Monthly Archives: March 2019

PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS~ HOW MUCH HAVE THEY REALLY CHANGED?

 

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If you’ve read my previous posts you’ll know that I had been having a hard time with the death of my Dad and my siblings. My Dad didn’t leave a Will and it was and still is causing a lot of problems.

I have a twin sister and a half brother who is 7 years older than we are. I believed he had been squatting on the property and breaking into the basement with his new girlfriend. My twin believed I was hallucinating and having a Psychotic break. No matter what I said or did she refused to believe me.

My sister wanted me to get away from the house for awhile to see if I was still “hearing things” and suggested an Extended Stay Hotel for 30 days. I really didn’t want to but I was exhausted, recovering from surgery, and tired of arguing with her.

The Hotel parking lot was filled with drunk people, one of them was passed out in his car where I had to park. It was going to cost me $1,450 to stay there for 30 days. The room was filthy, my poor dog was scared to death and I kept worrying he was making too much noise. I didn’t sleep at all and had started bleeding from my surgery. My sister came the next day and even she was disgusted. I was stuttering and shaking because I was upset. She said I needed to do an inpatient treatment program at the local Psychiatric Hospital or she wouldn’t have anything to do with me any longer. I had ruined her life and now her marriage was suffering because of me.

She knows I’m terrified of hospitalization and haven’t been hospitalized since I had one round of ECT in 2012. This was my twin saying these things to me, I had no one else to talk to, the one person I had that accepted me and loved me unconditionally had just died. I agreed to go to the hospital. She agreed to watch my dog and dropped me off at the door.

As soon as I entered the building my legs buckled. I couldn’t speak or write. The staff was nice enough to help me to a chair and wait until I calmed down enough to speak. I didn’t know my sister had called ahead and told them that I was “hearing voices”. This meant I would automatically go to the highest security level unit. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to forgive her.

The were only a few changes since 2012, they no longer mixed the detoxing patients with the mental health patients. They also had more restrictions on what you could have with you. 1 pair of pants, 1 shirt, 2 pairs of underwear, 1 pair of pajamas, 1 pair of glasses, 1 set of contact lenses (no solution), and that’s pretty much it. Needless to say some people didn’t always smell that great. The bathroom doors had no locks (which I understand) and no way of telling if it was occupied. Every single time I went to use the toilet my roommate walked in on me. We talked to her about it and 5 minutes later she did it again. She also snored louder than anyone I know and talked about personal trauma in her sleep that I was extremely uncomfortable hearing. Again, no sleep.

The second day there I called my sister to check on my dog. She told me she might have to “give him away because T (her husband) didn’t want him there”. This triggered my stuttering, tremors, crying, hiccups, and I had to hide in my room or I would’ve been given Haldol. The doctor in charge of the Unit was in charge of ECT and a big believer in Lithium, Haldol, and Depakote. He was an older man and not up to date on newer medications/treatments. He was also against Adderall, Xanax, and Klonopin. I’ve been taking 30mg of Adderall for years it helps with word finding, my speech, and cognitive issues. He took it away cold turkey, cut my antidepressant in half, and cut the Klonopin in half. He then told me I shouldn’t have any withdrawal or problems with the changes. I’ve been on the same meds and dosages for years.

He didn’t even question the new medication that had been added, Risperidone, which I was having horrible side effects from and felt worse since taking it. Frustrated doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt. He couldn’t even get my name right for the 5 minutes I met with him every other day.

I didn’t receive any kind of therapy, we did a lot of adult coloring and watched TV. Some of the patients were violent which was hard for me to be around. The men and women are kept together, there were a few physical fights that happened next to me and I froze, hands cold and tingling, blood rushing through my ears, I didn’t even hear them yelling at me that it was a lockdown and I needed to go to my room. I finally had to speak up and tell them about my PTSD and Conversion Disorder diagnosis.

The one positive thing to come out of all this is that I learned I have to speak up for myself. I can’t ask or let other people do it for me anymore.

