I am updating my new blog

Here is the URL:

http://telephonerightsalcott.wordpress.com/

I only have three entries.  The whole thing should be done today, chronicling the entire legal battle, start to finish, or what has happened so far…not sure it’s over but there was a new piece to it yesterday that was the cap to the DMH part.  I think after the election I am taking this to the state level.

Okay, okay, let me back up.  First of all, I need to update the blog totally, and I hope to have that done by the end of today.  It’ll be a lot of work cuz I am also preparing for Nano and I don’t know if I can do everything.  No, I can’t do everything.

Basically, this: The telephone rights issue is solved and not solved.   The Alcott Unit claims it will grant privacy to any patient who asks and will only deny privacy (allowing a patient to use a private room) if a doctor’s order has been written up saying a patient cannot have privacy.  I believe this is what was orally stated to me by Lizbeth Kinkead yesterday.  I told her, of course, that I wanted to see all this in writing.

Folks, this is huge.  Done by little ole me.  But I’ll believe it when I see it.  Let’s see how it’s all carried out…if indeed it even happens.  And how the staff truly handle it.

A law or policy on paper does not mean much unless it is carried out, folks.

So that’s what I’m getting at and that’s what I mean by going to the state level.  I am going to try to find some folks in the government who will listen.  I am not sure where to find these people but I am going to look for them.  It is possible.

It is possible to get things done.  Me, little ole me, got recycling into my building just by writing an e-mail.  I tried and tried by going the route I thought would work, by talking to the Housing Authority, but they would not budge.  But an e-mail sent to the right person did the trick.  So I am hoping to go to the politicians and work magic.  What I want to tell them is that their laws, specifically the Five Fundamental Rights (politicians think in terms of the law) are not being followed and are ineffective.  I will tell them what it’s really like on psych units.

I will use the power of words.  Strong words.  I know I can do this.

Why are sick people being imprisoned and treated like criminals?

Imagine: A doctor is summoned to a suffering patient’s bedside at 3am.  The patient is visibly sweating and his clothes are torn.  His wrists are bleeding where he has struggled to free himself from the leather straps that bind him to the bed.  There are no sheets on the bed and no pillow.  The patient complained of chest and abdominal pain four hours ago, and then punched a wall.

The doctor approaches the night desk, where one night nurse is asleep, and the other is playing with an ipod.  He says, “The patient would not speak to me.”

The night nurse says, “He doesn’t speak English.  So we don’t talk to him.”

The doctor says, “Did he have any side effects from the Haldol?”

“How are we to know?”

“Give him more.”

How does this doctor sleep at night?  Well, he doesn’t.  He’s at work.  The staff sleep fine all night, on the job.

Anyway, I’ll bet the guys running this state have no clue what goes on behind locked doors, and I intend to let them know.

See ya later.

You can be free of "treatment"

Like I said….

No, anorexia is not a lifestyle.  But being a slave to “eating disorders treatment” sure is.  Going to weekly weigh-ins, twice a week therapy, showing up to nutrition appointments, being a slave to a meal plan, gee, that sure is a fucking life of misery, a “lifestyle,” isn’t it?  I rejected it and I continue to reject it.  I refuse to let others take over my body.  I won’t let anyone boss me around like that.  It’s my body and I decide what it will weigh, whether to own a scale, what kind of exercise to do,  what kind of schedule to keep, whom to associate with, when to go to the bathroom, what to write in my journal, and you know what else?  There is nothing wrong with me and everything is wrong with the System if they insist on treating patients like that.  You can be free, too.  Just don’t show up, cuz you don’t need them.  They will try to convince you you do need them, but you can be free.

I have always gotten kicked out

I told you alls that I got kicked out of the “support group” I was in, didn’t I?

Well, here was the “reason,” or, shall I say, excuse: I don’t have a therapist.  Policy is that you have to be in concurrent “treatment” with a therapist while in this “support group.”  Now, they knew all along I did not have a therapist, that I had had one and fired her, but suddenly, this had become an issue.  I think they were dying to get rid of me, and suddenly realized they could use this as a legitimate way to boot me out.  Fine.  I’m outa there.

