Those of us with medical issues who aren’t treated at the exact location every time can probably relate to tracking down your own lab results, inpatient records, etc. Well, I had asked my psychiatrist to request my entire record from my second and last ever stay at a psych hospital. It was one of the worst experiences of my life and I’m still trying to cope with what I endured as an inmate (voluntary patient, actually) at Zucker Hillside Hospital.
Anyway, they were incomplete, certain names of staff and entire parts of days removed. After my time there, I was not surprised at this apparent cover-up and figured I’d get nowhere.
That is, until today. A woman I got in touch with online had a similar horrible experience there and we compared notes for two hours on the phone today. My heart breaks for her, but I somehow feel a bit better knowing there are so many of us who were harmed at this facility. On her suggestion, I just dropped a signed request for my entire record in the mail. Perhaps my very specific wording will mean a complete record, although I’m not too hopeful. Something big is going on there and I’m not the only one with important parts of their record missing.
This woman has convinced me to go to the police with her. I didn’t do so on my own, because until now I didn’t have the full name of the nurse who sexually assaulted me and also simply because no one believes a psych patient! I’m just another nutcase to the police even though I know better. Society has that view of persons with mental illness and I don’t think that will ever change.
Three years after the fact I’m still terrified of retaliation or God forbid ending up there again somehow. Now that I’m not alone in this, it’s time. Nothing may ever come of it, but I will be able to say I spoke up and did what needed to be done.