I was 16, in tenth grade. It was November. To give you some background information before I go into detail. I was in a program, kinda like special education but this was called the fragile program, for kids who had issues but intelligent. It was based in a regular school but was not apart of the school district. Back to the story, I was in tenth grade. 16 at the time. Dating a boy named Jason. I had just started at the beginning of the school year, at this program.
One day, in November, after one of my classes. I overheard the programs, psychologist, speaking on the phone with my parents about sending me to a boarding school. What I didn’t know at the time was that the boarding school, had a day program.
So, being a 16 year old girl, hormones and all, I yelled, very loudly, “if you send me away, I’m going to kill myself.”
They wanted to send me to the hospital right there on the spot, but my parents calmed down the psychologist and let me finish out the day. I took the school bus home. When I got home, my parents told me I was going to go to the hospital. I cried, pleaded, screamed but gave up. I told them I’d go if, my boyfriend could come over first to say goodbye.
He got off the train, crying. He hugged me so tight. We hung out for an hour, I think. Before he left I gave him my art journal to write in while I was gone, he gave me his hoodie. Saying goodbye, felt like the end of the world. I was so in love.
We left the house around 7. I was crying the whole way. The hospital was only 17 miles away but it was in another state. They told me how nice this place was, how famous people would go here for help, it’s true.
We got to the hospital, walked to intake. It seemed like an eternity but the process took 3 hours. Afterwards, they took us to the main house. The adolescent unit was on the top floor, sorta in an attic looking space but really nice and cozy.
They took my belongings, searched them. Took away belts, laces, my nine inch nails sweatshirt. They took my parents and I into a room to talk, a dr and a nurse. I only remember one thing from that conversation. My mom told them that it was no big deal everyone tries to kill themselves. This struck a cord with the lady, she raised her voice and said, “your daughter cuts herself at every major artery, do you realize that, this is serious.”
After that my parents had to leave. I was so scared and so alone. I hugged them goodbye. I made sure they were coming back.
Then they took me into a back room, where a big scary nurse did a body check. She said take off all your clothes. Scared, I asked why. She told me they had to check for scars and cuts. I had no choice. I did what she said. She checked my whole body, not even in a way that made me feel comfortable. I was left ashamed and embarrassed. Horrified. To this day, I can still remember how horrible that felt. Dehumanizing.
I got put in my own room. I tried escaping that first night but the window locks wouldn’t budge. I couldn’t sleep, so I went up to the nurses station, they gave me Benadryl.
I woke up that morning to a note in my bathroom, it had an eye, a heart and a U. Like when I was little, my mom used to leave me them. She had one of the nurses put it there.
I was there for ten days, it was the best time of my life.
*more hospital adventures to come