Philosophy of The Big Society

David Cameron gets to be God!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

What makes you happy? ... it's some kind of sick joke

Ha! Ha!

Am laughing before I even start this posting and that is due to the irony of it all.

The title was prompted by a question posed to me yesterday and followed on from another meeting about Dad's care. This one was a CPA review but they all seem the same, with the end results being not much of any use.

I lost it. I don't know exactly why I lost it when I did but I really lost it. It wasn't long into the meeting. Dad was sitting there, looking all withered and small and saying how nothing has changed and he still feels so bad and he was crying.

Prior to the meeting, I had intented to keep schtum and that is because only a week ago Dad was saying how he felt bullied into things (not quite sure what things because he doesn't do much???)....I didn't want to be part of any bullying.

However, I think it was the futility of it all. Sitting there, with Dad and 5 MH/Social Care professionals, and the shrink turned to me and said "have you anything to say?". At that point I burst into tears and couldn't stop crying so I excused myself and left the room.

The crying continued. I tried to gather myself. I tried to think what I could contribute, what point to any of it and I couldn't think of anything and then more crying.

A couple of members of staff passed me and asked if I was okay. I said "Yes". What point saying "No"? There is sometimes nothing that can be done when what could be done hasn't been done already.

I remember staring out a window and seeing a tree swaying in the wind and thinking "If only I was like a tree" but I am not. I can't bend with the winds and change direction as maybe I order to protect my foundation, stop the boughs breaking. I don't know how and anyway, I am a human being and a seriously compromised one at that.

So the meeting ended and Dad was ushered out by staff. First thing that happens is he comes up and tells me he has agreed to have ECT and I cry again. He asks if I am upset by that. It is way beyond that for me. I say I can't talk about it. His support worker says that is something Dad and me can discuss at home. I don't want to discuss it at home. I had to get away so I made apologies for not being able to contain myself and went outside.

This is where the title becomes more relevant....His social worker (whom had told us previously she had signed Dad off but turned up at the meeting) came outside and offered me a ciggy. I duly took it and then she asked me why my heart is breaking and what would make me happy. I couldn't answer...I didn't know what to say.

She asked if winning the lottery or going on a world cruise would make me happy.?????????????????

I said all I wanted was peace and quiet. She then said that if I wasn't careful it would be me having a breakdown!!!! If I wasn't careful!!! How can I be any more careful? Perhaps if services cared more Dad would be getting better support and I would be able to be a bit more carefree rather than careful. I have had it up to here (points to ceiling) with being careful!!!

I think she clocked that the pep talk wasn't having desired effect and headed off.

Fekk knows how much later I went back and found Dad sitting with his support worker. I asked if they could ring a taxi and Dad told me he loved me. I told him I loved him.

I cried all the way home in the taxi. I know that didn't do Dad any favours but I couldn't stop myself.

As we got out of the car, the taxi driver, whom I know from previous taxi trips, commented that I didn't seem happy today. 10 out of 10 for observation! I said that it wasn't my best day and he told me to try to be happy. I said "Thanks"..another irrelevant comment that allowed me to escape without more compromise.

Dad stayed with me for a few hours. We were mostly quiet. We went for a walk to the local shops (I needed movement and nicotine)...Dad needed groceries.

He did tell me that they have put him on a waiting list for more sheltered accommodation. That sums up what our lives have become. His life particularly, with me entrenched in it somewhere.

He asked me if I was happy with that. No! I am not happy with that (how could I be when he is so fucking miserable and it is all relentless?) but I said that it is about what makes him comfortable and if he is comfortable then I am okay with that. Just like the ECT. Whatever he thinks, or hopes, can help him is okay with me.

As a friend said "There can be no such thing as responsiblity when there is no power" and that is how it is.

And what would actually make me happier (cos I think happiness is transient rather than a static state of being) is for Dad to be safe, to have some kind of social interaction (outside of me and MH professionals)that suits him, some sense of value in himself and for me to be able to breath without worrying so much about him. It doesn't seem much to ask for but it is.

Happiness my arse!


  1. Hi Mandy
    Bunch of bastards aren't they ? Especially the bleedin social worker, what a complete arsewipe !!! I can't believe people (well yes I can actually !)and 'professionals' at that can come out with such utter tripe ! I hate all idiots who come up with cliches such as 'be happy', 'smile' and any other crap comment that is supposed to cure all ills once it's been said.Makes me want to shout 'ffs get reeeeeaaaalllll !!!'.There now, I am annoyed by proxy ! Wish I could come up to yours and ram several long, blunt items up their arses , but then I guess they'd barely notice what with all the other long , blunt items left by others !
    Take care sweetie as always (not meant as a cliche !)
    Love Sis xxx

  2. Sending you a big hug.

    What makes me happy? Swimming in mountains miles from help?

