Day 2 on the psych ward

I’d really, really like to shave my armpits. It’s amazing how fast that hair grows. I can deal with the spidery legs, but the armpits make me feel grim.

I noticed this because I had a bath tonight. I had a bath because the shower in my room doesn’t work and can’t be fixed for several days. This morning I tried to have a wash in the basin. It has no plug (not sure what the safety concern is there) and as I ran water it became apparent that the previous occupant of this room had used it as an ash tray. All these soggy dog ends floated up into the sink and made me want to throw up. The staff said they couldn’t do anything about it, so I had to fish all that skank out myself with my fingers and try not to vomit.

So I asked permission to use the communal bath and a nurse unlocked it for me. I was actually enjoying getting clean after about 4 unwashed days. It was somewhat spoiled when I noted this big smear of blood and hair stuck to the outside of the tub.

Conclusion: It is just gross here. Everything is grotty and dirty. Now that I am sobering up, I am noticing it more and more. There are blood stains on my duvet. The skirting board has blood on it. The inside of the toilet is yellowy brown. The furniture in the lounge has all kinds of filthy, crusty marks. It’s just vile.

Here’s a photo of the sofa I sat on earlier this evening:

And they wonder why I don’t want to eat the food.

Anyway, aside from the hygiene, there is no therapy either. Everything is geared towards people who are not functioning at all. The agenda includes cooking classes, talks about mouth health (i.e. Why you should brush your teeth) and how to look for a job. I’m not sure why I am here, apart from to be kept physically safe from myself. It’s not a healing environment.

Today I was asked to fill in a questionnaire about what I need as a care plan. Here’s a pic:

It seemed so pointless. There is not really any actual therapy. Not one person has checked in with me and asked how I am. I tried to end my life on Wednesday, and haven’t had a chance to talk about that with a single person. I think if you’re not kicking off or starting a fight in here then they just leave you to it. I feel very ignored and unimportant. Nobody from the staff is interested in how I am. That’s fair enough, they have to prioritise. But I could really do with someone to help me process this. I wish I could talk it through with J, but I think it’s unlikely I am going to see her while I’m in here. That feels tough.

Here’s a short but entertaining anecdote from today. There’s the standard ‘guy that looks like Jesus’ here. You know every psych ward has one, they have long hair and beards, no shoes and exclusively wear hospital pyjamas that fall down all the time. This one got chatting to me this morning, and told me he understands how tough it must be for me to be transgender and part of the older generation (I’m neither). He then congratulated me on my homosexuality and recommended I listen to The Cure if I want to feel better.

I’m going to sign off now. A nurse has just got disproportionately annoyed with me because I don’t want any toast. FML.


11 Comments Add yours

  1. DV says:

    Ew! It sounds awful in there, and like you say, really pointless when there is not even an opportunity to talk things through.
    On the plus side – you have the most awesome taste in socks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura says:

      Haha thank you. No matter how shit things are, I do always make an effort with my socks!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. La Quemada says:

    Yuck, I can’t believe they can get away with it being so filthy there. Aren’t they violating some kind of health standards?!?

    And no therapy? How can they call this a hospital? Aren’t you supposed to get treatment in a hospital?

    I’m so sorry, Laura. Please hang in there. It’s got to change, right? After the weekend, maybe?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura says:

      I guess all hospitals are a bit grotty. And maybe I’m a snob because my last admission was in a private place where they gave you fresh sheets and towels every day…
      I think their idea of treatment is preventing me from harming myself. They made me a care plan, which just says ‘Laura is to learn coping strategies’. Because I’ve not been trying to do that in therapy for three years already!


      1. M.J.Neely says:

        “I think their idea of treatment is preventing me from harming myself. ” – if your NHS, which it looks like you are, this is basically the purpose of an admission following an attempt.

        Could you approach your named nurse to chat? maybe at the start of the shift, approach them and say you’d like to have a chat when they can. They ought to be able to accommodate this, and if you approach them at the start of the shift before they’re bogged down in tasks and notes, your chances of having a chat to process everything are higher.

        Hope you feel more settled soon. x

        Liked by 1 person

      2. M.J.Neely says:

        i just saw the date on this post. Hope your’e managing ok since. x

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Laura says:

        Thank you for your input, I felt better as soon as I got out of there. I’ve been getting stronger over the past few weeks, so I’m cautiously optimistic that things are starting to change. Laura

        Liked by 1 person

  3. lettersofhopefromthesoul says:

    Hey! You don’t know me but your blog post from today made me realize how awesome you are, and answered my question as to if I can blog while committed. Not trying to push my blog on you but I would love to hear your thoughts. Hang in there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura says:

      Thanks for getting in touch. I’d say if you have the means, it’s great to write when in treatment. I actually started journalling last time I was hospitalised and it really helped me process all that was happening and keep in contact with the outside world. Will be good to read how you’re getting on. Good luck x


  4. I had exactly the same problems when I spent time in an acute unit. It was filthy and smelly everywhere. Someone had smeared faeces all over the only female toilet and shower. When I told one of the support workers this fact, he told me to ‘go to the relaxation class’. Lol. Literally acute units are disgusting, I’m really glad you’re publicising this and taking photos I wish I had done that. When I’m fully recovered my number 1 goal is to campaign about shit like this.

    Being in hospital is vile and I really hope you get out soon. For me I found being in there for a while was the shock I needed not to hurt myself and that lasted me a solid 8 months… But I get that’s easier said than done when you’re down (understatement but sometimes words are a bit useless in these situations). Sending good vibes. Xxx ps sorry to just barge in, I only started following your blog a week or 2 ago but I just wanted to share a bit of solidarity and say, I remember all of how gross this was, I’m so sorry you’re in it, and I hope you’ll be back with family soon. X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura says:

      Thanks for the solidarity and for sharing your experience. That sounds way worse than here. Glad you’re not in there anymore x

      Liked by 1 person

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