the individual did. She also said that the police are a law to themselves, a statement which could be interpreted her evasion of the issue, among other possibilities.
My advocate and I went into the review meeting with Dr Jaffur and Alison, the ward manager. When we came out we both agreed that the two staff had not been open to changing their intentions with regard to forced medication. My advocate suggested that I could be moved to another ward and Alison said she I didn’t have a good relationship with any of the staff and that she thought I would always feel harassed. I suppose the facts and what I think about that don’t matter. Their position as stated was that they just wanted me better, and that if the medication was not taken orally they would inject. When I asked when the medication was going to start, after the review meeting, Alison said in a really confrontational way ‘it starts right now’. I found it so confrontational that I asked her if she was trying to get me into a state where several people could hold me down and inject me.
So I have capitulated and am taking the medication orally, in spite of the fact that my previous reasons for not wanting to take it remain. Being forced to take medication against your wishes is bullying, which the trust says it does not tolerate.
Last week the possibility of forced injection was being held over me as a threat (threat is the right word). I asked the nurse last night what would happen if I were to refuse medication now, if I would be injected, and he said no, an injection was no longer there as an option. But if I refuse again now I am afraid (fear is something else the trust literature says the trust does not tolerate) that they would go straight to injection and keep it that way, and withdraw the oral option.
In the meantime, I am exhausted, worrying about relationships on the ward, as if they are the most important thing in my life; worrying about my financial situation, especially with regard to my belongings in storage and the fact that my benefits are due to go down now I have been so long in hospital. Occasionally I recall that what I reported around my home has not yet received any signs of being taken seriously and would therefore be likely to recur in any future tenancies.
Alison says she sees no sign of any harassment. Maybe that is because she isn’t out of her office and among us when that is happening. Or maybe it is deliberate blind eyes and deaf ears. I have told them everything and there is nothing else to tell. If anyone is being disingenuous in this, it is not me. I have noticed that several of the staff use false personalities. Knowing that makes me not even want to try to relate to them. Also, if it is true that I don’t have a good relationship with any of the staff, as Alison said, it might be possible that that is because I see them as upholding and enabling a totalitarian and abusive mental health system. They know my beliefs about this, so it shouldn’t be put down to a failing in methat I don’t have a good relationship with any of the staff, if that is true. Also, some of them are there just for the money and don’t want to work. They are happy if we are not visible because we feel so threatened and disrespected by them. They just mess around until it is time for them to go home.
I’ve just finished the 1st chapter of ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. In places I have found it hilarious and I anticipate a good read. The protagonist is from Nottingham, in a Borstal, at this point. I don’t know anything about the book or where he ends up in his thinking. He talked (he is the narrative voice) about having seen the knife held by those in authority over him when they put him in a Borstal. Being of a basically law-abiding temperament I want him to have changed his thinking and position about a lot of things he is sure about, including his belief that the authorities are his enemies and always will be, by the end of the book. In the meantime, I am loving it.
My laptop needs mending. Hard drive disk inaccessible. Have just submitted a form. I’m typing in the library.
I have just explained part of my situation as I understand it to one of the other patients. She has confirmed that she has been aware of things on the television reflecting us and that it has only been during this admission and had never happened to her before. I told her I had had it for 16 years.
I’m writing this in Word at the moment, before I go out. It is easier as it gives me a degree of privacy I can’t get outside. I find myself wishing I had done this before, because I am feeling as if my head is beginning to calm down and I am becoming less afraid and disturbed by noises outside my room. I suppose the reason I haven’t is because of the way I was approached before by Alison, the ward manager, when she expressed concern over ‘what I was using my laptop for’. I have been afraid I might have it taken away.
What has happened today? To start with they told me that my review would be on Friday and not tomorrow, as I had been told by Dr Fahy’s new SHO last Friday that it would take place this Friday and that medication was definitely going to happen following the review. That was how I understood it. Today they told me the review would be on Friday but that medication was written up to start tomorrow, Wednesday. I had thought it was good news that the review was going to be on Friday because as I understood it, medication was going to start again then, when I had had a chance to re-present the reasons for rescinding the section. Before I have always assumed that waiting for the tribunal was all I could do, but this time has been different. Because the section 3 I was under for a few weeks from May was rescinded before tribunal I realised that I could argue for it to be rescinded from day one and that waiting for the tribunal is not my only hope.
When they told me that the review would be on Friday but that medication was going to start again tomorrow I felt really upset and I said ‘this is an assault. If the worst comes to the worst I’m going to phone a radio station’. Anyway, later they said the staff team had talked about it and that they were going to recommend that medication be delayed until after the review, but that it was Dr Jaffur’s decision (I’m not sure of the spelling). I was told that Dr Jaffur was away today and might be away tomorrow as well. I spoke to my advocate who told me that she had phoned the ward last week and been told I was not on the unit, whereas the truth was that I had no leave, except Section 17 worded that I had no leave except for medical emergencies, which I have never received before. That isn’t leave. An emergency has to receive attention by law. At that point I had already not eaten all weekend except for one sandwich and a few bite size shreddies. During the weekend they decided they wanted to take any food I had out of my room, I suppose to put pressure on me to come out of my room. But the fact was that at the time they wanted to do that I had no food. They didn’t take great pains to find out why I wasn’t coming out for food (they knew about harassment and stuff which they keep insisting isn’t happening and that they have seen no evidence of). The point is, I had no leave at all last week and never left the ward, but my advocate was told I was not on the unit when she phoned. At that point the Section 3 was back in place and seeing her would have helped me. That was probably the day she phoned to say she wouldn’t be available for the scheduled review on the Friday and left a message for me which was not passed on.
Anyway, later today they put the review which they had told me was going to happen on Friday back to tomorrow, after telling both me and my advocate that it was going to happen on Friday at a time I can’t remember now. I found this out when my advocate phoned me on my mobile and left a message for me to this effect saying that I knew and had agreed to it. I think this must have come from Dr Fahy’s new SHO who came to my room to engage me in a conversation about times, when I had just realised that I was being kept spinning and not allowed to stop as people kept coming wanting to discuss one piece of conflicting information after another. I told her that I thought that was what my key nurse was for, to pass on the decision rather than different people keep coming to me with conflicting information and trying to get me involved with the conversations. I have found it exhausting, and this is not the first time it has happened. She did not tell me this had been a definite change and I heard it from my advocate who said she had been told I had agreed to it. They told me Dr Jaffur was not going to be available on Friday.
