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: (Pensive)
Some kind soul located my psychiatrist and now he's sentme to the ER for observation. Who knows how lonh they'll keep me, but I am pissed to the hilt.
tinhuviel: (Bellatrix)

I am kind of freaking out right now.  At the age 5, I was enrolled in 1st grade, at which time I was swiftly and truly schooled by my classmates.  I was not normal.  Period.  I wasn't allowed to dance to music like I'd always done before, without getting called names and being laughed at.  My teacher gave me a time out for not being able to recite the Lord's Prayer, and when we were supposed to play games that called for teams, there was team A and team "Shit, she's the only one left."  It was apparent, in no uncertan terms, that nothing about me was normal.  And since my family moved around a lot, I wasn't normal at any school, so it had to be me, not them.  I was given the advice to ignore it and they'd eventually go away, but they didn't. This ended, for the most part, while I was working at BMG, when I finally lost it on some asshole at J Records I was forced to work with.  I had one more incident of bullying behaviour just yesterday, and I reacted viciously. To be honest, I can't remember everything that happened there, but I think I just on that thin line that separates verbal confrontation from physical altercation.  Thirty-two (non-consecutive) years of bullying boiled up in my body, and I just fucking exploded.  But I'm not here to talk about bullying.  It seems I've done a lot of that since I've been on the Internet, and finding others like myself.  The Island of Misfit Toys is a real place on Teh Intarwebz, located a little further north-west of Dr. Moreau's Island, and separated from Fantasy Island by the Sea of Dreams (yes, we can see y'all from from our winders).  Enough of that, though.  Let's get down to bidness.

I'm here to talk about feeling paranormally different since waking up on the 14th.  The doctor said he removed 17 pounds of excess skin, fat, and other crap that wouldn't have ever otherwise gone away.  I'm talking about hearing the nurse softly say in my ear, "breathe deeply", and then I woke up with parts of my body that have always been part of me since I began to gain more weight than other kids my age, at four years.  The midsection of my stomach is mostly flat, but the lower part, the part that hangs down to your thighs when you stand, and makes you think that you have no lap whatsoever when you sit down - - well, it is gone.  Totally fucking gone.  Working on my computer has even changed, because my stomach was my prop, so I could work on my writing, promotions, and blogging while Smidgen curled up on my chest or upper abdomen.  Now, I'm having dificulty trying to find a decent computer spot, so I can write this.  I feel as though, if I were back east with the friends I have, I would hear them whisper about me not being me, reinacting one of the earlier scenes of Invasion of the Bodysnatchers.

On 14 September whilst waiting to be rolled back to the operating room, I was lying on my back with my elbow and hands touching the mattress, or I had my fingers interlocked on my midsection, and my elbows just dangled at each side.  If I wanted to put my arms at my side, then my elbows could touch the mattress, but my fingers wouldn't meet.  I couldn't do both and I never could.  It was just a fact of life for me, even after the gastric bypass surgery in 2004. Now, my elbows can rest on the bed and my fingers can interlock at the same time.  The Mother Unit was amused that my discovery of this amazed me so much.  I know that doesn't sound like much, but when you've never been able to do it before, it's kind of a thing.  The effect on my lower back was nearly instantaneous.  A lot of that pull is gone, which was the main purpose for asking to get the procedures in the first place.  Total success, right there.  Despite currently feeling as though I have been thrown into the Iron Maiden at an Iron Maiden concert, my back already doesn't hurt as much, and I'm hoping the pain will continue to wane as I heal.  I can feel the difference in my knees as well.

Psychologically, the immediate effect has not been as positive as I would have liked, but that's not the doctor's fault. Everything he did was exactly the procedures he signed on to do, and he did them expertise.  The thing for me, though, was that I went to sleep in the body I'd had for around 32 years, and I woke up a stranger to myself.  I'm not doing as well as perhaps I should in respect to mentally catching up to the physical tranformation.  There are differences you would never think of, such as, seeing my own "cho-cha" (thank you, Missy Elliott) for the very first time in my entire life.  Only a few hours after the surgery has over, I learned the women's cho-chas were supposed to look like this.  It is still quite a surprise, because most laypeople or medical personnel would never think that such a change would be shockingly phantasmagoric.  It's as though the doctor pulled everything up.  From now on, whenever I see some crazy person in the park talking down her/his pants, I'm going to wonder if they had a panniculectomy and abdominoplasty.  Such a shock to the visual senses is bizarre and unsettling.  On the other hand, I might be that homeless crazy person taking to her own privates sooner than later.

I was told that the surgery took hours because the doctor wanted to be as thorough as possible while he was working. Based on some of the surgery pictures he'd shown me during our consultation, I have no doubt he was thorough.  In fact, I think he did more than was authorised, probably because he knew I might need it down the road. I was already dead to the world, so why not? After a little bit of online research, what little time I've been online, I'm thinking that that extra something was some liposuction, considering I have two balls that catch the bloody water draining out of me, and bruises that just won't quit on my lower stomach, thighs, and cho-cha. Everything is relatively level now.  I had fatty bits on my back that are gone now, too. After all this heals I will appear to be, more or less, like someone carrying a few extra pounds, but nothing people would gawk or throw vomit fat jokes in her direction.

