Tag Archive: Section 3


Angel of Light

The Bible says that the devil can appear as an angel of light.  I said that this morning meaning psychiatric staff, but obviously I am aware that it can have as many applications as people want to give it.  So let’s not go there. Maybe for me the biggest angel of false light is that which says ‘it’s nothing to do with me’.  Perhaps a twin would be ‘the experts must be right’.

I was thinking and saying tonight, 16th August, that I can’t understand how someone can, in good conscience, take a job which empowers them to commit acts that in other contexts would be viewed as assault.  I find it appalling that someone can assault you one day and, without apologising or anything, act as if nothing has happened afterwards and put it down to general relationship problems on the part of the patient, or mental illness, if the patient doesn’t go along with that.  If they did at home what they do to us here they might not have a relationship to go back to.  I would certainly find it hard to consider having them in my home,  Do they apologise for major failings at home?  If so, why don’t they apologise to us?  Are they trying to kid us that they really think their behaviour is an acceptable part of a normal relationship, or that they think we think it is, all of us, and that we wouldn’t want or expect an apology?  When Jim grabbed me I wasn’t putting myself or anyone else at risk.  So it really was an assault.  He wasn’t the only one involved.  I’m worried about the reasons for having me on a Section 3 as well, that while I am not a danger to myself or anyone else I suffer from a mental illness of a nature and degree which requires treatment in hospital.  Being mistaken about the reasons for harassment or violence or antisocial behaviour from others does not, in my mind, constitute a mental illness.  And if people believe I am not mistaken all the more reason for them to say, unilaterally and without any assurance of my good will, that they have made a mistake.  From the bits I’ve seen and the much that I’ve heard, we are all over the broadcast media, and it isn’t because of me.  It was happening before I started blogging about them.  It’s been happening to me, to my knowledge, for nearly 18 years.

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Saturday 10.08.2013

Well, what a day, and I don’t mind telling you.  I’m sitting in a hotel restaurant drinking a non-alcoholic Mojito, because I wanted to avoid a certain HCA at dinner who keeps insinuating herself on me.  She would probably have been serving.  Today she was playing the ‘how have I upset you today‘ game, as if it wasn’t obvious.  She still has not, to my knowledge, admitted swearing at me etc.  Everything she does to me is out of bounds.  She has a daughter who sometimes works on the ward as well, in the same capacity.  I wouldn’t have thought that was good practice. There is another mother and daughter among the domestics, and a twin set also among the domestics.  I don’t think any of that is OK but certainly I don’t think it is OK to have two HCAs on the same ward from the same family.  That is called nepotism.  How can that be professional?

Police came this afternoon.  Wasn’t really after a statement.  One of the first things he did was accuse me of spitting, as if dealing with a playground fight instead of the complaint of someone who has been physically assaulted.  It was like we have to sort it out.  He wanted to know why I didn’t want to talk to Kerry with him there.  But she lied, apparently, according to him.  She said I assaulted her and she kicked me in self defense, and nothing could be further from the truth.  I never touched her and didn’t move as she came at me.  Apparently the witness has been reported as a missing person.  I told him I was afraid she might have a gang behind her or something but he was insistent she did not.

Went out for breakfast this morning with another patient, then went with her to Boots and Clarks.  Went to the Alley Cafe for a sandwich and a vegan version of Guinness.  Sat in the Market Square for a bit watching the fairground rides and the pigeons.  Passed a lot of police, including PCSOs.  God loves police people, the same as He loves the rest of us.  It’s just their misbehaviour affects people more.  I passed a PCSO this evening and wanted to go and thank him for making himself vulnerable to protect us.  Passed a lot of boisterous and loud people and decided they weren’t all drunk and/or disorderly.  There is a hen night to the right of me.  I feel as if I am raining on their parade, doing this.

Would people run from the police so much if they didn’t expect sass and force?  Don’t know.  Feel as if I need to come back into line with ‘the majority of law abiding people’.  The occasional bit of bad behaviour, inefficiency and violence doesn’t make a bad cop, does it?  Unless I am its victim.  I am very tired again.  Seeing hospital as home.  Too much over-familiarity coupled with fear and anger for straight and appropriate thinking and perception.  I feel really upset and disorientated.  My section ends on 16th August.  I’m hoping they don’t renew it.  If they do it will be for a year this time.  It really is an abusive atmosphere, I’m not wrong.  It takes its own rightness for granted and has too many physical powers, not to say illegality as well.

Who Do You Think YOU Are?

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

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

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

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

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

In Brief

It’s a while since I have been able to update my blog.  We are not allowed computers on the ward.  It was in brief when I started. 

I absconded from Macmillan Close and was 12 days in London.  The last 4 of those were spent falling asleep upright anywhere and everywhere because I couldn’t afford a bed.  When the police eventually picked me up after many close opportunities I was taken to a hospital in London where I was put behind the nursing station and alternately I was told 4 times I could or couldn’t have my door closed.  The nurses were badly behaved all the time I was there, when in the evening I finally got my meal and tried to close the door for privacy a nurse became aggressive and said she would call security.  I was brought back to Nottingham between midnight and 2 am in something which said ambulance outside but was like a police van inside.

