I’m sort of at a loss about what to write about today. The reason for this is because there are just a lot of things on my mind. I’ve been thinking a lot about narcissism lately and how that shows up in my family and in people who I’ve met throughout my life, particularly in AA. I also seem to keep ruminating about my terrible stay at a mental health facility in November and December, and how through their neglect and abuse I feel like they put my life in danger, as well as the health of everyone around me. Also, David and I are working quite a bit on repairing aspects of our relationship right now that are a result of other people’s abuse of myself or of him. A number of people have triangulated with both of us in order to pull us apart and just to cause drama, and this definitely has had a negative impact on our relationship, and has brought out the worst behaviors in both of us. But, we’ve stayed together through it anyways, which I feel is quite the feat considering the severity of interference by so-called “loved ones”.
I guess that today I’ll address my experiences with Compass Health in Mukilteo this past fall/winter. I’ve probably talked about it before, and I’m going to do it again. I was involuntarily committed to this mental health facility last fall, not because I was a danger to myself or others but because I was considered gravely disabled. Part of the reason why I was, though, is that I had been getting repeated stomach flues and viruses since that July, which even resulted in hospital visits. But, Providence Healthcare dismissed a lot of my symptoms on recent mental health medication changes, and although they did think that I had a virus they did not treat me for it. I kept ending up in the hospital and all they did was run drug tests and send social workers to talk to me. Basically, when they saw that I have severe mental health issues, they just acted like all of my physical health symptoms were in my head.
I was in a lot of pain due to flu-like symptoms, and as I said no one would treat me. Because of this, I was sleeping maybe every other night despite being really sick. My mental and physical health worsened, as did my dissociation, and I started to have a lot of time loss (problems remembering my day). I was really out of it, and unable to take care of myself.
David called a mental health worker to come check on me, who put me into Compass Health involuntarily because I couldn’t take care of myself. The social worker diagnosed me with “bipolar disorder”, which I don’t have.
Compass Health treated me terribly. First of all, they did not actually pull my medical records. They just assumed that all of my problems were due to the fact that I must not be taking my “medication”, even though I was. Because of this, they took me cold turkey off of the anti-seizure medication lamotrogine, which is extremely dangerous to do. This basically made me delirious, and instead of recognizing what they did they acted like my bipolar disorder was worsening, and extended my 24 hour hold. Then they tried to put me on new medications that I knew were the wrong ones for me due to their misdiagnoses, and when I complained they threatened to extend my stay. Of course, because of all of this my physical symptoms grew worse. But, instead of treating them, they told me to stop complaining. They really thought that I was another mental health patient who didn’t want to take their medications, even though I was taking medications. So they dismissed all of my physical health complaints and refused to even talk to a doctor or nurse about them, or to let me talk to a medical professional.
The other thing that they did was refuse to accommodate for my food allergies. I’m allergic to wheat, milk, eggs, tree nuts, shellfish, rosemary, kiwi, and celery, and don’t eat inflammatory foods. Because of this, instead of finding ways to help me eat, they gave me salad (basically lettuce) for a week and nothing else. Of course, this led me to feel even more crappy.
Eventually my family and David pushed them enough about the fact that I was only eating salad so that they finally decided to let them bring in outside food for me. But, according to David and my sister, it was like pulling teeth to get the staff to agree to do this, because it was not standard practice there. Also, we all pushed for them to actually get my medical records, and eventually they did. And, when they saw that I actually do have severe physical health symptoms, and had recently been diagnosed with viruses and recurring stomach flues, the whole staff went into a panic, particularly because they had done nothing to stop the spread of disease in their facility for about a week and a half and other patients were showing flu-like symptoms. But it was like these staff members were so sure that all of the patients there simply were not following the rules, wanted out, or just didn’t want to take their medications that they ignored the fact that both staff and patients were getting really sick.
I’m not sure, though, if they would have actually done anything about this if not for a few nursing students who came in to “observe” the facility. The nursing students actually talked to us, and saw what was going on in the facility. It was after the nursing students were there that the staff seemed to start to panic and actually address what was going on. I’m pretty sure that the nursing students reported what was going on to people outside the facility. So, even though my medical records were a wake up call to the staff, I actually think that they just would have continued their neglect of me and other patients if not for outside interventions.
