Thursday, 7 July 2011

An attempt at an explanation

Hi everybody

I had half an hour to spare yesterday evening (between dropping off one child somewhere and picking up another from somewhere else) and I popped in to see a friend for a quick cup of tea.  Now this friend is a nurse (a general nurse not a psychiatric one) and she has read my book and we have been emailing quite a lot about the subject matter of it this week.  Which is good - and it is partly why I am continuing with this blog - because if anybody has any questions I am really pleased to be able to deal with them. 

The book is not perfect and it is not absolute - in that there is simply no space to write down every single thing that has happened to me, even if I wanted to, and it is important when writing a memoir or autobiography to be selective about what you want to say.  I am still reviewing this - I am waiting for some more feedback before the book goes to paperback, so I can be sure it is the best I can make it at what I want to say.

Anyway.  My friend asked me last night about the nurse who sexually assualted me in hospital, during my third breakdown.  She asked if that was true.  Well, yes, and to me that is obvious, because I stated that at the beginning of the book - everything that you read in it is true.  My friend was indignant on my behalf that such a thing had happened, and she was also surprised that there had been no enquiry - she said recently one of her female patients had accused a male nurse of touching her inappropriately, and although she thought it was very unlikely in those particular circumstances that there had been any impropriety, she had to log the complaint, instigate an enquiry and so on.

Well, maybe that is a difference between general nursing and psychiatric nursing.  I don't know and I would hope not - I hope that my particular case was a one-off.  But also, there is a little more to my particular story.  I haven't included it in the book because my children will one day read that book and I really can't explain it properly or nicely or even clearly (though I am usually ok at writing clearly, it is my efforts with the spoken word that sometimes let me down).

I did hint at another episode earlier in this blog, but couldn't bring myself to put it in black and white.  When I was nineteen I accidentally accused another male nurse of sexual assualt.  This is really, really hard to explain and I don't want to use the excuse that I was mad.  But what happened was - this very kind male nurse called me into a side room for a chat.  Instead of sitting in a chair, I climbed up onto a table and knelt there on all fours.  Fully dressed.  (I am only pointing this out because of what happened next).  I have no idea why I did this.  The only thing I can think of, after all these years, was that I was trying to tell him I was barking mad.  He stared at me in astonishment, I began to cry.  Because I was really confused, and honestly didn't know what I was doing up there.  I climbed up on to that table and and then suddenly thought - oh my God, I am crouching on this table like a dog, what am I doing, I am madder than anyone has ever been...

Anyway, I cried, I climbed down, he kept asking me what was wrong and I honestly had no idea what to say.  I mean, I never did know what to say, but I was really embarrassed.  And at that point my sister Mandy appeared for a visit, saw me with this nurse in tears, and started grilling me to tell her what had happened.  And nothing had, but because she kept on at me to talk I eventually said, 'He made me get in the doggy position'.  And of course he hadn't made me do anything so that was a lie - I don't know why I said that - but what I meant by doggy position was that I was on all fours like a dog.  But she thought I was talking about sex.  At which point she jumped to a million conclusions and things went even madder than they had been before. 

I suppose it is quite funny in a way.  But not to me, even after all this time.

When I realised what had been thought and said about this nurse, and what trouble he was in, I immediately told everyone that he had done me no harm whatsoever - I mean, immediately.   He was a lovely nurse and I felt awful that I had accused him, however unwittingly.  And of course there were no repercussions for him.  The whole thing was supposedly forgotten.  But that is the missing background.  That must be why nobody believed me when that male nurse, Peter - his real name, and I would write his surname too if I could remember it - actually did sexually assault me all those years later.  There must have been some note in my medical record that I had made an unfounded allegation of sexual assualt in the past, way back when I was nineteen.

And that must be why my sister Mandy didn't believe me either - unfairly in my view, because it was her jumping to the wrong conclusion about what I had said on the first occasion that led to all the confusion.  But of course it was not her fault - it was mine, for always being unable to express myself properly.  For not correcting her straightaway.

So that is that.  It is just so mad.  I am sorry.  But it may help to make more sense of the later incident - because that nurse who assaulted me all those years later, in such a weird way and in such a public place, he was wrong and this sort of thing should not be allowed to happen.  It was horrible not being believed, and very frightening - I felt so vulnerable afterwards.  And as I wrote ages ago in my earlier post on this subject, I just hope he never did it previously or since, to anybody else.  I am not cross about me - worse things have happened to better people, and I am very happy about the way that life has turned out for me.

Louise x

No comments:

Post a Comment