I refused medication as soon as it was offered to me the first time Monday last week, on the grounds that this trust, according to its literature, does not tolerate fear and intimidation, and that this was the effect of what they wanted to do to me. They told me it could be enforced but I argued calmly and assertively that although it could be, it didn’t have to be. Eventually they accepted that and my nurse told me that it would be discussed again at review. I had been told in London that you can refuse until the next review so I was fairly confident. I had tried to say that to them before though and they had pushed it through anyway, not acknowledging the validity of what I was saying. I suppose all the manoeuvring and manipulation today has been because that is the legal position and because I said it would be an assault to go ahead with medication before review and that if the worst came to the worst I would call a radio station. But how many other people do not win this fight? Every time I show signs of relaxed and healthy communication people start getting uncomfortable or looking cross or disapproving. I am really feeling bullied and have been for ages. Every time I speak the nurses copy what they hear. I said that to the other patient I have mentioned and she said she had noticed it happening to me. It is either the smile offensive or the snoot offensive and every time I open my mouth they push me and keep pushing me for a bit more, or talk over me, sometimes deliberately scrambling their own speech and being completely provocative and outrageous.
Someone on Radio 4 today mentioned ‘ad hominems’, a personal attack in an argument, and I thought about that in the context of all the times people have talked about illness and medication every time I have felt strong and hopeful in communication. Yesterday Alison told me she had seen no evidence of harassment and she said she thinks I misinterpret things a lot. I thought afterwards that that would be like someone who didn’t speak a language telling someone who did that they were getting it wrong. She doesn’t see all the links that I see because she is not me and doesn’t have complete access to everything in my mind and memory that makes it understandable to me. I told the other patient about it today because she came out of her review angry and I realised how powerless she must be feeling so I decided she was entitled to know that she wasn’t mistaken about the things she was seeing.
I can’t remember if I said in my last post that I have submitted the same complaint 3 times via the email address given on the website for the hospital and that it was supposed to have been answered within 3 days. Today, 13 days later, Alison has received it and offered me an ‘opportunity’ to talk about it. At the time I was flustered and wanted to use my leave and said so, saying it was now 13 days on and this was now my time and I wanted to take it, but also that the hospital has already broken its side of the agreement and that I believed the way forward now was to talk to my advocate about it. This is something her approach to me did not acknowledge. It feels almost as if all this stuff is now being presented to me thinking they can get me to co-operate in the hope that my section will be rescinded and medication become a non-issue. It’s a complaint about the night when staff came into my room and turned the light on at 4.30 in the morning and continued to be unruly and I reacted in anger and desperation because of that and previous broken nights through angry door slamming that I had said would make me ill if it didn’t stop, and rather than leave me alone when I said I just wanted to be left alone to sleep they kept going, one of them with her foot in the door, and escalated it to the point that, even though I was informal, they had me medicated. The next morning the same team turned the light on at 3 am, no explanations, apologies or anything. The first time, even though I eventually said please and was beside myself with desperation because they wouldn’t just go and let me sleep, they kept going. Then Alison yesterday was talking about me needing to deal with this thing with Errol, who was involved in that, and it is like telling someone they need to make peace with a person in authority over them who has raped them. They seem to be contriving to make me feel emotionally and relationally obligated here.
On the night before I tried to discharge myself I stayed out rather than go back and sleep on the ward because I thought if I slept there I might weaken and decide not to discharge myself. I decided I was in a stronger position because Shelter’s solicitors had told me that I could not make myself intentionally homeless from a hospital. I spent the night in a hotel room and the next morning I turned on BBC news to see all this stuff about the Home Office wanting to take away the embassy status of the building where Julian Assange has taken refuge, so they could arrest him. This kind of coincidence has happened to me before, and as I said in my last post, when I went back and they wouldn’t let me go, in spite of having told me after the first interview that I could go and then changing their minds, police helicopters were flying over the building. Last night I thought that the only thing that made sense to me was that the authorities thought I had absconded (I didn’t know I could do such a thing as an informal patient, but the police were looking for me, I discovered when I was able to use my phone again to get the messages – the battery had run out because of a long conversation with Shelter’s solicitor and I didn’t have the charger, that all has to happen in the office) and that the right way to deal with it was to arrest Julian Assange. I thought they must have thought that I was going to go back to Occupy or to the Ecuadorian Embassy, whereas actually my first intention was to go back to Housing Aid and get myself rehoused. But when I saw that on the news I wanted to go to London. I felt helped by the timing of the first set of leaks that came from Wikileaks. I have written elsewhere on this blog about Julian Assange and what I thought about things being reported around him, for what that writing was worth, and I feel it can’t have been much because everything I said must have been obvious to any good lawyer, and they also would have known about loopholes and things I couldn’t possibly know about. I think most things I write are a bit silly at best and that I shouldn’t think too much of myself because of them. But if I am right in my interpretation of this situation I don’t understand why it can have ben seen as so important that they wanted to take away the embassy status of the building so they could arrest Julian Assange.
They have been saying that they have to extradite him to Sweden to answer charges there, completely failing to acknowledge the truth that he had always co-operated with them freely so talking about extradition in his case is cause for him to be concerned for his safety. He has always co-operated with the inquiry and the process. Maybe they want us to forget that so they can call him, as I heard someone say on the radio recently, a stupid, self-regarding idiot, or something like that. I think it is likely that that description might be more accurately applied to me. By the way, there is a place in Ecuador called Quito, it has been in Radio 4 news this week. I thought it was the capital but a member of staff said it isn’t. But I used to live in Kitto Road, at my last London address. I feel as if I am being wretchedly ungrateful for all the protection which is being offered and exercised towards me by all my various stalkers and hackers, state and otherwise.
My advocate asked me about 2nd opinion doctors and I told her that the doctor involved in the final assessment for a Section 3 hadn’t asked anything situation-specific and had wanted to know my life story, which thought was not good enough. She agreed with me, that he was not there to get my life story. Also he kept smiling at me as if he understood what I was talking about, so eventually I asked him if he understood and he said no, and when I said that he was smilingas if he did, he said he was smiling to encourage me. I am wondering how many other such situations have been similarly misunderstood.
They keep talking as if I am going to be at the hospital a long time and keep saying they will see me next time they are on, which in my key nurse’s case is a week and a half. It is exhausting me.
There is a right to silence. There is also a right to not recognise any relational responsibility when those who are trying to make you feel it are in power over you in a way which allows them to impose themselves on you physically against your will if you defer to them and allow them to go unchallenged.
In the first place they asked me what I would do if I wasn’t sectioned and said my answer might affect their decision. I told them to make their decision and then I would make mine, at the assessment. But last week in the review I didn’t attend because the advocate I had been expecting wasn’t there I felt completely happy and relaxed and in my right mind when I asked the review nurse to tell them I would stay until I was rehoused if they wanted me to but that I wanted to come off my section and I didn’t want medication, but they were not interested in that and took the control back and left me feeling insecure and unhappy again.
