My alternates write and post while I think I’m asleep.
This still causes a sense of remorse and shame.
I try to comfort myself by saying, most people don’t care.
But I care.
Fear of bigots who do cruel things to people with mental illnesses
and justify their cruelty with cheap platitudes.
They’re everywhere including the Behavioral Health System at Kaiser.
One of my alternates responds to the implied blame in certain
platitudes with rage:
“This hurts me more than it does you”
“If they stayed in their place this wouldn’t happen.”
“People should be with their own kind.“
“If you tried harder you could work!”
“All you have to do is change how you think!”
The corpses of people tortured into their graves while
their tormentors shamed them with cheap platitudes
litter the World’s graveyards.
“Work Makes Free” was the wisdom at the gates of Auschwitz
What triggered me this time?
Last Thursday I arrived at Kaiser Facility to begin a 12 Week
course: Managing the symptoms of Complex Post Traumatic
I had called on Monday to verify the schedule at the request of
When I checked in the receptionist said I was not scheduled to begin
the course until January of next year.
I felt the angry one surface:
“That’s stupid!” He said. “That’s like having a broken leg and being told to come back in six months to have it set. Who do I talk to?”
The receptionist left a message with the therapist who runs the schedule and got me
into the group.
Switching that fast is always a big deal.
It is a visceral defense mechanism automatically activated as part of the flight or fight response.
In my case, the response is fight.
But a result of being chronically “activated” is that I have a low threshold for panic attacks.
When I reached the waiting room, I could hear my heart pounding.
I sat down and other patients began to arrive for the 4pm group.
One woman was using them as an inducement to leaving her home.
She only left her house to come to Kaiser.
At 4:30PM, there were five of us waiting for the group to start.
Someone went up to reception and discovered that the group was cancelled.
No one on the staff had bothered to tell the five patients who had arrived early
and were anxiously waiting for the group to begin,
Kaiser cancelled an important treatment group because the group leader
was sick and the Kaiser Department of Behavioral Health is so understaffed
there was no one to take her place.
This was the trigger that resulted in lost time this weekend.
It is my job to manage my illness and I take responsibility when I screw up.
I’m not saying that Kaiser is responsible for my behavior during a trigger response.
I am always responsible for what I say and do.
And I am working toward the day when my emotions will stop having minds of their own.
To do that I will need a treatment provider that wants to treat serious mental illness
and that cares enough about its patients to offer a fully staffed department of
(C) Rob Goldstein 2014