When I got to Rowan 2 I was met by two staff, one male and the other female.  I made it clear that night that I didn’t want to get too close to the staff as I was there against my wishes and believed I had a right to protest.

The next day I was lying in bed relaxed, I wasn’t bothered by anything that normally had bothered me, like door slamming and shouting.  Although it was happening it was separate from me and identified it easily as out there and hardly noticed it.  However, during the course of the day 4 groups of nurses woke me to confront me about getting up, and after this happened I realised I was again feeling oppressed by the other noises.  I was afraid of their unreasonableness, and angry.  One of them said it wasn’t fair to the other patients, I said something about care being patient specific and needing sleep.  After 4 confrontations all feelings of safety were undone and any benefit from any sleep I had managed was destroyed.

I haven’t got long to write this so I’m going to try and put in everything I feel relevant but it won’t be particularly ordered.

Today I have an appointment with a Second Opinion Approved Doctor.  The first time he came I was only given 1 ½ hours’ notice and I managed to get it rearranged so I could arrange to have an advocate present.  However, although I am sure that when I phoned the advocacy service last week and left a message on their machine I gave them all the details they needed, when I picked their response up on Friday they wanted me to phone them again with the time.  I’m usually good about giving all necessary details, and even on Friday when I spoke to someone directly she asked me what time it was going to be when I knew I had already told her.  They have a 48 hour call back policy so at the moment I don’t know if I will have an advocate or not.  I am worried about having to go ahead without an advocate because last time he kept interrupting me, said he wanted to ask me 2 questions then after that I could decide whether I wanted another meeting or not, and he asked me if I thought I had an illness and if I thought I needed medication.  I said no to both and he said we wouldn’t need another meeting.  I insisted pointing out he had said it was up to me and that the purpose of the meeting was to do a proper assessment, not just get my opinion of illness and medication.  I was shocked and disturbed by his rudeness and ground shifting and believed it to be deliberate, knowing that even I in his place would not behave as he had.  I shook his hand at the end and he was holding a pencil.  He didn’t even put it in the other hand.

The first meeting I had with my psychiatrist seemed quite friendly and reasonable until I mentioned that my English degree had involved a critical method path of psychoanalysis and reader response.  She looked shocked and nervous, not to say afraid.  In meetings after that she got heavier.  She told me that if I named people in my blog they could or would sue me.  I said good, it’s about time it was made legal not medical.  I’ve thought about it since and thought that must have been deliberate intimidation, as they already have enough to sue me with from before and have threatened it before but have not taken that route.  She often wears a mocking and provocative expression on her face when I am talking to her.  She has told me that because I believe things are happening I need medication, and has said that if I am heard shouting or talking to myself in my room or laughing I will be medicated.  She tried to reinstate a depot the other week.  On the day of the following review my advocate told me that that wouldn’t happen as the paperwork was not up to date and it would be illegal without seeing a SOAD.  I can’t believe she didn’t know that at the time she told me it would be reinstated.  2 or 3 weeks ago she terminated the review because I tried to tell her that what they wanted to do to me filled me with fear and revulsion, and she said she wasn’t prepared to have me speak like that.  She said she wanted to keep it rational.  I have said that when people introduce physical threat as something they believe they have a right to they lose the right to expect reason from the person they are dealing with and to expect to be seen as reasonable themselves.  Recently she has been harassing me, asking me to take just a little medication knowing how I feel about it and that we are waiting for a SOAD.  I have told them that I believe in natural healing, sleep and rest and self-management.  I’ve also said that I am afraid of what they want to do and asked how fear is good for someone’s mental health.  I pointed out that last time I was in London the panel said that in view of my feelings about medication and the fact I had held them for a long time they were not going to force me and were going to end my section, and have said that although Nottingham is a different authority this decision should be taken into account and respected.  This has been ignored.  I am worried that I have heard people here tell me they have been in hospital over a year and up to 3 or 4.  I’ve been in hospital here now since 1st May last year.  I’ve never been in hospital this long before.

I’ve seen a psychologist twice and he has given me the impression he is on my side in things I have said to him, and my key nurse told me as much last week.

I’m on an all women’s ward but we have male staff.  Although I tend to enjoy relating more to the men at the moment I still can’t see why there are male staff on a women’s ward.

One man keeps positioning himself near me and saying ‘My God’.  I have told him I find it offensive but he still does it.

One man, when I had my bedroom door open with a nurse inside one morning, looked straight into my eyes as I was lying in bed with piercing disapproval.  Recently the same man came out of the office and started playfully teasing a patient who interrupts me every time she engages me in conversation and had just done so.  It feels as if they deliberately affirm anyone who gives me a problem.

