Previously on Ceej: A Mental Breakdown:
“If you’re not admitted, you will be going to jail.”
“What crime have I committed?”
“It is my judgement that you be held in Regional.”
“What do I have to do?”
“Play the game.”
“It seems you are very good at playing our game. ”
“IMA is short term.”
“No! I’m not going to the filthy mission! I know God has a home for me!”
Part VIII: The Problem Is Past…
I had been sitting in that chair a while, still unable to drag the blade across my wrist. It was okay, though. I would be able to do it eventually. I just needed some motivation. I don’t know if what happened next was a memory or a dream because, that far into the past, they play the same for me, but maybe I just needed someone to blame for this mess.
I was thirteen years old, in some lobby of some place far from home. My parents were talking to a lady about locking me in here. That was enough. I wasn’t having this. I would rather be on my own. I ran. Where was I going to go? I didn’t know anyone or anything in this little Georgia town. Back into the van? Big mistake. I was captured and dragged up some twisted stairwell by five big men. Then, I was put in this padded room and locked in. Locked in, like a rat. They told me, if I was angry, there was a punching bag in the room. Yes, there was. So, I ripped open the punching bag and tore the stuffing into tiny pieces. I felt a little better, but I was still locked in this padded room.
Well, the five men who carried me up here must not have liked that, so they came into this padded room, as did my father. My father attempted to restrain me, but with the help of my shoe, I was able to make him retreat. Then, it was the turn of the five large men. Or, maybe they just seemed larger because I was small. I wasn’t about to let them have their way with me. They had a needle and God knew what they wanted to do with that. So, I fought back. One of them was incapacitated when I was stabbed in the bum with the needle, but I kept fighting. Eventually, an ambulance showed up, and I wasn’t one of the people being taken away in it, but then those men deserved to be hospitalised. I was later informed that the shot was enough sedative to knock out an elephant. I was much smaller than an elephant, and I never fell, so that must have been misinformation.
Eventually, I got tired of kicking and screaming, and I sat in the corner and cried silently. I was broken. The first time in my life I had absolutely no control over anything that was happening to me. A situation I would see many more times, and learn to fight to avoid. It was then that they came in and let me out. I was back in before nightfall, however, because I wanted to sleep with my door closed and they were afraid I was going to kill myself. But, it would be six more years before I’d ever even consider that. So, I slept on the cold tile floor of the padded room, ironically called, “The Quiet Room.”
This two-month stay in The Bradley Centre in Georgia was almost as bad as Regional. They treated me like a guinea pig, trying out drugs on me that made me break out in a full-body rash, freeze my neck in a sideways position, and wet the bed, among other awful side effects. They fed me crap food, gave me crap education, and treated me like crap. And they had the audacity to try to blame it all on me. All this happened to me before I developed critical thinking skills, so it’s no wonder I thought I was crazy for a majority of my life.
And much like being committed to Regional caused me to drop out of university, being admitted to Bradley caused me to be entered into a Mental Health Centre programme for schooling called the Centre for Learning Academics and Social Skills (or C.L.A.S.S. for short). And, ironically, there was no teaching of academics or social skills. It was just a day treatment for children. And, considering how hard they tried to convince my parents not to let me back into regular school, it’s a wonder I got back in time for my junior year of high school. No wonder I’m not well informed. No wonder my life has been fucked up. No wonder I haven’t yet left my mark.
So, as I sat there, knife against my wrist, I thought long and hard about whose fault all this was. The very person who was just going to let me be homeless or committed again. I guess that was all the fuel I’d need…