Post Hospitalization: I Thought They Were Supposed to Make Me Better

My husband and daughter came to fetch me tonight and I was happy to see them but I started to feel the weight on me instantly.  I walked down the hall, it got heavier on my shoulders and chest with every step. I collected my “sharps” – glass items, my good razor – from the nurses and one of them patted my shoulder and said “We’ll be praying for you, kiddo” as the elevator door closed.

Walking through the tunnels downstairs I felt numb. I realized there were offices all down the brick-sided hallways, and I looked for the names of my doctor or my social worker, but I didn’t see any names I recognized. There was nothing about being off the unit that felt liberating, I didn’t feel lighter as I usually had after inpatient stays. By the time we reached the car I had tears in my eyes. I felt WORSE.

How could that be? OK, maybe the medication shouldn’t be performing miracles after only 3 weeks.  But I have been treatment resistant for so many years that I don’t expect for the Celexa or the lithium to make much of an impact. The lithium is actually supposed to work within 5 days of reaching therapeutic levels, which happened 10 days ago, according to my bloodwork, so actually that SHOULD be working. It’s only job: curbing suicidal thoughts. But 30 minutes into the traffic-laden ride home and the Cenobites were there, making suggestions, bearing gifts. What did they bring? The gifts of Worthlessness, Uselessness, Hopelessness and ultimately promises of peace, if only I would take the poison with some citron vodka.  With a blanket and a book, on a warm day, under my tree at the Arboretum.

My tree is the short one toward the left – it is just a canopy, entirely hollowed out under the branches and surrounded by other trees and exotic shrubs. No need to shell out for a hotel room when this tree will do nicely.

It appeared that they strategically had impartial, uninterested “check-in” people assigned to me on every shift since Thursday – none of the nurses or staff I was usually assigned to, who might write a note for the file saying “SHE IS NOT READY FOR DISCHARGE.” That had happened twice already. By that point I just wanted to go home anyway, I didn’t care.

When we met Monday, the team carefully declined to ask me if I would be safe at home, just saying that they were concerned. Not concerned enough to keep me. I had wanted to go into the Women’s Program, a program designed around PTSD, Borderline and Anxiety – 3 of my 4 Cenobites. I wanted intensive, tailored therapy. It was on the table for the past 2 weeks & then last Friday it was “you need a long-standing relationship with a therapist and to be less suicidal, we were being a little lax in our heads on the rules.” Yeah, except that I was assigned to the program 2 years ago by the woman who is now RUNNING the program and I was no less suicidal, nor did I have a therapist.

They had presented me with a 6-day program – Fri – Wed, so therapy split with 2 empty days in between. I declined when the intake coordinator told me it was probably “not for” me if I felt I needed more than 6 days. My team was furious, Dr. G snapping at me that the social working had “busted her ass” getting me into that program. “That untherapeutic program, you mean? The one the intake coordinator told me is probably not for me? That program?” That conversation was Friday. We made our apologies for losing our tempers during our meeting Monday.

They’ve also been talking up a McLean-based Psychologist for me over the past couple of weeks, having me sign off on sending her my file. She had accepted me as a patient – I was told so on 3 separate occasions and had confirmed that driving distance was not an issue if  it was for the right clinician – a clinician who could actually help me.

By Monday she had declined to meet with me as well. Why? I lived an hour away, have kids, and a part time job (I telecommute for Christ’s sake!). I thought those were MY logistics to worry about, not hers. But it was one more NO. M, my case manager/social worker came in the afternoon with the news and it made me cry, just a bit while she was there. I told her I felt like every time I asked for help I was told no.

Me: Could you please help me?

Everyone else: No.

Me: But…please?

Everyone else: NO.

Me: Pretty please?

Everyone else: FUCK YOU!

Me: But I really need-SPADE TO THE THE BACK OF THE SKULL AND  NOW I CAN’T THINK OR BREATH AND I JUST WANT TO STAY DOWN ON THE GROUND BECAUSE THERE ARE JUST ANTS AND SPIDERS HERE, WORMS, AND THEY DON’T SAY “NO” OR TELL YOU TO FUCK OFF. AT LEAST NOT THE ONES IN MASSACHUSETTS.

Before, during our talk, Dr. G asked me how I felt about going home. I said for once the idea of discharge wasn’t sending me into a paroxysm of terror.  She said she was really encouraged to hear that – that I wasn’t afraid to go home. But what I meant was that am through resisting and am not afraid to die.

