Tag Archive: Homelessness


Strongly Suggested Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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31.08.2014

My radio is playing up, it won’t transmit properly without interference unless I’m sitting still in the middle of the room or right on top of it, so I’ve been playing my way through my Napster library (yes, I’m still with Napster) to see why I downloaded the items in the first place.

I don’t normally play my music during the day, but I’ve got a few that I go to at night and play in an attempt to get myself off to sleep, so yesterday and today I thought I’d do a whistlestop tour of everything in my library, except it’s not whistlestop, I’m playing them right through in alphabetical order of artist.

I’ve got some ‘music for deep meditation’ on at the moment called Bansuri.  I’ve had Alfie Boe on, someone called Antman reading the first 29 Psalms, Amy Grant, AudioBible reading of the Gospel of John, Andy Williams (downloaded for my mother) and Arthur Rubenstein playing Chopin’s Nocturnes.  That’s just the first few.  I’m into the Bs now but I can’t be bothered to list them.  While I’ve been listening to all this I have been tweeting and retweeting on Twitter.  I’ve had a few new followers today and I’ve gone over the 200 mark.

I’ve got a move coming up in the next 2 or 3 weeks to an absolute rabbit hutch of a bungalow.  I’m very anxious about it.  There is plenty of garden so I am erecting a shed in the back to store my belongings which won’t fit into the bungalow.  Within 4 months it will have paid for itself as the alternative would be to keep my stuff in storage.  I’m worried that the shed might not be big enough, I’m worried about money, and I’m worried that I won’t be able to find the things I want inside the bungalow.

In my planning I am compensating for not having a lot of space in my bungalow by working towards being able to afford a cheap house in Bulgaria.  You can get something really spacious for about 6 or 7 thousand euros, and I’m thinking of taking my stuff over there with me.  I know it seems drastic but it’s the only way I am going to have my own space, and the countryside is lovely.  Without a landlord breathing down my neck there I should have a different experience from my first one, if I own my own property.  I should feel more secure.  I should feel secure here, but I feel doomed to a cramped and impoverished existence.  Maybe it’s my fault and I’m being too negative and ungrateful.  I can’t honestly see how I can make it home though.

I’ve got the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band on now, ‘Gorilla’.  Tommy Boyd introduced me to that on his radio programme.

Pastures New

People who have read my blog over the past months will know that I am homeless and have been since 20th September 2011, almost 3 years.  I have now been in hospital for 2 years and 4 months, because they have had no home to discharge me to.

Today I had some good news.  It looks as if my homelessness is about to come to an end, because the council has found me a bungalow with a big garden in Wollaton, Nottingham.  Wollaton has a name for being a nice area, so I hope my part will be as well.  I also hope the bungalow will be big enough to accommodate all my belongings, most of which I have to move from London storage.  I have been told it will cost me £800 to move everything up.

The bungalow will also need to be carpeted, so I think at the moment I don’t have enough money to do both.  I will have to apply to the DWP for a budgeting loan, which mentions carpets and removals as part of what it covers.  I did apply for one before, estimating I would need about £1,000, but the offer was only between £300 and £400, so I didn’t take it up, thinking it would be months and months before anyone found me anything and I’d have time to save.  I have saved quite a bit but the extra loan would make things possible.  I pity those who can’t save.  £300-£400 was supposed to cover both carpeting and removals, which isn’t possible.  After carpeting and removals I will be broke.  The council said the bungalow would be ready to move into around the end of the month, so I still have time to make a further application.  And the hospital won’t just throw me out, but will wait until I can move in properly before discharging me.

Edit note 6th August 2014:  Today I was told that there is laminate flooring in the bungalow, so I won’t need to carpet 🙂

Broomhill House

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nightmares

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

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

Trip to the Pub

There is a pub 2 minutes walk away from us, on the other side of the road.  I’ve been in there a few times, and I was there tonight.  I went there tonight with the express intention of getting drunk.  I had 2 pints of guinness, but I was nowhere near as happy as I was the other day, unintentionally, on 2 glasses of wine in the Hilton restaurant.  I don’t go there that often, but I like it when I do.  They were doing lunch at half price, so I got a light 3 course lunch for a reasonable price.

Tonight at the pub there was a very sweet older couple just sitting at a table with some drinks and a packet of crisps.  The woman smiled at me.  As soon as the football match started they moved tables so they could see.  I looked at them and thought ‘there’s nothing wrong with this’.  An old couple enjoying a pint and a football match.

There is a lot in the Bible about getting drunk and how it’s a bad thing.  I enjoy being drunk, though, it makes me more mellow.  And Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding when they ran out and the guests were already well oiled, so what was he saying by doing that?  Would He have sacrificed a belief that it was wrong to be drunk in order to rescue a family from the social disgrace of running out of wine at a wedding?

I like to go on my own and just be with everyone else there, even though I’m not with anyone.  I like to soak up the atmosphere and just sit there on my own and enjoy it.  A few people smile at me, and I smile back.  It’s just a place to sit, with a drink and maybe some food, that isn’t the hospital.  I would do it at home if I had a home, with the radio or tv on, or something on my laptop.

Update 26.04.2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This article by Leah Harris on Mad In America argues that the way to address the roots of suffering and violence in American society is to be trauma-informed rather than to think in terms of mental illness.  I believe it applies just as much to the UK.

She talks about the effects of war, of 9/11, of homelessness, and of the effects of being abused or witnessing abuse in the family as a child.

She points out that most services are not trauma-informed and that a person can be re-traumatised by what they experience at the hands of the services, and she talks briefly about a community that is making an effort to be trauma-informed.  I think it is well worth a read, and hope my readers will give it their attention.  Thank you.

When I Absconded Last Year

When I absconded from hospital last year I found it much more helpful to realise I was having panic attacks than to believe that what I was experiencing was a symptom of schizophrenia and not being on medication. I was gone for 12 days only but I was a lot happier with the way I was dealing with myself than the way the hospital dealt with me. I could talk myself through things, calming down and breathing. I was very gentle with myself and I think I helped myself during that period a lot. When I was finally apprehended by the police (I was on the streets, I’ve been homeless for 2 1/2 years) they said they thought the hospital should discharge me because I was lucid.

The hospital didn’t discharge me though, they kept me and reinstated my medication, and I was unco-operative with the psychiatrist who asked me about something then wanted to move on before I was finished. I believe he decided I was schizophrenic and needing medication because I stood up to him. I shook his hand and he had a pencil in it and he made no effort to remove it, the same as once before. I thought he was a very rude little man. I had hoped for better from him.

They didn’t reinstate my medications straight away because the paperwork wasn’t up to date, but they tried to. This little man who came to see me (and he was little, he was shorter than me, and I’m only 5’1″) was the second opinion doctor. It took them 3 or 4 weeks to relay his decision to me, and all the time I felt completely normal and functioning well, except inwardly I freaked out over the fact they might put me back on medication. They didn’t relay his decision to me because he hadn’t relayed it to them. I was open and vulnerable and you hope that is going to count for something, but it counted for nothing.
There is nothing that justifies what they have done to me.  That is my downfall, I keep thinking it is my fault and they are justified. I keep believing in what they have said to me.
They think we don’t understand, they must do.  They must believe that they are best looking after our human rights by killing everything joyful and spontaneous and strong and making us take medication.  I’ve told them I had a woman upstairs constantly screaming hallelujah and making me beside myself but they have decided to believe that what they are dealing with is psychosis.

 

Looking Back

I am often embarrassed  by seeing the posts that get the most traffic on my blog.  I feel embarrassed by my communication style and by the content, especially when I have said that I and my close contacts are being stalked.  It was real enough at the time, but looking back it feels unreal because now I am not feeling as I did then.  What I can’t say for sure is that all of this embarrassment is justified.  It is possible that I was being stalked.  Certainly I was angry and afraid at the times I wrote that way, as well as feeling guilt over the fact, as I saw it, that I was failing in relationships.  I feel as if I was wrong because it was so long ago and nothing seems to be happening now.  I still hear the odd thing, but nothing major.

I want people to read my blog because I want them to get hold of the antipsychiatry that I wish to communicate, but I feel as if most of my blog is embarrassing rubbish, so it isn’t very easy for me to drive traffic by way of my blog.

I’ve still got lots of library books out about antipsychiatry.  I know I have been in agreement with them but my position gets weakened by the fact that I continue to be detained and that things seem relatively tolerable at the moment.  I’m not aware of any major feelings of being stalked, and I’ve got a place to eat and sleep and shelter.  As much as I would like to go on reading these books it seems pointless and that I am fruitlessly in strong agreement with them, when nothing I say or do makes any difference to the way I am viewed and treated.  It’s a waste of time and mental energy to keep reading, though I can see where they go and I agree with them.  I’m a patient, it doesn’t matter what I think about these things.  The psychiatric staff where I am believe they are the people with the right view and way of doing things.

So being constantly confronted on my dashboard with post titles that make me cringe with embarrassment is taking its toll on me when it comes to confidence that my blog can communicate anything worthwhile and understandable to a new reader.  I don’t know why people look for these posts as opposed to some of my more rational ones, but they keep going for posts the content of which makes me cringe.  So I have a difficult relationship with my blog at the moment.

Broomhill House

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moved!

