Doctors, listen to patients. Governments, listen to doctors.
"We're going to numb you for now," she said. "To take away the pain."
I remember when my doctor spoke those words, I didn't believe anything she could give me would help me. I already felt drugged due to my medication, but not in a good way. A few days before, I had been tying balloons with a fellow patient. We charged them with static electricity, and balanced them on the walls of the smoking room inside the hospital ward.
Chemically-induced activistic episodes to make some kind of dumb statement while you're suicidal and committed inside a psychiatric ward, make for some very sad wall-art.
The balloons were taken down because they were considered a fire hazard in the smoking room.
When we tried to move the balloons to the living room, to cheer the place up, the staff wasn't happy with us. I tried to argue with the nurses - while drugged - that the balloons had cheered patients up. And, that if those balloons were a fire hazard, my clothes were a fire hazard too, and maybe I should go naked from now on. Because, I could catch fire, right? Maybe I should shave my head too, and pull a Britney? They didn't appreciate the discussion much.
I've never understood micro management in complex human systems when bigger problems were barely addressed or fixed in it at all.
When my doctor decided to give me more medication during my hospitalisation, it was everything I expected from meds for psychiatric patients: they made me slow and behave really strange, as if I wasn't myself. I had been depressed and in a state of panic when I entered the hospital. With the new medication and higher doses of that medication my doctor gave me, my body and mind started to feel like slime. That, would only be 'temporarily', my doctor had said. 'Until the medication will start to work and do what it's supposed to do'.
The first weeks I suffered from vision and hearing problems, acute panic attacks and Very Low And Then Very High Energy episodes, muscle-weakness, and the urge to really smoke a lot to help me keep track of time, if that makes sense. Time became almost non-existing, while I lived in fear, of what was going to happen next. There was a special smoking-room inside the ward, which had a beautiful yellow colour of decay, where I pretty much set up camp and listened to the same 3 songs on repeat for hours, to help me focus. The medication made me blurry, made it hard for me to stay awake and communicate, and at times, impossible for me to ask for help in the right way. When I did ask for help, I was misunderstood, or my cries for help were mistaken for 'venting'.
I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder months later. During the first period inside the hospital, I was given medication that would 'calm my flow of thoughts'. Next to the anti-depressives (Zoloft) they gave me, I was given Xanax for this, an anti-anxiety medication which is also known as a rape-drug, just to give you an idea of the severe side-effects it causes. Furthermore, they gave me Seroquel. This is an anti-psychotic, which is used for all sorts of problems; so it's not just for people with psychosis, which I didn't have. It's used to treat anxiety, depression, psychosis, nightmares, some symptoms in autism, etc. I had been given it due to nightmares and sleeping problems, and to help me calm down. To 'numb me', from the pain.
I had been inside my head, all my life. Looking back, it think it's how I 'survived', and managed to not get diagnosed as autistic until 27. I had been able to lock out sensory disturbances all my life by avoiding them and living a very hermit lifestyle, and because of it, I was probable never diagnosed. Now, I was given medication that calmed my thoughts, and suddenly, I was exposed to everything happening outside my mind.
It was the strangest experience: those first two months, inside the hospital, on medication. I had always noticed I had been sensitive to light, sound, patterns and noise, but now it became 100 times worse. At moments I would experience complete peace and silence, and then, it felt like I was inside a storm. Someone whispering could suddenly sound like a scream; a soft light could turn into a spotlight. It felt like the medication revealed to me what I had been blocking out all my life, by staying inside my head: that I was an autistic woman, who had created tools and rules for herself, so she wouldn't have to deal with everything that had been happening right in front of me, all my life.
All this, the medication, the new way of experiencing the world, made it incredibly hard for me to communicate with people around me. (Months later, I was given Ritalin, which helped reduce these problems a lot) Add to that that I was suicidal, felt like nobody understood what I was trying to say, and my abuser was still intimidating me and threatening me at the same time. It made being isolated inside a hospital a nightmare.
It took a long time until I was able to scream for help in the right way, and people finally heard my voice, which had been crying for help, behind a curtain of prescription drugs, in a neurotypical world, while I was in fact autistic.
It took weeks, until people finally heard what I had been trying to tell them, and had been trying to communicate to them. I said the words. I spoke my fears. I thought I was communicating, but nobody listened. It's the truth, and sadly, I can prove it.
Before that happened, before people finally listened, my abuser and rapist managed to visit me inside the hospital (while I was drugged), had a meeting with me outside the hospital (I was allowed to go outside under companionship), again, while I was drugged, and sexually assaulted me a second time.
Then, my abuser tried to frame me. Again, while I was hospitalised. He pretended like I wanted it (the sexual assault) and had been able to consent (while I was drugged), all in order to try to make it look like the first rape and assault, that happened two months before, didn't happen. Luckily, at that point, I was a little more clear, and I recorded the 'framing' which happened over the phone, which is a video which will now be used as evidence in court.
'We're going to numb you for now.'
I guess doctors can make trauma worse. Indirectly. Even while they only mean to make you better.
I was in the care of a hospital, medical professionals, when this all happened.
I asked for my medical records after I was released from the hospital, given I pressed charges against my abuser, and am building my case with my lawyer. My medical records are now evidence in my case against him.
In my medical records, my nurses carefully wrote down my fears about my rapist: before he visited me inside the hospital. Before he sexually assaulted me outside the hospital, while I was drugged.
Nobody did a thing. Not with my cries for help, carefully documented by my nurses, and not when he came over to visit me.
I tried to speak out while I was drugged. I tried to ask for help.
My medical records prove it.
I was sexually assaulted while drugged, by my own rapist, youtuber Exurb1a, while under the care of the hospital I had been staying at. He assaulted me outside the hospital, while I was drugged. The hospital drugged me to help me fight my suicidal thoughts and nightmares (acute stress disorder and PTSD as a result of abuse/rape), after Exurb1a assaulted, raped, threatened and blackmailed me when he was drunk, in October 2016.
I could sue the hospital for what happened - but I will not.
My mental health care professionals helped save me, and human beings who try to cure people, sometimes fail too, even when they try to help.
I'm here to point out the blind spots in Mental Health Care.
Doctors, nurses, please, I beg you: listen to your patients.
Hospitals worldwide, please, I beg you: listen to your doctors and nurses. Governments worldwide, please, I beg you: listen to your hospitals.
Mental Health Care needs more funding.
They need more from you, to help protect vulnerable people in society.
Hospitals worldwide need more money for more staff to help care for patients and look after them.
When my rapist sexually assaulted me a second time while I was hospitalised, my year of hell began. I've written a very long and detailed post about it here.
I named my rapist publicly, to warn others, and also in order to break his power over me - to stop his threats and blackmail.
As a result, I received death threats, I was shamed, blamed, harassed, threatened, lies were spread about me, and I was doxxed on 4chan. My son and family were even dragged into this.
I was vulnerable once, but I no longer am. I'm speaking out, to warn others. This is one of the first stories when it comes to problems in Mental Health Care I'm sharing. More will follow. I spent 7 months inside a hospital, and unfortunately, I have many more stories to share. They do not concern me, but other patients. I'm here to share their voices too.
I'm here to raise awareness. I'm not speaking anymore. In fact, I'm screaming.
Please scream with me.
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