I think I had been here close to two days before I got a tour of section one, first floor. I had been told that this area was the assessment and stabilization unit, psychiatric rehabilitation plus adult outpatient service. First thing I noticed is how white the place was. I mean everything was white, the walls, ceiling and floors. Oh, you want to know what shade of white it was … did you hear the explosion, that was me, my head just blew off! One thing is for sure I am so glad I am not the one to clean this place. The lights were the standard fluorescent light bulbs that most businesses have. There were several windows, this gave the area a sense of openness. While I was getting a tour, the nurse was going through everything I needed to know and the rules of conduct.
When my clothing was brought to me, it had to be decent with nothing that could be offensive to others. Really what is out there that does not offend someone nowadays. There will always be one individual that has their knickers in a knot. My pants, they had to be at the waste line blah blah blah. For security reasons, I can not wear any headbands, hooded sweaters, jogging pants with strings, scarfs or sunglasses. As she is going through the rules for clothing and the reason behind them. It crossed my mind … pillowcases, sheets, bedding all of these items could be used as a means of strangulation. Maybe I am taking this WAY out of contrast, but it is a little much to have all these stipulations placed here. For instance, what if a Muslim wanted to wear her hijab! For some this is very important to them and is part of their religion, would you say no because the patient could strangle themselves. And what about the Christian that wears a cross?
The hours that patients could have a shower was from 9:30 am to 10:30 pm, except during meals, nap time and shift change. Changing of the bedding was to be done once a week by myself. Everyone was to be dressed no later than 10 am. Products that were for personal hygiene were the patient’s responsibility. Showering time and restrictions, I wholeheartedly agree with. Taking care of ourselves is a must, no one can help you if you are not willing to help yourself. Products for personal use … have you gone to a public washroom and stuck a quarter in the slot for a cheap pad? That is when you know you are desperate! Once again not an issue.
All electronics are forbidden. Phones are provided to make local calls only. Razor blades and plastic bags are also banned. For the older group, no electronics are going to take us back to the good old days, where fresh air was your friend. The younger adults, I could see a hard time adjusting to not having their cell phone connected to their hand. No razor blade … by the time I walk out of this place I am going to have my own personal Chia pet growing all over my body … I do hope this institution does not mind battery operated razor!
Breakfast starts at 8:45, lunch is at 12, dinner is 4 and snacks is at 7pm to 10pm. There is no food allowed outside the cafeteria. We are not allowed to have food brought in. I can have two guests at a time, during the week 3pm to 5pm and weekends 2pm to 5pm. Anything that is brought in for me has to be inspected by security with my presence there. This is pretty much straightforward, there is no way to mess this part up.
The nurse gets to the room that I will be staying and wanted to know if I had any questions for her. There was only one thing that she did not cover, and that was the smoking grounds. It was kind of easy to remember. I had to walk straight make a left, security desk … sign out and sign in and the last time I can go in or out of doors was 10:15. This was once again straight forwards you can not mess this up.
I went into the room and listened to the footsteps of the nurse leaving the location. The steps were loud, and the pace was slow. There were four beds in the room. They remind me of the ones in a regular hospital, you know the ones were the back goes up and down with railings on the sides. So when you are sleeping, you do not fall out. Oh … oh here is a shocker, the room was white with white sheets. Everything here was white, I am starting to wonder if they have any issues with colours. I used to like white, now I am beginning to hate it.
The bed closest to the window appeared to be made by a cleaner. I will take a lucky guess and assume that this bed is free. There was a bathroom to the right of me. There were a small white sink and a stand-up shower. With the toilet in between the sink and the shower. If you had ever been to the hospital for an overnight stay, their washroom was pretty much the same here. Except a hospital is not scared to add colours to their building structure.
For a window, I would say it was average size. Instead of the windows opening up and down it opened outwards just a bit, just enough to allow fresh air to come in. Taking a guess this is for safety precaution so that no one tries to jump out of the window. My head would not even fit through the opening.
The view was not grand when you look out this window. Just green grass, but I could see the sky perfectly. As long as there is not any light pollution seeing the stars at night will be easy and beautiful at the same time. I remember sitting on the bed and looking at both of my arms. The first thought that came to mind was that the doctors did an excellent job at stitching up my arms. One long gouge going up each arm. Pretty much from my wrist to my elbow. On my right hand, just a tiny bit the wound went onto my palm. My mind started to wonder on to the events that lead me to this place.
