I was asked to do assessment for a potential new client today. So, pepagi buta I dah naik South West Train to Frimley and made my way to the local PCT (Primary Care Trust) and adjourned to their Mental Health Unit. I was given this referral by my supervisor over the phone late last night. He is a young man with Bipolar Manic Depression and in addition, ada pulak ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
I was dead anxious with ADHD cases, particularly if the patient is young, speaking between 18 to 25. Reason being, this is when they're at their 'peak' of their 'hyperactivity'. Having psychotic disorder didn't help at all. I'm desperate to clock up my clinical hours so, I will have any case coming, flying, landing in my way.
So, Frimley and 21 years old young man with what stated above, here I come. Mukadimah nya, camni...I have to past 2 secured wooden door and talked to 2 intercom, having to coached 2 different person to pronounce my name. Nama melayu lah kata kan. Takpe, sabar aje lah..punyalah ramainya Filipino nurses, smiling at me thinking I'm one of them.Well,I am indeed, kalau kira ethnicity la...bukankah saya ni East Asian?
I met the Head Nurse who is also Mamat ADHD ni punya keyworker (the term they called someone who work closely with each patient) So, this nurse startlah bagi I briefing about this young man. I should refer his as JANTAN lah ye..tak boleh bagitau nama, breaking confidentiality tu. The Nurse also mentioned 'Oh..this is very coincident'. I asked back 'What? What is the coincident?' The Nurse then said 'Oh...JANTAN is also Indonesian'. I was like 'What...?' The Nurse tu pun macam terperanjat 'Oh, I thought you're from Indonesia'. I smiled back, and tell him that he is half right because I'm indeed half Indonesian. My mother is from Sumatera you all...
Yes, kawan-kawan.JANTAN ini is half Irish (alamak) and half Indonesian. Irish father and mother that came from Jakarta. The Nurse walked me to the meeting room where JANTAN is waiting. I try to build up expectation but I can't, even knowing that he is like me, only my father is from Malaysia.So in the end, seconds before been introduced to him, I am expectationless.
So,we were introduced. He gave me this really weird look. I immediately thought it was my hair that he felt weird about (ye larr..kan tersalah colour ari tu) and then he immediately smile but not for long. He is not that bad looking, he look more Irish than Asian, green eyes, black hair.I still can see his Asian bits though,long face, deep eyed and slighty tanned skin. Tak cekelat, tak putih..
This over eager Nurse terus cakap kat JANTAN, she is half Indonesian too. Motif? Nggak tau dong. I then began the first process, take his details and ask him sets of questions.His reaction was like, okay, asked away.I felt bad at that instant.It feels like I rushed him.
We began talking. He doesn't look interested. I picked up on that.I told him that I can stop now if he feels uncomfortable and he was 'Well, you go ahead, it's your job, innit?' I replied 'It seems that you're so used being in this situation' and he went 'Yeah, I saw loads of people like you', and I still feel like crap. I noticed that he starts getting agitated. He taps his thighs with his hands and starts drumming on it. He laughed and starts standing up. He walked across the room and sit back where he was seated. And he starts drumming the table.
He was struggling to concerntrate. I can understand that. He got ADHD. I'm also aware of his challenging behaviour.After 5 minutes of exchanging glances and smiles at each other, he broke the silence and ask 'Ask me anything in Indonesian language.I am good at it you know'. I replied 'Why don't you ask me anything in Indonesian, I'm not that good but I do understand'.
He went and told me that (although I already knew from his records) he was born in London but since young converse in Indonesian language and only starts speaking 'proper' English since he was 7. He told me his mother doesn't speak English.His parents got divorced and he was forced to return to Jakarta when he was 10.
He starts telling me that 'all this problems' started in Indonesia and how he hated it. I asked 'it?' Is it the divorce,the separation or the country? JANTAN said 'all of them'.
I asked him back, in my most 'frail' Indonesian dialect ' Apaiin yang kurang enak disana? Kamu nggak suka sama siapa? JANTAN laughed and laughed....I laughed too.
I got the feeling that he is trying to bond but same time very wary of me. So I suggested this 'Okay, let's do this...I'll try speaking in Indonesian language but I can't promise the silver plated eloquency and I'll mix it with Bahasa Malaysia,because I'm better in Bahasa Malaysia than Indonesia. He smiled.
Dalam hati, I'm not so sure I'm doing this the right way. I am not supposed to do this 'over bonding' bit. Psychoanalytic Protocol.I'm going to be his councellor for goodness sake.I'm not supposed to 'expose' myself like that.The similarity (half Indonesian) must have never been brought up.I better stop now.
And I did.I explained to him why I'm there and I want to get on with why I am there for in the first place. I did it all in English..and while doing this, JANTAN keep pacing about and drumming either the table, the chair and himself.
After 40 minutes and less progress, I told him that our session is over and I'll be in touch. He asked 'Do you want to? Nobody likes me'. I look at him 'It is up to you'.JANTAN suddenly 'I like your hair'.
I can only smile back.It's rules.You can't say anything back.
I arrived home early and felt very flat. The only that I can think of after that meeting was 'Should I learn to speak Indonesian?'