Made an appointment with a private counsellor, for Day 7. Wrote background history to expedite matters as sessions expensive. Became deeply distressed when reading it back. Called friend K and was hysterical by the time she came over. She read the account & advised she thought it sounded abusive. Have not heard from her again.
Started to experience unwanted recalled memories. Extremely disturbing, paralyzing. Vomiting. Headaches.
Contacted private counsellor again to see if earlier appointment possible. It was not. Started to write down everything I was remembering. Recalled memories continued.
Attended initial appointment with private counsellor. Read the account I had written, had panic attack in session, was highly distressed. Made an appointment for Day 9.
Unbearable being alone and remembering things. It took a great deal of effort to make an appointment and go to my doctor to show him the account I had written about my childhood and tell him some of the horrible things I was recalling. Asked for clarification if these were considered ‘normal’ events. He advised they were not. Asked me if I was suicidal. I was not, and am not.
GP immediately sent me to local hospital. After long wait, was seen by S.C. from the RAID team. Assessment for approx. 3-4 hrs. Advised childhood was abusive and traumatic. S.C. also advised she would recommend that I be given a new psych diagnosis based on the possibility that I have been misdiagnosed for decades. She told me that she would request urgent psychotherapy for me. Asked me if I was suicidal, my response was as previously. Advised there would be a minimum 3 month waiting list for the referrals to go through. I was asked to sign the assessment she completed but was not given a copy, nor any other paperwork.
Telephone appointment with GP. Told him what had happened with at hospital and that I was desperate for help now, not in 3 months’ time. He advised he would also make an urgent request for me to see a psychotherapist to support me with what I was recalling. Told me to telephone the surgery next week to make a follow-up appointment with him.
Evening – 2nd appointment with private counsellor. Another very distressing session.
Days 11 & 12
Weekend, alone and continuing to recall things. Desperate for support and help. Internet search advised 27 organisations available. I contacted each and every one. They were:
CARA, NAPAC, Rape Crisis, Choices Counselling, STEP UP, SupportLINE, HAVOCA, Samaritans, Mind, Survivors Trust, Health in Mind, Aurora, Boarding Survivors, CEOP, Childline, Mosac, Lucy Faithful, NSPCC, PODS, RASAC, Safeline, Mankind, Survivors in Transition, The Change Project, Stonewall, Gallop.
I was not eligible for help from 26 of them for the following reasons:
I do not have a partner, I was not suicidal, I do not have a dissociative disorder, I did not attend boarding school, I am not in the ‘right’ area, I am not a ‘Christian’, I am not a man, I am not a child, I had not experienced rape, I could not say definitively that I had experienced sexual abuse as I am unclear how to categorise some things that happened, I have not experienced sexual violence, I am not a parent, I am not ‘at risk’, I am not currently at risk of physical violence from a 2nd party, I cannot pay for treatment, I am not gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender, I am ‘not suitable’ for services offered, only ‘faceless, anonymous’ support offered via ‘phone or online forum.
The 1 organisation remaining was Victim Support. Telephoned, spent 45 minutes talking to someone, they took my details and advised there was a 6 week waiting list for support, and the case would be referred.
Utterly desperate for support, I contacted a friend L I had not seen for months. She was very kind and sat with me for the afternoon.
Telephoned GP as advised and had a face-to-face appointment with him at the end of the afternoon. Again, he asked me if I was at risk of harming myself and again I had to reiterate that I was not. He offered me drugs which I did not want. I wish my mental faculties to remain intact. GP talked with me and advised that he thought the memories I was recalling were flashbacks.
I asked again about being reassessed by independent psychiatrists. I said I did not want to be assessed by anyone who had seen me when I was a teenager/young adult. GP agreed that this would not be helpful and advised me of some of the psychiatrists currently working at local hospital. One of them was a woman I had seen previously, some 20-25 years ago, a Dr M. I said I was not willing to be reassessed by her, and GP noted it on my file as agreed.
GP advised he would try to hurry up the process of getting me into therapy. He also gave me a form to have blood tests taken to rule out any physical cause such as thyroid impairment.
Before leaving surgery, I submitted a signed letter, with cheque for £50, requesting printed copies of all my GP medical records since birth. To date, I am still waiting for these.
Afternoon – Telephone conversation with J.G. at Access to Records requesting all and any medical records held about me under both my maiden and married name, at SEPT (hospital records). On Day 46 these arrived.