Looks a bit like me and a bit like one of the ward nurses, Jessica. I have recently downloaded some William Blake, who I spent a lot of time on when I was studying for my English BA. The same time PC Blakelock was killed in the Tottenham riots in the 80s after the death of a Mrs Jarrett, which was the name of another lecturer on that course. I expressed my concerns in an email last year, or via the website, to the police. That is not the first time my concerns have gone unanswered. AOL today is the first time I have seen Jessica’s picture, I don’t watch tv in the tv room as a rule, it is too difficult and disruptive/competitive. I also realised for the first time the other day that one of the Moors murders victims was called Keith Bennett, almost the same as my father’s name which I had told the assessment doctor the day before his mother died.
My psychiatrists, who have done some brutal and inadequate assessments on me over the last 2 weeks since I tried to discharge myself as was my right and they put me back on a section 3, are determined to forcibly medicate me. They are tapping into the animal desperation in me and I believe there is potential for their actions to do more psychological harm than chemical good. They are also disregarding the decision of my former trust that I was obviously not going to change my mind so they were no longer going to force the issue. I had a conversation with one of my key nurses today who said they were seeing t as a fresh situation. But I am the same person and should be respected for myself and the professional decision of those who have dealt with me before respected. I have had such rudeness from some of them that I believe this is largely revenge for my blogging. In spite of the fact I asked for help twice in my situation after I got into it with temporary housing, and didn’t get it, regardless of the fact Iwrote 8 pages saying why we would need help before I was even given the accommodation, on which they eventually changed the locks while I was in hospital without telling anyone, and that none of the decisions they have made have been communicated to me in writing – in spite of what my nurse said are the irregularities of the situation, these unreasonable people want to start again a battle which I have already won, after not knowing the serious and untrue accusations being made against me,with another trust. My tribunal was successful.
I just walked in to a hotel reception where 4 men were standing, one of them saying ‘have you got any pussy organised’. These people are animals of the lowest order. I feel sick and frightened here, this place is evil and alien. This is a Hilton hotel, but it is just like the worst pub people dressed up. A few plush seats around, and men giving unwanted attention to an 11 month homeless woman who has no privacy at the moment to use the internet or anything else.
There are abusive relationships on the ward. I think some of the staff have been willing to turn a blind eye to some of the harassment I’ve had from some patients because they know I am deliberately not naming patients. Last weekend when I was re-sectioned I stayed in my room and didn’t eat, and they were not too worried about it. Twice this week I have said that I did not want to go to the dining ro to be served by Errol because of his abusiveness towards me, and twice, including today, I was made to miss a meal because they would not support my attempt to protect myself. As far as they are concerned, if there is a problem, it is me. My nurse said that if they had done as I had asked and got my lunch for me it would have been seen as collaborating with me. I am there involuntarily and under threat of forced medication and not being able to afford to get my food elsewhere, but also not being willing to subject myself to such a negative experience, or fudge and compromise and basically what is brainwashing if I am expected to go through that, and they are paid people employed by the trust. If I allow myself to be subjected to harassment or assault, knowing that that is what it is, how does that show good mental health? They said they would be collaborating with me if they enabled me to get some lunch, and they would not let me leave when I had a right without re-sectioning me (which interestingly was on Julian Assange day)and I have been saying repeatedly that my storage costs are nearly £100 per month and I need to stop the payments and have a home. On the day they would not let me leave, police helicopters flew over the hospital. That has happened before. Big Brother re-enacted the Julian Assange situation in the embassy, with Julian Cleary and the woman off East Enders that I have been told looks like me. I haven’t seen it, but I heard about it on the radio, and several staff came in exuding warmth and stuff at me. I was angry that night. I said the helicopters were about me, that it had happened when I first got there. I shouted ‘God bless Julian Assange’. For the first time I saw the footage where he shook hands with someone I had spoken to at London Occupy. I’ve written about him elsewhere on this blog. I told the staff that they were my captors, not my friends, and that I was terrified of them.
I feel betrayed by everyone who has ever put out anything which seemed positive towards me. I feel as if they want me with my head psychologically kicked in. I can’t go through this, and they can’t let me, without damage to my ability to relate to them.
My solicitor got in touch with the advocacy service for representation for me at last Friday’s review meeting. On Wednesday the advocate phoned to say she couldn’t make it. A message was left which was not relayed to me. I didn’t know until Friday morning that no one was available. On Friday afternoon Dr Fahy’s SHO told me that the next review would be next Friday and that from then I would be medicated, forcibly if necessary. Today my nurse told me that the review and the medication has been written up for Wednesday, although she said Friday and that is what I have been preparing myself for.
I have submitted a complaint to the address given on the trust website, 3 times now over the last week or 2. It says you should receive a response within 3 days. I have received nothing.
I think these people are unscrupulous and will hurt me with compulsory medication if they can, whatever is going through in terms of asking my closest relative to apply for discharge for me (which need not be granted) at the time. They have said it is not that they consider me a danger to myself or anyone else, but that they believe I have an illness that would benefit from medication, and are worried about what would happen if the same home situation occurred again, as if I had not asked for help and been failed by the authorities. I said it wouldn’t occur again unless I was failed by the authorities when I asked for help again. And as for a sickness that might be helped by medication – there are many medical professionals who do not take psychiatry seriously. But a lay person in their power does not and they go to dehumanise them and denude them anyway. I have lost most of my life to them, including the last of my reproductive years. I have no partner and no children and now will not be able to have children. This is a major trauma and grief for me which will never pass, and they want to add more abuse to it. This is more like an irrational form of veterinary practice than medicine which should be practiced on a human being In the deep grief of childlessness and knowing that a lot of the blame lies at the doors of the authorities, including the NHS. Do no harm, is that part of the oath?
A few thoughts:
Coercive medicine is totalitarianism. In itself and perhaps an expression of political or ideological totalitarianism and dictatorship. In spite of all our fine words about freedom and a free society. In practice it is not true.
Maintenance of the status quo. I was thinking that policing approaches a person and a problem according to the way an area is generally defined and operates. So rather than deal with violence and harassment and hate crime in what they have decided already is a rough area, they will just take out the person complaining.
However, in my case, after phoning the beat officer several times as instructed on my first approach to an officer who seemed very kind and reasonable, a message was left on my phone offering an appointment that I missed because of the way the welcome to messages was set up. I got the impression from the company’s message that, before I could pick up my messages, I had to first input my name and other information vocally, and I didn’t want to do it at home and didn’t get round to it anywhere else, so I didn’t pick up the message offering me an appointment for the previous Sunday until I was in hospital, and after that nothing happened, I didn’t follow it up.
