Well, I finally talked to my twin sister and she helped me to remember why I am so afraid of hospital visits. She was able to trace back my first horrible inpatient stay to a stay at Providence Everett in I think March of 2017. I went there after a suicide attempt and was actually voluntary. The thing is, though, is that to me I feel like I was worse off than my latter involuntary stays, but during that stay we had to go in twice in order to convince them to let me stay at the hospital. This was basically because only one part of me was suicidal and the host part was not.
Kjelene and I thought at the time that an increase in lamotrogine and the push of a therapy called CIMBS therapy, plus relationship problems with David and his family, and of course issues with AA, were what pushed me into the hospital. In terms of AA, for example, I’d been asking for people to bring me meetings as I was homebound, just as I’d brought meetings to people in the program who were homebound when I was able to do so. But, when no one did the same for me, I grew confused and depressed, and depression set in. And, it seemed like my medications and therapy were not being handled correctly. So, I ended up in Providence Hospital, which I thought would be helpful.
But it wasn’t. The ward itself even looked scary and was not kept up, and I did not have my own room despite my health issues. One night, a woman in her twenties came in who was obviously high and was acting very violent and aggressive and was yelling and swearing. She was taken down by security, given a shot, and put in restraints all night. She yelled, screamed, and cried all night, and I panicked right along with her. It was highly traumatizing for me. I asked to be put in my own room, or at least a seperate room from her, because I couldn’t handle seeing that.
What the staff did was put her in a different room and move me into her bed, and then a different patient into my bed. But, they did not fully clean off her bed before they tried to put me in it. And, there were pretty gross things on her bed. The staff didn’t show any inclinination of cleaning it so I ended up putting on some gloves and cleaning it myself, which the staff applauded me for…. and then soon enough, I ended up with another woman in my previous bed laying next to me in restraints.
I kept asking to go home and assumed that I could because I was voluntary, but the doctor would just make threats about going against doctors advice, so I had to just do what they said. I was there for a week. I was worse off when I came home than when I got there, although apparently I told my therapist at some point when I was there that I was okay. I was probably trying to put on a happy face.
So of course I don’t do well in psychiatric units in hospitals. It’s hard for me to feel safe. I only hope that in this unit that the doctors can find a way to work with me instead of making assumptions about what I have experienced in my life. I’ve had counselors tell me that it is unethical for any professional to make assumptions about a patient’s trauma history.
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