I think this may be one of those posts on depression I talked about, I’m not sure, I’ll just write and see what happens.
It’s been a funny day- as in not at all amusing in any way shape or form and in fact nothing funny has happened so I’m not sure I can qualify that summing-up. It just feels funny. I’m sure there are many pathological explanations for this- a shift in mood state, the inevitable come-down after a period of elevation, the fact I stopped taking the dreaded lithium on Sunday night? It’s not my area of expertise so I’ll stop speculating.
I’ve had a hard week, again, nothing particularly difficult has happened (especially when you contrast this week with the past 3) and I haven’t actually done anything or been anywhere.
Monday- a social worker from the local children and families team came to carry out an assessment in light of the 3 “child at risk concerns” from the police following my behaviour over recent weeks and contact from the ninja CPN. The assessment was a gruelling affair and ultimately felt like a lynching. I had it all under control for around 45 minutes until the ninja CPN arrived (45 minutes late) and in my words “painted me as a total loony” in her words “told the truth”. Either way the assessment went on too long and I lost it towards the end, partly due to nicotine withdrawal, partly due to being talked about as though I wasn’t in the room and partly due to the social workers insistence on informing me that there may have to be a child protection investigation.
The social worker herself was patronising and clearly had little understanding of mental health. I know I’m not the best mother in the world and I know I don’t always try my hardest but to have to sit and listen to a complete stranger tell me just how badly I was failing was very difficult indeed.
Of course maybe she never implied that at all? I have noticed this week that every interaction I have had with the ninja CPN where I mention something someone else has said, she insists on me recounting it verbatim so that she can point out where I am misinterpreting things, employing magical thinking or just fabricating things. I can’t even trust my own thoughts and impressions any more. I feel stupid, childish and powerless.
I am not surprised or ashamed that my family has come to the attention of social services; I’d be more surprised if we hadn’t. My argument against their involvement is simply that they have nothing appropriate to offer. I was also more than a little annoyed that suddenly they were intruding on our lives when in all the time the 17 year old lived here and his autism wreaked heartbreak and havoc on us all they never offered a service, in spite of being asked. What my family needs in order to function properly is for me to be well- thinly veiled threats about child protection measures aren’t going to help me achieve this. The social worker wants to come back- well at least I think she does, I received a letter addressed to me and the 6 year old, making an appointment to visit the 6 year old and someone else who doesn’t even exist. Clearly just an admin error and my rage over it is no doubt my own fault for being difficult and misinterpreting things but it pissed me off anyway.
I assume the appointment is to see the 6 year old and the 14 year old again. The 14 year old is largely unimpressed with the social worker, her opening gambit of “I know it’s not easy being different, well some people like to be different- like Lady Gaga” sealed her fate with the 14 year old. The 14 year old is a wonderful creature, intelligent, engaging and probably the funniest person I know. She may be a little “old for her years” at times but she can spot a patronising bastard a mile away. I don’t disagree that the 14 year old would benefit from some emotional support, after all if I had cancer others would be falling over themselves to ensure she was ok, I’m just not sure that social services are equipped to offer her the kind of support she needs.
So the intervention of social services has me hell-bent on proving that their services are no longer required, maybe that’s the way it works?
Tuesday- the Fab Therapist visited me at home, she was impressed by my apparent fineness given the horror stories she had been told by other “team members” since our last interaction some 6 weeks ago. I don’t think we talked about much, I’m not really sure but we can’t have done as I don’t recall having a meltdown after she left. It was kind of her to circumnavigate my avoidance by visiting me at home and I expect our next appointment in 4 weeks will only have me moderately filled with dread and fear as opposed to having dread and fear seep out of every pore like usual.
This brings me to the realisation I’ve been generating this week- mental health professionals cannot make me better. I have a great “team” (that makes me want to vomit) an Awesome Psychiatrist, Fab Therapist, Wonderful GP, Lovely Dietitian, Fantastic ninja CPN and even an ok-ish community based psychiatrist (promoted from “dickhead” after he didn’t put up a fight against my discharge from the local bin last Thursday). They are all very knowledgeable, compassionate people that work very hard but there are no magic wands.
At the end of every appointment, at the end of every day, I am alone with the mental.
Part of my problem is I don’t know where I am or what I should be doing. Am I ill? Am I recovering? Am I all better now? Should I be taking it easy? Should I be trying harder? I simply don’t know. The last few weeks have been a kind of perpetual crisis and I knew what I had to do then, I had to fight, fight against the horror that is admission to the psych ward, fight against the intrinsic death that is psychotropic medication. I won both of those fights- my prize?
I’m still mental.
This evening I find myself back to struggling to find the will to live. I am aware I have very few coping strategies for times of “distress” (that also makes me want to vomit) so I’ve had a quick look on some websites to find out how other people do it. I’m still none the wiser. Yes sure I can sit here, in my corner and name all the colours I can see but that won’t help sort out the mess that is tax credits, it won’t help me be able to put up with the simultaneous noise from the TV, the DS and the 6 year old when he is here, it won’t help me be able to sit and enjoy a film and some mother-daughter bonding time with the 14 year old, it won’t get the school uniforms washed, dried and ironed in time for school on Monday, it won’t help me get back to work, it won’t pay the mortgage, it won’t cut the grass or fix the bathroom…..I could go on. When your life is a catastrophe, it’s very easy to catastrophise.
Wednesday- I have no idea what, if anything happened on Wednesday- oh yes, I wrote my last blog post and sure enough as I said in reply to one comment I am still as lost and clueless as I was when I wrote it.
Thursday- again, nothing happened that I can recall but in truth it’s therefore not impossible that there was a zombie apocalypse or a plague of sharks or something, my recall of events is sketchy at best.
Friday- AKA today. Well I think I’ve outlined above where I am today, I’m not sure even if I read it back I will have any idea. I think I’m back at the “must get a grip” stage, I have a to-do list for tomorrow- it has one item on it-
Get washed and dressed
In all honesty that will be a major achievement, wish me luck.