Self sabotage runs rampant on any flight deck. Self destruction’s expression served as an accurate twin for my battle worn spirit. Before one lands in the State Hospital, a person must establish the reputation as a retread to many institutions. Essentially, the short-term care hospitals became sick of my face repeated, and a hearing with the psychiatrist, a lawyer for the patient’s rights, a support person (my dad), and other nameless bystanders who “said” to me, “You’re fucked. Stop your imbecile notion to appeal. If you continue to argue our recommendation, when you arrive at the State Hospital, you bet your bottom, that your social worker will break the dreadful news: your stuck here girl…forever.” I wondered about the extended definition of forever during my ride to this god forsaken asylum. The social worker allowed me to smoke a cigarette after my three-hour ambulance ride the hospital. Her kindness provided me with a very wrong understanding of the employee’s attitudes. I entered the enormous brick building that always smelled like lemon peppered fish . This building housed the patients who needed an assessment before the psychiatrist sent them to their correct building.
My psychiatrist lashed out at me, because I told him the correct dosage of Neurontin for me to take. I needed at least 1200 mg a day, if not 2400 mg. I incensed the doctor’s pride so precisely, that he ordered me off of the ward ASAP. He wanted to send me to the worst ward on the grounds: E2 south. For example, a guy on that ward wore a helmet every waking moment of his life. He dealt with uncontrollable epilepsy, and paranoid schizophrenia. He sat upon a “throne”, or in plain terms the asshole wardens pushed him on an elevated wheelchair with his helmet on his tender head all day long. The other patients on this ward suffered from like illnesses minus the epilepsy.
To Sue: Thank this woman I never made it to E2 south. She found another ward with a head nurse who agreed to transfer out a patient who performed under par for that ward’s qualifications. So, before the doctor’s small prick interfered, Sue transferred me to a less restrictive ward. At first, I felt comfortable there. My best friend lived there already for 10 months. Our scrabble games resumed.
Back to the drugs and alcohol, I struggled to get and remain sober since the age of 15. At this time in my life, I just turned 27 (the magic number for that elite age 27 death club.)
I transferred again after almost 8 months to a discharge building. Readers, stay seated, because to prepare to discharge took upwards of a year or more. This united the 19-year-old friend I talked about initially in this story. Both of us landed passes off the grounds for a weekend for her, and a day pass for me. Monday rolled around and she asked another friend of her’s and I to walk to a smoke shack near the back entrance of the dining hall. A gorgeous, sunny, blistering, hot day, and the three of us huddled inside this tiny shack made primarily to smoke in or to obtain a light for your cig. My friend pulled out some dope. Not heroin, but the “gateway” drug. Oh, God, she offered, and I thought without a doubt to take a long ass drag off of a soda can bowl we designed. Such an amateur method, but the three of us floated out of the smoke shack. I awarded her a bear hug for scoring some really good shit.
I returned to the building 15 minutes before 8:oo pm (our curfew), still higher than my comfort level to hang around the rest of the crowd before we retired for the night. I decided to report to the medicine room, and take my meds early to avoid the long line. I underestimated how paranoid the dope made me. My hand shook with the little cup in it. Paranoia plus a guilty conscience concluded in me dashing to my room. Thank God, me, and only me slept in that room. The final hours of that night before sleep finally released me, the nurse’s expression who gave me my meds tipped me off that all of the nurses knew what went down in the smoke shack. I fought with the urge to confess my violation of the rules even until the next day. In a State facility, cockroaches climb out of the mouth’s of the desperate. Fortunately, no one knew but us three.
Every now and then I needed a break from this miserable existence. Mental illness ended up replicating a crime I never committed.
But in the psychiatric world, in order to treat my illness, a judge committed me for 180 days twice. The mentally ill and criminals receive the same treatment. Well, I’m well and committed to exposing the fraud that the mental health system evades discussing through the non-disclosure agreements we sign.
It mattered little anyway. If I refused to sign the paper work, the employees’ foul intentions, such as denying me a night-time snack, began the pressure cooker to start to boil over. Lions and tigers and bears…oh my.