Love is becoming real

Following up from my previous entries when I had fallen for a Romanian, I felt I’d best report I got conned.

I don’t want to go into details because I would rather forget the whole experience now, although I have contacted the Police to try and recover stuff that was stolen from me and particularly to prevent him from becoming a Police Officer in the UK which he had told me he was studying for – whether this was true or not who knows.

I have now discovered and experiencing Love again though but this time, I will keep it to myself.

I will just say I have met the most amazing guy whilst sectioned [he was sectioned too, similar circumstances as me, ie sectioning wasn’t the best option for him but he got tricked into it] and we are living the most amazing romance despite all the challenges.

I have never been happier, so happy I won’t be writing about it but living the experience to the max ;-).

By newpaz

Letter to a psychiatrist

Dear Dr Agarwalpsychiatrist at Norwich Rollesby Ward, Hellesdon Hospital.

The NHS is underfunded was the comment a staff member made following a “Self Harm” course he had attended after he explained the course was more about shame and guilt than its consequences (hospitalisation).

Shame you were off that day, as I feel you would have benefitted from this course.

The NHS is underfunded because money isn’t spent wisely when it comes to Mental Health.

Yesterday, I read the reports that should have been given to me in good time prior to the Hospital Managers Meeting I was due to attend today – they were only given to me  less than 24 hours prior – and they made interesting reading.

Not only a few (!!) facts were factually incorrect, others only one version of events, and listing all the medication I had been given plus my stay in LSE (Low Sensory Environment) was frankly laughable!

padded-cell

Enough to convince me I am correct in believing We – the Royal We – ought to concentrate more on psychology than psychiatry.

It wasn’t long ago your profession decided lobotomy was the answer – remember? Shameful all the more. [I have since been told by a staff member lobotomies are on the up again.]

thelobotomist-1440x564_c

The worst was you felt I should be sectioned for as long as possible [six months] – shameful again.

Who do you think you are to make such decisions?

I am tired of you people (psychiatrists) you really have no clue what kind of person I amNo Clue.

Treat people’s emotion problems instead of medicating them and you see vast improvements.

Then we can see just how underfunded the NHS really is when it comes to Mental Health.


I had written this letter to Dr Agarwal however, my hearing got postponed and I found myself transferred to PICU (Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit) in Ipswich before I got a chance to finish the letter and give it to him.

[I only stayed in PICU Ipswich 48 hours as they didn’t know why I was sent them and got moved to the Poppy Open Ward in Ipswich still where Dr Jenkins and Dr McCormack were in charge of me. The contents still valid, I thought I would carry on the letter and add a worry I then had with the care provided by those two doctors.]

I now have an extra worry: my income.

I am a home owner see and have been most of my working life.

Currently I own a house in Thetford and I need an income to pay for it: my job.

Work is kindly paying me whilst I have been sectioned for at least six months but since I was sectioned first in July, and we are now November, the six months is soon to expire.

Back in Hellesdon, Norwich, I agreed to take medication so I could be discharged. I even agreed to take the Depot injection to prove I was serious.

depot-injection

Weeks later, I find myself still sectioned. Why? Apparently because you don’t trust me to carry on with the medication if I am discharged.

I don’t agree with long term medication but I need to go back to work. I want to go back to work.

Whilst you are debating whether I will carry on with medication, I have been busy making plans on my discharge follow-up with my care coordinator.

I will meet up with a psychologist, Ollie, to resolve some deep rooted issues I have (trust issues mainly), I have also decided to keep serious track of my sleep pattern (I usually sleep four to five hours a night and things go wrong when I consistently drop below three), I will see my GP (General Practitioner) to be prescribed sleeping tablets for occasional use if/when my sleep pattern drops below three hour.

I will take regular retreats away from the Internet (I have an Internet addiction).

I have already spoken to work about what my return to work will look like (phased return, handling the knowledgebase and customer surveys as I am a Service Desk Analyst and this something I enjoy doing).

All I need now is to be discharged, preferably before my work sick pay runs out.

What do you need from me?

Pascale

By newpaz

Letter to My Unborn Child

 

As I write this letter, I find myself sectioned.

Strangely I feel safe here.

The World out there is a bit scary to me currently:

I have had to cut ties with my immediate family; your uncle only thinks about sex; your Grand Mother, who would have so loved you; and your Grand Father.

Your Uncle could be forgiven, for he is disabled except he has disrespected nearly every woman who has come into his life, starting with yours truly when I was about 12 years old.

Your Grand Mother sees nothing wrong with her favourite brother, now deceased, having slept with his daughters when they were children, confusing one to the extent she took her secret to the grave – that she felt so much love for her own father that it ruined her life.

