Author: Lillith Green PM
After going in and out of ten different psychiatric hospitals in five years, my parents and the state decided to place me in a residential treatment center for mentally ill kids. This is my story of life in a residental treatment center for kids.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Drama - Chapters: 22 - Words: 39,361 - Reviews: 20 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 09-06-09 - Published: 01-12-09 - Status: Complete - id: 2620912
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
They stuck me in an institution and said it was the only solution…But by the time they fix my head…Mentally I'll be dead…Institutionalized…
August 25th 2006
I've had a lot of stuff happen to me in my short life. Right now I live at the Sterling Center for Children, a residential treatment center for kids with mental, emotional, and behavioral health problems. I really dislike it here some of the time, but other times I don't mind it as much.
I've seen so much more then my young eyes should have seen. Just the other day I saw an eight year old boy get wrestled down to the ground and put in a physical restraint. I've been restrained myself too many times. Sometimes when I'm just spacing out I can still feel all the hands on me holding me face down on the ground. I can feel the snot pouring out of my nose, I can feel the cries pouring out of my mouth.
In the background right now I can hear one of the other girls who lives at the Center crying. She apparently hurt herself and then told Aliza, the therapist here, about it. Now she has something called a Rule Violation because she hurt herself.
I hate rule violations. I got eight of them in my second week here. It was because it was my birthday and I didn't want to live through it. Technically I turned sixteen on my birthday, but I don't consider myself sixteen. I missed too much of my childhood to be sixteen so I still consider myself fifteen. It's a sore subject for me. Some people accept me as being fifteen, some people argue with me about it. It's when people argue with me about it that I feel so much inner pain, like a huge knife is jammed in me, tearing apart my insides.
Staff just took us to the mall and we are in the van coming back right now. We passed by the school I went to for eight grade and it made me remember how hard things were back then. I hope the school at the Center won't be as hard for me.
Next week is vacation week, so I don't have to worry about it quite yet, but school is coming up and contrary to everyone's beliefs I'm not looking forward to it. I've almost always hated school. I don't mind reading. I love math, but I've always hated school.
August 26th 2006
It's a Saturday morning here at Sterling Center. Normally at home I observe the Jewish Sabbath and I wouldn't be writing today because we don't do that on the Sabbath, but when I'm here the rules are different.
Saturday morning are always really boring here, especially when not all the other girls are awake and there's only one staff around. Usually staff takes us on walks into town on Saturday mornings, but this morning we might not even do that because there's more girls then usual in the house. All the girls are here for the weekend instead of some of them being on home visits.
Usually it's just me and Kayla and Mandy here for the weekend. Mandy's only been here a day less than a month, but by now it feels like she's been here forever. It feels like I've been here forever too, even though I've only been here since the middle of June. I've been here two months and I haven't been home for three months because I was in the hospital before I came here.
Tomorrow will be my first visit home in three months. I'm a little nervous about it because I'm scared I'll get upset when I see my room. I know my mom was in there to pack my things and I'm worried that she moved some of my stuff around. She already warned me that she did move things. I have a feeling that seeing all my stuff rearranged and in the wrong places might set me off. I can't let it do that to me though. I want to be able to have a bunch more home visist. I want to be able to start going home for overnight and then for the whole weekend. I want to see my best friend Cora again. I miss home, but I'm scared.
I guess being scared and worried is normal though. Now I'm getting all agitated thinking about my room. I need to think about something else.
My nose is runny and I keep sneezing.
I remember one time when I was in the hospital last year I was strapped face down to the papoose board. I was restrained and couldn't move around at all. I was really scared and crying and screaming and the snot was pouring out of my nose as fast as my tears. The snot was getting everywhere. It was pouring onto the floor, into my hair, and onto the papoose board. When they finally released me from the restraints the floor underneath the papoose board was streaked with drying snot. Days later I was trying to do a puzzle on the floor and the pieces of the puzzle were getting stuck in the snot. It was so gross.
Staff took us to the movies and we just got back. We saw the movie Invincible. It made me remember to keep reminding myself that I have a reservoir of inner strength and power within me, and I too can be invincible.
I always am at a loss of what to do around this time of day, right around dinner time when staff thinks it's too close to dinner time to do anything, but there's still a substantial amount of time to kill. I get really bored. I'm the kind of person that needs to stay busy all of the time. I don't do well with boredom.
I don't quite know what I want to write about, but there's nothing much to do right now so I figured I might as well kill sometime by journaling since I'm not in the mood for drawing.