There are things I need to work on and one on one Psychotherapy is my first step. It’s been difficult finding someone who takes Medicare but I’m still looking. My meds are almost back to where they were. I was in the hospital for a little over a week. I’m not sure if I can ever truly have a relationship with my twin sister. I’ll be civil but I won’t call her for support or tell her anything personal.

I’ve been walking my dog and getting more fresh air, I’ve also been looking into what I need to do to move to Florida once my Dad’s estate is settled.

The Extended Stay charged me $1,450 for being there less than 24 hours. Hopefully that will get resolved. Supposedly my sister handled it and told them I was going into the hospital. I wasn’t there so I don’t know and my sister is on vacation so I can’t ask her.

My hospital stay was scary and not much has changed but the staff was kind and I received 1 marriage proposal and 3 phone numbers (from patients) when I left. I’ll never let anyone talk me into or make me feel like I have to do it again. I didn’t hear my brother’s voice or anyone else’s the entire time I was there.

Thanks Everyone!

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THIS A TRUE STORY PART III~HOPEFULLY WITH A RESOLUTION

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My brother’s ex-wife was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in September of 2018. Their son took a sabbatical from college to come home and help care for her. My brother as usual showed no emotion, he got drunk and called family members late at night still complaining about a woman who was just told she had less than 6 months to live.

My brother managed to go to a Vocational School and learn computer programming which can pay well if you leave your political views, racial views, raunchy jokes and ego at the door. He never managed to do this for long. His jobs were always contracted for a specific amount of time, IF a company really liked him they could decide to hire him permanently. This happened maybe twice and eventually he would go out drinking with co-workers/bosses and say or do something inappropriate causing the company to let him go.

The Court forced him to pay child support for his 3 beautiful children that he hardly visited unless he needed something from the family. I understood his childhood and the pain he was constantly feeling but it didn’t give him the right to pass it down to his children. Me, being the coward I am, usually said nothing. I was dealing with my own issues at the time. I wish things had been different.

I honestly don’t know what kind of trouble my brother is in now. I can only guess that it must be bad. After what he put me and his family through I no longer care.

My best friend and her boyfriend started to drive by my Dad’s house (the one I’m living in until it’s sold and have lived in most of my life) they would see my Dad’s bedroom light on when I had closed off the upstairs. Late at night I would hear cars coming and going in front of the house and my brother’s voice. One night I heard him talking to his youngest daughter about an incident at a party I had no idea had happened. I was furious. She was facing felony charges. When I asked my twin sister about it she wanted to know how I found out about it. I told her once again that our half brother was coming and going on the property and into the basement. It’s an older house with baseboard heating all along the floor, you can hear everyone’s conversations, you always could. She still didn’t believe me and said I could’ve guessed. I became angry and said “Would I know that the drugs were fake and she was holding them for a guy she liked if I was just guessing?” She hung up on me.

By this time my brother knew she didn’t believe me so he didn’t bother whispering anymore and brought his new girlfriend with him. I was disgusted. They still hid, for what reason I have no idea. I know he was obsessed with the idea of how he thought he was treated by our Dad and the house being his “childhood home”. He was kicked out at 16/17 for drugs/alcohol/fighting/expulsion from school. He’s also obsessed with how other people see him. He will repeatedly brag about how much money he makes. He forgets to mention how much he loses.

I began to eat less, sleep less, and became afraid to use my own bathroom. The front door had always had problems but now it wasn’t locking at all. I’d had enough. My twin wondered why I wasn’t outside in the middle of the night chasing him and his friends to get evidence. Maybe because I’ve been beaten by drunk men on several occasions, maybe because I still hadn’t had time to grieve for the one person who understood me and loved me the way I am, or maybe she should’ve gotten off her ass and chased them into the dark woods with a camera herself. I called the police.

His size 13 footprints were all over the property along with empty little liquor bottles and cigarettes. The older officers knew exactly who he was and who he might be with but he wasn’t on the property then so they couldn’t do anything. They did barricade the basement door for me so he couldn’t get in that way anymore. I could hear him swearing later that night when he tried. I felt some of my old self start to come back.

