Eight and a half years ago I entered my own personal hell and then found there was another one called the NHS mental health service. I remember vividly my first admission to an acute m h ward. I had been dragged down the corridor to the ward in my hospital garment, semi awake having taken an overdose and dumped in a room. I went to use the bathroom next to my room and I was ranted and raved at by some mad woman who didn't want me in there. I retreated to my room shaking and sobbing and was too terrified to leave the room. It was a nightmarish place of unpredictable people - sometimes shouting screaming threatening abuse. The world is a frightening place to me where I don't feel safe and the ward makes me feel more unsafe. Over the last 8 years I have been trapped by large violent male patients while they through a 'wobbly' maybe kicking down the odd door or two or throwing a chair out of the window or perhaps even threatening to kill me or chuck me out of the window. Once I was trapped in a room while a male patient tried to strangle the nurse I was with. Watched while a terrified woman suffering after the birth of her child was left lying on the floor like a frightened rabbit and stepped over by staff and patients alike. Physical and psychological abuse - no humanity - perhaps they see too much of it too care any more. But on the other hand perhaps they do because so many times I have been chastised for upsetting and worrying staff and patients. Stop it - you can - you must be able to stop this distress, this running away - if only. Don't worry about how I'm feeling, why i act like this - why try and understand.
I have suffered the dismissive attitudes of staff while I had the label of emotionally unstable personality disorder stamped across my forehead. Why was I phoning the crisis line? What could they possibly do to help this 'attention seeking, manipulative' person, sorry got to go, somewhere more important/urgent to go to than you - why am I always at the bottom of the pile? We'll phone back later - like hell they do. You don't talk about the here and now so best you can only talk for 10 minutes and then your time is up, oh your crisis only lasts for a couple of day so max of 72 hours hospital admission and then you're out. Take responsibility for yourself, you're too intelligent - get yourself out of this hole, you can stop feeling suicidal just 'like that' - do I really enjoy feeling like this? Or you don't agree with me - you're not thinking properly, black and white thinking which is it? You don't look like a mental health patient (by a dr) - what should I look like. You were seen out in town laughing with your daughter - you're not supposed to do that perhaps? When did I stop being person to be listened to.
I've been locked in police cells (for my own safety) and strip searched, many long hours of distress and sobbing on a hard cell floor with no human comfort, racked with panic attacks caused by claustaphobia, being told 'it's my fault' that I'm there and to shut up - no sympathy or understanding.
All I want is to be understood - sometimes for someone to listen but no one has time or the humanity for that anymore.
I've been discarded as unhelpable (great for the self esteem) and left to flounder, always alone and struggling. What can we do anyway if you want to kill yourself, we can't stop YOU and do we want to - no - we only stop other people - it's ok for you, in fact we fully expect YOU to be successful sooner or later just don't let us get involved in the inquest. Don't worry I'll just write my own inquest report and give the exact reasons why I don't wish to live any more feeling this way.
Events have shown me that the world is an unsafe one, one to live in fear of and when that fear become intorable then escape. Sometime the escape is in the mind only - how did I get here - why am I standing on a railway line - I don't remember. Sometimes it feels like it has to be a permanent escape. This is what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is.