Your Grand Father, well, he is more concerned with money than anything in the world, hardly the role model a Grand Father ought to be…in my humble opinion.

I also have “issues” on the “home” front, surrounded by neighbours I cannot trust, unable to resolve the situation using the usual means (Police).

That situation drove me so crazy I found myself unlawfully sectioned and, unfortunately with little recourse to resolve the situation.

However, as I said, I find myself gratefully sectioned.

Here, I feel I can nurse my Soul back to its loving self. Taking time to care for myself, slowly but surely, rekindling my love for life.

Life that is all around.

It would be hard to explain it to you, however nature is talking to me.

And as long as nature keeps talking to me, I feel safe.

And every time I feel safe, your presence makes itself known to me.

When I get so exhausted of dealing with life, you grow within me.

As I write this, I should have 12 hours (ish) to wait before finding out the truth…are you really there? I will know soon enough.

If you are really there, it would change everything for me.

To levels I can only imagine.

…Nope, I can’t even imagine how much it would change everything for me. The mind, mine, cannot comprehend the level to which my life would change.

I wish, or hope, for one thing only: that you would be born healthy.

Whatever however, I promise you, through thick and thin, rich or poor, you would be the happiest child on earth.

I love you already with all my heart, my unborn child.

Yours, so very loving, mother yet to be be

xxx


Addendum: the test came back negative, I am not pregnant.

 

By newpaz

Letter to Frodo, Beloved Dog – RIP <3

 

I am so sorry Frodo.

I have been so busy trying to decide who or what to blame for your death, from the day I laid my hand on you in your cage when I felt your last breath that I forgot that it was your last breath I felt.

Forgot or rather hide.

I won’t forget about that glass of red wine I drunk at Wendy’s. To give me “Dutch courage” beforehand.

I won’t forget how I was trying to tidy up at work before driving home. How Chris my boss looked at me incredulous that under such circumstances – your certain death – all I could think about was tidying up work.

How could I explain to him your death had a deadline – 2 pm.

2 pm was the appointment the vet had given me to put you to sleep.

Only Wendy, who came with me – for support – witnessed my desperate attempt to save your life.

£2,000 was the price set by the vet on your life.

£2,000 I could really have afforded if I hadn’t been so scared.

Scared it wouldn’t be enough.

The vet tried desperately to convince me it was madness. Even then they couldn’t say for sure you could be saved.

My desperate attempts to call your dad Brent in Canada to see if he could go half on that cost. Only realising now it was the middle of the night his end.

I hate myself for caring so much about the environment. I can never forget seeing you shake that time I tied you to that lamp post in Canmore as I was so busy and angrily cleaning up the garbage in that bloody ditch outside that petrol station whose staff commanded me so much for picking other people’s trash.

Did anyone else saw you I wonder and wondered what the hell I was doing – I so want to go back to that spot…so want to.

Maybe that’s where I should go for Christmas…Canmore.

Revisit the road, the spot where it all went wrong for me. Travel down to Waterton where things completely went wrong for me and you.

Could I though Frodo? Could I?

No, I could never – ever. Alberta is out of bounds for me now. For Ever.

I can live with that. I know I can.

By newpaz

Pride: The Home of Thomas Paine

This morning as I woke up at my usual time, albeit a little later than usual – 5 am – I am given time to reflect.

My thoughts drift towards Thomas Paine, whose Home Town I live in – Thetford – and I realise how very little the world has changed since his passing – the man was a hero of sorts, Google will give you a clearer picture of what he stood for, or rather died for: Human Rights.

As I am currently unlawfully sectioned, with no recourse whatsoever, and the more I have complained, the worse my situation has become, to the extent I have no choice but to make this home and make friends with fellow patients who clearly are not so “crazy”, I am grateful for shelter.

I don’t know Thomas Paine much, nor have I read his pamphlets, I just know he was a great man who fought for Human Rights, was exiled from his Home in the UK, escaped death in France by Chance to finish his days in America (The USA) where he died, all the while fighting for Human Rights.

I also know there is a statue in his Home Town of Thetford, with him holding a book upside down.

It is the talk of the town why the book is upside down. Some Folk thinks it’s to get Folk Town talking. I know the answer.

I figured it out a few days ago, before getting unlawfully sectioned again – for the second time in two months.

It isn’t to get Folks to talk, it is so that short individuals like me can see what the book cover says without needing to read upside down!

The book he is holding says “Rights of Man” – Now this is a book I am looking forward to reading when I am finally “Discharged” from here…In the meantime, Thank God for TV!!!

By newpaz

Love…Continued – Interrupted

 

27220228 b
I mentioned how I have fallen in love in my previous post, I must also explain I hadn’t wanted that type of love (the romantic kind) in my life.