    I can't believe your bunch off eejits.

    Ditto blunt objects.

    Take care D xx

    and don't forget there's always the sod who tries to push the corners of your mouth up while braying "Smile!" - Violence is the only just and fitting response.

  3. Hello Kipper.

    That is the best piece of writing I've seen for ages. You and what you were feeling come through with moving immediacy. You certainly got to me.

    You moved me so much I've copied the text and would like to paste it in PPlog to give it a bit more exposure (my PPlog entries also automatically go straight onto my facebook page).

    It's a pity it can't be published more widely because it says so much more about professional ineptitude that all the academic articles in the world.

    I think you are simply wonderful.



  4. darling mandy

    so sorry for not having been in touch though I have benn following your indefatigable att empts to get some sort of decent care for your dad and yourself, i have to swear FUCK THEM.

    my heart goes out to you. will try and ring you so i hope the phone ringing doesn't make matters worse. ever so many hugs
    lots of love

  5. I thought that was an incredible post too. The way you turned the irony of the situation into such an empathetic piece of prose, Mandy, you have a gift. I don't understand the sheer stupidity and mediocracy of those who are supposedly trained in the field of mind and emotion. You are more of a tree than you think. An oak I reckon. The one that stands above all others and puts them in the shade. Deep roots that hold it firm in the shallow ground.

    Hmm? Maybe if you won the lottery it would fund some decent private care! You could put two fingers up to that tactless moron for starters. I'm so sorry this is how you are treated.

    Sending a great big hug. CC x

  6. Hi Sis

    Annoyance by of my pre-occupations :>)

    Will try and buzz you at some point but at present struggling (not just with Dad stuff) as have been put on new migraine medication and it makes me feel even more depressed and a bit too pukey.

    I didn't check the leaflet until this afternoon (took it last night) because didn't want to neurotically induce symptoms but side effects can include:

    Headaches (ha! ha!), mood swings, depression, nausea, dizzy spells and asthma attacks!!!!

    And it is a definate No No to take it with Lithium so that is something else to discuss at my double appointment with the new GP.

    She is lovely but I sense she doesn't read up on what she prescribes before she prescribes it. Do any of them? I sometimes wonder. Being objece they can't know everything about what they prescribe but something that affects the mood given to a Bipolar is not a good starting point.

    Can sense me giving up on this new lot of meds by the weekend and ringing on Monday and asking for prescription of Maxalt which does the job without making me miserable and icky.

    Is okay I still have lozees. Phewee!

    Hope to catch up soon


  7. Thanks for the hug D

    I like hugs :>)

    Blunt objects. Perhaps I need to stick one in me handbag and take it along to any future meetings although I feel disinclined to attend any more.

    The present issue is around ECT. The MH team think it is okay for Dad to taxi to and from ECT sessions???

    Have spoken with Dad and so "No way, Dad". What if you feel really bad after. A taxi driver isn't trained to deal with that.

    I think an ambulance is more appropriate and when his care co-ordinator bothers to ring me back I will be saying that is what is needed..along with a care professional who can keep an eye on him.

    I think the new slogan for MH Services should be "Why bother wasting time with patients? just botch it and go!"

    Enjoy that swim, when you get to the mountains.


  8. Hi Mike

    You can do whatever you think is appropriate with my posting and with my blessing.

    Re: my last posting on your blog, I wasn't up to watching the documentary on Britain's Lost Children but imagine it made for sad viewing.

    Take care there x

  9. Hi Margaret

    If only I could 'Fuck Them....(off somewhere very far away. The problem is they won't leave me alone and when they do it means they are leaving Dad in the lurch and he then rings me when problems arise...which I understand cos he hasn't got anyone else helping him.

    My ex box has suggested I take legal action. Hmph! In that their negligence is aggrevating my illness. I think the problem with that would be that the NHS legal departments are very sneaky (and well paid for being so) and would doubtless make me out to be some bastard..the sort of bastard that expects MH staff to carry out their 'Duty of Care' properly. Shame on me!!!!


  10. Thanks CC

    I don't feel like an Oak at present but there are times when I have enough energy and savvy to keep on fighting.

    From comments here is clear that others know the score and that is heartening to me. That I am not alone in my struggles or alone knowing that services are not providing the right care. Is what to do about it that is the problem because there is no accountability anymore...only rubbish paperwork.

    As well as legal action, I thought where would be the most appropriate place to get support (in regards to protecting my needs and Dad's) and there isn't anywhere anymore. The advocacy service I used before was only interested in procedures being followed not about whether the care was appropriate.

    We need an advocacy service with real powers and the balls to use them.

    Anyway, for now it isn't to be and so is back to sedation city for me.

    Hugs back to you xxx