I am attempting to write an articulate piece about urgent care. I’ve calmed down a little. I’m feeling guilty about trashing the RCMP, but not really. How does anyone get anything noticed if you don’t say anything?
Over the past three weeks, a lot of front-line workers have lacked the knowledge to recognize urgent mental health issues… In my opinion. Not just the RCMP.
My 10 ft angry mother is not pleased. How would you feel if it was your child, sister, mother?
The triage nurse at the mental health ward in Jubilee had security escort her out two weeks ago. Olivia was in full psychosis. She was having auditory hallucinations and threw her food tray. They put her out on the street. Literally. The RCMP. They have been at my house three times in the past week. Nothing was solved. (Well, I felt better after blasting them.) The receptionist at the walk-in clinic, who couldn’t wait 2 mins for me to grab her health card. Two minutes. It’s so frustrating.
My nosey neighbor from three doors down got a good show. I should tell her to read my blog if she wants the real story.
This is the time one says if she had a broken arm, she’d get taken to the hospital right away, Despite her age and mental health capacity.
Mental health is not something we can see. It’s invisible on the outside. It doesn’t bleed, it doesn’t split, it doesn’t need stitches. Because it’s something you can’t see, people suffer. A lot. No, she didn’t succumb to her suicide attempt a month ago. She regretted it immediately and went and had her charcoal milkshake, nevertheless, nobody tried to contact me.
The paramedics didn’t even get a chance to assess her. They were parked up the road waiting for the o.k from the cops. So the RCMP … (who last I checked are good at fighting crime not assessing patients) decided she didn’t need to talk to the paramedics. And again she is 23. And stubborn. I mean I just don’t understand. She was obviously not ok.
My darling child can be charming, and quite convincing… apparently, even when she is spiraling about a conspiracy against her, and clutching random papers to her chest. Her evidence.
She gave the officers the whole story. They must have known… no?
I was asked to wait outside.
All I had to do, was look into her eyes. It’s so hard when your child reaches the age of adult but can’t actually make rational decisions. And you have to stand by and rely on some 25-year-old white kid from around the corner to make the decision for you. I really don’t mean to be so disrespectful. Langford is picture-perfect, and most of my dealings with the RCMP have been positive. They helped me so much getting Rae out of my life. I mean it’s the system, right? But I also think the system needs some tweaking.
To be clear, she still has not physically seen a Dr. yet. A month… a month since she started showing crisis symptoms. And no medication actually prescribed to her. For a month I’ve been trying to figure something out for her. I am the one who has figured out immediate care. I am the one who decided to give her my insomnia medication, to make sure she sleeps, I am the one who has explained to every support person and Dr. what was going on, looking for suggestions. I am the one who is trying to make sure she doesn’t go down the drain with her intrusive, racing thoughts. I am the one who is taking her on four-hour walks so she’s exhausted, and doesn’t have the energy to think. This may be obvious care for a mom, but I am not a nurse, dr, or licensed health care person in any way. It’s scary man, and it’s hard!
The RCMP’s last suggestion? Basically wait for her to commit a crime, get a charge, and be arrested. Great, let me give her back her computer so she can continue to alienate herself from all her friends on social media. Maybe one of them will call the police, and you guys can come out here again. Not the ideal ‘last straw’.
So now what?
*A little housekeeping here, my blog content moving forward is for 19 years and up. To protect myself and my family, I will be adding a membership login to this part of my site. Your support means a lot to me and thank you 🙂
So it’s close to midnight am I am just going over my day. Recollecting one’s thoughts…as we do.
In the past three weeks I have;
Had her speak with my Dr, telephone appointment.
Gotten referrals set up for a mental health intake assessment – for this week.
Got her on a schedule, for sleep and food. – For some this may be hard to believe, I need sleep as well. I also unfortunately don’t have restraints on her bed to force her into submission…(oops I mean sleep.)
Nor do I have any actual prescription medication to give her. Ya, that Benadryl really does the fucking trick. (I being sarcastic.)
Removed her phone and computer many, many times.
Unplugged the internet. That’s so great. That’s been really helpful to my younger daughter, online school, friends, entertainment, distraction, and all. (fuck off.)
Today we have;
Called the paramedics twice and the RCMP (they are always first.)