For the past year I have spent a lot of time, nearly all my spare time, rebuilding myself to who I wanted to be, and Love had been strictly prohibited.

As distractions go, Love is the biggest. For romantic love is a time of sharing with just one. All of yourself.

I had fiercely protected my Personal Freedom and had not wanted Love to interfere with this.

When you are in love see, you have a tendency to want to give as much of yourself to someone else, and that includes your time.

My time has been and still is precious to me. When you get to 46 years old you suddenly realise you are mortal and every minute starts to count so much more.

Falling in love means a new interest in your life. An interest that takes over your life, to begin with anyway because Love is addictive.

I still managed to fit in what I needed these past few days but needing to fit New Man added an extra pressure I could have done without.

On Wednesday evening, following a second night at his home, I cracked.

I woke up in his bed at 3 am without a sign of him. I went downstairs for a cigarette and found him there in his bathrobe after his shower, which meant he hadn’t been to bed since he left me there for a shower, talking to his mum and her partner.

I think the look on my face said it all, as he hurried out and back to the bedroom.

Just after I said I was going to leave. I don’t think that went down well.

200_s.gif

These days, when I have an idea/thought in my mind, it happens. And I had decided I wanted to leave because the previous night hadn’t gone so well for me (it is tough sitting amongst people whose language you don’t understand) and I hadn’t appreciated being left alone in bed, no amount of pleading would make a difference.

His mother took over, she wanted to talk to me about it and there would be no escaping.

smoking.jpg

An hour or so later, I left, with a lighter heart and extremely grateful for his mum, and her partner, to have seen right through me and got out of me what had gone wrong:

Too much too quickly, no time to get to know each other.

Danny, her partner, said “what she needs is a date”.

Spot on.

See, I know everything there is to know about him, he has shared everything with me these past four days, down to the naughty photos he kept in his phone -which he deleted after I mentioned casually that wasn’t a great thing to know was on the phone of your boyfriend ;-). [When I stated he didn’t have to delete them, they didn’t bother me, he said “yes, yes, for you, anything”, I believe him.]

I know, and love, his mum, her partner 20 odd years younger than her; the guys he shares his house with (all absolutely lovely or lovable); his deaf brother (a sweetheart); have seen photos (and the boobs of) his sister (a glamour model), her husband and her son (they live in Germany); I have seen photos of his ex (stunning!) and know they split because “she likes boys too much; that she was an erotic dancer in a club, and the type of girls whose photos he kept in his phone (big breasted, glamour model types, photos of the girls that go to the club he on occasion does security for); that he is studying to be a Police Officer in the UK; that he loves his (second hand, often broken) gadgets; that he adores his mum; that she left his dad because “he likes other women too much”; that he loves cleaning;

I know he is the main man of the household, the go to person, the one who will sort you out with a job, a Del Boy in the making;

I know he likes driving sporty cars, that he has a Celica off the road currently that I can have first refusal on over his mum, that he wants a black 4X4;

that he loves animals, and his nephew, very much so.

I know he lives his life 100 miles an hour, always busy, always something to do, never on time.

I know he would do anything for me.

I have slept in his bed and saw the sunrise from his kitchen window…

IMG_20160824_053533260

He knows nothing about me. Nothing that tells him much about me.

He knows my house is clean and my husband and I split 5 years ago and he picked up with my best friend and we are not divorced yet because we are doing it DIY (without lawyers) and we have both been lazy getting it done (not sure he understood the last bit).

I have told him I have had two depressions but no details about them.

That my dad has cancer (he has seen a photo of him) and my brother polio (he has seen a photo of him) and I used to be fat (he has seen a photo) and that I have diabetes, yet, he keeps feeding me chips, coffee and sugar.

He knows I have a cat and a new lodger moving in on Saturday, that I am going to Vancouver Saturday for two weeks, that I am not working currently (and he never asked why).

He knows I moved to the UK when he was barely born, 26 years ago because my mum was over controlling.

He knows I want to go to New York for Christmas. (He wants to take me to Romania instead).

He knows I smoke pot and I don’t drink, since last Christmas.

He has seen the inside of my house once and driven my Puma.

He knows I don’t need his help with anything, despite him offering to do everything for me.

To the astute eyes, that is a lot of information which may beg more questioning.

To the person in love’s eyes, it is just information.

It tells him nothing about where I came from and where I am going. He doesn’t seem to care, He Loves Me, he has said he likes me very much, so very much; he tells me constantly.

Well I care. Deeply.

