It’s been a long time since my first hospitalization. I’m 26 and I believe I was 14 or 15 the first time. So here’s how it went according to my memory.
I remember partial events leading up to the night, a few delusions and some hallucinations. I had just quit football, I wasn’t doing well in school. I spent a lot of time in my room and even more time sleeping. I was very antisocial and extremely insecure about myself as a whole. The night it happened I had no idea what was coming.
I never got along with my mother and there has always been some distrust there but that night sealed the deal. Other than my very first delusion was of my mother eating my brain, from a normal stand point our relationship was in poor condition. I was in what I believe is the worst time in my life, not because of my illness though. I was a handful to say the least and my mother couldn’t handle it. I drank alcohol, smoked pot and cigarettes and I had a bad habit of getting myself into trouble, especially with the law. My mother and I fought every night, my mother liked to come home drunk from the local bar and pick fights with me.
I remember one time she came home drunk and it was clear she wanted a fight. So I pretended to be asleep. She ran up to my room, opened my door and pulled me out of bed by my ear. The pain was unbearable.
She never used to buy food for the house. At 12 years old I got a job under the table just to be able to feed myself. For a while I survived off of trail mix and breakfast shakes. I also relied on stealing food from my schools cafeteria because she never gave me lunch money. More about all this at a later time, let’s get back to that fateful night.
I remember skipping school that day to stay home and sleep. I was also scared of going to school because of the odd thoughts I was having. My mother was working that day so she didn’t get home until later that night.
It was dark outside, I was in my room when my mother got home. She called me downstairs into the kitchen to tell me I had a doctors appointment at the hospital. I remember thinking how odd it was that my appointment was at the hospital but to avoid a fight, I said okay and went back upstairs.
Shortly after that we left, I don’t remember much of the ride. I remember it being long and I mostly starred out of the window. There wasn’t any conversation, she didn’t ask me if I was okay. She didn’t offer up any information as to what this was all about.
We made it to the hospital, I was in and out of blacking out or at least that’s what I remember. I learned gaps in my memory are a good indicator that I blacked out. It’s odd to think that I could still do things like walk through a hospital, without being consciously aware of it. We parked and went inside.
I entered into the processing section of the behavioral health wing unknowingly and I remember my mother leaving me there. I don’t remember her coming back but my father says they did. Crazy thing is I don’t even remember my father being there. I remember getting up and looking for a bathroom. I was yelled at by the staff to get back into my room. I told them that I had to use the bathroom and they replied with “we’ll send someone there in a minute”. I remember getting mad and flipping out on them. They called security and when they arrived I remember thinking that I could fight them, I could escape whatever hell awaited me in the coming days. I remember looking one security guard in the eye from across the way and deciding to turn around and go into my room.
My next memory takes me to my room inside the mental health wing itself. I had the room to myself, there were cubby’s for my belongings deemed safe. The bathroom didn’t lock and the mirror was taking out of it. I remember the door to the room had a little window, used by nurses to glance at us in the middle of the night to make sure we’re okay. The wing itself was L shaped with the nurses station being at the corner, along with the lounge. We were allowed outside, into this caged in area directly off of our lounge. It consisted of a picnic table and a small area to where we played with a basketball.
I grew used to my surroundings and after a while I got comfortable. The meds were working but I was still adjusting. Time was the last thing to come into focus, it honestly felt like I was there for months. I was actually there for three weeks. They offered schooling for those of us who were interested, I of course was not. Pretty soon I was almost back to my normal self. I started to try and make friends. It was easier than real life to make friends, being surround by people going through similar things as me.
One day I had a set back, I was being visited by all three of my parents. My mother picked a fight with my father and pretty soon all three of them were fighting. I flipped out on my step mother, I don’t remember why. I walked away pissed off and I punched a concrete wall as hard as I could. At the time I didn’t think nothing of it. The nurses came into my room with a needle. I told them I had calmed down and they didn’t need to put that in me. I convinced them luckily because I was ready to brawl with them over it. Later on the nurses came back in and said they had to X-ray my hand. Apparently my punch to the wall was heard on the other side of the wing. To their surprise and disbelief my hand was fine, waste of an X-ray.
Another set back I had was when they wanted to run some tests on my brain. Watch my brainwaves and what not, I don’t know much about the tests. I just remember when they flashed me with this really bright light while monitoring me. I remember being completely disoriented for hours. It severely messed with my ability to think and process information, as well as keep my balance. I remember the security guard that took me over there talking to me and all I could do is stare at him, unable to think or speak.
Eventually I was released and I went home with my mother. A lot of my time spent at the hospital gone from me and I will never know everything that happened. What had taken me by surprise turned out to be a positive event. Though I punished everyone for a long time.
It took me so long to realize that my hospital probably saved my life.