They’re Coming to Take Me Away! (Again)

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The episode started per usual; something that I shouldn’t be upset about was upsetting me, and that in itself upset me. All too soon I was crying all too hard, staring out at the empty parking lot through the rain spattered windows. My body was shaking, and I writhed like some demon possessed me– desperate to get out of my skin. Out of my head. Out of this hell. I started shouting, screaming through my gritted teeth. My heart was going to burst– I knew it. The violinists came aboard: “Gentleman, it has been a pleasure playing with you tonight.”

Off to the ER…

“Are you sure?” again, and again. No, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. Yes I knew they’d very likely lock me up and throw away the key once they knew how crazy I was. I wasn’t sure of anything except that I was absolutely and definitely going to die if I didn’t get help. Now. “She said they can’t make you go in.” But neither could my own two feet. The nurse was kind, and I let them help me out of the van and into a wheelchair. I stuttered out my personal info to the staff between sobs and hyperventilated in tandem with the breathing prompts as best I could. They gave me the dreaded plastic bracelet– the shackle that says, you’re ours, now

Now I don’t recall much detail of the ordeal itself, as I tend to “blackout” almost when I get these attacks. But the thing that stands out so clearly in my mind is how degrading it felt. “This is why I didn’t come here sooner”, I thought to myself. This is why I never get help. If you’ve been paying attention, it’s no surprise I like to spend as little time as possible in pants. Ask any woman and they’d likely agree that taking off their bra is the best part of the day. But having to do all this– having to strip down with limited motor control, sobbing, in a overly sterilized room with a camera watching from the corner. It’s demoralizing. Instantly I felt as if I were in a horror movie. I felt violated on top of embarassed for having came in at all. Insult to an imaginary injury.

People came and went. Questions flew and faces feigned concern and well wishes. Someone asked if I wanted something to calm me down. “No how about some fucking cocaine, I feel a bit mellow” I wanted to say. I nod complacently. They bring me an ativan. They bring me a slushie– tangerine flavored. It’s clear and tastes like hospital. Someone finally brought in a pair of “warm” blankets. I wrapped the scratchy fabric around my scratchy legs (what a day to skip shaving) and around my shoulders. I cover myself completely, certain that if I cocooned for long enough, I’d emerge a beautiful catterfly. Or just functional, even.

Panic grew to grogginess, grogginess to a swelling anger, and then to a rambling of drowsy rants and inappropriate giggling. I watched the sterile cup, filled as requested, sit forgotten on the counter. I can’t blame them– I wouldn’t want to catch this either. After a grueling 7 hours since admittance, the social worker showed up. I reshashed my script to him as he gave me his concerned middle school counselor look. Diagnosis: Totally and completely batshit crazy, and probably not fit for public None. But he did highly recommend and refer (upon my agreeing) that I  continue seeing my psychologist, and add a psychiatrist to the mix because I very clearly need to be heavily medicated, apparently.

All in all, it was a terrifying experience, but could have been worse. I made no threat of suicide, so I was deemed safe to go home. No “high risk” tags on my door. No leaving the hospital with nurses on our heels. No police showing up with the ultimatum to return to the hospital or put my father in danger of punishment for taking me home to begin with. No ride back to the hospital in the back of the cop car, Matchbox Twenty’s “Unwell” playing in a disgusting bout of irony. No mandatory ambulance ride to transfer hospitals, getting manhandled and treated like trash. No thin plastic mattress to fall apart on. No mandatory sessions and meal times. No lunatic charging at me for pacing the halls, only to be tackled by orderlies. No, not this time. This time I was stronger. This time I asked for help– accepted it. This time, we’re trying something new.

This time, I’ll get better…

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