The Story that is My Life

My life as it has been and as it continues to unfold is a story. One story made up of many stories. One complex, yet simple story. One sometimes messy, but so beautiful story. One story that I wonder if it might be interesting to be told.

This blog is my attempt to put part, or parts, of that story into words, pictures, or whatever form my mind can wrap itself around or create from within myself to express what it is like to be the one inside Cindy's Story. This is an exploration on my part and on yours in reading, and seeing, and maybe even hearing. It is not necessarily chronological. It might not always make sense, but it is my expression. It is me.

You are invited to see how my story unfolds.....

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Psych Ward Experience Survey #1

Survey completed by Cynthia Wolf 

1. Were you or someone in your life hospitalized?

2. Why were you hospitalized?

C:  The first time because of deep depression, cutting my wrist, taking too many pills, desiring to die.

3. Describe your experience as a patient:

C:  I took myself to the hospital out of fear of myself.  I had extreme fear of that unknown place I was taking myself, then as soon as I told them in the ER why I came, they put me in a curtained off section, took all my things from me, and made me put on "safe" clothing.  Then a gaurd was stationed by me, and I was asked all sorts of questions about my feelings and plans to kill or hurt myself.  I didn't think I had committed a crime.  I just needed comfort.

I can't remember if they made me drink charcoal that first time I was in the hospital.  I had taken too many pills.  I never dreamed they could make you drink something that is not made to go into your body, black rough sludge down my throat with some standing over me making sure I drank it all.  I felt lower than an animal.  Animals don't even eat the stuff.  The charcoal made me think of what is left after a fire has gone out.  I guess that was appropriate since the fire within my soul had gone out, so to speak.

A police officer wheeled me down the hallways to the Psych Ward in a wheelchair, maybe so I would not run away.  I don't know.  I sat there looking down so that no one would look me in the eye, and see my shame.  Within the locked down psych ward, I was put in an additional windowed locked section away from the other psychiatric patients.  I was put in one of the two rooms withing that double locked down area.  I just laid on my bed with my wrist bandaged over the new stitches they just put in.  I stared at the wall and tried to make my mind go blank. 

The guy in the room next to me in that double lock down area kept standing outside the door to my room yelling and screaming at me the I was going to hell.  He screamed other horrible things also, but I have blocked those out of my memory.  A nurse noticed what he was doing, and came and locked me in my room so this evil guy could not get to me.  I had never been a "bad" girl.  Growing up, I had only wanted to do what was right and good.  In that room, in my fear, I pulled the blanket over my head, a prisoner behind three separately locked doors somewhere in the center of a hospital.  Could they not just put me to death then?

I remember that I was so afraid and out of it that when a nurse unlocked my door and called in to me  saying that one of the few people I trusted in the world was on the phone for me, I couldn't even attempt to lift my body to get up to take the call.  A couple minutes later, when I came to a bit more, a paniced fear struck me in my mind and whole body.  I jumped up, searched the room, and found a button on the wall to call the nurse.  My door still locked tight, I could not get the nurse to respond to the button!  Now I had a desparate need for help from my friend, and I had an almost paralizing yet choking fear that I was trapped for eternity in this locked hell and would never be able to talk to him again.  I would be alone and frustratingly "not" dying forever. 

I did get to talk to my friend eventually.  A loving couple also came and visited me sitting on the bed next to where I was laying.  A minister came later and sat on a chair next to my bed trying to give comfort as I lay curled up in my bed staring at the wall with my back to him.  I was thinking, "Hadn't I signed something saying I did not want a minister to visit me?"  Oh well, he did give a spark of light.

Eventually I just started doing whatever the Psychiatrist Doctor said I needed to do to get me out of that psych ward since I was on a legal hold, and could not leave of my own will.  I did manage to "seem" ok enough after a number of days to be let out.  I was sent home to be alone again.

4. Did this experience of hospitalization help?

C:  Well, this was just the beginning of my numerous times of hospitalization.  It did get better on different occasions, and I did get the help I needed eventually, but as far as my first psychiatric hospitalization experience, I felt like a criminal all alone in the world, thinking that I should have finished my suicide dream.  I don't believe my first hospitalization was helpful, more fear inducing.

5. Do you have anything you would like to add?

C:   Yes, I would like to send much love out to those three friends who I allowed inside my deepest, darkest depth of the soul without whose help I would not have been able to take even the smallest glance upward or forward.  With those friends, the desparate prayers of my many family members who loved me, and all the tangible help they were able to help me find, I was able to make it alive through the years and years of pain and dreaming of death.........
..........then finally even come to a place where I am really "alive" again.

Thank you for sharing your experience.  Please, we would love for you to complete another survey in the future.

Survey completed for the Mental Illness Happy Hour.