I moved this afternoon at 2pm.  I had no lunch as everything was packed away, I just had a boiled egg and toast for breakfast, to get rid of the egg that needed using up by today.  I was counting on a roast dinner being provided this evening. but when dinner time came round it was just scrambled egg and baked beans on toast.  People had miscommunicated with me by calling lunch dinner.  The roast was for lunch, and I wasn’t there.  Food is provided for us here on Wednesday and Sunday, the rest of the time is self-catering.

I am worried about my food cupboard as it is just one shelf in a cupboard above the sink, and I can’t reach it.  Everything I have cupboardwise is jam packed onto that one shelf and there is a sink underneath it, so nowhere to put the things I would need to move to get at the things behind them.  Although there are 12 of us to feed ourselves the kitchen is locked longer than it is open and mealtimes are regimented into 1 1/4 hour slots after which the kitchen is locked up again until the next designated hour and a quarter.  If you miss it you can’t just eat later.  That means on days I go to see my mum I might miss two meals, lunch and dinner.

My room’s OK.  It’s got an armchair and en suite shower and toilet.  No rails for towels.

The staff seem friendly and have suggested a way to deal with the cupboard situation ie stand on a step but it’s still not going to solve the problem completely.  There is far too little space and things are likely to fall out if I try to negotiate my way around it.  Enright Close was better, this feels like organised chaos and I resent it already.  Ben is here from Macmillan Close and he is my key nurse.  I’ve got a dripping tap in the bathroom and it is really loud.  I turned it so it wouldn’t drip but it has started dripping again.  This is the stuff nightmares are made of.  I know I’m going to be really anxious here.

Moving Again

I’ve just been told in my review meeting that tomorrow I have to move to a place in Nottingham called Broomhill.  I understand it has 10-12 residents all sharing the same lounge and TV.  Bang goes choice and privacy.  Here it is 4 people in my bungalow.

I have a Tesco order I need to cancel on the advice of one of the staff there who says I should wait until I see how much space I have in the fridge.  I’m not really looking forward to this.  Just when you’re getting on all right where you are they decide to move you.  My nurse Jennie says I might find it upsetting as some of the residents are more ill than I am.  Her husband works there as a cook.  It was him who said I should cancel my delivery.

The idea is to build up my time in Nottingham so I become eligible for housing there.  I’m still waiting for someone from Housing Aid to make some sort of decision about something, she seems to be taking a long time.  Jennie suggested I should email her and ask her how long she thought her decision might take, but I did that about 2 weeks ago and she didn’t answer me.  Jennie thinks it is rude of her not to reply.

Anyway, so all change all over again.

Hopefully it will be nice to get back to Nottingham though.  I’m going to have to sort out a disabled bus pass because there is no way I can afford bus fairs at the moment.  In Newark I have never needed to use a bus.  I’m only a 10-15 minute walk away from the town centre.

Another worry is that someone said they had had a note of some sort to say I am not eligible for Housing Benefit.  I hope that is a misunderstanding.

Christmas at the Asylum

Christmas has definitely started here.  The staff put a tree and decorations up about a week ago and today they gave our bungalow two tins of biscuits and two tubes of sour cream and onion Pringles.  They told us there was tons of food and if we couldn’t see it to ask.

We’ve also got painters in, and they are in the kitchen at the moment, from whence can be heard lots of laughter and giggles.  Last time I saw I think they were laughing at something on one of their mobile phones.  They did the bathroom and shower earlier this week.  They are starting on our bedrooms after Christmas.

At least two of this bungalow’s residents are going to be away for an extended leave at Christmas, and one is possibly going to be gone for two nights, which means I will be on my own in the bungalow for possibly two nights but definitely for a fair bit of Christmas day.  I’m getting used to being here and sharing now, it could be odd being on my own when I leave.  Hopefully it will be nice though, having my own space.  Being able to drink a glass of wine in my home space again will be nice.

All the women in this bungalow get on all right with each other.  There is none of the nastiness that existed at Macmillan Close with the two women who kept picking on me there.  Three out of four of us are homeless, the other has a home but I think some work is being done on it, if I remember rightly.  Something like that anyway.

I can’t remember if I said that my benefits have been slashed by £50 a week to £60.90.  If it weren’t for my storage I could cope with that quite happily, but things are going to be extremely tight.  I can’t afford to go out, so I’ve been staying in.

I’ve also started buying meat, eggs and cheese again from the supermarket.  I decided that if I was going to eat omnivorously when I am out sometimes I should bring the decision home and start cooking omnivorously again.  I am enjoying it most of the time, tastes that I’ve not had for ages, butter instead of sunflower spread, for instance.  I sometimes feel revolted by the fact that I am eating dead animal which stays in my digestive system, and think of all the animal fats clogging my arteries and the increased risk of diet-related cancers.  I’ve also found bowel movements more difficult.  For now though this is the decision I have taken, and am enjoying the variety of tastes and textures that are available to me again.  I have forgotten how to cook meat though, so I find myself looking things up on the internet.

Visit to Housing Aid

I went to Housing Aid yesterday with my care co-ordinator and spoke to someone called Rebecca.  She said that I’m not eligible for housing in Nottingham but that I am still eligible in Lewisham because I’ve lived there for three out of the last five years, so she is going to try and sort that out for me. I’m not sure that I am eligible though because I’ve now been homeless for almost 27 months. She said my sister isn’t a link because she hasn’t lived in Nottingham for three out of five years.  And she gave us the name of another housing association for direct application.

My benefits have now been cut to £60.90 per week because I have been in hospital for over a year.  I’m not sure how I am going to manage if I don’t get a realistic offer soon.  I still have to pay over £140 per month in storage costs.  To me a realistic offer is a place big enough to put my things in so I can bring them out of storage.  I’m very attached to my belongings, so I don’t want to get rid of anything.  It feels as if I could lose them because I might not be able to keep up with storage costs.  If that happens, everything I have spent on storage will have been a waste of money.

Bulgaria Better Than Psychiatry

I’m thinking about Bulgaria again, and have been for a while.  I am still homeless and it is still possible to buy a house in stages there, if I can make peace with the person who was sending me details of such houses before, or find someone else who does the same thing.  I became annoyed with the last person I was talking to because he kept talking about crazy and mental, and it offended me.  In the end he said he didn’t think we could do business.  I don’t know of anyone else offering his terms.

The beauty of Bulgaria, apart from the natural beauty, is that I could shortly afford to buy a property there and it would be my own.  This would put me in a position I have never been in before, would alter my relationship with the country and its people and would greatly increase my personal stability, because the property would be my own.  Nothing to fear from landlords, and therefore not much cause for fear from anyone else really.

The UK and Bulgaria have an arrangement with each other whereby my British benefits could be paid into a Bulgarian bank account, except I would lose an element of my DLA.  I could take great joy and pleasure living in Bulgaria.  This is something I need to look into further.  When I was on Redwood 2 there was a man called John Butterworth who told me about this international arrangement.  He was the benefits advisor, but he left and he wasn’t replaced, so the job no longer exists.

We are getting to 2014, when Bulgaria comes into full relationship with the EU.  Very soon after that house prices there could soar, so I need to act almost immediately, except I can’t, because I don’t have enough money.  I need accommodation here first so that I can get all my benefits back in full, if saving is going to be a viable option.  In all my thinking I had really forgotten the stability that owning a property would give me.  I feel it as a joyful necessity and opportunity.

 

Update 02.11.13 Housing

I have had a letter back from the housing association I registered with and because the council hasn’t accepted me as their responsibility I have only been allocated 45 points instead of 1,545 which I could have.  1000 would come from the council accepting me as statutory homeless, and another 500 would come from where I am now at the hospital if I had provided proof, but proof wasn’t asked for, as far as I remember.  My CPN has said that she will try to get the council to write a letter saying that I am homeless but not their responsibility , that would get me 1000 points.  When I first came to Nottingham I was their responsibility because I had an uncle and a sister in the area, but they have since changed their rules so that you have to have lived in the area for three out of five years to qualify for their help.

The housing association I registered with covers a lot of areas in the north and in the midlands, and I have asked for my 6 areas to be expanded so that I can be offered anything anywhere.  Really I want to move back to London or somewhere like Cornwall, Dorset or Devon, but there aren’t a lot of housing associations which, like this one, you can use independently of the council points system and bidding.  Most of them are linked to the bidding system, so I’m going to have to do some research.

Apparently I can get help with a bond and the first month’s rent if I go private.  I read today that it might be social services’ responsibility to offer me help, but I don’t know what is meant by help.  Maybe I am getting all the help they can give me at the moment.  I am in touch with a team from Framework, my CPN is trying to help me.  I’m not sure what else I could or should expect, or how quickly.  I am in hospital, but it seems it is being treated as temporary accommodation.  Although it is shared bungalows it is still hospital and I would have hoped things might go a bit faster.  I am not eligible to bid anywhere at the moment.  The charity/housing association has said it will not be in touch again unless it can offer accommodation, and that if it can’t offer anything within 6 months I’ll be asked if I want to stay on their list. Obviously I’m hoping to be housed before then.

By deciding to see my problems in the community as completely a product of mental illness the authorities have taken away the home that I had as emergency housing with Nottingham City Council and I now have to start all over again, not eligible to bid anywhere.  In the meantime I am still having to pay £140 every 4 weeks to keep my belongings in storage.  I wish now that I had just let my belongings go, it has cost me so much already and I don’t know if I am going to get a big enough place to accommodate them all.  I asked customer services if I could apply for a house or bungalow with two bedrooms, on the basis of a very small flat I saw in Nottingham, nothing like the one I had in London, and they told me I could if I was prepared to pay the extra.  But the letter I have had from them says I qualify for a one bedroom property and doesn’t even acknowledge the covering letter I sent with my application, so I’m not sure what is happening.

