Well, since seeing Dr Mike Crawford I have had a communication from the Waterview Centre with the correct address on the envelope. The first time in six attempts! But the letter contained bad news.
I thought our meeting went very well, we talked about my downstairs neighbour who is doing a 14 year stretch inside Her Majesty’s Prisons and my poor relationship with the Jailbird’s Missus. We also discussed our mutual experiences of the Church of Scientology then I made the estimable Professor of Psychiatry laugh with a joke about the PA (psychoanalyst) Winnicott. Come on, how patients could tickle the funny bone of a psychiatrist on one of Hampstead’s finest? All-in-all I thought our consultation went well but in his letter Dr Crawford did not make any references to these topics.
The Doctor confirmed that he will not be making any attempts to help me. No assistance in maintaining the cleanliness of my flat. And no referral to a Core Arts, an established creative arts project specifically for the mentally-ill. Well thanks Dr Mike Crawford, what did I come to see you for? Oh, also after doing his upmost in April to persuade me to join his group therapy, he, as previously reported, has changed his mind. I am no longer considered suitable as therapy fodder. And of course, no psychiatrist involved in my care has ever made an error.
Regardless of the lack of assistance I have written two chapters. My chapters are very short. Namely – Patient ‘X’ and Two Thousand Years. Two Thousand Years I have written in play format and will be performed for the first time at Mad About TC, Tottenham Chances, 399 Tottenham High Road N17 on the evening of Friday 6th December ’13 . Perhaps on the night there might be a literary agent present…
I am moved to blog again after seeing Professor Mike Crawford of the Waterview Centre, London W9. It had been a gap of seven months between our last appointment and this one. Seven months of no psychiatric care. I arranged to see the Professor with the purpose of joining his group therapy sessions. Last April, Prof Mike Crawford did his best to persuade me to be in his personality disorder group, at the time I declined, however, in the intervening period both he & I changed our minds. In the Professor’s eyes I am no longer considered a suitable candidate for group therapy. And it is the Professor’s opinion that matters. I feel like an American on their twenty-first birthday – still can’t rent a car, but I can get a drink!
Could my digital words be influential? While in the waiting room three members of staff came out, one by one, to say “hello” as if they knew me. I felt like a goldfish in a bowl. The Professor advised that my blog had been read by his staff, so are we in the arena where care is provided on the basis of internet output?
Friday I attended the Citizen’s Advice Bureau in an attempt to resolve a historic problem of rent arrears brought on by my five admissions to four different hospitals last year. If a welfare claimant enters hospital their Income Support payment is spontaneously stopped and then the Income Support computer sends an automatic message to the housing benefit computer stopping the payment of housing benefit without any human intervention. I am more than two months in rent arrears and that figure is significant as – two months is the figure required for mandatory repossession – and if my landlords went to court I could be evicted. A Notice of Seeking Possession has been served, the first step to eviction. I would join the ranks of the homeless all because I went into hospital. (And the failure of those who should have remedied the issue by ensuring my housing benefit was back-dated in full ensuring my rent payments are satisfied.)
Sunday I wrote a thousand word chapter – Call me a CAB – based on a previous encounter with an ineffective member of the Citizen’s Advice Bureau. I am still writing my novel, I do it in fits and starts and have not established a routine of writing everyday nonetheless I am accumulating a body of work.
I requested of Professor Crawford to be referred one afternoon a week to a creative arts based project in Hackney called “Core Arts”. It is a question of funding. Do Statutory Services provide any form of support in the era of austerity?