There is one female nurse who told me that she wished she had a mute button so she could switch me off.  I told her that was verbal abuse and she said she didn’t care.  I said she might not care but I did and thought she should because she had no right to be talking to patients that way.  When I told my psychologist this he said ‘good for you’.  The same woman the next night heard another patient shouting and swearing at me, calling me foul mouthed and evil and saying I should wear a sign round my neck saying I was evil.  She came out of the office and sat in a chair and watched it for about 5 minutes without saying anything.  When the other patient got up and walked away (I hadn’t sworn during the whole conversation), this nurse turned and said to me, ‘See, Sue, nobody likes you’.  I told her she had no right to say that and that it wasn’t true anyway.  She asked me why I had involved her in the conversation in the first place and I said I hadn’t, she had come and sat down, and she told me to F off.  I reported this in a review meeting, it was handed to the ward manager for investigation and I have been told that this nurse denied it happened and the ward manager said she didn’t feel that any of her staff would behave that way.  I had a concert booked one night and I was at breakfast and this nurse was on again.  One of the patients started shouting at me and I said I was tired of her shouting at me and of the nurses letting her.  One of the other nurses on with this nurse, instead of trying to diffuse the situation, made it worse, saying I was rude to nurses.  I was shouting because I was so upset and the nurse who had called me rude threatened me with an injection.  I said it wasn’t going to happen and the nurse who had sworn at me before said to me that I was going to get an injection and that when I did she would be there.  I said she wouldn’t and she said do you want to bet.  When she saw my fear when it was first mentioned she was pleased and laughed, then the first nurse told me I couldn’t go to my concert or go out at all that day and that I was restricted.  This woman has thrown a tantrum several times when she has not wanted a conversation with me, though she started it, and has threatened me twice with an injection when I’ve got upset about it.  Medication has only ever been raised as a foreseeable imposition or threat, never as an offer.  I didn’t go to the concert.  That night the man who keeps saying ‘my God’ around me stood at the end of my corridor singing ‘soldier, solider, won’t you marry me’, and ‘Red red robin’ sounding really upset.  It was two nights after I had been upset because I had been told that a depot was going to be reinstated.  I was saying they were psychological terrorists and rapists.  They just walked around me ignoring me, not offering help or support.  He said ‘bloody hell’ to another nurse and I told him to stop swearing, because they came down on us like a ton of bricks of we swore, and he repeated it.  I was touched by the singing and thought he was going to be on that night, but he wasn’t and I was upset and disappointed.  He was finishing his shift, not starting.  My advocate told me the afternoon staff would have let me go to the concert, but they never tried to communicate that to me.  I was offended by what had happened in the morning and I didn’t want to approach it with them.  I felt it was my own fault that I had missed it for not approaching them.  But I have often felt that they are making me ask for things rather than offering in an attempt to break me, because I have said that I am not playing patient to their doctor nurse and I have a right of protest.  I have missed quite a few meals through a combination of fear of harassment and protest, and in my tribunal the other week one of the members of the panel asked the staff about it in such a way that gave me the impression that they were so cynical about me that they just put missing meals down to a ‘bargaining chip’, that was the terms used.

The day after the missed concert I got to the breakfast hatch 5 minutes before it was supposed to close and it was already closed.  The nurse who swore at me was on and I asked if I could have some breakfast and she gave me a one word answer – ‘no’.  I asked her if she had brought her whip and stilettoes that morning and as I walked away she asked me if I had enjoyed the concert.  As I was trying to answer he she shut the door in my face and I pushed on it to finish my answer to her question, and she suddenly let the door go and I ended up on my back in the kitchen, so I finished my answer from there.  Another nurse threatened to have me removed if I wouldn’t get up but backed off when I said it was illegal if I wasn’t a danger to myself or anyone else.  Eventually she asked me if I wanted breakfast and I told her I had been told I couldn’t have any.  She told me the nurse had said I couldn’t have anything hot, I told her the interchange that had taken place and she said ‘that is what you are hearing’.  I said ‘that is what I am hearing because that is what was said’.  She was trying to put it down to symptoms of mental illness.  I have had this with two other nurses on two different occasions, they refuse to have a normal conversation without putting something they don’t understand down to delusional beliefs.  That’s why I don’t like talking to them.  I talk to other patients, but when I do the nurses interfere with my conversations, start mimicking me, talking loudly over me at intimate points in the conversation, matching my tone of voice to say something in the office.  They have denied that any of this happens, but other patients say it happens as well, and we are all angry.  When my psychiatrist told me I would be medicated if I was heard shouting and slamming doors I said to her that a lot of people feel and act the way I do, and rather than face the fact that the staff might be doing something wrong and need to change, they threaten us with medication on our own in the review, in isolation.  That night I went to bed determined not to let anything come out of my mouth.  I fell asleep and had a nightmare that someone was hammering continuously on my door and I was shouting ‘please stop shouting at me’.  Somewhere between asleep and awake I wasn’t sure if I was actually shouting, and waking up I took myself in hand so that I wouldn’t verbally express the distress of my nightmare.  I felt like a child in an abusive situation who lies quietly in bed as they hear an abuser coming in the hope that if they are really quiet this time it won’t happen, and in fact I have been in that position many times on the ward, but it always does happen, because it is deliberate, but when I say it is happening I am told my belief is a symptom of mental illness.  It’s like a gagging mechanism.  This morning before 6am a man who had been on duty overnight came into the corridor talking loudly and making a sound like throwing up.  That is the kind of wake up we get every morning.  Staff shout, we can’t.  Staff shout at us, and threaten us if we get upset.  If I talk confidently about something I have seen as positive for me that is not ‘treatment’ related, staff nearby laugh in derision.  When they knock on my door they hammer.  They mimic, they walk past ignoring, sometimes with disdain on their faces.  I believe this is an expression of civil war.  Because I made my position clear I feel they have withdrawn service and support and are often deliberately opposing me.  The first time I heard bedding being offered to people I wasn’t offered any.  I had been there about a week.

