Geezer, our new friend as discussed in this post, finally sent out (some of) my medical records this week. To be fair to him, he was very apologetic about the delay in supplying me with same, so I have elected not to hate him. Given that he works in the Trust, this is somewhat surprising. Fair play to him, I suppose – that’s no mean feat.
This will be a series of posts, given the magnitude of digestion and analysis required. I’m not sure why I’m even writing this one at all; I suppose I’m in a bit of a spin about the whole thing, and am hoping for some sense of catharsis, which is indubitably a tall order. Still, I’m awake at 5.35am, and I’ve flicked through the bastarding things. To this end, a brain dump seems completely worthwhile, even if it’s 0nly to shut my head up for the few minutes it takes to type this dirge.
Let’s start with…
The Very Vaguely Non-Shit Stuff
Well. Well..? Well, nothing much really. One less than hateful remark came when C, in referring me for psychiatric assessment at the CMHT, described me as “an intelligent and articulate lady.” He had made occasional similar remarks to me in session, but of course the verbal word is so much more informal in this kind of arena than the written one. For some reason, it made me smile, perhaps a little nostalgically. A sense of external validation, perhaps? Some residual transferential shite about him actually holding me in even vaguely positive regard? Who knows why it pleases me. But it does, slightly.
NewVCB seems to have been broadly supportive of me since she took over my psychiatric care in January 2010, and reading her predecessor’s comments made me realise just how lucky I was to have my “case” transferred to her. In the letter she wrote to Lovely GP in the wake of the cessation of my therapy with C, she made it quite abundantly clear that she was annoyed that the Trust had failed to even consult her about either my long-running complaint or on what she felt the best method of proceeding was. This letter alone provides me with a fair amount of fuel, which can only be aided by the admissions of my being “significantly let down” that C made in our final sessions. I have the last six meetings recorded, though I haven’t listened to them. I don’t really give a fuck how illicit or full of subterfuge such actions may have been; when you’re dealing with such a mess of bureaucratic self-servingness, compiling evidence seems wholly necessary and appropriate. So fuck them if they don’t like it.
NewVCB also described me as “a very disturbed young girl [young girl!!!], who does struggle day to day.” She also wrote that she felt that continuing therapy would be (have been?) of benefit to me.
I was also interested to note that C had written to Mr Director-Person (utter cunt) in the wake of my original complaint, and whilst he’d (C, though Mr D-P was perennially guilty of same too) engaged in his usual self-justifying bilgewank, he did observe that my letter had highlighted a number of deficiencies in the service, and that these should be considered in future service provision. (Which is nice and all, but if I end up dead then it all seems personally rather pointless. I’m not aiming to be a fucking martyr to this cause; I just want help).
Anyhow, onto the flip side of…
Bias, Lies, Embellishment, Stereotyping, Assumption, Blah Blah Blah
My favourite piece of nonsense in the notes is possibly the following quote from the Psychiatric Liaison Nurse from last January as quoted in her follow-up phone call to C:
She was almost boastful about cutting herself with a scalpel and about how she managed to obtain it on eBay. I have no concerns about her mental health but she will probably use self-harm to up the ante as your time together grows closer to its termination…blah blah blah…[some patronising arse about my ‘using’ my diagnosis of BPD or some such]
“Up the ante”! “No concerns about [my] mental health”! I’ve been the first to admit that the incident in question was the shittest suicide attempt in the whole of creation, but according to what I hear from normals and professionals alike, people aren’t generally supposed to self-harm or ruminate on suicide in the fucking first place. So how my mental ‘health’ can be considered something unworthy of concern to a serious so-called professional is beyond me.
What galls me about this one especially is that I had no idea until tonight (last night, whatever) that the woman in question was such a two-faced cunt. She played all nicey-nicey, wearing a convincing veneer of maternal warmth, to my face. In the next breath, she was advising C to be wary of my twisted modus operandi of manipulative evil. Fuck you, love. Fuck you very much indeed.
The second most entertaining comment came from a letter from OldVCB to Lovely GP after my initial assessments with her (here and here). It is her clinical opinion that I have borderline personality disorder, with a possible differential diagnosis of bipolar II disorder (the latter, interestingly, was something NewVCB also brought up, “particularly in light of [my] family history”). Fine. I knew well before I met any psychiatrist that I had BPD. What I accused myself of, though did not honestly think was seriously considered, was the possibility that I had narcissistic personality disorder. Apparently, I wasn’t so far from the truth: I have “strong narcissistic traits”! MWHAHAHAHAHAHA!
My eyes widened in horror when I first read that, but as I sit here now at 6am, I find it bizarrely amusing. It’s inversely self-validating, I suppose; I always wanked on and on and on to anyone that would listen about what a narcissistic heap of fuckery I am, and for once someone agreed. There’s a certain twisted but likeable logic in there somewhere.
There were a few minor but deeply frustrating inaccuracies in OldVCB’s report to Lovely GP; she got the names of both my schools wrong. She also got my ‘A’ Level results wrong. In and of itself it’s no big deal, but if the boney fucking bitch couldn’t even be arsed to listen to fundamentals like that, why would I suppose she would listen to anything else I had to say? She also prattled endlessly on about my “interpersonal difficulties” as evidenced in my relationships with “friends, teachers and parents.” Oh really?
I feel like directing her to this post about one of my teachers, and seeing what she thinks then. Clearly the dynamics of a profoundly turbulent relationship, oh yes. In reality, I only had a difficult relationship with one teacher, and whilst I do accept culpability for being an awkward pupil for him, to be fair it was as much about him being a knob as it was about my assholery. Oh and yes, I had ups and downs with my friends…like TEENAGERS FUCKING DO. OldVCB contended that she was “unable to get a sense of [my current] relationships with [A, Daniel and Brian]” but her tone was one of doubt and cynicism. She seemed genuinely confused by the fact that I’d been with A for (as it then was) six years. Nevermind, though. Just slap a “bah, patient was unresponsive about this so we can therefore be certain that she actually knocks the living fuck out of her partner and friends” on my face so as it fits neatly with your nice little bit of stigma-in-a-manual.
