Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Isolation is the Best Medication

This isn't an easy post to write, but at the moment, I hate my family.
'Hate' may be too strong a word, but I'm very angry and incredibly frustrated.

How can they just completely ignore D-Day and continue on as if nothing happened?

Mum says they've no choice but to keep playing 'happy family' and just ignore it until everyone gets their own individual help. Unfortunately, I don't have that luxury.

It took all the strength I could muster to lay it all out in the open. More strength than it took to initially speak about it a couple of years ago. It's without a doubt one of the hardest things I've ever done, and I've gotten nothing - less than nothing - out of it.

For a long time, I've been made to feel guilty for feeling anger towards it, or towards my family. But after speaking with my GP about it last week, she assured me I have every right to be angry. So you know what? I am fucking angry, and I won't stuff it down anymore for their sake.

Even writing that makes me feel like a horrible person.

The weekends are the worst. I hide away, even more than I do during the week. I'm the elephant in the room, the looming black cloud, and I can barely stand to be around them. I can't look them in the eye. I can't talk to them.

For many years, I've basically lived in the lounge room. Since the abusive relationship at age 14-15, I could no longer sleep in the crime scene once known as my bedroom.

To start with, I'd just find my way to the couch in the middle of the night, unable to stay in my own room, although I could still manage to spend the daytime in there. But in the past few years, I've been increasingly spending more and more of my day in there, the couch permanently set up as a bed. I had a couple of years of normality, when my ex-boyfriend lived here (who I broke up with and kicked out just days before starting this blog). As soon as he left, I returned to the couch.

And don't even get me started on my fear of the dark. I leave a lamp on all night. If I'm home alone with no one to tell me otherwise, I leave the ceiling light on 24/7.

I shut myself in, safe. Mum had been pushing more and more, prior to D-Day, for me to not leave the lounge room so closed off.

We have beautiful double doors with patterned glass, detailing a classic Australian landscape (not to mention a deer on our front door, and a ship on a swinging door halfway down the hallway, the latter of  which mum has always detested for some unknown reason). I keep one of the doors open halfway most of the time. On bad days, I leave it ajar just enough for Billy and Misty to pass through. The curtains covering the sprawling window are only ever opened half a meter, or maybe a full meter on days when mum pushes.

  "I'm trying to get you out of your bubble" she says
But I'm safe in it.

Since D-Day, she's stopped pushing. She doesn't pull the curtains wide or open the double doors except for when she has dinner, while I'm outside in my armchair with my coffee, waiting to go to bed.

All I want to do is hide, now more than ever. Not a year or two ago, she was actually offering to move my bed into the lounge, but the couch is a much safer vessel. Now, she'd never allow it. And I can't even begin to express how much I long to sleep in an actual bed again.

She doesn't see the steps I do take, but I have (for a while now) had a plan to transition from the lounge back to my bedroom and study. It mightn't seem like much, but they're things I haven't managed for years. Currently, my life is centred around the lounge room and my armchair on the back porch.


1. Sewing in the study, instead of having everything set up in the lounge
Clothes (both storage and changing) back in my bedroom

2.  Journaling, writing, and my various notebooks back in the study

3. Spending time during the day in my bedroom (writing, reading, gaming, watching movies etc.)

4. Sleeping in my bedroom

Yesterday was yet another day spent waiting for the phone to ring, waiting for the Clinic to find me a bed and a psychiatrist. I saw my dietician in the morning, and ran into my GP (she has wonderful timing of coming into work as I leave the dietician's office). She said she'd call the Clinic, and try to give them a nudge. I wasn't holding my breath.

To be honest, I'm starting to have second thoughts about the whole thing. But if I don't go, things at home will never improve. They'll keep up the 'happy family' facade, and just ignore it indefinitely.

In the afternoon, I got a text, asking me to call my GP. Mum rang with the phone on speaker, and my GP said she'd had a long talk with the intake worker. My old ED psychiatrist is on call this week, so it wouldn't happen this week. I refuse to see her due to extreme distrust in her. But the psychiatrist who first diagnosed me with C-PTSD, the one I requested initially but was told his books were full, will be on call from next Monday. My GP said she'd call him to go over the details and try to sort something out, so with any luck, maybe next week I'll get some good news.

Honestly, I don't know how much longer I can wait before I completely break. 

The barricade of my Fortress of Solitude


Sunday, 16 October 2016

The Eye of the Storm

It's now been over a week since D-Day. Since I last posted, things have not gotten much better.

I saw the dietician again this week. I've reached a point of crisis where the fear of not seeing her or my GP has overridden the fear of catching Ubers and taxis.

At the end of the appointment, my GP came into the room to check on me. I filled her in briefly on everything that happened last weekend. She asked if I'd heard anything from the Clinic, and I said no. She asked mum to call them on my behalf and see what's going on with the referral, if any progress had been made. Apparently the psychiatrist who initially diagnosed me with C-PTSD was on call last week, and thought that maybe, just maybe, I'd be able to get in to see him.

We got home, and mum called the Clinic. They said they were about to start ward rounds, and would call back after.

