Thursday, May 27, 2010

3

Three attempts, two months. I feel like a failure. I am a failure. And what gets to me, is that my life isnt that hard, and im not that crazy, im simply sad. There would be days were i would just sleep at home, afraid of what the future held, afraid of trying to get anywhere. Or sometimes i would just sit and stare at the cuts on my arms, so thin, so perfect. Death was a mystery to me, and that is why i sought out to find it. It was the unknown. To attempt suicide, one has to already feel the pain, and experience it. Sure, everyone wants to die and forget about everything at some point in their life. Its only when you start preparing yourself for the pain and suffering, both mentally and physically, when you know you are suicidal. The people who arent prepared to live, are prepared to die.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Scars

Minnie came about 4 days into my stay at the hospital. She had a beautiful smile and was good at pretending she was ok. We had this in common. Minnie had tried to cut off her own hand. She showed us all the cut. Everyone thought it was disgusting, other than me. I thought it was beautiful. There is something about wounds that I found lovely. Maybe it was the sear the knife made and how the bright red would slowly envelop my skin, and I could watch and give myself the power to do this. Or maybe it was the reminder that I was a living, breathing, human being with skin and bones, and layers, but most of all, feelings. The people that surrounded me exploited my feelings on a regular day-to-day basis. My soul was bleeding from the names I had been called. Mostly slut. Everyone has a different tolerance for how much shit they can take in life. Taylor’s was high, and so was Minnie’s. Minnie’s mother was a drug addict and hurt her both emotionally and physically. She finally was taken into foster care. Minnie told me that she had been so scarred by what her mother did to her that she blamed herself. She was still smiling.

Schedule

Wolverine

My first group session came as a bit of a shock. We were in a shabby room with blue seats that had been ripped apart and their were yellow stains on the ceilings. About 14 boys came into the room, all looking more disturbed than the last. Not all of them were unattractive, and their was something interesting about them all. Some girls couldn’t handle having boys in the group and would stand up and spontaneously attempt to get naked. I found this very amusing, but the staff did not. One of the boys there was completely silent all through group. He wasn’t illiterate or retarded; he just refused to speak in this ‘crazy-house’. His name was DeJohn and he would stare at me all through group not blinking. He had dark chocolate skin and wore a neon green t-shirt. One day in group, he opened up.He told us that he felt like he could trust us, so he decided to let us on in his secret. He was Wolverine. He told us that at his school, everyone was afraid of him as they had seen his claws, and when the police came for him, they had to call in 10 men just to pin him down. He was convinced that he was white, with green eyes. He spoke about how he liked to lift up cars and how he was deciding weather to use his power for good or for bad. I looked at his hands. There were three deep cuts on the knuckles of each hand. I felt like crying. What was sad about him, was not what he was saying, it was the fact that he believed everything that was coming out of his mouth so strongly, and I knew it would eventually destroy him. Some of the people in group laughed and played along, but I just watched in silence.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Rest Hour

The hospital was an escape for some of us. A confined parallel universe away from the expectations and rules of the real world. The environment was surreal. We were locked up, stripped bare of our fa├žade of normality, with less clothes and no make up. Our privacy was gone, but we were somewhat free. Some girls couldn’t handle leaving. I remember one girl, Anna, who had short brown hair, tan skin and wonky teeth threw a fit the day before she left. She ran around the hallways screaming “This place is a fuck up. It doesn’t do shit for you. Fuck up!” and then slammed her door so hard that bits of the crappy wall fell onto the floor. Some of the girls found this very amusing and jumped with joy and clapped their hands as if it was a movie or show. This happened during visiting hour and her mother watched the whole thing. There were several parts of the day where we were expected to just keep to ourselves: Quiet time and Visiting hour. I just sat on my bed in silence and thought. I thought about trying to kill myself again, I thought about the headlights of the car I ran in front of and I thought of the faces of the two children in the backseat. Before I knew it I would be lying on my bed crying for hours on end.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Checks

Every 5 minutes, we were checked. 5 minute checks, 10 minute checks, 15 minute checks. The doors were wide open and every night I would hear the footsteps of the nurses, and then feel the warm glow of their flashlights on my back. In 5 minutes, you couldn’t do much. For some girls, it was enough to scratch themselves till they bleed, for others it was just enough time to shower. For me, it was just enough time to stare out of the barred window and gaze at the outside world (or the parking lot of the hospital), and look at the sunlight sparkle through the trees. The problem with doing this while a nurse was present, is that they would most likely think I was a catatonic depressive or something along those lines. 5 minute checks. 10 minute checks. 15 minute checks. Checks. Footsteps. Flashlights. I enjoyed simply being alone, drawing or reading magazines and just being myself for once.