He is not going to escape this quite so easily. He needs to stop caring so very much and learn who I am. Our future depends on it.

quote-if-you-pluck-out-my-heart-to-find-what-makes-it-move-you-ll-halt-the-clock-that-syncopates-sylvia-plath-39-36-96

Last night was the HALT; stop and think point for me.

quote-love-is-the-greatest-force-on-earth-to-resist-limit-and-ultimately-halt-evil-s-deadly-james-robison-86-50-35

Luckily his mother noticed and decided to “counsel” me as I had gotten up 3 am to find him in the  kitchen with his mum and Danny, her partner, talking.

I said I needed to leave.

It didn’t go down well and he skirted off to bed while I stayed in the kitchen to smoke a cigarette, at first trying to resist attempts from his mum to talk to me about it – she had approached the subject by stating she thought maybe I was scared then maybe my life was very complicated.

I rejected the notion then. Only to wake up this morning and realising she was right.

My life IS complicated. It’s not a put down, it’s the truth. I am not scared though, only of preserving my Personal Freedom.

It is “complicated” because I have big “fights” on my hands.

I want to change the world to be a better place, starting with my world: reforms in Mental Health Care and he needs to understand that is my primary objective, everything else, apart from my wellbeing, is just second to that, including him.

Then he can tell me that He Loves Me, or like me so very very much as often as he wants.

I didn’t know how to explain this to him but this morning came the answer.

Tomorrow night he is staying at mine from work and will stay there when he needs for the next two weeks when  I am away in Vancouver (it’s more convenient for his work and then he can borrow my car when needed), I have decided, and texted him, that I would take him to meet my friends at the hospital.

I think that might be sufficient to get him to stop “wanting to marry me” and think what he is getting into.

He also needs to understand I don’t need him. That I will have him in my life as long as it doesn’t interfere with my plans, nor my Personal Freedom – we might have an issue here as apparently he is the jealous kind, he has already showed me signs he won’t be happy if other guys look at me. Which may be a problem as I do like to look after myself these days, and do on occasions get looks.

I also smile a lot and that attracts many connections. He needs to be able to handle that and realise my heart will belong to him and him only, once I have decided he can keep it.

Currently, he has my heart, however it is too early to say for how long.

Falling in love is great fun, except you have to set boundaries, otherwise, it can fuck you up, I have learned that from past experiences and I can tell you assuredly my heart will not be broken again, strong healthy boundaries will assure that.

_8350815_orig

 

 

 

By newpaz

Love is in the Air

love sheldon

Something rather unexpected happened this week: I fell in love.

Seriously. Like proper in love.

I met him at the Tip on Saturday. I was there to trash the tons of flat-packed boxes my old lodger for some reason had collected and felt appropriate to leave behind when he packed up and left rather abruptly about the time I was sectioned in hospital (nice timing).

I was a bit “fuming” inside to say the least, a little proud too that this wouldn’t stop me, I could just get deal with whatever I needed to to get my life back on track.

So off to the Tip I went, not the best of moods and a car filled with cardboard boxes.

It was quite early and there were not too many people there. A chap in a bright orange jacket comes towards me. I am expecting the worse.

My previous trip to the tip a year or so previous hadn’t been a pleasant experience see, we, I was with my lodger, and people around us, kept being told off for putting the wrong thing in the wrong place as we couldn’t make out what needed to go where.

So I park by what looked like the cardboard bin and this bright orange safety jacket man comes towards me. I gear myself to be told off, put my best smile on and asked if it was ok to dump my car content (of boxes and some packaging material) into that bin.

He smiles back and says to me in, a broken English accent, “today everything is allooowed!!” as he walked towards my car and proceeded to open the car door to help me.

Wow, how nice!

He then tells me to open the boot so he can take the boxes from there. I tell him the boot is broken, still with a winning smile. Pretty much the smile I wear all the time these days.

He says, “no I will repair, no prrroblem”, asking for the car keys.

I tell him it is broken, but hand him the keys. I know how men work 😉

He climbs through the back seats and plays with it whilst I carry on dumping the boxes (there were a ton I kid you not, bit freaky actually why he had kept so many boxes!).

Moments later he comes out and says, “It isss broooken”

I laugh “Yeah I know, I told you” with a wink (and it should have continued to read “I told you but typical guy, you wouldn’t listen!”, however I am wised up this days ;-)”.

He says “take £5 [car thing jargon] and it is repaired”.

I look at him with a bigger smile (I had meant to get this looked at see), “I pay you £15 and you repair it for me?”

And numbers were exchanged to arrange repairs.

He phones me something like 5 times after that that day to arrange when to repair it (I think we had settled on the following Saturday, speaking and understanding each other was quite tricky see).

Sunday, more crap for the tip, so off I go again.

I park up, do what I need and decide to pop to the shop they have (of course). I find a couple of prints and a candle holder, and hear him in the shop, talking to someone he is about to help.