I do not remember very much that night I was rushed to the hospital. There are only theories, but I do remember what led up to that night. There were so many days that I had little to no sleep. Days turned into weeks and weeks into over a month. Over and over I had to protect myself. Looking over my shoulders all the time. I could trust nothing and everywhere was unsafe. In over a month there had been three noise complaints. Two of those times an officer came knocking at my door. The first time the cop asked me if I was alright, I shrugged and said I passed out and had hit many boxes. That was probably the noise that the other tenants had heard. Before the cop would leave, he wanted to have a look around my place and asked if he and his co-worker could come in. Opening the door, they walked around found nothing and told me I should go get my head looked after. The second time the landlord came knocking on my door. I had not been home. A note had been left saying that whatever animals I have in my unit better be gone or he would charge me for any and all damage to my unit. The last visit was from the officers again. I told the cops that the table my computer was on had collapsed and that is what the neighbours had heard. They said to me if they come back to one more complaint I could be given a fine. Rate on cue, the computer that was sitting on the coffee table went tumbling to the floor.With boxes falling to the floor as well. The expression on their faces was priceless. The door was wide open so they could see my small little bachelor unit. From their perspective, there was no reason that the items should have fallen or the computer being pushed to the floor. A few nights later, sleep deprived and at a loss, I sat in the middle of my unit on the floor. Sage, salt, stones nothing worked. I was almost contemplating whether or not to get this damn place blessed or just move again. That is the last thing I remembered though I do have a theory on what happened once I passed out.
When I woke up in the hospital, the doctor told me I was a lucky lady. If my paternal brother had not shown up when he did, I would not have made it. There was this nurse who gave me the speech that I have so much to live for and how I have hurt my family and friends deeply. That there are professionals out there for individuals with depression. She did not know what I have been thrown so I can not fault her response to the scene she is judging. But come on people look closer at the wounds! I do have to add one thing that she was wrong, I did not hurt my family. They do not even know that I am in the hospital! I have not talked to them since the death of my mother. And they do not live remotely close to me. I left that small shit ass town close to one decade ago, and I have not looked back. Friends … how are they again? The mass majority of those on my Facebook friends list will not give a damn about me. Oh, they may go and say their sad, pathetic lines of ‘oh why did not she call out to someone? Or how selfish of her to do this to everyone she has hurt us all! ‘
News flash if you were really my friend and knew me, you would have already known what is going on. Those that know the real me knew what was going on. Facebook is nothing but a popularity contest to see how many friends you can have on your list. And a means to detach yourselves from human contact and connection. It is a place where you can whine and complain about how miserable your life is, in the hopes to gain sympathy. And nine out of ten times you will get the reaction that you are wanting. And guess what? It is the wrong attention that you are getting. Attention neither the rest but not the right attention that you should be aiming for! Then again lucky for me, my associate’s list is very selective and small. Cleaning the closet so to say has directed the right attention versus the wrong focus. Though I do try to avoid drama, it is inevitable that sooner or later it will come. Whether it is directly or indirectly. With such a dislike for Facebook, I very rarely go on, pretty much only to view pictures of my fraternal brother and his wife.
While I was still at the hospital, the nurses and doctors would come in and check up on me. Some of them even dared to give me a speech on their opinions of my actions. Needless to say, that did not go over very well with me. It only fueled my rage. They only see the wounds, yet if they had just a brain to think with, they would have realized there was no way I could have made these wounds, take a closer look and they are wounds that mimic self-defence. I guess a Ph.D. does not make you all that smart. If the doctors and nurse knew anything, they would have realized the wounds were not consistent with a knife. Seriously look at the length, depth even the beginning and end of the wounds. It was not a knife, there was no knife located near my body, yet these educated university grad’s presume so much more. Think about it for a second, what is the norm for a cutter, the cutter will start at the wrist, moving into the body. The wound would be thin and depending on the amount of pressure would depict the depth. On the other side of the coin to suit my situation, the beginning part was above my elbow heading to my wrist, it was not a cut but a gouge and deep. You do not need a university degree to say this wound was not from a knife.
The doors of this prison, I was taken to the observation room. There they took my blood told me I could rest on this cot-like bed. Here they would assist my situation and later would have a place to go to and stay for the length of time needed. At least I can say that the nurse was pleasant. She had a soft kind voice, a light radiated off of her that was very welcoming. Her mannerism was perfect for this job.
Time had passed, and the food was brought to me. I have to say it was not that bad. A lot better than my cooking abilities and cheap than takeout. After I finished eating, I was handed a clipboard where I was asked to answer the following questions. There were nine questions, and I had to answer: not at all, several days, more than half the days, or nearly every day. And these questions had been based on the last two weeks, how often I have been bothered by the following. Little energy in doing things, feeling down or depressed, troubles with sleeping, low energy, problems with appetite, feeling poorly about oneself, troubles with concentrating, moving slowly or fidgety, thoughts of death. I recalled the nurse asking me if I had answered the questions honestly. Of course, I did, but you not having the insight into my hellish life would think otherwise. She said my score showed that I was perfectly fine. Hmmm, who would have thought … I fine!