My entire dieting life, I was told to chant the mantra "there's a thin person inside me that yearns to get out!"  I was conditioned to dislike everything about me that anyone could see, while striving to look like the ones who are always at the front of the line to get their kick in before the day over. I was filled with a hell of a lot of animosity by the time I was approved for gastric bypass surgery, so much so that I had before and after pictures taken in the event someone told me I looked good.  My plan was to whip those pictures out and ask them what they thought now!  Over a time, especially when Aunt Tudi's health started to decline, I just grew weary of my verbal fight with society, and just gave up on avenging the evil so quantumly ingrained in us all by this mockery of our exsistence.

But, the other day, I was told it was good to see me, a "much thinner" me.  I didn't say anything then, because I've been feeling like every hell imagined in every dimension that could currently be calculated by any Physics Academic, and to be perfectly frank, I did not want to be in a tiff, or what have you.  Now, I'm a tad concerned that, in my heart, I know I may throat punch anyone who has ever known or seen me prior to the surgeries, but still comes out with that programmed bullshit, especially if they refer to having surgies to assist me lose the weight that was killing me as "taking the easy way out."  I am not above going all Jack Torrance with an ax on any motherfucker who crosses that line, and thanks to those oh so very easy surgeries and recoveries that were alllll done for cosmetic reasons and nothing else, I'm lighter, limberer, and enthusiastically motivated to shut you up by ripping your jaw bone off your stupid brainless head and feeding it to Toby. Strangers who do not know me will get you one free pass but, if a stranger proving how much of a douche nozzle they are by judging another within my earshot may very well end up in an intimate relationship with my shoes and elbows.  I haven't forgotten all the Kung Fu I was taught, and I'll probably be able to do them better now.  You can be my practice.

The flesh a person is in, is not that person, but it can affect them in unimaginable ways.  I feel like a stranger in a strange land now.  I can't quite grasp the extent of my aura.  Toby caught a glimpse of mm the other day, and barked at me as though I were a stranger.  I'm wondering how Smidge will handle seeing her new old bed, unimpressed that it no longer has the cushioning she requires.  I can get around things a bit easier, but still move like I need to squeeze, and that makes me look like I'm up to no good.  I had some of these issues with the first surgery, but the effects came much more slowly, so my adjustments were more easily accepted.  This time, not so much.  Not even after the gastric bypass did I have a figure.  Now that I do, I don't look right.

But just because I'm struggling doesn't mean I've lost one iota of my venom for humanity as a whole.  Once built, or stolen, I can just shoot my lethal laser gun at the global urban centers while wearing some dumbass latex cat suit.

FUCK THE WORLD


fuckyou.gif



Love, Tin

PS: If you find any spelling or grammatical mistakes in this, chalk it up to unbridled anger combined with full body pain. Thank you.

tinhuviel: (Spork)
I have been slowly coming to the realisation that, since Aunt Tudi passed, I've had an incredible difficult being as forward and woefully honest about my goings-on. That said, I can't help but feel I'm being a bit of a hypocrite, when what I'm writing is a combination dishonesty, both to the readers, as well as my own.

I'm going to try to change this, mainly setting up a journal that Dr. Harrington can read at his descretion. I doubt that many, of not any, journal entres make their way here. Honestly, I'm thinking of trawling the many entries I've made here since 2002. Maybe with this "secret;" the bird debacle will make the grade, as will this pseudo, as will my full intention to get over these problems, and turn my eyes to Paul and Amy. can help by just ache for her, and ho she's alightl

In other self-incriminating info news, I have joined a small a San Diego hiking group. Matt and the Unit wanted in on the action. So, we'll see. Five miles used to be nothing to me. I'll probably fall and bust my head open like a fresh egg.

I am also seeking out a writers' group. I need to get out of this house more. I have options, unlike in South Carolina. Despite my rampant misanthropy, I fully admit that contact with my own species could very well therapeutic.

Rapid Fire

Dec. 5th, 2012 11:35 am
tinhuviel: (Dr. Who Boogie)
John, my therapist, constantly bounces me from one subject to another, I think in the hope of seeing whether or not I'm being straight with him. Frankly, I have nothing to hide from him. I want it all to hang out. It's just the first step on the long road to healing, in my opinon. One of the things he wants me to focus on, is my obsession with the Alpaca Lips. He wondered whether or not this as a suicidal thougt or a homicidal one. I tole hime both. I hope we're rendered extinction, including myself, and that the place is left to worthier species. He made notes.

He asked about my pulling, and picking. I told him that my small toe nail nails are currenty non-extence. Plus, I have a scap that I just can't get my hands off of.

I told him about the medication mixup, my decision to stay at home alone for Chrismas, and my planning to have a big, crazy going out party on 12-21. Beyond that, I don't know.

The Alpaca Lips is pretty comfort I have in my life right now. The sooner we're all gone, the better off the Earth will be. I'll be at the first of the line to meet whatever is beyond this Vales of Tears (alghout I would like to meet Barry Andrews again. Maybe he and his friends could help see Nibiru coming over the horizons just before we all drop dea.d.

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