“He is so nice and helpful” I remember thinking.

I don’t want to disturb him as he is busy so I go back to my car with my purchases (£3 in total).

As I open the door I hear: “He-llo!” (he says it funny) and turn around to see him beaming at me. I think “wow he is a bit of alright”, that orange outfitting actually quite fitting (he has tanned skin).

cezar.png

We have a chat and I end up offering to bring him coffee during his lunch break the following day.

That never happened.

Instead, we fell in love.

love.jpg

By newpaz

#TimeToChange – Revisited

logo

When I first suffered from mental health issues in the UK, back over two years ago, I joined the campaign “Time To Change” because I felt it was important to talk about mental illness to end the stigma, which is the group’s main mission.

When I checked out the website and the blogs though, I was fairly quickly put off.

I saw stories of people telling us how well they are coping with their mental health “illness”, some were “bipolar”, some had anxiety disorders – ALL seemed defined by their “illness” – that really put me off because at the time, and still to this day, I didn’t believe I was, or had, whatever term is PC these days, “Bipolar”.

I am sure to have spoken about this somewhere in this blog previously, but my diagnosis came five years ago, an hour after speaking to a psychiatrist, in full psychosis mode – although I had no clue I was as it was my first -, drugged on to the eyeball – from medication I was given the previous night when I was taken in/sectioned although again I had no clue I had been sectioned, to make me sleep.

SLEEP

Some four months after a very good friend of mine had killed someone, about three months after my husband had left me and about two months and 29 days after finding out he fancied my best friend instead and about two months after quitting alcohol and pot straight after over 20 years of abuse.

You could say I had had a lot going on in a short period of time that may have affected my stability somehow.

Oh and to top it all, I was literally homeless then too. My husband wanted me out of the house and the house I needed to move back to in a different country wasn’t vacated. In between houses and in between countries. In between life would summarise it well.

ROCKS 2

The psychiatrist who examined me – I have yet to file my complaint against him and mark my words I will – asked me a very simple question:

“Do you know why you are here?”

The floodgate to my repressed emotions opened: I started to tell him all about the crap that had happened to me, since I was a child. I felt I had limited time to fit it all in so I was talking 12 to the dozen, ie, extremely fast. [I have since realised that what I do when I get excited and/or feel I have limited time to make an impression.]

After the hour, I sat back and relaxed, fully expecting some answers. How do I deal with this trauma, or this other one, how do I move on from this event or this other one – type of answers.

blah

His? “Clearly you have Bipolar”.

“Huh? What the hell? What? Huh?” were my first thoughts (my mind was pretty foggy don’t forget too).

My seconds were “Cool, so what is Bipolar then?”.

He wasn’t interested in replying, he had his diagnosis which gave him the green light to prescribe any old shit he felt like (and he did).

meds 2

 

psychiatry 4

So off I went on the internet finding out all I could about this “new” me.

medication

This was my very first experience of a psychosis. Since then I have had five psychosis and two depressions, fitting in nicely with the diagnosis (to be diagnosed you need two episodes of depression and at last three psychosis, although that may have changed since).

That psychiatrist was clearly a clairvoyant.

Anyway, back on the subject at hand, I eventually started to realise “The Truth” and decided I wasn’t bipolar. Too late though obviously, with my five psychosis, it will never wash.

My two depressions I am not too worried about because the first was due to going back to the UK to an empty house, two suitcases and a savings account in my name. Nothing else.

No income, no car, no insurance, no friends, no anything else. No dog too to start with, then a few weeks later a dog whose health had started deteriorating since the split, becoming more and more blind (and a liability).

No life in effect.

NOLIFE

The second was when I was signed off work for six months to a psychosis where I was sectioned,and realising I was getting no income from work sick pay (I hadn’t been permanent long enough, despite having worked there as a temp nearly three years), my driving licence had been suspended (making me stuck at home with no money), and I was suffering from a massive heartbreak (from a relationship that could be best described as friends with benefits and feelings).

I dare anyone to try either situations for size and tell me if they don’t suffer from some kind of depression too ;-).

stress

Time to Change being mainly focussed on the illness, I felt the site wasn’t for me. I wasn’t about to go brandishing banners saying “Bipolar rocks”.

Mental illness sucks – big time.

mental illness.jpg

Just go and visit a mental health ward and tell me what you think.

Just for the record, and in case this isn’t clear, those people in there are your siblings, or parents, or relative, or friend, or workmate. NORMAL people.

You may see them rock back and forth against a wall, or on the floor doing weird shit, crying in a corner somewhere, away from everyone. They might be unable to sit still or they might be staring at you blankly because they are unable to focus on what you are saying.

