“Who leaves a country packed with ponies to come to a non-pony country?”

I made a terrible mistake in attempting to seek abuse-free care from the Sioux Falls VA.  I didn’t even realize I messed up until earlier today, roughly 24-hours before I was to meet with the Patient Care Advocacy Director and a Mental Health professional, to discuss my complaint of past abuse at the facility.  I sat down to prepare some notes on issues I wanted to address, and requests for reassurances the mistreatment would cease before I attempted seeking care again.

I didn’t get very far before I realized I was weeping.  My blood pressure spiked, and I was shaking.  All the memories I’ve spent years burying resurfaced and leveled me.  All the nasty comments I endured played out in my head all over again.  The hateful glares, the lies, the threats, and the relentless anger swept over me as if it all happened moments ago.  My resolve shattered into a million tiny pieces.

I sent the Patient Care Advocate a note, apologizing.  I told her I’m not as strong as I thought.  I feel horrible for wasting her time, but I’m unable to force myself to go back to the VA.  I’m a bit surprised by this revelation.  I’m also disappointed in myself.  I remember when I could (and did) endure anything that didn’t kill me.  I feel like I don’t know myself anymore.  I’m not who I thought I was.  I’m no longer a brave warrior who can fight through any pain or fear.  I’m the dog cowering and shaking in the corner after being kicked for too long.


I know I’m not the only person traumatized by alleged mental health professionals and staff.  I witnessed the abuse of patients at the VA, and have talked to others who confided in me about being mistreated there as well.  It led to a conversation about the apparent attractiveness of working in mental health wards for sociopaths and sadists.  I recall feeling validated I wasn’t the only one who noticed.  I’m relieved I know enough now to prevent further abuse.

I know never to open my door for the police.  I know if The New and Improved Depression Monster catches me to drop everything and get the hell out of South Dakota, (where it’s still 1960.) I know which questions to refuse to answer.  I understand being mentally ill is a crime, and asking for help leads to severe punishment.  Experience is an excellent teacher.  I know I’d rather die than go back to the Sioux Falls VA.  I guess I’m just another statistic, after all.

7 thoughts on ““Who leaves a country packed with ponies to come to a non-pony country?”

  • A warrior with PTSD is still a warrior, and you are strong enough to know you need to take care of yourself. *They’re* the ones who did wrong, and you have nothing to be ashamed of.

    (I know that probably doesn’t change how you feel, and I know it sucks to feel that way. I’m just feeling a little fierce on your behalf.)

    • I totally agree.
      I’m so sorry you went through all of that but I don’t think it’s a sign of weakness at all. It just shows the hell you’ve been through, and anyone in your situation would find their resolved questioned. You don’t want to go back and you have every right to feel that way because you are uniquely you, not ‘just a statistic’, and you need to put yourself first here. Sending hugs xxxxx

  • I’d rather die than go back to the 9th Circle of Hell permanently- and I also fear they will be the death of my sibling. Yes, my own abuse in childhood is part of that, but if I could no-contact with every past abuser I could probably deal with the state. Except you know the system is an abuser there. You are an autistic woman of color. I’d tell you never to go to the 9th Circle of Hell, too, though you’ve probably (god, hopefully!) never been there to deal with their system. Telling you not to seek care in the 9th Circle of Hell would just be survival in my book – why would Sioux Falls be any different if it’s an abusive system, too? It’s not weak to listen to the survival instinct in your gut.

    • Also, remember what I wrote on my page about how the act of trying to figure out where my 9th Circle of Hell is reveals too many candidates, and that the fact it is so *not unique* is scarier than if it was? As I’ve told several others, “if the term fits for your experience, you have my automatic permission to adopt it for your systemically abusive city/state – hell, country, at this point!

  • Thank you. I remember and will adopt it. I’m a thousand miles away in a deep fog in my head, so words are lacking presently. I trust you know what I want to say. 💜💜

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