When I first got there there was a lot of shouting and overt bullying.  I stood up for someone a couple of times.  The shouting has largely turned to boy scout behaviour and uproarious laughter.  A male nurse shouted at a patient outside the office once, went back in and closed the door and everyone in the office laughed loudly.  I thought it was inappropriate.  I have said to my psychiatrist that I don’t want medication and that some people used it for bullying and sadistic pleasure and that it turns into a grotesque theatre of subjugation.  Two nurses have said to me when shouting at me and having threatened me that they will be pleased when I am on medication (taking it for granted it is going to go that way with the SOAD) and that they will be there when I get the injection.  They will also use it verbally and cruelly at other times.  When they first said they wanted to restart the depot I told them I wanted it once a month not once a fortnight, because I know it is available and that I was limiting their access to me.  I have told them that if they force medication on me I won’t co-operate with them over anything else and that it will be an assault.

I was out on leave one evening and a couple of times I was so touched by people’s humanity and vulnerability that I wanted to break down and tell them what was happening.  I didn’t.  But on the way back I thought that I was being roughed up in the name of medicine, and that wanting to break down and tell complete strangers my story was evidence of that.  When I got back on the ward I was upset and told some of the patients what I was thinking.  I got more and more upset until I went to my room and gradually regained control of myself and went quiet.  After I had been quiet for ages I suddenly thought, ‘I’ve got shoe laces in here, and electrical cables.  I could have tried to harm myself, and no one cares to check if I am OK.  This is an acute ward, and they aren’t even checking that I am OK after being upset for ages then going quiet’.  I started shouting that and the male nurse on duty eventually walked past my door and yawned loudly and offensively.  At least, anyone else might have seen it that way, but when I told one of the nurses they said that might be just the way he is and he might not have been meaning to be offensive.  I’ve contacted the police several times since I have been here, including about this incident.  I was given a crime number for this incident.  I’ve heard nothing back.  I have said before and know it is true, that these people can get away with anything and are completely unaccountable because all they have to say is that I am a paranoid schizophrenic and that my perceptions are part of my illness.  I said to a patient the other day when we were talking about having to send our washing away and wait 2 days for its return and I’d been told sometimes things didn’t come back, that I hadn’t expected to be here so long anyway, and a nurse laughed as if it was a funny joke.  The man who says ‘my God’ around me laughed or said something contemptuously when another female patient said she had had enough and was going home.

The staff say things like ‘vain’ and ‘rude’, just throwing the words around, apparently.  They used to say ‘baby’, which seemed to be a stop word, or acted that way anyway.  I confronted it a couple of times and for now it has stopped, more or less.  I hear them talking about other patients by name, gossiping at and after meal times.  I am sure I get the same treatment, and one or two times domestics have had a hard time hiding their outrage at me when I’ve just been relaxed and normal.  On one of these occasions it was followed by an apparently untargeted ‘we all know’, after using the word ‘wee’ which has happened a few times recently.  Patients have started mimicking each other, and one commented that the staff mimicked me a lot, but if I say so it is my mental illness making me think that.  I’ve told my psychologist this and from what he said and my key nurse said, he is on my side.  The person using the word ‘vain’ was a man, and so was the one who angrily and derisively mocked my accent from the office, which I have been told never happened and that the fact I think it did is just more evidence that  need medication.  They look through my slats without speaking and I have said I feel like a lizard at a zoo.  None of this can be good for my mental health.  There are three patients they let shout at me or tear into me in other ways.  They don’t try to stop it or express any concern for me.  I used to like talking to the patients but I have withdrawn a lot now because of staff harassment.

I realised last week that I have been having strong urges to self-harm as a result of all this.  I won’t do anything about them but the urges have been there.  I’ve wanted to cut my hair, even thought about shaving my head.  I’ve wanted to run forks down deep into the flesh on my cheeks.  I’ve thought it would be a good thing if someone would whip me.  The other day I sat upset and rigid in a wooden-armed armchair in the multi-faith room.  I was upset because of something that had been said by a volunteer I had seen as a friend.  I realised I was wanting to self-harm and dissolved the emotion by saying the words quietly out loud as a realisation.  I thought about the electric chair.  I asked myself what would be the worst thing that could happen and I thought I might wet myself and defaecate and fry, but that would be all there was to fear, and it would all be over.  When things first started years ago I used to think a lot that I wanted to go to America and be executed judicially by lethal injection because everything was my fault and if I died everyone else would be free of the problems association with me seemed to bring on them.  Now I am correctly identifying urges of self-harm as a result of what people are doing to me and not my fault.  They don’t need medication, they need a change of situation.  Enforced medication is one of the things that adds to my feelings of hopelessness.