Worst of all, you may see their arms all stitched up after they cut themselves.

arms

The biggest tragedy of all is that one day,

you might not ever see them again.

tomb.jpg

So no, I will not say having a mental illness rocks.

It sucks, it sucks big time – it can very well fuck up your life enough that you have no choice but live with it, because no-one wants you like that, no-one truly understands what you are going through – and most just shy away for fear of making things worse.

That’s what living with a label does for you.

I am Pascale, not a label.

labels

When a quarter of the youth suffers from mental health issues, we can no longer call it a label. More a way of life – and that is scary.

Whilst on the ward, and this is where I saw each and every behaviour I mentioned above by the way, I saw a display dedicated to Time To Change.

It seems Time To Change is changing in the right direction for me. I now really want to get involved: #lets-end-the-labelling.

The name of the people I mentioned I met above are:

Pam (So sorry I saw you where still “in position” when I came to visit),

Ray (so sorry you had a heart attack),

Lee (sorry I missed you my last visit, looking forward to catching up),

Simon (I saw one of your carers on the way to the hospital, I mentioned how much 70s music brings you back to earth, she seemed to take it in),

Pascale (crying in private is the best way to be if you don’t want to be diagnosed as being too emotional when you are sad, the happiness though, spread that shit everywhere ;-)),

Andrew (I will save you I promise),

Matty (crazy adorable monkey despite all, I will send you a post card from Canada),

Jo (I want to experience your candle massages!),

Amanda (Amanda, the state of your arms the day I was discharged will forever be engraved in my mind, I love you so much girl!),

tumblr_lpoiagDD821r1ou90o1_500

Lisa (oh Lisa, I won’t forget you I promise),

Harvey (A great reminder of my friend Wade, thank you, I love you despite your toughness ;-)),

Trish (Sista’, sorry I missed you my last visit, hope you enjoy the CD I brought in for you),

Ema (so shocked to see you back in after we were both discharged last week!),

Yvonne (I can’t wait for you to get better to help me with the website),

Bill (missed you my last visit, hope you were discharged rather than hiding in your room),

Glen (so glad I caught you, you were amazing with enabling me to release the pressure),

John with an H, (you were out sorry I missed you),

Andrea (sorry I missed you, hope you keep spreading those wonderful hugs),

Emma (so glad I caught you, can’t wait to meet you in the outside world),

Roger – one day I will show you, it’s not about money or heritage, it’s about Love.

bigstock_Friends_together_13822832

Mental Health Revolution: Open Letter to Trustees

I am finding myself sectioned again. This is the letter I am going to give to all the people in charge of my “wellbeing”/”recovery”:

Open Letter to the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

My Name is Pascale Taylor and I am currently sectioned under Section 2 at Southgate, Wedgwood, Bury St Edmunds, a facility that comes under your remit.

From personal experience, observation and listening to the feedback of most Patients whose primary consultant has been Dr Michael, this is the style Dr Michael seems to have adopted to treat Patients under his care at Wedgwood – which is quite common in Mental Health Institutions, in the UK but also quite common Worldwide, from personal experience in Canada and accounts from the US model:

  • Diagnosis, in Doctor Michael’s case: on the whole Schizophrenia for males, Bipolar for females, often with side diagnoses, such as borderline/split personality disorder, disassociative disorder etc
  • Medication
  • Discharge
  • Sectioning again
  • Medication
  • Discharge
  • …. To Infinity and Beyond….. And Back Again.

This has resulted in Patients being discharged before their mental health “dysfunction” has been dealt with.

Dr Michael, as the Primary Consultant of Southgate, Wedgwood, is generally seen as the “Monster”  by Patients, someone who doesn’t listen – rather than the “Enabler” – as he tries to get you “bettersolely through Medication.

As a result, most Patients found at Wedgwood are serial “Offenders” and require to be sectioned over and over again and are unable to function in society as we know it, often claiming benefits too as they are unable to work due to their mental health issues and/or Medication Side Effects, costing society a lot of money paid through Taxes and funding for mental health is ever decreasing whilst mental health issues are increasing.

Quoted from “The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundation of a Theory of Personal Conduct” by Thomas S Szsz:

“the entire psychiatric enterprise hinges on [the notion] that human beings diagnosed as “mentally ill” have a brain disease that deprives them of free will”.

Dr Michael – and all Psychiatrists I have come across since experiencing mental health issues some five years ago following a Trauma I suffered then – appears to re-inforce this Notion: that Patients aren’t able to think for themselves. Which indeed, pumped full of Medication, they are mostly unable to do so and rely entirely on the Psychiatrist getting it right.