I was wondering if an individual has to be ‘part’ of something in the area to be taken seriously.
I’m in a different Caffe Nero today. I’m wondering if staff in these places always set out to dominate, or run riot, with loud twittering and miaowing. It is a great shame, they offer something which they sabotage and make unusable, at least for me. Maybe they deliberately try to provoke me for the name check. I think I have seen Coppelia use her face and eyes more naturally.
I always feel I have to be careful what I let myself be provoked into saying in hospital. I feel as if they will use anything to get people back on a section. I speak and the staff stop speaking in a straight line – some of them, anyway. It isn’t only the staff that are entitled to be safe at their place of work, we the users are also, but most of us feel that as soon as we become subject to them we are not safe. It feels like ‘no anger/negativity (from you) we’re bulies/too insecure’.
Said the pope on his visit to Britain.
I think I can see what he meant.
While I’ve been in Nottingham, particularly, everyone who passes me shouts ‘Oh my God’. Well, not everyone, obviously, but enough people for it to be remarkable. I sat in a pub last night to use the internet and people were asserting themselves at the beginning of conversations saying ‘oh my God’ loudly in the usual tone I’ve become used to. It is like spiritual rape and burglary.
I sat in Starbucks the other night and they were playing songs about grace and mercy and sorry and things. I am sitting in Caffe Nero now and the songs have the same feel with open use of Christian/religious references. One of them just said something about don’t preach about morality. There was a song that said something about ‘nothing short of a divine intervention’, at which the person behind the counter tapped, then tapped again a few seconds later – aural interventions. He said something to someone about ‘they just accept it that is how it works/we pass it off’ or something like that.
They are messing around with their own oral output as well. I feel sick. I feel seasick. Because it is marking every place I go to in my own mind. Moments when I doubt/think are marked by fluffed speech. These people are unscrupulous, money-grabbing thugs.
While there are some people in society who might be doing this stuff stupidly and innocently and naively, not everyone is. I came in here for a cup of coffee and to use the internet. It seems to me these people are playing spiritualism games. I’ve hardly been able to think. I’m sitting here with my earphones in, with no audio on, because I don’t want any because I need to write an email. I only put my earphones on in the first place to try to escape this spiritual distraction, this domination and power game, this grabbing innocent and vulnerable people by the throat.
It got me thinking about J K Rowling and the fact that she is supposed to be a Christian, and has said that that is what drives her work. Some people have leapt on to that as if it is reliable truth. Perhaps the same people who, if an American politician said it, would express open doubt and say it was a cynical statement to win votes.
I was embarrassed when I first saw that J K Rowling said she was a Christian. I haven’t read her books, that is true, I only know what has been made of them by the film industry.
But as a Christian, and someone who is involved unwillingly in and adversely affected by the phenomenology accompanying society’s present behaviour, I have to say that I believe drawing on witchcraft and wizardry for your stories is completely un-Christian and anti-Christian in fact and effect. J K Rowling, and her advisers, if she has them, and I suppose she must have, are not naive. They have played on the lure of the supernatural to create their millions. I know that in Deuteronomy 18 in the Bible it speaks against witchcraft. I can’t see how an honest Christian, who must have been made aware of this and heard the criticism since she started writing, if not before, can have continued against it and in spite of it.
But this selling thing in Caffe Nero. It is violently aggressive in tone, challenging, superior in vocalisation. It is absolutely deliberate. I find myself wondering what training these people have had both for the job and away from the job. It sounds viciously cynical and destructive and potentially violent. The people who use it use it for psychological attack and are effective in that way if no other, but it seems to me there is more to it than that. There are waves. Maybe these people deliberately create the waves. There is also a mirroring in their tone of voice, which goes all over the place, of every change in my mind’s approach to a problem or question. If I get upset they approach me with fake assumed innocence. I have been in enough of these places to know it isn’t a one off. Some people near me just got up to leave and I was physically afraid to be left on my own here with the staff. Every strong thought I own someone goes (approximation) ‘erwerawerawera’. Deliberately fluffing their speech. It isn’t clever but not only that, where I am sitting it is frightening. I paused in my mind to give them the benefit of the doubt and one of them laughed quietly.
I have said this before, they have taken my money, they are offering internet use. But they are so competitive I can’t see how anyone can concentrate who has something they need to work on. If they are going to be rubbishing around like that is it MY duty to ask them if they are ok, and to consider that I might have got things backwards? I need to write an essential email of complaint. I have nowhere private I can go to do it.
Is this just Nottingham feeling so inferior they are trying to put on what they see as London slick, or what? Also, I believe deliberate practitioners of occultism can successfully project thoughts that present as your own to express.
Or am I personally just so far out of the loop that I am making up these explanations for these strange and hurtful and inconvenient occurrences?
They back off then start all over again, this time or next.
I’m listening to Michael Mish, Conversations With God. I put it on to write in the library, but as soon as I started to listen to it I didn’t want to write anymore, and it felt as if that was all I needed for everything to be all right with the world. Is that all I’ve been missing, all I needed, in my hospital world, for everything to be OK? Or would I have felt undermined in that also?
I was in the park this afternoon and had tea which was meant to be lunch. I said I felt surrounded by ugliness. But perhaps that is because I’m not going to the park, I’m going into town, where everyone looks at me and makes comments, and I’m sometimes not sure if the comments are meant for me or not.
I think Michael Mish would not make a lot of difference to my existence. I think the importance of his music to me would be patronised away. I wish it had been different. I lost all my belongings on the night of the Occupy St Pauls eviction, including my computer. If I had had it it would have had all my music on and my temporary tenancy might not have gone so badly.
I don’t want to feel calm and pacified and happy as I do listening to this, because there were other things I wanted to say that I forgot.
Like yesterday Alison said that racism wouldn’t be tolerated and the police would be called in. It felt like the time when my brother and sister decided to gang up and throw stones at me when we were small, and my dad smacked them when they came in after keeping me inside drawing because I was upset, then he said he would do the same to e if I did anything like that. First they stoned me then my dad said he would smack me as well, if necessary.
I’m confused. But everything I say gets negated if I say anything, so blogging and the complaints system feels like the only way forward. I daren’t say I’m sorry and I daren’t say you’ve hurt me. Pride? Fear? Justified or not? In an ordinary relationship it might be a bit clearer than it is in a place where they insist I am mentally ill. Perhaps it wouldn’t mean much to anyone. The touchstone and the handover information from recent and distant past would still be the same. But I am sure that to some degree I am as addicted to writing as they are to calling me mentally ill. I will betray anyone, even myself. I will cause all kinds of problems for myself rather than not write. I feel as if I am not giving myself or anyone else a chance.