Update 27.10.2013 – Hospital and Housing

I’ve been obsessive about my stats recently and it’s been an obsession that has pushed everything else out.  I could have kept my blog up to date but I haven’t, so here is a bit more.

Last Saturday I sat down and filled in an application for housing with a housing charity, and at the moment I am waiting to hear what points I’ve been allocated.  I am hoping very much that things will move quickly.  There were boxes for six separate area codes and I filled them all in, but even that might not be flexible enough.

Life in the residential hospital is not too bad.  The main thing for me at the moment is that the fridge-freezer is easily big enough for a family, but not for four individuals.  It looks to me as if two of us are doing a weekly shop, and there just isn’t sufficient space really.  It is frustrating that we are doubling up on things and I’m sure there is a lot of wastage because things don’t get eaten quickly enough.  I’m not the one with the least space, apparently, and the one who thinks she has the least space keeps putting her stuff on top of mine, and it annoys me.

Also people doing big sharp knocks on the door and asking if I’m all right when I am trying to relax.  It jolts me out of it.

About two or three weeks ago I had a problem with one of the residents who keeps staring at me when I am focusing on something else.  I asked her why she was doing it and she said she wasn’t, I was being paranoid.  Then she told me to shut up and said I was kicking off when I didn’t like that, so now I’m not talking to her, nor she to me.

The nurses I encounter are nice, usually, but I daren’t talk to them about how I feel about my diagnosis and medication, normally, because I fear they won’t understand.  I’m keeping a low profile at the moment about the things I don’t like which I usually see towards other people on occasion.  I don’t want a repetition of Rowan 2 and other places.  When I become aware of it, normally in the shower (and I’ve self-neglected a fair bit recently), I suppress an urge to scream.  I guess screaming isn’t allowed or looked on very favorably, and I have an iron grip on myself to make sure I don’t scream, I daren’t put myself in that situation here.

That’s all for now.  Thanks to my new followers for following.  Welcome aboard.  I hope it won’t get too boring for you.  I’m pretty monomaniacal at times.

Loss, Mortality And Related Issues

I learned something I didn’t know yesterday.  I was watching ‘That Was The Life That Was’, about the late Sir David Frost, and I learned that ‘That Was The Week That Was’ had its first broadcast on my 2nd birthday.  A year later, 2 days before my 3rd birthday, President John Kennedy was assassinated.  I remember watching News at Ten on that day and I was aware that something serious had happened.  I felt very sad and shocked when I heard that David Frost had died.  I think the first I knew of him was when he presented ‘This Is Your Life’, which I always liked to watch.  I found myself wishing last night that my dad had watched TW3 and introduced me to it, but I was only 2.  The programme last night was followed up with ‘Frost on Satire’, and it showed clips from ‘Spitting Image’.  In its time I never watched it and wouldn’t have known who all the characters were, I think I might have seen it twice.  I recognised some of the characters last night though.

Hearing of many people dying, some of whom are not much older than me, makes me feel bereaved, and also aware of my own mortality.  I know I’m only 52, 53 next month, but I am feeling the fact of my own death coming up and it isn’t the best feeling in the world.  I keep feeling there have been so many missed opportunities.  I keep seeing people who have grown up, in the media, and wishing I was like them, that someone had fought properly for me to be educated when I decided that I didn’t like school so I wasn’t going, after my father died.  I feel no one really fought for my family.

I’m sitting in Costa at the moment.  I’ve just had a large mocha and downloaded the two Frost programmes I’ve just been talking about.

I was aware of David Frost partly because I knew he was a Christian.  I feel really upset writing this.  ‘That Was The Life That Was’ showed clips from things that formed a fair bit of my memory.  I remember the President Nixon thing, I saw ‘All The President’s Men’ when it came out.  I remember being in a prayer meeting at Talbot Street when the Watergate Scandal erupted and Gerald Ford took over.  In the meeting people were praying against sin and for righteousness and I wanted to pray that God would help Richard Nixon and his family, because I felt very sad for him, but I didn’t dare pray that way.  No one else was.

I’m not sure how much of this is sadness, really, over these past events and memories, and how much of it is just displaced sadness and grief over my present situation.  Feelings can re-attach to anything.  I admire people like Ian Hislop so much but know they don’t know me and probably wouldn’t be interested in me if they did, because the truth is I have nothing to offer.  Maybe that is what idolatry is, attachment to so many people who don’t even know I exist and might not be interested if they did know.  It is miserable, painful and embarrassing and fruitless and pointless, maybe that is why God commands against idolatry, because in the end it is so painful.  I am nursing a hope that Ian Hislop and so many others will see this and care.  How silly is that?  But what if?  THAT would be fun . . . !

Maybe that is the skill of the programmes I saw last night, hitting on so many memories for so many people, and bringing them to life again.  I feel a bit left behind and I’m crying for someone to help me catch up.

I’m missing Tommy Boyd as well.  I met him properly once.  We tried to have a proper conversation.  He’s deleted his blog and left Facebook and Twitter.  I never thought he would do any of that, especially not deleting his blog.  I feel lost without him and I feel attached to him.  I thought he was trying to help me.  I never thought he would leave broadcasting, but from the lack of information about him on the web at the moment it seems he has done jut that.  A lot of my stability and courage, when I had it, came from him.  I went to his house a few months ago, after I absconded from Macmillan Close, ad his wife was there and we had a conversation in which she told me he probably wasn’t interested and reminded me of when they had called the police.  I am grieving because I thought he wanted to help me.  I feel hopeless and helpless without him.  He told the story of a gorilla that was castrated for raging and throwing stones at people that used to taunt it.  He said that was what they were doing to us as well.  I identified with that with regards to my situation with the mental health services.  He said he thought it was wrong, that people should have been told not to taunt him and a proper environment maintained for him.  Anyway, he is inaccessible now.  I don’t know if he will ever be accessible to me.  I thought he was going to be.  I thought he wanted to be.  I never thought I would have to abandon hope with regard to him, and indeed I dare not.  I wonder what is going on with him?  I wonder if he is OK?

Christianity and Veganism – Either/Or?

Today I went to a Zizzi restaurant in Newark.  All I wanted was a glass of wine but I thought I had better at least buy an Italian bread bucket, as it is a restaurant not a pub.  As a vegan I was not thinking that the fining process for the wine had probably involved the use of animal or fish products.  I wasn’t thinking, all I wanted was a glass of wine after over two weeks not drinking anything.  In the end I had two glasses of wine, sea bream and tiramisu.  Some vegan I am?  Yes, absolutely.  I keep wanting to ‘eat normally’, ie, not vegan, and sometimes I give in to the urge.  The last two or three months I have given in a few times.  Until tonight, over the last two weeks I have been OK and stuck to the straight and narrow path of being a vegan.  It’s been better for my digestion as well.

Today, before this, I was thinking that the reason I am a vegan is that eating non-vegan harms animals, even just using their products, given the farming methods used, and that it brutalises people, especially at the extreme end of those who work in slaughter houses.  I wanted to be a vegan because I wanted to affirm myself as a human being who does not harm or cause suffering to animals and is not in any way involved with it.  There are people who say they would never harm a fly who eat meat and fish and their products regularly.  They are in denial.  Other people are being paid to do the dirty work for them and they buy the sanitised product at the end, and obviously recognise no link between themselves and any harm or suffering caused to an animal.  If they say they would never harm a fly and mean it, their thoughts and feelings lack clarity.

At the moment, though, I could joyfully abandon veganism.  I often crave foods that are not vegan, the vegan equivalents are just a bit harder to get hold of and a bit more expensive, and there have been times when I have eaten seitan when I have wanted to cut into some real flesh.

Christianity and Veganism – either/or?  Apart from two years in my teens I have always considered myself a Christian.  Even during the first years of being hospitalised I sometimes had difficulty seeing myself as Christian, but in those days I considered myself to be in a bad place in my life.  In my teens I embraced a life without God for two years.

The one thing we know about the things Jesus ate, if we believe the Bible, is that he ate fish.  For a few years now I have held to a position in my thinking if not always in my practice, that abstinence from all things animal is morally superior to indulgence.  So I was asking myself earlier today, where does that leave Jesus?  If it is better not to eat flesh or any of its products, where does that put the Saviour of the world, morally?  I get embarrassed when I don’t eat vegan.  I would be embarrassed to give up my vegan position, and have often seen my slips as sin.  If my slips are sin, did Jesus sin in eating fish?  Yet I have seen my veganism as part of my Christianity.  I have thought a great deal of the vegans I have met, robust and beautiful people.  Is it enough to say that Jesus was a man of his time and ate flesh without sinning?  I think vegetarians and vegans existed in those days as well.

I don’t know about veganism, but vegetarianism is an important part of some Eastern religions.  When the apostle Paul wrote to the Romans he recognised that some people did not eat meat and saw them as the weaker brethren with weaker consciences, and said that if his eating meat caused any of them to stumble he would never eat meat again.  There is no reason in the text to believe he did not mean this and it seems possible that he might have become vegetarian himself, because undoubtedly there were people who would have been stumbled by his eating meat.  I’m wondering if I am making too big a thing of this in believing that holding to a position that veganism is morally superior and preferable is incompatible with me calling myself a Christian in the traditional sense.  The kind of Christianity I have believed in says that Jesus was sinless, yet He ate fish, at the very least.