I believe most people with mental health issues have suffered a trauma left unresolved and their inability to get to the core issue(s), and/or dealt with, has resulted in repression of said trauma, causing shame, guilt and/or anger, which can result in “hearing voices”, disassociation (personality disorder), or being on an emotional rollercoaster (bipolar), extremely angry or, worse still, so depressed that people feel they have no options but take their own life to end the suffering, all of which has become uncontrollable enough that they need hospitalisation, or prison – some may say same difference as both result in loss of freedom.

My suggestion:

  • Get to the root of the core issue(s) – “Listen
  • Understand how the issue(s) has shaped/is shaping their lives – “Think/Analyse
  • Find a way to “de-programunwanted behaviour, using medication if necessary in the short term with a view to dealing with the core issue(s) and its (their) effect(s) in the long term – “Resolve

I believe Human Beings are made of Essence (core being) and Personality (life experiences/circumstances).

The goal of mental health care should be for Patients to understand what their essence is and how their personality has been shaped by their experiences and influences in life since children, with a view to bringing more of the Essence to the forefront and correct unhelpful behaviour from their Personality.

Influences come in all shape and sizes:

In early years, Influences will have come from parents/family (including family friends), school, friendships and later from their working environment/social life as well.

As a person grows, influences come from all sorts of environment the person choses to find themselves in, particularly, in this day and age, influences from TV, the media as a whole (including social media) and the information available on the internet, as well as friends, as it is drummed into us that to thrive one needs a big social network.

The bigger the social network, the bigger the influences are, and the more damaging this can be, providing many people whose standards one “needs to live up to.

A Patient needs to be guided to understand that as an adult, they and they only, have the choice over their environment.

I believe labelling someone with a mental illness is a sure way for Patients to believe they have no choice in how they conduct their lives and this is very damaging to their recovery – ie, they believe there is no recovery possible, only medication will help them and they often aren’t able to function properly in society and often live on its edge.

Taking my own example, last year around February 2015 time, I decided that I needed to deal with my issues once and for all after I had fallen into “bad habits” again: drinking and a total lack of self-respect.

Two books allowed me to start this journey whilst many others enabled me to carry on this self-discovery journey:

  • One called “Attached” which explained attachment issues in relationships, after which I realised that I had suffered attachment issues all my life steaming from childhood issues, being the middle child with two disabled brothers and the pressure I had been put under from my parents being the only “normal” (abled) child. As well as an unfortunate first sexual experience at aged 12.

I was also quite a boisterous child and this “over protectionresulted in my mother and grandparents – who had a big hand in my care as my parents’ time was taken up looking after my two disabled brothers – being over protective over me, this in turn resulted in my cousins, who I spent a lot of time with on holidays in Morocco where I spent most, if not all, my childhood vacations as my grandparents lived there, resenting me or keeping me at a distance for fear of reprisal if something was to happen to me.

  • The other called “You Are Not So Smart”, a book on learned behaviour and biases every human being “suffers” from.

In that book, I found myself in so many biases it started a quest to understand who I was – “Know Thyself”- through self-inspection, observation and then introducing new positive habits to change my core “Personality”.

From Attached, I started the process of detaching myself from as much as I could in my personal life to give myself space to re-discover my core “personality”.

From You Are Not So Smart, I became aware of the automatic behaviour(s) I had acquired whilst being shaped by events outside of my control which resulted in the personality I had developed, and I started a quest to change myself as a result.

With those two realisations, I started an intense period of self-study which resulted in quitting alcohol in December 2015, out of choice rather than need, as I had realised I had used alcohol to “escape myself” for over 25 years.

In short: I hadn’t liked who I had become and used alcohol in order to function with this dislike of my persona.

Through this self-study, I found my true Essence (or core values) and worked on bringing them to the forefront.

Best of all, I started to take personal responsibility for the human I had become and corrected as much of the learned behaviour I was able to, particularly away from “friendlyinfluences I had allowed in my adult life, as well as family influences, which were the basis of the Personality I had developed throughout my childhood/teens and also adulthood.

I tried and tested various methods too, finding the ones which worked best for me.

Example: I had had weight issues since my teens and decided to try and find a way to resolve this and I decided I needed to try and eat healthier food and exercise more and so I introduced a lifestyle change in my diet and exercise regime which resulted in losing 2.5 stones in a little over a year.

Unfortunately finding myself sectioned, I found I have put on four kilos so far through comfort eating. I was 56 kilos, close to my target weight, when I arrived at Wedgwood, two weeks later I now weigh 60 kilos due to unhealthy eating habit via comfort eating and lack of exercise due to being restricted in the amount of exercise I can do as I didn’t have the right shoes to exercise, due to being tricked into being sectioned – which I am addressing via the  and Care Quality Commission (CQC), a UK company which protects the rights and interests of people who are detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act, nor do I have the freedom to go for walks on a regular basis, something I have found works well for me in the “outside” world, following a no explanation abrupt restrictions on my leave, which were luckily recently lifted.

