New Years

Weeks had flashed by and the decorations are being packed away by the staff.  I sat in the plastic chair nearest the outdoor roof garden with natzi like fencing making sure we can’t harm ourselves, the whole ward was suicide proofed yet each month someone found a new way to end their struggling lives.  Have you ever been in such pain ever in your life that you actually wanted to die rather than feel another thing?  Well psyciatric patients usually share this feeling, need to stop it.  Imagine that.  My wrist band was now a full time rubber bracelet that was color coded to match your privileges so all staff knew.  See some of us could talk the devil to heaven and charm anyone to give them a pen or coffee.  I had finally obtained orange after wearing red for a month.  This meant I was alowed with a staff member could leave the ward and go to the cafeteria or outside to feel the sun on our fluorescent white skins crave.

I had began to take part in the social events and group sessions rather than being So alone no family came, no cards, no emails just backs turned..  There is a social chain that forms in the ward.  Those of us long term residence hung together, we saw eachothers worse, sat together while just presence of another alive comforted you.  We saw the fits, the alarms, the rage and running, the butt darts and group showers.  We heard the ghost in our closets speak and tell the truth while our minds slept  We fell asleep in tears listening to eachother cry ourselves to sleep and others prayed for any mercy.  From dementia to addictions a rainbow in between of amazing people and very scary ones too we all watched eachothers backs. We saw eachother as we were, perfectly fucked and not alone.  The more social we became the more normal our behaviour the greater the privileges.  Everyone learned that fast cause the staff always win, you have no say when your broken beyond name.  You sleep, eat, attend the appointments take the meds and assume small chores.

I had developed a very special relationship with a young blonde girl who came in when I did.  We smoked together in that small room with a desk in the middle for weeks.  She was covered in surgical scars and lacerations from snapping and taking a kitchen knive to her body.  I found myself counting the staple marks.  Alison had no privileges and a nurse stayed with her everywhere she went still.  Boys I loved being allowed to shower alone no curtain still or closed doors but still it was earned. Ever have someone hand you soap and watch you wash? Not pleasant. We became ward sisters, she was gorgeous and so deeply broken we both knew it was only a matter of time before their eyes got distracted and she could finally rest in peace.  Her brother had taken the girl out of her before memory and she defended herself this time and everyone talked.  She was dirt!  This devistating truth placed the knife in her hands.  We talked and visited eachother constantly!  Had baths and washed our clothes together.  She made the painful days not so lifeless, she smiled and the girl smiled she had her inside I knew it.  One morning I woke up and she was gone.  She had her moment and had escaped to a broom closet in the staff room that was always unlocked.  She hung herself with mop strings tied together.  She was finally at peace no more torture and I was devastated.

Before long the staff began to decorate with hearts.  Time was marked by holidays.  People just stories now fewer and fewer of us only knew ourselves  The ward was the last stop and the beginning.