December 19, 2013
I think I want to get out of here after the new year. I just don’t want to be around friends and family for Christmas. It would have been Valentina’s first Christmas.
Prior to coming here, I was practicing filtering and controlling my abilities and I was making good progress. But here, I’ve had to block all over again, because if I allowed the inner workings of the people here to enter into my psyche, then I will probably go insane. However, that was in the beginning. Now I’m learning to make it stronger than ever. I’m finding that if I focus on creating and maintaining a shield around me, I’m able to know more and more people’s thoughts and experiences, without it penetrating me. I understand what’s going on with them, know things, and the negative or unstable stuff just bounces off my shield. But whatever, just more boring shit to write in my journal.
Kristin drew this picture of me, but it doesn’t look anything like me. It says, “and the answer is in his knee.” hmmm
Then she drew this picture for Bogart, it’s a manic dragon. But he gave it to me because he doesn’t trust it. He thinks it might have some kind of energy that will make bad things happen in his life. He also doesn’t want to be manic anymore.
Then she gave me this poem. She’s pretty intense.
Regarding Bogart, on Tuesday I had an idea. First, I ruled out trying to talk to the doctors and staff on his behalf. I’m just a suicidal/homicidal/recovering substance abusing/sex addicted/depressed patient with PTSD who appreciates a decent latte. They would never listen to me, no matter how much sense my argument would make. If they’re pushing for shock therapy for Bogart, then they truly believe that’s the best next approach in terms of treatment for him. The first thing I needed was my cell phone, which the staff had.
I went to the staff/nurse station and asked if I could take it to my room to copy down all my contacts from my phone for the people I want to call. We get to make 10 minute phone calls almost whenever we want, but the calls are monitored in terms of frequency and time limit. They don’t want anyone monopolizing the one phone reserved for the patients. The nurse said it was great that I finally wanted to use the phone, that I felt like talking but I couldn’t have it in my room, I could sit outside the station. I said that it was a lot of numbers and I’d rather relax on my bed to do it since it will take some time. She said no. I was prepared for that, so I said ok whatever and sat down to do it. That was Bogart’s cue to come over and do his thing. He started talking to me, right by the nurse’s station, and barely took a moment for breath. Talking and talking and finally the staff told him to go into the common room. He said ok and left, but came back a minute later. This happened three times, and the third time he began talking ceaselessly to the staff, since they were right there. At that point, they caved and told me to just take the phone to my room, since they know he pretty much goes where I go.
Bogart and I went in there and I instructed him to be sure to shut the hell up. I also had to explain that nothing I was about to say was true, that it was all lies to get what he wants. I had to be certain that he wouldn’t believe the things I was about to say because it would probably make things worse for him if he did. Then I dialed *67 to block my number and called his mother. I told her I was Dr. Robert Keitel (as in Robert DeNiro and Harvey Keitel) and that I was calling from Greenfield Psychiatric, Experimental Unit. I said, “my job is to review the cases of patients whose treatment has not been successful. Many times the final alternative is electroconvulsive therapy, which is essentially inducing seizures. Repeated seizure can cause brain damage, I’m sure you know. Basically, the reason why I’m calling you, is to give you the opportunity to retract your initial agreement to use this treatment on your son Neil. If you do so, there are any number of alternatives we can recommend in order to better help Neil and to avoid permanent injury to his brain. If this brain damage occurs, the symptoms prior to convulsive therapy tend to be aggravated. Also, on the more manic and aggressive patients, their psychoses tend to become significantly more pronounced.”
After bullshitting my way through a series of questions about the alternatives and how I learned about Neil’s case, blah blah blah, I convinced her to call his doctor to cancel the treatments. She asked me what she should say to explain why she changed her mind. I said, “you don’t need to tell him you spoke with me, in fact, I’d rather you didn’t. Unfortunately in medical psychiatrics, it can often be run as a business, and in such cases as Neil’s, he would essentially be only a number. You see, they need to use this therapy on a certain number of patients per year and gain success from it, in order to uphold the standards of it’s treatment. For every failure they should have at least two successes. It’s really all about the insurance companies and, well, money, to be blatant about it. In other words, if you mention that you’ve spoken to me, then he might discourage you from following through with your new decision. Since we offer safer, more effective alternatives, we are sort of in an adverse position against the psychiatric profession. It could put some medical companies out of business. However, that’s your choice if you want to mention me, but you probably would regret doing so. What you can say is that you have rethought the matter and have chosen to do further research on the subject, and on alternatives, prior to agreeing to that therapy.”
Of course, I had no idea what I was talking about, but when you’re making shit up, it’s easy to make it sound good. All the while I was talking to her, Neil was pacing around the room with his hands over his mouth trying not to laugh or speak. He was very anxious and elated and in the most hyper and uncontained state. It was the greatest struggle I’ve ever seen anyone make just trying to be quiet.
When I got off the phone with her, he looked at me, I said she was going to call the doctor to cancel the treatments. He jumped across the room, almost freakin’ flew, and landed on me on the bed. He grabbed me and was squeezing me so I almost couldn’t breathe. Before I could push him away, he got up, grabbed my face, pointed directly at it, and said, “ya fuckin’ bugger! wot a mate! best I ever ‘ad! pure bloody genius! brilliant brilliant brilliant! cheers cheers cheers me Constable!”
Anyway, Bogart can’t say I didn’t try. Also, I don’t know much at all about psychiatric treatment, shock therapy, or Schizoaffective Disorder, so who knows whether or not the procedures would be best for him. I tend to trust doctors. The injustice only came in because he had no say in the matter. But there’s only so much I’m able to do to help him, which is pretty much along the lines of nothing at all.
Theme song for today’s journal entry “Flagpole Sitta” by Harvey Danger, which was actually my favorite song when I was about 9 or 10 years old, something like that.
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