Alcott revisited

I remember my first time at Alcott. I remember a staff person came into my room one day and asked me how things were going. All at once, I burst into tears, saying, “I hate those kids.” She was rather shocked, and asked me why. I told her, “Because all they do is gossip. They gather in clusters and whisper like a bunch of junior high kids. I am old enough to be their mother or grandmother and I don’t belong here. This place is for children and I am not one.”

After a time, the staff recognized that what the kids were doing was harmful to those that were left out of the childish gossip and whispering. They got us all together, and asked the whisperers to stop.

The kids didn’t stop. The staff did the same thing again, another lecture. This time, they said if the cruel gossip didn’t stop, they’d listen on to all our conversations and monitor us.

This is a chronic problem wherever immature teens are gathered. It’s my understanding that the problem persists to this day at Alcott and was never solved.  I know other older people who have been sent to Alcott who tell me the same thing, that some kids are okay, but many are  cruel. They leave certain patients out of their childish clique, and those left out are targets of gossip.  Older patients have told me they were called “Grandma” and laughed at.

I have no clue why I ended up being friends with any of those kids outside of Alcott. But I had it in my head that since they also had eating disorders, maybe it would be okay to be in a “group” with them on Facebook. Didn’t we have something in common? I felt that since I had no family of my own, I would think of them as family. This was a big major mistake on my part to think that any of them had grown up.

Nothing was any different. The gossip is just as cruel outside as in. If not, worse, because the Facebook venue encourages cruelty.

I do have friends who have a history of being in mental places, just like me.  Sure we “compare notes.” Who wouldn’t?  We might recommend a particular place or recommend against it, or discuss various ways to deal with certain problems, such as “the holidays.”  In my note-comparing, I’ve heard all sorts of stories from people.

Here’s one: I’ve had friends, a number of people I know, who complained that a doctor “diagnosed” them based on talking to them for five  minutes. They said it was demeaning. They said, “How can this person declare I am [bipolar, or whatever] if this person is barely listening? I felt insulted.”

I wonder, though. It seems the immature kids I met online who were at Alcott seem to do just the same thing as a form of cruel gossip. These are kids I don’t know, have never corresponded with nor spoken to nor messaged with.  They are so mean that they decided to “diagnose” me based on one Facebook post. They are gossipy and cagey about it. They think they are so hip and cool to use shrink terminology. I’m not impressed at all. I know better than to “diagnose” anyone, cuz I know just how harmful diagnosis is.

Of course, all kids go through their “pretend shrink” phase. I went through it briefly in high school but decided that game wasn’t for me.

The cruel gossip goes on and on. I think those kids, if they love their “treatment” so much, should go right back to Alcott and continue their petty social life there. After all, that’s the main reason most continue to get readmitted. I think it would make them happy for all the pals to be together. Don’t they say they miss each other so much?

Those kids have all the Alcott patients as Facebook friends. In fact, the only friends they have are former Alcott patients. Ever notice how they keep ending up back there? They just won’t grow up.  If they want in-person contact, all they have to do is make themselves sick, and get admitted. Then, of course, it’s party time all over again.

I wish I never had been put there. But then again, going to Alcott made me realize just how NOT to go about things. I learned how NOT to get well. I learned that this is a place where reasonable adults pick up childish habits, and become immature themselves. The bad habits are hard to shake. Meanwhile, while these kids have great fun together gossiping away, the Walden money-making racket milks their insurance dry. Very few seem aware of the larger picture.

I don’t blame the staff for being frustrated, nor do I blame the more mature patients for being totally disgusted. Forced care doesn’t work, and never will. In fact, if it’s forced, it’s not care.

There is a difference between a problem and an inconvenience

Well, like I said, my credit card number got stolen.  This was an inconvenience, not really a problem.  It’s all taken care of and I’m still living and breathing and Puzzle is fine.  I still have a roof over my head.  Not only that, the roof didn’t even cave in.

Another inconvenience was the fact that somehow, I sat on my glasses. Just an inconvenience.  I have spares, but I’ll have to get a new pair of spares, cuz klutz that I am, the spares are likely to get broken or lost or whatever, too.

Now I’ll clue you in on a secret: You don’t have to pay a zillion bucks for a pair of glasses.  Think about it. What it really depends on is the following:

How often does your prescription change?  If you are like me, your prescription changes wildly from year to year.  I don’t know why this keeps happening.  Maybe it’s my age.  Maybe it’s that I’m extremely nearsighted.  Or maybe it’s the eating disorder.  But it’s pointless to buy a pair of glasses that is going to last me five years.  So I buy el-cheapos.  They don’t last long but nor will my prescription.  I’ll be seeing the doc (now, he’s an MD, so this gets paid for by insurance) and getting a new prescription, and getting a new pair of el-cheapo glasses and they’ll last a year or so.

However, if your eyes don’t change, if they stay the same year after year after year, go ahead and pay good money for glasses.  You want a pair that lasts. 

Above all, do NOT get that “glare-proof coating.”  Now remember, these opticians will swear up and down by this coating.  They will guarantee it for a year.  So you want your glasses to last how long?  Over a year, of course.  I’m telling you, the “coating” will get foggy after a month and you will be sorry you got it.  After a year or two, the coating will be all bubbly or something, and your glasses will be completely useless.  You won’t even be able to donate them to charity.

Okay, so much for my diversion about glasses.  Like I said, somehow, I wrecked up my other pair, and I’m wearing my “less favorite” spares and I need a new pair so I can have two pairs, in case such bad luck should happen again.

