Sunday, March 10, 2024

NO, I don't have a cigarette!!!

March 20th, 2023 is the day that I was admitted inpatient last year and that date is fast approaching. I won't lie and say that I haven't been thinking about my experience there. I actually think about it daily. It was too crazy not to.  People ask me all the time, "How are you doing". My answer is usually "good".  I AM good but my real answer should be, "I wake up everyday thinking about my abuse and have to faithfully put effort in to not having it affect my day". I'd like to continue to blog about my experience from where the last blog stopped. To not be confused, you may want to read past entries. 

(In a previous blog - I had a vision, after doing EMDR therapy, that my inner child was trying to get out of the container.)

Once my mind saw myself (inner child) in that C-Can trying to get out, that's when the new work began. I discussed my vision with my therapist at our next session and she and I talked through how we could let that young girl out, integrate her with me, and move forward from there. It was weird. I closed my eyes and mentally saw me opening the C-Can door, coaxing her out, and talking to her. I also envisioned her coming out of the storage unit and entering the back yard of my parents house where she/I grew up. I showed her around, held her hand, and spoke kindly to her. I don't know why this exercise worked for me. I'm just glad it did. 

The next day in morning large group, my goal for the day was to try and connect with and get to know my inner child better. I mentioned to the group, "I know this sounds so crazy". Several people encouraged me and one lady said, "If you can't talk to her, pray for her" - That I COULD do. 

That's what I ended up doing. On every break, she and I took a walk. It got to the point where I was confessing to her how sorry I was for betraying her, hating her, and never loving her. I told her she was innocent and only a child who was taken advantage of over and over again.  I reassured her that she did NOTHING wrong and none of it was her fault. I told her that being told, "I love you, I love you" in your ear while being abused was absolutely confusing and not a representation of real love. I talked to her as I was crying. From that day on, I haven't stopped nurturing her, talking to her, and cherishing her. I have to. She deserves it...and it's healing. This was another breakthrough that occurred during my inpatient stent. 

About this time, I was integrated in to the Trauma Track. Your therapist has to recommend you and you have to meet certain criteria to be a part of this separate, smaller group. Just like it says, you have to be a victim of Trauma and be a trustworthy group member. This smaller group was intimate and very intense. The stories were awful, the repercussions of the trauma were obvious and it was hard. So many of us shared so much in common. 

Besides EMDR, my therapist introduced me to sand-table therapy and picture-therapy cards. For the remaining weeks, we did a mixture of those and cognitive/talk therapy. Talk about weird and feeling vulnerable!! I was use to talk therapy but the others were just super different and strange to me...but it worked. The combination of those therapies were able to release certain memories in me that needed to be put in the light and then discussed. 

Some random facts...

If you get out of bed on time, take meds like you are supposed to, attend all groups and participate, you earn points. If you get 100%, you are taken to lunch in the nearby town at a restaurant of your choice. This was huge because leaving the property was a big treat (and you could listen to the radio in the van on the drive there). 4 of us earned 100% so we ate Thai food for lunch one day. Big treat.

If you score 90% or above, you earn a field trip to either the ice cream shop, bowling, or The Springs. These fieldtrips got you away from the property for about 2 hours once a week. Being a good patient also earned you extra phone calls. I was a good patient.

On Wednesday evenings, you are given a carbonated drink and a candy bar.

The food served there was pretty decent. It wasn't South Louisiana food but it wasn't bad. They had a salad bar too. They did serve "Jambalaya" one evening but it was runny!! I didn't have an appetite most of my stay due to well, being inpatient at a mental facility, and my meds curbed my appetite as well. I lost weight there. 

The majority of the patients smoked or vaped. There might have been a handful of us folks who didn't. You had to order your vapes or cigarettes on Monday by 10am. No exceptions. Well, if you miss out, you had the smokers begging others for cigarettes and tempers were tested. People vaped from other peoples vapes.

Bras were scarcely worn.

Some people were dirty and didn't have clean clothes.

Some slept in group sessions ALL the time. 

I saw 4 snakes when I was there. They looked like blue runners. 

There was a fire in the bushes by the group room. A fire extinguisher had to be used. The group room building wasn't a smoking area and the fire was caused by a cigarette.

I ended up being one of the patients who napped by the pool sometimes in the patio lounger during our longest break.

I read 2 books and started coloring to pass the time. 

There was an altercation one day where punching and black eyes were involved.

Bipolar patients were found jumping in the pool with their clothes on or jumping in the pool with their clothes off.

One guy raised his hand at least 20 times in an hour during big group and challenged everything and another guy always interrupted anyone who was speaking during group. 

Rapper names were given to some of the guys. 

F$ck was screamed out loud all of the time. 

We exercised a couple of times a week. We made a big exercise circle and each person had to say an exercise and we did that exercise 10 times. 

I had THE BEST room mate and we processed and helped each other at the end of the day. We have stayed in touch since being discharged. I had two roommates while I was there and both were great. 

We rocked in rocking chairs on the cabin porch in the evenings until the mosquitos came out and it was med time. 

My husband and I had therapy sessions together via zoom with my therapist. 

The majority of the patients were very young. Only about 20% of the patients were over 35. 

A behavioral health tech stayed either in your cabin or on the porch of your cabin all night. 

You couldn't have any snacks in your cabin. They did cabin searches often looking for contraband. 

You were woken up in the middle of the night to get our blood pressure checked and we were occasionally weighed in the middle of the night. 


There are a lot of things typed in this blog that are just crazy.  

Positives -I ended up in the calmest cabin. I had great cabin mates. I had a fantastic therapist, and I was a member of the trauma track. The Psychiatrist was great and the Nurse practitioner really listened. God spoke to me, I walked with HIM daily, and he revealed things to me that were very therapeutic and I'm thankful for that. 

Mail time was the highlight of the day for me and it occurred at supper time. I received 54 pieces of mail while I was there!!!! I was humbled to the core. That mail from my family, coworkers and friends was LIFE for me. It kept me going and I was SOOOOO thankful for the support I had. My coworkers even sent a picture of them doing a pyramid for me (IYKYK).  I'll keep those letters forever. 

Talk to you later,



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NO, I don't have a cigarette!!!

March 20th, 2023 is the day that I was admitted inpatient last year and that date is fast approaching. I won't lie and say that I haven&...