Today has been a shit day. This post has talk of self harm just to let you know in advance.
I had a shit night’s sleep, I woke up in a horrible mood, I was crying within half an hour of being awake. Thoughts were just spiralling round and round in my head, I felt so many emotions, I felt so angry and so alone and so messed up. I tried to go back to sleep, it was only 7am but I couldn’t. I tried to distract myself watching TV but I was just blank. So I sat and wrote a letter, to no one in particular, about how I felt regarding my care team at the moment. Basically a lot of what I wrote in my last post – that I felt completely unsupported by them right now. Come 9am I knew that today was going to be the day I lost the plot and did something stupid. By 10.30am I had got a stanley knife blade (yes I went blade shopping again yesterday after getting rid of them all just a couple of weeks ago) and that stanley knife blade resulted in an angry slash right down over my calf muscle. I then put a bandage around it and tried to go back to sleep.
But the sleep didn’t happen. There was blood everywhere despite a tight bandage being on. So I got dressed and walked the dogs. Then around 11.45 I took myself to a&e and sat there depressed, saying very little, just showed them my leg without even looking at it myself and heard her saying it would definitely need stitches. She asked me to go back to the waiting room because the room where the stitches were was being used but by this point it was like 12.35 and I had my CPN at 1pm. So I phone my CPN and tell her I am in a&e waiting for stitches and might be a little bit late. She tells me I have until 1.20pm to get there or she won’t be able to see me until next week. How that is the case when our appointments last an hour I don’t know but anyway I went back to the a&e nurse and told her and she said she didn’t think I’d be stitched up by 1.20pm so she took me back into the room and put a dressing and another tight bandage around my leg and told me to go to my appointment – the mental health team building is in the same grounds as the hospital – and to come back straight after it to get stitched up.
So I went to the appointment with CPN and I read her the letter I had written earlier in the morning. I straight out told her that I thought she had dealt with the situation on Friday really badly, that she hadn’t followed my crisis plan and had just passed the buck to my GP. She said to me if I didn’t feel like she was supporting me properly then she would ask the manager to assign me to work with someone else. I told her I didn’t want that to happen, what I wanted was for her to admit that she didn’t follow my crisis plan correctly. She neither admitted nor denied it, she said she was sorry I felt that way and I carried on with my letter.
The next part of the letter spoke about the amount of time I spent working with the last CPN on composing the crisis plan and how I feel as though I’ve always stuck to my part – i.e. if I have put myself in any medical danger I don’t call the mental health team I take responsibility for what I have done and I go to a&e if the injury/overdose is serious enough. Yet their part of the crisis plan was to recognise that when I was in a crisis situation they would see me and make a plan to keep me safe for the next 24 hours for example. Has that happened when I’ve been expressing all these self harm and suicidal thoughts lately? No.
I then moved on to what the point of the CPA meetings were when the agreements made at them weren’t being kept by certain people. I told CPN I was angry that social worker had agreed to monthly contact and never followed through with it and was in fact, uncontactable in all ways. CPN agreed with me that was not good and she also said it was not good that a&e had been asked to tell them any time I attended there and they didn’t do that after the recent sexual assault, it was me who had to tell CPN then CPN apparently went up to a&e to ask what had gone on although I didn’t know that until today. So she wrote a letter to a&e telling them again that they must inform the mental health team of any of my visits.