In the afternoon, the phone rang. Mum put it on loudspeaker so I could hear (I've never been able to talk on the phone). They said there were no psychiatrists that could take me. They were all too busy, even if they had an empty bed, there weren't any psychiatrists that could take new patients. They said that if things got worse, I'd have to go through the public system - to see the psych triage at A&E and go to the general psych ward. There is no way in hell that is happening.

They said they'd keep reviewing the referral each week at ward rounds, but to be honest, I'm not holding my breath. As soon as mum left the room, I raided my meds and slept for the rest of the day. At least when I take too many meds, I don't seem to dream as much.

When mum was on the phone to her psychologist a few days ago, he said he doesn't believe there are no psychiatrists available at the Clinic, and I should get my GP to push harder. It was hard to hear. Obviously I'm so far down the triage list, I doubt they'll ever find me a place.

At the moment, I'm writing this to fill in the gap between morning exercise and taking my last lot of meds. I don't feel like my usual daily dosages are enough to get me through the day, and the best I can do is to take them all at once.

My weekly meds have been delivered on Monday in the late afternoon for the past few weeks, but they never last. On Friday, I asked my GP to authorize four more days of meds until the next delivery By Saturday, they were gone, and I needed the GP on call (who I've never met) to authorize another three days of meds. Now, on Sunday morning, I've only got one day's worth.

Tomorrow, I'm going to try to get in to see my GP for an emergency appointment. I'm going to ask her to take me off the stupid weekly dispensing packs, and just give me the scripts to pick up whole packets. Just until I can get in to the Clinic. I don't know if she'll let me, but all I can do is ask. Then, they can help me get back on track in a safe environment where I (hopefully) don't feel the need to take so many.

My days are like this: wake up, have a few cups of coffee, exercise, process all of my notes, then an endless cycle of watching Netflix or YouTube, gaming, exercise, meds and sleeping. I just need to survive each day until the Clinic can get me in. Any form of productivity has gone out the window.

No one understands how difficult and painful it is for me to be in my head and in this house right now. In nearly four months off synthetics, with two brief periods of the natural stuff, I've never been more tempted to smoke than I am right now.

Thank you to everyone who left support and kind messages after my last post. This community is invaluable to me, and I would truly be lost and alone without it.

I know my last post was pretty intense and heavy on the triggers, but at the moment, that's life. It's not something I'm planning on talking about a lot, but I had to get it out.

Keep your fingers crossed for me that the Clinic finds a psychiatrist to take me after this week's ward rounds...


Monday, 10 October 2016


Over the last couple of months, there have been certain issues bubbling to the surface. On Saturday, everything came to a head.

It wasn't supposed to happen this way. It wasn't supposed to happen until I was inpatient, safe and supported.

I've been putting off writing for nearly two weeks now. Even in my journal, it took days of writing to get it out.

There have been a lot of trauma issues rearing their ugly head of late. Things from my childhood that I've never gotten help with, things I've only started telling people about this year.

On Saturday, disaster struck. D-Day. Everything came bursting out from a deep, dark place inside me, and tore everything to shreds. I'd spent most of the day crying. When I made a coffee to go outside for a some, mum came out and asked me what was wrong. I told her I was scared about going inpatient, about opening up about everything. I didn't want to hurt my family. I told her I thought I'd be better off keeping it to myself. After all, one person suffering is 'better' than all of us.

We ended up clashing about the abuse, again. She thinks I'm angry/blame her/have a 'hidden agenda'. I tried to tell her I'm not, but that I'm scared and don't understand.

After a while, she decided to ask said abuser about it. I blocked the back door with my armchair, and dragged the chimenea to the side gate to blockade myself in the backyard.

Things got messy. Apparently those years are a 'black hole' for him.

I climbed through the kitchen window, grabbing a couple of bottles of liquor, my bag of self-harm tools, and the rest of my week's meds.

Panicking, I stupidly cut my head, right near the top. I lost a chunk of my hair, and now have a mini mohawk. I held my hand to my head, and when I looked at it, it was dripping wet. I panicked. Mum panicked. I had blood running down both sides of my face. Mum passed a wet face cloth through the window, and when it started to slow, I moved my chair from the door and she came outside.

I spent the night crying and screaming “Why?!”. Everything had blown up and fallen apart

Backtracking a little, last weekend, I had a clash with mum over said childhood trauma
  “Why didn't anyone pick up on the signs?”
  “Why do you want to just stay in denial?”
  “Why did no one ever ask me if I was okay?!”
She told me to move out if I think she's such a horrible mother.

I raided my stockpile and curled up on the couch crying
  “I don't understand.”
  “It's all my fault.”
  “I need to go away and leave my family in their blissful denial.”
My fault for letting it happen. My fault for being too scared to tell anyone. My fault for being so selfish for now needing to talk about it.

I slept longer and deeper than I have in a long time. Usually, I wake up somewhere between 4-6am. If not, the sound of the kettle boiling when mum wakes up always makes me jump up. But the next day, it was after midday before I even stirred. The whole night before and that day was just a blur.