While I wasn’t writing I was thinking things like all facts are for interpretation, and how you work with them affects their outcome. If you approach them with love and through love it is better than if you try to expose people.
A practical thing about the ward is that there are no full length mirrors, and the mirrors we have in our rooms – well, mine is so high I can only see down to my nose. And it is warped. The mirrors in the bathrooms are as well. I’ve been thinking that not even having an accurate idea what you look like is not good for you, especially under such circumstances. I was wondering if I am just betraying my vanity. I used to think that the best mirror is the eyes of other people.
Tommy Boyd used to say as well that living in bedsits was bad for people’s mental health. I suppose it is, but plenty of rich and privileged people have mental health problems as well and commit suicide. I used to think that if the people were nice you could live happily anywhere. After all, I recently experimented with a tent and was looking forward to tent dwelling for a few months, the adventure of it. I know it could have worked and, in principle, I could have been happy that way.
Back to the mental health system. They don’t say they are sorry for the major stuff that hurts but try to carry on regardless but still call you mentally ill. I was thinking the other day that, when they are talking about an imbalance of the brain, which brain have they been using as the ideal and the model of perfect balance? Are we designed to live in perfect balance unto ourselves? I read a book ages ago about temperaments and thought I had left it behind in my thinking. Temperaments and personality types. How they all fit together in a loving respectful relationship.
It isn’t fair anyway to be talking about imbalances in the brain while leaving intolerable situations unaddressed. One of the problems is said to be that the brain produces ‘too much’ dopamine. Why would the brain do that? Dopamine is a problem solving chemical. It releases too much dopamine when it is trying to deal with an unsolvable problem. If a problem is supposed to be the responsibility of the authorities and the authorities are not doing their job, no wonder a problem is unsolvable. Or if a person is working with insufficient information. For example, the mental health authorities treating me as a risk without having told me that I had been untruthfully reported to have chased a neighbour up the street with a knife. I was accused of things by neighbours who said that cannabis was OK in their house as far as they were concerned, who looked through the slats of my blinds to see what I was doing in my kitchen when the flat was in silence and before doing so said ‘what is she doing in there?
In spite of all that I am still going to continue to be handled by them as if I have a mental health problem and might be a risk. So if the same situation arises in the community again I have no confidence that I can report it without being considered to be experiencing auditory hallucinations. Certainly not without feeling so degraded by the prejudice I would encounter by the things that have been said about me that living with the problem would almost have been better.
There is a very sharp voiced manageress lady here who is having a business meeting in the lounge rather than in an office. I have Napster up as loud as it will go but every time I get a wind of where I want to go her voice penetrates. It is a little too sharp and a little to high to feel natural or comfortable. I am among spiritual and mental magpies again. She always conducts her business meeting in the lounge in this way. The other week she and her colleague even conducted a job interview right in front of me with no apparent regard either for me or the interviewee. I have never felt more as if people are trying to tell me I am not important, or not welcome. It is really embarrassing and uncomfortable for me, as I am not doing a good job containing and hiding my distress. Hence another rambling post that says nothing very deeply. I am wondering if I am ever going to be free to write as it comes to me, or if I am always going to have to make do with the approximation I am permitted? It makes me think that maybe I shouldn’t be writing at all. If frustration is all I am going to encounter I wish I wasn’t writing, especially when it is so important to me to communicate well. I am wondering if they can hear a certain flow developing in my typing ad are reacting to that. That is how it appears. I think they are trying very rudely to get rid of me. They must have an office for their meetings. It is the Mercure on George Street. I’ve been embarrassed here before. The woman on reception is very perfunctory in her welcome and looks down at the desk.
I was thinking about the racism thing and feeling Alison had a point and that I had missed an opportunity to deal with an issue. I don’t know if I am right or not. I can’t think here. They are going right on, not apologising or recognising my distress or offering to move into an office. They are being really rude. It is like wave after wave of provocative, spiritual sludge, deliberate. As soon as I started to type again after a break of a few minutes she started to raise her voice even more. My audio is right up. It feels like deliberate sabotage. As someone who is paying for a drink here and use of the internet I shouldn’t have to approach them. My frustration and discomfort are obvious. I feel as if I am being grabbed by the throat all the time.
People keep positioning me at the moment, with their tone of voice. They use a ‘professional caring therapy’ voice and I just want to talk normally, but when I do, when I am my open happy self, as I was the other night, one of the nurses immediately banged something down in front of me and started talking. I was talking to Jack and saying hello and it was a controlling gesture. I’m afraid I don’t get it, the reasoning, or lack of reasoning, behind that. If it wasn’t deliberate, in light of things that have happened in the past it was frightening.
Yesterday afternoon, after I had hidden in my room all day feeling intimidated, Alison came into my room and started accusing me of racism. She wasn’t concerned, or didn’t say she was, that I hadn’t been out of my room all day and had missed breakfast and lunch, she just came in saying that people had said I had been making racist comments. I said instead of accusing me and assuming it was true, as she appeared to be doing (she asked me if I was aware that I was being racist in a way which sounded as if she was taking it for granted that I was), why didn’t she tell me who had said what, what I was supposed to have said to whom. She never did. It was me that brought up an incident which might have been perversely interpreted as racism with a girl who has been very aggressive towards me – note I said aggressive, not violent. She didn’t raise anything else, so I suppose that was it.
She stood over me on my bed and suggested that I might want to come out and she would sit with me at dinner. Part of me wanted to co-operate with that, but another part of me felt defensive and not confident after her initial approach. I felt a lot of warmth from her which wrong-footed me. I wanted the warmth and needed it but she had come at me aggressively and accusing in the first place, so I rejected it.
I talked to her later in her office. I was upset that as my body started to show signs of relaxing (I batted my eyelids while talking, clearing my mind and emotions), she immediately copied it with her eyes fixed on me. I felt controlled and suffocated. I was shocked and offended that she did it It felt like a denial of my individuality and an invalidation of (I’m in Caffe Nero. I’m always frightened by ‘pussycat dolls’. I knew what I was going to say after invalidation of but now I can’t remember. That happens to me a lot. I think I was going to say something like an invalidation of a movement into confident normality). People borrow me or react to me all the time. It freaks me out. I suppose I’d like to say something to the ‘pussycat dolls’ but I daren’t. I believe in psychic phenomena and know it is not a mental illness thing. Every time I take control of where I am going I seem to get hit by ugliness or mirroring and I can’t cope with it.
Last night while I had my radio on in my room there was a woman who kept banging her door hard about once a minute for about an hour and a half. She couldn’t hear my radio. I don’t know if it was the same person, but someone was also purring something that sounded exactly like what was going on in my old temporary accommodation. I told one of the nurses afterwards and she said she knew. At 1am the previous morning there had been people repeatedly slamming doors on or near my corridor and giggling. She told me she had pleaded with them to stop.