CPN said to me she could see why I was feeling unsupported by them at the moment – well by my CPN and social worker. The woman from rape crisis and a&e and lovely GP have always been helpful and supportive. She said herself if it was her that was me she would probably be feeling quite rejected so she obviously realised that she didn’t follow the crisis plan correctly on Friday. She raised the issue about my social worker again and I said that I personally felt as though because 5 months has now passed where she hasn’t stuck to the monthly contact agreement that she no longer had an excuse and was just avoiding me because she wouldn’t know what to say to me any more if I asked her what was going on. CPN said this was very bad practice and asked me why I still wanted social worker in my care team if I felt this way. I had written down a list of reasons why I had wanted to keep social worker in my care team, like CPN asked me to on the phone yesterday and I gave her the list. She agreed with all my reasons and said they were all valid ones, but she still wondered why I wanted to keep someone in my care team when I felt so let down by them. She suggested it was out of some sort of loyalty and maybe she is right. When I was first going properly bonkers about 3 years ago my social worker was my rock. She was amazing. If I look back on posts way back when I first started writing this blog I talked so much about how lucky I was to have her in my care team and how much incredible support she gave me. And the thing is that despite the past 5 months, I still remember ‘back then’ I still remember her as the lovely social worker, the one who gave a damn about me. And no matter how frustrated and even angry I have felt/am feeling towards her at the moment I will never ever forget how much she made me feel like she cared. And that is something that is hard to let go of, I will still sing her praises even when I’m moaning about her and saying I think she is avoiding and ignoring me and that she no longer cares about me. What can I say? She spent a hell of a lot longer being a good person in my life than what she has spent as a not so good one and for some reason I hang onto that.
CPN then started to tell me that as she is leaving at the end of this month and going to be handing me over to the new permanent CPN that is starting, that there is going to be about a 4 week period where she will be busy with the new CPN and may not be able to see me much over that time while new CPN settles in. So her suggestion was that I work with social worker on a weekly basis for 4 weeks until I start working with new CPN properly and that this would also give the chance for me to feel supported by social worker again, for the bad feelings towards her to go away and then maybe at the end of the 4 weeks I would feel ready to say to social worker to go ahead and discharge me. I said I would like for that to happen but I knew it wouldn’t. I just know social worker will not see me again. CPN said that if she asks social worker to see me over those 4 weeks and thinks for any reason that social worker won’t stick to it then she will arrange for someone else to see me. She promised me she wouldn’t leave me with no contact person or appointments for a month.
Then… the most ‘pathetic?’ thing happens (I don’t want to call it that but that is genuinely how it looked and felt). CPN says she will walk me back to a&e to get my leg stitched up but needed to go to the toilet and put my notes away so she said to go and have a cigarette out the front and she’d be 5 minutes. So I’m standing outside having a smoke and I hear a car and naturally glance round. It is social worker. Now social worker ALWAYS parks right next to the mental health team building, then there is a kinda car park thing as well which only had maybe 4 cars in it. But social worker sees me standing there, we glance at each other for maybe a second, and she carries on driving right the way up to the furthest point she could get to where there are only two tiny little spaces. I turned my back and finished my cigarette. I glanced back round, she was still in her car away up the top. I almost laughed because I could be completely wrong but my head said to me – she has seen you and hopes you haven’t seen her and is actually hiding up there so you don’t speak to her – CPN then appears out the building and I say to her, “guess what social worker has just arrived back” so CPN says lets go and speak to her and see if we can sort this situation out. I say to CPN that she is in for a walk and point to where social worker has parked her car (and was STILL in her car). CPN looked genuinely puzzled and said she now didn’t know whether to agree with me that social worker was actually avoiding me, she said “I don’t understand why she has parked away up there, she always parks down here and there are plenty of spaces”. She said she would try and find an opportunity to speak to social worker and ask her if there was a reason why she wasn’t seeing me, and see if she could get some sort of answers for me. She also said she would give her the list that I wrote about why I wanted to keep her in my care team. And then came the magic moment, CPN says “why do you want to keep someone in your care team when they are ignoring you?” she ADMITTED it! She agreed with me! I’m not going bonkers, social worker really is avoiding me! And I have no idea why…
Gosh this post is getting long.
