Tag Archive: Violence


Latest Development With My Neighbour

I’ve written about my neighbour before, how he keeps banging and shouting at me.  He’s been doing it for months, especially when I have my music on, even if it’s not particularly loud, at points where I feel it begins to open up.  He does it when I’m singing as well, even when it’s not loud, and it rarely is, I’ve been that intimidated in recent months.  He used to say he liked my singing.  Now he seems to be using my points of openness to command me like a dog.  I know he’s having problems, and I have said repeatedly that he should go to the police, but he seems to prefer to make me feel miserable.  Recently I’ve been finding ways to yield and not vent, to go inside myself, but sometimes I boil over and, after about two hours of it last night I decided I’d had enough.  The thing is, he sometimes sounds so pathetic, it goes right to my heart.  But there is nothing I can do.  The power is in his hands, and he prefers to use it towards me.

I’ve been feeling really desperate about this for ages.  I reported it to the council, I told them everything, including the fact that I was getting hysterical and shouting back and that I was concerned for him and that we used to have a good relationship, or so I felt, even though, on closer examination, the harassment from his household started quite early in my tenancy, but it only manifested as one incident which I felt to be a shocking and outrageous invasion of privacy.  Someone from the council came round and he told them there was no problem, that I had a lovely singing voice and was very supportive.  I’ve not been able to be ‘supportive’ towards him for ages, and don’t see that as my role anyway, even if he wants to co-opt me into it.  I just wanted to be a good, friendly neighbour, and tried to be that for ages.  Recently I have been feeling so desperate and angry I have sometimes been channelling it into thoughts like he will die before me, hopefully.  I can’t always just make my anger go away, it won’t always dissolve, sometimes it’s just overpowering and won’t be transformed into anything else, and I’ve usually felt I have to find a way not to vent it on him outwardly so I’ve been letting myself think these thoughts.  Often, if I haven’t said anything, he’s just kept going, and I’ve kept feeling destroyed by it, and sometimes when I have shouted at him to stop I have felt I should have done it before, that he has just been taking advantage.  Why don’t I just go round?  I’m often embarrassed, and he is crafty and a liar, in my eyes.

Last night he yelled out while I had my music on and I interpreted it as ‘no’, so eventually I shouted back, ‘yes, actually’.  I can’t remember if he was still yelling out at me when things eventually blew last night, but I shouted through my wall for him to stop harassing me, and he gave one sharp bang, which really upset me, and I shouted at him to stop, and he gave another, deliberate and well placed bang.  I was outraged and beside myself, seeing this as violence, at least on a psychological level, and thinking it was sadistic, cold, cruel and calculated.  So I shouted at him to leave, because he wasn’t going to drive me out.  Then I shouted that, if he banged at me again, I would call the police.  My hysteria kept coming in waves as everything was suddenly silent and I interpreted it as contempt and that he only goaded me to make me break down and that he enjoyed the show.  In my desperation I told him I was finished as far as he is concerned, that there is no longer any good will coming from me towards him, and that I couldn’t wait for him to die, and I wouldn’t be sorry, and I hoped it would be soon.  I told him I wouldn’t apologise for what I had said, and that he could live the rest of his tenancy next door to me knowing that this beautiful, kind, loving, talented woman just wanted him to die.  Judge me, if you like.  I’ve taken all I am prepared to take.  I can’t stay open to this kind of behaviour, and won’t.  I decided he needed to know exactly how he was making me feel and that he needed to deal with that.  I’ve decided he’s not reasonable, he just wants to appear that way.  He is a complete coward.  He’s been doing the same stuff this morning as well.

Also, I have recently stopped feeling obliged to put my bins out every time the collection is due, because I have very little waste, and it has also turned out for me to be a way of living my life here on my terms and not feeling controlled by other people’s timetables, as if I have to keep jumping to it when other people and their routines seem to say I should.  Premier Christian Radio has, on several occasions recently, made a thing of talking about putting bins out, together with other things they target me with, and I’m wondering if he has talked to them.  I’m feeling ganged up on, again, as I believe, in actual fact, I am being.

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Suggested Reading

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

Glyn Y Mul Farm 2

I submitted an edited version of my first post about Glyn Y Mul farm (Lone Wolf Campsite) as a review to coolcamping.co.uk and ukcampsite.co.uk.  I was silly enough to think they would display it, but they didn’t.  I suppose it was too negative.  I suppose they couldn’t display a review by a woman complaining of sexual harassment and violence from the campsite owner.  So I’m pleased to see that my post is displayed 2 and a half pages down a Google search for Glyn Y Mul farm and hope it has some readers.  I’m not sure what I should have expected, why they couldn’t display my review.  It seems a bit unfair and inbred, I imagine they might have passed my name around the campsites as someone to avoid.  It’s only imagination, not sure how well-founded it is.

Nelson Mandela

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

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

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

Edit note:

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

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.

Am I Just Gullible?

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

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

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

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

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

Mish-Mash Musings 2

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

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

Stuck for a Title

Because what they are doing to me is so mean, so opportunistic, knowing I have no one to turn to, it beggars belief.

A few times this week I have gone back on the bus hardly able to sit upright and keep my eyes open, I felt so ill.  Today was one of those days.  My bed has been stripped and I asked if it could be made for me because I was upset and didn’t feel well.  First I was told someone would help me and someone was named, then they completely changed their minds and told me not feeling well wasn’t a good enough reason.  I said I was going to A&E because I don’t want to feel like this anymore.  They were full of sarcastic sweetness.  I didn’t go, because I thought they are all as bad as each other and I would be making trouble for myself.  I have no one I can turn to, no visitors, they have kept the harassment and sarcasm and terseness and rudeness just coming at me.  Sharon has been mainly responsible.  There is a nurse called Helen on today, white British (there is another who is black) and she was really rude to me as I came out.  I was talking loudly because I was upset and she said ‘go on’, gesturing at the door, and started talking really hard at me.  They were laughing.  I can’t take anymore, I am tired and upset and everything they do is designed to undermine and humiliate me.  Terry was laughing.  I saw something between him and Sean I wished I hadn’t seen, at least I saw Sean’s reaction, I can guess the rest.  He had just told Terry I wanted my bed made.  I don’t want to go back to this.  I never wanted to do this, and I don’t want to do it anymore, it is inhuman.  Helen was responsible, as a new person, for moving against me and getting me medicated when all I wanted was to get my lunch in peace a few weeks ago, just a few hours before Kerry kicked me in the stomach.  I’ve still had no support over that, I feel upset every time I encounter hr, and she puts herself in my face.

That’s something else.  I saw John in the car park and he ignored me.  He is one of the OT people.  The other day he invited me to a Moving On Group and I said no thanks, the things I would want to talk about as anxieties for moving on are things I’ve already had dismissed as symptoms of mental illness, so it would be frustrating for me.  He said OK and moved on, then I changed my mind, at which point he told me it was a confidential group and he didn’t want me blogging and describing and naming people.  I said I hadn’t described anyone, he said I had described Kerry.  So it was another bit of opportunism.  Why did he invite me in the first place?  I said I had no legal responsibility to not name anyone, staff or patients, and he talked about common law, whatever that is.  He said if I was going to blog he would have to ask me not to come, so I said I would forgo it.  Anyway, he was there in the car park tonight, silently walking up and down and refusing to get involved, as though angry, hurt women are not to be spoken to.  This is vicious.  It is just vicious.  And talking to me about common law, when legal law is being used to do things to me that I don’t want or need, and as well as that I am getting such inhumanity and cruelty.  And wide eyes innocent insolence and discrimination.  They never take my side or other patients’ sides in a conflict between a patient and staff.  I’m worn out and tired, very very tired, and I thought, I’ve tried to believe, that Terry is a friend.  Sometimes it really looks that way. I hurt him and made him angry by accident, and I was angry as well at his reactions.  But I’ve seen him cry, especially after I wrote him a letter.  He had suggested writing a letter before and I didn’t, so I wrote a letter coming out of that, and his tears were real, I saw them.  I’m afraid of him these days, and at one point it wasn’t like that.  When he is with some of the others, anyway, I’m afraid of him.  I was told he was going on a course for dealing with aggression and I became afraid that he would come back changed.  I didn’t realise it was something they have to do every year.  My experience of him to that point had been that he only needed to put himself in a situation and stand there for things to calm down.  I was afraid he would come back like some of the rest.  They always have to have the last word as well, some of them.  What I wrote about earlier today, Tracy did her normal thing of walking out after throwing something at me and me trying to answer her and challenge what she had said.  She is the one who tells me she can’t be bothered with me.  Sue told me she didn’t like me and didn’t want to talk to me.  Sharon is just pig ignorant (apologies to pigs).  I said I didn’t want to look at something they wanted me to look at this afternoon because I didn’t trust them and would look in my own time.  I was told they didn’t care that I didn’t trust them.  It is wrong.  They are determined not to be nice to me in a conflict situation.  I’m dealing with savage animals here who should be struck off.  That reminds me, someone who knows told me today that Dr Bradshaw is leaving.  Dr Bradshaw leaving, Tony off the ward for about 2 months and I’ve been told they can’t tell me why.  They have said he is still team leader, or whatever his title is.  I don’t know how I feel about him at the moment.  I felt sorry for him at one point.

Dr Alan has gone.  I thought he was nice, as anyone connected with psychiatry could be.  He was on the ward one night saying in ‘that voice’ that he would help any way he could.  I thought he was talking to me but I was afraid and not sure.  I had intended to try and talk to him, but now he has gone.  There are some people to whom I want to say, ‘do you think I can help you and if so, how?’  He was one of those people.

Sharon was taunting and bear baiting today.  She always does that with me.  She has started walking past coughing and clearing her throat at me.  I have become too free in saying this kind of thing.  They rarely challenge me, especially not if I am talking to another patient who feels the same way, but I suppose they are still putting it towards a diagnosis of schizophrenia, as though no one could be doing these commonly done to people things to me, it has to be mental illness, because I live in a pristine, antiseptic bubble where none of the things people do to each other are ever done, according to their theories about me.

I have said over the last two days that these people are brainwashed as to how they think it is OK to treat another human being, and that the rest of us aren’t supposed to have a problem with it.  I have heard it said that many people fear mental illness and wouldn’t talk about symptoms because they don’t want to end up in hospital.  It’s a political rule of fear, if that is true, in my opinion.

Another thing I am still confused about is Ruth.  In the wheelchair with MS.  She is often sitting in the corridor in her chair waiting for someone to help her.  Today, apparently, one of the nurses who did breakfast told her she had legs and she should use them.  I don’t get this.  I don’t like being in the dark about something like this, but they call it confidentiality.  Except that this morning wasn’t very confidential.  I often help her, but I am becoming impatient and reluctant myself because I am thinking the staff must have a good reason for making her do things for herself.  She told me they had taken the spacers out of her wheels.  I don’t want to be unkind but I don’t want to contribute to a problem the staff seem to think is made worse by helping her.

