Edit November 2020: The following describes my experiences in the local mental health team I was referred to after leaving the Mother & Baby Unit. This was under a different Trust and they were NOT a specialist perinatal team. Although very negative, I share because it is a huge part of the inspiration behind setting up self-care matters.
Kindness is free.
I spent this weekend writing a huge exposé on my last mental health team, who in my opinion were beyond dreadful & I literally feel lucky to have made it out alive.
They gave me a therapist who unbeknown to me was on her training course and had never done it before, she destabilised me completely, then denied it but rather than deal with it & help me, the Trust covered it up & blamed me for a year- e.g. I was told it was my fault for needing the therapy in the first place. I was accused of having a personal vendetta against the therapist. I was repeatedly told off for remaining destabilised instead of “letting it go” and “moving forwards”. I repeatedly had to explain I WAS NOT ABLE to let it go as I was experiencing horrific symptoms. However it is written in my notes that I have personality issues and not real symptoms. I even had to confirm I hadn’t experienced “false memories” during the therapy. I was repeatedly ignored & stonewalled with “no comment”. A different therapist was withheld from me for a whole year. I believe that was so the Trust could try and sweep it under the carpet. In the meantime staff were passive aggressive on visits & suicidal intent was ignored & written in notes as fake, manipulative & attention seeking. My anxiety was described as “contrived and for attention” and my CPN said to my face I was like a “wriggly worm” and that “it’s not my job to deal with your traumas”. I complained & as a result the Trust withdrew my entire secondary care package & I was discharged by text message. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, but you get the picture…. on the plus side it brought me to a place where I finally realised I wasn’t that bad a human being after all & that I could do a better job of showing care & compassion to others than them! So that’s how self-care matters was born: it may only be a few hearts, herbal tea bags, a little website & an occasional blog- but I’ve learned that all the qualifications in the world mean nothing if you lack basic human compassion.
I woke up today and decided I wasn’t going to post the full exposé yet, as this particular Trust has proven itself to have no scruples and I’m sure would go for defamation rather than take any responsibility.
So just for now, I’ll save sharing what happened during the therapy session that took the therapist THREE hours to complete. I’ll save sharing the exact details of the bullying & victim blaming I was forced to endure as a result. And I’ll see how writing this affects my access to “care” now & in the future before sharing the farcical complaints procedure & the several pieces of “misinformation” I was given all the way to the top.
Instead I’m going to concentrate on the positives instead. Mental health hearts have made it to people struggling with their mental health up & down the country, plus a very amazing little girl has just asked me to send them to her to distribute in the USA, which I will post off this week. I am happy again, my family are happy, and nothing else really matters. I’ve been lucky enough to have connected with loads of people who have shared their own mental health experiences with me and I feel more supported & connected than ever.
This blog was originally posted on my self-care matters Facebook page. It received a lot of comments which you can read on there.