tinhuviel: (Syd Barrett)

DISCLAIMER

What you are about to read is an account of some happenings earlier this year.  It’s not at all a pretty story, and could possibly be triggery to anyone living with a mental illness, or with someone with a mental illness.  Please proceed with caution


 

There is a not-so-happy little place called Alvarado Parkway Institute, in La Mesa, California.  I ended up there four times in 2016, the last time being voluntary.  The first three times were for suicide attempts.  The fourth was an attempt on my part to not try again.

 

API has many hallmarks you might expect to see in a movie like One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest.  They engage in something I call “punitive therapy.”  The logic, as I see it, goes a little like this:  Oh, your being admitted to our hospital?  Well, excellent!  We will make you as miserable as we can, until you straighten up and stop being a snowflake.  There are four wings in the hospital, the Open Wing, the Forensics Wing (where prisoners are housed, whenever they go batshit like the rest of us.), South Wing for the elderly, homeless, and extreme depression, and the North Wing, which houses the violent patients, suicide attempts, and perverts.

 

Barring Forensics, I was in every wing.  I got off easy the first three times, what with my reason for being admitted.  I spent a brief stint in the Open Wing, but was transferred to the South Wing a day later, because I’d had a seizure, and they could keep a better eye on me in that part of the facility.  The next two times, I was placed in South.

 

The fourth time, I asked to be admitted.  It was New Years Eve, an event that is closely associated with Aunt Tudi.  We used to sit and watch the ball drop and sip eggnog, as we discussed the passing year and what our plans would be for the new year.  I had already been rattled by many of the events that transpired during the last half of the year, and I knew that if I tried to tough the night out, I would attempt another suicide, just to stop the memories and grief.  I figured I’d stay for a few days until the dust settled, and I had already enrolled in a different insurance plan that would allow me to go to a different hospital

 

I was wrong.  I remained on the Open Wing for almost two weeks. at which time the Mother Unit was going to come pick me up.  But the day she was supposed to get me, she never showed.

 

I tried calling her to no avail, so I finally gave in and called Matt.  It was then I found out that the Unit was in the hospital and had been since the day before.  She had to get a stent in her heart, as she’s got congestive heart failure.  I lost my mind, which isn’t a good thing when you’re locked up in a place for people who have lost their minds.  I asked if I could stay a couple more days, which the doctor agreed to OK.

 

The next day, I finally talked to the Unit, having gotten her hospital room phone number.  We weren’t two minutes into the conversation, when she started fussing at me for turning Matt down for a ride.  I was called rude, inconsiderate, and so on and so forth.  I tried to explain that I decided to stay a little while longer, because I felt that Matt should be close to the Unit, and I was all the way out in La Mesa.  I was trying to do what I though was the right thing.  And I got bitched at.

Then I really fell apart.  And I made the mistake of telling my doctor that I was again experiencing suicidal ideation.  The next day, I was transferred to the North Wing.  The place reeked of putrified happiness.  My blood pressure sky-rocketed, so they had to give me an Ativan.  I was so freaked out in the Wing, I refused to leave my room.

 

Now API has communal showers.  You ask the nurse to open the shower for you, you clean up, come out, and it’s someone else’s turn.  Now, I have this issue with touching things that naked strangers have touched.  I can’t do it.  But the next morning, I was forced to do it.  On the other two wings, they were perfectly happy to allow me to take bird baths and wash my hair in the lavatory.  I was always clean.  I never stunk.  But this one particular nurse had it in her mind to make me shower no matter what.  She escorted me down the hall, then threw me into that shower, which induced another panic attack as a result.  Another Ativan for me.

 

As previously mentioned, I refused to leave my room, which meant I couldn’t attend group sessions, nor did I want to, as I had nothing in common with any of the other patients, and I didn’t trust them or the staff to protect me from them.  The problem is, they monitor your group activity and, if you don’t attend, they will keep you longer.  

