Update on the Political Intervention Against the Trust
Sorry for not apprising readers of this blog on the current status of my complaints to my MP and other politicians about the Trust’s decision to end my therapy. I had mentioned it on Twitter, but not all of you are onTwitter, so that wasn’t very fair! Here’s what has, to date, happened.
The first person to respond to me was a civil servant – let’s call him Adam – writing on behalf of Michael McGimpsey, the Northern Ireland Health Minister. Adam oh-so-helpfully advised me that “clinical decisions on these matters are made by the various Trusts”. That is something of which I clearly had no knowledge. None at all! Adam had, therefore, “written to the [My] Trust to ask them to respond to [me] on the matter.” Definitely a highly useful thing for Adam to do, given that I have been writing to the Trust myself since December 2009. Adam kindly advised me that he hoped that “this matter will be resolved favourably.” I am, of course, profoundly touched by this overflow of concern.
In all seriousness, one thing he did do of minor use was provide the details of the Patient Care Council, whom I may contact if things don’t go according to plan (which they won’t, so presumably I will be contacting them). In any event, Mr Director-Person’s boss subsequently wrote to me, on the back of Adam’s epic piece apparently ending up on his desk. This person is called Mr Chief Executive. Mr Chief Executive claimed to be “sorry to hear of the difficulties [I have] been experiencing, and [is] grateful to [me] for bringing the matter to [his] attention.” I’ll bet. I wonder if he recalls that my first letter in this crusade was copied to him (its main recipients being the advocacy charities, who were universally fuckwitted), but passed by him to Mr D-P because he could not be arsed with it at the time?
He claims that an investigation has been launched “into the issues raised” in my correspondence to McGimpsey / Adam, so in fairness to Adam, at least something has come of his intervention that didn’t come of my own. This, in all probability, means one of two things. One – the outcome of the ‘investigation’ is already decided, and is essentially along the lines of “Pandora = WRONG. Trust = BLAMELESS”. Or two – they actually do investigate the issues raised…namely, however, the whole catalogue of errors that the past decade’s ricocheting about the system has brought. That would, of course, be welcomed by me, but what it potentially means is that they can avoid providing extended therapy and seem saintly by merely apologising for all that has gone wrong before.
Maybe I am being unduly cynical. I don’t think I am, but one never knows. As I said above, at least it is something. I really think it’s very far from perfect, but at least it’s not the nothing that was endlessly circular-ised in the correspondence between myself and Mr Director-Person.
The second, and so far only other, person to respond to the letters was the MP himself. His letter was friendly and courteous, and he said that he had written to the Trust on my behalf. He said he’d get back to me as soon as he received their response.
There was a letter from the House of Commons when I arrived at my mother’s – after a NewVCB appointment – this morning. I opened it with my customary dread, but found that it was just an update – my MP had received a letter (copied to me) from Mr Chief Executive, stating that I had written to the Trust directly and that his so-called investigation had been launched. He advised my MP that he would send him a copy of the investigation’s report once completed.
So that’s really it as things stand. Hardly life-changing stuff, but perhaps a small step in the right direction. At least the bastards now know I will not go away without a considerable fight.
NewVCB kept me waiting for 25 minutes, which is a record for her. During the whole time I was waiting I started blankly at the non-descript carpet, not moving, barely blinking. I heard a couple across the room remark on my probable mentalism. The man’s comment was inaudible, but his female companion, who was incapable of modulating her voice, was heard to comment that I look very depressed and “spaced out – as if her brain’s stopped working, like. Kind of freaky, isn’t it like?”
Interesting. I suppose it really must be a universal surprise that one would find a mental person IN A FUCKING PSYCHIATRISTS’ WAITING ROOM.
Anyway, the meeting was to all intents and purposes pointless. I seem to have an unlikely ally in NewVCB, who agrees that there is a lot of work that remains to be done in therapy. She claims, however, that there is nothing more that she can do on the issue.
Apparently she’s spoken to C and tried to persuade him to at least see me again after a break from the current process. She didn’t advise as to exactly what he said to that, but the inference seemed to be that it was going to be the probable outcome.
Should be good.
Doesn’t feel good.
Whatever the case, as of her last conversation with him, things are still ending in a fortnight, regardless of whether or not they’re picked up again in the future. I don’t know when their conversation took place, so as of right now it’s hard to say whether or not this was before or after the politicians’ involvement.
I told her that I thought that, finally, my mood had perhaps stabilised a little – I’m certainly still depressed, but not quite as morbidly so as is my norm. I would say it’s at a moderate level on average, which is good compared to the usual state of affairs. I pointed out that adjusting to changes in Venlafaxine totally fucks with my head for quite a number of weeks, so she agreed not to change my doses of either medication at the minute.
