Early this week there was a meeting with Richard the head psychiatrist (who is filling in for Nuala, the usual psychiatrist), my parents and I about the proposed discharge from the mental health service I’ve been with for years. The meeting was in response to a letter my dad wrote. I was dreading the meeting and wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to attend as my anxiety was just too debilitating. I knew if they insisted on discharging me in 6 months time I would not be able to hear it. The meeting, however, was even worse than I was expecting. Not only would they not back down about discharge, they announced they’re changing my case worker (Jordan) who I love and have been working with for years. They think the relationship has become unhealthy, that I idealise him and am even romantically attracted to him. While some of this is true, I don’t believe it warrants ripping apart the relationship and the trauma this brings. I once told my very first therapist that I was romantically attracted to her and she didn’t discharge me. These things can be worked through. When spoken about, they can be incredibly healing and facilitate greater self-exploration. I couldn’t believe someone who didn’t even know me had the nerve to waltz in and completely destabilise my world. As an autistic person, I do not like even the smallest of changes. And as someone with BPD and Complex PTSD, I need consistency in my relationships. I am extremely attached to Jordan. He is my “favourite person”. Losing him feels like losing a limb. I walked out of the meeting and tore apart the waiting room. Screaming and crying I ripped down their pamphlets about schizophrenia, drug abuse, mental illness etc. and threw them on the floor like confetti. I then picked up a chair and tried to throw it through the window but someone stopped me. An announcement was called and the police came. Apparently my parents heard it from the meeting room and asked the doctor “So what are you going to do now? Are you going to organise a hospital admission?” His response? “I’m not going to give her a hospital admission just because she is having a tantrum.”

Thankfully there were some kind staff who did arrange a hospital admission for me. I had to have some covid tests and wait for the results before I was allowed in the ward though. I was left waiting three hours because they botched up the tests! So much for a crisis admission! I lay outside the ward in the heat with a chainsaw in the background. I screamed and cried. People walked on past and ignored me. It was one of the worst days of my life. I truly believed that hell existed and I was in it. I didn’t know what I’d done to deserve this life. I kept expecting to wake up and find it was all a terrible nightmare, but sadly it was not. My dad dropped me at the hospital, drove home, picked up some belongings and returned and I still hadn’t been admitted. I was screaming and banging my head on a poll. None of the nurses came to check on me, and our only line of communication was a speaker in the wall. It was distressing for my dad to watch. He pressed the button multiple times until someone answered and told the nurse that if no one comes out then he will call for an ambulance. Finally, someone came out and spoke with me.

I was finally admitted. The nurses didn’t like me screaming in the ward. One nurse refused to help me and left me in my room all alone in my pain. Other nurses gave me lorazepam, which was like taking down a ferocious dragon with a toothpick. Nothing could take away my distress. I tried calling my case worker Jordan but I don’t think he’s allowed to speak to me now. I am taken back to many previous traumas, such as the time I was not allowed to play with friends in prep anymore because of some slander a friend’s mother spread about me (I wrote about this in ‘An invisible scar’). I grieve Jordan. I wish we met under different circumstances. I wish we grew up together, two five-year-olds flying a kite on a bright green grassy hill. This would be our special place.

I was discharged today and have been very flat all day. Then tonight I got talking with my dad about an abusive letter I wrote to Jordan and Nuala a few weeks back. My dad thought that this is why Jordan is no longer my case worker. He said Jordan probably showed the letter to his manager and the acting psychiatrist who then decided to take me off his caseload to protect him. I was overcome with shame and regret. I felt this was all my fault. I just wanted all of this to be over. I wanted to be hit by a train and die instantly. So I left the house and headed for the traintracks. “Hurt” by Johnny Cash could have been my anthem:

“What have I become

My sweetest friend?

Everyone I know

Goes away in the end

And you could have it all

My empire of dirt

I will let you down

I will make you hurt”

About half way there my dad found me and stopped me. I don’t know what would have happened if he didn’t. We walked together for a bit and then returned home. I then wrote an apology letter to Nuala and Jordan.

Now I’m just waiting for Nuala to return at the end of the month. I hope she will do the decent thing by me and reinstate Jordan as my case worker and drop the discharge threat. She had told me before that she would listen to me and wouldn’t discharge me when I’m not ready. But I know at the end of the day I am at their mercy and they do what they like to people. Still, she is a lot better than the psychiatrist I met at the meeting on Monday. He is like Umbridge from Harry Potter; there is not an ounce of compassion in him. My mum has written a complaint about him and we are waiting to hear back. I may not have close friends or Jordan but I do have my parents who will go into bat for me and that is something to be grateful for. I haven’t lost everything, even though it feels like it. But still it was such a shock to have them change my case manager. Only a few days ago I spoke with Jordan on the phone and he said he’d see me soon. I still have the appointment card he gave me for our next appointment on the 23rd. Maybe this decision is a shock for him as well. I still can’t believe how one person can waltz in and destroy what is left of my life like this. Like a tree, my relationship with my case worker has taken years to grow, and just in the short course Richard has been acting psychiatrist, it has been culled.