 

Because of that, my doctor, who spent all of two minutes with me each day, kept me for another two weeks.  In the North Wing.  It got to the point where I requested to change doctors.  When he found out I had done that, he stopped my sleeping pill, which was the only way I could sleep in that hell pit.  And it’s the only thing that keeps Aunt Tudi from calling me in the night, since it was nighttime when she would need me the most.  

 

I spent the majority of January in this hospital, simply because I needed help with my depression and complicated grief.  But they made me worse.  I experienced a psychotic break from lack of sleep.  As I understand it, I was running down the hall, trying to find Aunt Tudi before she died.  At least that’s what they told me.  And I was nearly catatonic from sleep deprivation by the time I was discharged.

 

I finally got my shit together, though, thanks to the hospital under my current health plan.  They listen without judgement, they work with you individually, and they provide tools that help people with mental illness better manage their symptoms.

 

What’s so funny is, API’s motto is “A Culture of Caring.”  The only thing they care about is lining their pockets at the expense of both patients and the underpaid staff.  Don’t get me wrong, there were many good people at API, but they were overworked, stretched thin, and shown little, if any, appreciation.  You can’t mistreat people, then expect them to get better, or have morale, respectively.

One more thing about API:  They need to better train their staff to deal with people who are simply depressed, or reserve a place just for those with depression.  When you begin mixing vastly different people with a rainbow of symptoms, nobody wins.  I spoke with many fellow patients who were depressed, and they agreed that it was detrimental to their mental health to be in an environment where you're treated like a criminal or someone who has dissociated from the world.

 

I’m so glad I will never darken the doors of Alvarado Parkway Institute again.  I hope that someday, both the patients and the staff run amuck and burn this psychiatric bog of eternal stench to the ground.


tinhuviel: (Doomsday Clock)

If you've been a longtime Tribe-member here on the Journal of Live, you are well-aware of how I sometimes get a little enthusiastic about the oddest things.  Like Darth Maul, Tim Roth, Shriekback(can I get a whoop-whoop here?), and the Joker in both his Dark Knight incarnation and, in particular, Scott McClure's interpretation of him in The Joker Blogs.  I'm not satisfied to just hop on a generic bandwagon and be a regular fan of things and people, no no!  I have to leap onto Radio Flyer-level wagons, dragging as many people as possible with me, until it becomes a Wagon Train-level event that would make Zane Grey get misty-eyed.  I love a lot of things, but there are those tiny few that become more than just the object of an OCD fan's love.  They become a cause, to which I dedicate time, money, evangelism, sanity, and people's patience with my hooliganism. Why do I do this?  I have no idea.  I don't know what the trigger is that makes something or someone I love and enjoy transform into something I need in my life, and must insert into the lives of others, its importance so monumental that some folks will humour me just to be left in peace for a little while.  For now, though, let's not fret about the motivation behind my causes, and focus on one of two causes that are currently overworking my manipura to the point of spontaneous human combustion. I want to talk about one of the few things that has brought a level of joy in my life that I never thought I'd experience again, since 2011.  I'm talking about this movie short and the delightful individuals who created it.

Since seeing it for the first time a few months ago, I'm fairly certain I could quote the entire film from memory. The only movies to occupy that unconditional passion are most of Mel Brooks' films and John K's Ren & Stimpy.

Being the daft poster child for OCD, I had to learn everything I could about the people behind this masterpiece. The more I learned, the more I genuinely liked them. They seem like really groovy souls who deeply grok the dark humour so often associated with Generation X. I admit without hesitation that I covet their talent. Who wouldn't? So there were rumours, and rumours within rumours, that Richard Gale was planning on making the actual movie with the actors reprising their roles in the film short. Just a couple of months after I first saw The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon, the rumours were put to rest when the crew launched their Kickstarter. They need $200,000 to make this film a reality, and they even have Jeffrey Combs, a name any self-respecting Horror/Sci-Fi fan should instantly recognise, on board to be in the flick. Serious cred there, yo!

