This week has been difficult for me and its hit me hard. There have been a few occasions where it has felt like I have been torn down a little and made to feel small. I haven’t felt very powerful but instead have been left feeling desperate in my search of some self-respect to hold on to. I’m questioning so much and I have no one to turn to with it. I am realising that this time I am on my own and somehow I’m going to have to make that work. I feel like I am going to have to do something that I don’t want to do, which is to not be truthful with the state of my world because I have learnt that all those times I thought honesty was helping me, it was just giving people a space to make judgements about me.
It happened at the beginning of the week and then it happened again yesterday. I could take the first one, it was a work thing, not directly personal but still hurtful. It’s my job to deal with that though and challenge it in the hope that it leads to education. I’m used to it. Most of the time I can shake off the looks which are ones of hostility and as though I am a waste of space. It’s fine. It’s what I signed up for.
The one that happened yesterday though was personal. My history with Mental Health services is extensive and I have been stuck in this system for many years now. I’ve never really had a sustained period of stability and my world and family is often chaotic. There is always one crisis or another. There has always been relapse and despair and risk. I have learnt to manage that and in some ways accept it for what it is. This may be as good as it gets and that’s fine. I can live with it. Keeping that in mind and moving forward, it was discussed with me a couple of weeks ago that I would finally be discharged from services in December. I have to admit that I breathed a little easier knowing that. The end was coming and I had seen it through without running away. I thought that was a good thing and wanted to take the next step forward. Yesterday I sat down with my CPN and talked about that next step, which for me was thinking of coming off my medication. I have been debating the subject for a while with myself, with friends…trying to figure out if its a good idea. I’ve had some people say yes, others were not so sure. When I asked my CPN the last time, she was happy to arrange an appointment with a psychiatrist to discuss the issue. That wasn’t the case this time. She told me that she was worried I was going to pull a stunt like this. I asked her what she meant by that and her response was that whenever I get close to being discharged, I do something to screw it up and that it had been documented in my notes. For a moment I was stunned. Where the hell was this coming from and what were her examples? she cited one instance of it saying that I was supposed to be discharged before and something prevented it although she did not go into any further detail of said example. Let me just say I was amazed at this whole turn around and despite her incompetence over the last couple of years, I thought she had at least some insight. I told her that the idea of coming off my medication came long before that meeting of planning a discharge. To prove my point – and trust me I was annoyed that I even had to – I got out my diary to check the date of that last appointment and my journal and read her an extract dated a couple of weeks before in which I talked about wanting to stop my meds. Then we got into an argument about the meds that I am taking and that if I was to go ahead with it, she would be insisting that they removed the one medication that I want to keep because there are no studies to prove its long term efficacy, despite it still working for me. Bottom line was that she would not support this decision at this time. We eventually calmed down enough to talk through an alternative plan which was for me to stay on them for another year and do it then so that I don’t screw up Uni. Her point was valid and I wasn’t even upset about her disagreeing with me on that point, even with how she backed me into corner with the threats. What annoyed was that she made an assumption that I was attempting to manipulate her. That she looked at a situation and made it fit a diagnosis rather than looking at why someone would want to be in control of their own lives for once. Then I was generally pissed at the system and that these people felt like they have the right to make a judgement about me and no one thought to have a conversation with me. Furthermore, even when I proved her wrong on the whole me self-sabotaging thing and the medication decision after the discharge meeting, she didn’t have the decency to apologise. There was so little respect in my house yesterday that I almost threw her out and I don’t do anger as an emotion but I was so mad that I thought my heart was going to explode out of my chest it was beating that fast.
The thing is, she doesn’t even know me. She may have been working with me for the last couple of years but for 5 of those months I was in hospital and she saw me three times. She still thinks that I was this happy bundle of joy when I was at Uni, and although yes I loved my classes, I was knee-deep in Anorexia and constantly moments away from a full-blown breakdown. My tutor had to see me every week to just get me through in one piece and that’s happy? What I hate the most though, is that I am here, tearing this woman down and letting her get to me because that isn’t who I am. I am usually always at fault and for the first time I don’t feel like that. I feel like I was wronged and criticised based on something that isn’t even real. She gave me the option to do the discharge yesterday and I wanted to say yes, let’s do that but I know it would have been a knee jerk reaction. Yet I’m not sure I see the point in staying in a service for another 6 months when this relationship which wasn’t great feels like it can’t be repaired and I have neither the patience not the inclination to try. I have over a month before our next appointment and I think if I feel the same way then maybe then that will be the time to end this. When she left, she said prove me wrong…and I just thought “No…that is manipulation. That is very much like saying if you do this thing it means that and if you do the opposite it means something else and neither of those things are good. I have nothing to prove to anyone but myself”. I would have said that out loud to her but I have feeling she would have twisted it because I’m not allowed to mention patterns in their behaviour. I’m not allowed to question them. If I do it, it’s symptoms, if they do it, it’s assessment. I fought so hard against this kind of shit and in the end what for? There are some things that will never change.
This last week, I have thought about quitting the work I do, pulling a project and moving on from it. I am tired of putting myself in the position where I can be picked over like this and I want it to stop. I don’t have the heart to do it anymore. How many more times can I keep splitting bits of me off in order to challenge beliefs and still have an expectation that anything will be let afterwards? I’m even looking as far ahead as leaving this city once I’ve finished my degree. Maybe I just need to start again somewhere else.
I have ranted at you. I’m sorry. I don’t feel like I have anywhere else to really turn right now and I just needed to get that out of my system. Hopefully I can just forget about it now for a while and focus on treatment that is actual treatment and building a life that is mine and good for me.
I hope your day has been good to you.