Mish-Mash Musings 2

In my last post I wrote about how the Church, during the Inquisition, used to ‘relax’ people into the hands of the state so they could be burnt, and wrote about the parallel drawn by Thomas Szasz between this and the mental health movement.  He said that in a religious age ‘heretics’ were ‘relaxed’ into the hands of the state, but in the so-called enlightened age the parallel is that society turns to the mental health movement for the upholding of the dominant culture.  However, the Church is part of the society which does this, and does it itself.  So for the mental patient who is also a Christian, there is no ‘comfort’ for them in religion.  The mental health system is part of the new way of dealing with ‘heretics’ for the church.  The church believes in this, or says it does, and largely it accords the mental health system the same authority as the rest of society does, except for some people.  It might decide that some people are really not mentally ill and try to help them, but on the whole it validates the mental health system and its ideas.  So someone like me can become very isolated since the Church refers me back to the mental health services.  Admittedly I have not been to every existing church, but the ones that have been part of my life to date have all said the same thing, that they believe I am mentally ill, so accepting the categorisation in the first place.  Many other religious bodies do the same thing.  Scientology does not.  I have only recently discovered that Thomas Szasz had links with Scientology.  For some people this will put them off him, but there are others who hold the some of same views who do not have those links, the writers and editors of This Is Madness, for instance, and Foucault, and R D Laing.  R D Laing was ridiculed for turning to Buddhism, apparently.  I was told this by one of the nurses on Rowan 2, I think, and they said how ironic it was that the psychiatric system is itself now looking towards things like mindfulness as a way of raising people’s consciousness.  They wouldn’t call it raising people’s consciousness, but essentially that is what it is.

I’m not on Rowan 2 at the moment, I was transferred to Newark on Friday night. It is a place like Macmillan Close, complete with door slamming!  I’m not sure how I feel and I hope it is not a matter of my choice, because there are pros and cons with both.  I was told at 6.30 pm on Friday evening that the transfer was going to be made and that I had no right to refuse.  Steve, who was on duty, told me it was only temporary and that I am expected to go back some time this week, citing my housing situation and residence in Nottingham a a reason for me going back.  However, the staff in Newark are under the impression that I am here long term and that housing can be dealt with from here.  I’m confused and feel very disorientated.  I said I didn’t want to come because I don’t know Newark, and that seems to me a good reason at the moment.  I have been homeless 2 years now, Friday was the anniversary, and it can’t be good for me to keep being so uprooted.

This Is Madness

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

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

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

I’ve got a bad cold at the moment.

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

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

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

Another Shouting Match

Tonight, for as I write it was tonight, just 1/2 an hour ago since it started, thought by the time I finish writing it will be last night, I’ve just been involved in a confrontation with staff and a patient.  This is what happened.

It is now a minute past midnight, so it happened last night now.  One of the rowdiest people on the ward has just started singing.  I don’t appreciate it.  It is Kerry.  I feel weak and undermined for not daring to tell her to stop, and no one else will.

I tried to have an early night, and for ages I wasn’t able to sleep.  Too hot and restless.  Eventually, around 10pm, I put some meditation music on, and I fell asleep to that.  Soon after it finished People started shouting in their rooms, to themselves, but loudly and angrily.  I don’t think it was anything to do with my music.  There were two of them.  I don’t think this time Kerry was one of them.  I was annoyed because I had been woken up, and I have been absorbing this most of the time for about a week.  Absorbing it has affected me and my level of well-being.  I have felt tired and very upset and lifeless.  The shouting, and the door-slamming, have been horrific.

I shouted back, told them to stop, I was trying to sleep.  I said they were making everyone feel so good, and finally I said one of them was mad.  That is the kind of thing I have had from the staff.  I am vulnerable and impressionable and exhausted.

Some of the staff came round and started having a go at me, saying I should have compassion, people were ill, and people were trying to sleep.  I said I was trying to sleep but I got woken up.  When they adopt a tone and attitude to me the best I can do for myself is shout back, and I found myself out of control in the same way the other women were, but from me it was not tolerated.  Alex said I was unbelievable and it wasn’t worth talking to me.  That’s when I lost control.  I said they were unbelievable, that if this could happen in here it can also happen in the community, but because I have said it is happening in the community I’ve been told it is all in my head and I have had what was my home taken from me because I am in hospital.  They kept telling me I was shouting, but they were confrontational or dismissive and not letting me finish sentences and walking away in contempt.  M involved herself again, saying she was going to call the police and I was waking everyone up and I should be in prison, and she got the ‘darling’ treatment, whereas I was vilified.  I had Alex saying I had a high level of understanding.  She had been telling me there are some ill people on the ward, and I had asked her why she was telling me that as if I was not a psychiatric patient.  She said it was because I had a high level of understanding.  I said just because I have a high level of understanding doesn’t mean I can go on absorbing the rubbish while they normally sit in their office and do nothing about it, other people shouting and screaming and slamming doors.  I’ve started yelling at people to stop because the nurses don’t normally do anything about them, the same as they have left me to shout myself hoarse and upset.  She kept going on about finding it almost impossible to work with me, but there are things she doesn’t want to hear, because I start talking and she talks over me.  Kevin did it as well.  One of them said they were warning me.  How come even when I am upset at being woken up and trying to deal with it in the only way I felt I could, rightly or wrongly, wrongly obviously, I’ve got it from the way I have been dealt with, I am the only one of all the people who are upset who gets short shrift?  Keven said he couldn’t tell what I was saying because I was shouting,but I can tell what people are saying when they shout, and when I lowered my voice he started talking over me, so I raised it again to be heard, then he told me I was shouting.  When I said about doors being slammed hard Alex said the doors don’t shut quietly, as if we hadn’t already had a conversation where I had complained about Kerry and Alex had acknowledged that a lot of other people had complained.  My door closes quietly.  Here on Rowan 2, Highbury Hospital, Nottingham, I am being victimised and am on the wrong side of favouritism.  It doesn’t work for me.

I’m not going to commit suicide.  But some people would.  I don’t want to be driven like this just because people judge (perhaps) that there is no risk of suicide.  If I get distressed to the point of being beside myself and enraged I don’t want these confrontations from the people who have been responsible for it, trying to make out I am a special case and have more understanding than the average psychiatric patient.  Alex says she has often said she doesn’t think I should be here.

This Morning

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.

A Slightly Different Update 27.07.2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update 22.07.2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Time To Mourn

I read a post that was in Freshly Pressed yesterday, which said that the writer was not going to write because there is a time to stop and mourn, and that the Connecticut shootings were that time.  I agree with that, it was an awful tragedy.  So was the suicide of the nurse who took the hoax call, in the UK.  The question is, after we stop, then what?  There has to be a significant outcome to our stopping.

I have felt very selfish and unnatural for not stopping myself, and to be honest I find stopping hard fr something that has not directly affected me.  But hearing the news obviously made an impression and caused feelings of grief.  We don’t just recover from those after stopping briefly, do we?  Surely our lives and attention, our priorities and motivations,  have to take a different direction out of the stopping?

I cannot fight legitimately for my own life while ignoring the grief of others.  So if that grief touches me, what can I do?  As a homeless person on a section 3 in a residential rehabilitation unit of the NHS, awaiting accommodation?

But the point for me is that I have to learn to stop again, and acknowledge the stopping.

Keep The Faith

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.

Anger and Drunkenness

I can’t drink wine angry, I immediately become drunk and emotionally incontinent.  I’m sitting in a hotel drinking a glass of Merlot, and something about the way I was asked if I wanted to order offended me, and I felt drunk within two or three mouthfuls.

Psychological Football

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.

Real Or Imaginary?

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.

Gawdon Bennett . . .

WE ARE THE POWERLESS!!!!!!!

If people who are afraid in circumstances from which they cannot extricate themselves because the authorities won’t let them (ie authorities are irresponsible in their positions) get angry and start slamming doors, while it is uncomfortable for the rest of us, that doesn’t mean they are mentally ill. If they are afraid to speak about what is happening or about what they are feeling, for fear it will make things worse for them in terms of deepening their diagnosis, the professionals need to be the first ones to come out explicitly and say they have the same awareness of things happening outside of our control.

I can remember when it first started happening to me.  I would shout and scream and hit my door with my umbrella because in my fear and anger I felt I had no other outlet.

It needs to be explicit, otherwise if people are not willing to respond in an attempt at psychodrama they can be left with an added burden of guilt feelings towards the initiator.  As much as we might like them, that isn’t fair.  It is engaging our emotions in what, for us, is a non-consenting situation which is not required by law because we are children to be taught or prisoners to be punished or rehabilitated.

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.

Jessica Blake (with apologies and sympathy)

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?

More Tales from the Redwoods

My mind is all jumbled today, it has been pretty packed with activities and observations.

The smoking square is right outside my bedroom and people raise their voices at my radio, even though it isn’t loud.  It makes concentration hard.  Blow it, it makes just listening hard.

I had a review today.  I asked them to decrease what they have been giving me for anxiety because I am walking around feeling the same as I used to when I was on sleeping medication every night in London.

They have left my leave as it is, 1 x 4 hours to break up and use as I want, plus 3 x 1/2 hour for local shops etc.