After the nursing students came, the staff started to take people’s vitals and our temperature twice a day, and gave everyone flu shots. It was my understanding, though, that they were actually required to do this anyways, but refused to do it until those nursing students reported that they weren’t actually doing this. They just treated all of us as if we were just irresponsible and liars and doing anything to get out of there. Of course, a bunch of us wanted to get out of there because either we or the people around us were sick, and the staff refused to do anything about it.
I’m pretty convinced that a place like Compass Health in Mukilteo could easily kill someone due to their neglect of patients. And, I bet that they have killed someone before, and somehow got away with it. I cannot believe that this hasn’t happened because of what I saw and experienced in there. I wonder how many people with mental health issues are actually dying of things like the flu that they caught while in mental health facilities and likely did not receive treatment for. I have no idea how mental health facilities like the one that I went get away with murder.
Obviously something needs to be done about this. The problem, is, though, that so many mental health patients are scapegoated and traumatized at these facilities and are so afraid to go back that they don’t want to speak up about their experiences there. If they do, they might be deemed as paranoid, or crazy, even by medical professionals, and then sent right back to the facility or one like it. Many mental health patients live in fear of being sent back to these abusive institutions. And, it seems like instead of admitting that this is a problem, some health professionals will act like the person is delusional who speaks out against their experience. Again, this puts the person into a pattern of re-traumatization and makes it hard to actually get help and to recover from whatever health issues he or she may have.
I’m guessing that it is hard for some medical professionals to admit that we have a broken system, which is why they scapegoat patients. Then, these patients are scapegoated by society as a whole for not “helping themselves”, or not “getting the help they need”, even though we are doing everything that we can. The victim blaming of people with mental health problems can be very severe. People make all kinds of assumptions as to why we are doing so poorly that put the blame onto us rather than the dismal health care in our country and everyone’s scapegoating towards us. In other words, no one wants to take responsibility for the part that they play in perpetuating mental health issues in our country and in our world.
I really do not know what to do about this. I’m just going to continue to tell my story. And, to those people who act like I’m doing something wrong or have done something wrong in terms of my health conditions, I really don’t want any of you in my life. If you wonder why I don’t hang around you, it’s because you treat me like shit. This is very simple, although some of you act like it’s just so confusing as to why I don’t want to be around you, as if it’s rocket science or something. To me, you people who’ve treated me horrifically and act like you just can’t figure out why I don’t want to be around them look to me like total idiots, and I bet (and know) that other people think this about them too. It’s obvious to me that you are acting like you don’t know in order to get attention and act like you are the victim in the situation, even though you caused it. Sometimes you’ll even say that I’m the “mean one” simply because I set boundaries, do not hide my feelings when you have hurt me, and am not afraid to say what I think. Apparently, none of you like facing the natural consequences of your actions, which is that people don’t want to be around other people who treat them or their loved ones like garbage and will react to your abuse in ways that you don’t like. But, all you do is act like the person who you treat like crap is the one in the wrong, and I’m betting that you believe your own lies.
So hey, at least I’m sharing how I really feel on this post more so than usual. I must be working through my fears of saying how I really feel and voicing my true opinions. It’s funny, people say that abusive people and narcissists, psychopaths, sociopaths, etc., are highly intelligent…. I’ve always looked at them and kind of gone, wow. What an idiot. Do they actually believe all of these lies that they are spinning? And, before I went to AA, I sometimes would tell narcissists and abusive people exactly what I thought about them, which was that they were really stupid and quite idiotic in so many ways, and right to their faces. Or, I might just say straight out “God, what a fucking asshole.” straight to them. This is especially true of they were bullying me or someone else. God, I wish that I still had that kind of courage, because I believe that it kept them from scapegoating me. It’s no wonder that I was able to keep out of abusive situations after I left home, because narcissists and egotistical people don’t like to be called idiots. But, AA unfortunately changed all of that with their love and service bull crap and accept and love people even if they are the shittiest of the shit. Yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck. I’m so glad that I’m out of that shit hole.
Well, there you go. The true Meryl starts to come out. I hope that I don’t get banned on Facebook or something for sharing this on my page.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment below.