Drove to have my blood taken at one of the clinics named on the form I had been given. Upon arrival at clinic, was informed that they were no longer accepting walk-in patients for blood tests. Was told to go away and telephone one of the numbers on the form.
Called all numbers on form for 3 separate clinics. Every number led to same recorded message service giving me another number. This second number was the same each time & directed me to another recorded message telling me to book an appointment online on out-of-area hospital website. Website advised there was no access nor appointments for patients who did not live in the area.
Telephoned GP’s surgery, enquired how to book blood test. Requested telephone appointment with GP.
Practice manager returned call later in afternoon, confirm that the clinic where I had been sent was incorrect, tried to give me the same number I had already been dialling to book an appointment. Advised had already tried this number and it led to recorded message telling me to book through hospital website. Was informed she would call me back.
Practice manager called again and advised information on recorded message was also incorrect. She accessed a different system for booking online herself, on my behalf, and made an appointment for me for next week. I requested again telephone appointment with GP.
Received message from friend L telling me that she would not come to see me again as some of the things I had told her about my childhood had upset her and she could not cope with it. She felt it was damaging to her.
Telephoned Victim Support again to advise that no-one had contacted me and I really was becoming desperate for help and support in managing the flashbacks I was having. They told me that I would have to wait and there was nothing more they could do.
GP telephoned me and advised that he had received a letter from C.S. at the Rapid Response Team at local hospital following S.C.’s assessment report. He told me to call them and make an urgent appointment. He gave me the details and ‘phone number and said a letter would be following on to confirm this, but that I would be seen quicker if I telephoned them directly. I have never received a letter from them.
Telephoned Rapid Response Team and was told the earliest appointment they would give me was in 5 weeks’ time in on Day 46 at 1.30pm. When I asked if I could see anyone before then, they advised this was not possible. They connected me to C.S. She advised me that the appointment I had just made with them, was not for therapy but for another assessment. I would have to wait almost 5 weeks for the assessment (when they already have one from S.C.) and then wait again for an appointment for therapy.
When I said I needed help now in managing the flashbacks, C.S. asked if I was suicidal. When I confirmed I was not, she replied that that was then the earliest appointment I would be given. When I asked how I was supposed to manage what I was experiencing alone, she suggested drugs. When I said I did not want to take drugs, she suggested I call the Samaritans. When I said that it was actually damaging to have to repeat the same private, disturbing and intimate information over and over again to a succession of faceless, different strangers each time, she said she had no further suggestions.
Telephoned surgery again and requested appointment with GP. Was informed that earliest appointment I could have would be on the Day 30. Requested emergency appointment, was told this was possible if I would agree to see a doctor I did not know/had never met. Reiterated that I did not feel able to keep explaining disturbing information to new people, was told they could not help me further.
Evening – session with private counsellor. Discovered I had been told only limited definitions of abuse as child. Extremely distressed.
11.50am answered call from GP’s surgery. Practice manager advised she had tried to call earlier that morning to offer me an appointment with GP but as they could not get hold of me, it was now not available. Asked for clarification of why she was calling if no appointment, she said she was unsure and would come back to me. At 12.01 GP called. I advised the earliest appointment the Rapid Response Team would give me was in 5 weeks’ time. Advised I had spoken to C.S. and she had suggested drugs or the Samaritans.
Advised him also that appointment on Day 45 was not actually for psychotherapy at all, but for another assessment. He replied he was unaware of this, he had assumed it was for therapy. I asked him if S.C. at the hospital who had already written an assessment was in some way unprofessional or incompetent. I could think of no other reason why the Rapid Response Team would make me wait for 5 weeks to take another assessment when one had already been carried out. He said he did not know. Asked if he had received a copy of S.C.’s assessment, he had not.
He suggested that in order to get me help and support more quickly, he was going to make a referral request to the Crisis Team at local hospital. He thought this might speed up the process of getting me an appointment for psychotherapy. He said he would ask for someone to contact me that day. I agreed.
A little while later GP telephoned again and advised he had spoken to a S.K. at the Crisis Team and that S.K. would be calling me directly that afternoon.