They also told me they wanted to increase my olansapine.  We got into a heated discussion about that.  They talked about ideas that I was being harassed, and I pointed out that they didn’t live with me and why were they so insistent on calling it ideas instead of accepting it as reality.  Dr Khan, the SHO who was conducting proceedings today although Dr Fahy was there, asked why I thought I was the only person being harassed and I said I didn’t, but he insisted that I had said that, and I said I hadn’t and insisted that I didn’t think that.  He asked why I thought I was so important that this could be happening to me, and I said he was being rude and asked him why he thought I was so unimportant that it couldn’t be.  He asked who I thought was doing it and I said how could I know if it was organised crime.  He asked me why I thought they were doing it which, as all illegitimate and out of bounds questions do, left me feeling hit in the head, and I said I didn’t know and that what mattered was that it was happening, not why.

Dr Fahy, or Dr Khan (I can’t remember now) said they were also worried about the level and degree of distress it was causing to me and people around me and she tried to fnish her sentence before I came back at that, which I insisted on doing, and I pointed out that the distress comes from other people before it comes from me, that if it were not started from others I would be happy. I didn’t get the opportunity I wanted to say that the degree of distress is because they always handle me like this and that they were giving me no hope or protection for the future.  But afterwards I wondered what they thought was the maximum degree of distress allowable in my circumstances.

I did my laundry this afternoon.  I went to the office to ask someone to unlock the door for me so I could get it out.  Jess was there with a big fluffy bear slipper or something.  They didn’t even look in my direction as I knocked, but she started touching the slipper or whatever it was in what, on a real animal, might have been its private parts.  On purpose, it looked like, and continued to not acknowledge me.  When she came to the door she had a really strange smile on her face.  I later remembered when Tommy Boyd had talked about licking the underparts of a badger, I think he said, to cure a headache.  That people used to do it and it worked.  He used to say that he wondered how people first got the idea.  Or was it a beaver?  The first time I heard him refer to the badger or beaver was the night after I had broken down in sobs, years ago, waiting for the phone to pick up the other end, or something, phoning someone else (I don’t have his private number), and the next day he played something which sounded like me sobbing the previous night and asked people to guess what it was.  Someone said it sounded like a woman crying, but he later declared it to be the sound of a badger or beaver.  I can’t remember if anyone got it.

He also played this game with Allison Ferns with the Queen song, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, where he kept stopping it as it was building up and Allison was getting frustrated.  I remembered that after catching some of the Steve Wright show this afternoon on Radio 2 and thinking that they were deliberately reproducing the action of dopamine or seratonin blockers, verbally, bringing it up to interest level then smashing it down so I, at least, was not able to maintain the interest and the thought that came from it.  It made me angry.  It was the first time I had thought of what they were doing in that way, as reproducing the action of dopamine and seratonin blockers.

While they are playing these coy, or not so coy, games, a programme is on Radio 4 tomorrow at 9pm called ‘All In the Mind’, which is going to look at the ‘fact’, so they say, that between five and seven people die every week under a mental health section.  This is not something to play with.  It isn’t fair.  I’ve taken every baseball game position possible to ask for help or if I can help, over the years, and I’m now wondering why.

AOL is featuring a story of the queen with a bloodshot eye, and a piece of film where Prince Philip first looks at the camera then looks into his binoculars.  I’m not sure if there is any actual connection with the fact that Tommy Boyd has one eye he can’t see much out of because he said he was bitten by a dolphin, I think.

Being a write bloody bitch is hard.

Mine is not to reason why
Mine is but to write or die

Or risk trying to explore these things in a real face to face

Or try to retrieve any chance of a relationship buried under my cowardice and shit.

One woman has been on this acute ward for about a year.  Another for two.  So they have said.

A lookalike of a new patient, who is in turn a lookalike of Dorothy Shearman, came on Come Dine With Me this afternoon.  Everyone reacted, silently.  We are afraid to be the first to say anything in case no one else joins us.

I really think the drugs companies and the psychiatrists are knowingly dependent on each other, to some extent, for their living and have no wish to rock the boat with real reality.  The obviousness of it is so filling my mind with words to speak of it that I can only reduce it down to ‘disgusting’.  Love covers everything except organised abuse and agreed cowardice.

Continued from ‘Police Stop and Search Slashed’ post.

Some time after 6am I found myself confronted by two police women asking me what I was doing there and, as I tried to explain, they talked me down and I thought they were rude, so I persisted in trying to explain until I got upset and they said I wasn’t being very nice.  They said they were trying to help me, all I could see was that they wanted to move me on, and I felt as if I had been a specific target.  I just thought they were really rude and unintelligent in the way they communicated and I was trying really hard to make them understand how I was feeling and how this was not a permanent or particularly chosen situation for me to be in, that I had tried to get a crisis loan and the systems had been down, and everything else I said in the post I referred to in my opening line.  They were pointing at me and being really provocative and aggressive.  Not violent, aggressive.

The next thing I knew they were calling backup, and 2 male officers arrived.  The way they looked at me and treated me and teased me about the way I was behaving, I lost it.

There was a male member of airport staff with a white shirt sitting opposite me, he had been there for about half an hour.  He had been speaking, it seemed to me, for my hearing, even though he must have been about 25 feet away.  He was lounging backwards and eyeing me and his body language was challenge and domination.  He continued to watch and listen intently, almost as if he was theatre audience or in a court room, while these police women were talking to me, and he was freaking me out.  I told the police I wasn’t going to talk to them anymore while he was sitting there doing what he was doing and until he was removed.  He was just eyeing me determinedly, but they refused to deal with him.

One of the male officers said loudly at some point, ‘all women are crazy’ and I wanted to make it stop and make it unsaid and take him to task but there seemed to be no way to do it.  I didn’t know how to handle it.  I was horrified and couldn’t believe he had said it.  Eventually they were dragging me out of the airport and he was continuing to be provocative.  I was objecting and he was saying ‘no one cares’, and it felt like a personal and emotional invalidation.  I had recently heard on The News Quiz on Radio 4 that 700-900 officers in the Metropolitan police have criminal records, including GBH.  Someone has told me since this incident that people with criminal records are not allowed to join the police and the records might have been gained while with the police, but I don’t know.

Anyway, I was wound up and swearing, and the same man said ‘if you swear once more I will put you under arrest’.  So I said, not feeling able to back down at that point, ‘OK then, fuck off’.  It was funny, he should have laughed and seen how inappropriate he was being himself.  The woman officer at the station I told as i was leaving laughed when I recounted it, and that felt like a real relief.  But instead he just said straight away, ‘right, you’re under arrest’.  At some point he put handcuffs on me.  My right wrist was black and purple for almost a week afterwards.

I said they were acting illegally, and that while I might be on the wrong side of the police, the police were on the wrong side of the law.  I said they were illegal, he said contemptuously ‘we all know what you are.  I asked him what and he wouldn’t answer.  I kept pressing him for an answer and he wouldn’t say.  I started shouting the odds again about the figures for police with criminal records, addressing the people around me, and he kept saying ‘no one cares’.  I said that wasn’t true.   I get one incident mixed up with another so I’m not sure how much I said on that occasion.  So I won’t make it up as if I can.

Every time I spoke they were speaking into and over me, if that makes sense to people.  I said they had killed my father, that he had committed suicide, but that I wasn’t going to commit suicide, I was going to blog.  At the same time that I was saying I was only 11 years old when my father committed suicide, he was saying, ‘I bet he killed himself because of you’.  I’ve heard that only one other time in my life, from a class mate straight after his death.  I was outraged, like an animal in pain.  He had no right to say that, but no matter how much I objected and kept trying to say they had no right to do what they were doing, they just kept mocking me and talking me down.

When they took me out of the van they gave a skewed account to the desk sergeant about what had happened and I said it was a misrepresentation.  They were being strict and confrontational, I said I had an appointment with the housing people about getting emergency housing at 11am (it was between 7.30 and 8am) and the sergeant said ‘I think you are going to miss it’.  I said ‘I bet you’re going to keep me here until it is too late for me to get a crisis loan today as well, aren’t you, so I will have no money tonight either, so what do you expect me to do and what good do you think you are doing?’

I felt I was being treated unfairly throughout and was angry and trying to be heard, but they were deliberately ignoring me.  I’m not sure if I had mentioned the harassment and vigilantism at this point or not.  But somehow it came about that the man who had been saying the things I have written started saying with seething anger, ‘she is going to come up to the desk and talk to you like a lady’.  I said ‘I will start acting like a lady when you start acting like a decent man’.

They insisted I take my watch and therapeutic magnet off.  I said I didn’t want the disorientation of not even knowing what time it was, but in the end I relinquished them, and my necklace which I won in a Crisis at Christmas raffle, because the way they grabbed my hands it felt as if they might break my fingers if I didn’t.

At 8.10am they put me in a bare cell with a bed shelf and mattress, a blanket and a toilet.  There was no toilet paper.  They said they would get me some breakfast but I got nothing until lunchtime, by which time I hadn’t eaten or drunk anything or been to the toilet for over 12 hours.  I had not been offered a drink during this time.

They told me at the beginning of the morning that I could see a duty solicitor.  I left without having seen one.  They were reading something at the beginning while I was upset and shouting and they said ‘that’s a no, then’ to something I didn’t hear.

Soon, after not having slept all night, I started to fall asleep on the bench.  As soon as I did I heard a male voice shout out, and they were banging.  This happened several times, that one of them shouted out as soon as I began to fall asleep.  I felt desperate.  I later saw that there was a camera on the ceiling pointed straight at my bed.  I wondered how closely they had it trained on me.  Over the last 2 days I have thought seriously that they were deliberately using sleep deprivation and I believe I am right.