I’ve seen a lot of lookalikes from my present situation on the tv this weekend, and I noticed one woman noticing a lookalike of herself.  It’s the multiplicity and density that makes it unlikely to be coincidence.  I am sure the staff are aware of it and I think they are blaming me.  I have said it isn’t my responsibility to address it as I have been talking about it for years and having it put down to mental illness, and that it is their responsibility to approach me and say they think they might have made a mistake.  I feel I am being harsh and unreasonable, but if they won’t raise it with me and it has been rejected for 17 years . . . I hve said that people who resort to physical assault in the name of medicine have no right to tears around the people they treat that way, but I have started feeling responsible for their emotions and obligated to them.  I think that has been manipulated and what they are expressing at the moment is cruel and puerile cowardice.  I think the same of myself though.  I keep thinking it isn’t about feelings, it is about facts.  Being rude, vain, irritable etc are not evidence of mental illness and a need for medication.  I have been told I am paranoid schizophrenic because I believe that things related to me and my situations appear on the media and that I am being stalked and experiencing vigilantism bordering on and occasionally involving violence.  I see my time in hospital as one of these latter situations.  It is psychologically violent, physical assault.  I have said and meant that it is Nazism and scientific totalitarianism and that it is barbaric and brutal.  I have said I can’t trust people who will operate this way because it is an easy out and I think there is something wrong with them as humans that they cannot or will not see themselves as cruel and unreasonable, especially when someone says that other things help them.  I have said that I don’t want doctors taking serious risks with my physical health without my consent, risks that have been known to put people in wheelchairs as a result of ‘rare’ side effects.  If there is a risk like that, it isn’t right to say it is minimal to a person you are forcing medication on and denying them a right of refusal, while refusing to acknowledge that that person might be one of the people so affected.

I’m also afraid that even if they acknowledge they have been mistaken about this longstanding ‘reason’ for calling me mentally ill, they will shift their ground and insist on calling me mentally ill for other reasons which have arisen as a result of the constant bullying, untruthfulness, misrepresentations, etc, over the years.  I was up one night at 4 am and heard one of the male nurses up the corridor, a constant stream of ‘bastard’.  I have said they are employed to do a job and I have been there on my own time for over a year, but they come down hard on me and others if we swear, although swearing is a part of life.  Enough for now.  Oh yes . . .  My psychiatrist says the expressions on people’s faces don’t mean anything, then sits there with a provocative look on her own face.  A look passed between her and the clerk which knocked me out for the whole tribunal hearing, because I didn’t dare say anything.  I’ve started confronting this, talking about drama training and conveying thought process and feelings through facial expression.  I’ve also said most people disagree with her, and sometimes I have put it stronger than that.  Everything I say is put down to mental illness, everything said about me is used as fuel fir their invalidating, undermining and subjugating theories and decisions.  I have started saying that It is untruthfulness and dishonesty.  I said when first told I would be sued if I named people that it is a humanitarian obligation to name and shame these people, but I haven’t.  Sometimes I have felt guilty that I have protected myself by not writing at the expense of others who need me to speak.  Today I feel as if I am letting myself down and being dishonourable to the staff by writing.  And I’m scared because I’m not going to have an advocate this afternoon.  I have felt it is treated as a sign of weakness and validation of the staff if I don’t write, and also that it is a validation of their position and something they can blame and hate me for if I do write.  I’ve been hoping that if I don’t write they won’t medicate, but I feel they take advantage of my silence and will medicate anyway.  I feel that this strong feeling of certainty and relief that they won’t medicate if I don’t write is a true feeling from God to which I am being disobedient and that by writing I am not trusting God.

Life at Macmillan Close

I am being trialed off my medication at the moment.  I have spoken to the psychiatrist just once in the 4 months I have been here, about two months ago, and he agreed to it.  I told him that I believed I was suffering from grief and trauma issues, not schizophrenia.  I was told by a nurse that if I started to deteriorate they would put me back on the medication.  However, I am still unsupported in grief and trauma issues.  It seems they are watching me without giving me any counselling support.

I’ve had an upsetting week this week, and thought a lot, and put in a complaint.  Since I have been here there has been shouting and swearing and door slamming, from the staff as well as the patients.  When I have complained about the door slamming I have been told that that is just communal living and some people slam doors.  The staff have acknowledged that they do it as well.  In my complaint I said that since we are here against our wishes without the normal choices of communal living I think it is a duty of care issue, not a communal issue.  I said that although the staff’s acknowledgement that they do it as well is disarming, it is still ill-discipline and unprofessional and there needs to be a rule about it, not tolerance.  If this is a place that sick people are supposed to get better a peaceful environment needs to be provided and maintained.  To know you can’t go to the staff about door slamming because they slam doors themselves, and just having to hope for the best, that it won’t happen, is highly detrimental to security of mind and the ability to rest.

