Gog here. We had plans tonight, we were going to meet up with a friend, get a bus into a nearby town, go bowling, get a takeaway and get the bus back.
We were only going to be out three hours, and we had seen the friend at our house for an hour the night before and it had gone fine…I mean okay Anon did fall asleep after twenty minutes because she had one of her frequent bad headaches, but she wasn’t freaking out. We thought the bowling would be good.
We met up with our friend and walked towards the bus stop, and it was all good. We were chatting and joking. It wasn’t until we got on the bus that Anon started having trouble.
I could tell she was uneasy, but she was trying hard to concentrate on what we were saying and join in with the conversation.
Fifteen minutes into the ride Anon was telling a story and that thing happened, where her words completely disappear and she goes blank. She stumbled and stammered and tried desperately to fish the words out of her head, but they were gone. She hates it when that happens, she doesn’t even like it happening around just me.
I think she had issues with a passenger and the security cameras on the bus too.
Before bowling we went to a supermarket to buy drinks and some snacks. By this point Anon was very on edge and I knew she was struggling. She was flapping and tapping her hands (she seems to do this when she is struggling a lot – to calm herself? Distract herself from what she’s seeing/hearing?) and complaining that the lights were horrifically bright in the shop. The nurse we saw last week said this is something to do with the adrenaline; because Anon is panicked all the time she is full of adrenaline, and as a result her pupils change. Lights seem brighter, she gets more headaches, etc.
Anon whizzed around the supermarket doing her own thing; touching things, avoiding aisles that had any other customers in, resting her head against shelves etc. When we got to the checkout she whispered she was ‘fleeing’ and ran outside.
When we went out to meet her she was stood watching something, and beckoned us over. There was a little wild mouse whizzing about, and she laughed because she thought it was a hallucination – it ran right up to her!
Going into the bowling place was the worst mistake we could have made.
Anon was on super high alert…head whipping in all directions, putting herself as far as possible from all the people, touching things, muttering – not good. As me and our friend were trying to work out which deal to go for (I think we both kind of knew it wasn’t working, and were both worried about Anon), Anon came over and touched my arm and ever so slightly shook her head.
She then fled again, and we went out and found her sat on a wall in a dark alley breathing heavily.
It was awkward, trying to find words to ease the tension…Anon was panicked and scared and I knew she felt stupid and confused, too, even though it wasn’t her fault at all. And I assume it was awkward for our friend…it can’t be an easy situation to be in and know what to say.
Anon indicated she needed to go, to get out of the area, probably she felt she was in danger, so we moved on. I suggested we go to the local arcade (it was late and they’re almost always empty anyway) so we headed there.
In the arcade it was much better. Anon has good memories there, the machines act as places she can hide and put distance between herself and strangers, and there weren’t that many other people there anyway…like maybe four people other than us.
Gradually she calmed down. She was still on high alert but she was able to talk, join in conversations.
We very much stuck together in the beginning and did things all together. Our friend is wonderful with Anon and tries his hardest to help her feel comfortable whatever her mood is doing, and so several times me and our friend commented on what a good time we were having and reassured her this was so much better than bowling.
We were there a few hours, it was surprisingly fun. The longer we were there the easier it got for Anon.
We left the arcade and wandered through the bitterly cold wind to the takeaway. I very naturally told Anon “I can hear it” and “I can see it” whenever I saw people or heard noises, because I knew her hallucinations were bad.
After eating our food we stopped off in a pub for an (alcohol free) drink, then wandered over to the bus stop and caught the ride home.
I feel a few ways about this evening.
- It’s incredibly sad that we can’t do something so simple as meet up with a friend and go bowling without Anon’s psychosis pushing her to the point where she is so stressed and panicked that she loses the ability to communicate
- We need help. Anon needs help. Desperately.
- We are lucky to have a friend who is so absolutely understanding of Anon’s psychosis, and who will do everything he can to help and make her feel better
The nurse we saw at the last appointment was supposed to phone today, to tell me what she had sorted out about us seeing a psychiatrist. She didn’t ring. I am unsurprised; I don’t think any mental health professionals have called when they have said they will.