Undiagnosed Things That Happened

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Hello. I don't know if I'm in the right forum, nor do I know if I'm posting in the correct topic. I also don't know if I have PTSD, (apparently there are a lot of things I don't know) but I don't particularly care about a diagnosis, nor do I want one. I just want to talk to someone, I suppose.

I'm nineteen. I've moved six times, went to three different high schools and two different colleges. My father was possibly a combination of emotionally, physically and verbally abusive (I have no idea, I only realized what happened in my house wasn't what happened in other kids' houses when I was in middle school because my friends were afraid to come over), but it was directed mostly towards my mother and older sister.

When I was twelve I got sick. As in, stomach flu sick, or so we thought. Except months went by and I didn't get any better. I went to doctor after doctor, none of which believed me because their tests didn't show anything wrong. I had blood tests, x-rays, endoscopies and colonoscopies, among other things, until it got to the point that it was assumed I was faking to get out of school or somatic (or possibly a combination of both, I wouldn't know). I was in so much pain that I couldn't even walk straight, and I had all these trips to the emergency room, and I starting passing out, and I couldn't eat without feeling sick. I was hospitalized and released a few times for short periods of time, and then, to my understanding, an x-ray showed something wrong with my gal bladder. I had surgery to remove my gal bladder (as well as my appendix, just for kicks). I was given morphine for the first time afterwords, I'm pretty sure.

Apparently though, the x-ray technician or doctor or whoever was responsible for such things realized they'd made a mistake and misread the x-ray. There had been nothing at all wrong with my gall bladder. This became quite clear to me a few weeks later when I was at home and pain exploded in my stomach while I was lying on the couch. That was my first ride in an ambulance. For three weeks after I was in the hospital. They couldn't figure out what was wrong of course, so naturally they blamed my mother. They told her she was the reason I was sick, that she should go home and not stay with me in the hospital (she spent all night and all day with me. I don't think a better mother exists anywhere in the world.) She refused. My mother and father argued. My dad yelled at my mom because he agreed with the doctors. The doctors wanted me to go to a treatment program (probably psychiatric) on the opposite end of the country. I screamed in pain, every night. My dad told me to be quiet. They gave me shots of morphine because they didn't know what to do with me.

I switched hospitals. They were nicer, but it was more or less the same. I couldn't eat and was threatened with force-feeding. They assumed I was anorexic. They put me on a morphine pump and yelled at me when I pressed the button 400 times in one day. I cried. My mother and father decided to get divorced. I remember my mother telling me while I was in the hospital bed.

After a few weeks I was released. I started seeing a psychiatrist. I was twelve years old and understandably rather upset, and he dealt with that by putting me on medication. It took months until a got a diagnosis for my mysterious illness. In the meantime, I couldn't be separated from my mom. I'd have panic attacks when she left. I'd have panic attacks for no reason. I wanted to die. I started cutting. Eventually, I was diagnosed with POTS (it's a neurological disorder of the autonomic system). They put me on medication and I started feeling better.

Meanwhile, life went on. I made up my missed schoolwork over the summer. My mom, sister and I moved out. I was the only one who still had to see my dad. He cried and told me about how depressed and unhappy he was. My mom didn't have much money and we didn't have much food. I remember eating Pops cereal for days straight. My psychiatrist experimented with medication. I started making myself vomit on purpose because I'd gained a lot of weight (I'd gained it back, but still) and I didn't like it. I got down to 5'9 and 113 lbs and was made to see a specialist. Meanwhile, I was getting all A's in school.

For high school, I switched from a private to public school. It started off fine, and then suddenly I just started doing terribly. I didn't care anymore. There were more important things than school, and I thought it was dumb. I also hated my peers, but trust me, the feeling was mutual. I had basketballs thrown at me in gym, as well as a load of pretty random things during classes. I was called names, you know, typical stuff. People thought I was odd. I suppose I was.

I was still having problems with my dad. He tried to force his way into the house and my mom had to call the police. Then, when I didn't want to see him one day, he told me I had to and if I didn't he'd call the police. We went skiing together. I fell and couldn't get up and he left me there. He wouldn't admit to his past behavior, or didn't believe he'd done anything wrong, I'm not sure, so I didn't try talking about it. He didn't believe in POTS. I'm fairly certain he just thought I was weak. Oddly, he also continued on with what the doctor's had done by blaming everything on my mom. He appeared to think I was incapable of thought and was being brainwashed, and that my mother was raising me terribly.

