I want to start out by saying that I am writing this for healing. I am writing this so I can continue to move forward in my recovery. I want to help others with similar stories as mine. You do not have to read this. I am not looking for sympathy. My identity is found in Christ. He loves me no matter what and He wants me to heal. My faith is real! That's why I write this blog.
(May 11th, 2018)
It was dark and the ambulance took me from OLOL to somewhere across town. I couldn't see out and I had no idea as to where I was going. I remember having extreme sadness and sparks of anger during the ride. My beautiful life -my boys - my husband - my family - my church - my friends - my job ...and I am on my way to a mental hospital because I had given up - and I'm in restraints. I'm heading there because what was done to me has caused me too much pain, caused me to completely shut down, to give up, and I had zero respect for myself. I was extremely shameful of my situation. How dare I give up on my life when it's actually a beautiful one - excluding the sexual abuse. I've said before, If I could put all of my memories and actions of my abuse in my left arm, I'd cut it off in a heartbeat. I'd be done with it. I'd be left with one arm but the abuse would be gone. My abuse went on for years, during my developmental stages. You can't snap your fingers or cut off a limb to stop the repercussions of it. I am left with the burden of the painful memories, feelings, anger, shame, guilt and sadness that I fight off everyday of my life. Even on good days. I wake up every morning and I have to choose to set those memories aside, focus on the present day and hope that my depression doesn't take over. I hope and pray that triggers don't paralyze me to where I'm incapable of living productively. I focus on my faith, joy and family.
When we arrived at the Behavioral health Hospital, I was taken in on the stretcher and brought in to an exam room. A variety of people/patients were looking at me, trying to get a glimpse of the new patient. The paramedic gave my belongings to a medical assistant who went through all of my things including my purse, my phone and my pockets. She inventoried them, counted my cash and placed it in a safe. My shoe laces were removed from my tennis shoes and the laces placed in a bag, my drawstring on my scrub pants was removed and bagged as well. Everything that I had with me that day was locked away until discharge, except for my Bible. Before my OLOL ER admittance, I saw that my bible was in my car and I put it in my purse and brought it in with me. Now that I was here, I asked the medical assistant if I could keep it with me and she said yes (only because it was paperback). Hardback books were not allowed. I was left wearing the very large paper scrubs that barely stayed up, my green socks and tennis shoes without the laces in them.
A nurse walked in to introduce herself. This moment was the first time that I felt like I could breathe. She was sweet, compassionate, nonjudgemental, and her name was HOPE. No one up to this point had been rude but there was something about Hope that gave me a glimpse of hope. I was thankful for her. At this point, I had learned that this facility handled mostly patients who were detoxing from drugs or alcohol. Depressed patients like me were sent here sometimes but this facility was mostly known for detoxing. I was required to stay here at least 72 hours per my PEC orders.
This facility had a layout like a nursing home. They had a few halls with patient rooms, a nurses station, a window that opened to dispense medicine from, a few offices here and there, and a large room with tables and a TV. The walls were concrete, the inside windows were made of plexiglass, ALL outside doors and staff doors locked and the walls lacked any color. There were no extras in the rooms because those could potentially be a suicidal hazard. It was not the Hilton. Each patient room housed 2 patients and 2 rooms shared a bathroom. Because of the nature of the facility, there were no doors to the bathroom, nor was there a shower curtain for the shower. After a quick EKG, I requested a shower. Personal toiletries were not allowed, nor were hair dryers or anything of that nature. No makeup, no personal deodorant, soaps, razors, shampoos or conditioners. I was given about 2 inches of hand soap in a cup, a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and a comb. The hand soap doubled as shampoo. I'm not too modest but showering without a shower curtain tested me. I had 3 other people a stones throw away from me and I did not even know their names, nor the reason for their admittance. My shower was quick and my toiletries had to be returned to the nursing assistants. Then, sadly I had to dress back in the paper scrubs to sleep in. I had no clean clothes and my clothes from home weren't arriving until mid day the next day. At this point, Hope told me that my therapist called and that I could call her back. I learned that phone time was a scheduled time so she was doing me a favor by letting me use the phone this late. GRACE! Hearing my therapist's voice helped me so much. She encouraged me and said that she would check on me tomorrow.
I was exhausted but I had trouble falling asleep and there was a bit of hall noise as well throughout the night. A nursing assistant had to lay eyes on me every 30 minutes as part of protocol of someone who was PEC'd. Needless to say, I didn't sleep well at all. I couldn't help but think of what the next 72 hours might bring. Am I losing my mind? How selfish of me to get to this point! My poor family. What will they think? This had been one of the longest and mentally draining days of my life. I knew I lacked ANY self compassion and that scared me. At some point in the early hours of the morning, I drifted off to sleep.
I slept a few hours until I was awakened at 6am the next morning and was instructed to go to the large room with the tables and TV.
Later, I found out that my sister and brother-in-law had driven to the facility that first night, walked around the building praying over the whole building, praying that God would carry me through this.