 

The only constant…

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Comments

  1. Welcome home. I hope a miracle happens for you…

  2. I wish there were words to make this all go away for you, but I know there isn’t. Just know, that from what I get from you, and feel through your words, you are an awesome person. Maybe a little lost, but still awesome! I would take it all away if I could just so you could be comfortable in your own skin. I don’t want anything to happen to you, if you were gone I would be a sad sad person. I hope you can find some sort of healing.. in any way possible! Sending you much love and positive vibes…

    ❤ XOXOXOOOO
    Sara

  3. I don’t get it. Why aren’t the MacLean people helping you???? Are they just hoping that sooner or later the lithium will kick in? You need a medical advocate.

    • Yes, they wanted an outpatient program, either residential or partial (during the day). Thing is, to kick this, I need the right one. Having the McLean-based therapist was a strategy to eventually get me INTO that program, but she rejected me out of hand based on where I live & how many children I have. More rejection. I feel bad for my caseworker, she really did give a shit…she told me she does have people die after leaving & they never leave her, she’s haunted. I told her she’s young yet, as the body count rises, so will her tolerance. But if that occurring with any frequency, the higher ups ought to realize they are releasing sick people without so much as a cocked fist in defense against whatever form the madness takes. If I have the energy to call again when I’m in crisis (wait, I still AM in crisis) I’ll go to Beth Israel. And yeah – somehow McLean is listed as the #1 freestanding psych facility in the country. Mitt Romney lives across the street from Proctor House – where I was staying. All kinds of secret service vehicles over there 10 days or so ago…whatever. Thanks for your support, me luv! Please open a wordpress account!

      • Wouldn’t it make sense to help you BECAUSE of how many children you have? Don’t they want you to be well to be there for your kids? It kills me. But then, mental health treatment is still in its infancy. If this were the 40s, they would have given you a lobotomy and sent you on your way. Grotesque.

      • At this point a lobotomy would be welcome! Hugs!

  4. I’m sending a lot of hugs your way!

  5. How upsetting. It isn’t fair. Maybe your husband should talk to someone over there about the situation. You need something and a psych hospital should be the place to find individual care that you need. Hang in there girl, Meow!

  6. I read this and all I could think of (for you and me) is to Breath. Sending positive thoughts and energy your way. I know this is a difficult time, I’ve lived it.

  7. Oh God… your suffering is so familiar and so different. Familiar on the inside and different on the outer specifics. I am with you.

  8. Heart-wrenching post – I can’t bear it for you – sounds so awful and frustrating.
    I don’t know if this is any comfort but it strikes me that a very good reason to keep living is because your writing is so powerful, clever, compelling, honest, incisive, jarring, shocking, nobullshittingish, wonderful….

  9. I know how hard it is to go home when you have no hope for something better and you’re not being given any help. I remember being in that position more than once and it is the worst feeling. I hope you can keep going. I hope you can hang on until someone is prepared to help. It all seems so unfair but you are worth so much more than this. Sending hugs (although I realise you need more than a few hugs).

    • Thank you SO much. It’s fucked though – I have 5 beautiful healthy, if noisy, kids to come home to & a great job with a great boss. It’s just my head. I just don’t understand it… 😦
      (((((HUGS BACK)))))

  10. I know how hard for you but be sure, the only power of a man is himself… You are amazing as I read some of your posts… My positive energy and best wishes with you too dear Magically Mad, Thank you, for sharing with us, I am so glad to meet you. Blessing and Happiness, with my love, nia

  11. Dear Magic,

    How is it going, being at home? Are you feeling any better?

    Love Dotty xxx

    • Deaar Dotty,
      Am at work today, so feeling distracted but otherwise, no, I feel worse. It’s very f’n hard, this staying alive business. And I have no real problems, it makes no sense, which just makes it worse…
      Thank you for checking in, I have an award to give out tonight that I thik you’ll accept!
      XOXO
      Love,
      Jill

  12. I know how you feel! When I left the hospital the first time I cried for days. I felt like I shouldn’t cry, I felt like I should be better, like a weight lifted, after all I was being discharged. I didn’t, I just felt like I didn’t belong anywhere, but I didn’t want to be anywhere anyway and that made me feel worse.
    I think it is interesting you call them cenobites. Interesting because everyone has a different name for them. The cenobites are scary, I wish I could take them away for you.
    Love, hugs and lots of LOLcats xoxoxoxoxo

  13. Stay strong my friend. I know you can do that, you like many other people in similar situations like you are not aware of the strength you have. But we can see it and feel it through your words. Hugs!

