Friday, 27 January 2012

Second try at ringing a helpline... Fail

So much is going on at the moment that I'm almost reluctant to blog because I don't know how I would get it all down on paper! That and new psychologist suggested that by reading people's blogs a lot, I may be ruminating. Although I disagree, it sent me to thinking that she thinks me keeping a blog is just a self indulgent thing and that I am enjoying my experiences of DID just so that I can talk about them on my blog. OK so I may be being just a tad paranoid.

For now, I will bring you up to date up until Monday...

Things have been really bad. At the weekend I started having lots of intrusive thoughts about hanging myself. This has happened before (the thoughts) and is really scary. It's like a part wants me to do it and I can't think of anything else. I have found myself acting on this and pulling ropes/chords around my neck etc and at the weekend this was happening again. I tried to go to bed on Sunday night at about eleven o'clock and I lay staring at the ceiling for hours thinking about hanging myself from the light fitting or the bannisters, with a voice telling me to do it. I pulled my dressing gown chord round my neck and pulled it tight. Eventually, I got up, realising that lying in bed was getting me nowhere and I sat in the living room for a while feeling scared and alone. 

I decided to try ringing a helpline. You may remember I did this before Christmas and wasn't too impressed with the process: it was basically 'go home and let me talk to your husband so I can tell him to take your blades away' when what I really just needed was a listening ear and some reassurance and then I probably wouldn't have felt like I needed to cut myself anymore. But then, at the time I rang I was curled up in a dark corner of a car park in the middle of the night, so I guess they were thinking the priority was to get me safe. So I thought I'd try again given that I was now in my own living room and just feeling scared about the thoughts and needed someone to understand. So I tried first of all ringing Lifeline again, which was engaged. I then rang the Samaritans and a woman answered the phone who either had just suffered a stroke or had definitely just been woken by my phone call. I hung up promptly. I guess I judged her by her tone on answering, but sometimes our first judgements can be correct. 

I sat for a while longer, then rang Lifeline again and this time got through to someone. I'd like to tell you it was helpful and that my initial impressions had just been a one off but I finished the phone call feeling more alone and despairing than I was before I rang. I felt pretty hopeless by the end of it actually. The woman on the phone asked me questions about where I was and why I was ringing. It honestly sounded like she was reading from a screen and I could hear her typing in the background. I'm pretty sure she wasn't typing anything of relevance to me. She sounded so completely uninterested in what I had to say and after each thing I said she just moved onto the next question without saying anything about what I'd said. It wasn't a conversation. This continued for a few minutes before she basically advised me that it would be a good idea to get some sleep so that I'd be fresh for work in the morning. FUCK SAKE PEOPLE!!!!!

Really?! Is that where I have been going wrong? Silly me, for not realising that if you work full time you actually need to go to sleep at night time. Why didn't they teach me these things in school? For fuck sake! Obviously she hadn't listened to anything I'd said because I explained that I usually manage my mental illness well and that I was going through a very difficult time and unable to sleep because I kept thinking about hanging myself. Seriously, I would not be wasting my time calling Lifeline at 3am if I thought there were things I could do myself to help like going to bed and sleeping. I was half raging and half completely despairing at my lack of options. So I wrote new psychologist another email asking for help and explaining that I was scared.

I didn't hang myself, obviously and I eventually went to sleep after 4am and slept fitfully until my alarm went off at 8.30, at which point I rang into work and told my team leader I would not be coming in and would probably be taking some time off on sick leave for at least a week. 

There. I did it. I've been struggling on and on with work, leaving me nothing for the rest of my life and now that things are falling apart, there isn't even the drive left to go to work. There's no way I would have been able to function anyway; the last few weeks I had noticed my productivity decreasing dramatically at work.

I lay in bed, thinking again about hanging myself until my phone rang at about 9.30. It was new psychologist, who had just received my email. We talked for some time, I can't even really remember now what we talked about. I think she was asking me what I could do to help myself at the moment and was encouraging me to talk to Adam. I'm just guessing that actually, I think I was more one of the other parts at that time. Oh yes, she arranged that she would ring me back later on that afternoon and she encouraged me to pass the time by watching some TV and possibly some other things.