Taylor

Taylor was a large (very large) black girl who had choppy, short frazzled hair that stuck up. She was a constant reminder that I didn’t have it so bad. In group she would talk about her abusive dad, who beat her head into a wall on several occasions. I wanted to hug her, but I was afraid. I was secretly afraid of everyone there but I never let it on, knowing that some of the girls who were in for beating or attempting to kill others hated the weak. Taylor was 16, and had been raped, been in jail, had a baby, and watched her baby burn to death. She never cried. Her face was kind, but her emotions were all hidden. In group, no one ever questioned her. She didn’t deserve it. Some of us were emotional wrecks, and it wasn’t based on the situations we had been put in, but our own state of mind. But Taylor, just needed love. The way she saw affection was different from everyone else. She adopted the name ‘Mama’ as she was the most respected and motherly girl in the ward. Her idea of a ‘Mama’ was to snap us with rubber bands whenever any of us pissed her off. I think I was the only girl who found this sad. Taylor would snap our wrists or thighs so hard that they would leave a mark for a number of days. On one occasion, Aleah, who was a uneducated brat who seemed like she had tourettes (or maybe just no self control or morals) was snapped in the thigh, she started screaming, and immediately told staff. When questioned, we all stood up for Taylor, and claimed it never happened. I did it because I was terrified of her, and others did it because they didn’t see anything wrong with it. They had endured so much more than me. I didn’t understand why these victims of the most harsh cruelty in the world had to be put away, and labelled physco. Surely they were just wounded souls who had been brought up to believe that violence was acceptable. I loved them in a way that no one else would ever understand. And I knew they loved me in the same way. All of us had been driven one way or another to feel responsible for the hardship in our lives. We were all hurt, and in pain. We all understood each other. I felt so weak in comparision to the other girls. Yet they all thought I was so strong. I had been through a couple of changes, sure. But I didn’t have a kid, or a jail sentence to go back to. I was never raped or molested. Some of these girls had never been told they were beautiful in their whole lives. Taylor provided a form of love that was understandable to us all, and she didn’t know any better. She made us a large dysfunctional family, that wasn’t that much more dysfunctional than the families we had all left back home.

Journey to the Looney Bin

Most people write books and make movies about mental institutes. I don’t see why I shouldn’t. But most of those people experienced these things at age 20 or 30, not 14. Its embarrassing. Its an odd accomplishment as well. It doesn’t make much sense but that’s just what it is. I remember being strapped into the ambulance stretcher and feeling like I was crazy, and then realizing that I probably was crazy considering I had tried to kill myself and was now going to an adolescent asylum. The stretcher was pulled by two ladies in their twenties, one was thin and blonde and the other was a stocky brunette with a nose piercing. As they pushed be through the hallways I kept my head up, as I hate hospitals and seeing all the dying miserable farts lying around (previously I caught a glimpse of an obese woman shitting her hospital bed) and held onto my moms hand. It was the last I was going to see of her at least for that night as she wasn’t allowed to come with me. I was wearing a shabby hospital gown and I had no make up so I felt blank and depressed. I guess I sound awfully materialistic but to be honest im not like that at all, im just terribly insecure and enjoy covering it up. But anyway, as I was lying on the stretcher the two woman holstered me up into the ambulance and the chubby one went to the front and the blonde on came in the back with me. I remember looking out of the back of the window looking at all the familiar malls and streets and wondering how long it would be till I saw them again. The blonde woman asked me all the same questions ‘How did you attempt to kill yourself’ and ‘Do you have a family history of depression.’ I just sat there for what seemed like 3 hours in the back of the ambulance, listening to the two woman debate about what panda express to go to later that night. When we arrived my nerves were worse. The place looked like a fucking old person home. It was a run down one story hospital in the middle of nowhere surrounded by electric fences. As the rolled me in we went past different wings labeled ‘Adult Unit 1’ “Anorexic and Bulimic Unit’ and finally ‘Adolescent Unit’ I went in strapped on the stretcher and I was welcomed by male staff in their early thirties. At first I was self conscious realizing I looked like I was in a straight jacket and then I realized it couldn’t be that shocking considering we were in a mental hospital. There were 3 men, one of them told me he liked my flats. Sure, I thought, attempt to make me feel comfortable in a situation like this. He introduced himself as Alexis and lead me to a small empty room with a telephone and a chair. He told me that he liked Hello Kitty and pointed to a sticker on his name tag. I faked a smile and then filled out the form they had given me about why I was there. I sat there waiting. Finally a woman came in. I explained my case to an thin Asian woman with a birthmark on her forehead. It was odd for me to be so open about a side of me that was this dysfunctional and hidden. I explained my case all the same. She took away my belongings and removed my hair tie (because I was really planning on killing myself with a hair tie) and lead me through a long hallway of rooms. I saw rows large heavy doors propped wide open and 3 beds facing towards each of them. When we reached the end of the hall she reached her hand out signifying which was my room. I walked in. The room was pale and cold, nearly empty other than 3 beds and 3 dressers. Only one of the beds was occupied and it seemed to be taken by a large girl wearing a hat. Oh joy, I thought, who could this be. I didn’t think things could get much worse. That night I cried myself to sleep.