Their idea of a vegan lunch was chips and some vegetables, no protein.  I gave up trying to eat it, I was so upset.  I asked if i could have a cup of tea with my soya milk, but they said no, I couldn’t have anything which had come from outside the station, even though they had no soya milk and didn’t offer to get any for me.

Several times, at least through the afternoon, a male officer would walk up to my cell door, stop outside and cough hard and significantly, and walk away again.  It frightened and angered me.  I kept feeling screaming and hysteria rise into my throat which I had to control, because I knew expressing it would do no good.  I kept wanting to speak to them like friends and ask for their help.

On the ceiling inside the door there was a sign that said there could be a monetary reward for anonymous information leading to crime.  When I saw it I said something about bribery and corruption.

I have felt over the last couple of days that they had me there expecting me to ‘talk’.  But they never asked me any questions.

Later in the afternoon I said something about a cup of tea and that I was a vegan and didn’t drink dairy milk.  The officer was angry and rude and dismissive.  He brought a cup of tea, even though I had said i didn’t want black tea, and I also didn’t want water, which was all they would offer me instead.  So when he turned up with this I wondered what it was and asked him if it was black or if it had milk.  He said it was powdered milk, and put it down on the floor rudely saying ‘it’s tea, do you want it or don’t you?  You either want it or you don’t’.  I ‘said’, ‘I’m a vegan and have been for 4 years.  That is my life choice and you are being abusive and disrespectful’.

There were no books, nothing to write with, nothing was offered, and I was harassed constantly and not allowed to sleep.  I was a wreck.  After all that and everything they had put me through in the morning, I think at some point I asked them when the solicitor was coming and what we were waiting for, and the officer said we were waiting for a doctor, because they thought I needed a mental health assessment.  I started shouting angrily and hysterically, saying after everything they had done to me and without having seen a solicitor, they wanted to subject me to a mental health assessment, and I said all they were really interested in seeing from me was naked fear.

When the doctor came I was taken to an office with an open door, and as we were talking the police started to interfere again in the same way as they had been doing before when I was speaking, but pretending it had nothing to do with me.  I had asked for the door to be closed for privacy, but the doctor had refused and said it wasn’t necessary.  When the interventions came I started to be afraid and panic, and they kept them coming until I was unable to control my fear.  The doctor refused to recognise what was happening, and he ended the interview telling the police, after I had gone, that he thought I needed a mental health assessment.

I didn’t find this out until several hours later when I asked again what we were waiting for and when the solicitor was going to arrive.  All day I was not told that I would not be seeing a solicitor.  They said we were waiting for a mental health team because the doctor had believed I needed an assessment.  Again I became angry and hysterical.

Before my father died we had a dog, which survived his death by a few years.  When he was alive my dad used to take him out with a big stick.  I think there was a nail in the stick at one point.  I used to tease my dog with the stick and thought it was really funny when he went running under the settee screaming.  I have realised in recent years he was terrified and been really upset at myself for what I did.  He would come out all docile and upset and exhausted, qlmost as if he was crying and telling me he was upset.  Loving and trusting me and telling me, his tormentor, that he was upset and frightened and taking comfort from me.

That is how I felt when they started talking about mental health teams.  I thought they did it to make me scream, and they got that much, at least.

The mental health team decided I didn’t need to be in hospital and told me the offciers were going to try to find me somewhere to stay that night.

When the evening shift took over a woman came to my cell.  She seemed nice and sympathetic, and when I told her what the offcier had said about my father killing himself because of me, she seemed genuinely shocked and said he shouldn’t have said that.

I can’t remember all the order of how the last part of the day happened, but she told me that, because I had been arrested, they had the power to take my DNA and fingerprints.  I believed that saying she had the power was not the same as saying it was something they HAD to do, so I asked her if she was going to do it.  She said a male officer was going to do it.  She said he was a ‘good lad’, and I wondered what that counted for with people like the police.  What would this ‘good lad’ do with people who were not me?

I didn’t believe there was any point trying to resist or persuade, and I don’t know how I let them do it.  I knew throughout that it was unjust and an assault and although she kept trying to keep it light, I felt as if I was standing there having to pretend it was OK for them to rape me and believe the people doing it were ‘good’.  I couldn’t lash out.  They forced it through knowing as well as I did, I believe, that they had no right to be doing it and it wasn’t OK.  It was all a pretence and they were demanding a pretence of me. I was not at liberty to say how repulsive and abusive it was, although we all knew it.  I had to stand there and pretend that this enormity was a small and inconsequential thing, not an act of illegal subjugation and domination.

Afterwards, when I was standing at the desk, I saw a male officer behind a glass screen sitting in front of a computer.  I wasn’t sure if he had been there all day, he was acting as if he was part of the next shift.  I started watching him while he was watching his screen, and wondering what he was doing or reading or looking at.  My attitude was open, and as I watched, I saw him begin to smile and his smile got bigger and happier.  I thought he was reacting to me and I looked around and saw a camera immediately above the desk.  I realised he was watching me and immediately switched him off and turned away from the camera.  As I did his features darkened.  His number was ID 24.  A few minutes later he came out and said he was leaving and finishing his shift.  But I realised he was observing me at the desk through the camera.

After he went the woman officer tried to contact the out of hours crisis loan office, but there wasn’t one in that area, and no loan could be arranged.  Also they couldn’t arrange somewhere for me to spend the night.  Before I left she started talking with her colleague who was going to run me to the bus station.  She was talking in ways I felt I recognised, about ‘her 2 year old’ and that she was ‘vain’.  She seemed to be commenting on my bodily reactions that she could see from behind.  She talked about something being ‘back breaking’.

I had already talked to her about people talking in code.  I believed she was talking about me.  I thought she must be, she couldn’t possibly be calling her own child ‘vain’.  I couldn’t, at that time, believe she would do that.

Her colleague ran me to the bus station in a van exactly the same as the one I had been brought to the station in, and I sat in the back, exactly the same as before.  I felt it was a deliberate re-enactment, reversed, of what I had been through in the morning.  I almost felt as if they were saying that, if I had responded differently, I could have received (more) help.  I thought they had said I could hang around the bus station with everyone else, because there were people there all night.  But when I sought to clarify this as I got out of the van she said she hadn’t said any such thing and that I could be picked up for doing so, that it would be best if I didn’t.  But she knew I had no money and nowhere to go.  I wondered if she had been trying to get a last second capitulation from me.  I wanted to go back to the airport, it felt like the right thing to do and my right, but I was afraid and didn’t, I got on the tube.  I was upset and disorientated.

They had held me for 14 hours in sensory deprivation conditions, constantly harassed and banged at and coughed at and deprived of sleep, deliberately, I believed, and subjected to mental cruelty and torture.  In all that time I never saw the solicitor I had been told I would see.

11.41 am.  I’m blogging after more police harassment at Starbucks, 99 St Martins Lane, WC2.  I want to laugh now.  I think I bring it on myself by not responding to their attitude and insistence on getting the last word with a sense of humour.  I think it shows I am not a good citizen, not having a sense of humour when they behave this way.  I’m not sure how they would react if  I were to laugh instead of outdo them and get upset and tell them they have no right to do what they are doing, etc.  I might feel better myself, if I could approach it with a sense of humour.  I feel I should say I am sorry for not respecting them in their job, and just laugh, then it would all be behind me and the world would be all right again.  That if I had done that years before I might not now be a 51 year old menopausal woman having to come to terms with the fact that I have not had children.

After 4 nights without a bed and people keep coming at me psychologically and leaving me feeling assaulted, I committed the crime of falling asleep after a cup of tea and a bag of nuts, which is all I can eat in Starbucks.  A little while before the police came I heard someone banging things around me, and that was obviously their idea of trying to wake me up.  I don’t respond to that kind of thing, though.  Also I find it hard to stay awake at the moment anyway, being aware, as I am, of the kind of psychological harassment I am getting from sales and security staff, let alone ‘ordinary’ people in the street.

The police woman, CW 2598 or 3598, with subsequent things from them after I got her number ‘m not sure if I have remembered it right, came in and told me I couldn’t just sleep there.  That it was coming up to lunch time and I couldn’t just occupy a seat without buying anything.  I said I had had a cup of tea there and I buy quite a lot of stuff and no one had tried to wake me.  She said they had.  I suggested I could go to the toilet and get another cup of coffee, then, as they do, she turned control of the conversation back round to herself by asking me what my plans were after I had just told her, and when I told her again she said OK and just stood there.  I asked her if they were going to stay there while I bought the coffee and she said yes, that they wouldn’t be doing their job otherwise.  So I was expected to buy a cup of coffee, hand over my money to these people, under police watch.  I snapped out of my drowsiness and said I would rather write to the company and complain about harassment, but that I was going to the toilet first.

I went in, used the toilet, brushed my hair and brushed my teeth.  Before I was finished the male officer (there were 3, 1 man and 2 women) knocked on the door and asked me if I was going to be long.  I said no.  When I came out they were all sitting there waiting for me.

