Blame

I’m so angry right now I can’t think straight.

A “friend” of mine who I was stupid enough to trust and tell how much I’m struggling has been on my case about going to the hospital.  I said being shamed and treated like I’m less than a person was not what I needed to get better, and she asked why I was so opposed to getting “help.”

So I told her.  I told her about how I’ve been yelled at for self-harming or being suicidal.  How a doctor refused to suture a cut that clearly needed it because he had “real patients who didn’t cause their own problems.”  How I’ve been strip-searched.  How I’ve been watched while showering and using the toilet.  How I’ve been forced to take medications that made me sicker.  How I’ve been threatened with restraints and worse “treatments” if I refused.  How my attempts to get help have been written off as “attention-seeking” and “manipulative.”

I told her about being in the state hospital.  I told her that one night, another patient came into my room, grabbed me by the throat, and hit me in the face over and over again.  Staff refused me any medical attention (I later found out the woman had broken my nose) and told me to “forget about it and move on because she didn’t know what she was doing.”  No attempt was made to protect me.  I told her that one of my roommates repeatedly sexually assaulted me, but I didn’t tell anyone because I knew they wouldn’t care and wouldn’t help me.

And this “friend” blamed me.

She said I should’ve reported any doctor who treated me poorly.  She said if I’d fought back against the woman who beat me up, she would’ve stopped.  She said I should’ve told someone I was being sexually assaulted and they would’ve stopped it.

She blamed me for all of it.

I’m trying to hang onto believing she’s wrong, believing I did the best I could to survive, believing it wasn’t my fault.  But I’m not doing very well.  Not hanging on very tight.

I want to hit her.  I want to beat the shit out of her.  But that turns almost instantly into wanting to slice myself to ribbons and then kill myself.  This is the hardest thing for me–I try so hard to stop blaming myself for all the traumas, but when someone I trust blames me, I fall apart.  I blocked her email and cell number, but her words keep replaying in my head.  I can’t stop that.

I’m really not okay right now.

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18 Comments

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18 responses to “Blame

  1. kat

    im soo sorry someone you trusted turned out to be unhelpful, so unsupportive–so hurtful and damaging. this exact thing has happened to me once before as well. someone i called my friend was worried because i didnt answer the phone at 12 when i had two small kids. so she called the police, who broke into my home at 1am, forced me to go to the hospital (which promptly released me as not being suicidal but just freaking tired at 1am, with meds onboard). and because they had to send me to the hospital, they said i was unfit and that i left my kids alone (by going to the hospital that they forced me to do) and they took my kids away from me for 3 months, and after that they lived with a friend of mine so i could see them at least for another 3 months. then if my mom or granma (both of whom are extremely abusive and have been all my life) was living with me, then the kids were allowed to be in the home too. but my mom or gramma had custody for another 3 months. then they got sent to their dad halfway across the country for another 3 months until i could move to where he was. then i finally got them back.

    some people just really have no idea what damage they do by being ‘helpful’. they think they are so smart, that they know ‘better’ and they just go around ruining lives.

    • I’m so sorry for what you went through with your kids. It’s horrific the things people do to each other in the name of helping. There’s this great C.S. Lewis quote: “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

      I posted that on my door at one of the hospitals I was at. They tore it down within an hour because it was supposedly a fire hazard…but they didn’t tear down signs on people’s doors to say “Wake me up at 7:00” and so forth.

  2. happilydpressed

    I’m very sorry for what you’re going through. I blame myself for almost everything that goes wrong. So I won’t be hypocritical and tell you what I hate hearing myself. But it wasn’t your fault what happened there. When you’re in hospitals, you meet the good and the bad parts of mental disorders. And unfortunately, many people enjoy taking advantage of your vulnerability. Why? I suppose it’s easy to pick on someone who won’t fight back. I’ve never fought for myself, I don’t blame you for not fighting ether. Why bother right? Why bother struggling to live when you pray every day that someone would just kill you? People who fight for themselves, they’re fighting because they have a reason to keep pushing forward. When you don’t see a reason in your future, there’s no point. But you do have reasons to live, right? I have this long bucket list. I want to go sky diving and push myself as far as I can. If I’m not going to be scared of death, then I’m going to try as many adventures out as I can. But most of all, I want to see my baby sister get married. I want to see her happy. And that is the true reason I fight myself to live. I couldn’t bare watching her walk this life alone when I know she needs me to take care of her. I fuck up a lot. And I blame myself so much for what’s wrong with her. But I’d blame myself more if I didn’t try to help. Leaving her is my biggest fear.
    You can’t blame yourself for how you feel. You were hurt. I am so very sorry for that. But don’t let anyone tell you that you could have saved yourself. When you feel such guilt, there’s no seeing anything except darkness. Maybe in another time, sure. But you’re alive, and you’ve done more than enough to be here.

    • It’s funny you mention your sister getting married. My sister is getting married in August, and that’s one of the things I’ve been hanging onto. All these pictures she sent me of her in her wedding dress, her ring, bridesmaids dresses…I can’t just abandon her. I love my sisters more than anyone else in the world. So what you said is remarkably like my experience.

      I didn’t fight back, but it’s not because I wanted her to kill me. For starters, it happened so fast it was over before I figured out what was happening. I mean, I was dead asleep, and then someone was beating the hell out of my face. I was disoriented–I don’t think I even knew where I was until after they pulled her off of me.