Tonight's offgrounds activity is a walk in town. I'm going to get a hot chocolate drink or something along those lines. I feel like I shouldn't eat or drink too much because I've gained two pounds according to the last time I was at Dr. Kohler's. I want to lose those two pounds and more. I think I've been eating less this week, but I don't know for sure. It's hard to tell.
My next appointment at Dr. Kohler's office is for next week. It's only a weight check though, so I'm just going to see the nurse. If I gained more weight I'm going to have to go on a starvation kick. I've been eating what seems like a normal amount, but who knows anymore. I've had an eating disorder for seven years and I've totally lost my judgment around food. I don't know what's normal or not anymore. My perception of my body is also completely screwed.
I want to be skinny to the point that people think that I look gross. There's all those articles in magazines now about some Nicole person who's starved herself down to eighty two pounds. I would kill to weigh eighty two. I remember Lily, a girl from the hospital, who was so little that she was too small to take adult Tylenol. I want that to be me. Of course I know Lily wasn't a happy camper. She tried to kill herself and cut herself all over her stomach, but I'm envious of her. It's really crazy of me, but than again I am a little crazy. I'm living at the Sterling Center and I've been in and out of psychiatric hospitals since I was ten. I've been diagnosed with depression, anorexia, bulimia, PTSD, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar with psychotic features, and depression with psychotic features.
August 27th 2006
I'm so excited. At one o clock this afternoon my mom's picking me up and then we're going rock climbing and then for a little while I get to go….HOME!!!
It's been so long and I've worked so hard to earn this, but its finally coming. I can't wait to see my room, my cat, my grandparents, and my cousin Gillian. It's going to be awesome. I just have to figure out a way to get the morning to move by faster, otherwise it's going to drag on endlessly. I'm the kind of person who definitely needs to stay busy.
The staff Tina is here right now and so is the night staff Heather. Tina can be kind of mookdy but that means that when she's nice to you it feels that much more special. She was nice to me this morning, calling me "bud" and smiling, and telling me I earned my home visit. She seems like she's in a really good mood. I love it when people are in good moods. It puts me in a good mood. I'm just generally feeling really good, despite being kind of bored.
I'm so bored, I'm crawling out of my skin. Tina says that I'm already going to be doing something later today so I shouldn't need to do anything this morning. I disagree. I think I need to do something because I need to get my mind off of nervousness about going home. Maybe when another staff comes in I can bring up my need to get out of the house.
I need to figure out a way to get people to listen to me, but I'm to scared to ask Tina about doing something again. I don't want Tina to get mad or snappy with me, then I'll start crying and I won't be able to calm myself down.
I just asked Tina calmly, explaining my nervousness and reasoning. I felt a little shaky when I asked. My heart was pounding but Tina agreed with me, and said that maybe someone could take me for a walk. She was understanding and kind and even made a joke. I feel so much better now.
I hope my next home visit can start in the morning so I don't have all this anticipation building up to the point where I feel like I'm going to explosed.
Lauren just got here. I'll wait a few minutes and then ask her if she'll take me for a walk for a little bit.
We're watching the movie Ghost Busters now, but movies don't usually hold my attention, I need to be actively involved in something, or I'm bored. Oh, except when it comes to watching a show like ER. I'm a little bit obsessed with shows and books about hospitals and medicine. I love them. I don't know why.
It's almost time for my mom to get here and rescue me from drowning inside my boredom. I don't even want to think about how I have a whole week of this boredom ahead of me. All I want to think about is how much fun I'll have when I'm with my mom and at home.
I can't wait to get on that rock climbing wall and start climbing. After that I'll get my 32 ounces of diet coke and then I'll hang out with Gillian and my grandmother and Tom.
I really hope that my mom's not late. I've waited long enough and I just want to see her already and bust out of this joint. I'm also really hungry, but I don't want to seem like I'm eating too much. Hopefully my mom will have brought food with her so that I can have an energy boosting snack before I start climbing.
I'm getting antsy waiting. I sit down, then I stand up, then sit down, then stand up. My body wants to move. I want to get out and do something. I hate how lazy Tina's acting. She won't take us anywhere because she's tired. Oh well, after the staff switches shifts on Wednesday, I'll have the fun staff the rest of the week. I'll be gone all day today, so all I really have to make it through is tomorrow, then on Tuesday I have family therapy and hopefully a visit with my parents afterwards, and then Wednesday staff from both ends of the week will be around so hopefully there'll be something to do. Mainly it will just be tomorrow that I'll have to suffer through.