My back hurts and I am upset.  There is nowhere i can go and no one I can turn to.  They are taking advantage of that.

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.

Bad Afternoon on Rowan 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 . . . .

Pastiche

What actually happened yesterday was that Kerry had been vocally trolling me all weekend.  She said I was full of myself as well.  One of her friends said I had deserved it when something happened, either that I was forcibly medicated or dragged out of the dining room by staff (I wonder if Kerry knows that I am virtually a Londoner?), and yesterday she was sat outside on the pavement near the doors smoking with Sa and Re, and I passed them to go out and said see you to Sa and Re but not to Kerry.  She took exception to that andsaid something about carrying on like that and I told her what someone associated with my care had told me, that staff on the ward had listened to things I had said and tried to make changes, i told her I had been there 3 months and that many changes for the better had happened because I had fought for them for people like her, and she started doing a really horrible voice at me and I spat in her direction twice.  I was nowhere near her and it had no hope of reaching and obviously wasn’t intended to.  She got up and said I would run away then asked if I was spitting at her and I said yes, and waited as she approached, and she kicked me in the lower abdomen.  Someone was passing that I asked to be a witness and she agreed and she got kicked in the ribs, but we both went back to the ward to report it.  If this woman had not been passing I don’t know what I would have done.  So that is the whole story.

I’ve called this ‘Pastiche’ because i wanted to mention a few things.  I thought there were four but I can only remember three at the moment.  I’ve already covered the first.

When all this started with the mental health system, after my first admission I came back to Nottingham and spent a while with my uncle and going to Church at Talbot Street.  One day in London I bought a card intended for David Shearman’s birthday, a card with dolphins on.  I can’t remember if I sent it or not.  It was in Victoria Station in London, in the days before they had any public seating, and I was feeling beaten up and exhausted.  I bought a bag of fruit and nuts and sat on the floor in front of a store, and I was approached by security guards who tried to move me on.  I said I was tired and didn’t want to move.  Eventually the police were called and it was quite nasty and when I got to the London Transport Police Station I was met by this oldish officer and I was really upset and I told him I hadn’t even been told my rights and he took me by the hair and told me I didn’t have any.  I was sobbing loudly in the cell and when I was released the officer who let me out told me it would be all right.

The other thing I wanted to mention was a girl who was on the ward here, this time around, called Michelle.  She hardly ever spoke at first and when she did start speaking she was quite aggressive, but in the first place i took to her because, as I told Terry, she reminded me of a woman who tried to get close to me when I was working as a volunteer at an HIV respite care centre.  This woman did not have long to live and I left shortly before she was expected to die.  After talking to Terry about it I felt horrified that I had basically walked out on a dying woman that had warmed to me enough to move from a little suspicion to coming to sit next to me, without speaking, if I came in and sat down.  I can’t express the depth of horror and shame I felt as I saw it that way, just about three months ago.

I have my radio on sometimes in the evening and on two nights Michelle, who I didn’t know was the woman next door to me at the time, banged violently on the wall, and I was afraid because I didn’t know who it was.  When I found out sometimes I would vent in my room if I thought she was disturbing me in any way,  and I would vent at her.  So I had gone from being friendly and saying hello even though I got nothing back to being verbally angry with her.  Sometimes she barged into me in the kitchen and started shouting at me.  She was verbally and physically aggressive to other patients as well, and one day I heard a nurse telling her about her behaviour and she didn’t want the police back.  I can’t remember if this was the day she was being generally aggressive and she ended up coming to me and spitting on my hand.  I was so locked up in myself at the time, so depressed, I didn’t feel anything in particular, I just looked and ignored it.  I wasn’t offended, in fact I felt a bit relieved.  I have thought about it over the past 24 hours and realised again, if not for the first time, that that meant I meant something to her, she was angry and she spat at me.  Later on that day or the next I wanted to say to her ‘thank you for spitting at me, I deserved it, and if you feel you want to spit at me again any other time you have my permission, and I won’t retaliate’.  I struggled with that all week, and I never said it, and then she disappeared.  I feel i failed her.  I keep thinking she must have gone to a more secure place or something and that if I had just dared to be vulnerable enough I could have helped her.  I feel really upset about that, and it isn’t a distress I feel proud of.  I failed her, and I resisted God.

Definitely for the first time in the last 24 hours I thought about the phrase ‘hatred is the flip side of love’.  During that period my thinking has been, accurately or not, that that phrase is seen as negative but it could be seen positively and it would be more helpful if it were.  She spat at me = she loved me, she trusted me.  She kicked me in the stomach = she was angry and disappointed because she had a need or positive expectation that wasn’t met.  I heard J John use ‘AHEN’ as an acronym for tracing anger back to its root.  Behind anger is hurt, hurt comes out of an unmet expectation, and expectation comes out of need, in this progression.  Part of me wants Kerry punished, the other part doesn’t.  But I have little hope for the relationship.  I am tired and cannot cope with her needs.  It is possible that I am interpreting her craziness as a deliberate attack on me rather than an attempt to help herself, which it might be.

What I do find difficult about patient confidentiality is that it does separate people who would be friends, sometimes.  You’re not sure what is what most of the time.   It leads to a psychological isolation if you don’t or don’t want to trust or validate the staff approach or system.  Can do, if you are someone like me in my position, anyway, but for the rest of us as well, I am sure.

Here is the fourth thing I was thinking of.  There was something on radio 4 this afternoon on the afternoon play that reminded me a lot of Tommy Boyd on the radio.  I was thinking last night that I wanted to be welcomed back into the fold and that I wanted Tommy to be the one who did it.

I am feeling very soft and vulnerable at the moment, but also angry, possibly, but i find myself wanting to get on with staff and even validating what they have done, and I’m just not sure.  The Bible says let a righteous man strike me it is a kindness.  What does that mean, is it right, or was it just a depressed king talking rubbish?  Listening to Tommy Boyd led me to want different forms of child discipline than smacking, so how can it be right for me as an adult, the restraints, forced medication, etc.  Joseph said to his brothers ‘you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good’, but this is supposed to be meant for good.  I’m sorry, I’m so tired and I feel very tearful.  Probably over-impressed with the depth of my perceptions in this post.  Crying over what a precious and deep person I am.  That’s better, that has made me smile.  What has made me smile?  The thought that Terry might read this.  I stare at him sometimes and I think it makes him feel awkward, and I don’t like that.  I told someone the other day that when I stare at him like that it is because I think he is beautiful at that moment and I am awestruck.  Suck on that one, Tel! 🙂  Much obeisance.  Much love.

Kicked in the stomach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update 28.07 2013

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

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

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

Update 22.07.2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update 15.07.2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update 30.06.2013

Last night the light was turned on in my bedroom at about 2-3 am.  I was asleep and it woke me up and I was very upset and angry.  They told me they had to do it, I said they didn’t and it had only happened about 12 times in 17 years.  They told me to stop shouting.  I said at some point yesterday that if people in our position being treated as we are start shouting in anger and hysteria it should be understandable, but that when carers shout at us it is not acceptable and it is not our fault.  About a week or so ago Sh___n, the nurse who pushed the patient out of her way with her foot, started saying something I have had them say several times down the years, that if you give respect you get respect.  When they have said that they have been talking about patients who don’t get respect because they don’t give it.  I said that is OK among equals but that it is a playground rule, not OK for nurses and doctors and domestics to use against patients.  If we supposedly have mental health problems and are having things done to us we don’t want and being abused as well, we might find it hard to be respectful in our state of fear, anger and hysteria.  Yesterday morning K__h the domestic hammered on my door and presented herself in my room arms up and talking loudly.  I told her that when people hammer on my door it shocks me so much that I don’t answer them.  I asked her why she couldn’t knock quietly like Jim did when he knocked on my door.  She said she was sorry she couldn’t change the way she knocked, it was just her, and I said she could if she knew it was upsetting people.  She grabbed L___a who was passing and asked her to come in for support, and she stood in my room and she said my music was nice and they were having a smiley conversation with each other with Linda standing there exuding security guard and smiles.  I said they wanted me to change but didn’t want to change themselves.  I was also angry that they were in my space presuming to say that my music was nice and I didn’t like the fact that they were doing that.  A few weeks ago Sh___n knocked on my door and I was trying to insist on boundaries with her because she had offended me before.  She asked me something, I said no thanks or words to that effect, and she started commenting on my radio, after having been insistent on her own agenda towards me already.  She asked me where I had bought it from and I said I couldn’t remember and it was obvious I didn’t want to talk to her.  She asked if she could have a look and I said no, but she insisted on coming into my room anyway and touching my radio and ran out.  I tried to remonstrate with her but she blanked me and went to another room then told me she was with another patient.  To me it was about staff respecting my boundaries, as so many issues I have had here have been.  I just thought of the patients’ charter and looked it up as I have been meaning to for a while.  I looked at the section on respect and it said you should be asked whether you want to be called by your first or last name and should have your choice respected.  I was offered that choice once on a general ward, I’ve never been offered it on a psychiatric ward.  In London I fought unsuccessfully for years to have them call me Sue rather than Susan, and ended up really confused about myself and what I called myself, to the extent that I felt I had betrayed my parents by shortening the name they had given me.  I started to feel that Susan was the real me and Sue a false me and I felt superficial and artificial for having called myself Sue for so many years.  I felt ashamed for having decided to call myself Sue and sometimes I still do.  When I insist on it it sometimes feels as if my name is nothing to do with me and nothing I say about anything matters or is reliable.  I’ve often objected here to being called love, duck, darling, dear and sweetheart but no one takes any notice.  They say that is the way they are and they do it with everyone.  Sometimes they seem to be quite aggressive and purposeful in doing so.  There are two of us who sometimes object, that I know of.  When I was in London I fought for years just to be called Sue, not Susan.  I said once or twice I would like to be called Miss Barnett.  No one took any notice.  It’s about boundaries and presumption.  They all assume and presume so much, and for patients in my category that damages lives.  They make decisions with legal implications in my life.  And recently, as I have said, there has been deliberate dishonesty and maybe illegality.  In fact I would say there is a lot of illegality.  They wave section papers at us as if that gives them absolute power, but as well as the legal power of these papers is all the illegal abuse they get away with.  ‘You have to this, that and the other because you are on a section’.  Is that really true?  Do I really have to have my life subjected repeatedly to people who deliberately abuse and lie and misrepresent apart from the powers they have under the mental health act?  Not only that, but some of them seem just plain stupid and thick and insensitive.  Yet they say I have no insight.  They don’t like the insights I have.