During the afternoon, I received a call from a withheld number, from S.K. He seemed very distracted and continually hummed throughout the conversation, saying ‘ah ha, ah ha, ah ha’ the entire time even when I was speaking. I asked several times if he was listening, as it seemed evident he was not. He assured me he was, however humming continued throughout. He asked me for some details and I gave him a brief summary of what had happened. I explained I was currently out of area in C whilst attending university, he said he would refer the doctors’ request to the Crisis Team in C and get one of them to call me.
Following this, I received a call from a S.A., again from a withheld number. He introduced himself as a member from the Crisis Team in C and said that he had been telephoned by S.K. He advised that the Crisis Team could visit me on Day 22. I asked if there was an earlier appointment and he offered Day 20 at 4pm at my apartment.
I asked him to confirm he already had the information about my case as it was incredibly distressing to keep having to repeat and explain it. He said he understood that, I shouldn’t worry, as the team had the information from S.K. I asked if it would be S.A. himself coming to the apartment and he said he could not say who would visit. He gave me the number for the team and told me that if I needed to I could call over the weekend for support.
During the afternoon, I had a terrible panic attack from a flashback, felt very frightened and breathless. Called the number S.A. had given me and spoke to a lady there who initially wanted me to explain the problem. I said I could not and that I had been told by S.A. that the information was already on record. I begged her to please just look at that. She took my name, looked me up on her records and then helped me control my breathing.
Flashbacks and sadness continued. I feel crippled with grief.
Day 20 at 4.15pm
Visited by S.P. from Access Assessment Mental Health Crisis Team in C. She asked if I could explain the situation to her. I said it was very difficult for me and that I was very surprised that she did not have the information with her (given that I had spoken to both S.K. and S.A. previously). She then looked at the report in her file and started to read parts of it out. She immediately noticed that the date was incorrect, it was dated the Day 43, in the future. She read out that my sister had contacted my doctor as she was concerned about me. I stopped her and said that was not true. I was extremely shocked that the report said my family were involved, given the nature of what I had spoken to my GP about.
Advised S.P. that it had been obvious to me that S.K. had not been listening to me when he spoke to me due to his constant humming of ‘ah ha, ah ha, ah ha’ and that I had asked him ‘Are you listening to me’ at the time. I asked to see the report, S.P. refused to show it to me.
Telephoned GP surgery at 4.25 pm with S.P. present and asked to urgently speak to doctor. I was told someone would call me back. Asked S.P. if I could photocopy the report, she refused. Asked to see it and read it myself, she refused. She said I would have to request a copy of my medical records from central office if I wanted to see it. I said I wanted to know what other incorrect information had been written about me and that I could not believe this was happening. S.P. remarked ‘Oh, you are obviously distressed’. I responded ‘Well, wouldn’t you be if someone who is supposed to be helping you had written a false report about you?’ She seemed surprised.
Asked her to read the report to me if she would not let me see it myself, she agreed and I began touch typing.
S.K. had written:
Day 43 – in the future, apparently
GP has seen subject twice for 45 minutes each time and spoken once on the ‘phone in the last week. He was very concerned when she did not turn up for a scheduled appointment and contacted the police. He reports that subject has been struggling to cope and that her sister contacted him because subject has been writing distressing reports of her childhood and is having obsessive thoughts.
I was by now extremely upset and reiterated that this was an entirely fictitious account. S.P. then refused to continue reading the report to me. I again requested to take a photocopy of the report twice more, she refused. She also refused to allow me to read any more of the report myself. I repeated that I could not believe that this was happening.
S.P. said she could see that my doctor had written I had the possibility of PTSD. She advised that she would contact her manager. She seemed out of her depth and as if she did not know what to do other than leave. She asked if I wanted the team to return and I said I was going to speak to my doctor first. She then left.
4.40pm received call from practice manager at GP surgery to advise GP had gone home for the day, and that I should call again tomorrow.
Incredibly distressed – not only trying to manage flashbacks and access medical help, but now obviously must keep track of everything that occurs with my case in the NHS. If I do not keep accurate records, medical personnel clearly feel entitled to just invent things and pass it on to anyone else they want. How does this establish trust? How does refusing to let someone see information about themselves help them to have any measure of trust in the medical professionals they are dealing with?
Appointment with GP. Showed him above excerpt from S.K.’s report and asked if this was the information he had given. He confirmed it was not. Asked for clarification if he had EVER had any contact with my sister, he confirmed not. Asked if anyone else had EVER approached him regarding my health, other than myself, he confirmed not. Asked if he had advised I was having ‘obsessive thoughts’, he confirmed he had not. Asked if he had ever called the police due to failure to keep an appointment on my part, he confirmed he had not.