I got kicked out of a group I actually liked back in 1996 or so.  This was a real sin, actually, on the part of the group leaders.  I remember the other group members couldn’t even look me in the eye after the group leaders did this to me.  This is what happened.  I was a member, a very good contributing member of a heavy-duty “therapy group” that met twice a week at McLean Hospital for two years. The group changed group leaders, but the group membership stayed about the same.  So about once a year, or once every six months or so, we’d get new leaders.  So we had these new leaders, Deb and this guy, trying to remember his name…he was a student….Allen or something like that.  Anyway, I ended up in the hospital and had shock treatments.  You guys know what shock treatments do to a person, right?  They mess you up royally.  Not only that, but I was getting wicked psychotic anyway.  Poor Joe didn’t know what to do.  He was at the end of his rope with the shock doc, Dr. Michael Henry, who insisted that I keep going in and going in for more and more shock, which was turning me into a basket case.  Joe told me afterward that it was breaking his heart to bring me in for the treatments.  He was wishing I would just refuse them.  They would ask him to describe how I was doing, and he would insist that I was confused, and they would say, “Oh, she is depressed,” and he would say, “No, confused,” but they gave me so much of the electroshock that I could not think straight anymore.  Finally, I was so confused that I drank water before the treatment, which you are not supposed to do because you are going to have anesthesia.  So they “sectioned” me, thinking I had done this to hurt myself.  But I had drank the water because as you know, I have diabetes insipidus, and I was simply thirsty!  I get very thirsty every morning!  So that was all it was.  I was so confused, all I did was forget.  Anyway, there I was, in the hospital loopy out of my mind, and poor Joe came in, shaking his head, saying that he really hoped they did not give me any more of those stupid electroshock treatments, and how pissed he was at Dr. Henry.

So I guess it was a bit later that the group leaders wanted to meet with me, saying that I had changed (gee) and that the group had evolved and that there was no place for me in it.  This was not a group for wicked sick, wicked confused loopy people like me.  So I had no group anymore.  These newfangled leaders had taken over the group. of which I had been a member for a couple of years, and kicked me out because I was now “different.”  Oh boy.

It sure was a blow for me.  No one could make sense of this idiot move.  And like I said, the group members, when I ran into them out in public, just turned their heads and pretended they didn’t even know me, like I was some stranger, some scum.

Well, so.  You know, makes no sense.  You have no T, you have no group.  So you have nothing, nothing at all.  Seems like they should offer the group to those who otherwise have nothing, don’t you think?  Folks who cannot afford therapy, like at least they can get some kind of “help”, or stay connected?  Jeepers.

Well, like I said, I start up with this new T on November 7th.  So the group leader says to me that I should “try out the new T for six months….”  Are you kidding?  What if the new T turns out to be a bad match?  Those of you with experience know that you can tell a bad T, or a bad match within two or three sessions at most.  Not six months.  Imagine the damage that can be done in six months!  Geez.

I found a potential back-up that I contacted, but suddenly, I did not hear from her after I proposed a sliding scale amount.  Was my proposed amount too low?  Probably.  This person said their scale was “generous” but my experience tells me “generous” generally is not generous.

I totally get that a person has to get paid, so if they are offering $60 off, that’s generous.  But if that means I have to pay $60 a session, hey, I don’t have $60, see?  That means $240 a month, which I don’t have.  You know something?  Shrinks that go on fancy vacations totally don’t “get” this.  Shrinks that have their own cars and own their own homes totally don’t get this.  Shrinks that think nothing of buying a cup of coffee at Starbucks every morning and wonder why I can’t just take a cab to their office…oh, don’t get me started.