Apart from the light being turned on last night (it was the night before as well) There were doors slamming through the night and a lot of shouting almost non-stop between 6 am and 9 am this morning, after which it went strangely silent for quite a long time.  I noticed that when my key nurse had been in charge of the night shift recently there had been no disruptions that I had been aware of for those three nights and we had all seemed to have a peaceful night.  There were no rude awakenings in the mornings either.

I remarked to someone last night that in just the same way that we don’t have to be available to everyone outside, we also don’t have to be available to everyone in hospital either, that healthy people choose who they are going to be available to.  Yet some of the nurses get rude, offended and giggly if you are not making yourself relationally available to them whenever you meet them.  It is disrespectful and not recognising my right to privacy and choice about the relationships I choose to engage with.  They won’t let me be an ordinary person, they are demanding from me all the time, some of them.  I went into dinner on Friday trying to think about and envision meetings I have planned with other staff next week, and rather than leave my head space alone they were smiling at me insistently and when I got annoyed the Eastern European girl who was on started running around and giggling and touching surfaces as I have seen so often since this mental health thing started for me.  They can’t leave me alone.  They won’t request a conversation but the keep grabbing at me and imposing on me psychologically.  It is the same for others as well, they have said so.  To me there is something wrong with that.

I was talking about doing my laundry last night with another patient.  There is a laundry service that your washing has to be sent to and you get it back in 2 or 3 days, but people have said that things go missing so I decided to get mine done at the launderette.  She asked me if it had been OK and I said yes, everything had come out that needed to, and a nurse passing by started uncomfortably.  If that had been one of us and we had said something we would have been told that no, the other person was just talking about washing and why did we think otherwise?  I noticed that all the staff were walking with security guard body language and suddenly ‘realised’ this was deliberate.  Inwardly I turned away from them and when one of them passed me I stayed turned away and not acknowledging her and her body language changed and she looked guilty.  On another occasion she had walked past me a few weeks ago and when she noticed me she looked as if she was going to smile and she literally wiped it off her face and ignored me, continuing with the same hard body language.  They swan and glide and make annoyed or blank faces.  They pitch their hardness against my softness.  It leaves me feeling like a confused and angry mess.

Last night one of the other patients said it was illegal for them to keep her there.  She is a Christian.  The nurse in charge, S___a, came quickly out of the clinic room and looked at her, afraid and uncomfortable.  I encountered my psychiatrist in the corridor during the week.  She rushed past me uncomfortably.  The SHO of another psychiatrist looked redfaced and upset.  I don’t know what is going on but it feels as if it has to be good, from my perspective.  Having said that, I had the meeting with the SHO last Monday and was told he was waiting for the psychologist’s report before a decision was made.  I would have expected on to be made by now, it has normally been a same day decision and action, but no one has told me anything, if there is anything to tell.  I feel as if they are withholding it from me deliberately to keep me on tenterhooks.

I know these things are happening, I still have problems settling on why and what my responsibility is with it.  A lot of the time I feel as if they are desperate and I am wrong and unmerciful.  I told my psychologist that last week.

Life at Macmillan Close

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

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

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

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

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

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

Esther

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

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

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

 

Stage 2 Medication

Where I am we have stages in medication.  I have just been put onto stage 2, which means I have been given a strip of four bubble wraps, one for each medication time, and my medication is in the bubbles appropriate to me.  I take it away with me at the beginning of the day and I take it, or not, on my own terms.

This is the perfect opportunity for me to not take my psychiatric medication.  I thought about not taking it and took it anyway.  The other stuff I have is anti-inflammatory for pain and stiffness in my upper arms, anti acid to counteract the effects of that, and multivitamins and minerals and omega 3-6-9 oils (vegan, bang the drum and be clear.  Made by a company called Vertese and available at Holland and Barrett).

Today at Macmillan Close

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

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

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

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

I sent this complaint to Nottingham NHS Trust on 12th August 2012.  I have been promised a reply several times.  The last time I sent an email to them asking for the written response was 28th December as a response had been promised to me for 14th December.  I haven’t received a response to that email so I have just emailed again.

This is the complaint:

This morning at 4.30 am I heard a man coughing in the courtyard outside my bedroom where the cigarette break takes place several times a day.  When I looked outside there was a man I didn’t recognise with the night staff from my ward sitting around the outside table.  I got upset and yelled at them to be quiet, also saying something about promoting sleep, and one of the women started to talk louder and kept it going for about 20 minutes longer, laughing as well.  I was really upset but felt powerless.

 

Noise on the ward happens all the time, even at night, door slamming included, and when I have complained I have just been told that there are some ill people on the ward.  I am also there since my unsatisfactory admission made me homeless from temporary accommodation, and I suspect collusion between the authorities, and I also am becoming ill through sleep deprivation, and also bullying by staff and patients. I can discharge myself when I want to technically, but I have no home to go to, and sometimes I feel as if the staff are giving me a hard time to try to make me leave before I have a home.  I believe they are experiencing problems they have dismissed when I first raised them as I came in and since, and various abuses have taken place which have never been apologised for, including mimicry of voice and gesture and also interfering vocally  from a distance with conversations I have been having with others.
On Tuesday 31st July 3 staff members I have had particular problems with in the past were on night duty and opened the slats on my door at 4.30 am and then switched the light on.  I was already desperate from previous broken nights, and I lay there for a while terrified with my heart pounding as it used to when I was harassed in the night from my upstairs neighbours.  I have had bad eczema on my lower abdomen for weeks, which only happens in extreme stress, and around 5.10 am I was scratching it and it was so uncomfortable I made a noise, and the male nurse and one of the female nurses started a jokey conversation about it in the corridor, as if they were walking along a beach on holiday, I thought at the time.  They have accused me of racism, and the male nurse, who is black [Errol], was then standing in the corridor with the female patient who had been partly responsible for that and who started a major coughing fit when I coughed (part of the mimicry and harassment and domination, she has also sworn at me badly in conversation in the past), then they hung around chatting and he said something about arrogant and she said tell me about it.  Then he went outside and started talking and I was desperate and shouted at him to be quiet.  Then all 3 staff came and stood at my door, one of the female staff, Lucy, with her foot against the door so I couldn’t close it, and asked me if i was going to calm down.  I said i would find it easier if she (Sam) wasn’t nagging me, and she said she wasn’t nagging me, and carried on pushing and they wouldn’t leave even when I said please and said I wanted to sleep.  She is 21 I am 51.  I said she would[n’t] speak to her mother like that.  Everything I said she negated and said she didn’t care.  In the end she said something and I said you do that and see what happens.  She asked me if it was a threat and I said yes. She said she would discuss it with the doctor and I said she would also have to tell him what I was threatening and find it in her head without having asked me what it was I was threatening.  I made it clear, several times, that I had been threatening a complaint.
They brought in a big team, including staff from another ward and started insisting that I took medication.  I said all I wanted was to be left alone to sleep and that my threat had been to make a complaint and that I wasn’t a danger to myself or anyone else.  They offered me a tablet which I rejected so they started making intimidating moves to turn me over and inject me.  At that point I said give me the tablets, and they said OK we won’t inject you because you are accepting the tablet.  I said I am not accepting it, you are forcing it on me, then one of them started to speak roughly and snatched my duvet away, saying right inject her and started moving to turn me over.  It was just perversity and an anger or malice I didn’t understand because I had been clear in what I had said.
They refused to give me my duvet back which was on the floor until I had taken the tablet, then they tried to give it back to me as a gift or concession rather than my right, at the same time dumping it on me.
The next night the same thing happened with my room and the light, but an hour earlier.  It has never happened before and no explanation was offered either night.  I was upset the first night at having been woken then talked about abd they bullied me.
I spoke on the Friday to a solicitor who told me it was illegal to medicate me if I am informal without my consent.
My name is Sue Barnett and I am on Redwood 2 at Highbury Hospital.  I also have other incidents and complaints I need to report.
Yours sincerely
S B Barnett

Section 3

A Section 3 is a prison, in which you are forced to take drugs (literally forced if you will not comply, often with contempt and disdain), which might cause long term damage, whether you have committed a crime, or not.
When it is spent, after 6 months, it can be renewed at the discretion of the psychiatrists.
They have this power in law even if you have not been in a court for them to be given power specifically over you. Many people start off with the police who hand them over to the mental health system .  The police are corrupt, as we see repeatedly, and coercive medicine is inhuman.

I heard a story recently about a policeman who exposed his colleagues for mistreating someone in a cell, later being dragged into a van by other policemen, twice, and being kicked and beaten.  I wonder how many so-called good cops are prepared to take that risk?  I want to believe there are some.

Christmas

Have I mentioned that word yet?

Happy Christmas to my readers, and thank you for reading my rubbish – most of it is that.

I joined Facebook last night in an attempt to find a band which is no longer there.  I have 15 friends, about 3 or 4 of which I recognise.  I just put through all my aol contacts on a page without un-checking any of the boxes.  After the first page I clicked ‘skip’ and wasn’t able to recall the other contacts to send out as friend requests.  The friends that came through came through so fast I thought they must be on automatic accept, reject later mode, if there is such a thing.

Today I cooked a chickpea curry with onion, green pepper and tomato.  It was very nice.  I’ve been reading, which has alternately felt like denial and also felt good for me.  I’ve got two books on the go at the moment.  I have started Catch-22 (of course, bit masculine), and today I also started, and am now reading, Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, which I am really enjoying.  Catch-22 I have found funny but it is beginning to get darker, shocking in places, to me.  Like the bit I just read today that obeying orders trumps being able to go home after so many missions and that if they refused to obey they would be shot.  I don’t know how serious that is at this point.  It could be just someone being nasty and on a power trip that ultimately ends with words.

I feel like Scrooge (except that I don’t have a workforce that I am mistreating).  I haven’t bought any presents, I have given a few cards.

Julie is still not talking to me and is slamming doors.  I left a card for her by her cupboard. I suppose she just found it because the response was a lot of angry door slamming.  I wish I hadn’t bothered.  It’s put me against her again.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but I wasn’t expecting that.  It is so violent it makes me want to hit back.  I feel violated, literally.  It sends my thoughts reeling and jumbled all over the place, it is like psychological and emotional acid.  It is so violent that I feel groggy and get thoughts come into my mind that are nothing to do with me and make no sense.  Words suggest themselves out of nowhere, as if physically put into my mind.

There is a character in Catch-22, Hungry Joe, shouting himself hoarse at noises and screaming nightly at nightmares.  I feel a bit like him, but I don’t scream now, I have to keep it all inside.  I think Julie must have been really hurt by something which might not have anything to do with me.