Two days ago a member of staff came upstairs calling out my housemate’s name like an excited mate, and when she got to my room and asked me how I was I said I’m not asleep though I would like to be, and if I had been she would have woken me up.  She said sorry she didn’t do it on purpose, and it was 3pm.  I said this is a hospital and sometimes people want to rest and I am 18 months homeless and tired.  This morning I was between awake and asleep when a nurse entered my room.  She didn’t say anything, but when she went downstairs she slammed the door.  I don’t think that is an acceptable way to communicate that you think someone should be awake and out of bed, or maybe she didn’t even think.  I lay there for another hour or two trying to get my mind where I wanted it, then when I got up I thought it would have been better if I had done that in the first place, because I felt better.  But my attention kept darting nervously all over the place, like it would at repeated loud noises and shock.  I’m afraid they are going to want to say that is evidence I need to be back on the medication, rather than recognise that I have said I am dealing with trauma issues and am having to deal with fresh shock and trauma every day.

This afternoon I decided to go to bed and try and sleep a bit before trying to write this blog entry.  Within about five or ten minutes of me lying down ad beginning to feel as if I was pleasantly going to sleep, one of my flatmates started slamming the door downstairs, hard and repeatedly.  I felt a surge of anger and frustration go right up my back.  I lay and listened to what was going on outside, and thought it sounded more like a rough council estate than a hospital, with people shouting and music blaring out, and no one was doing anything about it.  Eventually I accepted the music and felt better about it, but I still thought it is more like a war zone than a hospital.  After a while the same nurse that said it is 3pm two days ago knocked on my door and I didn’t answer.  She came in and saw me with my hands up near my head as if i could be asleep, I felt as if I was in that zone, and she came in and insisted on a cheery ‘hello Susan’, as if insisting that I shouldn’t be asleep at that time.  I believe the recovery experts who say ‘listen to your body’.  It seems to me she has no respect for that, and she isn’t the only one.  These places cause trauma and mental illness, nervousness, fear, anger.  You feel as if you have to keep a lid on your anger and distress because it could well be met with medication, even if your feelings are  justified.  It’s like living with a load of chavs and rebellious teenagers, and that includes the staff.  If a traumatised person feels they need to sleep outside of what might be considered normal hours, they will eventually right themselves if they sleep when they want to during recover – won’t they??  I’m also menopausal.  Rest is good.  It’s natural.  A nurse insisting on making themselves heard by a resting person is bad, unless there is an emergency.

I thought this afternoon that the walls are so thin, people peck at each other in different ways, like chickens, and like chickens our beaks are cut off, by the fear of medication etc.  I get terrified when I show anger, because I know what people have done to me in the past, making notes and putting me back on sections and things.  I hope it is not the same here, but I don’t know.  I was traumatised when I was first taken into hospital, and doors slammed then and people, including staff, shouted and were abusive.  On an acute ward the excuse given was that there were a lot of ill people there.  Here it is not an acute ward and the excuse has been that some people slam doors, that’s life.  I do not feel that this is a place, for me as a traumatised person, to be, especially with the threat of medication constantly waving itself at me if I am not coping.  I am so tired and angry and afraid that I am in survival mode, doing only those things that are necessary to survival.  I’m not washing my clothes or showering.  I don’t go out much.  I have no friends here that I can just go round to their house for the day.  Effectively if I go out other than to shop I’m walking the streets, or having to think where I can go to spend money that I won’t feel too uncomfortable.  Going out already traumatised by your living space is not a good idea.  There are nurses who peer at me and make a big thing of registering the state of my room, like a silent criticism.  Sometimes they seem angry with me.  I have started thinking it is not a good idea to talk too much about things because they would either not understand or not care much.  I’ve started feeling that all they ‘understand’ about us is what they were taught on their psychiatric courses.  As I patient I feel objectified.  There is so much game playing.  I just want to sleep.  I feel as if I have been ousted from my room by the door slamming that happens when I go inside it, and hearing one of my housemates saying ‘ahem’ every time I move.  This particular housemate has been here a long time and she seems to be a bit of a pet with the staff.

People have been talking about the ‘Time to Change’ campaign.  I have thought of getting a tee shirt made saying ‘It is time to change, and realise that some people in mental hospitals have been accused of things that have never come to court’.  Sometimes the staff come on so bright and shiny and super-normal, it seems obvious to me they are trying to prove something about themselves in relation to the patients.  We couldn’t possibly have a heated argument about the rights and wrongs of psychiatry and psychiatric practice.  I realised yesterday evening that we are in the perfect place for a good snowball fight, instead of stressing about the weather.  No one made a move in that direction.  As I said, this afternoon it felt more like a rough council estate, or ghetto or enclave, than a hospital.  One of my housemate told me that te guys next door drink regularly on the premises and the staff know about it and don’t stop it.  If it was me I would get my drink confiscated.  At Christmas I had some non-alcoholic ginger wine and when a nurse saw it on the dressing table she tried to tell me I couldn’t have it because it was alcoholic.  I would love the occasional individual bottle of wine, to cook with and drink.  But I wouldn’t dare.

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.

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.

Today in Redwood 2 – Pre-Review

I have just explained part of my situation as I understand it to one of the other patients.  She has confirmed that she has been aware of things on the television reflecting us and that it has only been during this admission and had never happened to her before.  I told her I had had it for 16 years.