So we go back to a&e, CPN says she will see me next week and try and talk to social worker in the meantime, I sit in a&e for a while then the doctor came and got me – the same one who had seen me the day after the sexual assault. There was a nurse in the room as well who I have seen a couple of times after self harming and she is really nice. The doctor is nice as well, but was concerned about me. But then he asked to see the wound and there was a moment that was actually kind of amusing and made us all smile for a moment, he realised it was my calf muscle I had cut into and (sorry this is gross) but when I bent my leg you could see all the fat layers pushing right out of the cut, and the doctor’s face kinda went white just for a brief second and he said “I know I’m a doctor but there is something about calf muscles that has always made me feel a bit sick when I see them” and the nurse asked the poor guy if he wanted her to take over. We all giggled just for a second. But it took the horrible-ness of the situation away and relaxed things. The doctor took a breath and said no he would be brave and face his calf muscle fear lol. Between the two of them they got 4 sutures in, glue between all the sutures, steri-strips on top and then a dressing and bandage. I have to go back on Tuesday to have my stitches taken out.
He asked me why I did it and I told him my head has been really messed up since the assault, that I have had hard decisions to make regarding whether to make a formal police statement, that it has brought a lot of my childhood abuse memories back again and I was struggling with it all, but that I was getting good support from rape crisis. I told him we’d had a CPA meeting on Thursday last week and I’d told CPN and Mr Psychiatrist that I was having suicidal thoughts and had been self harming again, but I’d managed to keep the self harming quite shallow so it hadn’t needed medical attention. He said he knew this obviously wasn’t any kind of suicide attempt – after all who would cut their calf open to try and off themselves? But that he was concerned the suicidal thoughts were still there. I reassured him I didn’t want to walk down that path again and although the thoughts were present I had no plan to act on them. I told him I couldn’t put my family through that again and today I had cut out of anger and frustration and just feeling really utterly crappy and alone. He urged me to go back and see them if I thought I was going to act on the suicidal thoughts before I acted upon them and let them help me; but besides medicating me I don’t really know what they can do. I told him I’d been very low on Friday and had seen lovely GP and been given Nitrazepam to get me through the weekend but that I knew I couldn’t rely on medications to get me through all these emotions. Somehow I have to face them all and go through the hurt and the unpleasantness and not medicate my way through it all. He was glad to hear I had started my uni course on Monday and was managing to use that as some sort of a distraction.
And so, other than seeing my best friend and the kids for a little while and having dinner with them, that has been my day. I knew this day was coming, it was creeping up slowly over the past few weeks and I finally lost it and cut real bad, but I feel like something is out of my system now, I feel calmer now I have done it, I do of course have some regrets like that I have scarred myself again but I guess it’s much better I cut than swallowed a shitload of medication and tried to do myself in. I feel some sort of a relief from it, I hope now I have done it that I won’t feel the need to do it again. I will admit I do have a pack of blades back in the house and the doctor asked me if I would at least consider throwing them and all medications that I didn’t need in the bin. I told him I’d think about it.
I was supposed to be meeting with the woman from the charity I want to start doing voluntary work with tomorrow but my head isn’t in the right place for it just now so I phoned her (and she sounds so lovely) and just made up an excuse that I had a lot of uni stuff on this week and didn’t want to not attend when I’d only just started the course and could we postpone. Unfortunately her next available date when she is in my area isn’t until the 1st of October but that should hopefully give me enough time to straighten things out in my head again and be in a much better place to appear as a good person to work with their charity and the young people they work with. I can’t support others if I can’t support myself so I truly hope over the next couple of weeks things might start to feel better. That the suicidal thoughts will pass or at least become manageable and that I won’t self harm again before then.
I have nothing planned for tomorrow other than to do my weekly food shopping if I can face the supermarket. And I hope my textbooks I bought on amazon will start arriving so I can busy myself with doing some reading. On Friday I am seeing lovely GP just for a catch up and will have to tell her about the self harming, she will have the notes about it from a&e anyway. I hope I won’t be in a mess again asking for medication to get me through yet another weekend. I want to face this weekend head on, I just don’t know if I have the strength yet.
Well now that I have been writing for over an hour and almost 3000 words I think it’s time to log off, put my pj’s on and watch some TV, try and stay distracted and hope for a better night’s sleep tonight. Tomorrow can’t be any worse than today and that’s the only positive thought I am hanging onto for now.