In ninth grade, when I was fourteen, I tried to kill myself for the first time. It wasn't much of anything, you know, it wasn't very serious. I clearly didn't actually want to die. I mean, I did, but I still expected to wake up, so it was kind of a moot point.

I went on medical leave for the rest of grade nine, then was sent to an alternative school for emotionally disturbed kids (yup, they actually call people “emotionally disturbed”), that was on a farm, so naturally they liked to make you scoop horse crap. I spent about half my day doing that for the first nine weeks. I suppose it was some sort of prolonged hazing ritual.

In eleventh grade, when I was sixteen, I started taking post-secondary classes at a community college for half the school day. I tried to kill myself between ninth grade and eleventh about four times. The fourth time I was hospitalized for three days. I'd tried mixing bleach and ammonia (from windex) in the toilet and putting a towel under the bathroom door. I just ended up feeling dizzy (and probably getting high, which wasn't my intention). I hated the hospital. I was glib and sarcastic and was even kicked out of group therapy once.

My fifth attempt was real. I tried to buy sleeping pills off this kid from school (he ended up not putting out, so I had to substitute with benadryl) and made sure we had antifreeze (in the form of windshield wiper fluid) in the garage. I ended up doing it on April 1. (It wasn't intentionally on April Fools day, I'm not that messed up. Although I have to admit, the irony does sort of appeal to me now. April isthe cruelest month...) It wasn't because I was depressed, or maybe it was, I don't know. But I do know it was fueled by nihilism and an existential crisis, as pretentious as that sounds. I just wasn't compatible with the objective reality. There was no reason for me to be alive. In fact, I would have preferred not to be. It was also the biggest act of defiance I could think of. To take back myself, mind and body, to go against nature and/or god, if you believe in that stuff. To take control of my life by being responsible for my death. I wanted to die on my terms. And I wanted to die more than anything else.

I'd learned by then that my body worked against my mind. It didn't want me to die. I had to trick it into not kicking in at the last minute and saving my sorry butt. So I went into the woods that lined our house. It was a beautiful day, just beginning to show signs of spring. I'd already said my good byes to my mom, dad and sister in my own ways. I was scared. Or rather, terrified. But I knew it would be better off this way. I also knew there was a possibility that it wouldn't work. The thing was, there was a chance it would, and just that chance was worth putting everything else at risk for.

On my knees in the woods in a clearing, with the sun slanting down from beneath the trees and birds singing, I swallowed down benadyrl with about half a plastic water bottle of windshield wiper fluid. I meant to drink more, but it was very difficult to get down due to the taste. Then I sat there and waited, nauseous. I became exhausted. I passed out. I woke up and decided I wanted to go to bed, so I walked back to the house, found my bed, and went to sleep. My mom woke me for dinner. I said I didn't want any and went back to sleep. When I awoke for good it was dark. Nine hours had passed since I'd drank the antifreeze. I looked up antifreeze online and realized it took 42-72 hours for your kidneys to shut down. I told my mom. I was numb as we went to the car. I couldn't figure out why I wasn't dead. I couldn't even muster up an apology, because I wouldn't have meant it. I didn't want to still be alive. I couldn't figure out why it hadn't worked.

I was rushed into the ER when I got to the hospital. They took my heart rate and blood pressure and didn't give me an IV because they didn't want to spread the poison around and kill me, I suppose. Apparently my heart rate and blood pressure were not very good. I heard one nurse ask the other if I should go to the terminal ward and she said no. I went to the ICU instead. They talked to me. I couldn't understand what they were saying. The nurses had three eyes and my bed felt like it was rocking. I do remember though, them telling me that if dialysis didn't work (as in, if it didn't stop my kidneys from failing) I would have to have dialysis four times a week for the rest of my life. They also said I would be at risk of going blind for a year. I told them I didn't care about being blind, but if the dialysis didn't work they could just kill me. They said they weren't authorized to do that.

The dialysis worked. After two nights they sent me up to the psych ward with a few policemen for company. The dialysis had a negative effect on my POTS and I still felt very weak and ill. I was so dehydrated that my lips cracked by the second or so day I spent incarcerated. They only let me keep a pitcher of water in my room after they discovered the blood on my lips. I guess they were worried I'd drown myself in it.

