I don’t even know how to begin to write about the events from Saturday night to Tuesday late afternoon. I spent two night in hell on earth also known as the state mental hospital. I was EOD’d which means I was placed there against my will. It was traumatic. The events keep running through my head like a train wreck. I have PTSD from a place that is supposed to help those with mental health issues. In the midst of all of this I found hope and confirmation of my purpose.
I have no memory from Saturday night to around 10:30 or so on Sunday and I have been told I was awake all night. I have been told about the events by my husband and from internal conversations with E (one of my alters). Apparently E started out feeling sad. I now know why and it was feelings that leaked over from me to her. This snowballed into her feeling bad about being out of control over some past events and she decided that I needed to go to sleep. She found the bottle of wine that I had opened. I had drank one glass and then went to bed. She drank the rest of the bottle and took 12 Xanax which is 3 mg. She emailed our therapist who talked to our husband. We ended up going to the ER to make sure there were no issues with blood pressure. For some reason E got stuck “out”. The ER was terrifying for her. It triggered past abuse. As an emotional part she is stuck in the past and it’s difficult to reason with her. She was questioned, actually interrogated which frightened her and she ended up telling them what they wanted to hear. We were EOD’d. E was so scared she searched my purse and found razor blades. She self harmed in the ER.
The police came to take us to the state mental hospital. E is very frightened of the police due to being tricked in her past. They gave her my purse. She self harmed again in the police car. What hospital believes someone is going to kill themselves and gives them a purse with razor blades and a bottle of Xanax? Crazy!! All during this time E was desperately trying to get me but couldn’t. Our husband follows the police to the hospital. E is taken in and luckily there was some time to wait. I am suddenly aware that I’m somewhere I don’t know and my husband is there too. I’m bloody and scared and I don’t know why. My husband quickly explains everything to me before the intake interview.
I’m honest during the intake interview. I don’t feel depressed and I have no desire to harm myself. I explain DID. The intake person asks the same questions over and over. She is hung up on my alcohol consumption and must assume I drink all the time. I don’t. I rarely drink alcohol. She left to consult with someone else. I wasn’t going home. I decided then and there that I would make the best of the situation. I asked if my husband could bring my books and was relieved that he could. I would spend my time educating myself further about DID and working internally.
I was taken to the unit and I immediately realized it was worse than I could have possibly imagined. The place was filthy. The patients were low functioning. There were men in the common area where I had to go for meds, snacks, nurse contact, phone use, etc. I was given no instructions about how things worked. I didn’t know where anything was and the staff didn’t have time to answer questions.
The first night I go to get my meds and I was told I had been prescribed Trazadone and Vistaril. Something told me these meds were contraindicated with my MAOI. I asked my husband to google the Trazadone and my MAOI and I was right. I am so glad I refused them both or I might not be alive. My MAOI wasn’t given to me that night, I was told it had to be ordered.
I needed to tend to the self harm but that wasn’t a priority for anyone. It took me 12 hours to get the wounds to stop bleeding. I asked for soap and a washcloth but they were never brought to me. I asked for someone to look at the wounds and I was told the admitting doctor looked at them and said they were fine. She never did, I even confirmed this with my husband. Finally I was given borrowed clothes so I could get out of my dirty ones. 24 hours after the self harm and I was allowed to see a medical doctor. He said I needed stitches but it was too late. He applied antibiotic ointment one time and prescribed an antibiotic of which I received only 1 pill.
The patients were often angry and screamed at each other. One man was violent on several occasions. Angry people trigger me and terrify my child parts. I constantly had to fight to stay present.
I worked on reading and writing. I couldn’t retreat to my room because my roommate slept all day long and would complain if I turned the light on. I sat in the women’s only area and read and read and read. I was bored out of my mind.
On Monday morning I was the first patient to see the doctor. Dr. M is the worst psychiatrist I have ever seen. When I began to tell him what had happened he immediately interrupted and told me DID doesn’t exist that I had borderline personality disorder. I told him I disagreed and explained why this wasn’t true according to the DSM and ICD diagnostic criteria. We bantered back and forth and he could never counter with anything very convincing. I told each of the medical students in the room that if they choose to believe Dr. M they would be doing an injustice to 1-5% of their patients. I looked them in the eye and said DID is real. They listened. Dr. M told me if I were his regular patient he would fire me. I told him I would never have him as my doctor so the feeling was mutual. He said my psychiatrist and therapist should both fire me. Why would a psychiatrist that knows I have experienced trauma attack my attachment issues? He said my psychiatrist and therapist were to blame because they should have contacted the hospital ER and had me released. His attacks were low and uncalled for. He asked how often I saw my therapist and I told him three times a week. He asked how I paid and I said with cash, he said oh a sliding scale rate, no full price asshole. I have a job a great job and I’m certain that I make more per year than you do. He asked how long I have been actively working on my “issues” and I told him at least a year and a half. He asked why I wasn’t better yet and that a year and a half is plenty of time to recover. I just laughed and told him the average time of intense therapy for DID is 5-7 years. He again attacked my therapist for accepting me as a client when she wasn’t helping. I told him that he could say whatever he wanted that I knew that I had made significant progress in a short amount of time and that I was in fact healing. Why would he try to instill hopelessness? He said I should go to the classes even though it sounded like I probably already knew everything that would be presented. Finally some credit for something. I was also told that I wouldn’t be given my MAOI because it was too expensive to order. I remind him that I have insurance. He said they can’t have meds on the shelf that can’t be prescribed to other patients because they could never afford them upon discharge. Really? I come to a mental hospital for “stabilization” and you take me off my meds. Dr. Asshole refused to let me go home.
I attended the first class that afternoon and it was a joke. It was supposed to be an orientation but wasn’t even close. My next class was a music class that was so triggering I had to beg to be taken back to the unit. At first they refused to help me other than let me sit in the hall where I could still hear what was going on. It wasn’t until I became terrified and began to cry that finally one staff member said it is very overwhelming lets take her back.
Those two hours was it for psycho education. No wonder no one ever left here. No real education and no therapy. I soon realized this hospital was little more than a holding tank for people who they have little hope for.
To be continued……