GP advised he would write to S.K. and the Crisis Team in C advising both that S.K.’s report was untrue and inaccurate, and copy me in. I have never received this letter. He asked me what in particular bothered me about the report.
It is 2 things:
- It paints an incorrect and untrue picture of me as being someone not self-aware enough to seek medical assistance without the intervention of another person, objectifying me as someone without the mental faculties or wherewithal to make decisions for myself.
- Most importantly, it also leads the reader to immediately assume that I have contact with my family and that they are in some way involved. This is quite terrifying and completely unacceptable given the content of my flashbacks.
Session with private counsellor. Expressed utter dismay that there was no support from NHS. Very distressed.
Incredibly sad. In desperation, called Samaritans on Day 24.
Continued to try to manage flashbacks alone. Some memories sickening.
Found tiny support group (30 members) online for my specific experiences and recalled memories. Spoke with someone there in evening. I do not know what more I am supposed to do to access medical treatment. Desperate.
Session with private counsellor. Very worried about how I can continue to pay for counselling.
Telephoned GP surgery to request telephone appointment. GP unavailable. Receptionist offered appointment with another doctor I do not know. I declined.
Telephoned GP surgery for a second time seeking clarification about categorising sexual abuse. All doctors unavailable.
Received call from an S.W. at Crisis Team for Mental Health in C. She advised they were in receipt of a letter from GP correcting the previously inaccurate and untrue report from S.K. She offered an appointment on Day 29 at 4pm and advised 2 people would visit, although she would not tell me who, or what their professional capacity was. Asked if either of them would be psychotherapists, or psychiatrists, or psychologists, she said not. She advised they would need to make an assessment. Asked if they had a copy of the assessment made by S.C. at local Hospital on 5th January, she confirmed they had not.
Advised I found it very difficult to keep repeating distressing things to different strangers, but this made no difference. Given S.K.’s untrue report about me in the past 2 weeks, I advised that I want to see what is written about me in the assessment. S.W. said that would not be possible as it is confidential. I pointed out the confidentiality is FOR me, ABOUT me and MY personal information. It made no difference to her and her excuse was nonsensical.
She advised that if I want to see the notes they keep on me, then for each separate occasion I must make new request to medical records. Asked her to clarify how this establishes mutual trust, she refused to answer. I am expected to trust strangers with my extremely private information, but NHS will not extend a minimum level of trust nor respect towards myself, even after it is apparent they have made obvious errors.
Received call from GP. Advised him re appointment with Crisis Team on Day 29. He advised he was trying to contact a Dr B. (psychiatrist) for reassessment appointment.
Day 29 4pm
Received visit from C.C. and G.W. from C (North Essex) Crisis Team. Read prepared background statement entitled Overview. Dated copy given to them. Caroline read aloud original Account of childhood. Dated copy given to them. Explained I wanted both copies attached to their report so no possibility of misinformation. Was assured this would be done. Was assured that I would be given copy of report and my mistrust was entirely understandable given all background (including previous NHS errors). Discussed possibility of medical negligence from childhood.
Requested psychotherapy and both assured me this seemed as if it would be the most supportive service for me to access. Twice requested reassessment by psychiatrists of diagnosis given at 19/20 years and was assured by both this could also be arranged. WAS CATEGORICALLY ASSURED THAT IT WAS UNDERSTOOD AND AGREED CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENTS WHERE I HAD TO REPEAT PRIVATE INFORMATION TO STRANGERS WAS INDEED COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE AND DAMAGING. Requested clarification of how long recommendations would take to be executed so therapy and reassessment could start and was assured it would not take a further ‘couple of months’. Both C.C. & G.W. seemed patient and understanding.
G.W. asked specifically if I would prefer a female therapist/psychiatrist etc. given the nature of some of my memories, I confirmed yes, and was assured this was ‘very understandable’ and that the team were sensitive to this aspect of adult survivors. Confirmed I had no support system at all. C.C. advised she would telephone in 2 days’ time on Day 31 to see how I was doing. She gave me a card with a helpline number for their team. Felt relieved that finally I would be able to access treatment, they assured me this would happen. They took my email address to send me a copy of the report and recommendations, and information on grounding as I was finding it difficult to manage flashbacks. At no point was I asked the list of questions contained in C.C.’s report, other than if I was suicidal.