You say something and you get told that there are a lot of ill people on the ward at the moment. But I think that is evasive. I think if these people are acting out of illness it is because they know what I know and the nurses know but the nurses won’t say. Rather than talk about it they are doing with others what they have done with me, calling them ill. If they don’t know or understand what is going on I suppose it will make them ill, to be kept in the dark and fed the proverbial.
I am in hospital because the authorities have let me down. Alison was asking if I thought I misinterpreted things. When people are treating me the way I have been treated, it hardly matters whether I am misinterpreting some things or not. First deal with the mistreatment, then deal with the misinterpretations, if there are any. I’m having a misinterpretation of myself constantly presented to me and forced on me if my behaviour doesn’t fit their interpretation.
As we finished the conversation in the office Alison said that they would have to be vigilant when I was around.
Before that when talking about misinterpretations I said that people also lie and that sometimes the staff were naive to take their word. I suppose it could also be a matter of convenience.
The untrue accounts of me locking someone in my flat and putting the key down my trousers (!) is still doing the rounds when it comes to risk assessment. I had an interview with someone from Gateway, for housing, last week. It is prejudicing people against me even before we meet. I have been told we can add a disageement to our information, but I’m not sure if we can get it removed altogether. If we can’t, I can’t bear the way people are going to keep viewing me and writing about me in light of this malicious lie.
Staff who have been rude and unreasonable to me and even abusive keep forcing themselves on me to say hello without apologising or anything. I feel bullied by it. It is disrespect of my privacy and freedom of association, or right to not associate. Errol still keeps forcing himself on me and on ordinary casual conversations which ave nothing to do with him. I never ask him for anything, and when he is in the office and I ask someone else he exchanges derisive looks with people ad raises his eyebrows. I’d rather go without than ask him for anything. After the way he treats me, I feel embarrassed in a way I shouldn’t. Because sometimes I see him weak and feel sorry for him and guilty. But I feel so suffocated I can’t breathe and my mind is not in control at that time.
4 patients set on me at lunch time the other day and he was behind the hatch smirking. There were other staff standing around. No one told them to stop. But they would have been straight on top of me. Their practice of conflict resolution consists of finger wagging and telling people to shut up. They don’t differentiate between aggressor and victim. So it all keeps going and festering. Luke came to sit with me. At the time I didn’t see it as helpful. He asked me if I wanted him to leave and I said yes please.
I keep feeling the only way out is to go back to Church. But they promote the mental heath system and assume that, if a person is subject to it, it is necessary. These days they say go to the doctor, take your medicine. They are no more qualified to say that than they were to tell people not to, that God would heal them without medicine. They have gone from one abuse of leadership position to another. Surely they should be telling people and freeing people to make their own decisions. They must be very frightened to need to take a position towards other people’s handling of their health decisions in that way. But while they are I am frightened to go back.
As I said yesterday, more to follow.
The first time I met this man I didn’t find it disturbing, unduly. He was on dinner duty and I realised he must be Richard, but for some reason I didn’t use his name. He started singing ‘Horse With No Name’ and I corrected the situation as quickly as possible. I thought he was making a point about me not having asked his name, so I decided it was right to give him what I thought he was asking for.
However, that is his usual behaviour, he can be heard from one end of the ward to the other, booming out, slurring his speech, looking rough, playing tag with my speech and maybe that of others. I’ve noticed that if he is around and I start to regain any feeling of speaking normally and sensibly, maybe making a decision on the spot as I was trying to yesterday, he will interject, follow and pick up the way I speak wherever it goes, loudly, obtrusively and slurring and in a way which causes me communicative and emotional distress because of the outrage and shock every time it happens, quite apart from what I believe is the unprofessionalism and the corporate denial among anyone I raise it with on the staff that it could conceivably be a problem to anyone.
My immediate concern for myself is that this kind of harassment could put me at risk of being put back on a section, since no protection from it or cessation is offered. He presents like a drunk at the moment, is totally defiant about it and I’m not sure how he s getting away with it. He often sings ‘Still Crazy After All These Years’, and given the situation I don’t find it funny. He sings it as if to himself while he is walking on the ward. Sometimes I tell myself I should have more of a sense of humour about it. It is what some people would expect of me.
I’m not sure what he is trying to communicate by this, but I believe he is doing it wrong and that he should stop or lose his position. He is routinely hurting people and he must know that. If he doesn’t know and won’t be told I think he is not fit for the job. Though that could be said of many.
Yesterday I had a review with Dr Khan. Dr Fahy was absent for reasons I couldn’t ascertain. I asked if what was described as an ‘off’ day was bad off or planned off, and he said he didn’t know, or words to that effect.
We chatted quite happily about things I can’t much remember, until we got to the issue of my room. I said that, at home, something doesn’t happen at 10 and at 2 to force me out of my home environment into another I don’t want to be in, or haven’t chosen to be in, unless it is an act of harassment and violence. He said did I experience it as harassment and I said yes. I can’t remember if I pointed out, yet again, that I am 9 months homeless and counting and that people need a sense of home. I think I did.
He started to present a picture to me which is, I think, given that they know my position on the issue, insulting and unhelpful. I am as intellectually able as them and it seems to me that presenting a factual requirement as a picture is an invasion of my right to be separate. I’m not sure if he thought I couldn’t or wouldn’t understand without a picture or not.
The picture was that the government requires everyone to pay income tax. I contradicted him straight away and said it doesn’t require me to pay income tax because I am on benefits, and I said his illustration had broken down already because the basis of it was incorrect. We were arguing and he was saying I wouldn’t let him finish. If I want a 69 to Bulwell I don’t get on a 28 to Bilborough. My analytical skills, and also my basic respect for people, is obviously better than his. I left the room while he was still objecting, and I answered that he was pig headed and opinionated.
I got into a conversation with a nurse about it, she had been in the room at my request. I asked her what he meant, eventually, and she said she didn’t know and I finished the sentence for her in a way I felt appropriate, that it was because she wasn’t party to the situation. She said no, because I didn’t let him finish, and that I often finish sentences for her and I am wrong. But at the time she seemed to be agreeing. If she had said I was wrong at the time I would have asked her what she had actually meant.
Long and short, I realised he might have been going on to say that the government requires everyone to pay tax but there are exceptions. That was the only understanding with which I could justify what he had said. I saw him in the corridor and said sorry, did I misunderstand what you were saying, and he said yes, but don’t take it personally. He didn’t take that opportunity to have a further conversation or to communicate the fact behind his illustration. Consequently, because of that and because of the inconsistency of application of the policy anyway, I realised today that I am afraid of just about everything I am doing and everything I am not doing.
