My dad looked me in the eyes and said "Sarah, you're an adult, you are over 18. You're gonna walk up to the front desk and check yourself out of here." He drove me home from the psych ward and made me watch One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.
Have you seen that movie? Or Girl Interrupted? I hadn't either, but I was living it. I had been classified with "Drug Induced Psychosis" Pretty much meaning "Ya dun too many drugs!"....for my height and weight. I was like a delicate flower, I probably could have walked by a TruGreen lawn and gotten high. Some years later I found out there was a rumor going around my extended family that I was crazy because I have a tumor in my brain that made my thinking all messed up. I found this quite amusing, it wasn't true of course just to set the record straight. (winky face)
The psyche ward is a weird place. Imagine that. They would figure out a way to get you to sign a 72 hold (which means you sign away your rights saying that you are not fit to make decisions for yourself), then drug you up until you were practically drooling. They give you anti-psychotic meds which make every muscle in your face limp so you can not express any emotion. I was totally numb on the outside but my mind was still racing a million miles an hour, it's like being trapped in a monkey cage. Then while you were in this state ask you a bunch of convoluted questions, show you Rorschach inkblots and say, "We still don't think you're thinking clearly, you need to stay here a little longer." Duh, Bitch, I'm all drugged up! I was probably higher in the psych ward than I was outside.
I kept my distance from other patients. The one time I spoke to a guy was in the smoking lounge and he started telling me weird stories about himself like he was in a fucking Catholic confessional. I couldn't take enough showers to wash off the crap he said, it disturbed me to the core. I felt like an outsider, like I was wrongfully accused, convicted of being crazy when I really wasn't. I knew I was the grey duck in this tank of looney tunes.
How long did I have to stay? What was the trick to getting out? In a small part of my mind I knew what it was, it was good behavior. But every minute felt like an hour and every hour felt like a day, and every day felt like an eternity. I would mustard up a decent conversation with a staff member, maybe two conversations, but they don't give you much time to "prove" yourself. It was taking too long. So of course like a jack-ass I tried the opposite approach, chaos! I'd lie and tell them I had to go to the bathroom. They'd come and take me out of my room and as soon as the door opened I would try to make a run for it. I got about 5 feet until I was tackled by guards and placed in four point restraints to "my bed". The consequence to this of course was that the next time I told them I had to go to the bathroom, because I did, they wouldn't let me out. I peed in the corner. Maybe that was my lowest point.
They kept transferring me around, which was confusing and disorienting. I got to another place and my "good behavior" didn't last long. I was so sick of all the weirdness. If I wasn't crazy before, being in these places was making me crazy. I had the brilliant idea of striping down to nothing and running around the unit totally naked. For this, my consequence was solitarily confinement in a padded (rubber) room with a straight jacket.
They did a lot of weird stuff to me. And whatever lie that was told to the hospital to get me in those walls was unjustified.
The units were locked. The rooms were locked. The closets and drawers were locked. The beds were bolted down. The sheets were crisp and smelled of bleach. I couldn't move my hands or my feet. They even tried controlling my mind, but no matter how many drugs they made me swallow or injected in my thigh I still had my mind. They couldn't take away my thoughts. I was free in my thoughts. I knew the truth. I knew why I was there. I was framed.
The last thing he said to me before he called the police to take me to the looney bin was, "Curiosity killed the cat."
People tell me that I would have to be crazy to ever think I could be a famous artist someday...maybe a little. (winky face)