It’s so hard to see systems fail. My father is a doctor and he works incredibly hard for others every single day. He does shifts in emergency and often left when I was a child to deliver babies in the middle of the night. It is hard to blame people for lack of care because the truth is that our health workers mostly do care but are over worked. I have an understanding of health systems because I grew up with parents who's fields were this. I understand more about these workings than you may realize and I really genuinely know how hard these people are working for us.
But that DOES NOT make it ok that my voice and feeling as though I could not live any longer wasn’t taken seriously when I went to emergency feeling the most suicidal I have ever felt. The doctor that saw me at the Comox Valley Hospital didn’t think it was appropriate to take off his brewery hoodie that advocated drinking beer, something my abuser did chronically; but I shouldn't even have to go there you guys. He is the doctor they have sent to be in care of my life, where was his shirt and that stuff the brain needs to see to feel ok and heard and comforted when you are in a hospital? What the doctor proceeded to do was talk very so-so to me. What I mean by this is that its not like he looked into my eyes and asked genuinely how I was. He just strolled out got some Ativan saying this should do it and that if I wanted I could come back in the morning and talk to the Phsychiatric nurse or Psychologist after they came from the prison shift then I could. I have been to so many therapists and this isn’t what we need to be offered. We need deep care and nourishment and patience. Not to be put at the end of some prison line up. After what felt like some weird horrible clip from a movie I went home and proceeded to cut my legs 365 times over the following week. How was I supposed to justify over 2000 episodes of abuse. I didn’t know how to justify my emotional pain and trauma that seemed so insignificant to others. Even a trained medical professional didn’t think my state was worthy of any more than three minutes of his time. I didn't know how to hold on, how to not die, the Ativan most defiantly wasn't enough. Somehow, physically marking a year on my body made me able to mentally rationalize the full extent of the abuse. This was horrible for my husband but for me it was less horrible than
a) dying or
b) suffering from dreams where my adult brother abuses adult me. The abuse, it doesn’t stop you see. Cutting myself was the safest and easiest and most gentle option for me. It offered release that my body desperately needed to cope.
Do you think if I had already cut myself at the hospital and had to peel back the bloody bandages I was hiding from my husband that the doctor would have taken me more seriously? Or do you think he would have said meh, here have some Ativan, go home and sleep, you will hopefully feel better tomorrow.
Because I didn’t have a “plan” this was a key factor in his analysis and deciding my urgency. The way I see it there are people that have plans for suicide and then there are people that truly try their hardest to go on and on and on and on living with the most horrible truths and pain. We would go until we die because letting go isn’t an option when you have so much at stake. Because I am able to somehow keep standing and rising and able to think intellectually enough to take me to the hospital when I feel like I cannot draw another breath. Just because I have a split of me that knows how to deeply care and nourish the broken part of me. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be taken seriously. Shouldn’t be worthy of a simple conversation about how I feel.
Thats right I waited for three hours and the doctor didn’t want to know why I was even there. He said that it was someone else’s job to do that and ironically they didn’t exist within the premises at this time. Truly, honestly doctor. I know you are working hard. But look at me, try to listen to me, I am totally broken and I can’t go on. If you asked me I would tell you that I just remembered that my brother violently abused me over 2190 times and that I care so much about the numbers because I am trying so desperately to understand. Don’t you see I need more than just Ativan? Please doctor! My family doctor is out of town for ten days and I have a family of my own to care for. I cannot wait that long to see a doctor and get more care, please see my truth, my urgency.
But because he failed to do this for me I am going to go on facing this feeling again and again and I can’t come back here because what would it be for? For the same means to an end? that seems to be to get me out of emergency as fast as possible. I am a very smart 31 year old woman and I WOULD NOT BRING MYSELF TO EMERGENCY SAYING I WAS SUICIDAL IF I WASN'T FUCKING SERIOUS. GOT IT? That is bullshit. This is where I call bullshit. Where else was I supposed to go? Where am I supposed to go next time I feel like this because the hospital and emergency system have proven they do not care? You can’t go to your therapist because they have boundaries and their profession means they can’t actually see you outside of appointment hours which usually have to be booked weeks in advance. All they do is ask basic factual questions to ensure their professionalism is maintained. Who cares about the girl in the car crying outside my clinic wanting to talk. as long is she tells me “no” she is not going to kill her self she will be ok. Haha. Seriously? I reach all the way out for help and you word it so I can’t get any real and true empathy? And make me protect you along the way. Wow. What is one to do when they truly are feeling suicidal, to the point that they can’t even tell their own husband why they have to go to emergency or he might try to stop it but deep down this individual knows what they needed to do.
What is one to do now? I will tell you because I have been there.
You get the fuck back up and you fight, and the next day you do the same fucking thing. The day after that you use all of your might to phone every therapist in town. When you can’t find anyone to take you on this week you fall again but you know what you have to do. So you GET BACK UP! Again and again and AGAIN. And if the only person that reaches back out to you is a heart coach and not a trained therapist you take the life line. You grab it with the last ounce of your strength and you hold on. Even though your family will want you to see someone more qualified you take that opportuinity because it could be your last one. Go, ON, TAKE IT! Because at the other end you might finally find someone who cares, the brightest light. They help you so much and make you see truth you never thought you could. They finally say "I am here with you in the darkness and I won’t let go." And they turn up week after week. Appearing in the same chair, waiting for me, as if I actually mean something to them. Me, this broken individual who doesn't need false care restricted by professional boundaries but who needs genuine human care. For the first time I received that. If you keep going you will find the light I promise.
Thank-You Carly, you have no idea what a truly blessed and honourable human you are. I hope you get to know to absolute worth one day. You are the biggest blessing. Waiting to get into a clinical psychologist could take three months, I am still waiting for a phone call from my doctor. I don’t personally want to go but my family wants me to so I will do that for them. Going to a heart coach means I can have four hours of therapy a week for an affordable price instead of it costing $500. My husband also has to go to therapy which costs $110 and that is just one hour we can only afford this once a month. So that’s this truth today. When you see the light again after being so low you wanted your life to dissolve away. So low that the only thing keeping you holding on were these three faces with these three boundless hearts. My boys. Just their images so deeply ingrained in me means I will live forever for they gave me the biggest gift. They gave my heart something to hold on to. They are why I am here to write these words and I will rise everyday until eternity for them.