My doctor said she would listen to me and include me in their decision to discharge me. Apparently they hadn’t made the decision yet. But somewhere amongst all the calls to Lifeline, ambulance calls, police calls, hospital admissions and hate letters I’ve written to them it seems like they’ve made their decision to discharge me. They probably made it before that appointment when they started talking about discharge. At the end of the day they will do what they like to me and the many others they “help”. They will replace me with another client and move on with their miserable lives while mine is destroyed. I wrote a letter telling them they can go fuck themselves. Then I called my case worker and begged him not to discharge me.
“This is destroying my life and my dad’s life” I told him. “Dad is crying, I am crying. Dad says if I kill myself he couldn’t live without me and would kill himself too. All I’m asking is to see you once a month. It’s not a big ask. You can put an end to this.”
“It would be unprofessional to make a decision and then go back on it,” he said.
“No it’s not,” I said. “What would be unprofessional is to discharge me from a service I need!”
“It’s not just my decision but a team decision,” my case worker said. “If you don’t like it you can appeal to my mangers Darren and Karen and the mental health commissioner.”
“You know there’s nothing I can do!” I screamed at him. “You’re just going to leave me like this.”
“We ask that you comply with the discharge plan and decide how you want to use the last few months.”
“I FUCKING HATE YOU. I WISH I’D NEVER MET YOU! YOU’VE DESTOYED MY LIFE!” I screamed.
“If you keep screaming at me I’ll have to hang up,” he threatened.
There were long silences as I was in shock over what I was hearing. His tone was ice cold. Calm under pressure in a way that’s not even human. That is what I’ve come to expect from these people. They act like they care but soon you will see how apathetic they really are to you. They have no emotional investment in you, it is just a job to them. Foolish games, as Jewel sings. Her song could be our anthem: “Always felt I was outside looking in on you… Excuse me, think I’ve mistaken you for somebody else. Somebody who gave a damn, somebody more like myself…. In case you failed to notice, in case you failed to see, this is my heart bleedin’ before you, this is me down on my knees. These foolish games are tearing me apart. And your thoughtless words are breakin’ my heart.”
“You’ve been well for a long time,” he informs me.
I felt gaslit by him. I always felt he was the one person in the world who got me, but not anymore. It was only a few months ago they had the cops chasing me trying to throw me in the loony bin as they thought I was manic and psychotic. I don’t know if what they’re doing now is retaliation for escaping them. I don’t know what’s worse: abuse (forced treatment), or neglect (abandoning me when I need them). He has let me down so much lately and minimised my pain. One time after I left the clinic I was found by a member of the public catatonic on the nature strip. I lay there unable to get up or speak. The man called an ambulance. I should have been taken to hospital, but my case worker came out of the clinic and intervened in the process. He told them I had “Borderline Personality Disorder” and he was not concerned about my mental health. As a result I was sent home to suffer alone.
“I’ve had a couple of weeks where I was not suicidal and not in crisis constantly, but I’m far from well,” I told him. “You’re just taking whatever opportunity you can to get rid of me! You just want to get rid of me!” I wailed as I paced up and down.
Needless to say, it wasn’t the nicest phone call. Thankfully my NDIS worker arrived shortly so I had someone to debrief with. I jumped up and down screaming and crying.
Not many people will understand why this is so traumatic for me. It’s not like I’ve lost a family member, partner or a friend. But that’s what it feels like. He was like a friend to me. I shared everything with him. I love him. I’ve seen him every fortnight for years and it’s been the highlight of my weeks, getting me dressed and out of the house. He has seen me through so much. He is the closest person in my life. I don’t have the same emotional intimacy and sense of safety with anyone else. All my life I have been alone and misunderstood because of my autism and mental health difficulties, told I am rude or have an attitude problem. I have not had friends due to being bullied and moving all the time. My family is broken. I have been sexually assaulted. It has been, and still is, an extremely impoverished life. And when you are not fed love on a silver spoon, you learn to lick it off knives, Lauren Eden wrote. I just have always longed for someone who will be kind to me, who will respect me, take an interest in me, care for me and understand me. I have lost so many people and the trauma cumulates. It rolls into one gigantic ball of fire, burning you alive. I’d rather die than go through this again. I can’t take this. I have nightmares about it, and the worst part is that it’s not over when you wake up. You wake up and find it’s really happening. It’s not just a nightmare. Your entire life is a nightmare. I also have dreams about my final years of high school where I put so much pressure on myself to achieve. It was one test after another. What the two things have in common is that they have both pushed me to my absolute limits. I managed to keep up my grades, but I have been only just keeping my head above water for a long, long time. It was unavoidable that I would reach a point where I just can’t do it anymore. And maybe this would surprise the people and teachers who knew me back in high school. No one would have expected that their school dux would end up unemployed and on social security, but here I am. I have finally sunk. I have dropped out of life. I have dropped out of study. I have dropped out of work. And I sit on a hospital bed writing this.
My dad is fighting the discharge plan for me. I hope he succeeds, but I am not confident that anything will change their minds. It reminds me of so many environmental campaigns I’ve been involved with. It’s like the No McDonalds in Tecoma campaign. No matter how hard we as a community fought, two bureaucrats at VCAT who had never even visited the area approved the development. McDonalds demolished a beautiful, much loved Indian restaurant with views to the mountains to build another ugly fast food chain, and there was nothing we could do but watch. This world is fucked up. What I hate the most is how these organisations get away without a scratch. I would love nothing more than revenge. I want to kill myself and have the ombertsman find my clinic responsible. But I can’t do that to my dad. I must do everything I can to fight these urges.
If I only have a few months left with my case worker, I think I’d rather just end it now. It is like being on death row. I don’t want to live in fear for months. I don’t want to get any closer to my case worker. I don’t want to suffer anticipatory grief for ages, like I did with my first therapist, engaging in self-injury after every appointment. I just want to get it over with, like ripping off the stickers the hospital put on you when they do an ECG. If you pull them off slowly it hurts. You just got to rip them off.
All I wanted was somebody to stay.