So this new T, she’s covered on my insurance, or what they call insurance, Medicaid and Medicare.  I found out that if you have both, they sort of cancel each other out when it comes to therapists, but if you have one or the other, it’s easier to get a therapist.  Something about the paperwork.  One is “primary” and the other is “secondary.”  Now, you’d think it would be to your advantage to have Medicare pick up one part, and Medicaid, the state part, pick up the other, but apparently the paperwork is so rough for these therapists (so they say) that they just don’t want to bother and they never get paid so they have stopped it and no longer serve this population.  So they claim.  Oh, life is so rough when you are so hardworking and employed and pay taxes and have to deal with complaining scum like me.

Anyway, part of the above is most likely a bit true.  So I will have a slightly open mind going in to see this T on the 7th.  It’s completely doubtful that the “support group” will allow me back.  I’m sure they will find some other excuse not to allow me in.  I can hardly wait to see what these excuses will be.  Maybe it will be a “delay” thing.  Like, “Let’s wait and see,” and wait a few weeks and see how my therapy goes, or “Let’s talk about it,” and want me in there to talk to the group leader, and then they’ll decide I’m “not a good match” after all.  Royally sucks, I know.  I get kicked out of everything.

What is the magic trick to these support groups?  Do they want a kiss ass person?  A conformist?  Someone who says “yes” to everyone and everything?  I cannot do this.  I tell it like it is.  If someone is doing or saying something that I don’t agree with, by golly, I’m going to say something.  If someone says, “I bow down to my meal plan,” I’m going to say, “Sorry, I don’t have a meal plan and I refuse to bow down to one or pay anyone to boss me around and run my life.”  If this proves to be “non-supportive,” then I guess I don’t the heck belong there.  Do they want only people who kiss their therapists’ asses and are slaves to their nutritionists?  I don’t ascribe to that “lifestyle.”  And yes, it is a fucking lifestyle.

No, anorexia is not a lifestyle.  But being a slave to “eating disorders treatment” sure is.  Going to weekly weigh-ins, twice a week therapy, showing up to nutrition appointments, being a slave to a meal plan, gee, that sure is a fucking life of misery, a “lifestyle,” isn’t it?  I rejected it and I continue to reject it.  I refuse to let others take over my body.  I won’t let anyone boss me around like that.  It’s my body and I decide what it will weigh, whether to own a scale, what kind of exercise to do,  what kind of schedule to keep, whom to associate with, when to go to the bathroom, what to write in my journal, and you know what else?  There is nothing wrong with me and everything is wrong with the System if they insist on treating patients like that.  You can be free, too.  Just don’t show up, cuz you don’t need them.  They will try to convince you you do need them, but you can be free.

That’s why they kicked me out.  Cuz I’m free, too free.  No one can catch me now.

 

Hurricane Sandy…the mess in my head is far worse

Yeah, trees down, power out, muddy out there.  Puzzle and I have been out a bunch of times.  It’s not pretty.  The downed trees are everywhere.  You don’t have to go looking for them.  It’s like you trip over them.  I don’t know who has power this morning…not too many.  I do.  I think these larger buildings have some sort of generator power or something.  I seem to have Internet as well…for now.  The thunderstorms are supposed to start up around 8am and at that point I’m not sure if my Internet will get temporarily zapped.  Puzzle will have her trip out before then.

I have two tree pals out there.  Yes, pals.  One, because it protects me from spying next-door neighbors.  My shade only goes down partway, so the tree blocks my neighbors’ view into my large living room window.  Well, this will be the case until this tree goes naked…and, if this tree is still standing.  I will find out shortly if this is the case when the sun comes up.  The tree, my pal, could have gone down in the night.  And my other pal, the other tree, sadly, I think part of him went down last night.  Not really sure, though.  I think I’ve been losing bits and pieces of him, gradually, over the four years that I’ve lived here.  As Puzzle and I were leaving the parking lot, we were confronted by tree #3, which was straddling the entrance.  God knows where this one came from.  I wasn’t sure if a car could get by, and wasn’t about to steal a car so that I could attempt to find out.  Let someone else deal with it, I thought.  I walked by it, respectfully.  I sure didn’t want to look too hard to see if anyone was pinned underneath, screaming, “Help, help!”  Naw, no one was there.

