Tag: Outpatients

Facing Giants

After the saga that was my ‘peer mentoring’ (dis)appointment I didn’t do too great. On the day I posted my blog I ended up being semi-dragged into the walk in at the Community Mental Health Team office. I expected the worst, “WHY ARE YOU WASTING OUR TIME?!”, and all the other phrases I have become accustomed to.

But it didn’t come. I took one of my support workers and just talked for a bit. I expressed my concerns about having a care co-ordinator who is under the illusion that I am just a disobediant child and how everything felt very hopeless. It was the CPN from the previous meeting and she listened carefully and said she would take it to the Multi Disciplinary Team again the following day.

My phone eventually rang mid afternoon on Friday. I was told that a change of Care Co-Ordinator had been granted and my CCO was now the CPN I had seen as a walk-in. I was over the moon, this CPN had understood me so much better. I cried with relief.

My first appointment with… (time to think of a pseudonym)… Esther… was this afternoon and it went really well. We played the facade of ‘who sits where’ that always comes with a patient and worker entering one of those small white room for the first time; our positions yet to be molded by therapeutic routine. I took the high backed seat nearest the door and hoped dearly that my choice wouldn’t be psychoanalysed. We talked about my moods and how they are erratic and the ‘base work’ that needs to be done whilst I am on the enormous waiting list for therapy. Things like emotional understanding, trigger recognition, crisis prevention and so on. Generally the aim is that I will feel better for a bit before therapy churns everything up again but I should be able to deal with it. We didn’t pick up anything heavy other than the very background details of my trauma. Esther noted down a few of my questions so that she can ask the psychology team. She also reiterated that she will be having supervision from the psychologists following our sessions to make sure she is doing the right things to help me. Again with the complex case stuff: cringe.

It might be my ‘exaggerated moods’ but I feel super happy. Like everything is going to turn out fine. The lions den wasn’t as scary as I feared. The lion has been replaced by Esther the domesticated moggy!

I felt this picture fitted well. Mél and Noodle properly met each other for the first time yesterday. Of course at first I took err on the side of caution- holding Noods back, just in case. Both girls were amazingly brave. Soon Noodle was stretched out with her head on my knee, Mél perching in her ball pocketed between her back legs and stomach. They were both looking up at the TV and the scene was too adorable to not capture. It made me think about my CMHT situation and how sometimes the scariest situations can go smoothly. I’m not complaining that the end of this story is anti-climatic. I don’t think I could have taken another plot twist!

Appointment Disappointment in Rising Water

My transfer between children and adult services has been somewhat… Rough.

Adult service’s attitude seems completely different to CAMHS. Where CAMHS tell you to build trust and seek help AMHS want you to fight it out alone.

The first and second meetings I had with adult services felt like boxing matches which I was losing. The CCO I had been assigned seemed to hold the “just get on with it” approach. She seemed to be making assumptions based on my diagnosies and it felt like I was being repeatedly beaten around the head. She disapproved with the crisis plan I had formed over my year as a CAMHS inpatient (that worked) and told my carers not to follow it. This was so harmful and took work on my part to convince carers that what she was suggesting wasn’t in my best interest. My words were twisted and when I asked for the meeting to end I was told that it wasn’t up to me and so she continued. My carers were told to treat my symptoms like bad behaviour to show me that my actions have consequences. In essence to treat me like a naughty child. For the next month I felt like I couldn’t trust anybody.

If you still have destructive behaviours then you are deemed too high risk to have psychological therapy. In fact you need to be at least six months harm free for any therapy at all. It’s a weird in-between world where I am too well to be in hospital but too sick to be in therapy. The interim? Work with the CCO who I have no trust in.

My third meeting was much more positive as it was with just the psychiatrist and another CPN. They suggested my previous encounters with my CCO may be due to her ‘not having full information’ – AKA not reading my notes. It’s a good job she isn’t a surgeon if she sees patients without fully reading notes! She ‘may have jumped in at the deep end’ without knowing how (their word) ‘complex’ my case is. This would explain her approach, but the intial meetings have still destroyed my trust in her and the service as a whole. The meeting with the psychiatrist and other CCO went well but one of the outcomes is that I have to have ‘peer mentoring’ (where another worker observes a session) with my CCO before I can change worker.

That news made me edgy to say the least and I lost a lot of sleep and sanity waiting for the appointment. I’ve been struggling a bit lately and I find it frustrating that rather than changing worker and beginning therapeutic work right away I have to jump through this hoop. I suppose they have to make sure patients give workers a fair chance, but I can’t see me getting much out of sessions with her. The nature of BPD is that trust is hard to find and very fragile: once it’s gone it’s gone. My trust for most things these days is in the vacuum cleaner because it was making the floor dusty.

The day of the meeting came, yesterday, and my carers got a phone call to cancel. I’ve been having mini-crisises all week but the build up had been excruciating and for it to be cancelled at the last minute with no idea when it would be rescheduled… A fuse blew.

I just need to start getting help. My carers are slowly gaining understanding and I just  have to try to trust them to look after me rather than bottling it up and going to pieces alone for fear of them not being able to cope with me. I desperately need positive experiences with AMHS because at the moment I’m like a bottle factory with a flood.