Care Or Abuse?

I spent two months in a mental hospital in 2005. The whole story is just too much to go into, but the thing that brought me here is really the care I received while there, it's been praying on my mind recently. By and large, the nurses were great, and if they weren't great, they were proficient enough but a bit disinterested. With one exception.

I witnessed this one male nurse shouting at, taunting and slamming doors in the faces of patients. In the middle of the day, other nurses around, everything. On one occasion I remember trying to get him to stop, his response was that the boy he was harrassing liked it, he was having fun. Also, one night when he had me on one-to-ones (you're kept on constant watch, wherever you are, whatever you're doing, and your behaviour is written up) and was the only nurse around he would come to my room every so often to do his 'check'. On opening the door he would say things like 'Oh here comes another one!' and make nonsense noises, then walk away laughing. I should point out that I was 'exhibiting psychotic behaviour' at that point, but I know what he did was real. That night I followed him down the corridor and into the office, asking him why, why was he doing this? He kept repeating that I should just go back to my room as he kept writing up his notes on me. At one point (and I'll never forget these words, it's seven years later and I still haven't forgotten them) he said 'Wow someone really did a number on you, wish I'd seen the tapes'. And his voice as he said it, low and sly, the perfect voice for suggestion. Then he told me to go back to bed again, or 'go and levitate or something'. Thing is, sexual abuse is a big part of my history, he would have read this in my notes.

I kept away from him as much as I could from then on, except once when I asked him if I should 'just go and kill myself', as I was becoming confused and paranoid being in the hospital environment. His reply was 'Go for it', with a smile on his face. This was in front of the office, middle of the day, other nurses around, who I tried to call on, pointing out what he'd said to me. They tried to brush it off, he tried to back track.

I hope to God he's not still in nursing, the harm he could do is just shocking. Perhaps it's true that some of the sickest people work in mental health. Perhaps. But it doesn't explain why the vast majority of good nurses at that institution would ignore his actions. Part of me would even like to go back there, just for a short stay to see if he's still working there, and on the way out the door, quietly remind him of the things he said to me, the horrific ways he tried to mess with the minds of people he was supposed to be caring for. Oh, and his name is Gavin.
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3 Responses Mar 18, 2012

Abuse in mental hospitals is rampant and no one seems interested in investigating it. On April 18, 2013 Sierra Luckey was taken to Restpadd Psychiatric Inc, 2750 Eureka Way Redding, Ca. and admitted.
When she arrived she was heavily medicated, disoriented, and tried to leave the facility. Staff tried to
subdue her using undue force causing several lacerations, a cracked rib and severe bruising. A witness that
had gone with her was standing outside of a locked glass door and saw 3 employees knock the woman to the
floor, kicking, punching and scratching her. The woman managed to reach a phone and call for help. When she
was taken to the emergency room a police officer from Redding, Ca was called. The officer stated that even
tho the woman had a cracked rib, a bruise the shape of a fist in the center of her chest and a bruise in the
shape of a boot imprint on her the left side of her stomach that he felt her injuries "were not that serious"
The officers supervisor was called by a concerned party and the officer returned to the hospital to take
photos of the injuries. There is a video of the attack yet law enforcement says they do not have the legal
right to view the video without the facilities consent.
This was a 5'6" woman that weighs 125 lb there was no reason for 3 employees to "restrain" her by knocking
her to the floor, kicking, punching and scratching her.
This facility is supposed to be a safe place where mentally ill people go to get help, not abused. Law
enforcement is supposed to investigate abuse allegations, not dismiss them as not that serious. How can law
enforcement ignore a boot shaped bruise on a persons stomach that can only be caused one of two ways? Either
the woman was dropped kicked in the stomach or she was knocked to the ground and stomped on. How can they
explain a fist shaped bruise in the center of her chest? The only way for that to happen is for her to be
struck with a closed fist with enough force to leave the imprint.

I'm so sorry you had that experience wish a private detective could go in there and tape what is actually happening. Some times when things are out of our control and we can't change or do anything about it then for our own best interest it is best to try and put it behind us and move on. I wish you all of lifes blessings.

That is horrifying. I am disgusted by the way you were treated and when you were so vulnerable. People with mental health issues are just like any other person with an illness. It is just their mind that is ill and not their body. You should have experienced compassion, understanding and security. That nurse should be completely and utterly ashamed of himself, hope they brought him to task eventually, hope they wiped the floor with him in fact :o(