I passed them and went up to the cafe staff and told them they hadn’t spoken to me or tried to wake me before calling the police.  She was acting as if she didn’t understand what I was saying, and said they had tried to wake me.  I said I was prepared to buy another cup of coffee, if they asked the police to leave first, that I was not prepared to do it under police watch.  Someone said something and I said I had the right to buy another cup of coffee.  One of the officers said the staff there also had the right to ask me to leave if they wanted to, so I asked them if they wanted me to leave rather than buy another cup of coffee, and they said they wanted me to leave.  The police then took control as I tried to walk past them freely and dsimiss the situation and walk away with some dignity, the woman whose number I have mentioned kept ‘backchatting’ me, so I went up to her to look at the number on her lapel.  I couldn’t see the letters, they were hidden, and she didn’t offer the letters, so I moved the strap, and then she began to get defensive and angry, saying I couldn’t just touch her strap to get her number (why not, after everything they do to me?  This isn’t just about doing a good job, is it?)  So we had a small argument and in the end I told her to stop the sass and the attitude and began to walk away, and as I did she kept it coming.  The male officer started making mocking gestures at me.  He kept it up for about 5 minutes.  I stopped in the street and said that I was not now acting illegally, just standing by a lamp post, and they stood there with me. They did not want to leave me in peace or in control, or acknowledge my rights with any semblance of real recognition or sympathy.

They crossed the road, still making gestures, and I shouted after them, saying they were supposed to defend the weak, not harass them, that they were supposed to be a service to the whole community, not just the money makers, I said they despised us and we despised them (where are all the people who hate the police when I am the one getting harassed?).  I said they were hand in glove with the money makers and the mafia, at which point the male officer making gestures looked as if he was about to come back over, but stopped.  I thought he looked angry.  I believe I spoke the truth.  He went back to the gestures, with a couple of men standing between us and just looking in my direction smiling and finding it ammusing, even though I was obviously distressed, and I shouted at him that he was not supposed to be standing there mocking me with his gestures and that he would have gone to a Victorian insane asylum and mocked people there, as was the sport in those days of a Sunday afternoon.  That is the way it was opresented to me, anyway.  Maybe it wasn’t just the Sunday sport.  Maybe they could do it any time.

People talk about putting the mockers on people.  The Bible says that God will mock, and that he who sits in the heavens will laugh.  I have often wondered down the years if this mockery from people in authority that I have been taught to respect and trust is actually a legitimate part of their approach to people in some circumstances, and thought that my problem with it shows I have a problem with and a bad attitude towards authority.  That my heart is wrong and my dispositon is wrong and that I am rebellious and ‘a bad lot’.  I have thought on many occasions that they would have turned and done everything they could to help me, if only my attitude had been right.  I feel that, over the years, I have, in pride and arrogance, rejected my own redemption from all these wondeful people in society that have said they want to help and that I have accused of harassment and stalking.  How arrogant and selfish of me.  That these people, who are also suffering with me and trying to reach out to me for themselves, for me and for others being caught up in my situation, should have arrogant, proud, independent, ignorant, selfish, power-loving little me shake my naughty fist at them and say ‘no, it is stalking and harassment, you have no right and unless you come to me with the words of your concerns openly I will not respond to you’.

I’ve offended my leaders, i’ve lost Tommy, so it feels.  I want to see his face loving me, and can’t see how he could be anything but ashamed and disgusted with me, as well as hurt for himself.

i burn with shame.  I think I have played an unforgivable and selfish game, and that the consequences I am now suffering in final loneliness and childlessness are my own fault.  I think I am on the scrap heap where my leaders said the disobedient end up.  Yesterday I felt the problem was me and always had been, and had never been anyone else’s.  To some extent and in some respects that has to be the truth.  They used to say that you can’t just think of yourself as being as good as everyone else.  But that was what I did in my teens.  I used to think, look, I  can speak in tongues just like you.  I used to sing the songs and as I was singing them think this isn’t the way it is for me, but I never voiced that to anyone.  Except I think I did to Diane.  I can’t shift this self blame, and no one can help me to.

 

Police Stop And Search Slashed

The Evening Standard, Thursday 20th January 2012.

There it was, sitting on the front page of the Evening Standard, and I wanted to read it and knew I had to pick one up.  It is a free paper these days, so that was not a problem to me, even with under £20 guaranteed me to live on for the next 7 days.

I noticed several people within a minute doing the same thing, and smiles on faces.  Quiet smiles, but undeniable happiness and joy, nevertheless.  A tangible relaxation and relief.

“Police Stop and Search Slashed”, it said.

I couldn’t understand why everyone was not shouting on the streets with joy.

That is the power of a headline for you.  The keyword was ‘slashed’.  It didn’t say ‘ended’.  It was about an hour later, after making a happy fool of myself and parading my newspaper down the streets and shouting out like an Old Testament prophet (for I felt that was the power of the spirit within me) that we should all be having parties in the street and organising a whole month of street parties to celebrate a victory for civil rights, that I realised we had not all been sprung out of prison after all.

Singing and dancing in the streets.  Expressing and perpetuating the happiness and relief that was obvious in the people around that newspaper stand.

——————–//——————–

The whole and actual story is that the aim, at the moment, is to reduce the number of stop and search incidents and make the facility a more effective tool, perhaps concentrating on geographical areas of high crime.  The goal is that the ratio of searches to crimes detected should change, with the former coming down and the latter going up.

It is acknowledged in the article that there are many community leaders who still see stop and search as a valuable policing tool, without which violence and crime might increase.  Interesting, given the evident joy and relaxation on people’s faces.  That was how I saw and perceived it at the time.

We need to celebrate every small move in the right direction in the restoration of civil liberties.  I think organised street parties would not be a bad way to show that we are onside with this move and that we are happy about it.  Happiness does not produce violence, and from what I saw, we are happy.

When weak people resort to violence it is an expression of fear and outrage, in my opinion.  In physical powers for violence and the authority to allow certain officers to get away with abusing those powers, at least temporarily (some of them might hold the opinion that being brought to justice later for those abuses is a price worth paying for the ability to carry them out in the first place), the police are not the weak party.

The article also said something about the fact that the police should be calm and professional in carrying out searches.  This much should be obvious, and it should be obvious that any officer who is not able or willing to meet those standards should either not be working on that day, or should be relieved of their position permanently.  If it doesn’t happen already, I believe that a daily assessment should be made of an officer’s state of mind, maybe family circumstances etc, and their ability to operate those powers responsibly and respectfully with everyone they approach.

We, the people, need to allay the fears of our leaders, insofar as they are real fears, by showing appropriate joy at this development.  As far as the fears are hypocritical in themselves, we need to disarm the people who tout them dishonestly.  We will not resort to violence, we will show our approval and joy at this decision.  Our joy unbridled disarm people using this excuse hypocritically, and in some cases expose them, and that is necessary.

Personally I wonder how far the presentation of this decision as being intended to improve race relations is truthful and accurate.  I know this is not just a race issue.  This is a police and people issue.  All races suffer and have suffered from the employment of this power.

To bring the story back down to my sad, sole self again, as is my habit, twice this week, on two consecutive days, I was an object of unwelcome police attention.

The first time was Tuesday morning at Heathrow airport.  I was there the first day because I had tried to apply for a crisis loan at about 2.30 pm on Monday afternoon.  Without it I could not afford a roof over my head that night.

I had held the line for about 20 minutes waiting for the phone to be answered.  By the time I got through I told the person I thought it might be too late for the application to go through anyway.  She said her systems were down and it wasn’t possible to start an application and to call back in an hour.  I said that, by that time, the offices would have stopped making payments, and she told me that alternative arrangements would be made for paying out, since their systems were down.  I asked her if she knew that and what the arrangements would be, and eventually she withdrew that assurance, saying she had spoken to a supervisor who had told her that it was not possible to make alternative arrangements for paying a crisis loan for that day.

So with the little money that I had I looked on the internet for a cheap dormitory room.  The best I could come up with for the price was a mixed dorm, which I would rather not have if sharing a dorm is a necessity.

After paying the online deposit I realised that the hostel did not accept cards for payment of the balance.  That was a problem for me.  It was 6pm, I did not have any accounts with the minimum of £10 that would make it possible to take money from a cash point.

I checked the money in my pocket and realised I was 65 pence short of what I needed to pay the balance.  So I went to the Co-op nearby, where I knew I could get some bread labelled vegan and that I would enjoy eating, and bought some food with my card, which was the best and most practical thing it was good for at that point.

While I was in there I hatched the idea of asking someone if they would let me pay for one of their items with my card and them give me the cash, if they had been intending to pay by cash, but no one that I asked had been intending to pay by cash, so I gave up asking because I felt embarrassed.

Eventually I wondered into Charing Cross tube and rail station and walked up to a food outlet.  I saw a man getting money out to pay for his purchase, and asked him the same question, explaining my situation.  He just said he would give me the 65 pence, and actually gave me 70 pence.

Even then, I realised I did n’t have enough money for the key deposit, which is usually about £5 or £10 per stay, and I hoped that the proprietors would be sympathetic and understanding and allow me to stay anyway, given that I could pay for the room itself.

However, when I got there one of the first men I encountered was a staff member whp came up to the desk referring to someone being a ‘stupid, dumb cunt’.  When I told him a minute or two later that I had found it disturbing as my first encounter, he said someone had put an empty plate into the microwave and something about a fire or a fire hazard, and passed it off that way.

After he had gone I discussed my situation with the girl on reception, and she asked for ID or some sort of security.  I said they could look after my laptop, if they wanted to.  That was after I had suggested one of my account cards as identification.  She rejected both of those suggestions.

She said I needed government-issued photo identification, like a driving licence or a passport.  I pointed out that I was British and that this had not been necessary anywhere else I had been over the past 4 months, and that I didn’t drive and that I had lost my passport which, as a UK citizen, I am not obliged to possess anyway.  I told her I could pay for the room but not the key.