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.

Jumble

WordPress has changed its presentation quite radically in its new presentation of Freshly Pressed.  I prefer the old ‘at a glance’ approach.  If I say something it is almost a guarantee that what I want isn’t going to happen in changing back.

I was thinking today that perhaps the reason for my dark thoughts and interpretations and presentations of my situation is the colour and design of my blog, and it might be time to get a new theme. Is the difference between bright and happy and dark and brooding the difference between child material and adult material?  I’ve been thinking I’ve been writing like a teenager with angst, writing dark things like someone trying to trip lightly.  Maybe the style I attempt is too light for the things I write about.

I watched an old play radio video today that I downloaded from Youtube.  4 hours of Tommy Boyd, but the lighting on his face was awful. It made it look as if he had white patches all over his face.  I am sure they could have done better than that, so why they didn’t I have no idea.

The door slamming isn’t stopping.  It is really making me feel ill.  I am lying pinned in terror and feelings of sickness to my bed.  It isn’t just the door slamming, it is the strangeness and contempt. Julie still refuses to talk to me.  I’d like to go and get a cup of tea but I am up here in almost constant shock and feelings of weakness and dread.  My own reactions have contributed to that as much as anything else.

I’m really confused, I don’t know what to do for the best.  The things I need to do I am not sure if I can do them adequately, like write new emails of complaint to Nottingham City Homes and the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission).

Who am I writing for when I write my blog?  I don’t know any of my respondents. Who comprises my intended readership?  I am largely aware of my stalkers and their responses/criticisms.  A lot of the time I am trying not to sound stupid to them, or I will be made to feel stupid.

I’m thinking about my pastors and their almost caveman-like approach to me, as one of their lost goods and chattels. There is something about David in the Bible who, when enemies took the camp;s possessions, ‘pursued and overtook’ until he recovered everything.  It appears that my pastors’ interpretation of this justifies stalking in their minds.  I don’t think I am imagining it.  Actually, at the moment I do, or I would not need to say that.

I’m sick of church and the thought of it.  When I remember the treatment I got there, especially in the 90s, and the fact that no apology has been given into my hands, I don’t want to go back.  I just want to sleep.  I just want some peace and respect and security.  I want some love.  I never knew a father’s embrace, a peaceful, contented, quiet and still thing.  I don’t think I will find it with any Pentecostal men, I don’t think they would sully themselves or their consciences to give that kind of support and therapy.  But now I feel as if I am being childish and that at my age, even given my background, I shouldn’t need that.  But David kisses his daughter and lets her kiss him, his 40 year old daughter who shares my birthday (I never knew that until a week ago, but David has known it for years and not told me.  I wasn’t close to the family so didn’t ask, but he could have told me when he had my birthday during the radio programme days.  But he didn’t.  It would have been a nice, friendly thing to do.).  I feel I am betraying myself and them by putting this in my blog.  And I feel I am being ungrateful by interpreting a hand up as stalking and putting unwelcome requirements on me.

The last sermons posted on the Christian Centre site are 25th November, the day after my birthday and a failed attempt to go and see Tommy Boyd.  I think they are reading my blog and my communications to Tommy, with or without his permission and co-operation, and they are holding back sermons for weeks.  If they are stalking me I shouldn’t go back, but I have been wanting to for weeks.  I feel really sick.  I can’t get my head together for anything.   Going back feels like the right thing to do but stalking is harmful and against the law, whoever is doing it and whoever they team with.

I’m reminded of a line from a Philip Larkin poem, ‘My mind’s not right’.  I offered that as the key line in a poem in 6th form and it was accepted and affirmed.  That reminds me of when David affirmed my selection of the verse that says Saul was jealous of David, because the Lord was with him and not with Saul.  I’m not sure if thinking in terms of key lines and thoughts and verses is altogether helpful now, and I could wish those things had not been asked, let alone my answers accepted.

PS The man in the ‘cinematic baguette’ post that was freshly pressed soon after I published this does not look far away from Gordon Brown who reminds me of David Shearman.  I’m not sure what WordPress’s purpose was in that.

My New Home With the NHS

Part of the problem with the house is its almost non-existent sound-proofing.  On my side of the house we are right on top of each other bedrooms-wise and the floorboards creak when you move.  This can be heard in the next room.  My next door neighbour/fellow patient can hear when I move and I can hear when she moves.  I get nervous because of the door slamming and wonder what her movement means all the time.  The other lady doesn’t even acknowledge me when I say hello.  The door slamming started 2 days after I got there.  I had told the staff this was a pattern that was following me, but previously it has been insisted that this belief is all a part of what I believe to be my non-existent mental illness.  At the moment I feel weak and tired and my chest hurts.  My blood pressure was taken this morning and a stethoscope held to my back, because I told them I wanted to pass out when I was outside.  She told me to take deep breaths and when I did I started to cough, clearing my airways.  She commented and I felt inhibited.  Coughing and clearing my airways would have been a good start to deep breathing.

I have been afraid/reluctant to write like this about the new place I am in because I don’t want to stir up bad feeling.  But I think the building is largely responsible for the tension in the house.  Doors are made to slam which would not slam left to themselves, and they should be slam-proofed anyway.   It looks as if nothing has been done to make these buildings, which used to be offices, apparently, suitable for the purpose they are now used for.  Also even the largest bedrooms are really small.  Mine is one of the smallest.  It is 2 or 3 paces from my bed to the door.  One of the staff who spoke to me acknowledged that the unit was not fit for purpose, but the acknowledgment doesn’t make it any easier.

It is exactly the same with social housing.  The sound-proofing is appalling. I heard a story on Radio 4 recently where it said that thin walls made bad neighbours.  That is true, definitely. They also make angry, desperate people.  I don’t like to sound strident and political, but the truth is that in the places I have been in we can hear so much from each other’s space it is humanly indecent.  It really is like being packed together like farm animals.

I’m saying all this stuff, but sometimes, when it comes down to it, I feel as if I am being precious and giving myself ‘airs and graces’.  Really I am no different from anyone else except that I have been silenced by intimidation and vigilantism, delivered subliminally.  Knowing that is what is happening makes me too angry to speak.

Relaxation Tape

I am listening to a tape that started off by saying that any sound would add to my relaxation.  I’m sure she can’t have meant doors slamming deliberately like bombs dropping.  This happens here every day.  I’ve reported it to the nurses and the nurses have talked to the other women involved but there has been no change.  I’m beginning to think about stopping respecting the night.  I can also do slamming doors.  The nurses aren’t here, they are in a building across the road.  They would have to get out of bed and walk over there (Oh no, there is a phone in the hall).  This shared NHS house is hell for me, as I thought it would be.  But one of the nurses told me they have done it to people before, and said it isn’t me or my fault.  So why aren’t they ejected if they are making people this ill and unhappy?  I told one of the nurses today that things are so bad in here I can’t cope and I want to pass out and collapse when I am out.  One of the people involved across the landing from me won’t even acknowledge me when I say hello or ask if she is OK.  Somebody I was talking to the other day (not about this) said it was obvious I was being abused.  It’s a shared house on an open ward and the treatment I am getting from the people I am sharing with is making me feel sick but all the nurses ever do is say they will talk to them.  I’m afraid to go down and cook and it is affecting my appetite.  The door slamming is unnecessary and violent and it shakes the house.  I’m even getting pain in my stomach when I try to eat.

Some people would say this is the result of unforgiveness . . .

A Taste of Freedom

I went to the Pizza Express in King Street today.  I started off with dough balls with Chardonnay, which I didn’t like much at first (the Chardonay) but it grew on me.  I wasn’t going to have anything else but I ended up having a Fiorentina, spinach, cheese, black olives, egg.  Something snapped inside me.  I felt very drunk but I knew it was just a severe emotional problem.  I’m not mentally ill, I just have severe emotional problems.  Apart from anything else I am 14 months homeless now, coming up 15  months.

I feel emotionally wrecked.  I thoroughly enjoyed what I ate.  They say food is an emotional experience and it was for me.  It was great to have egg, and I sat there thinking I could just go vegetarian.

Maybe I have seen too much militant vegan stuff.  Freedom, real freedom, is the freedom not to harm.  I can’t cope anymore.  I have been vegan for over four years now and my experiences in Bulgaria didn’t break me.  Perhaps because I could get some really nice seitan there.  But homelessness in the UK began to break me ages ago with things as small as using the room milk and eating the biscuits in hotel rooms.  Also the tricks and judgmentalism of the vegan providers in the UK.  I feel completely spent.  I’m so tired, and I have to present every day for a drug caled aripiprazole.  I am experiencing tardive dyskenesia, facial muscle twitches.  Your face expresses what is going on in yor mind, and my mind’s normal working is being interfered with by this drug.  I’m in a house now and feeling suppressed and bullied.  I don’t feel as if I am allowed to sing, and they have complained about my music.  I feel as if the bad relationship is my fault.  Music and singing is part of my self-healing.  I feel completely desperate.  I really want to come off my section and off the drugs.  The best thing about this house is that I can cook for  myself.  But I had more freedom to play my music on Redwood 2 than I do here.  I’m writing stuff to Tommy Boyd which I have been taught to believe.  I do believe it.  It doesn’t make things feel better though.  I’m in love with him, or the idea of him, I swear.  The house is part of another in-patient ‘ward’.  I feel I owe him the best I can give him, and to value his best towards me.

Striking Poses

Here’s one: because I am getting on in years I am entitled to some of the luxuries of life, and to establish the lifestyle I have always wanted.

Yesterday coming home – sorry, back to the hospital; I must be getting institutionalised – I thought that was a lie put out by pension and financial investment providers.  We aren’t entitled to anything just because we are getting older and feel we have always been entitled to it.  Not even respect and facilitation of the lifestyle we would choose for ourselves.

Is that true?  Is that really true?  Because at the moment it feels such a desolate thing to say and believe.

To bring it back to my situation, I am being told that they want to transfer me under my present section to shared housing which comes under another hospital.  I have chosen, by default or otherwise, to live on my own. Knowing the kind of harassment I have had towards me in places I have lived, I am afraid of it springing up in my actual living space and turning really nasty, maybe even dangerous.  We, I and my proposed housemates, are not people who could expect to be taken seriously if we said what was happening, because I, at least, am not being taken seriously by the psychiatrist now.  I am getting tired.  I would like some peace and protection and safety on my own terms.

But I’m not entitled to it just because I am aging.  Or am I?  Have older people, like myself (I will be 52 next week) been demeaned a little bit too far?  There we are, I am striking a pose again.  I am tired, I am grief-stricken, I am menopausal.  Is a safe and peaceful living space, and a little respect and self-determination, too much to want and aim for?  What is this third age?  Is it a new age of helplessness?