Session with private counsellor. Angry and distressed that no-one will help me.
Day 31 afternoon
C.C. telephoned from withheld number. Talked briefly. Advised I was distressed about continued flashbacks and had not received information on grounding from her, nor any copy of report. Was told she had had car trouble but it would all be sent on Monday. Reiterated requests for psychotherapy and reassessment of psych diagnosis.
Spoke to someone from tiny online support group again.
Day 34 afternoon
Called North Essex Crisis Team in C and asked to speak to C.C., she called back. Asked why I had still not received copy of report/recommendations, was told she could not scan my printed childhood accounts herself as system was ‘too difficult’ but that it was ‘being done’. Assured me I would receive them. Again requested information to assist me in grounding during flashbacks. C.C. suggested visiting me as support on Day 35, I agreed. Again reiterated requests for psychotherapy and reassessment of psych diagnosis, was again assured this was in hand.
Day 35 10.30am
C.C. visited. She did not bring copies of report/recommendations. She did bring information regarding grounding exercises. Talked for an hour during which time she advised she was now ‘unsure’ about which service to refer me to for psychotherapy. I was surprised and disappointed this had not already been done when she had assured me that it was ‘in hand’. I reiterated again, definitively, that I wished to access whichever service would give me psychotherapy quickest. I repeated that I was desperate for ‘tools’ to help me deal with flashbacks.
I requested again, twice, referral for reassessment of psych diagnosis and was assured that this was ‘no problem’ as there ‘is a psychiatrist on the team’. I once more requested reassurance that all information would be forwarded so that I did not have to be reassessed as I could not cope with it. She confirmed that there ‘should be no reason for this to happen again’. She left, again assuring me that she would email a copy of report and referral recommendations
Received call from practice manager advising that my pre-booked appointment for Day 45 with GP should be a week later. Advised I needed the appointment on Day 45 and did not want to wait a further week.
Received call at 3.54pm from surgery staff member A to advise that copies of GP records for self as a child that I had requested (and paid for) ‘could not be located’. Enquired as to why cheque had therefore been cashed. Advised ‘did not know’. Advised ‘records had disappeared’. Received SMS 45 minutes later advising that my request for records from my GP (received on day 14) had been forwarded on Day 24 and that I would be ‘kept informed when located’. To date, still nothing has been received.
Evening session with private counsellor. I can only afford to see her once more.
Day 38 morning
Received call from C.C. Advised that as I had still not received copy of assessment report with recommendation confirming reiterated requests for psychotherapy and reassessment of psych diagnosis, I was no longer willing to enter into verbal dialogue. Was advised they would be sent.
Received assessment report written by C.C. It contained the following errors/errors of omission/evidence of incorrect information given to client.
- Completed assessment date given as Day 38. On Days 29, 31, 34 and 35 repeated assurance was given to me by C.C. that report had already been written and excuses tendered as to why it had not yet been sent to me. Yet, it had clearly not yet been completed. Report was only completed when I refused to be placated by further verbal reassurances.
- Change in Services Provided box ticked. As I am currently receiving no services, how has anything changed?
- No mention of G.W. accompanying C.C. or even being present at all. It’s like he never existed.
- Question 3 on form regarding Support Network is incomplete. Why? My utter lack of a support system was made perfectly clear.
- Section on Current Situation: Support Network. Which part of no support network was unclear?
- Marital Status: Incorrect.
- Entire Section headed Completed By has been filled in by someone else. This is borne out by the line ‘Completed by: CARE CO-ORDINATOR/LEAD PROF’. None of the questions bar one were ever asked of me. Yet:
- The use of first person pronouns throughout indicates I was somehow involved in giving these answers. It’s inaccurate.
- Answers have been given on my behalf, without my knowledge or consent (using first person pronoun thus indicating it is consented to by myself). No evidence has been given to support any of these answers.
- Assessment: The use of the verb ‘deny’ to state suicidal tendencies is incorrect and subtly implies a negative connotation. This verb can only be appropriately used in the context of an accusation being levied. An accusation was never levied.
- Abnormal perceptions: Hallucinations. See above. The use of accurate language is essential. One cannot deny something one has not been accused of. No accusation was levied.