This morning Sharon and Sonia came to my room, and I said that I thought Alison was OK with me staying in my room, because last week I had referred someone back to Alison, who knows my personal reasons for me wanting control of my space, and she didn’t come back. I had said that I assumed that if she didn’t come back then the situation was OK. But Sharon insisted and said that that was what the doctor had said yesterday. That psychologically stopped me dead. She said that the only reason people are allowed to stay in their rooms was if they were physically ill. I had started off talking with my toothbrush still going in my mouth and when I stopped she moaned (that is a description of the way she spoke) that I hadn’t objected before to speaking with my toothbrush in my mouth, and she kept me going until I closed the shower and toilet door on her. She said she wasn’t going to argue with me and I said that was exactly what she was doing. She seemed satisfied to walk away when I was in full flow emotionally. I said she was bullying me, and when she contradicted me I called her an un-self-aware bully and closed the door. She later came back with a letter I haven’t opened yet and told me she was leaving it on my bed. I think it is from Nottingham City Homes and I hope it is written notification of their decision not to house me because I didn’t give information of a close enough connection to Nottingham. If it is that I can begin to appeal.
But I’ve been thinking today. I believe the law recognises a right to privacy, and that the doctor isn’t above the law. If the law recognises a right to privacy on my own terms I don’t believe I lose that right just because I am in hospital. Outside we have a right not to be in a situation or an environment we don’t want to be. We have the right, even if most of us don’t have the monetary power to back up that right. We have a right to leave a bad situation. The only ability some people have on the ward to exercise that right is to be able to access their room when they want to, and not to be dragged out of it in the name of ward policy. There is no supervision of those out of room times and anyone can pick on people or be picked.
Also, medical care is supposed to be patient centred. We are on a ward because we are supposed to be ill, albeit mentally. Some of that mental illness has come about in the first place because people’s rights haven’t been respected and observed. People know when they need to rest or want privacy. We are the best judges of our own needs. People shouldn’t be shunted out of their rooms against their wishes, en masse, like a herd of cattle. Most people on the ward, in my opinion, are wondering around disturbed or disturbing people exactly because we are being treated like that. People come out when they want to, when it comes to private space. Rather than respecting it, they have turned it into a war zone subject to random attacks. I think the policy is wrong, not just the inconsistency of its application. That is why I am against it. You don’t force people out of their private space, physically or any other way, unless you want disturbed people. That is common sense and common sense is good, because that is about our being, not separate from it.
Dr Fahy asked me to do her a favour and not name people. But when you are subject to abuse or in fear of future abuse that is your only protection. People don’t listen if you keep it internal. Alison said I could talk to her. Even the inconsistency of approach is not consistent to good mental health. If Alison is OK with me being in my room then I need the raids to stop when they do happen. It is like an act of war. I’m so upset about my space I don’t get other things done. If Alison is supposed to be the last word on the ward and she is OK with me keeping my space, no one should be overriding that. Maybe there is a power struggle going on on the ward. If so, it shouldn’t be played out on the patients. I knocked on her door twice today and no one answered. When the door was opened there was a room full of people. I felt I needed to apologise for not realising there was a handover or something. I don’t know what it was. Maybe it was a group of people unhappy with my blog entry yesterday.
I asked for some complaint forms today as well, but it appeared that in the office they didn’t have any. First they didn’t seem to know where to look, then they offered me a plain piece of paper, which could easily be misplaced after being given in.
I thought about the rights and powers, and the fact that most people can’t afford to avail themselves of their right to determine their own lives and leave bad situations or places of work. “If you don’ t like your job find another”. Yeah, right. If a person’s job was bad for their well-being, if they were being bullied and having lots of time off sick because of it, could they leave and not forfeit benefits by leaving themselves if they couldn’t walk straight into another job? Could they resign on a principle and be respected for doing so by the benefits agencies? I think it was six weeks benefit you forfeited if you left a job of your own accord without another one to go to, when I was in my 20s. For most people acts of principle are a luxury. I was thinking about Tony Blair, who could step down from his position and never work again without loss to the essentials of daily life. Yet he chooses to work. People on lecture tours, special representatives of this and that. The populace needs more confidence and interest to do the job without specials. I was thinking that Tony Blair is a special peace envoy, rightly or wrongly, when the way to not have war is obvious – don’t start one. A special representative is just a media figure, isn’t it?
I was thinking about people with all those privileges and all those properties and all that money calling people who can barely make ends meet, in real terms, in terms of real independence, scroungers. Mocking us by saying we have rights without ensuring our power to avail ourselves of them.
I was thinking the other day that the mental health services are just a way of controlling people who start to feel their power and express it legally. A way of controlling the emerging classes’. Is that SWP/Marxist thinking? Whatever the thought and words, the reality is the same. They call it delusions of grandeur when you try to empower yourself against what is happening to you, and until the birth of the bloggosphere it has gone largely unchallenged by people in the thick of it, in any public way. Demonstrations can’t happen every day.
It was said a few years ago on the radio that there is enough land in our country for every single person to have 7 acres to themselves.
Something else I was thinking about today was the verse in Proverbs where it says that someone who involves themselves in someone else’s argument is like a man who grasps a dog by the ears. I was thinking of that in relation to Premier Radio and the Church. Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth. I would not have been hurt so much or have lost so much important in my life if various spiritual authorities had not used their platforms to chase me down, and if secular authorities had done their job with equal regard to anti-discrimination and anti-prejudice laws.
I’ve got an interview with people to help with housing tomorrow on the ward. I hope that goes well. It has been organised for me and I was told it might take 2 weeks from referral to meeting,but it is less than one week. So that is a good thing, I hope.
I was just talking and thinking about the perversity of my situation, that after clearing my flat on Friday I was released from my section on the Monday, so now I can take off all the time I want in one day I have been told that if I went overnight I would lose my room because of high demand. I’ve got an idea. Respect people and treat them well all the time and they might never need to come back! If we weren’t put in the loony bin in the first place instead of receiving proper communication and acknowledgment that would be better.
Redwood 2 Care Plan
Name Susan Barnett : Rio :
Mobile Phone care plan
Susan has been accessing a blog page via internet to which she has been breaching confidentiality by naming specific patients and staff. Susan was informed of the seriousness of this incident, to which Susan expressed she will continue to utilise the blog. Due to this Susan (sic) phone has been placed in the safe and is accessible under supervision. Due to the risk of her utilising the internet via her phone.
Aims and objectives:
– To be able to monitor Susan, whilst using her phone ensuring confidentiality isn’t breached.
– To help Susan appreciate the seriousness of confidentiality both, from staff and to staff.