Pro Choice

In All In the Mind, BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday, they were talking about a new venture in Manchester where patients who would traditionally be treated with anti-psychotics, or anti-psychotics and talking therapies, are being treated with CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) alone.  The programme has several testimonials that this is working for those people.  It acknowledges that it doesn’t work for everyone, but that neither do drugs work for everyone, and stresses that it is about choice, which it says the NICE guidelines say should  be given to everyone diagnosed with schizophrenia.  The programme acknowledges that while the NICE guidelines say this, many people diagnosed with schizophrenia are not given this choice.

There is a bit near the beginning about the USA presidential elections. It lasts a short while and the above follows it.

I didn’t know about the NICE guidelines.  Maybe the team here interprets them as meaning you should be given a choice of medication.  My situation has not felt right to me for a long time.  The only choice I have been given, which is no choice at all, is oral or injection.  I am being forced to take drugs.  As I have said before, literature on our boards says that this trust does not tolerate bullying, fear and other such things.  I quoted this to the doctors and they didn’t care.  One of them talked about me being abusive when my speech became heated, totally blind, so it seemed, to what they were doing to me.

The decision makers at Highbury Hospital think they don’t have to be nice, or that niceness is all right for moving on, once the abusive decision has been made and is being enforced.  They should not be moving on like that regardless and without me.  If I am living in unreality, it is their unreality that I am being required to live in.  That one unacceptable little thing which I am visited with twice a day.  These people are not trustworthy.

My Website Design

Most of my comments go to the spam section of my correspondence, and I have stopped looking on the whole as I think there is probably a good reason.  However, it might be that my settings are too tight and that I have designed it that way.

I have noticed that some people like my site and are asking me if I designed it myself.  The answer is no, it is a theme on WordPress called Motion, by Volcano.  The only hand I have had in its design is the choosing and placing of widgets.

Thank you for liking my site.  I like it myself today, but I tend to feel that when people praise my site they are being sarcastic.  Certainly I like reading other sites which are plain white background, or at least brighter than my dark blue.

I noticed a whi;le ago when I had much more spam than usual that there were a lot of copied comments praising my site.  It reminded me a bit of organisations I have belonged to – well OK, the church – when they have said about writing to MPs that we could use a form letter.  I’m afraid that I have dismissed their sincerity, rightly or wrongly, and some of them were very praising or grateful, it seemed.

Please forgive me if I have wrongly left things in spam which were sincere comments and appreciation.  I suppose the same should go for criticism as well, but I am getting heaps and heaps of praise and I am suspicious of it.  Again, sorry for those who really meant it.

I had a conversation with my advocate today and discovered that it is possible to complain about the tribunal hearing.  I asked her, and she said it was the first time anyone had asked, but yes it is possible.  Otherwise it is a bit like having a bin lid shut on top of you.  People (including me) freak out or go into decline because they don’t realise how many rights they do have.

I’m putting weight on so Dr Jaffer wants to change my medication.  In the meantime we had hotdogs for tea, or sausage, chips and beans, followed by pudding.

The woman who screams and shouts, reportedly because she is deaf, Chris, a male nurse into religious harassment and mind games, was talking to her at 10.15 onwards near my room, with me feeling as if I was being sprayed with acid.  He was doing it in the open regardless of my feelings or anyone else’s, when he could have left her in peace (and the rest of us), or encouraged her to go to her room with him, since it was obviously causing at least me distress.  She was as sulphuric as the woman who used to live over what was my temporary accommodation, but Dr Jaffer is insistent that it didn’t happen to me there at all, even though here it is all over again on the ward.  I was so upset I was shouting at them to stop, saying things like ‘steal my home then bring me into an environment which is an exact replica’.

I’ve got a manager’s meeting Wednesday 14th November.  I hope they will see their way to being more reasonable by then.  Dr Jaffer has not told me she has changed her mind about nothing really happening.  Chris calls himself a Christian.  He did a quiz which I only became a part of because I happened to see it in passing.  In it he talked about pride, and baby animals, the sphinx.  He said it was compiled by the staff.  I tried a few times recently to say hello to him but he turned away so his gaze was somewhere else, before saying hello.  At the time I thought it was like trying to train a dog.  He calls people in my hearing like ‘yip, yip’, here girl style.

Housing has said that it might be down to the therapeutic decision as to whether or not I can be allocated a home.  There is little, in my opinion, which is therapeutic about this place.  Occupational therapy is supposed to be therapeutic, but I find it controlling and judgmental.  I don’t know what their stance is at the moment but I need it to be something better than keeping me homeless in hospital while I have to keep paying about £160 a month for storage.

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.

Josh T Pearson

I’ve been listening to Josh T Pearson, Last of the Country Gentlemen.  I first heard him sing ‘Sweetheart I Ain’t Your Christ’ on the Robert Elms Show, then later the same week on the Jools Holland Show.  Where it talks about trying to make him suck out some disease he can’t even begin to see, and teach him how to speak in the hope that it would break some curse, I thought a lot about Tommy Boyd and how I ‘related’ to him.  He could have written it for me but he didn’t, he wrote it about his own relationship.  It made me think so much about Tommy Boyd I even took down my page with his name as the title.

I think there are Christians who would be offended by the lyrics, as I am sometimes.  But it communicates pain and confusion so effectively I can’t be offended by it overall, when I listen.

All Over the Place

I’m all over the place today. and was yesterday as well.  Should I go to church, or contact the media, or make contact again with my uncle?  Last time I went to him he turned me away.  So has everyone else though, at different times.

Who is the least to blame for their hacking of my computer and telephone?  Who can I least condemn for that and justify the most?

Life on the ward is violent and angry.  It runs completely counter to my life choice.  I was on a section 3 until I finally moved all my stuff out of my temporary accommodation on the Friday, then my section was rescinded on the following Monday, so technically I could leave, but I now had no home.  After a period off my section but feeling really distressed by the violently broken nights, when I tried to discharge myself they didn’t seem to know, between them, what they were doing, but they put me back on a section 3.

This place, patients and staff alike, are hurting me. Being here is making me very unhappy and repressed.  I know this place is bad for me, but they are telling me I need to be here.  I know I don’t and that it isn’t good for me to be here.    It isn’t good for anyone.  The kind of relationships that exist in a place like this, doing what they do, can only be diseased.  I can’t even discharge myself at the moment into the ‘really bad’ hostels they say exist here.  At least if I could do that I would be taking responsibility for my own life.  It might be easier if housing seemed to be doing something, like offering me accommodation.  I can’t remember the date I was interviewed, but it is over a month ago, maybe 2.  Even if I am offered accommodation I assume that the lifting of my section 3 won’t automatically coincide with that.

I keep coming out of my room to see staff members immediately change the expressions on their faces, when they see me.  There is something wrong with this and I am frightened.

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.

Tattle-Tale Post Review

Saw Dr Jaffur and Dr Fahy today with Alison Harrison, the ward manager.  Dr Jaffur was the only one of the three who spoke.

Dr Jaffur asked me a few questions about how I was feeling.  She asked about medication.  She asked about the ‘feelings’ I was having. of being harassed, etc.  I asked her to tell me if she was acknowledging that it was not all just in my mind and she said she was not acknowledging that, she thought they were just feelings, after I had told her about the times men have drawn level with me and cleared their throats straight into my ear as they pass.  Like the people in London who used to draw level and scream in my ear as they passed.  I heard someone talking about it on the radio, acknowledging it as a phenomenon, however much it is magnified or not magnified by my sensitivity and upset about it.

I got up, refusing to continue the review.  I held my finger up and said she had a vested interest in the situation and in not acknowledging the outer reality of what I was saying.

I came out really upset and angry.  I was saying that she was stupid or dishonest, that she was insisting that my whole life experience as I recount it is just feelings born of my mind.  I was saying she had no right to say that, just because in her judgment I am mentally ill, real things like harassment don’t happen to me.  I was saying I understood my life better than she did because I had a background in real therapy.  I said ‘oh, she must have a gift in clairvoyance, then, which is more than I have’.  I meant distance viewing but couldn’t remember the term.  I don’t have any of those gifts.

Tommy Boyd once said that his dog once ate his shit.  I thought he was talking about me swallowing an act. Whether he was or not, I have swallowed this, whether he meant it or not: he said something about God and not believing in Him, but rather being alone and acting and deciding alone.  This is something I have come to value, even though I believe in God.  It is, of course, the existentialist position.  Certainly you can’t go to the Bible and apply it to your situation when it involves people in power who do not share your position.  Christians differ with Christians.  You have to think with the material and spoken facts and limit yourself to those, in some situations.  I love Tommy Boyd.  I don’t know if he could love me.

I felt, rather, looking back, that it was Dr Jaffur who was putting herself in a position of deep denial, medical book guided fantasy, spinning something from her training which is not true of my life and has no connection with it of my choosing.

We all know about hate crime, including hate crimes against disabled people.  In our dining room we even have literature on the wall which says that this trust doews not tolerate disablism.  I think that is what the doctors and nurses here are engaging in every time they relate a concern you express back to mental illness.  They don’t want to know about reality.  Especially when they themselves abuse their positions and don’t recognise proper boundaries.  They seem to reason that we are ill therefore they can be lazy, or act as if they are in a disfunctional intimate relationship as the abusive, ridiculing, begrudging, demanding and superior partner.

Linda the nurse came in and told me to calm down as there were ladies who wanted to get their lunch.  I said i wasn’t saying anything they wouldn’t say themselves and that they were on my side.  I asked another patient what she thought and she said she didn’t know what to say.  Linda told me it wasn’t fair to involve the other patients, even though she was the one who had first invoked them on her side.  I think Errol, who was serving lunch,was coming in every time I stopped speaking.  Maybe that was why I didn’t feel able to stop.  I asked the person serving with him for a plastic white spoon to take out with me, and his body language seemed to me to indicate that he was unhappy with my use of the word ‘white’, though for me it was natural and just a description of the spoon, to create a focus on what I was asking for.  He has involved me in accusations of racism in the past, and has taken his own actions towards me and made out that it is me harassing him rather than the other way round.

Linda left as I was still speaking and I mentioned the night before the 40th anniversary of my father’s death and how she had not defended me against a patient who had hatefully and angrily said that everyone had problems and she didn’t want to know mine.  I said Linda had no rights towards me at all.

We all know about hate crime.  Dr Jaffur is not willing to acknowledge any possibility that I may be subject to it in any circumstances.  I wonder what she thinks of the very publicised case a few years ago where a mother in Leicester took her own and her disabled daughter’s lives after years of harassment they had not received adequate help and attention for from the police, who I think publicly apologised for this and said they would try harder in the future.  Short of corruption and self-protection, why is it not possible, in her mind, and the minds of other staff, that I am actually experiencing the harassment I say I am?  I don’t have bruises to show for most of it, and they made a mental health assessment justification out of the bruises they did see when I was advised to go to Queen’s Medical Centre and have it looked at.

