In July of last year (I think it was July), I was triggered so badly by something that my mother-in-law did that it set off my chronic pain for a few days to the point of where I didn’t sleep for four nights. I also was on too high a dose of Ritalin for me (I get super hypervigilant on higher doses), and was having horrible side effects. I also was suffering from a primary, reactivated infection of EBV. All this made me rather irritable and I would say, delirious.
So David and I went into the hospital to get me checked in because I felt absolutely horrible. Of course, though, because of my pre-existing bipolar diagnosis, they assumed that this was mania and that I wasn’t taking my meds, even though I was, and institionalized me (put me in the mental ward rather than treating my physical symptoms). Then they started messing around with my meds, taking me off one cold turkey that I’d been on since 2005, and putting me on others that I knew I shouldn’t be on due to side effects. I was so sick from all of this that I was throwing up off the side of my bed, and the staff at the psychiatric unit did nothing. They just let me lay in my own puke (I didn’t feel well enough to get out of bed), annd didn’t call a doctor or anything. Apparently I had said that my stomach had been upset, which it had, but I didn’t start throwing up until they started to change my meds around. Of course, they didn’t ask me or David about if throwing up was normal for me. Anyways, that was their excuse for why they let me lay in my own puke, was that they assumed that this had been going on at home, rather than was a result of over-medication by them. It was horrible.
The other thing that happened is that they called my mom, who was still on my emergency contact (she isn’t anymore), and is one of my abusers, to verify if the trauma I was talking about was real. Of course, my mom denied it all and convinced the doctors that it was all delusions. And for some reason, the terrible doctors at Swedish Edmonds Hospital believed my abusive mother over me and my husband. So then they attempted to diagnose me with schizoaffective disorder, stating that all my trauma was delusions, which it is not, and pumped me up on extremely high doses of antipsychotics. And, because I was involuntary, I had to just go along with this and pretend like I agreed for the entire month that I was there.
And of course it got worse. They didn’t believe that I had EBV, even though tests showed that I recently had it. They thought it was a delusion. Even when I kept talking about being sick, they did nothing. And, it turns out that when I first came in they ran the wrong EBV test. It wasn’t until the day before I left that they finally listened to me and got a doctor to see me and run the right test. Low and behold, my EBV was active and I was not delusional or lying. Even though I felt bad the whole time, though, they actually told me that I was resting too much and made me get up and go to all these classes even though all I wanted to do was sleep. It was terrible. But they kept saying that if I didn’t go to the classes, and socialize, that I would have to stay longer, even though I was sick. So I pushed myself to keep going and tried to mask my symptoms of EBV so that I could handle it.
They also put me on medications which damaged my kidneys and lowered my sodium levels, which I knew could happen because it’s happened with other mental health medications and me before. Of course, when I told them of this risk, they dismissed it. Then, when my kidneys started showing signs of damage and my sodium was low, which I had to ask for them to test for by the way, they had to change my medications all over again, which resulted in me staying there for longer. It was horrible.
The nurses tended to yell at me when I brought up my concerns, and the doctors would always talk to me about my “delusions”. The only thing that I learned from being there was how to fake my way through something like this. And, even though I tried to stay out of denial while I was there, all of the talk of my trauma being delusions made it even harder for me to accept it, and put me backwards in my healing for about six months.
The thing that really gets me though, is my mom. She knows that I have a history of trauma. She knows that I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD since the age of 13. She has talked openly about the abuse I went through in the past. Yet, for some reason, she felt the need to lie about it all right when I needed her the most. Apparently, covering up her own actions and the actions of other abusers in the family is more important to her than, well anything else. Because the truth is that she lied about my medical history by lying about the trauma in our family, which totally messed up my medical treatment. And, to this day, because of the diagnoses that I was given at that hospital, doctors still aren’t taking me seriously, and it’s really affecting my healthcare and my sense of safety and stability.
So back to last night. I was freaking out, and crying about all this, not feeling safe and not able to go to sleep. The experience at that hospital was terrifying and traumatizing to me, and certainly did more harm than good. Because of it, I’m still scared to share about my feelings and my trauma history, because I don’t want some professional to take it the wrong way and re-instutionalize me. Also, my mom is terrifying. Just terrifying. About a month ago, I brought up my horrendous hospital experience to her, and she said, “Oh, I thought that they did a great job there!” And I’m like, how can she think that? She knows the details of what I went through there. And why does she think that I will actually agree with her? Is this some form of brainwashing or something? Maybe she thinks that they did a great job because they were acting abusively just like her. Who knows. Maybe she thinks that it’s great when people totally mistreat her daughter. What a psychopath. All I know is that this type of behavior, lying about things, is commom for her. I’ve caught her doing it a number of times, and have worked out that she lied to me quite a bit while I was growing up. She must either be a narcissist or have antisocial personality disorder. And, it really sucks for me to have had to go through this.
I eventually did fall asleep last night, but it was hard. Today I’m feeling better, but still am shaky.
Anyways, that’s probably enough for today. Thanks for reading, feel free to comment below.