Patients (sic) Objective:
– To have an understanding, and awareness of confidentiality.
Nursing Objective and treatment plan:
– To maintain safety of staff and patients
– To educate Susan of the importance of positive communication with her social world
– For Susan to use her phone supervised by staff.
– For Susan’s phone to be stored in the safe
– to be reviewed in weekly review on 25/06/12
Date to be reviewed: weekly in review
(young female staff nurse and young male student named as signatories)
Signed: (by me)
End of document.
I was called into an immediate confrontation in the staff office as soon as I walked through the door after the leave in which I wrote my last post. What this document does not say is that, because they had found and read my blog (at least bits) without me having given them details of its name or whereabouts – and contrary to the insistence of someone, it cannot be found just by looking up details for Highbury Hospital; I tried that myself and gave up looking for anything from my blog after page 6 of the search, though it came up immediately in the first 2 or 3 results when I entered a qualifier – They also took all my leave away, so I was confined to the ward over the weekend until I was reviewed on the following Monday. Before I signed it – I didn’t consider if I had an option given the pressure and apparent anger in the room, where they told me their complaint/concern was going higher – I made all the notes on it which I had raised in conversation, that as someone who is not a staff member I am not bound to recognise or abide by a duty of confidentiality, I have not entered into a willing contract with them – ever over the last 16 years. I pointed out that my phone and blog were separate and that my phone was used only for calls which were supposed to be private. I wrote I hadn’t named patients – I think I have been careful not to. I also wrote at the bottom “I believe this is an illegal restriction, provocation intimidation (sic lack of ‘and’) and the staff will know that to be true”.
I had a reasonable weekend with 2 of the staff in particular, and I am not sure why the next decision was made, but on the Monday I was discharged from my section and made informal, thus having as much leave as I choose to take (which often works out to be less than I would have taken when I had a restricted allocation). I also, from Monday, started refusing my medication, and until today I don’t think I have handled myself badly, but now I have been angry at a really outrageous and out of order (so I believe) staff member, and before that I was expressing distress to a female staff member who knows what he is like, and though he seemed to me to be imposing himself on my speech and conversation from the office without actual involvement, she received everything I said in silence until one imposition too many made me snap at him, saying he was out of order and my anger was not. This, however, makes me feel afraid of what the consequences of that might be, and that is how many of them get away with so much bad behaviour and unprofessionalism. There is sometimes a psychological subliminality to what they do, resulting in stronger feelings than if it was up front, in my opinion, which is lay. IE the ordinary person who experiences it.
More to follow.
The staff on the ward have found my blog, without me giving them the address but saying angrily a few times that I was going to blog. The ward manager collared me twice, once quite softly and the second time in a way which made me feel they wanted to take my computer and my leave away. The second time she approached me with 2 other female staff members and in public. She said she wanted to talk about my use of my computer on the ward. I said it was music and that I have no internet connection on the ward. She asked me quite crossly where I wrote my blog and how I wrote it and I pointed out that I have 5 1/2 hours total off the ward and I go where I can get a connection and that I have the same freedoms as everyone else in that time. They said they did not like having their names associated with certain things. I said that I have things associated with my name which I don’t like also, and that they were free to write or comment. It was probably in that context that she said that it was a matter of confidentiality, but I took it to mean that she was saying I was breaking a duty of confidentiality which I was quick to point out that I do not have but that they do. They talked about seeking advice. I said OK. I hope if and when they do the outcome will make a big difference in society and for people who are held against their wishes and with other forms of abuse, harassment and bullying thrown in.
This is good.
They saw me coming towards the office/ward exit this afternoon and it seemed to me they deliberately closed the office door and I stood outside knocking with them ignoring me. This happens often. The staff last night were calling people rude. I’m not sure who they meant. At the time it seemed it was obvious they meant me.
2 nights ago a woman had 2 separate instances of being forcibly medicated. Hefty men called and involved, on an all-female ward. If anyone knows how that is appropriate I would appreciate the feedback through comments. She said they had hurt her hand and it was all swollen and red. I know I have been there, in London. It took 6 months for my hand to stop hurting, and the man doing it at the time, when I said he was hurting me, said ‘well, you will learn your lesson, then, won’t you?’ I was never contemptuous of my own life until I felt betrayed by the church and came under the psychiatric services.
We appear to have a large degree of revolt and anarchy on the ward at the moment. Everyone is angry and the staff are, to my mind, often unprofessional. Everyone knows what is happening but the staff say nothing, and I think most of us patients know they know more than they are allowing us to be party to and that, if we were allowed to be party to the staff’s knowledge of what everyone knows, a lot of things might be called into question. Just a thought.
This blog is exactly what it says in the title, that and nothing else – the thoughts and observations of a certified nut. Why would anyone want to seek advice over that?
Did I say that I had had a bad week as a vegan last week? I was tempted again earlier this week but I talked myself through it. I went through the ‘so I’ll feel guilty’ bit and realised afresh that it is about the suffering or death or utilisation of an animal in a way which is not ideal. I decided we are different from most of the animal world in that we have a conscience and can think, philosophise and moralise about our behaviour. I had tears in my eyes as I thought it through. I was happy about that. It is about the animal and about me, living according to my light.
Jesus is wonderful and I love Him. He ate fish. I’m not sure how to harmonise that. It is said that the prophets were vegetarian and that the Essenes were also. And I believe it is right not to use animals. So I can’t deal with the Jesus and fish thing – not at all, in that context. I think I was taught at Bible College that John the Baptist was an Essene. So while they might have said ‘but Jesus ate fish so it isn’t wrong’, why would John the Baptist have lived by a higher morality? We were told that when it says JTB ate locusts, it actually means the locust bean, and not the insect.
I’ll make time to draft tonight and post tomorrow. At least now I have my own laptop again and can draft it offline in the privacy of a room which is not going to disappear!
One comment only:
I wrote everything about the deaths and everything to my psychiatrist. She still decided I was section 3 material and I have received no support following my letter, certainly not any based on the content of my letter, which people who know my blog is personally sensitive, and I asked her if she considered herself responsible for the information I have given her, and she said no. My immediate response to that was to thank her for that piece of information.
Wrote to my uncle, am now in touch with my sister again. Wrote to Tommy Boyd, but not with this, have to clear my flat by Friday, they decided I don’t have a close enough connection in my uncle. That was before they knew I had a sibling here, and before I did, because I didn’t know where she was, but she told me that our uncle had been accepted as a link in her case.
Does the plot thicken,or have the rules changed?
I’vehad nothing in writing about anything, just threats of getting rid of my stuff, on the phone, if I didn’t turn up with basically an hour’s notice.
Love you, you-know-who. It feels so delusional I daren’t even say your name with that statement.