However, I told her, paradoxically the whole flashbacks/hypervigilance/rumination shit is as bad as ever. “I wish I’d never met C,” I said. “Or, at the very least, I wish I’d kept my mouth shut about stuff to him. I had many, many issues before I met him but he’s made it all ten times worse, and his choice of point on which to end therefore seems criminal.”
She said that she didn’t think this “turmoil” was paradoxical, and indeed that what I was reporting was quite common. She claims – and I don’t really believe her in the sense of its applicability to me – that sometimes the brain “works through these things on its own” before returning to therapy. Forgive me if I say that that sounds rather convenient.
She then came off with some bollocks about a new service being in development for people who “have complex issues and a history of trauma” and that “that might be an option.” This description irritated me in the extreme. She was clearly describing the personality disorder service that Mr Director-Person has wanked a bit on about to me. I asked for confirmation that this was indeed what she was referring to and she said that it was.
I said, “what, do you mean like DBT?” but before she could finish, I told her that I thought that DBT was a pile of utter bollocks, out-bollocksed only by its older cousin, CBT.
She asked why I held this view and I said that they were both victim-blaming, patronising, invalidating crap. I exemplified.
She agreed that CBT is a treatment unsuitable for me but started blathering on about how it’s used sometimes to ease the “most disturbed” patients into deeper stuff that “they couldn’t otherwise cope with emotionally.” It’s like peeling layers off an onion, apparently. Really, how interesting, NewVCB, thank you. Then she said that DBT was used by the self-harm team in the next Trust.
“Yes,” I sneered, “it’s supposedly empirically proven to treat that and suicidality. That’s very nice, but it doesn’t mean it treats the underlying causes of those behaviours, the psychological distress that they alleviate.”
“That’s my point,” she replied, to my considerable chagrin. “It stops that first, and then we can take the person deeper thereafter.”
OK, fine. Whatever. Just as long as your cunt bosses allow adequate fucking time to “go deeper.” Just as long as your cunt bosses don’t go about pretending that DBT is some sort of universal cure for BPD and related conditions, the way they have gone about pretending that CBT is a complete panacea for some other mental illnesses. Can DBT alleviate certain symptoms? In appropriate individuals, yeah, probably. Can it alleviate everything? I doubt it. Can it work for everyone that fits the BPD demographic? I’m absolutely certain that it can’t.
I asked NewVCB what she thought about C’s high-IQ idea of referring me to a CPN/SW upon discharge. She claimed to disagree with C’s take on this, stating that, “if I was referring someone to such a person, I would need a clear idea of what it is that they’re going to do together, and in your case…well, I don’t have such an idea. I just don’t think it would work for you.”
Excellent. At least she knows that much.
“He also said that you might be able to see me a bit more frequently, in the event that there was no CPN,” I told her.
She said she’d see me once a month “for a while” and that “we’d take it from there,” whatever the bloody, sodding Christ that means.
As she showed me out, she said, “sorry it’s not all good news,” and looked sheepish – even embarrassed – at both the historical and the ongoing colossal failures of her employers. At least someone has the grace to show it.
It was a waste of time, but it wasn’t a bad appointment, not ostensibly. I mean, she agreed with me on at least two points, one of which is quite important (ie. that the therapy should not be ending). Despite this, the whole thing has left me in a foul mood. I even considered ringing Lovely GP and asking him to send the crisis team out, because I feel like I’m a danger to myself. There’s this sort of raging foreboding constricting my internal organs and burning through my skin. I know that sounds daft, but it’s physical as well as psychological. My mind won’t stop; it’s in a whirlwind of negative thinking. I keep seeing my mother’s largest bread knife dangling in front of me and have beautiful images dancing in my head of my going to town with the knife on my arms and possibly even neck. I even told my mother that I was going to kill myself, but her response was a predictable one of withering derision and room-leaving.
I haven’t done anything yet, aside from deciding against getting the scheiße-st cunts involved because they’d only make me more mental, just as they have done in the past. Anyway, don’t worry. At least I have my Twitter group therapy friends and lovely blog readers. I’m sure it’ll pass, though perhaps not until I’ve got tomorrow’s session with C – week 61 out of 63 – out of the way. I have a lot of catching up on his sessions to do, I know. I also have some additional commentary that I need to share with you, but all in good time. I shall endeavour to remain alive so that I can impart these details to you
Oh, and as an aside – the below image shows why I’m being chucked out of therapy despite not being ready for discharge. This is taken directly from the Trust’s website.