To whom it may concern,
This is a semi-formal letter in response to the conflict on the afternoon of October 14th 2013 (and also evening - amended at 10:45PM in reference to further interaction with the night staff) between myself and staff regarding the matter of my being asked to move downstairs. I currently feel unable to verbally communicate my point of view without being tearful or disrespectful, so I thought it might be helpful to express myself in writing.
I disagree with the clinical team's decision to place me under half-hourly observation.
I believe moving to the downstairs room (in compliance with the aforementioned half-hourly obs) would be detrimental to my well-being.
I have already given detailed explanations as to why I feel this way. I have expressed my feelings on the matter over and over again - at times (in my opinion) clearly, calmly, and rationally, and at other times while in a state of obvious distress.
Irrespective of my emotional instability in the past three weeks (which I have been told is to be expected as a normal part of the grieving process), I feel I have demonstrated enough openness and honesty in my time at Ashburn that I can be trusted to inform staff if I feel a change in the status of my personal safety. I have spoken openly about my self-harm urges, but I have also spoken of the positive choices I have made to manage and resist these. I feel proud of and encouraged by the progress I have made. Thus, I feel resentful that my repeated insistence that I am not currently a threat to myself appears to have been repeatedly dismissed; it seems as though my word counts for nothing right now. I feel hurt and saddened by this.
I am grateful to be at Ashburn Clinic. I deeply appreciate the overall support I have been given in my time here. I very much want to move forwards in my treatment and address the underlying causes of my ongoing emotional and psychological difficulties, but I find myself consistently at odds with staff in regards to what is and is not beneficial to my basic day-to-day mental health.
Complying with rules I do not understand or agree with, particularly when I feel my own (for lack of a better word) sanity is at immediate risk due to what I perceive to be a misguided, erroneous decision (asking me to move downstairs), is completely contradictory to my personal ethics. Presently, I am trying to manage feelings of, overwhelming complex grief, as well as difficult and painful family conflict. This combined with the usual mild paranoia, crippling insecurity, chronic self-loathing and routine existential crises I experience on a daily basis, and the now constant stress and pressure from staff being utter pricks to me, I have now reached a point where I feel physically sick and totally unable to articulate my viewpoint without resorting to aggression or hysterical sobbing -- hence this letter.
I understand how my tearfulness and displays of aggression could be perceived as "emotional instability". However, I would like to state that this is more due to my lack of verbal communication skills when in distress.
I was under the understanding that obs were about safety, not a tool to be used for the purpose of negative reinforcement. I have expressed this and been repeatedly reassured that this is not the case, and yet after all my pleading, reasoning, debating and questioning, I still find myself in the position of being told to move downstairs. It is my strong belief that forcing me to move downstairs when I have quite literally begged to stay in my room where I feel safe can justifiably be seen as punishing and cruel.
Like staff, I am trying to de-escalate the situation. This is why I refuse to be a participant in exacerbating my own distress. All I want to do is get through this extremely difficult time and continue the good work that I have started here. I feel as though I am currently being kept in a permanent state of distress. I am trying to be mindful of the fact that I do struggle with irrational feelings of victimization, but on this occasion I have some confusion about how irrational they actually are.
I hope that this letter is not taken as provocative or antagonizing. This is not my intention. As I have said, I find it very difficult to communicate verbally when I am anxious and distressed.
Thank you for considering my point of view.