- Judgement: Flawed. Evidence required to support this. Subjective opinion is not fact and should be acknowledged as such.
- Summary of Needs: Possibly psychotherapy. Please clarify use of the word ‘possibly’ given GP referral, Assessment with Rapid Response at Basildon Hospital, and all subsequent conversations with G.W. & C.C.
- Error of Omission. Particularly disturbing is the deliberate error of omission of any mention of repeated requests, both by self, GP, and S.C. for reassessment of original psych diagnosis, and the responses given to same by both G.W. on the initial visit, and C.C. on the occasions of all interaction. In the context of a report that can find detail enough to note ‘well-kempt’ for appearance, this requires explanation.
- Having spoken extensively with both C.C. and G.W. regarding the specific circumstances of my childhood and life until the age of 28, within a high-level control, thought reform doomsday cult, it is interesting to note that no mention has been made of this, neither has any attempt been made to evidence substantiation.
Day 41 at 2pm
Received call from withheld number. Someone identifying themselves as ‘AX’ at Victim Support. Requested surname, refused to give it to me, said I would have to call North Essex Office to check his identity. Asked me to complete a questionnaire with him over ‘phone to see if I was eligible for support. Questions were facile and patronizing (Eg: Rate on a scale of 1 to 10 your current health – requested clarification if referring to mental or physical – was told he did not know). Humoured him and gave a number for all questions. Requested clarification of his experience. Was told he was a 30 year old but assured me he was ‘very mature’. Requested contact number, was refused. Was asked if there was specific information I needed, confirmed I wanted to know what police working practices with runaway children were in the 1980’s. Was informed he could help me with that. Appointment made for Day 44 but he will call again on tomorrow to confirm.
Received call again from AX. Confirmed appointment for Day 44. Requested clarification of what support was available. Was informed ‘someone to talk to’ and information regarding what services were available. Advised I had already contacted 26 organisations and had been refused support. Was told that was ‘very sad’. He had nothing else to offer.
Day 44 at 3pm
Received visit from AX. Showed me no identification. 30 year old male complete with clipboard and a sheaf of paperwork. Requested clarification on how many people access information, could not tell me. Advised I wanted copies of all written reports, was told to contact branch office. Asked for credentials and experience, was advised he is a student at the same university where I study. Questioned clarification on blurring of confidential boundaries if this was the case. How could the service benefit me if I could not talk in confidence for fear I would meet him on university campus? Was advised he ‘should have checked’ and would get his manager to call me. Asked for her name and was told ‘Sarah’. Asked for surname and was refused. Advised me he could give me information. Reiterated prior request for information on police working practices on runaway children in 1980’s, he had ignored it and I was told he would ‘have to get back to me on that’. AX left after advising me he would refer my case to another staff member and that I ‘should not have to wait long’ for new support.
Evening – final session with private counsellor. Discussed how utterly failed by the medical profession I feel and how I was no longer willing to subject myself to any more ‘assessments’ for the salacious entertainment of form-fillers. Talked about how damaging the entire experience had been and how sad and frustrated I am.
Day 45 at 11.30am
Surgery appt. with GP. Printed and submitted chronological timeline seeking help. Requested this be added to GP medical records. Advised I did not want to subject myself to any further ‘assessments’. Requested explanation of why, if the NHS is under-funded, they continued to pay for these repeated ‘assessments’. Both B PCT and C PCT have more than adequate information now. Asked for explanation why, as it is recognised by the clinical psychological community as incredibly damaging to a survivor to be disbelieved and forced to repeat the same information to different people, they continued to subject me this. GP’s response was a request for me to submit to an assessment by another GP on the premises. I refused.
Voicemail message from withheld number during afternoon: Message from unknown woman, called C.H., telling me she had received a call from my GP and wanted to advise me that another assessment had been booked with an unknown, male, clinical psychologist in 4 weeks’ time with a Dr J.H.. This doctor is not a psychotherapist, nor a psychiatrist, nor is he female, nor have I ever met him before.
The NHS has done nothing other than entertain themselves and cover-up medical negligence from decades previously. The fact that each NHS staff member I have spoken with has acknowledged and admitted that is it not only counter-productive but essentially damaging to make me repeat the same distressing information to complete strangers for each interaction, yet still persist in perpetuating a system that forces me to do so, indicates a subtle cruelty I find disturbing and slightly sick. This is what really happens to an abuse survivor when they come forward.