      But also, I was very well trained as a child not to fight back. I was nineteen when the incident at the hospital happened, but when I was attacked, I switched to a younger part. When I was a child, there were people hurting me who really could kill me if I fought back, and this is still the reality for many of those child parts in my system. So when I feel physically threatened, I shut down and can’t fight back.

      • happilydpressed

        So hold on to the love you have for them…that’s really all that gets me through the day sometimes. I’m sorry that this all happened to you. I couldn’t know your situation but I get like that too…I turn into this little kid and I can’t control myself. But please, I know what it feels like to want to hurt yourself, and the worst part for me is I can’t tell anyone. If you need to talk, my email is on my page.
        And what you said about your friend before, maybe this is just me trying to think better of people, but she might not have understood. She might have just said what she’s taught to say in those situations. You’re bullied, talk to an adult. Your assaulted, tell a cop. Unfortunately most of the world doesn’t get it and they’re stuck with stereotypes and stigmas.
        I hope you find an easier day tomorrow (:

      • Ha, tell a cop. My father, the first person who raped me, was a cop. When my sister disclosed the abuse, there was never any real investigation. The protect each other.

        The thing about this friend is she’s been in psych units before, so you’d think she would know how they work. But apparently she’s just really good at selectively ignoring reality.

      • happilydpressed

        Jez, Hope, I’m so sorry. You didn’t deserve any of this. Everyone thinks they know what to say but it’s never what you really need to hear. And I wish I could say some magic word to make you feel better but I can’t…just don’t give up on therapy…or yourself. I did and I’m just getting worse.
        And I guess some people are good at ignoring life. That’s how they get through it. I hope someone comes along that you find trust in…someone that will help outweigh the bad with good

  3. I’m sorry your friend was so hurtful and untrustworthy. And the hospital sounds like a true nightmare. Hang in there.

    • Thanks. I feel pretty good about the decision to cut her out of my life. I’ll put up with a lot from people, but once you’ve crossed the line, I’m done.

      I just wish I could stop hearing the things she said repeating in my head. Then that brings up things other people have said, blaming me, and the introjects have a field day, and it’s all kinds of internal chaos.

  4. Mandy

    You know you have a lot of company here, right? Lots of us understand being misunderstood! I have learned that people, like your friend, really DO care. But people really don’t know how to help, what to say, so crap pours outta their mouths that do a lot more harm than good. God no you shouldn’t blame yourself. You’ve been to hell and not back yet! I’m just gonna cross my fingers that you find the right person to help. And we all need help. You’re a fighter, I can tell that. You’re giving everyone hell–don’t lose that fight. It’ll keep you alive!

    • Yes, I’ve always been good at giving people hell. I like to argue.

      This “friend” is just one of those people who thinks she knows how everyone else should run their lives, and she will tell you about it. Loudly. Over and over. I’ve put up with it for a long time because she is mostly a nice person. I don’t know if she’s gotten worse about it over the last few months or if it’s that I’ve gotten more sensitive to it–maybe both. But blaming the victim is way over the line for me. I don’t need that kind of shit from people who are supposed to be supportive.

  5. Mandy

    And these people never get it that the more they advise and “help”, the more we shut down to getting help. We learn not to trust anybody. Boy oh boy. Totally not okay to blame someone who’s been victimized–ever!

  6. Kenzie - Motorcycles, Books & Fructose

    That person doesn’t sound like a very good friend. One thing I really hate is victim blaming. It’s definitely not your fault for what happened and I can completely understand why you never reported it. I cannot imagine being in your situation and I admire you for surviving it as best as you can.

  7. I am so sorry, that is really terrible. Please know that I and a lot of other with me, think it’s aboslutely NOT your fault! I believe you did the best to survive as well. If you fought back at her, God knows what she had done?
    Your ‘friend’ wasn’t in that situation, you were on your own and had to make the call if it was even possible to fight back, or if that would get you in more trouble, but most of all, the staff and doctors there should have prevented this! This is, in no way, your fault.

    • Thank you. You’re right–fighting back would’ve only made things worse. It always does, it seems. Nobody cared enough to prevent it–we were just worthless crazy people to them.

  8. Oh wow…that was about the last thing you needed right now. I fall into that trap too sometimes…confiding in someone who didn’t bother to take your feelings into account.

    You are NOT to blame for ANY of the things that happened to you inside or outside of hospital care, but even those of us who only know you through your blog know the hospital is not the best place for you. When you are sick and scared, you were supposed to ‘report’ your doctors and care team? To who?? Did she think you could just wander down to the complaints department? Geez…she obviously does not understand how life works.

    I’ve been told many times that I should have ‘reported’ my foster family when they were abusing me. It’s so much easier to make it the victim’s fault than it is to accept that people sometimes do horrible things to others.

    You seem to make the same sort of friends I do. Sheesh…we should just stick together, you and I. 😉

    • Yeah…reporting does exactly no good. You’re “crazy” and therefore not to be believed. Plus, defying authority in any form often brings more punishment down on you and makes things even worse/more traumatic. I mean, for fuck’s sake, I had my face beaten to a bloody pulp and was told to wash the blood off in the sink and forget about it. Why the fuck would I tell those same people that one of my roommates was sexually assaulting me almost every night? They wouldn’t have done anything, and it probably would’ve made things even worse for me.

      The sad thing is this woman has been in psych units. You’d think she’d have some idea of how this works, but apparently not.

  9. Reading this makes me very angry at this so-called ‘friend’. I wish I could put into words what I want to say about it, but if I’m honest I’m lost for words at this moment. This is not okay. At all.

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