That was my general impression when I went to Poland during my first psychotic episode in 2017. There were things happening to me that were really strange but made me feel safe – which is exactly the opposite of patients experience during psychosis. I could talk about it for a bit but to make long story short I’ll just give you one example and we can always come back to it later.
My flight was on 7th of September and a few days later I went to town with mum, so possibly it was like 12th? I was still psychotic. I used to have a saving bank account there, one without a card so if I wanted to check my balance or withdraw money I had to go to the bank. So on that day I went to that bank with mum and I remembered how much money I should have, which wasn’t loads but would let me live there for good couple of weeks.
The bank clerk wrote something on a piece of paper and gave it to me. I had a look and it stated 23.09 which would be around 5 pounds, much less that I was expecting. But I didn’t freak out as I got that idea that the bank is giving me deadline. I had to do something by 23rd. I just didn’t know what the deadline is for. I felt that I had to work it out. I said thank you and walked away.
There were things happening after that too. I remember that strange meeting in the council where staff involved was behaving so out of character that I knew, even though I was psychotic, that wasn’t normal. There were loads of things… oh well, I was meant to just say one. But I’ll give you a couple more. When I was trying to book my ticket, in the morning on the 7th of September, neither Ryanair no EasyJet website let me do it but they both had the same error. That was really strange. So I went to Polish Airlines Lot website and again, I couldn’t buy any other ticket but only premium economy flight to Warsaw. Warsaw is their closest airport to my family home but I used to travel to places further away before, stay there for a bit and then go home on a bus or train. That’s what I wanted to do on that day as well but the website didn’t give me any other options. It was like if someone predicted what I may want to do and knew I’m about to start hallucinating so they wanted to send me straight home.
As I said there was more of these things. Anyway, let’s go back to my bank balance. I was thinking for a few days about what the bank wants me to do and finally, while still somehow psychotic, I came up with that explanation: the bank wants me to go to psychiatrist because what’s happening to me is not normal. I then started pursuing my mum to take me there.
As I started recovering those things stopped happening but I couldn’t shake off the feeling that it happened for real. I know that people in psychosis have those ideas that they’re being monitored but they find it frightening. I found it supportive and helpful. I then came up with explanation that after I started complaining to my diagnostician, Oriana Morrison-Clarke, about my situation in Home Group, she put me on safeguarding and was monitoring me. Anyway, as I recovered I stopped thinking about it and accepted it must have been all in my head. I mean the airlines websites didn’t work properly due to unrelated issues, the staff from my bank made an error and the people in the council were behaving strangely because they saw I was being strange.
But now, for a little bit already, probably less than a year, I have the same impression, although not so intensified. For example my psychiatric nurse has such a strange first name and a surname that it sounds to me like it’s been made up. Why? So that if I go to see her or call and ask receptionist about her, everyone knows that it’s that lady who’s being monitored. Last year I was in touch with a guy from my mental health partnership trust and I asked him about it. I mean, I was sure he won’t tell me the truth if that’s the case but I wanted to observe his reaction. At first he said in his email that he doesn’t know my nurse and later on he wrote ‘I can confirm that FirstName Surname is on her birth certificate’. So he didn’t know her, yet he knew what was on her birth certificate? Does that make any sense? It felt like he was saying no but hinting yes. Which is probably what neurotyoical people do in a conversation where they can’t say things directly.
And now, what happened was, I received 3 separate emails from my mum’s care home with invoces for her meds. And every email contained the same sentence ‘invoices to pay for things that were being brought to her before she passed away’. So that means she was sick. But the staff yesterday said that she passed away peacefully? But they also said that she ate her supper as normal at 6pm and died around half an hour later. But when they called me it was like 6.03pm in Poland. So it was like they were hinting that it happened earlier.
And now those three emails. Things were being brought to mum before she passed away so that means she was sick. No one writes three emails with the same content, that’s not normal. And yet they are there. One email would mean mum was ill. Two she was quite ill. Three means she was really ill. That’s how I understand it.
The last couple of days I felt really strange. I was in some kind of trance that I thought happened because I was focusing on writing posts about sexuality, but at times I almost felt like I was being haunted. Like if someone was calling me from far away. Who knows, maybe it was my mum, wanting to spend her last days with me by her side? How do we know it’s not possible? Maybe the fact that I had two psychotic episodes made me more open for those signals? That feeling went away yesterday around lunchtime I think.
It’s so strange now that I have to deal with everything by myself. My brother is there but he won’t do anything. At first I wanted to arrange funeral as soon as possible, now I want things to drag. What will be tomorrow I have no idea.