But I'm rambling, so I'll just get down to the "bwass tacks". If you like horror and comedy, please contribute to this worthy Kickstarter. If you are hardcore in your appreciation of Absurdism, please contribute to this worthy Kickstarter. If you need something in your life that will never fail to bring a smile to your face, please contribute to this worthy Kickstarter. If you like to help people who are not only insanely talented, but also equally decent individuals, create something without having to surrender their vision, ethics, or artistic control to others who don't understand the importance of such things, and care only about getting richer, please contribute to this worthy Kickstarter. And last but not least, and directed primarily to my fellow Tribesfolk, many of whom would just wish I'd shut the fuck up already: If you want to be responsible for bringing a little happiness into my life, when you know that the very notion of a smile is hard to imagine since 2011, please contribute to this worthy Kickstarter. Humour is a holistic healer of sprained spirits, so you would be helping my spirit strengthen its reinforcements by contributing in the making of Ginosaji.

Below is Richard Gale's project pitch. Beneath that is an image link to the crew's Kickstarter campaign page, where you can pledge fundage to the cause. Financially, everyone is having a less than stellar time of it, but even a dollar will make a difference here, so please do what you can. They have tons of perks for people who are able to reach deep or were born with a silver spoon in their mouths, so bear that in mind, too. Even if you're too broke to spend the night or pay attention, you can still help. If you have any experience in filmmaking or skills generally associated with the craft, you can contact Richard Gale via the Kickstarter page and see if your talents meet his needs. Also, spread the word! This is a public post and I encourage you to share it with all your homies in the world, and ask that they do the same. The more people know about this, the more likely it will be the filmmakers will reach their goal by 3 November! The only perk I can personally offer you is my promise to try to tone down my tenacity regarding Ginosaji: The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon, so you won't feel too terribly hounded as you have been in the past, with causes like The Joker Blogs and Shriekback. So, let's get this show on the road, shall we?



Now, click this spoontastic picture to help bring more happiness to the world.
Everyone could definitely use more of that and less of what we're getting, wouldn't you agree?
spoonstarter.png

I really hope y'all enjoy the film short enough to want to get involved in some way. Also, I would like to apologise ahead of time for my incessant cheerleading about this new cause. You've been with me for years and had to put up with virtual pom-pom fuzz all over your computer monitor more than anyone should be forced to tolerate, so it heartens me that you're still around after all this time. And should you get put out with my constant glomping, try to look on the bright side: I could have developed an unhealthy fascination with the Shiri-me instead of the Ginosaji, and who wants to listen to someone go on and on about a Japanese ghost whose name translates into English as "eyeball butt?"

I bet you feel better already, now don't you?

tinhuviel: (Red and black alien)

About an hour or so ago, I came across the best Creepypasta, as well as one of the very best short stories, I've ever read. I chanced upon it on You Tube, listened to it, then had to go to the original Pasta to read along as I listened for a second and third time. It's both a disturbing and beautiful story. The poetry of the fiction's language wraps around a visceral tale that will linger in the peripheries of your subconscious. If you like horror and/or science fiction, you'll love this.

For the best experience, I suggest you listen to the narration, which is flawless, whilst reading along. It makes for quite the unsettling experience, which means the insanely talented writer and the subsequent skillful narrator achieve what they each set out to do. I'm embedding the You Tube narration along with a link to the short story. You need only click the passage I copied from the story to be taken there, so you can read along. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. I've bookmarked everything, but wanted to make sure I would know where to find the story when I want to revisit, because I know I will. Often!

It's talking to me. Cooing sing-song layered words packed with image and smell and sound. Destruction, charred flesh, crying babies, the static deafening, holocaust fast and slow, some die in flames, in quakes of reality, in molecular disease while others die in camps, farms, zoos and labs. There are holes in the sky. Out of them come exterminating angels, servants of a distant and inconceivable Lord.

Also, have a picture of a cube UFO, as allegedly witnessed in El Paso, Texas, in July. I'm including it because it just adds to the creepiness of the above passage, and I won't be happy until you are as disturbed as I am!

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