Anonymous 3 Speakout
Submitted by admin on Wed, 02/21/2007 - 06:16
i spent many hours sitting beside myself in that tiny blue room. i spent too much time staring at myself, at the girl in the * full body straight jacket lying on the floor. *safety coat was the euphamism used to describe this particular piece of equipment. i don’t know who was supposed to feel safe… maybe staff, certainly not anyone actually bound into it. she looked like a piece of luggage lying there. dropped. forgotten. waiting to be claimed.
handles stuck out oddly at her sides, marking theplace where her arms would be. sometimes she screamed. sometimes she’d cry or plead to be let out. untied. sometimes shed go away completely, she’d drift off until even i couldn’t find her. sometimes she’d just wait there. in that fucking canvas shroud as if she were already dead. eventually someone would pronounce her done. like a chicken roasting in a padded blue oven. done. ready for consumption once again.
rugburn takes awhile to heal. the skin is scraped away, exposing pulpy lymph covered flesh. it is the worst where the body bends- the elbows and the knees. hair takes time to grow back, the missing strands are a constant reminder of what has been lost. she learned the rules of the game quickly and tried to comply, but her demons wouldn’t let her. staff would get too close, too loud and get in her face. nobody listened when she said they were scaring her. instead much was made over power struggles and authority issues. they would call a dr.strong and tackle her- while she was reliving the abuse, incest, violent sexual abuse and rape that put her in the “hospital” in the first place.
they would throw her on the floor, face down and sit on her. in this “hospital” they would put her in the body bag, in another hospital it was four or five point restraint- spread eagle, face up tied to a bed- they couldn’t understand why she didn’t calm down, didn’t understand why she fought back.
i watched this as i still do. i see these images often when i close my eyes, whether its to sleep or to momentarily blink. sometimes these pictures appear as snapshots, bizarre postcards time traveling through the years. a reminder to myself of all the things i couldn’t forget. sometimes i relive those long moments. i relive being dragged across the floor. i completely relive the terror and doom, just as i relive other abuses of my past. though at least none of my other abusers claimed to be helping me. nobody else said they were hurting me because they cared.
after my admission to the “hospital” it would be months before i could use the bathroom by myself. i was confined to the unit for weeks and not allowed outside. when i did venture out, it was a short walk to another building for more testing, and only then was i allowed to walk with a staff member at either side, holding my wrists. what passed for treatment was a crime. we sat on heavy rubber chairs several times a day, forced to spill our guts, our most painful moments, sometimes seemingly for the amusement of the staff.
at the first sign of any emotion the offender would be put in the blue room, if there was any resistance, a dr.strong would be called. i got fat on inertia, carbohydrates and medication. I developed tics and tremors. i couldn’t complete sentences. due to medication my pimples had pimples and I had no personality. upon my release years later, from another “treatment center” i was told to forget about having a normal life, that my emotional and intellectual capacities had been severly damaged by my illness- that i should collect disability and, maybe someday get a part time job, maybe friendly’s would hire me.
i almost believed that. almost. until the day when i looked down at the ground and saw the cracks in the floor under my feet. i saw chips of another reality under the false bottom i stood on. i understand that my ‘treatment ‘ my medication was the false reality creating the haze i was living in, creating my disability.
i’ve been off meds for fourteen years. i try to take care of myself. in my own way i do. my head gets really loud sometimes. i don’t always know whats real. sleep is difficult. sometimes i hurt myself, sometimes i eat kale take herbs and remember to breathe. other times i tell myself shitty stories and don’t stop until i see blood. either way, even at their worst, these things allow me to survive until i can come up with a better plan. i do know that i’ll never take psych drugs again, never end up in a “hospital” again.
somehow, even while passing through all of this shit, i’m living a full, sometimes amazing life. i’ve managed to maintain a long term relationship (going on thirteen years) and i’m actively pursuing amazing future plans. despite my experiences with psychiatry, i think i’m pretty sane.