Are they so scared of the consequences of this kind of abuse towards me that, for some reason, even though it has been recognised for others, they are unwilling to recognise for me that I am in a situation of ongoing harassment and intimidation unless it gets stopped?  That is the only reason that makes any sense for this willful presentation of themselves as blind to the possibility that I am paranoid because I am being harassed.

Started chapter 2 and realised it is not one story but several, a collection of short stories.  Very sad.  I am not sure, I do not think, that I would have been mature enough to read them at the time I was supposed to, in my first years at grammar school, but there is no way I can tell now.  I hardly went to school in those depressed years following my father’s death.

Depressed and angry years they were, too.  I used to stay at home reading Christian paperbacks, mostly, trying to work out how to belong.  I wanted to join Teen Challenge and work woith drug addicts.  An irony occurs to me here.  I’ve spent most of my life wanting to be up to and fit for the job and it feels as if – you pick it up, and develop yourself in the job, as you practise and go along.  I am looking down my nose at jobs I used to want to do – social worker, drug addiction outreach, etc.  What would I have become if I had got into those jobs earlier instead of thinking that office stuff was all I was fit for?  I didn’t know about gaining experience through voluntary work which would count as experience, and I seem to remember they all wanted qualifications anyway, specific to the role.  So you had to be a qualified social worker to be a residential care worker.  I’m not sure what my position would be now, especially having developed a disdain for the way psychiatry has worked in my life.

Still have nurses vocally tagging me and slipping in linguistic mickey finns.  Latest went “she-she-she-schitz”.  I can’t see that the question ‘why’ really matters.  When I think I should be justifying it I am thinking that it is a way of getting to my heart to develop trust.  The church uses parables.  So after my initial resistance I find myself wanting to justify them and thinking of myself as ungrateful and arrogant.  I am very tired at the moment.

I have just had my block leave increased from 3 hours to 5 hours, and the 3 half hours for local stuff stopped, so effectively I have half an hour longer than I had before, but the longest I can stay out at any one time has increased from 3 hours to 5.

Dr Fahy and I had a set to this morning.  I ended up arguing that she must think that the flash mobs and the harassment and violence were part of my mental illness, that that was what she was saying, but that I disagreed and that she could no more appreciate everything that I knew gave significance to what I was saying than she could unpick the Bayeux Tapestry and appreciate that.  She said that she believed it was part of my experience and I walked out because I thought she was saying I believed it was part of my experience but was all in my head.  That is what that response has come to mean to me over the years.  She might have meant she knew it was real.  If that is the case we are not communicating well with each other.

I don’t mind being tired as long as I am allowed to rest during that time.  I believe that is what I need, and the reason I have not wanted to stay on the ward is that it is just the same as what was happening at home, the shouting, the violence, except there is little here I can do to alleviate it short of go out.

So Anyway, last Wednesday . . .

My advocate and I went into the review meeting with Dr Jaffur and Alison, the ward manager.  When we came out we both agreed that the two staff had not been open to changing their intentions with regard to forced medication.  My advocate suggested that I could be moved to another ward and Alison said she I didn’t have a good relationship with any of the staff and that she thought I would always feel harassed.  I suppose the facts and what I think about that don’t matter.  Their position as stated was that they just wanted me better, and that if the medication was not taken orally they would inject.  When I asked when the medication was going to start, after the review meeting, Alison said in a really confrontational way ‘it starts right now’.  I found it so confrontational that I asked her if she was trying to get me into a state where several people could hold me down and inject me.

So I have capitulated and am taking the medication orally, in spite of the fact that my previous reasons for not wanting to take it remain.  Being forced to take medication against your wishes is bullying, which the trust says it does not tolerate.

Last week the possibility of forced injection was being held over me as a threat (threat is the right word).  I asked the nurse last night what would happen if I were to refuse medication now, if I would be injected, and he said no, an injection was no longer there as an option.  But if I refuse again now I am afraid (fear is something else the trust literature says the trust does not tolerate) that they would go straight to injection and keep it that way, and withdraw the oral option.

In the meantime, I am exhausted, worrying about relationships on the ward, as if they are the most important thing in my life; worrying about my financial situation, especially with regard to my belongings in storage and the fact that my benefits are due to go down now I have been so long in hospital.  Occasionally I recall that what I reported around my home has not yet received any signs of being taken seriously and would therefore be likely to recur in any future tenancies.

Alison says she sees no sign of any harassment.  Maybe that is because she isn’t out of her office and among us when that is happening.  Or maybe it is deliberate blind eyes and deaf ears.  I have told them everything and there is nothing else to tell.  If anyone is being disingenuous in this, it is not me.  I have noticed that several of the staff use false personalities.  Knowing that makes me not even want to try to relate to them.  Also, if it is true that I don’t have a good relationship with any of the staff, as Alison said, it might be possible that that is because I see them as upholding and enabling a totalitarian and abusive mental health system.  They know my beliefs about this, so it shouldn’t be put down to a failing in methat I don’t have a good relationship with any of the staff, if that is true.  Also, some of them are there just for the money and don’t want to work.  They are happy if we are not visible because we feel so threatened and disrespected by them.  They just mess around until it is time for them to go home.

I’ve just finished the 1st chapter of ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner.  In places I have found it hilarious and I anticipate a good read.  The protagonist is from Nottingham, in a Borstal, at this point.  I don’t know anything about the book or where he ends up in his thinking.  He talked (he is the narrative voice) about having seen the knife held by those in authority over him when they put him in a Borstal.  Being of a basically law-abiding temperament I want him to have changed his thinking and position about a lot of things he is sure about, including his belief that the authorities are his enemies and always will be, by the end of the book.  In the meantime, I am loving it.

My laptop needs mending.  Hard drive disk inaccessible.  Have just submitted a form.  I’m typing in the library.

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?

People keep positioning me at the moment, with their tone of voice.  They use a ‘professional caring therapy’ voice and I just want to talk normally, but when I do, when I am my open happy self, as I was the other night, one of the nurses immediately banged something down in front of me and started talking.  I was talking to Jack and saying hello and it was a controlling gesture.  I’m afraid I don’t get it, the reasoning, or lack of reasoning, behind that.  If it wasn’t deliberate, in light of things that have happened in the past it was frightening.

Yesterday afternoon, after I had hidden in my room all day feeling intimidated, Alison came into my room and started accusing me of racism.  She wasn’t concerned, or didn’t say she was, that I hadn’t been out of my room all day and had missed breakfast and lunch, she just came in saying that people had said I had been making racist comments.  I said instead of accusing me and assuming it was true, as she appeared to be doing (she asked me if I was aware that I was being racist in a way which sounded as if she was taking it for granted that I was), why didn’t she tell me who had said what, what I was supposed to have said to whom.  She never did.  It was me that brought up an incident which might have been perversely interpreted as racism with a girl who has been very aggressive towards me – note I said aggressive, not violent.  She didn’t raise anything else, so I suppose that was it.

She stood over me on my bed and suggested that I might want to come out and she would sit with me at dinner.  Part of me wanted to co-operate with that, but another part of me felt defensive and not confident after her initial approach.  I felt a lot of warmth from her which wrong-footed me.  I wanted the warmth and needed it but she had come at me aggressively and accusing in the first place, so I rejected it.

I talked to her later in her office.  I was upset that as my body started to show signs of relaxing (I batted my eyelids while talking, clearing my mind and emotions), she immediately copied it with her eyes fixed on me.  I felt controlled and suffocated.  I was shocked and offended that she did it  It felt like a denial of my individuality and an invalidation of (I’m in Caffe Nero.  I’m always frightened by ‘pussycat dolls’.  I knew what I was going to say after invalidation of but now I can’t remember.  That happens to me a lot.  I think I was going to say something like an invalidation of a movement into confident normality).  People borrow me or react to me all the time.  It freaks me out.  I suppose I’d like to say something to the ‘pussycat dolls’ but I daren’t.  I believe in psychic phenomena and know it is not a mental illness thing.  Every time I take control of where I am going I seem to get hit by ugliness or mirroring and I can’t cope with it.

Last night while I had my radio on in my room there was a woman who kept banging her door hard about once a minute for about an hour and a half.  She couldn’t hear my radio.  I don’t know if it was the same person, but someone was also purring something that sounded exactly like what was going on in my old temporary accommodation. I told one of the nurses afterwards and she said she knew.  At 1am the previous morning there had been people repeatedly slamming doors on or near my corridor and giggling.  She told me she had pleaded with them to stop.

You say something and you get told that there are a lot of ill people on the ward at the moment.  But I think that is evasive.  I think if these people are acting out of illness it is because they know what I know and the nurses know but the nurses won’t say.  Rather than talk about it they are doing with others what they have done with me, calling them ill.  If they don’t know or understand what is going on I suppose it will make them ill, to be kept in the dark and fed the proverbial.

I am in hospital because the authorities have let me down.  Alison was asking if I thought I misinterpreted things.  When people are treating me the way I have been treated, it hardly matters whether I am misinterpreting some things or not.  First deal with the mistreatment, then deal with the misinterpretations, if there are any.  I’m having a misinterpretation of myself constantly presented to me and forced on me if my behaviour doesn’t fit their interpretation.

As we finished the conversation in the office Alison said that they would have to be vigilant when I was around.

Before that when talking about misinterpretations I said that people also lie and that sometimes the staff were naive to take their word.  I suppose it could also be a matter of convenience.

The untrue accounts of me locking someone in my flat and putting the key down my trousers (!) is still doing the rounds when it comes to risk assessment.  I had an interview with someone from Gateway, for housing, last week.  It is prejudicing people against me even before we meet.  I have been told we can add a disageement to our information, but I’m not sure if we can get it removed altogether.  If we can’t, I can’t bear the way people are going to keep viewing me and writing about me in light of this malicious lie.

Staff who have been rude and unreasonable to me and even abusive keep forcing themselves on me to say hello without apologising or anything.  I feel bullied by it.  It is disrespect of my privacy and freedom of association, or right to not associate.  Errol still keeps forcing himself on me and on ordinary casual conversations which ave nothing to do with him.  I never ask him for anything, and when he is in the office and I ask someone else he exchanges derisive looks with people ad raises his eyebrows.  I’d rather go without than ask him for anything.  After the way he treats me, I feel embarrassed in a way I shouldn’t.  Because sometimes I see him weak and feel sorry for him and guilty.  But I feel so suffocated I can’t breathe and my mind is not in control at that time.