At this point, I didn't really care about where I was, and I was too exhausted and disappointed to be sarcastic or give back exactly what I got. I still couldn't figure out why I wasn't dead. It seemed wrong, in a cosmic sense, you know? Like someone had interfered with my destiny. I was like expired milk; I shouldn't have still be around but someone had decided to keep me in the fridge anyway. I didn’t even believe in destiny, but that's what it felt like. Unfortunately, expressing this was one factor that led the psychiatrists to believe I had borderline personality disorder. That's when I learned that expressing myself was generally unwise. I was already taking medications, but they piled on a few more for good measure. Particularly risperdal, which made thinking about as difficult as wading through quick sand, and a mood stabilizer, which I forget the name of, but they had to keep me there for seven days to make sure I didn't develop an uncommon but deadly side effect in the form of a rash.

They also wanted me to go to a residential treatment program. I obviously didn't want to, but the worst thing about it was the sense of betrayal when I had to convince my mom not to send me (I was a minor, so it was up to her). Then, when my mother told them what she thought about me being misdiagnosed with BPD, they told her she had it as well. Fortunately, I ended up narrowly escaping residential.

When I was released I started going to this partial hospitalization program at a different hospital. It was one I went to when I was fourteen. I should've known there was something wrong with the psychiatrist there, based on the fact that the last time I was there, when I was getting up from my chair one of my legs gave out and I fell. I tried to get up and fell again. While this was happening he walked right past me to his office. I assumed he was going there to use the phone to call an actual doctor come up and see if I was alright. He wasn't. He didn't come out of his office again until the lunch break was over. The other patients helped me up.

The problem this time began when he asked me what my goals were and I said I wanted to be happy. He said that didn't seem very realistic, which upset me. I then told him I was upset and he said he didn't understand why. I told him it was because of what he said, and he told me I was delusional, which is probably one of the most painful things someone has ever said to me. Needless to say, I refused to go back.

Then, later in the week, my mother had a panic attack and said she kept seeing me dead and refused to let go of me. It terrified me enough that I admitted myself to the hospital so I could go to residential. I didn't want anyone to feel more pain because of me. Of course, now that I actually wanted it, they told me I couldn’t, that I wasn’t at risk of actually killing myself because I was just being dramatic and seeking attention due to BPD.

I was only hospitalized for three days that time around. On the second day, I was made to write a list of things that made me anxious, which naturally made me rather anxious. I told the nurse how I was feeling and she said I could go sit in the blue room, which was basically this room with lots of blue mattresses on every surface, including walls. It was supposed to calm people down. Unfortunately, I rather dislike dark, closed in spaces, to the extent that I still don’t ride elevators. I told her I would rather go to my room. She said I couldn’t. I went there anyway and lay down on my bed.

Soon, a different nurse came into my room and told me I had five seconds to walk to isolation (not the blue room, isolation actually locks and isn’t as padded) before she called security. I was baffled. I couldn’t figure out what I’d done wrong, but it didn’t take me long to come to the conclusion that that was because I hadn’t actually done anything wrong. I was beyond pissed at that point so I refused to move. Also, the situation wasn’t particularly helped my anxiety.

So these two security guards walked in and just hoisted me up off the bed. I just lay limp at first, figuring it was the best form of resistance, but being carried between two people isn’t particularly comfortable, so I started to struggle. Let me be clear. I was sixteen years old, and sure, I was tall at 5’10, but I weighed 130 lbs and had a neurological disorder. However, I also took martial arts. So, while the guards made interesting comments such as “oh shit, we’ve got a squirmy one.” I more or less managed to fight back. Not by kicks or punches. Unfortunately I couldn’t get any of those in. It was more or less just evading and shifting their weight against them. As much as I’d like to say that I intended to fight back and was aware of what I was doing, it was really just a gut reaction, because one, my body had been trained that way, and two, I was honestly terrified and I’m pretty certain my fight or flight reaction kicked in. Flight wasn’t possible, so…

Eventually one of them sat on me and twisted my arm behind my back until I honestly thought it was either going to break or dislocate my shoulder. I’m not entirely sure why they did that, because we were almost to the isolation room anyway, and from there they just threw me on the plastic cot-thing and held me down again. They bent me over so my face was on my floor and my ass was on the cot, pulled down my pants, and unloaded a syringe into my butt. I’m pretty sure it contained some sort of benzodiazepine, as I understand that’s commonly used for these sorts of purposes. They then left and told me they weren’t locking the door, but I ought to stay in there anyway. I wasn’t having any of it. I went back to the bed in my room, and I don’t regret it. The only thing that makes this sort of close to bearable is the fact that I fought back.

