Saturday, 14 April 2018

2017 was a difficult year; grateful for self esteem and to feel empowered

After waking this morning I was thinking how grateful I am to have self esteem, to know my worth, and to feel, and be, empowered to write, travel, speak out with confidence, stating an opinion, at 65yrs old/young, depending how you look at it.

2017 was very difficult (most years have been since 2012 locked seclusion room abuses Stratheden IPCU, thinking back) in particular the engagement with DClinPsy academics, the PhD withdrawal, being set up to fail after having expectations raised then dashed.  Academics said I could be a research fellow, could get a paid job as researcher, could be the first survivor Professor and so on.  Either wishful thinking or a windup.  None of that transpired and I was dumped by them all.  How cruel.

I'm not a mindreader so don't know what their intentions were, these well paid academics, compared to me on a basic state pension.  Whether they cared at all about my situation.  I have my doubts and think they are more concerned about their own positions and career.  Otherwise they would have done more to keep me onboard, engaged, supported in my action research into Safe Houses for Psychosis.  They said it was a good idea and should be done but when push came to shove they dropped me like a ton of bricks.

You/I really want a therapist or mentor or friend or advocate who will stick with you through thick and thin, put their money (power) where their mouth is, who will be faithful whatever the challenges and who will demonstrate congruence, loyality, honesty, straight speaking and reliability.  That's what I look for and aim for in my own practice.  

I'm glad that Psychiatry was wrong in their labelling of me with Schizoaffective Disorder in 2002 and that I was able to taper Risperidone, max dose Venlafaxine and 800mg/day Lithium to make a full recovery.  I'm also glad that in 2015/16 I was able to prove, by living it, that psychosis is a journey, a transition, an escape, useful and necessary, enjoyable when coming to terms with altered mind states, reasoning out any perceived threats.  

I befriended Attachment Theory Prof Gumley virtually when coming through this psychosis in 2015, didn't tell him my altered perceptions (eg insects, secret agents) at the time but I did involve him in my imaginary world, for his own benefit because of compassion, thought he had health issues or other stressors, following an engagement we had 25Jun15 after the Schizophrenia event at 50 George Square, Edinburgh.

I sang this song for Andrew Gumley in September 2015, also sharing it with my friend Peter Gordon.  And so I journeyed through another psychosis and was stronger for coming through the experience, avoiding psychiatric treatment.  It was enjoyable, emotional, spiritual, existential and painful.  

Prof Gumley hasn't been speaking to me since July 2017 and now has blocked me on twitter, which is fine, it's actually a relief.  I can let go of him as a friend.  The friendship was on my side and didn't require reciprocation.  The academic mentoring re PhD was a different relationship and should have been mutual but it didn't follow through and I was dumped by Schwannauer, Stenhouse and Gumley.  Then I was excluded from Glasgow DClinPsy by McLeod, Programme Director and have retreated from Edinburgh DClinPsy involvement, had enough of being marginalised and bullied, faced with misogyny. 

I've come to terms with being dumped, it's not as painful now when thinking of it.  Gillanders at Edinburgh DClinPsy had recommended Rosie Stenhouse for PhD after I asked him to be my supervisor.  But after deciding that Schwannauer and Stenhouse supervision wasn't working then no-one at Edinburgh would take me on.  I did ask Gumley and he agreed to supervise me but it wasn't viable, I had no funding guaranteed, so I gave up the PhD quest.  I didn't want to risk another round of hopes being dashed, being set up to fail.  There's a limit, I'm not Superwoman.

Now I'm actively researching Safe Houses for Psychosis on my own, self funded, aiming to gather information and stories, travelling to different places, within my budget.  New blog set up to gather and store findings, eventually aiming to write a report for presenting to Scottish Government.

link to blog

Off to Ireland on Wednesday, Dublin first (European Society for Research on Internet Interventions conference) then Belfast, back home on Sunday.  Then Cardiff, Wales, in May for Mental Health Today conference.  I've had a flu type virus affecting my throat and glands, fortunately it's retreating and I should make Ireland OK.  [update 26Apr18: didn't make Ireland, wasn't well enough]

I do feel let down by academics in respect of my Safe haven crisis House research, had expected more from them, so I will no doubt continue at times to complain, grump about their unfaithfulness and lack of solidarity.  Clinical Psychology trainees deserve the best of teaching and mentoring, from what I've had to go through I don't think they will be getting it.

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