I crossed Summer Street…well, sort of crossed and sort of waded across.  I was glad I was wearing boots, my nice waterproof boots, but Puzzle was not wearing boots of any sort, of course, and I must say, by the time we came back in, she looked rather funny, part of her muddy and part of her, the part underneath the sweater still cream-colored like she’s supposed to be.  And all this separated very distinctly by a line, a sharp, straight line near the end of her back.  It disappeared before I had a chance to take a photo.  She’s all about the right color now, but we’re going out again to get very, very muddy again.  I knew there was a reason I am a knitter.

I am not sure what to expect when we go out.  I do want to get out before the rain starts up.  I have phoned in prescriptions, but it’s doubtful I’ll be picking them up today.  I promised myself a new umbrella when this is all said and done.  Did I tell you my London umbrella story?  I lost my umbrella in London, and replaced it with a cheesy one because I had no money.  This one sure is about the lousiest umbrella on the planet, as is every umbrella remaining in my closet, every single one is broken, so I’m off to get a new one once Sandy is over.  No umbrella will help you now, by the way, so don’t bother.  This is only for the future.  For now, suck it up.

Pulling it together…and not pulling it together

One really neat thing that happened to me is that I thought up a title for my Nano book.  It came to me this morning.  Or I think it was this morning.  In a flash.  I’m pleased with my title.  I’m sorry to say that I’m not ready to reveal it just yet, although when you hear what it is, you will not be surprised.

So don’t hold your breath.

As time goes on, it seems more and more evident that I will indeed be doing Nano.  Life is so darned unpredictable.  I fall asleep in an instant.  Like, I’ll be sitting here, and poof!  asleep.  I get all ambitious about a project, and can’t finish it.  I can’t finish anything cuz I fall asleep midstream.

No, I don’t have that disease…what is it called?  When you fall asleep on a dime.  Narcolepsy.  I’m sure I don’t have that.  I just get tired and collapse.

I do have what’s called (I’ve researched it) REACTIVE HYPOGLYCEMIA but Dr. P won’t hear of it.  I think (but I’m not sure) that I’ve mentioned this on here before.  This disorder (hate to use that clinical word) comes from having taken the drug Seroquel.  Of course, Dr. P is the one who not only gave me the Seroquel but insisted that I stay on it, so this is why she won’t listen to me when I mention reactive hypoglycemia coming from Seroquel.

Anyway, I believe I have sugar dips from gluten foods.  It’s rather obvious at this point.  This has been going on for years.  If I eat as much as two slices of bread, I get dizzy and exhausted and have to lie down.  I have also been staying away from dairy, but not religiously.  I don’t feel particularly good when I eat dairy.  I don’t mean digestively.  I don’t have lactose intolerance, not at all.  Most dairy is full of hormones and cow pus anyway.  I used to drink a full glass of milk every morning, and get immediate vertigo within ten minutes that would last for hours.  This vertigo had nothing to do with blood pressure.  I would feel like I was going to fall over.  Nobody bothered to test my blood sugar.

So staying away from gluten foods, I have been collapsing less.  At least not collapsing after eating anymore.  Just collapsing from lack of sleep in the middle of the day, or at any time of day.  I am sleeping better but still get up in the night.  I sleep in two shifts and do this midnight thing, this dead man thing in the night.

I might write an e-mail during that time, or do cooking, or do knitting.  Or just hang out.  Hopefully not too much web browsing.  It can be fucking freezing in here at night.  And it’s very, very noisy in the building.

We  seem to have a new guy here, some new nighttime noisemaker.  I call him “The Broadcaster.”  He is active between 4:30am and 6:30am frequently.  I am not sure what his deal is.  At first, I thought it was my neighbor’s TV, blasting very loudly.  He speaks in a monotone, constant talking, like a TV.  But he is a real person, and you can hear him all over the hallway.  To whom is he speaking?  He goes on and on, talking to no one.  He is not crazy, sounds like a businessman or something, not animated or angry, nor does he have an agenda.  He is so damn loud, though, and no one responds to him.  Just talking at the top of his lungs, blasting away.  So this is The Broadcaster.  I doubt he lives here.  Wish I didn’t have to listen to this guy every morning.  With him going on and on, and my neighbor sneezing, and then the Shopping Cart Lady passing by, passing by, passing by, and the scrape, scrape, scrape of the cane of the blind guy who loses his way and ends up here all the time (eventually, I step out and point out to him how to get back home…or has he moved out?  I’m not sure….)….jeepers, so damn noisy.

