There is something really very freeing about being interned at a mental institution, the come-what-may, they won’t believe me anyway kind of reality that seeps into your every day, day-to-day, life. This is due, I’m certain to the reality of it all, ironically, that there’s really nothing you can do to defend the honor of your psyche as a virgin who is under suspicion is never quite the same.
It it was this premise that I returned to the land of my forefathers, and yours too, in an American cultural kind of sense, to attend my grandfather’s funeral. Armed with the realization that here it was that I was safe, among my uncles and three aunts, that I could be myself what ever that may truly be. Safe. Something that I’m not sure I could have told you I’d ever feel again, and something that seems certain to forever more remain an uncertainty.
There’s another side effect from being committed to the looney bin… that of the fear of paranoia. A true break with reality. Am I real? Is my life real? Did that just really happen?
You’re driven to introspection, a timid maneuver to navigate your own mind in hopes of validating what you are certain is true, and with a fascination of what you may not really know about yourself. It is in this manner I broke inside. Inside my mind that is.
They say what doesn’t break us makes us stronger, and now I spend but a brief moment wondering at that vague statement with some cynicism that the person to whom it was attributed quite possibly never really experienced anything at all, let alone the experience of what it is like to be broken. Otherwise how is it that one would leave such a judgement so broad and open to interpretation?
No, I think that trite little smarty pants party pleasing sayings are a little too juvenile for me, but perhaps I’ll have to practice some restraint in my own audacity as it’s not like I have much of a concept to present in it’s stead.
It was only just over a month ago that they put me in. They. Pronouns. Licenses for absence. Excuses for accepting responsibility. They. It’s not like I could blame him, but it’s her that really feels like an untouched betrayal. She would be the second person in my life that I would never speak to again… just to walk away, and in this case, without another look.
It’s not that she put me in really. I can’t fault someone for trying to do what they think was best for me, with limited knowledge and from across the entire country. No, it’s more about the fact that she was so careless her recounting of her perspective. They. They apparently believed her, and I was never to hear from her again. Well, not really. I called her from the emergency room when I still had access to long distance. She answered the phone in the same manner, “Hello, this is Barbara, Angela’s mom”. Somehow that was both comforting and uncomfortable at the same time.
She told them that she thought I was bi-polar. She, this, my pseudo-mom, or as the report has it, surrogate mother. Surrogate. Does that have legal connotation, or is it just an idle adjective with lasting repercussions through out this experience? I don’t know, and maybe I never will. All I know is that I knew better when I read that my mother (listed by name) had said that I had not sleep in six days, was highly erratic and hyperverbal. You see, regardless of truth as a defense, my mother would never be so careless. My mother had already busted me out of a mental institution once already in life, though I’d be amiss if not to immediately address that she had taken me there in the first place as she had always had concern about my ability to handle stress. In reality, I believe I’d had undiagnosed childhood epileptic seizures, just like my cousin—her twin’s daughter.
Yes, so while they were the ones to start this break from reality, or this disconnection from real life, I can’t really fault them. No, I don’t imagine he’ll ever be the same, but it’s her that I imagine I’ll never quite be able to address again.
It took weeks to finally get the reports, the documentation, of what they gave me. Just how many drugs they put into my tiny prescription-ally near virginal body. All told, I believe that it was six different drugs, if you count the Clonzepam that started it all, and Haldol, Atavan, Benadryl, and Lithium, and the THC I had put there myself. But I don’t count the THC, after all drugs are drugs and herbs are herbs.
Lithium. Well that’s a story in and of itself. Apparently there was this town somewhere in the Southern United States where, while none were the wiser, lithium leaked into the entire town’s water source. For near a decade or more the entire town was known as being docile, peaceful with such low crime and violence rate. Joke’s on me, as the lithium they gave me just made acutely aware of every sound that echoed, squeaked, screeched, slammed or plodded it’s way through the hallways, sleepless, and viciously angry.
[Insert “Did I do that?” posted elsewhere.]
Also of particular interest to me is the way that the newest man, in the romantic sense, in my life informed me that I had seemingly employed the same strategies that POW John McCain had during his Vietnam War internment. Maybe it’s just another factor in my seemingly healthy, strong, and impenetrable ego, post-lithium. I also came to believe that I have a photographic memory, and I’m not certain I’d ever have come to that concept if not for the first dose. Maybe just one dose would have done it. I don’t know, all I really wonder is which night was it that I slept 3.75 hours? Perhaps its telling as every other night, on average would have to be just over one hour of cumulative calculated sleep as they report my having a mere 9 hours in 7 days.
All in all the part the maybe gets me the most is that I had to leave the hospital against medical advisement (AMA), and as they advised I should have stayed, and taken the lithium for at least two weeks longer to see it’s true help.
I just wondered, could I survive going without sleep that long?