C’s discharge letter fucked me off, not because he was offensive per se, but because either he’s the one that’s in cloud-fucking-cuckoo land or he’s just trying pathetically to cover his own arse. A position arguing that both apply is certainly arguable too. I can’t remember all of it now, but the comment that most stood out was that he felt that I had “learned methods of affect regulation and non-destructive ways to deal with overwhelming feelings.” I’m glad to hear that’s the case, because hitherto I really had no idea. It’s reassuring to know that my reality is actually false and all that, oh yes indeedy. So, I ask myself…how had
God C managed to achieve this miraculous wonder, so subtle and clever in its delivery that even I had not noticed it? Aha, good readers! How else but by teaching me “techniques of mindful-breathing [sic], which seem to have had some positive results”.
Really, C? Really?! Could that be the same mindful breathing that I so positively reacted to and analysed here? Good to see that we were singing from the same hymn sheet throughout our time together, my friend!
I haven’t perused his hand written post-session notes in great detail yet, mainly because – as is par for the course in the field of healthcare – they’re nearly fucking impossible to translate into something that begins to approximate English. A couple of asides I did note, however, were wanky references to “anger”, “acting out”, “defensiveness”, yadda yadda. He appears to be under the delusion that because of these ‘traits’ I epitomise borderline personality disorder (despite his one time comment that “…it is not borderline personality disorder that c0mes into this room; it’s Pandora.”) Unfortunately for historical accuracy, the reason I was “angry” and “defensive” was because he was refusing to fucking treat me at least until my condition became moderately self-manageable. Go and read through the archives of my posts on him. I was, by and large, unerringly nice (despicable word) to the man until Christmas 2009 when he told me that I had to fuck off. Duh-de-DUH! Coincidence much?!
There was one particularly irritating and condescending piece of arse that he’d obviously written in the wake of a difficult session late in our time together. I must have seen him and/or therapy as a cunt/cuntish or something, and he noted that I was engaging in his favourite little game of psychological splitting (helpfully for him and the psychiatrists, a typical “borderline trait”). Waa, waa, waa. Apparently, though, he felt it “unhelpful to break Pandora’s projections towards me at this time by pointing this out to her…for now it is best to allow her to feel [whatever it was he alleged that I felt].”
There are two things in this world that I cannot abide. Being lied to (and that includes lies of omission, as observable here), and being FUCKING PATRONISED. What a supercilious fucking cock! He knew, he fucking absolutely knew, that I understood the dynamics of splitting, projection and transference. We spent about 98.3746563% of our time navel-gazing on such issues, for Jesus’ sake! But nah, let’s just let the little borderline freak act out on me rather than try to fucking work out why she’s doing so. Let her think that she’s really furious with me, when it’s actually her uncle or her fucking father or God or the fact that she hasn’t personally discovered a curse for cancer (given, after all, that she has such strong narcissistic traits!) that’s actually fucking frustrating her. Tosser.
Let me be rational momentarily (sorry to disappoint the rant lovers, but normal service will resume anon, worry not). I can see why C may think that if he reduced everything to splitting and transference and whatnot that (a) that would be intellectualising, something he fervently sought to avoid with me and (b) maybe he did genuinely think it would be useful for me to be angry with him in a transferential sort of way, if only temporarily. The problem is that he sat down, thought about it, then went ahead and consciously decided to try to deceive me (a comment which, if he were ever to read this, would no doubt be interpreted as “a paranoid persecution complex,” which came up once or twice in the notes), rather than exploring the psychodynamics of my frustrations. I thought that was the whole fucking point of that style of therapy?
Anyway, I’m analysing, rather than reporting, here. I should leave the detail for specific posts, but you know me – I can’t help myself. In closing, I’ll note one other thing that really annoyed me, not by its belittling stereotyping, nor even its inaccuracy, but by its very omission. Only at one solitary, passing juncture was PTSD ever mentioned, and that was by C, who does not have the requisite qualifications to make any form of diagnosis, at least beyond speculation. NewVCB sat with me last March and said to my face that I “…couldn’t not have PTSD…and in case of chronic trauma like your’s, we call that complex PTSD…”
Some of the foregoing made me angry, some made me laugh owing to its inherent ridiculousness and textbook anti-borderline bias, but this – this actually hurt me. I remember Seaneen once writing a really good piece about people with post-abuse mental health problems.
There’s the “good” abuse victim (hello, PTSD) and the “bad” abuse victim (hello, BPD).
Right here, right now, that statement resonates with me like never before. To me, in much the same way as Seaneen suggested, BPD blames the sufferer; PTSD blames the perpetrator/event/whatever.
So when all is said and done, for all her apparent support, I’m still just some attention-seeking, histrionic pain in the arse to NewVCB – not someone who was or is a victim/survivor/sufferer (depending on your preferred parlance), a belief that she has on occasion led me to believe she holds. I can shake my fist at OldVCB’s brusque manner and dogmatic stereotyping; I can laugh incredulously at C’s misinterpretations of matters or questionable decisions at any given time; I can astonish myself with the shocking hypocrisy of the Psychiatric Liaison bint.
But in the end, that’s somehow little more than rant material, at least for now. They don’t hurt, not really – not deeply, not rawly. Being just another case, another fucking number, rather than a person? That hurts. Being the one apparently to blame for all of this? That cuts me to the fucking core. It really, really does.
And that, for now at least, is that.