4 patients set on me at lunch time the other day and he was behind the hatch smirking.  There were other staff standing around.  No one told them to stop.  But they would have been straight on top of me.  Their practice of conflict resolution consists of finger wagging and telling people to shut up.  They don’t differentiate between aggressor and victim.  So it all keeps going and festering.  Luke came to sit with me.  At the time I didn’t see it as helpful.  He asked me if I wanted him to leave and I said yes please.

I keep feeling the only way out is to go back to Church.  But they promote the mental heath system and assume that, if a person is subject to it, it is necessary.  These days they say go to the doctor, take your medicine.  They are no more qualified to say that than they were to tell people not to, that God would heal them without medicine.  They have gone from one abuse of leadership position to another.  Surely they should be telling people and freeing people to make their own decisions.  They must be very frightened to need to take a position towards other people’s handling of their health decisions in that way.  But while they are I am frightened to go back.

This Moment IS

The staff on the ward have found my blog, without me giving them the address but saying angrily a few times that I was going to blog.  The ward manager collared me twice, once quite softly and the second time in a way which made me feel they wanted to take my computer and my leave away.  The second time she approached me with 2 other female staff members and in public.  She said she wanted to talk about my use of my computer on the ward.  I said it was music and that I have no internet connection on the ward.  She asked me quite crossly where I wrote my blog and how I wrote it and I pointed out that I have 5 1/2 hours total off the ward and I go where I can get a connection and that I have the same freedoms as everyone else in that time.  They said they did not like having their names associated with certain things.  I said that I have things associated with my name which I don’t like also, and that they were free to write or comment.  It was probably in that context that she said that it was a matter of confidentiality, but I took it to mean that she was saying I was breaking a duty of confidentiality which I was quick to point out that I do not have but that they do.  They talked about seeking advice.  I said OK.  I hope if and when they do the outcome will make a big difference in society and for people who are held against their wishes and with other forms of abuse, harassment and bullying thrown in.

This is good.

They saw me coming towards the office/ward exit this afternoon and it seemed to me they deliberately closed the office door and I stood outside knocking with them ignoring me.  This happens often.  The staff last night were calling people rude.  I’m not sure who they meant.  At the time it seemed it was obvious they meant me.

2 nights ago a woman had 2 separate instances of being forcibly medicated.  Hefty men called and involved, on an all-female ward.  If anyone knows how that is appropriate I would appreciate the feedback through comments.  She said they had hurt her hand and it was all swollen and red.  I know I have been there, in London.  It took 6 months for my hand to stop hurting, and the man doing it at the time, when I said he was hurting me, said ‘well, you will learn your lesson, then, won’t you?’  I was never contemptuous of my own life until I felt betrayed by the church and came under the psychiatric services.

We appear to have a large degree of revolt and anarchy on the ward at the moment.  Everyone is angry and the staff are, to my mind, often unprofessional.  Everyone knows what is happening but the staff say nothing, and I think most of us patients know they know more than they are allowing us to be party to and that, if we were allowed to be party to the staff’s knowledge of what everyone knows, a lot of things might be called into question.  Just a thought.

This blog is exactly what it says in the title, that and nothing else – the thoughts and observations of a certified nut.  Why would anyone want to seek advice over that?

Did I say that I had had a bad week as a vegan last week?  I was tempted again earlier this week but I talked myself through it.  I went through the ‘so I’ll feel guilty’ bit and realised afresh that it is about the suffering or death or utilisation of an animal in a way which is not ideal.  I decided we are different from most of the animal world in that we have a conscience and can think, philosophise and moralise about our behaviour.  I had tears in my eyes as I thought it through.  I was happy about that.  It is about the animal and about me, living according to my light.

Jesus is wonderful and I love Him.  He ate fish.  I’m not sure how to harmonise that.  It is said that the prophets were vegetarian and that the Essenes were also.  And I believe it is right not to use animals.  So I can’t deal with the Jesus and fish thing – not at all, in that context.  I think I was taught at Bible College that John the Baptist was an Essene.  So while they might have said ‘but Jesus ate fish so it isn’t wrong’, why would John the Baptist have lived by a higher morality?  We were told that when it says JTB ate locusts, it actually means the locust bean, and not the insect.

Excuse Me, Can We Talk?

When I was young, this is how I understood you approached a person for a relationship or conversation.

The current trend, which everyone seems to do to me all the time, is to grab your ear without engaging you in conversation, then fire little bits and snippets to try and ascertain if ‘you are the one’.

This is not a form of conversation starting and finding out I am open to, and when it happens I feel stunned and detained for another person’s purpose against my will and I feel powerless and abused, because all they want is to satisfy themselves that I am the one they have heard about.

Yet, someone is ill or injured on the street and people walk by.

Recently, appropriately or not, I want to collapse, just give up, let my legs stop   holding me up and fall to the ground.  Just stop trying, not even necessarily lose consciousness and that is what I anticipate might be the problem, because if I am not supported in that moment and if people leave me I might end up in the hands of the mental health services as has happened before, unless there is someone who will stay with me and insist that doesn’t happen.

So I can’t stop, I daren’t and everyone wants to use probes to find out if I am who they think I am and what they have heard is true, but they don’t care about me as a person and coming up to me and saying,’are you all right, can we talk?’

No one knows or cares, unless I say so, that I am in a violent situation and my stomach hurts and I feel sick and as if I have to deal with the situation myself because when I ask for help nothing is actually done to change the situation.  Therefore I feel as if I need to buy a cheap dinner service and ask the violent and harassing ones round for a meal, while I am actually living in fear day and night, then when I get away from the flat feeling embarrassed because I think I am being immature and over-reacting and it is all my fault and who do I think I am and I should know better.

And I write far more than I want to on posts like this because people keep grabbing my ears and life in that way and I get so angry I lose control of where I am going.  I’m a paying customer and it feels like harassment and extortion, not to mention personally invasive and disrespectful.  It makes me feel trapped by their assumptions, unable to back out of things then accepting responsibility for a choice which was eventually not made completely happily, and I feel, right now, as if I am under exam conditions, using an internet cafe, and panicking because I feel as if I am being expected to stop writing this and talk to the proprietor at his insistence and expectation.

I have no boundaries of protection that are respected.

This has been how it is for years, and I feel sick.

More slamming doors, incorporating my speech pattern into his speech, clearing his throat and employing a tone towards me as soon as I walk in.  I do not have my own voice.  These people are deliberately stealing and demanding my right to myself and what is mine to give, and I suppose I have to pay for having used the service as well.

He is angry, among other things, but he will never say so.

This is the only internet cafe I know in Nottingham.  But I feel hurt and everything.

Another Home, Another . . .

She keeps screaming hallelujah, day and night, several times a minute during the day, they are violent . . . talk about deja vu!  I’ve written to the council.

Guess who is feeling responsible again?

Someone knocked on my door this afternoon.  Twice.  It was an official-sounding knock but no one spoke or announced themselves, so I don’t know who it was.  I’ve decided not to do deja vu on the way I treat knocks at the door.  If they don’t announce themselves as police I won’t automatically assume they are or act out of a knee jerk feeling that they are.  I’ve decided not to answer the door if I’m not expecting anyone and I don’t know who it is.  If they say they are the police I will answer, but I am still nervous.  I never know what decisions they are going to make about me and I am scared.

They can hear my radio when I have it on, a small DAB radio.  She hallelujahs at the end of every song, and every time a song mentions baby they are they conferring together saying ‘hmm, yes’.  I’m trying not to panic, but in the circumstances it is hard.  I’m more afraid of the authorities than I am of them.

I’ve got temporary council housing in Nottingham.  I’ve been in it for 2 weeks, I don’t know if they are going to house me permanently and if it would mean a change of address if they do.  I’ve been under pressure to collect my belongings for ages and have just learned that an estimate given by a removal man’s business friend in storage was very underestimated.  I was violently ejected off a campsite in Wales by an ex-police owner.  Almost 3 weeks later and the bruise on the inside of my arm is almost vanished.  My uncle lent me money which I decided to use for breathing space rather than make a decision under pressure to enter into a contract.  The campsite owner kept all my belongings and the camping equipment I had just bought, saying I didn’t own anything anymore.  I think I left with just the clothes I had on.  I had told him that one of his staff had touched me and been harassing me, and instead of dealing with it responsibly and professionally, he dealt with it that way.  I’ve asked twice for a social worker and heard nothing.  The council here knows what is happening, I have told them.

All told I feel sick with apprehension and embarrassment.  I reported the campsite incident to the police in Swansea, under the misapprehension that Neath came under Swansea.  All told I was there from around 4pm to around 11.30pm, and while I was in the interview room I was treated like a circus act and barracked and heckled from officers in nearby rooms, and they were laughing.  They were getting all the dirt they could about me and letting me hear it, and when I joked about my wellies from Tescos being a bit too tight for me because my right leg was too fat with a couple of the female officers, one of the male offcers said ‘that’s more like it, a friendly joke, not assaulting a police officer’, as though he had a right and that was the whole story and as if he did not know the abuses I have been through myself in my life.

I’m frightened of the police and mental health services, and I have asked the council for support I haven’t received or had the request acknowledged, at least I have received no letter.  My mobile phone was among the things the campsite owner kept hold of.  I can’t afford another right now.  I’m wondering if this situation is going to be used again to frighten me with mental health admissions.  I’ve already had several assessments in the last few months where it was decided I didn’t need to be in hospital, but not having any money or security and having my stuff taken from me left right and centre and another bout of 24 hour harassment is freaking me out.  Because before, in London, they said it was all in my mind and kept putting me under a section.

The woman I last spoke to at the council seemed to be trying to be understanding and sympathetic and human, but I have heard nothing and I don’t know what is happening or what decisions are being made and why.  I have told them so much which historically has been used to section me.  And people are reacting all over the place, as before.  It seems as if everyone has an expectation that I should tell them everything.  I’m thinking about the people’s courts under communism.  It is really terrifying, not least because I don’t feel free to express how offensive I find it.  If you confront people with their behaviour they can get really nasty.  They like to pretend they are not doing anything.

I think I’ve got £15 until next Thursday.  I made sure I topped up my bus pass for a week so I can get around.  I’ve got a fair amount of food.  I feel crazy with pain and fear and anger I daren’t express, and not knowing.

But my neighbours seem nice.  I feel treacherous and stupid.  I haven’t lived in Nottingham for ages, and I don’t know what is normal and what isn’t.

As I said in my letter to the council which, all being well, they should get tomorrow, I keep feeling as if it is me that is being perverse.  I’m wondering if she has learning difficulties, but sometimes it feels like a complete wind up, and as always, her timing is impeccably uncanny.  I’m not sure of the spiritual mechanics of it, but it is.

