Pretty tired. Exhausted in fact. It’s been a long, emotional day.
The beach rage faded away to fear then to tears when I got to the Day Hospital which is an old nineteen thirtiesish primary school converted to a weird mix of state nursing home, lunatic asylum and comfy armchairs, warm glow lamps and free tea.
The very nice man (really, I have to talk to a man about this shit?) first showed me into a common room where a group of people sat around a round table having some sort of morning break and chatting. When I glimpsed them I nearly weed myself – this is a group thing? Panic. I sat down, fighting tears and the urge to run. Do I pick up a section from “The Sunday Times” and leaf through it or do I join in? Am I part of this group? Are they staff or fellow crazies? That’s the tricky part about fruitcakes like me, sometimes we look just like everyone else.
Thankfully the nice, softly spoken man rescued me. When I say “rescued” I really mean he dragged me kicking to his therapy room (well just weeping and he didn’t drag, he just asked me to follow him) where he grilled me for an hour and a half about everything from my diet to my childhood relationships to my degree subjects and on to my medical history. That poor man got thirty four years of Eastenders plot lines in the time he could have watched an episode of “Sherlock”.
The long lost “Where are you on a scale of 1 -10?” conundrum resurfaced as did all the drama of how this all kicked off in September. Remember A&E? Yeah, me neither.
When I sat down I genuinely thought a woman would come talk to me. I felt threatened by being alone in a room with a man I didn’t know. Ha, that’s funny, sure aren’t I always chasing men? But he sat too. I honestly thought, no, I can’t. I have to get out. I can’t do it. I can’t talk about all this again. And that’s part of my issue I with the Mental Health Services in Ireland : there are too many strands. I’ve had to tell my story to too many people in too many places over too many months.
And here I was again. But this time the questions were more direct. Categorised. Organised. Childhood; Physical Health (I’m sure he mentioned reproductive health – which now strikes me as a bit odd); Social; Educational; he even asked me my religion – have a guess darlin’, I grew up in rural Ireland in the eighties and my name is Irish: non-practising, wholly repulsed by the Church and its views on women, marriage, abuse and sexuality Catholic. He also asked me had I always been a feminist. Good question. I guess I was a feminist before I knew what a feminist was. Or before it was first a dirty word and then a trendy one.
He sure got a lot of detail.
I used all his tissues.
When I hear myself saying what I think, what I feel, the stuff that I’ve done, the things that have happened and I verbalise the shit in my head – for it can only be described as faecal matter lodged in the bowel of my brain (which reminds me of an Ob/Gyn from a couple of years back when I had rupturing ovarian cysts who said it could be just that I had lodged faeces in my very lower abdomen/groin area when I presented to him with unbearable pain and vomiting. I think I’d know if I was constipated and needed a good dose of liver salts doctor. I wonder did he ever see the photo of my twisted ovary post-laparoscopy and the scar tissue from the bursting boils of puss inside me? Shove that up your arse, you MALE GYNAECOLOGIST! There’s an oxymoron I just don’t get).
Anyway, my time was up and I offered to buy a new box of tissues after apologising profusely for taking up so much of his time. He was the one asking you all the questions, holding you against your will in that interrogation room, you silly bitch! Stop saying sorry for everything.
Which leads me to an email I had to send which made me cringe from head to toe with self mortification.
To the Dublin RCC
This is a hard email to write. Can’t quite bring myself to call.
I’ve been going to Pieta House since October and I’m seeing Dr. Blah Blah at Baggot Street Psychiatry Out Patients and I had a preliminary session with Glenmalure Day Hospital today.
On their advice I am contacting you in relation to an incident that happened when I was 16, I am now 34. I realise that is a long time ago but it seems to be only coming to a head in my psychological state now.
I know there are women who are much worse than me but I am struggling and would really appreciate if I could call in some day.
Many thanks and sorry for adding to your workload.
I seem to have lost the nice but I wrote about my Uncle Tom Selleck, cottage pie and being ok this afternoon and this evening.
Remember please Google a helpline if you are struggling or need to talk. I am finding it easier to write than to talk to my family and friends at length about the whole mess. I prefer to spend my time with them being normal. You might find writing helps too. But please talk to someone.
Much love 💋