Early the next morning I heard a female knocking on my neighbor’s door. Then my neighbor started swearing at her and asked her who she was and where she lived in the neighborhood. I had started sleeping downstairs when my Dad became sick so I could hear everything. I do not think I have Super Human Ears. I did have to hear for 2 people for over 10 years due to my Dad’s tinnitus. It made it difficult for him to be in public places and hear the TV so I was used to hearing for both of us.

My brother wanted to know what had happened the night before so I yelled (the loudest someone like me can yell) “I called the police moron! I’m sick of it! Get off my property now or a restraining order is next!”. Ten minutes later 3 trucks show up at the edge of the property to give the poor guy some moral support while I had to pack to go to an Extended Stay Hotel with a very frightened dog (my sister’s idea).

After 1 night at the Extended Stay my sister came and gave me an ultimatum.

Go to Butler Hospital for the “hallucinations” I was hearing or she would no longer have anything to do with me. She told me that I “ruined her entire life and was starting to ruin her marriage”, I wouldn’t be allowed to see my nephews either. She held all the cards and I was terrified. She dropped me off at the hospital entrance and drove away with my beautiful dog.

A lot of not great things happened in the hospital that I’m not ready to talk about yet. I did get proposed to 3 times and the patients kept thinking I was the staff.

The day after I was admitted onto the highest secured floor (automatic when someone calls ahead to tell them you’re hallucinating voices) my brother called my sister and asked if he could move into the house. He also asked where all the keys were.

I’m home now and don’t know where he is, I assume running after stealing his ex-wife’s Pancreatic Cancer Fund. She has less than 3 weeks left. He’s a great guy isn’t he?

Thank You Everyone


This Is A True Story- Part II

Where did I leave us? Oh, my brother.

My brother became a different person after that. He didn’t trust anyone, started smoking pot, drinking, and fighting. He also became a bully, fighting with everyone, especially our Dad. He was 13, 6 foot 3 and 200 pounds. My Mom was hospitalized twice during his teens due to all the verbal and physical fighting going on around us. The police knew exactly who my brother was and were called to the house often.

I never stood up to him, never told on him, I just tried to laugh and shrug it off. My twin had enough backbone for two people and did stand up to him, did fight back, and told our parents. This may be why he picked on her more.

He also insisted she was a lesbian, calling her horrendous names, after her marriage he switched to her husband. I’ve heard him be racist, sexist, homophobic, and an all around bastard. But I still remember the goodness that was once there.

I mentioned in a previous post that he had been giving me marijuana to help me sleep since my Dad passed away in January. What I didn’t know is that high levels of THC can and usually do cause psychosis in people diagnosed with Bipolar and Schizophrenia. I was a drinker and street smart but didn’t know too much about chronic marijuana use. I had only researched medical marijuana which is very different than what you would buy on the street or from “someone you know”.

I started hearing conversations that sounded like they were right outside my window or in the basement. They call these “Auditory Hallucinations”. I admit that I’ve had 1 visual hallucination due to a bad reaction to a new medication years ago but that’s it. These were voices I knew well and they were continuing like a soap opera or movie.

I talked to my twin sister about it, she believed it was the marijuana, grief, lack of sleep, and “my illness”. No one likes to say it out loud.

I was hearing my brother, his 2 daughters(mostly 1 of them), and a voice I didn’t recognize. The more I insisted he was coming and going and hiding it, the more my sister started to talk about hospitalization, something I fear more than anything.

She insisted on coming with me to my next appointment with my Psychiatrist. I didn’t argue with her. They decided I needed another medication added to what I was already taking, Risperdal.

MEDICATIONS: Viibryd, Adderall, Xanax, Risperdal, Topamax, Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride (Klonopin was switched out for the Xanax I don’t know why)

I had already stopped using marijuana after doing extensive research online and told my doctor this. I wasn’t happy about more meds but when they started discussing how involuntary commitment works I accepted it. Like I mentioned I’m not good at defending myself unless I’m continuously pushed into a corner. As someone who has experienced a considerable amount of physical abuse from various men, I’m frightened of all confrontation. It takes a lot to get me to defend myself. I gave the medication changes 1 month to see if anything changed. I didn’t know what outcome I was hoping for the most. My brain has hidden things from me before when I wasn’t able to deal with something, I also know my brother better than anyone else does.

