The constables were kind and tried to explain things to me, but I was manic, so I had no patience and my mind was running at 500 miles per hour so nothing they said would have sunk in, most likely. They had a piece of paper that they gave me to look at but none of it made sense to me either. I can’t remember what all they said, but I know I asked if I could take my purse and they said yes. They led me to their blacked-out SUV and helped me into the back seat. We were separated by plexiglass. When we got on the highway I asked them why they weren’t taking me somewhere local. They said there was no availability. I was told that I needed to be assessed. Things didn’t sink in until we got to Intracare Hospital.
I had to give my purse to an attendant and that is when I first got mad. I was taken to a small empty room and told to take off my clothes. I had to be inspected by two female nurses. I just had a baby so I was very self-conscious of my body. It was very humiliating. I made sure they knew it too. I showed them my c-section scar and made it very clear that I had just recently given birth. Once we were done I was told that I couldn’t keep my bra because it had an underwire and that could potentially be a weapon. At this point I was livid. There is a certain dignity that goes out the window when you aren’t allowed to wear a bra. Especially if you have to be around men. (Which I did have to be around men.)
I went to my room and just covered up my head and cried. I missed my baby. I didn’t know how long this was going to take. I didn’t want to be here. The staff was really nice and ended up giving me my own private room at some point. All I remember was being physically and emotionally in pain at the same time over the heartache of not having my daughter. The way I wept for my baby was gut-wrenching. My body ached to see my baby. My heart did too. I missed her so much. No one in the hospital would have even known I had just had a baby if I hadn’t told them.
We played stupid games, we had therapy with our counselors, we ate crappy food and we took our meds. I made friends with the smokers so that I could go outside and a few people even loaned me cigarettes. Everyone was pretty nice. I always make friends with people in the hospitals because that’s how you get by. My friend with the cigarettes, Robert, was an alcoholic and I think he might have had a drug problem. He hooked me up with some cigarillos because he had a whole carton. Sometimes I would trade other cigarettes for them, but I actually liked them. They were strong and lasted a long time.
Miss Glenna was a drug addict and her mind was gone. She was a round grandma looking figure and she was funny as hell (But I don’t know if that was on purpose or not. I think it wasn’t. ) When I first got there it felt like she was in a competition with me. I don’t think she understood what it was I did in order to get my own room but she wanted the same treatment. Unfortunately, she was on the side of the hall that needed more attention so she couldn’t get her own room. She was kind of annoyed with me so one day I just gave her my sunglasses. That made her so happy and we were good friends after that. This lady was my mom’s age but I would have thought she was a good 20 years older and in her 70’s. I guess that’s the effects of a hard life.
Stefan was my sweet friend. He didn’t really talk to people. He didn’t seem to trust people much at all. He would walk around looking for cigarette butts to smoke so I would give him some of mine because it’s really not very safe to smoke after other people, but I understand that when you don’t have cigarettes you have to do something. He was so innocent and sweet like a baby but I knew he had probably seen a lot in his life. I was never told his diagnosis, but if I had to guess it is probably schizophrenia.
The weirdest thing that happened while I was at Intracare is one day I was waiting to speak with my counselor and I saw my very first psychiatrist walk by. I felt so awkward because he had seen me so many years ago and now here I am again in a psych hospital after all of these years with no issues, He didn’t recognize me but I kind of wanted to say something to him. Turns out he’s the medical director of the hospital.
Intracare is in an area of town that is not the best. Some might call it ghetto. I did. Even though it was ghetto, I liked the hospital and I liked the staff. I didn’t like the situation. I wore the same clothes for days. I was isolated from my baby. I was angry. Every time I got on the phone I threatened my husband. Luckily a court-appointed attorney took my case to court and got me discharged so that I had only been there 5 nights.
My mom brought Vivien and picked me up. It was a hard car ride home because we couldn’t agree on anything. She couldn’t believe they even released me. I had waited several hours for her to pick me up and I was pretty annoyed. But anything was better than being in the hospital. Even going home to my husband would be better than that. What I didn’t know is that I wouldn’t be home for long.