Anyway, Dopey and Grumpy came for me again, and I managed to get a few good kicks in this time around. One of them mused about calling for back up, but apparently they felt they could handle it because they proceeded to each grab me by an arm and drag my down the hall. I was then re-deposited in the isolation room and locked inside. I climbed up onto the cot and passed out. In the moments the nurses managed to wake me up by talking through the little window, I managed to gather that they were trying to make me sit on the edge of the bed for fifteen minutes before being released. Unfortunately that was impossible at the moment because I could hardly open my eyes and kept falling back asleep. It was also very difficult for me to decipher what they were saying.

I’m not sure how long I was in there. All I know is that they weren’t letting me out because I wasn’t cooperating. Eventually, a kind nurse told me if I just lay the opposite way on the cot for fifteen minutes, she’d let me out. I’m not entirely sure why the direction I was facing was so important, although I suppose it was just a power and control thing.

They kept me seperated from everyone else after that, wouldn't even let me be in the same room as them. I was also bruised nearly entirely from head to foot, although I had particularly bad hand-shaped ones on my upper arms. Also, a layer of skin had been scraped off the top of my feet from being dragged, and was rather bloody and painful. Fortunately, they were kind enough to give me something for the pain.

That’s more or less it, besides the fact that both my mother and I told them we weren’t happy with the way I’d been treated. Instead of directing us to a person we could file a complaint with, they told us they were well within their right to do what they had done. That it was my fault, essentially.

So here I am, almost exactly three years later. I would talk about the resonating effects of everything, but I’m really sick of typing and you’re probably even more sick of reading. Anyway, I guess the point of me typing this is that there really isn’t anyone to talk to. My mother gets upset when we try to, and I end up feeling guilty. It’s also an insanely complicated thing to talk about, and I never know how someone will react; if they’ll say I deserved it or they don’t believe me, both of which are reactions I’ve gotten from therapists. So there you have it.


My father was possibly a combination of emotionally, physically and verbally abusive ... I cried. My mother and father decided to get divorced. I remember my mother telling me while I was in the hospital bed ... [Dad] cried and told me about how depressed and unhappy he was ... [Dad] tried to force his way into the house and my mom had to call the police ... when I was fourteen, I tried to kill myself for the first time ... I tried to kill myself between ninth grade and eleventh about four times ... To take control of my life by being responsible for my death ... mother had a panic attack and refused to let go of me ... I’m pretty certain my fight or flight reaction kicked in

Your parents sound about as ****ed up as mine. You might want to read, for example, Judith Lewis Herman's "Trauma and Recovery" - it's very easy to read, and I found it incredibly empowering. It's nice to know that, as children, we were just trying to make the best sense of what we initially assumed were perfect parents, but are beginning to suspect are as nutty as fruit cakes.
I don't really know what to say apart from I would like to give you a hug!!

I have recently been labeled with emotionally unstable personality disorder after being angry that I had to pay to see a therapist as I was promised I would get therapy on the NHS! It seems that you get angry and they diagnosed me with EUPD!!

Welcome to forum and talk soon!


Welcome to the land of unwanted toys with mislabeled diagnoses. One of your great misfortunes is not having a family that was normally normal - when other kids are afraid to come to your house, it's a big clue.

Judith Lewis Herman is a brilliant woman - whose book is superb. I read it when I was 49 or so and it opened my eyes. You see, I've been misdiagnosed a number of times as well - and had medications prescribed that were more harmful than helpful.

Firstly, do not lose hope. Getting bad medical care is worse than getting no medical care and only adds to your list of issues. Surviving suicide can be a positive - I think we learn from our mistakes if we choose. Your writing is coherent. Your story is a wonderful starting place for getting real help.

Much of my life has been terrifically screwed up - sexual, physical, and mental abuse starting in my early childhood and I have done things that defy logic because they have caused me more pain. But I became a doctor and think I am a much better one for it. So I am sorry for the doctors, nurses, and techs that hurt you. We are all capable of beastly behavior, not the least of which are people who feel the need to be in control.

Wishing you such warmth, comfort, peace and strength as you move ahead in healing.
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