When I asked for copies of my notes several years later they stated that I was sexually naïve citing the incident where I had tried to get into bed with the male patient and my promiscuous behaviour. They did not mention the rape I reported.
These experiences of lack of understanding and safeguarding against sexual violence and exploitation were repeated with greater severity when I later spent time in a high security hospital.
This inpatient experience also did very little to help me manage the risk I presented to myself. The response to risk was ‘all or nothing’ rather than graduated and responsive to how I was feeling. Generally, my harming behaviour was viewed as attention seeking and so to be managed totally by me. As if by providing me with any boundaries or protection by giving me attention would encourage and reward my bad behaviour. Alternatively, my behaviour was so extreme that control was taken totally away from me. This shows no understanding of me as a damaged child. It is very confusing and unfair to be inconsistently treated as a child when you should be intellectually respected as an adult and expected to respond as an adult when you feel emotionally like a small child. A good parent will protect a toddler having a tantrum from harm even if they feel they are being manipulated.
It also mirrors the way my mother treated me like an adult as a small child expecting me to support her with her own difficulties and treats me like a child when I have asked for support as an adult.
It encouraged me to think that I needed to escalate my behaviour to be heard and to have my distress taken seriously.
After spending nine months on an acute ward I went to a therapeutic community for a year. I was hopeful that this would be an opportunity to gain some insight into why I was as I was and move forward with my life.
Continued in Part 5.
Written by Anonymous