Tag Archives: dmh

So far past done with this

In the ongoing saga of My Case Manager Is Fucking Incompetent…

Today I was supposed to meet with her and my new case manager at 1:00.  At 12:15, while I was in the basement doing laundry, she called to see if we could move the meeting to 2:00.  I called back, but no one picks up.  No one ever picks up in that office, so I don’t know what the hell you’re supposed to do if you’re having a crisis or something.  So I left her a voicemail.

She didn’t show up at 2:00.  Or 2:15.  Or 2:30.  Or 3:00.  Finally I wrote it off and took a nap instead, because fuck that shit.

She doesn’t work on Fridays, so she won’t get my voicemail tomorrow and reschedule.  I’m not convinced the woman even knows how to check her voicemail, judging from past experience.  She’ll probably call me in another week and ask why I never called her back.  She won’t give me her cell phone number because OMG BOUNDARIES, and no one picks up at the office.  So how the fuck am I supposed to get in touch with her?

I’m so sick of this bullshit.  This is supposed to be helpful?  I was bullied/threatened into getting services from DMH–I didn’t want to deal with them after the way they’d treated me when I was trying to apply for services.  But it was get services from DMH or go to the hospital.  But this shit doesn’t even qualify as services.  I see ICM maybe twice a month.  She doesn’t check voicemails or return phone calls.  She goes on vacation without telling me.  When she does actually contact me, she constantly changes appointment times, and she almost always shows up late for appointments and then laughs it off.  She insists my diagnosis is something other than what it actually is, and she has virtually no education on my diagnosis.  I’m not convinced she has education on much of anything; she doesn’t even have an associate’s degree, and I know much more about the DSM than she does.  She has no understanding of what it’s like to live in poverty.  She has no idea what it’s like to live with a severe, disabling, chronic illness.  She isn’t interested in learning what my life is like. 

Pretty much all she does is show up sporadically to take me grocery shopping.  And while I go grocery shopping, she goes clothes shopping, and I have to sit outside with my melting groceries and wait for her to show back up.  I have no crisis support.  She’s not helping me manage any of my problems.  She’s not helping connect me with resources in the community.  She’s not doing fucking anything to help me.  She doesn’t even ask how I’m doing beyond the cursory, “Hey, how’s it going?” when I first see her.  She has no idea that my depression is getting worse because she doesn’t fucking ask, and I’m not gonna blurt it out in the middle of fucking Whole Foods.

I think what really bothers me is I feel like no one there gives a fuck about me.  If I killed myself, they wouldn’t even realize for a month.  (Don’t worry, I’m not going to kill myself.)  No one would, really.  I don’t have friends anymore.  My roommates might notice once I started to smell, but that’s it.  There’s no one left in real life who gives a fuck about me.  That’s a really painful thing to realize.

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I’m SO FRUSTRATED with this new case manager, S.  She’s nice, but…completely useless.

Every time we meet, she basically tells me I’m fine.  Apparently, as long as I get out of bed, then my mental health is A-OK.  I feel like she’s basically saying, “So, like, why are you even getting services?  You don’t seem crazy to me.”

I guess some of that is her fault.  I mean, I haven’t told her I tried to kill myself a week ago.  But why would I?  I’ve only just met her.  I don’t know her yet, and I certainly don’t trust her.  She doesn’t seem to get that.  She just takes everything at a surface level, and that doesn’t make me feel like she’s someone I even could trust with below-the-surface stuff.

Never mind that I know about 500 times more about mental illness than she does.  She didn’t know what “treatment resistant” meant, for god’s sake.  I mean, doesn’t the term pretty much define itself?  She’s like, “What, you mean like you won’t take your meds?”  She didn’t know what DBT was, either.  I had to explain it to her.  How does anyone who’s worked in psych for more than 5 minutes not know what DBT is?

And clearly she hasn’t read my history at all.  I’ve told her that my diagnoses are major depression, complex PTSD, and DID, but she insists on saying my diagnosis is borderline.  Nope, lady, and it hasn’t been for at least 4 years.  She keeps asking all these questions about my family that I know for a fact are explained in the files my last program sent them.  ZERO sensitivity around the fact that my family is the source of most of my trauma–she just expects me to discuss it offhand.  Today, sitting out in public, she starts asking me what it was like to grow up with a cop for a father.

I mean, what the hell was I gonna say?  “Well, I thought I was hot shit when he took me to school in his patrol car because it impressed all the other kids.  But then at night he’d rape me, threaten to kill me, threaten to kill my sister, make me watch him rape my sister, make me watch him shoot animals, make me participate in animal abuse, and sell me to other men for sex”?

So I just changed the subject, started talking about use of force complaints dropping drastically when one California town made all its officers wear video recorders.  It wasn’t even a skillful deflection, but she did not notice at all.  ‘Cause, you know, I’m totally fine because  I got out of bed, got dressed, and put my hair up.

So now I’m left feeling tense and raw, with memories right at the surface that I didn’t want to have to deal with.  I’ve been having nightmares since the suicide attempt, and I’ve got a feeling tonight’s are going to be even worse.

This just really sucks.

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April 24, 2014 · 11:47 pm

I’ve mostly recovered from the colonoscopy yesterday, although I have huge sore bruises from them trying to start an IV.  It took 4 nurses and three tries.  One of them kept saying I was dehydrated.  Well, yeah, I spent all night crapping out everything I’ve eaten for the last 7 years, and then I couldn’t have anything to drink the morning of the procedure.  You’d think they’d expect dehydration.

It was good news.  I have only mild inflammation and ulcers, which is a huge improvement over the last colonoscopy.  It means the symptoms I’ve been having are probably just due to increased gut motility, which is easier to treat–and with less toxic drugs.  My GI doc is actually talking about reducing some of the meds I’m on now!  Maybe my hair will stop falling out!  But he wants to get the biopsies back before he decides anything for certain, so I should hear from him Monday or Tuesday.

