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Published: 11 years ago
This is a reply to # 1,098,144


"I have someone more qualified ready to see her, but at this point, I am the only one she is willing to talk to. "

Pardon me if what I am about to say offends you. Who are you to be deciding who this woman wants or needs to see? That's quite arrogant and paternalistic, don't you think? Have you asked her why she wants to see you? Has it ever occurred to you that she may be perfectly capable of determining what she wants and needs for herself?

OK, it's story time!

If you have been reading my posts of late, you know that I was recently in a psychiatric facility because my mother attempted to have me committed. And, naturally, they assigned me to a psychiatrist. I met with him for the first session we had, and it was his determination that I could sign a voluntary admittance to the hospital and then sign a five day notice in order to be evaluated for discharge. Well, that would have been the easy way out of the mess for the hospital, and also for my mother, and everyone that was involved in my involuntary incarceration! Even more importantly, though, it would have reduced the amount of time that I ended up staying there. The only thing is, I'm not always about taking the quick and easy way out, and I had made a promise to myself that I would never, ever be in a psychiatric hospital again. I swore it and I meant it!

So, I refused to sign the papers. And then I refused to talk to the doctor. I also refused to participate in any of their therapy groups, or anything else that would indicate that I agreed with their assessment and was a willing participant. I had so many people telling me what I needed and what I should do, that I finally refused to speak and wrote notes to anyone I wished to communicate with instead. This was the only way that I could protect myself from their constant badgering of me, and endless attempts to control me. And they most definitely were trying to control me, as evidenced by their literally dragging me, twice, to the quiet room when I refused to follow their stupid rules!

Yep, I was not uttering a sound, only writing, and twice they forced me to spend time in quiet seclusion, although I was irritated because it was anything but quiet! And what were the rules that I broke? The first time, I was trying to prepare some written statements for my hearing, and they don't allow writing instruments in the patient's rooms. I was in the middle of working on something and, at 10:30pm, I was told that it was Bed Time! I am a grown woman. I don't need anyone to tell me what time to go to bed! And they would not allow me to take the pen I was using into my room with me. Nor would they allow me to take crayons into my room! So, clearly, this was not an issue of protecting anyone's safety! I refused to go to my room, and then I refused to speak to these two staff members! I began writing them notes instead. And they became enraged because I was not playing by their rules, and instead making up my own! I was taking control of myself in whatever way that I could in order to get what I needed, to conserve my energy and to make myself be heard! And so, the first trip to solitary was because I refused to speak! And they literally dragged me because I refused to cooperate with what they were doing. It was just as if I were a passive resistor and being arrested!

And the second time I was dragged to seclusion was because I had a blanket wrapped around me. It was positively freezing in that place! This is how cold it was: another patient had complained that there was a bad draft in her room by the window. Someone from maintenance actually came up and checked the window and said they would be back to fix it. They never returned. You could easily see the breeze blowing the curtain as it leaked through the window. This was during that incredibly bitter cold spell that we had! This patient took a carton of milk and stuck it on the inside window sill. And the next day the milk carton was frozen solid! I'm not talking cold, I mean it was a solid block of ice! She even bounced it off the floor when she went to complain to the staff that they still hadn't fixed her window!

Anyway, in spite of being dressed and also wearing multiple hospital gowns in order to stay warm, I was still cold most of the time that I was out on the unit. They have a rule that says that pillows and blankets are to remain in the patient's rooms. I had complied with this, although I had initially worn blankets around me and was vocal about being so cold out on the unit. And then they admitted a new patient who had her own blanket from home, and no one stopped her from walking around all night with the blanket wrapped around her. Then I realized that the rules must apply to the Glen Oaks Hospital blankets and pillows. Well, the blankets that I had previously been wrapping myself up with were actually blankets that came with me from Hinsdale Hospital! Perfect! Since this was a BYOB party, I had my own blankets to bring! So, I wrapped up again!

Yep, you probably guessed it! The second time that I was dragged into seclusion was for wearing blankets wrapped around me in order to stay warm! And this time, one of their goony boys actually hurt my arm when he got a bit too overzealous after he jumped up and volunteered to help get me to the quiet room! And then later, one of his buddies who dragged me the first time, was literally guarding me at my door to keep me from entering the hallway or using the phone. And I told him that I needed to contact my attorney, and his response was, "Not now!". And this is actually in breach of their own rules, which I quickly pointed out to him, that state that a patient may contact their attorney at any time. And when I pointed this out to him, he stated that he was no longer going to talk to me. And to this I replied, "That's fine by me, you've already said more than enough!"!!! I was also told, by my attorney, that there was no record of either of these incidents in my patient chart. That's most interesting given that I have multiple eyewitnesses, and also given that I was told that there are two cameras that shoot whatever is going on by the day room, including down the hallway!

OK, all that said, you should have a feel for what I was dealing with in this loony bin! Frankly, some of the staff were far more disturbed and crazy than any of the patients there! There were a few very large and very angry men who were admitted, and yet it was the male staff that became angry and forcefully controlled me! Now what does all this have to do with your situation? Remember I said that everyone was telling me that I needed to do. This included their assessment that I needed to speak with the therapist, I needed to take drugs, I needed to attend group therapy, I needed to try and work things out with my mother, I needed to let go of the idea that my mother was going to be held accountable, I needed to eat what they decided to give me, I needed to go to bed when they told me to, I needed to practice the religion that they chose for me, etc., etc. etc., and I also needed to sign papers that I agreed to all their abuse!

The reality is I was and am healthier than anyone that was in that place! And I don't need any of what they tried to force on me! I am very well aware of what I want and need, and they, in fact, went out of their way in order to make me more uncomfortable! And if you think this is a stretch then consider what I went to the quiet room for, and also for the fact that I told them repeatedly that I needed to get on the internet in order to get some information like phone numbers for friends and an attorney. And they denied me internet access, even though they do all their charting on a wireless computer system that is linked to their larger database of records as part of the Adventist Hospital system. That's right folks, medical records are now being charted on a wireless internet system that would enable just about any smart high school kid to hack into! And all the talk about patient rights and privacy is one enormous fabrication! I even asked to see my chart and for a copy of my records, and this request was also denied! Ha! And a few of the staff members suggested that I was paranoid! I gotta tell ya, truth is truly stranger than fiction!

So what in the world does all of this have to do with you? Well, I'm still not real clear on what your relationship really is with this woman. You say that she wants to see you, and yet you are not qualified to 'help' her. And it would appear that you haven't asked her what she needs, and instead are making all sorts of assumptions. Is it possible that it is actually you that needs the help here? Who knows, perhaps she thinks that she may have something to offer you that would be beneficial. I say this because I know that I offered to assist some of the staff who were interviewing for positions since the hospital has just opened a new facility. And you should have seem them salivate! Of course, I wasn't about to give them something for nothing and I offered to trade them outplacement training information for access to the internet. None of them took me up on my offer, which is really too bad because I have a feeling that some of them are really going to need to brush up on their job hunting and interviewing skills!

Anyhoo, why don't you ask her why she only wants to talk to you?

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