Yesterday, after D-Day, I awoke with most of my hair in a knotted clump. I had bags under my eyes like I'd never seen before. I felt sick. Scared I've destroyed everything with the truth. I soaked in the bath for an hour, washing my hair three times, plus a moisturising treatment, combing and trying to untangle it. Blood plus restless sleeping equals a mess. In the end, I had to cut a chunk of it. Even once cut, the knots were impossible to seperate. Now I have an emo side fringe.

After I last posted, that night, I had another laxative overdose, triggered by all of this mess. 116 this time. I know it's probably not a lot for some of the more regular users, but after not having misused them for years (before the other overdose in August, anyway), I have no tolerance for them anymore.

I wanted to avoid public A&E, as they were clueless and I didn't want to talk to anyone from their mental health team. I asked my brother to drive me in. I went to A&E at the private hospital, but was turned away.

I told the triage nurse that I'd taken too many laxatives. She asked if I'd done it before, and I said yes, about two months ago (6 weeks if you want to split hairs). She told me they don't have psychiatrist facilities, and I said I knew that, and I'm getting help, but I just needed help with the physical side of the overdose.

She went back to check with one of the senior doctors. When she came back, she told me the doctor said I couldn't be admitted, as they were obligated to take care of the psychological side too, and I needed a mental health assessment that they couldn't provide.

  “You're obviously upset, and you need to talk to someone. There's obviously something going on if you've done it twice in two months. I think you should go down the road to public and talk to someone on the mental health team. I'm really sorry.”

I went home. The night was rough. I found leftover painkillers and Buscopan to help with the cramps.

The next day, Wednesday 28th, I got an emergency appointment with my GP to get bloods done and check in after not going to A&E. I also had a double appointment with her on Thursday anyway. When I saw her, we talked about going inpatient at the Clinic for a little while. I was hesitant to put the referral through straight away, and she said to contact her this week if I wanted to go ahead.

It's been made clear to everyone that I'm not going to the Eating Disorders program. It's mostly to deal with the trauma issues, the flashbacks, nightmares, not taking my meds properly because I'm too scared to sleep, then stockpiling them to knock myself out when I get desperate, the self-harm, overdose urges...

My GP is all for it. When I tried going there earlier this year, I had a seizure in the waiting room and they couldn't admit me. But I've been cleared by the neurologist, my GP, my dietician, and I have a psychologist on the team now (granted, I've still only seen her the once). She also wants my meds to be assessed, as she's been in charge of them, with advice from a psychiatrist she consults, for years now. I'm worried they'll change everything and I'll lose my benzos.

It's not so much for active treatment as it is to stabilize me and keep me safe, as well as trying to work through some of the trauma issues for the first time, not to mention getting me back on track with my meds. It could be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. I've not had a great track record with following though on admissions there - out of several attempts I've never made it past 24 hours. Even on medical wards for my COPD exacerbations, I'm not the best at staying put. I go in with the best intentions, but I get scared quickly.

Once the pain and discomfort of the overdose wore off, I was slapped in the face with all the reasons why I did it in the first place, the reasons why I need to go inpatient.

I finally saw the dietician last Tuesday (the 4th), after missing 8 weeks of appointments. I'm going to try to get in to see her tomorrow too.

After the appointment, as mum and I were waiting for the Uber driver, my GP came in. I'd had mum leave a message for her the day before, wanting to clarify a few things about the inpatient referral. She apologised for not calling back the day before. I asked if she could make sure the admission would be to a private room (sharing is just not possible, whether in medical or psych, I just can't do it), and was wondering if I could be referred to the psych who initially diagnosed with with C-PTSD when I was 16/17.

Unfortunately, his books have been closed for a year now. I told her I just wanted someone who understood C-PTSD, and wanted to avoid my old ED psychs. She said she could do that, and I didn't have to worry about my ED psychs, as one of them didn't work at the Clinic anymore, and understood I didn't want to see either of them.

I fucked up my first week of weekly dispensing, after being on daily for at least a year. I thought I'd skipped a couple of days of meds, as I tend to do. I couldn't remember if they'd been delivered on Friday or Monday, but figured it'd been Friday as they were sitting for a couple of days before I opened the pack. Seven day's of meds disappeared in four.

By Saturday (D-Day) morning, I found myself with no meds. Mum called the GP's office for me, and even though the only GP working wasn't anyone I'd seen, he thankfully faxed the pharmacist to authorize an extra three days of meds.

They disappeared in a day and a half, most of them the same day. Mum thankfully gave me two of her oxazepam (which we both take) to get through yesterday. I'm currently counting down the minutes until my new meds are left at the front door. I know my GP won't leave me without meds, so it kind of defeats the purpose of weekly dispensing. They could all go today (they won't, but hypothetically), and she'd authorize another pack tomorrow.

Now, life is a mess. The world is upside down. I'm even more lost than before, with no clues and no answers.

The referral's gone through to the Clinic, and now I'm waiting on a bed. I've got no idea when that will be, but being a private clinic, hopefully it shouldn't be too long.

I'm so scared. I knew it had to get worse before it gets better, but I don't think I can cope with things getting worse than they already were.

“In a flash, I felt something: disgust ... 
and certainty that we'd never be able to 
put this back together – even if we tried.”