  14. this sounds so awful… I am thinking about you, and hope my warm thoughts gets to you all over the huge ocean, putting in all my hugs to! 🙂 Hope things get better soon!

  15. At least you have this outlet. At this point I am blogging about my fathers WWII letters. He married my abuser/mom. For the sake of the blog I have to pretend I like her. I keep screaming at Dad in my head to not marry her, but he does and I can’t change that. I just pretend she is not my real mother. does this sound crazy? shhhhhh don’t let my followers know.

    • Which outlet, the blog or the stupid facilities in metro Boston? I want to die so badly I can’t even write at all right now, I just asked an expert on the particulars of cutting since she says it curbs the suicidal thoughts.

      I hate to see people abused by their mothers. I was fucked up by my parents, & my mom would punhc me with some frequency but only when she was wasted out of her mind, & it wasn’t ritual abuse like most people. My trauma was more subtle. So it kills me when people – small children, growing children – are assaulted by the people who are supposed to love them. I’m so sorry.

      In the meantime am fascinated with WWII stuff, did you happen upon the post w a few of my grandad’s pics? LOVE that stuff, so I’ll be looking forward to reading, when I have time to catch up.

      I hope you’re feeling ok at the moment? Or here with me in “dear heart please stop” land? Well, you have most charming company XOXOXOXO

      • I love that “dear heart please stop land” lol that made me smile. I resemble that remark. For some reason since I came to the conclusion that I will have to come back to earth once again (I have to keep telling myself that) if I do the dirty deed, it has quieted those voices in my head that say to do it. Not that it ever goes away it is just quieter and I can ignore it. I am gonna do everything I can to stay until it is my time. But a little secret I do not do pap smears, mammograms, nor that thing they want to stick up my butt. Catch my own poo too. (lol poo too) I refuse to do any of that degrading stuff. I had my daughter when I had just turned 16 from a date rape. Being that young and not knowing what was going to happen just about killed me, mentally. Then add a bi-polar mom that I was living with and you have me. I kept my daughter and she will turn 38 this year. She has hated me all her life and my mother of course told me, and her what a horrid mother I was but what do you expect from a 16 year old? Oh and I meant the blogging outlet. At this point in my family history I have to hide that part. Take care my friend and think about having to be sent back to earth for another go around. Works for me, this IS hell. My father’s story keeps me here too. I kind of want to finish it before I go. You are going to help a lot of people with the information in your blog. You have already helped me.
        Hugssss

      • Right back at you. God, how much more torment can one person have piled on them? I’m so sorry. I wish things like that happened to me instead of the subtle stuff because I have a violent side & it has no outlet (hmmm, kickboxing?), if I had abusers and rapists, the things I would do…& then I’d go to prison, but that would be better than this. You talk to your mother? And your daughter doesn’t have the sense to know you were sick? I don’t understand people at all…
        love & hugs, j

      • Funny thing about my mom, she’s dead. lol not that she is dead but we did not talk about it until she was gone. (I am very non-violent) My dad did not know until then, she was a sneaky abuser. He knew we all hated her but did not know why. Us kids were her bargaining chip to make him stay with her so nothing was ever said or spoke about. No wonder I am so fricken messed up! lol

  16. I am so sorry you feel so.discouraged, I can relate so much to your words and emotions….I k.ow its like the blind leading the blind, only with me they tell me they don’t know.how.to help me, it infuriates me and I too pray.to die, all the.time. I would like to think there is hope, don’t always feel that way but I’ve made it a through some.excruciating Times by saying “this too shall pass” I will keep you in my thoughts and hope you find something that works for you… I am on the verge of.suicide for a lot of the day every day, but sweetie live for the moments that you can laugh even if those feelings return, and ( sorry if I’m being preachy ) but remember how much that daughter loves you, I know you love her and wouldn’t want her missing her cherished mother… again good luck and I mean it, you can email me I won’t judge you, I practically AM you 😉

    • Thank you so very much for your kind thoughts & I’m so sorry you have identical feelings. I’ve been “fired” by 2 psychiatrists bc they couldn’t “do anything more” for me, been there too. I just started taking adderall again (I actually have 5 kids & work from home so I need to concentrate) & the only off-label condition it is prescribed for is Treatment Resistant Depression. And I’ve been back on it for a week & have been good – I can feel the depression pressing against it but it doesn’t get in. So, I don’t know, they won’t prescribe it for folks prone to addiction, but I say Adderall for All! Maybe look into it. Big hugs & hope you are getting through your day. XOXO

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