I would be crushed and furious if I found out he had been squatting on the property or trying to find if my sister and I were planning to leave him out when our Dad’s house sells. If he had allowed and encouraged people to think I was hallucinating because of the grief, I’m not quite sure what I would do. His narcissism is endless. He never paid attention to what I did, never believed I’m an alcoholic (in remission), laughed at any mental health diagnosis, and always ran or ignored his own problems. I turned a blind eye when it came to a lot of the things he did.

Unfortunately things would get much, much, worse.

I know this is only my side of the story, being a bipolar sober alcoholic with other mental health and serious health issues makes my credibility a problem for some people. Mostly because they don’t really know me.

TO BE CONTINUED…………


This Is A True Story- Part I

My Dad passed away on my 46th birthday, January 11, 2019. He passed without leaving a Will or any instructions for what he wanted should he die. He did have a DNR and instructions for no feeding tubes. He was 112 pounds when he passed away.

Some of you may know how close I was to my Dad, for those that don’t I’ll tell you I never left home and he saved my life on more than one occasion.

I wasn’t diagnosed as Bipolar until I had already self-medicated with alcohol for a little over 20 years. My Dad did everything he could to help me maintain my sobriety. He took me to the movies when he would rather be outside, watched numerous TV shows he normally wouldn’t have, drove me to see the animals I love in a different state, whatever it took to make sure I was safe.

I decided years ago that I would take care of my parents for as long as I possibly could no matter what. I kept that promise with both of them.

My Dad did have to stay in a long term care facility for a few weeks at the end of his life. I had become Manic, over stressed, and couldn’t lift him any longer. He was 76 and Sepsis, a UTI and Pneumonia, had caused Dementia. None of us knew this could happen. Within 6 months the man I knew became a frail child. The man who fixed and collected antique clocks now didn’t understand the difference between 5p.m. and 5a.m. leaving me up all night as he tried to leave the house in the middle of the night.

My twin helped as much as she could. She’s married with two small children and has ME Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. My older brother lives in the next state over and worked a lot. (I should mention he’s my half brother and had a different father).

Growing up we were always told everything was to be split three ways if anything ever happened to my parents. He was the only Dad my brother had ever known and he was 7 when we were born so I never thought it would be a problem.

My brother and sister never got along. I was always close to him even though he had a tendency to push everyone away and was always in trouble. Drugs, alcohol, fighting, AWOL from the Military, a wife, kids, gambling their home away, jail, divorce, a lot of baggage and trauma to go around.

When I was little and had a nightmare it was my brother I went to first because our parents drank. I went with him on his paper route and watched wrestling and horror movies with him. To me he was my “cool” older brother, not so much to many other people I would find out in High School. It never stopped me from loving him.

My Dad’s Wake was uncomfortable to say the least. My sister hadn’t seen or spoken to our brother in 10 years. He had never met her children.

My twin is a difficult person to get along with and so is her husband. Once they make up their minds that’s it. I thought she would be a little more forgiving when our Dad died. Instead she felt out of control and the need to gain that control back took over.

She decided our Dad would basically be buried naked or with a “shroud” around him and a closed casket. I agreed with the closed casket because he was unrecognizable. She then had her husband first in the receiving line. I and many other people were not happy about this but my brother never said a word.

We had to get a lawyer because there was no Will and my Dad owned the house and land him and I were living in. The lawyer mentioned we didn’t have to give our brother anything because our Dad never adopted him. This was never the plan but I could see the wheels turning in my sister’s head. I put my foot down.

I didn’t know my brother had a lawyer of his own telling him the same thing at about the same time.

I feel the need to tell readers that my brother’s father committed suicide while my Mom was pregnant with him. His father was an alcoholic and his family had a history of mental health issues. It sounds like a bad movie but his father was seeing another woman who was also pregnant at the time of his death. My Mom’s brothers decided to tell my brother all of this at a young age without my Mom’s permission. My brother was devastated.

TO BE CONTINUED…….


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