I’m writing this in Word at the moment, before I go out.  It is easier as it gives me a degree of privacy I can’t get outside.  I find myself wishing I had done this before, because I am feeling as if my head is beginning to calm down and I am becoming less afraid and disturbed by noises outside my room. I suppose the reason I haven’t is because of the way I was approached before by Alison, the ward manager, when she expressed concern over ‘what I was using my laptop for’.  I have been afraid I might have it taken away.

What has happened today?  To start with they told me that my review would be on Friday and not tomorrow, as I had been told by Dr Fahy’s new SHO last Friday that it would take place this Friday and that medication was definitely going to happen following the review.  That was how I understood it.  Today they told me the review would be on Friday but that medication was written up to start tomorrow, Wednesday.  I had thought it was good news that the review was going to be on Friday because as I understood it, medication was going to start again then, when I had had a chance to re-present the reasons for rescinding the section.  Before I have always assumed that waiting for the tribunal was all I could do, but this time has been different.  Because the section 3 I was under for a few weeks from May was rescinded before tribunal I realised that I could argue for it to be rescinded from day one and that waiting for the tribunal is not my only hope.

When they told me that the review would be on Friday but that medication was going to start again tomorrow I felt really upset and I said ‘this is an assault.  If the worst comes to the worst I’m going to phone a radio station’.  Anyway, later they said the staff team had talked about it and that they were going to recommend that medication be delayed until after the review, but that it was Dr Jaffur’s decision (I’m not sure of the spelling).  I was told that Dr Jaffur was away today and might be away tomorrow as well.  I spoke to my advocate who told me that she had phoned the ward last week and been told I was not on the unit, whereas the truth was that I had no leave, except Section 17 worded that I had no leave except for medical emergencies, which I have never received before.  That isn’t leave.  An emergency has to receive attention by law.  At that point I had already not eaten all weekend except for one sandwich and a few bite size shreddies.  During the weekend they decided they wanted to take any food I had out of my room, I suppose to put pressure on me to come out of my room.  But the fact was that at the time they wanted to do that I had no food.  They didn’t take great pains to find out why I wasn’t coming out for food (they knew about harassment and stuff which they keep insisting isn’t happening and that they have seen no evidence of).  The point is, I had no leave at all last week and never left the ward, but my advocate was told I was not on the unit when she phoned.  At that point the Section 3 was back in place and seeing her would have helped me.  That was probably the day she phoned to say she wouldn’t be available for the scheduled review on the Friday and left a message for me which was not passed on.

Anyway, later today they put the review which they had told me was going to happen on Friday back to tomorrow, after telling both me and my advocate that it was going to happen on Friday at a time I can’t remember now.  I found this out when my advocate phoned me on my mobile and left a message for me to this effect saying that I knew and had agreed to it.  I think this must have come from Dr Fahy’s new SHO who came to my room to engage me in a conversation about times, when I had just realised that I was being kept spinning and not allowed to stop as people kept coming wanting to discuss one piece of conflicting information after another.  I told her that I thought that was what my key nurse was for, to pass on the decision rather than different people keep coming to me with conflicting information and trying to get me involved with the conversations.  I have found it exhausting, and this is not the first time it has happened.  She did not tell me this had been a definite change and I heard it from my advocate who said she had been told I had agreed to it.  They told me Dr Jaffur was not going to be available on Friday.

I refused medication as soon as it was offered to me the first time Monday last week, on the grounds that this trust, according to its literature, does not tolerate fear and intimidation, and that this was the effect of what they wanted to do to me.  They told me it could be enforced but I argued calmly and assertively that although it could be, it didn’t have to be.  Eventually they accepted that and my nurse told me that it would be discussed again at review.  I had been told in London that you can refuse until the next review so I was fairly confident.  I had tried to say that to them before though and they had pushed it through anyway, not acknowledging the validity of what I was saying.  I suppose all the manoeuvring and manipulation today has been because that is the legal position and because I said it would be an assault to go ahead with medication before review and that if the worst came to the worst I would call a radio station.  But how many other people do not win this fight?  Every time I show signs of relaxed and healthy communication people start getting uncomfortable or looking cross or disapproving.  I am really feeling bullied and have been for ages.  Every time I speak the nurses copy what they hear.  I said that to the other patient I have mentioned and she said she had noticed it happening to me.  It is either the smile offensive or the snoot offensive and every time I open my mouth they push me and keep pushing me for a bit more, or talk over me, sometimes deliberately scrambling their own speech and being completely provocative and outrageous.

Someone on Radio 4 today mentioned ‘ad hominems’, a personal attack in an argument, and I thought about that in the context of all the times people have talked about illness and medication every time I have felt strong and hopeful in communication.  Yesterday Alison told me she had seen no evidence of harassment and she said she thinks I misinterpret things a lot.  I thought afterwards that that would be like someone who didn’t speak a language telling someone who did that they were getting it wrong.  She doesn’t see all the links that I see because she is not me and doesn’t have complete access to everything in my mind and memory that makes it understandable to me.  I told the other patient about it today because she came out of her review angry and I realised how powerless she must be feeling so I decided she was entitled to know that she wasn’t mistaken about the things she was seeing.

