Charing X: the uncontained country

So. Was this all planned? Is there a chapter somewhere in the Handbook of Psychiatric Charlatanry that underscores how its not a good session unless you provoke your patient to tears or anger or both?

Receding now… I’m still putting it all together…and the further it gets, the angrier I feel about the consultant’s utter failure to contain issues: his apparent complete and total disregard for any emotional downside to the session.

We ended with me not understanding next steps. Can they block treatment? He says not: but he doesn’t explain what they can or will do.

Confused. Angry. And a black hole opening up. Panic. Close to panic attack in Hammersmith tube. Desire to hurt. Someone else? Me? This can’t be any sort of sane or rational service.

Good thing I am mostly rational. I can feel the darkness clawing out to claim me and if I weren’t so darn rational …if I were depressed…down…we’d be looking at overdose territory right now. Damn him!

Because here’s the thing that I’m guessing you lucky cis people reading my blog don’t know. Which is how it feels to get on to hormones…and how it feels to even imagine losing them. Am I alone in this? I don’t think so. I know others who have transitioned before me who have been treated similarly…and been just as upset.

This is why some of us suicide…because we CAN’T transition when we need. FFS: I thought Charing X knew that.

Still, for now I carry on. I detach. I watch myself going into panic. A PCSO approaches me. I’m now on Kings X station. I appear to be in tears. How did that happen? I glare at him. He backs off.

So what did this consultant think he was doing? Did he really intend to provoke this? I have no idea. How does one separate deliberate cruelty from sheer carelessness.

As I put things back together, I realise it is all about containment – or rather non-containment. He’s hurt me. A lot. And then just shoved me out on to the street in a rush, because he’s on to his next patient. Brilliant.

Care by rote and by the carefully-timed therapy period. On the train, other stuff bubbles up…we picked over relationships. Lightly I passed over abusive relationships I had suffered. Like: guess what…in THIS particular relationship, some nights I just lay awake too scared to go to sleep. Many years ago. But that fear is suddenly back.

Is this how the NHS tends to cover such issues? You got abused? You got hit? You feel bad about it? OK: let’s tick the box and move on.

Boundaries. What boundaries?



6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Sarah Brown said,

    I’m so sorry you experienced that reaction. *hug*

    I don’t think there are any cis people who really understand what the prospect of hormones being taken away means to many (most?) trans people. There are one or two who perhaps come close – some are clinicians, one I’m married to, but in general they don’t seem to realise it’s like asking us not to breathe.

  2. 3

    It sounds like they guy you got didn’t get it at all – all I can say is I know they’re not all like that. Certainly the “resistance” comment was unhelpful and I thought they’d given up making people come off hormones… if not, that’s definitely a negative. I had a similar reaction immediately after seeing Russell Reid for the first time, through little fault of his but because I had one hell of a job letting go of the mistaken idea that transition was under the control of anyone but myself.

    I’d also be careful not to write off all male doctors/nurses, there are some men who are better than most females. (Not a story I should relate publicly, I’m afraid)

    Hope you’re starting to feel better.

  3. 4

    Rachel said,

    Oh dear, it sounds so awful. I’m fragile enough because of the seven month wait they have put me though.

    I’m afraid I will not be able to take treatment like that, will be branded unstable and shoved off on a path which will give me no relief from my frustration.

    I’m sorry to say I wished I hadn’t read your blog today. My situation seems pretty hopeless at this moment.


    • 5

      janefae said,

      rachel…not sure what to say. some of this is going to be my personal reaction to them…so it might be better for you…and the last thing i want is to dissuade others from seeing help they want or need.

      At th same time, a lot of people i know warned me of this sort of thing, whilst others said Ch X had “got better”. After today, my sense is that if this is “better” God help those who went before.

      e-mail me. and very happy to chat on the phone if you need to explore issues: and don’t just take my word for it. Also, see if you can take someone supportive when you go.

      The biggest issue for me, in hindsigt, was being wound up in what i now begin to feel was a deliberate manner…and then tossed back on to the street with no safety net. Unforgiveable.


  4. 6

    Doc said,

    Hi Jane,
    Unfortunately, the reaction re abusive stuff is what I’ve had too. I’m actually putting off going for ‘referral’ because I cannot yet face the idea of another round of counsellors getting wound up because my history of abuse doesn’t magically vanish when they’ll gone through their textbook approach with me, projecting their own views onto my situation and not listening to a word I say. When I don’t get better, they label me ‘obstructive’, and I now know I must not cry at the wrong time or they try and get me sectioned (happened before, I was saved only because I had temped for the locum who was on for my repeat prescription – he tore up the counsellor’s recommendation in front of me).

    So… I went on a forum and am attending a session in Camden on Tuesday night. It’s advertised on the ChX page. Will let you know how iit goes as it might help you too.

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