Not doing so well emotionally, though.  Everything feels empty and pointless.  I’m bored all the time, and nothing holds my interest.  It’s all just empty.  I’m still having a lot of suicidal thoughts, but I’m hanging onto my sister’s wedding.  SO and I are going to road-trip it down there, which should be fun, and I honestly can’t WAIT to tell my ultra-conservative family that I work for the Democratic Party.  (Describing it to A last week, I phrased it as, “I get Democrats elected, so fuck all y’all.”  I then had to explain to her the difference between “y’all” and “all y’all.”)  And my sister is SO excited.  She texted me today to say that she wanted to move the wedding up so she could see me sooner, and she and her fiance want to come visit me in Massachusetts.  My sisters are awesome, and I love them more than anything in the world.  And I’m damn sure not going to ruin my sister’s wedding by killing myself before it.

But things are really hard.  I feel so alone almost all the time.  I have plenty of friendly acquaintances, mostly political folks, but no one I could call when I’m having a bad night.  They’re the kind of friends I’d call if I was having a phone bank or a canvass.  They’re great, but I can only be part of myself with them.

Even in therapy, I can’t be all of me.  A seems to have this concept of DID in which there’s basically the “real me” and then a bunch of subpersonalities and archetypes like “the wounded child” and “the most rational one” and crap like that.  To be fair, she hasn’t gone as far as to say only one of us is real, but she certainly hasn’t seemed interested in knowing the rest of us, at least not directly.  We feel like the message is that most of us aren’t welcome even there.

And then there’s this DMH crap.  We had to meet with them Tuesday, the guy from the community-based support program and the woman we talked to while we were in respite.  The guy kept saying the program is voluntary and asking if I wanted to do it, but I didn’t really have any choice because the woman sitting next to me basically threatened to hospitalize us if we didn’t do it.  So we had to say yes, we want to do it, but most of us would honestly rather kill ourselves.  It just means more people we’ll have to lie to and hide from so we don’t get locked up again.  We’d rather be alone by ourselves than alone with a bunch of people who’ll tell us ad nauseam that they’re helping us.

We feel so trapped.  We know how easy it is for people with power to do whatever they want to you.  When you’ve been diagnosed as mentally ill, they can take your rights away whenever they want.  All they have to do is swear to a judge that you’re seriously mentally ill and in need of treatment.  Sure, you can challenge it legally, but you probably can’t afford a good attorney.  If you get one at all, he’ll be 22, and he’ll talk to you for 3 minutes.  The entire burden of proof is on you to prove that you’re not crazy, which is basically Catch-22 in exact reverse.  It is impossible to prove that you are not crazy.  You have no chance.

The best you can do is lie and hope you’re convincing enough.  Take your drugs like a good little patient, cry a little but not too much, tell them you’ve realized how selfish suicide is and even though you feel really bad, you’ll never do it because you don’t want to hurt the people who love you.  Tell them you think the drugs are starting to work.  Tell them you feel a little bit hopeful.  All the lying will make you feel worse, of course, but you can’t let them know any of that.

I just never should’ve asked for help in the first place.  Ever.  It’s stupid to trust anyone who has more power than you.

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March 20, 2014 · 11:43 pm

I Hate Everything

Fair warning: this whole post is just me ranting and whining like a spoiled entitled bitch.  Feel free to ignore it.

I want to kill people right now.

DMH–the people who said, “We already have 200 clients.  Which of those do you want us to drop so we can serve her?”–sent me a registered letter today.  Like 15 minutes ago.  Saying that if I don’t call them by tomorrow, they’ll deny my application for services.  And the woman I’m supposed to talk to isn’t answering, and her voicemail is full.  And I have five million things to do tomorrow.  Seriously.  I see my psychiatrist and then my gastroenterologist and then my therapist.  I have to switch my voter registration to my new address before the deadline, have a phone interview for food stamps, and go to the food bank if I want to have anything to eat, not that they have much food I can eat to give me.

It’s probably a good thing this woman’s voicemail is full because my message would say something to the effect of, “Look, bitch, you’ve talked to my team leader multiple times, and you know I’m in need of services.  I’ve legally authorized her to speak to you on my behalf, and I know she told you to go through her for stuff.  I don’t fucking know you, and I have an irrational fear of talking to people I don’t know on the phone–something that, you know, is part of my MOTHERFUCKING MENTAL ILLNESS.  Which is why I need services.  But you assholes have clearly demonstrated that you’re more interested in finding excuses to deny me services instead of help me, so go fuck a cactus, bitch.  Preferably one of the poisonous ones.”

I also got a letter from Medicaid denying me transportation to my appointments with my therapist because “provider/facility is outside locality.”  NO FUCKING SHIT.  That’s why I need GODDAMN TRANSPORTATION.  To get to her, I’d have to walk two miles–either along a busy road with no shoulder or along railroad tracks, either one of which could endanger my life.  Then I have to take 3 buses, with layovers where I have to wait outside–and we’ve been having windchills of -15.  Then I have to walk half a mile uphill on a road which is, due to the aforementioned frigid temperatures, icy and dangerous.  And did I mention that I have a bone spur and arthritis in my lumbar spine and sacroiliac joint, which causes significant pain when I’m on my feet for longer than 30 minutes a day?  Or that my severe autoimmune disorder often leaves me so weak that standing for long periods of time is impossible?

It’s too bad none of this happened yesterday, before I went to the forum where I met the current state attorney general who will probably, according to polling data, be our next governor.  She particularly mentioned, more than once, that she wants to increase access to mental health care and decrease the stigma, and I could’ve asked her what she’s doing about bullshit like this.

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