So I’ve put on Richard Thompson to amuse myself this morning.  Pretty cool, eh?  Not loud enough so anyone can hear, but then again, if you can hear sneezing between my next door neighbor’s apt and right here where I am sitting, you can hear Richard Thompson anywhere, but that’s not the end of the world, is it?

So Nano, here I come.  New purpose in life, new project.  So I can forget about how much I hate people, can forget about how fickle humans are, can quit complaining about the human race for a change and get excited about life.

Well, maybe.

Life is what it is.  Paranoia and anorexia is a lovely combo.   I never realized how intertwined the two were until now.  Oh, I could go on and on about it.  Maybe I will, at some point.  Like, everyone’s out to make me fat, you know?  This is all a plot.

Unwanted

Just a feeling I get. Everywhere I go. Sick of people’s judgmental attitude. Like my brother about a month ago. Mind you, I raised these kids. Now, they see me as scum. Well, I tell him it’s pretty awesome being able to run now and having a bit of body fat stored up. I don’t get sore muscles like I used to and am far less likely to get injured. So this brother says to me, “So you’re chunky now?”

That fucking adjective. No, I am not any of your mean words, bro. This kid teaches? This kid parents? Oh, god help us. This is the one with supposedly no food hangups or weight problems. Gimme a break.

The world is mean place.

Puzzle is sick

I took Puzzle to the vet yesterday.  She has infected anal glands.  I am hoping she will not need surgery and that these antibiotics do the trick.  She got a big shot of something very very very strong that was helpful, and now she is on powerful antibiotics.  I am giving her warm compresses several times a day.  She seems to like this.  After the shot, she picked at her infection only a few times more, then stopped.  I didn’t want to have to get a cone thingy for her.  She had a cone once before.  I remember having a hard time getting the cone to stay on her.  That plus she just plain didn’t like it.

I try to give her things to do to keep her amused.  She is not interested in her toys, so I talk to her.  I tell her to sit and stay and watch me.  I put on a tie today, not for any occasion, but just to amuse her.  I told her to sit and watch me braid my hair.  I don’t think it’s particularly exciting watching an old lady braid her hair, get dressed, and put on a tie, but watching all that is probably better than picking at a sore doggie butt.

We met all sorts of other doggies at the vet yesterday, even another Poodle type, and a Schnauzer, too.  The Schnauzer was so sweet and friendly.  The other Poodle owner agreed that Poodles seem eager to please their owners, almost like they are craving to do something, anything to get that little seal of approval.  The little Shi-Tzus sat on their owners’ laps like peaceful royalty reigning over the entire vet office, even though they were about the tiniest creatures there.  There was another service dog there that came from far away.  I spoke with the owner.  There was a camaraderie between us.

Puzzle is resting now.  When I gave her her antibiotic pill this morning, I made sure it was doused in lots of yummy chicken juice, so there was no way she would not eat it.  I gave it to her in her breakfast.  I made sure she didn’t spit it out.  She rarely spits out pills.  She isn’t sneaky, like people are.  I heard that some dogs can be sneaky as well.  Maybe when she’s elderly she’ll be on lots of pills and end up being a little sneak.

Still happy to be therapist-free

I know one fear people have is that if they stop going to therapy, they will somehow fall apart.  This is so far from the truth, I cannot even begin to tell you.

You are not broken.  You are not flawed.  It is the system that is flawed and broken.

Your therapist is trying to convince you that you “need” her, but the truth is that your therapist is the one that has created this dependency.  Your therapist WANTS you to need her.  Why?  Because your therapist desperately NEEDS you to need you.  She clings to you needing her.  She clings to you and depends on you for more than just the money.  She clings to you emotionally.