The RCMP has acknowledged – she is delusional and very unwell. Awesome help me, get her into the hospital.
Nope, nothing they can do because she is 23 and is refusing to go to the hospital.
So I’m lying in bed fully clothed waiting for the next fit to take hold so I can spring into action.
Her dad is sleeping outside the house in his truck.
The stupidest thing I heard today? “you know her sleep is really important..” – RCMP officer
Ohhhhh…Is that before or after I peel her off of the recycling bin she has climbed up on while screaming in a manic state? Or is it when she’s done telling me about the hackers that are listening and watching every word. Hmmm, maybe it’s after she verbally assaults and spits venom at us, her parents?
Yea, thanks Pillsbury doughboy. Fuck off and go suck an egg, you useless twat.
Run back to Langford and direct some traffic, you Ass Hat. Go live a fucking life.
Next time you try to offer to advise in your condescending tone. Consider this, have you ever actually left Vancouver Island? Have you ever actually worked a fucking shift in tent city?? Do you know anything…about mental illness??? Fuck you.
Go home and eat some more vanilla ice cream and lose the fucking hair gel, before I punch you in the fucking neck.
I love the spring. I love watching it come alive.
I went for a walk this morning, it was so nice to move. Lately, I’ve had a thing about leaving the house. I have a touch of agoraphobia.
“Mom, you can’t just have a touch,” says Jackie thrusting her phone in my general direction. “It’s hereditary…read this, plus Granny had it.” Jackie, my younger, intellectual GEN Z daughter declared after medic googling this morning. Thank-you Jackie.
I can’t imagine the person I used to be. I’d just jump in my massive truck and burn up and down the highway, hair and cigarettes flying. Not just the Pat Bay, Trans Canada, the 401, 416. With no problem every day for years. The person I am now? Hell no. The world is a totally different place now. One so very virtual, I’ve always done labor jobs, so I’m not so sure where I fit in. I am teaching myself skills so I can work online from home. I am honing them nicely.
My friends say “you have done so much” … I guess I have. But I don’t really think of it that way. I have reinvented myself more than once I guess. I have lived a fun life. I just applied for a job that requires a kind of background check. As a joke, my sister asked if I had passed. As a kid, I stole from the corner store, hid people in my closet, snuck the car out. Once in my teens, a girlfriend had a stolen credit card and we went shopping…straight to le Chateau for cute outfits. She was fearless and got a big old diamond ring. I wonder what happened to her? I remember seeing her on Geroldo Rivera ten years later, I don’t remember the details but was absolutely impressed and not at all surprised that she had made it onto his show.
One of my old hairdressing clients reached out to me yesterday, as a hairdresser I could relate to so many people. Hairdressing was good training for my practitioner license in the interpersonal human relationships field. I’m kinda badass now that I have both.
My little Liv.
My oldest daughter has moved home with me for a bit. She is creative, funny, smart, and very beautiful. She is also, in sharp contrast, very uncomfortable in her own skin. Twenty-three now must be a totally different place than it was for me. For one thing, I was married, for another, I did not get a cell phone until I was 32. Cell phones were around but not in any capacity as they are today…social media is so insidious.
It took me a week to get her here. She was living on the mainland. I asked her to come home more than once over the last month. The first two or three days she was here, she was manic…I mean so worked up she would not stop talking. She talked and talked and talked. She did yoga, for 36 hrs straight. She wouldn’t sleep and would spiral into self-hatred, fits of rage and tears soon to follow.
She has moved in and out of my home more than a few times. We have had our issues like any mother-daughter. I feel a lot of blame towards me coming from her, and pain and frustration at herself. She is very angry with herself. She’s so angry at the world. She finds it hard to listen and finds it hard to take accountability…I guess to make sense of the life that she can’t make sense of.
She and I have been doing a lot of therapy over the past two weeks. She’s come to realize a few things. She realizes that she feels invisible. And that she wants validity from people that will never give it to her. Last summer she was diagnosed with BPD, I’m not sure I understand or agree with that. Once when she was being what I thought was particularly irrational, I told her she was behaving just like my sister Dani. This “acting out”… is so much more than one’s personality or “throwing tantrums”. She may be bipolar- and I think we need to find a better therapist than she has seen. The symptoms are scary and familiar.