Afterwards I went back to bed and fell into a deep sleep until about 2pm. This is unlike me. New psychologist rang me again later on and I was a bit calmer then. She arranged that she would see me the next day and talked about referring me to a special service for support. I had to tell her then that I couldn't go to that service because a member of my family works there (what are the chances? Northern Ireland is such a small country). She said she'd make a phone call to them to see if I could be seen and that family member not know and then she rang me back later to tell me that they had said that they couldn't guarantee my confidentiality from family member X and that they just advised that I speak with family member X about the problems I'm having. Ah! More useful advice! How different my life would be if I always had someone to point out these blindingly obvious pieces of advice to me when I so stupidly don't think of them myself. FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!
New psychologist then asked me if I could access help from my work's occupational health. I explained that I've had bad experiences with occupational health before and tend to avoid them because I don't feel like they're on my side. She agreed with me at the time that that was fair enough but has brought this up a few times since saying I am resistant to help from Occ. Health as though I am just plain being awkward. I hadn't been refusing that input anyway, I was just expressing my concern and I'd have been happy to hear her ideas about how they could help me.

After we hung up I spoke with Adam for a bit and we agreed to go out to Tescos to do food shopping, so I went to get a shower. This was at about 5pm. I don't know what happened but by the time I was showered and ready to leave it was 7.30 pm and neither of us had eaten. Food shopping takes us forever so it was kind of too late by then. We ended up just getting diner and giving up on the Tescos idea for the day.

I went to bed at a reasonable hour (thanks Lifeline) and again lay awake staring at the ceiling and thinking much too much. Adam and I briefly tried to be intimate. I wanted to be close to him and I wanted to have sex. To be honest, I think I wanted to have sex as a way of self harming. I didn't want to be 'intimate'. I wanted to feel that roughness and pain and desperation again. How fucked up is that? He came over to my side of the bed and started to kiss me really gently and touch my face and hair. I couldn't stand it. I had to push him away and we ended up going to sleep at about 3am again, Adam with hurt feelings and me feeling like a baddie.


Pandora said...

Well done you - it was a big deal to (a) phone the Lifeline people at all, regardless of the fact that they were crap; and (b) to take some time off. Knowing you're unwell and taking measures to get help for that is a big deal. Good for you :)

As to Lifeline and the Samaritans - gah. They're usually well-intentioned, but that counts for fuck all when you're in a suicidal crisis if they don't actually take what a person has said seriously or attempt to offer any useful advice whatsoever. Wankers. I'm sorry you had to put up with that :(

I hope you can get the treatment your psychologist suggested sorted out without OCH and relatives bring involved! God, is nothing easy?!

Take care of yourself, OK?


Pan x

Ruth said...

Sounds like a rough time this week without much support. I am sorry you had a hard time with Adam too. Feeling in so rough makes it hard on close relationships, work, living....I am sorry you feel this way. Kind of hard to explain to some people that your relatives appear one way to someone else but are very different at home. I tried so many different things. Took a while to get to where I could really talk to both my counselors. I like your spacey icon for how you are feeling. I understand that spacey feeling. Kind of like you are here but not. Take care.

CimmerianInk said...

I'm so sorry! Lifeline failed you and that is unforgivable. I like to think that maybe different people man the phones at different times and maybe there are people there who aren't total idiots.

I'm glad you got in touch with the psychologist though.

Having a family member work some place where you need privacy is no good, so I understand that.

I really felt for you in your account about Adam. I know from personal experience what that feels like but please don't be hard on yourself about it. It's not your fault. None of this is your fault. Maybe just explain to him what happened or at least what you can. My husband feels better knowing that I still love him even when things like this happen. It's the reassurance. At least that way you might have one less thing to worry about.

*safe hugs if wanted*

Anonymous said...

Hello, counsellor in training her again. Sorry I'm anonymous but do call me 'C', first letter of my name.
Writing a blog is not self indulgent. There is a heck of a lot of evidence out there showing that writing is incredibly therapeutic. In fact trauma often responds better to the written word than the spoken word. Writing Cures edited by Bolton et al is excellent for discussing this. Write away. I'm not sure I like your new psychologist. What is her decipline? I wonder if you have tried Gestalt Therapy? It is such a holistic approach which would work with your writing, and all your alters (if you wished it so). I am with a Gestalt Therapist, having tried a few others and he is so flexible and all about me. I'm not trying to tell you what to do by the way, just throwing some suggestions and curiosity your way. I'm going to read more about your new psychologist but so far all she has made me is angry.