I can’t remember if I said in my last post that I have submitted the same complaint 3 times via the email address given on the website for the hospital and that it was supposed to have been answered within 3 days.  Today, 13 days later, Alison has received it and offered me an ‘opportunity’ to talk about it.  At the time I was flustered and wanted to use my leave and said so, saying it was now 13 days on and this was now my time and I wanted to take it, but also that the hospital has already broken its side of the agreement and that I believed the way forward now was to talk to my advocate about it. This is something her approach to me did not acknowledge.  It feels almost as if all this stuff is now being presented to me thinking they can get me to co-operate in the hope that my section will be rescinded and medication become a non-issue.  It’s a complaint about the night when staff came into my room and turned the light on at 4.30 in the morning and continued to be unruly and I reacted in anger and desperation because of that and previous broken nights through angry door slamming that I had said would make me ill if it didn’t stop, and rather than leave me alone when I said I just wanted to be left alone to sleep they kept going, one of them with her foot in the door, and escalated it to the point that, even though I was informal, they had me medicated.  The next morning the same team turned the light on at 3 am, no explanations, apologies or anything.  The first time, even though I eventually said please and was beside myself with desperation because they wouldn’t just go and let me sleep, they kept going.  Then Alison yesterday was talking about me needing to deal with this thing with Errol, who was involved in that, and it is like telling someone they need to make peace with a person in authority over them who has raped them.  They seem to be contriving to make me feel emotionally and relationally obligated here.

On the night before I tried to discharge myself I stayed out rather than go back and sleep on the ward because I thought if I slept there I might weaken and decide not to discharge myself.  I decided I was in a stronger position because Shelter’s solicitors had told me that I could not make myself intentionally homeless from a hospital.  I spent the night in a hotel room and the next morning I turned on BBC news to see all this stuff about the Home Office wanting to take away the embassy status of the building where Julian Assange has taken refuge, so they could arrest him.  This kind of coincidence has happened to me before, and as I said in my last post, when I went back and they wouldn’t let me go, in spite of having told me after the first interview that I could go and then changing their minds, police helicopters were flying over the building.  Last night I thought that the only thing that made sense to me was that the authorities thought I had absconded (I didn’t know I could do such a thing as an informal patient, but the police were looking for me, I discovered when I was able to use my phone again to get the messages – the battery had run out because of a long conversation with Shelter’s solicitor and I didn’t have the charger, that all has to happen in the office) and that the right way to deal with it was to arrest Julian Assange.  I thought they must have thought that I was going to go back to Occupy or to the Ecuadorian Embassy, whereas actually my first intention was to go back to Housing Aid and get myself rehoused.  But when I saw that on the news I wanted to go to London.  I felt helped by the timing of the first set of leaks that came from Wikileaks.  I have written elsewhere on this blog about Julian Assange and what I thought about things being reported around him, for what that writing was worth, and I feel it can’t have been much because everything I said must have been obvious to any good lawyer, and they also would have known about loopholes and things I couldn’t possibly know about.  I think most things I write are a bit silly at best and that I shouldn’t think too much of myself because of them.  But if I am right in my interpretation of this situation I don’t understand why it can have ben seen as so important that they wanted to take away the embassy status of the building so they could arrest Julian Assange.

They have been saying that they have to extradite him to Sweden to answer charges there, completely failing to acknowledge the truth that he had always co-operated with them freely so talking about extradition in his case is cause for him to be concerned for his safety.  He has always co-operated with the inquiry and the process.  Maybe they want us to forget that so they can call him, as I heard someone say on the radio recently, a stupid, self-regarding idiot, or something like that.  I think it is likely that that description might be more accurately applied to me.  By the way, there is a place in Ecuador called Quito, it has been in Radio 4 news this week.  I thought it was the capital but a member of staff said it isn’t. But I used to live in Kitto Road, at my last London address.  I feel as if I am being wretchedly ungrateful for all the protection which is being offered and exercised towards me by all my various stalkers and hackers, state and otherwise.

My advocate asked me about 2nd opinion doctors and I told her that the doctor involved in the final assessment for a Section 3 hadn’t asked anything situation-specific and had wanted to know my life story, which  thought was not good enough.  She agreed with me, that he was not there to get my life story.  Also he kept smiling at me as if he understood what I was talking about, so eventually I asked him if he understood and he said no, and when I said that he was smilingas if he did, he said he was smiling to encourage me.  I am wondering how many other such situations have been similarly misunderstood.

They keep talking as if I am going to be at the hospital a long time and keep saying they will see me next time they are on, which in my key nurse’s case is a week and a half.  It is exhausting me.

There is a right to silence.  There is also a right to not recognise any relational responsibility when those who are trying to make you feel it are in power over you in a way which allows them to impose themselves on you physically against your will if you defer to them and allow them to go unchallenged.

In the first place they asked me what I would do if I wasn’t sectioned and said my answer might affect their decision.  I told them to make their decision and then I would make mine, at the assessment.  But last week in the review I didn’t attend because the advocate I had been expecting wasn’t there I felt completely happy and relaxed and in my right mind when I asked the review nurse to tell them I would stay until I was rehoused if they wanted me to but that I wanted to come off my section and I didn’t want medication, but they were not interested in that and took the control back and left me feeling insecure and unhappy again.

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