Sometimes they seem really nice, and one of the guys up there seems emotionally upset by it all.

I’ve told the council we need help and support.  I said we, not just I.  I haven’t heard a thing.  It is a week ago.  She said she ‘insisted’ that I stop reacting as I was breaching the terms of my contract.  But after agreeing with her, I now feel and believe that the terms of the contract were not written to inhibit understandable human reactions from people who are in a situation like this one.  But I did agree, saying also that if I agreed to stop then we needed support. . .

I’m frightened of the police.  I feel I have to go through a charade with them to communicate and try to get help, and it feels humiliating, because I often feel they are being deliberately ride and obstructive when I try.  I have so much anger built up, and I often hear them getting details on me and the fact that I have a history with the mental health services.  I know that is meant to help them have some idea how to assist, but it usually doesn’t feel as if that is what it is for at the time.  I always see it as a threat when they start talking in those terms, even though rationally I believe now that seeing it that way is a mistake.

But if their idea of helping me is to refer me to mental health services . . . that is what I am frightened of.  Their own conditioning which they act on without question and resent it if I question it.  I am frightened of the powers they have which I cannot resist.

I miss Max.  I’m really upset.  I liked him and felt as if I could trust him from the first time I heard him speak.  I’ve not stopped thinking about him, but it is now over a month that I walked away feeling unable to cope.  I didn’t mean to stay away at the time.

Memo to self

To achieve anything of importance you need your own private space.

With what is happening around me when I try to use a computer in a public space, or even stand and look out at the fountain I walked beside after my degree ceremony and reconstruct memories and remember who was with me, I can’t even remember what it was I considered so urgent that I needed an extra hour on the internet before I did anything else.

Officials have been so unethical and unprofessional in their handling of my situation and the way they try to access it that they have left me vulnerable in every way.

I’m going to get a tee shirt made up saying ‘Am I the only person who is not allowed to cry and scream in anguish without being arrested or put in a mental hospital?’

If anyone else wants to use it, feel free.  Your design will be unique to yourself (or your company, if you will go that low).  If anyone wants it for company purposes I might hope that they would approach me so I can share their profits.

Basically the police seem to be standing back and letting things get out of hand until I crack and start giving it back to my aggressors, at which point the police move in to take advantage of the situation to establish a contact with me which, because I do not accept where they want to go or yield, ends up in me being arrested.  They stand back while trouble develops then take advantage, rather than making an honest approach to what they want from, for or with me.  I still have bruises on my wrist from Monday night before the clearing of St Paul’s, which is 9 days ago, and no handcuffs were used.  There was no need for force, apart from making my opinion of what they were doing to me known verbally, I offered no physical resistance.  They acted in anger and malice.  Also dishonesty, I think.  They told me not to go back to my tent, supposedly by that time knowing that clearance was scheduled, so even if I hadn’t been arrested I would have been in breach of their instructions if I had gone back to my tent for any reason, even though it was the only place I had to sleep and had no money for anywhere else and they probably knew I would need to get my things.  As it is I seem to have lost everything I had in there.  The City of London police told me anything unclaimed had been taken to Heathrow and I should contact the Metropolitan Police about how to get it, but a CAB staff member phoned them for me yesterday and they say they know nothing.

On Sunday morning 5th February between 9 and 10 am I was in the O2 Shopping centre at Finchley Road, NW3.  I have never been in there before or got off in the area for years.  I had noticed an express hotel while passing on a bus and although they had no rooms, they were happy for me to buy tea and coffee through the night and buy breakfast.

I decided after standing at the bus stop for a little while that I would go in and see what was there, see if I could get a cup of coffee.  I went into Starbucks at just after 9am.  A young policeman came in directly behind me and as soon as I had finished asked for a fuckochino.

I’m sitting in Caffe Nero at the moment fighting for emotional possession of what should be mine to possess, where they have repeatedly looked at me as if I am a nuisance since I came in, and they are trying to do some sort of operatic thing behind the counter.  I’m finding it distracting and an act of sabotage, at least in terms of emotional connection, so my writing is hurting me.  I heard something recently which makes me feel that the police might have leaked a photograph of me to people and places like these, or maybe this is just the way they deal with people they really don’t like the look of and don’t want around.  I say again, schizophrenia is imposed by ruling dishonest savages and is not inherent in the person.  They advertise free internet here, but seem to be doing everything they can to distract me in my use of it.  It is not supposed to be their creative space to the distraction of the customers.  If I wanted opera I’d pay for it or find it on the internet.  I certainly don’t want to be involved in an angry psychic improvisation in a way that totally grabs at and demands my attention, for whatever reason.  It is 8.07 am at Canary Wharf.  It seems there is a wave they grab at with singing every time I start to think and feel.  I feel fear and distress and hurt and anger.  Betrayal and discrimination.

But back to Starbucks in the O2 shopping centre at Finchley Road.  And if I don’t manage to write all I know is in me to write, I might hopefully be able to come back to it later.  These coffee bar people seem to think they are the new 5 star hotel staff or the aristocracy themselves, but that goes for all service staff everywhere, in my experience.  Always imposing themselves, no discretion or sensitivity.  They have the rights, they say in writing, and their power is always upheld.  But we are paying and they are the paid.  So if they distract or impose themselves it is an act of theft, as much as anything.  I know my recent writing must have done the grapevine, and they are deliberately trying to distract me.  That is harassment.  I’ve never been in here before.

I asked the policeman if he had asked for a fuckochino, and his mate (3 or 4 others had joined him, including a woman.  I only remember one but maybe there were two) said to him ‘did you ask for a fuckochino?’ and he said ‘yes, I did’, and they made a joke of it.  I talked about verbal assault and harassment and went and sat down with my coffee.  I sat in a corner as far away as I could manage in the hope that it would keep them away from me, and also there was an electrical socket to plug my laptop into, which was what I needed.

Anyway, they sat level with me, but on the other side of the room.  They sat there effing and blinding loudly for ages and no one challenged them.  They were talking about crazy, crazy cat and vegan frappacino, which is something I had quite a lot in Starbucks when the weather was warmer.  They have told me their syrups are all vegan, so I have it made with soya milk and without cream.

Shortly after they started this a man came in with his young daughter.  I think from memory she was around 10 years old.  I had noticed her on the escalator earlier.  She had lovely long red hair.  They sat in front of me facing me, and I hoped they wouldn’t leave as I saw their presence as my safety and protection.  But these officers must have gone on for about 20 minutes or more in this vein, and eventually one of them said something about the position being clear.  They seemed to be watching my reaction and gathering from it that I was not going to get involved, but blog.  Soon afer he said about the position being clear I said my position was that I didn’t like them sitting there harassing me and using that language, which anyone else might have been arrested for, and talking about crazy.  Although they went quiet as I was speaking they didn’t acknowledge me, but I think they left in a sort of silence a minute or two later, no apologies to me or to anyone else.

Afterwards I sat there confused, feeling as if the attention was a positive thing and that it would be treacherous, unreasonable and perverse of me to find anything wrong with it and to try to expose it.  I thought they were trying to centre with me, perhaps, and stripping themselves of all decency to make me feel secure and communicate that they wanted to talk to me and wanted me to trust them.  What else, after all, is supposed to be communicated by their lovely smart uniforms and their clean, fresh appearance?

Then I thought what if it was someone else being treated like that?  If I accepted it as positive for myself it would be saying it was OK to do to someone else.  And at Heathrow I was arrested for swearing.  Mine was in desperation and anger but theirs was a constant stream of non-stop, jocular, almost barrack room stuff.  And there was a little girl and her father hearing it all.  Recently they have been saying to me that there are children around when I have been angry with them, and I have said that I didn’t care.  In the situation it was emotional blackmail.  These officers did not care that this little girl was party to this behaviour.  I’m not sure they thought about her at all.  They could see her.  When they have challenged me with the statement that there were children around, I couldn’t even see them.

I was thinking last night about something I have read quite often, that there are people with such low self-esteem that even negative attention is seen as something to be desired.  That is me.  In the presence of such a clean image, even if they are acting like that, I feel like such a low life that I deserve it, or that they are even engaging in an act of kindness to tell me that they are approachable.

But yesterday I thought (I have just looked at the girl behind the counter.  She looks very angry and defiant of me.  She knows as well as I what they are doing) would anyone want their mother or grandmother or wife or daughter or any other female to be treated that way?  If I ‘OK-ed’ it for myself, would anyone else thank me for that?

I stopped to think just now and when inspiration began to come, when I started to level out with my own emotions and thoughts, one of the girls behind the counter said ‘here we go again’.  It is a deliberate act of control and sabotage.  They have just started singing again in the same harassing way.  I was not going to write about them, but since they are taking from me the things I am wanting to write about, they have brought it on themselves.  I’m not sure who they are doing it for.  Every time I stop to feel an emotion they whine it out.  That is a statement of fact, not hatred speaking.

I can’t go into it in depth in these conditions, I can’t access depth language and expression or thought or memory reconstruction, but I was feeling that I have lost my sense of where the boundary lines ought to be, that I felt guilty about not accepting their behaviour with gratitude in the first place, and that I still do.  The officers were completely inappropriate in their behaviour, and it would have been equally inappropriate with or without the presence of the child, and whether it had been public or private.

So that is it.  That is that incident from Sunday.  There were about 4 or 5 others over the course of the weekend, but this one was completely unsolicited in a place I have never been in before.  I’m almost afraid to make such a categorical statement, but I believe it cannot be OK.  However extraordinary the situation, proper procedure and approach should always be adhered to.

I told the girl’s father that I loved her red hair and thought it was beautiful.  I did think it was beautiful, and I wanted to say so, because there are so many instances of redheads being bullied and I read about one recently, and I wanted to affirm her.  Afterwards I felt as if I might have been stupid.  I tried to stop the father as he was leaving and apologise if my comment had been stupid, but although I think he heard me say ‘excuse me’ he didn’t stop.  At the time I only saw them as being a protection for me.  I didn’t think about them being equal victims of the situation at all.

A few minutes ago the girl behind the counter said loudly, angrily and challengingly ‘I’m spiritual’.  She has loudly said ‘sorry’ a couple of times, but not to me, though it was meant for my hearing.

A few weeks ago I read and commented on a blog called ‘disable me’.  I feel as if I am being conceited even to mention it and to say this is a deliberate attempt to disable and control.  The way she is talking at the moment I have an image of someone parading themselves angrily on a platform and insisting on being acknowledged and looked at.

Finished 9.32 am

She has just said ‘baby’.  And now she is singing Cum by ya, and has gone into mocking singing.

Edit 9.42  They are openly and derisively miaowing at me.  It is savage.

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.

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