Dani was my first best friend. We did everything together when we were growing up. She is a hippy through and through, I love her to death. After a few years of not looking after her health- she was diagnosed as bipolar. Looking back, I remember very clearly her manic episodes when we were growing up. Anger, deep depression, and creative highs, filled with music. No sleep makes Dani a genius. She can sing any song, play any instrument she picks up, and write a song. Dani was not diagnosed till later in life and misunderstood. Just like I feel Liv is sometimes. She and Olivia were very close until about 10 years ago. Dani and I lost the closeness of our relationship. I really want it back. I think it happened in the confusion of our grief and addiction when my mother died. We were all a mess. She was on pills and smoking weed, I was drunk and high all of the time.
Dani and I loved our weed when we were teens, Olivia loves her weed as well. There is a lot of concern and blame from our family about Livs choice to smoke weed. Some research shows that weed and psychosis go hand in hand with adolescence. I have been reading about it to see what I can learn. The best defense is education when it comes to fighting for your own health care, right? Otherwise, it will slip through. I have read alternative studies that claim weed doesn’t have any long-term effects and after stopping use, any issues generally clear up. I am undecided about it yet until I read more.
The issue at hand is finding something that will actually work for Liv, like the individual she is. I have so much faith in her, if I taught her anything it’s to be strong when you need to be.
I met Rae in a bar after I had just finished a really emotional breakup with my husband. It was during my divorced party girl phase. He was beautiful. He had perfect teeth and a perfect body. He liked to party, but would never admit it. We were both heavy drinkers at that time and continued to be during our 9-year relationship. I was never head over heels in love with Rae, but we were good party buddies. He was a complete pothead and drank a 26er of Bacardi a couple of times a week. The salon was busier than ever, and I was partying hard.
My perception of him when we first met was that he was not the smartest guy, but handsome, kind, and quiet. In reality, he was a jealous, vain person and he never got any smarter.
He had a grandiose fantasy that he was this huge, Latino rap star. And he took it sooooo seriously..helping him take a photo was an ordeal. When we had sex, he would never look me in the eye. He would watch me, but when I looked at his face, he would look away, with no emotion in his eyes. Shark eyes.
Processing my last experience with him is a little like trying to move through the stone wall that’s built out front of my house. Without hands. A lot of pushing and shoving. Peter pan asks me where do I stop digging. I guess now. When I admit how much it has affected me.
He played many narcissistic mind games and would accuse me of the same. To the point where I thought, I was crazy. I used to get these really intense physical reactions when he was with me, he was suffocating. My chest would get really tight and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. We often had fights about my friends and family, he would try to isolate me from them. This particular fight was about my oldest daughter moving back to BC. He did not want her here, not just the house, the province. He shouted at me, and told me she was using me, and to not talk to her. During this fight he was standing over me, lecturing really intensely. He told me to not get up from the chair, I did not…I remember verbally disagreeing. Fuck….who knows. I was scared. I was physically paralyzed with fear, although at the time I did not realize it.
We broke up and got back together several times. This would be the same pattern over and over again for 9 years, I’d break up with him then get sucked back in with his stupid accent and his love bombing. Once I moved without telling him. He found me. During our last breakup, I left the province and did not ask him to come. Again, found me. Until finally, the abuse got so bad the RCMP was involved and he was arrested. He was escorted out of the house and sent packing back to whence he came. I have these really intense questions around it, how did I get there? Why did I keep going back? How did I let it get to that? My family was shocked, I had hidden all of it so well.
I haven’t seen Rae since that day, but it sticks with me. Sometimes I hear the things he used to say to me in my head. I hear it in his voice. I know I’m not done talking about him, but I’m done for now.
I love a juicy memoir!! Caitlin Elizabeth Marnell is an American writer and socialite based in New York City. She was a beauty editor at Conde Nast, wrote a column for vice and now offers alternate lifestyle advice on Patreon. How To Murder Your Life is a very fun read. It’s also really relatable. She describes growing up in an affluent lifestyle in upper New York State, who became addicted to Adderall as a teenager then moved into the life of “party girl” in NYC. She tells the story of a pretty serious poly addict. Stimulants are really her drug of choice, but she did it all. Codependency, enabling and the lonely chaos that goes along with addiction.