So meanwhile, more bad luck.  I made a teensy purchase on ebay.  Just a little desk item I thought I’d want, just over $10.  No communication from the company, and I thought, “Gee, this is weird.  Never happened to me before.  Maybe they just don’t send out notices and the package will magically appear in my post office box.”  But it hasn’t yet.  And no communication from the company.  A bunch of days ago I put in a claim with EBay.  I will get my money back and these guys will get into deep shit trouble, I suppose.  Or a slap on the wrist.  It’s up to EBay.   Or my package will magically arrive.  But of course, this is not a problem, this is an inconvenience.

So I ended up with again more bad luck.  I purchased a new cell phone, a refurbished one.  I am not fond of the model but it will do.  After a zillion bits of frustration with it, and communication with the cell phone provider, we together realized that the device is defective and I should communicate with the vendor.  I did so.  The vendor responded reasonably quickly and sent an RMA number.  They were quite apologetic and are even going to refund my return postage for sending the cell phone back.  I made sure to put all my addresses and pics and everything onto the little MicroSD chip I had inserted into the cell phone, and made sure I took the chip out of the cell phone before putting the cell phone into the envelope.  Again, this is an inconvenience, not a problem.

I will soon have a new cell phone delivered and hopefully the new one will work just fine.  I have the new service all set up and the number all set up and the company people are very nice.  And I am ever, ever so experienced as to how to get a REAL, LIVE customer service rep immediately, so that’s why I am sticking with this provider.  They have been quite polite with me and I am impressed so far, although the cell phone itself, the device seems to be rather mediocre, but that might be because the device I received was defective anyway.

Did I tell you I think I fractured my finger recently?  It’s on my left hand. My left index.  It seems to be healing fine.  There wasn’t much that could be done about it, so I didn’t bother seeing a doctor or anything, and I am very, very right handed.  It didn’t affect my ability to do anything, although I did not attempt to knit.  I feared that it would affect my ability to knit, so I decided I would not knit until the finger was healed.  I am so fortunate that the pain seems to be going away and I believe I will be able to knit when I decide to attempt to do so.  Again, a mere inconvenience…it was my left hand, not my right, and I am right-handed.  Oh, if you are wondering how it happened…I was walking out the door with Puzzle one day and closed the door, just the usual way I do, and somehow, my finger ended  up slammed in between the door and the door jamb.  It kinda hurt and I think I said a swear word very quietly to myself and no, the neighbors did not hear me say it. Or maybe I just said, “Ouch.”

Okay, more bad luck.  I had an expense to do, something that had to be done, and I was trying to do it via paypal.  Well, I was trying to do it online and the website had a glitch.  So I called the company.  This is a reputable honest company, no problem there, just some business I had to do.  As I have said, my BofA CC number got stolen.  I wanted PayPal to charge my other CC.  So I had that all arranged and was trying to have this happen online, but feared that it would happen twice and no way was I going to let this happen, so I made the call and got a very nice salesperson immediately.  The sale went through.

But guess what?  Paypal changed my bank account and not my CC.  There’s no money in my bank account.  It’s the end of the month, bitches.  So my bank account got wiped out and the rest of the money got charged (thankfully) to the CC that works.  Thankfully, I realized this right away, and called the company and had it all reversed.  They were very kind about it and didn’t make me go over to  PayPal, which is an impossible site to navigate, to deal with the whole thing.

Again, an inconvenience, not a problem.  I still have a roof over my head and it has not caved in.

So far, I have spoken of inconveniences.  Little things that clutter up our lives and take up our time and annoy us.  But really, life goes on, doesn’t it?

If you have an eating disorder, your life might not go on if you don’t get care.  This is what my PROBLEM is.  Thursday has now passed by and still, no medical appointment in sight.  I have made the statement that I will not go to this medical appointment until there has been voice-to-voice contact between X person, this person whom I trust, this person who knows me and knows ED and my situation with my ED and the medical danger that I may be in, and my medical providers.  Voicemailing back and forth is not acceptable communication to me, and I feel that I will not get adequate care if this communication, this real in-detail conversation does not take place.

All the above mentioned stuff, all those details, are mere inconveniences, bitches.

By the way, you folks with ED are going to see some action soon on the political front.  I promise.

I was refused treatment by the hospital in Wisconsin…

They told me I should “seek treatment locally”….Well, there ain’t no treatment I can find here.  They meant stabilization for depression, and they didn’t say, but for suicidality as well.  She said to go to an ER, and I said no way was I going to an ER because they know nothing about ED’s at the ER’s here.  I said I could not even find a therapist here on public insurance, but that I was going to have to wait until July.  I did also say that Mass General has already refused to give me a therapist, flat out refused even though I practically begged them.  So Dr. P is really going to have to pull some strings to get me one.  I told the lady in Wisconsin that I am going to have to wait till July to get a therapist, if I get one at all, and that I know many other people with ED’s on public insurance that can’t find therapists here in the Medical Hub of the Universe.

I plan to go see my state representative or someone and talk to them about this.  Something has to be done.  Some magic or something.  This is like a fucking sin.  Our state rep has office hours, today, actually, and also next Monday, too.  Maybe next Monday would be better.  I swear I’m going to go and have something prepared and I’m going to speak up about the lack of care for people with ED, here in the Land of Plenty.

This is a fucking sin.  If nothing else is, this is.  And I don’t even believe in sin.