See, I know these dependent people that keep their clients wrapped around their fingers.  When their clients break free, suddenly, they fall apart inside.  These therapists have a fit.  They bring in the law.  They call the nearest relative.  They get very, very desperate.

These therapists keep in touch with others in your life.  Oh, they try to keep it legal, I suppose.  They do get papers signed to avoid lawsuits.  But these therapists love to specialize in things like eating disorders, so they can control your body.

As I said, the therapist will convince the patient that she (many will not take men) will fall apart should she leave this therapist.  Or the therapist convinces herself that she herself is the only answer for this patient, that she is the patient’s Number One.

This therapist will cry with you, and it will appear that she is oh so caring that she does so, but really, this is simply a reflection of how wrapped up she is in your issues, and how much she cannot separate herself from  you.  When you do break free, she will cry.

But if you are with me, and following what I am saying, and have broken free, I’ll bet you feel nothing for this woman, this therapist, right now.  Maybe pity.  But really, not much else.  You are not sad that you left her.  You don’t miss her.  You feel sorry for such dependent people, people who need their clients so badly and are so wrapped in them and use them till they bleed.

Folks, I had a few therapists like this.  Some were in day treatment centers, and that’s really sad.  Cuz these people run the clients’ lives, and the clients are there six hours a day, sometimes five days a week, and have no other life except these abusive therapists that convince them they “need” the program when in fact they could be doing something productive, such as adult ed classes or volunteering or employment or parenting or writing a book or doing research or a creative endeavor or sports.  Anything but wasting time in “group.”

I am so happy to be therapist-free right now.  I do know that therapy can indeed be a cooperative venture, that it isn’t always yucky like this.   Some folks do benefit from it.  I can’t knock it entirely.  But if you are in an abusive therapy relationship, I have one thing to say: GET OUT.

So I was writing all this, and guess what happened.  A therapist called.  I fell for it and set up an appointment.  All cuz someone said to me, “Julie, you should have a therapist.  Give it another try.”  So I am.  But with a lot of reservation, cuz if this one tries to wrap me around her finger, she’s outa here.

Women's work in the 1970's

Are you a woman and did you work in the 1970’s, or before?

I remember.  I worked then.  Getting hired and keeping your job was all about looks.  If you were pretty, you got hired.  I was often not hired because I wore glasses, and told that if I got contacts, I’d be hired.  Or told that if I were taller, I’d be hired.  Or told that I was too plain-looking. Mostly, it was the glasses that seemed to keep me off the payroll.

If you did sexual favors for the boss, you might get a raise.  Or you might not. It all depended on politics.  And who else was doing it.  Not that anyone had a choice in the matter.

That is, if I’d had my way, I would not have had “sex” with the boss.  But one day, after the company party, he made some excuse about going into the workplace to take case of some stuff, would I go with him?

Yeah, yeah, work in the 1970’s.

Next day, or maybe a day later, I found myself at the University Health Services.  I have no clue how I got there, cuz I sure wasn’t capable of riding my bike for a few days.  I told them what had happened.  The nurse shrugged.  Treated me like I was scum.  Some sort of diseased tramp off the streets.

All this because I did not have the words.  My words were the words of a woman of the 1970’s.

I am not pretty enough.  Not good enough.  And so he was rough with me.

**************

Is it still about looks?  I haven’t worked in a long, long time.  Do you get prettied up for a job interview?  Is this what it means to be a woman?  Have nice hair and smile at everyone?  Does the better-looking candidate still get the job?

Hostile world

I feel like the planet is an unfriendly place, like you have to fight to survive in this world.

Like everywhere you go,  you get judged.  Like you are constantly fighting off discrimination.  Like you are always having to defend your tiny space on the planet, your tiny right to exist.

Is this the way it is for everyone?

When I was a kid, I was told that kids had to shut up and that children were to be seen and not heard.  When I tried to speak out against the adults, who were much bigger and more powerful than me, I was squelched.

When do you get to grow up?