She said it was the rules that there had to be photo ID.  I didn’t remember seeing that on the listing and also said that they didn’t have the right to impose stricter rules than the law itself imposes on a UK citizen and that I thought they were acting illegally.  She had already told me that I couldn’t stay and checked it with her manager at my request who confirmed that, and I left with nowhere to go and not enough money to book something else.

So I headed for the airport, and I have already written about what was happening there in my last post but one.

(To be continued)

Incitement, Provocation and Harassment

There is such a thing, which is still legally recognised, so I believe, as incitement and provocation which might, ordinarily, were I not already tagged schizophrenic and dangerous, be seen as mitigating elements in any way that I were to react to it.

Last night a hostel booking fell through.  I couldn’t afford the key deposit in cash, the hostel didn’t take cards and I couldn’t withdraw money as I had less than £10, which is the minimum withdrawal from a cash point.  I tried to apply for a crisis loan earlier in the day and I was holding for 20 minutes, after which someone picked up the phone and said their systems were down and they couldn’t do anything about it or make alternative arrangements for making payments.

Because I didn’t have the key deposit they asked for photo ID.  I don’t drive, I have lost my passport (again, 2nd time in my life), and I kept insisting that, because I was British, I didn’t need photo ID.  But although the booking had been made and I was able to pay for the room itself, they told me I couldn’t stay without providing photo ID, so I went to the airport.  I won’t say which terminal.

I was harassed by ‘yellowjackets’.  At the end of their shift, their was plenty of space in which they could have talked, but they positioned themselves right next to me and talked while I was listening to audio.  I turned round later and saw them looking at me and hanging out to me almost with a lovelorn look.  They were like dogs after a bitch on heat (I used to have one.  They tried to mate with my leg when I took her out).

If they have something to say they should say it.  If they don’t I shouldn’t be getting their demands for attention.  What they are doing is harassment and invasion of privacy and feels psychologically violent and without justification.  It is that simple.

There is a lady at Deptford Reach, Dee, who keeps vamping at me with my voice and mode of expression. She is one of the workers and she does it to me all the time when she is supposed to be helping.  A homeless project worker doing that to a homeless client that she knows doesn’t like it.  She said quite deliberately today that something ‘drove her insane’.  I remained silent.  It was confrontational and I believed it was inappropriate.  She knows how I feel, we have had the conversation/argument many times.  She is imposing herself on/over me with me.  It is emotionally and psychologically disturbing and draining.  Then I have to go out, her having done that, and deal with all the other sickos.  She knows everything, I have told her, on the first day.  I didn’t tell her so she could do this to me with it.  I told her to help her and warn her and so that she could better help me.  That was about 2 months ago.  It is as if she is queening oin front of me with my personality, saying ‘what are you going to do about it, because I’m not going to stop’.  In the context it feels violent and I feel clubbed blind and stupid.

I feel I am answering my own questions as I am writing and believing she is trying to find a point of identification and to help and not to dominate.  But I go in trying to avoid getting hurt in the first place.  My guard is already up, because all the workers know and no one is saying anything.  Some of the male workers stare at me for ages with this energy, and keep shifting and marking and calling over me if I speak.  I makes me angry, but I know my anger is impotent, and so do they, and that makes it worse because they don’t move from doing it and I get the impression they do it because they think they can get away with it.  Every time I try to reclaim myself someone is on top of me.

I’ve noticed loads of people touch their ears.  I don’t.  Sometimes it has been obvious they are hearing a voice or some sort of psychic thing is happening to them.  I don’t do the ear-touching thing.  Maybe because I am in too much shock and am continually being forced under or open.

Mentally, emotionally and physically I am ready to lash out at these people, both those who demand of me or make me vulnerable, and those who look at me in fear or as if I am some sort of personal offence and to be treated as an object of disgust, them not even knowing me.  Those who take advantage of my fear of confronting them to impose themselves on my immediate space in a way they have no right to.  Yellow jacket almost skinheads (say what you like about moving with the times and it being OK, extreme nationalist groups still use it for initiation/identification, and a person’s first impression is created by sight and association), imposing themselves on a tired, homeless woman trying to get through the night, silently demanding attention from me, or standing almost right on top of me when I have my headphones on, with all the space that is available to them at this terminal.

The thing is they do this, and I can’t cope with the things I need to do, or remember to communicate (since most people do the voice takeover thing on me), so if these people are going to freak me out with this kind of activity, they should make the phone calls I need to make and pay for all the stopgaps I have to pay for while I am too hurting and distracted by the abuse to help myself.

If x, Why y?

People say Bulgaria is a developing country.  Often that kind of thing is said in the context of needing to make allowances for them.

Who is having to make the allowances?  people like me, who have to live with their dishonesty, violence, harassment, torture, accusations, hatred and interrogations.

It is dishonest for these people to plead that they are still developing, and dishonest for my authorities to back them up in that plea.

I have been here 21 months, and in all that time when I should have been resolving problems at home and buying the home I came here to buy, I have been trying to deal with violence and intimidation and psychological domination instead, from everyone, including authorities, including the British Embassy.

In two days I am due to lose the only home I have known throughout the last 15 years while this diagnosis of schizophrenia has been enforced every time I have said I am being stalked and harassed.  I have no other home.  These people open their mouths and sound like savages.  I could not live here.  They are deliberately criminally invasive and hateful and insist on saying ‘dobre’.  Every leva this country has had from me has been armed robbery.  In the end you feel they are saying ‘don’t say things like that’ and you are supposed to laugh it off and there is something wrong with you if you don’t.

If it is true that 90% of people here were against the communist regime, why is everyone a self-styled, amateur torturer and interrogator and inquisitor?

I would not sound so stupid if I was not now getting the ‘dobre teatro’ soup treatment poured all over me.  I mean every word I have said.  I only wish I could say it more effectively and feel it as I should, feel its truth and not be undermined in my mind.

Never ‘sorry’, only ‘dobre’, and I completely disagree with their ‘dobre’, which is harassment in itself and puts nothing right.

My own authorities have not helped, with their knowing I am still in receipt of benefits, maybe even making sure that I am, but not giving me the power of that knowledge.  Government and church.

I’m sick, I’m tired, I feel ill, I feel as if I should come home.  But what waits for me there?  They are going to take my home in two days.  Nothing better waits for me.  They are as blind and in denial and dishonest, between them.  I understand the language, the air is dirtier, things are more expensive, and if i insist on what is happening I could find myself back under an enforced mental health drugs regime.  I could.  No one has officially told me otherwise.

These people and their sick, hard, hateful, defiant and dishonest, lying dobres.

My boundaries have been so violated I feel I should be asking for help from the violators, instead of writing as I am.  That is completely inappropriate.  All of these people’s utterances are like a virus keying into my mind and emotions when they are operating.  I don’t want to believe that something that makes me feel this way is from God.

Edit note:

This appeared straight after mine on the Christianity board:  http://05varvara.wordpress.com/2011/09/18/vasili-belyaev-sofia-the-holy-wisdom-of-god-spasa-na-krovi-the-church-of-the-saviour-on-the-spilt-blood-st-petersburg-rf-undated-1890s/#respond

I tried to comment on the coincidence but no go.  Sofia, spilt blood, emotional and psychological violence, for me, in context.

Last time I tried to come home, on 2 consecutive days, I was stopped by the police at Sofia airport.  Held illegally and intimidated and insulted and shouted at and toyed with for 5 hours, them refusing to tell me if I was under arrest, insulting my passport, a doctor shouting and laughing in my face.  I’m afraid of the whole process and result of trying to go back to the UK.  I’ve also had an old landlord here, from Plovdiv and liviing in the UK (London, I think) threaten me with ‘trouble’ and that they know where I live in London.  I’ve had several people pass me here, some in cars, and say ‘Plovdiv’ as they have passed, shouted it, if in a car.

I’ve got a woman above me who keeps keying spoken dobres into my mind as I am writing.  It is either occult or hacking.  I lost my internet connection the first time I tried to post.  She has just done that nervous cough I have got used to in all situations where I write an observation like my last one.  The music is up very loud and has been for 2 hours, even during this legally quiet time of the afternoon.  No one cares about the law here either.  It’s a bit like the UK in that respect.  Men have just started shouting in the building.  So many coincidences, innocent or otherwise.

I need support and might find arrest and beaurocracy and red tape under the mental health act or something else, and upstairs they are purring invasively in a way which feels violent and illegal and disempowering.

Beaurocracy, invasively, and disempowering are being challenged by spell check.  How disturbing that such normal and understood words should be subject to challenge.

Bureaucracy?  Oh, OK!  Funny, I just checked the internet and the right version appears once on the first page.  The rest are misspelt the way I did it.

Thanks for listening.

I arrived in Yambol last night and booked into a hotel.  One of the people who works here took me to a supermarket to see if they sold soya milk.  We passed a taxi and as soon as the driver saw me he shouted out my name.  Now I have the same problem in this hotel as I’ve had everywhere else, bleating Virgin Mary impression hallelujah and everything.  At my voice, at my media.  This is crazy and sick.  You people are crazy and sick and making me the same way.  I’m desperate in my mind when I need to think about saving my home, and your occult harassment is all I can hear, theatre purity harassment.  Stop this bloody, blood-crying woman.  Here and everywhere.  On Monday I could lose my only home.  Illegally.  Because this indecent and illegal harassment is making me too hysterical to function.

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