I am also concerned about my diabetes as the diet I had adopted at home resulted in lowering the level of diabetes to below the diagnosis level 7 consistently over the past year, following two checks in the past six months.

Here, with the comfort eating and lack of freedom to exercise, I fear the rate is going to increase and so I have to try to be extremely self-disciplined in my eating habits, which is proven to be hard due to my circumstances: being sectioned under a regime I don’t agree with and surrounded by Patients each with varying degrees of mental health issues.

Lack of freedom is a major issue for me being in Wedgwood as I process my thinking best at night (I started this letter at 1:30 am and it is now 4:00 am), as I find this time of day (night) more peaceful and quiet.

Unfortunately at Wedgwood, night becomes a time when most freedom is restricted, ie, I cannot make myself tea and need to rely on staff to keep me “watered”. I am also unable to smoke freely as the courtyard is normally out of bound at this time.

Smoking helps me process my thinking by taking a break from it, some kind of mindfulness best achieved when no-one else is around so it allows for little distractions.

Recently there was also talk that access to the Ward laptop, that I use to write my thoughts on as I didn’t bring any electronic devices with me apart from my kindle (to read and listen to saved music), was going to be restricted to be used only between 7:00 am to 10:00 pm.

I believe, quoting The Myth of Mental Illness: “hospitals are like prisons, not hospitals; and that involuntary mental hospitalisation is a type of imprisonment, not medical care; and that coercive psychiatrists function as judges and failers, not healers”. Again a model Dr Michael and the staff, or at least the ward manager, seem to have adopted here.

The quote continues to say “I suggested that we view and understand “mental illnesses” and psychiatric responses to them as matters of law and rhetoric, not matters of medicine or science.”

Medication having a purpose to “correct the brain chemistry”, subject we still know very little about, particularly when it comes to Consciousness, I am very reticent to be pumped full of medication, which Dr Michael has imposed on me since I have come here, even injecting me with medication not recommended for diabetics.

Let’s also not forget not so long ago, lobotomy was used to correct the brain’s perceived imperfection(s). Now we could say the equivalent is ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy), which scares me as much if not more than lobotomy.

All this is messing with the brain, an extremely powerful organ that we still know very little about, despite science’s progress to understand its functionality in what makes us “human”.

I am a great believer the answer to one’s mental health dysfunction, as I prefer to call it, lies within.

To quote from The Myth of Mental Illness again, Shakespeare had a similar view.

Referring to a dialog in MacBeth with a Doctor:

Shakespeare’s insight that the mad person “must minister to himself” is at once profound and obvious- profound because witnessing suffering calls forth in us the impulse to help, “to do somethingfor or to the sufferer, yet also obvious because understanding Lady MacBeth’s suffering as a consequence of internal rhetoric (the “voice” of conscience, imagination, “Hallucination”), the remedy must be internal rhetoric (self-conversation, “internal ministry”).”

It is therefore very difficult for psychiatrists to truly understand what is going on in someone’s Psyche, unless the psychiatrist himself has experienced similar mental health dysfunctions.

Psychiatry seems too focussed on medication and not enough on understanding what brought the Patient to the state he/she find themselves in.

of the observer’s construction and definition of the behaviour of the persons he [the psychiatrist/staff in a mental health institution] observes as a medically disabled individuals [patients] needing medical treatment.”

I believe this is wrong, and I am not alone in this thinking.

The author of the book I am quoting from states: “[…] it taught me, at an early age, that being wrong can be dangerous, but being right when society regards the majority’s falsewood as truth, could be fatal”.

This is the exact situation I am finding myself in, totally at the Mercy of a psychiatrist whose techniques (medication) I disagree with, despite the fact that I have proven my techniques work better.

Again, I believe one can only get better by self-enquiry and starting the process – which doesn’t bring overnight results and is an ongoing process – of correcting unwanted, detrimental behaviour to live a more fulfilling, balanced life.

The book I am quoting from agrees:

“Persons said to have mental diseases, on the other hand, have reasons for their actions that must be understood; they cannot be treated or cured by drugs or other medical interventions, but may be helped to help themselves over the obstacles they face.”

Not something Dr Michael seems to understand and/or agree with as his main purpose appears to be Medication.

This unfortunately seems to be endorsed by society because it sanctions easysolutions” for problem individuals.

So I am finding myself going against the grain of the accepted psychiatry model and since Dr Michael is my Primary Consultant, I cannot see how working with him can help me and, as I am under Section, I find myself completely at his Mercy.

A very unsettling and scary thought for obvious reason: my freedom depends entirely on his say so, so does my brain.