Yes, I know it was only for a week and I know I nothing bad happened. But the first day really got to me. Being in a cell alone got to me. I slipped a little bit away from reality. Crossing the line I made for myself years ago. Either way, after a two days I’ve finally got myself together and just played the week through.
About two years ago I was sent to Charlottesville’s detention center for Truancy. Nothing huge but it hit me hard when they finally got fed up with me and just put me there for a week. Being truant wasn’t something new for me. Ever since I started going to Buford Middle School and then continued into CHS. No, I wasn’t just some troubled child who hated school and didn’t want to go. I used to love going to school. When I was young I never had a problem with going, though getting up and walking to the bus stop was a pain. But that was it. The work was okay, the people didn’t bother me as much. So, for me to feel like I didn’t want to go to that middle school and that high school was new for me.
But I knew why. These two schools I don’t recommend people go to. The kids there are very uncomfortable to be around and the teachers and staff didn’t care much about most of the students. I’m a quiet girl who uses politeness and adult’s trust to get on their good side. Because of this, I was able to watch how they had treated some of the students their problems. Long and sad story short; these two schools have their favorites and I wasn’t one of them.
I want to bypass that as it’s not completely important even though they are the reason why I’ve had two Truancy Officers.
On out of the courtroom and to the detention home, I couldn’t stop crying. I didn’t make it a big deal until I was alone. In the room where they had to take any extra stuff to give to my mom, I let my feelings take over. In the cop car on the way there, I sobbed in the back. In the cell room where I had to change into ‘prison clothing’, I cried yet again.
I knew if I kept crying I would give myself a headache. For years now, I’ve been getting migraines as easy as most people can catch a cold. Crying, as hard as I was, is a trigger. So I made myself stop and started talking to the woman who put in my information at the desk. She was nice and told me that Blue Ridge Detention Center is the safest and the most understand one out of the others around the counties. In my school, I remember people talking about how this center was horrible. Though it didn’t get to, I had to keep my nice-girl act up for protection.
Finally, I was places in Pod-B. One of two girl pods in the building. There were five other girls there sitting at the tables, playing board game, and talking to each other. I took a seat at the people with the three girls setting up Monopoly. I was still trying to get myself to calm down and trying to push myself to talk since I have social anxiety. While playing, I found out one of the girls I made friends with was also in for missing too many days of school. She wasn’t around long but it was fun for the two days she was there.
The two other girls I made friends with were there for much bigger reasons. One, who I for her last name, was there for running away multiple times and self-harm. I knew there had to be something more but I didn’t want to dig up her business. The other, Fairfax, for criminal reasons. I’d forgotten what they were but I know she’s been there for almost a whole year. They were the two I grew closer to be around for the week... But they couldn’t help when it’s late at night and I was by myself in my cell.
Personally, I don’t want to tell people this... But it’s the only way some can understand the state I was in. Like I said, my week went well. I didn’t get into any fights or started yelling at the adults. I did was they told me to just to get by. This wasn’t school, I couldn’t just walk out because I knew I was right... Sometimes. This was a jail for children. I can’t fuck with people here.
Social anxiety, and soon Depression, left me a mentally week as a teen. Around fourth grade, I started coming up with imaginary friends. They weren’t people I had made up, but rather favorite anime characters. Weird, I know... But it helped. In every school the most amount of friends I would have are two to three people. Walker Upper was the only school that led me to have friends of friends. Giving me more than ten people to be around.
But we didn’t live close to each other and I liked to stay inside. Today, I knew this was a really deep state of Depression, but I would talk to these anime characters so I wouldn’t be alone. Soon they started following me whenever I’m by myself or just need someone to talk to. I wouldn’t talk out loud. If I was around people, I would talk in head. If I was alone, I would mouth out my words.
As I grew older I started watching more anime. It started out as something harmless and playful with the anime Naruto. Then when I got to fifth grade, other show were added but JunJou Romantica was milestone. Lastly, in ninth grade, the last anime added was Hetalia. By this time, I had to set rules so I knew I wouldn’t lose myself and start talking in public or anything. My plan was to look at this like an RPG game. I would make up little story lines and have them play out. Most of these became stories I wrote for school or to post on Deviant Art and FF.net.
While I used to be the main character in the stories, Hinata from Naruto, Misaki from JunJou, or Feliciano from Hetalia, and talk to these people as if they were there with me, it now changed to me playing a Sims-like mental game.
Though... I seem to convert back to how I used to be.
I couldn’t sleep because it I was alone and it was dark. I needed someone to hold my hand. Who better else than Ludwig? There wasn’t a story or a conflict. There wasn’t a reason for him to be there. I was my OC version of Feliciano and Ludwig was there sitting right beside the weird bed... Thing they had.
No, but seriously, it was like a window seat thing and we laid on the mates you would get in preschool and kindergarten that we have to make up ourselves in sheets. Like, they couldn’t get a read bed or something? I like sleeping on the floor so this wasn’t uncomfortable for me, but still.
Anyway, enough about the poor bedding choice they picked. I was only able to sleep and feel safe from... Well, myself really. He would be beside me holding myself, talking to me, reassure me I’ll be okay. Ludwig did more help for me than the calls from my mom. I felt myself feeling like I was broken and he was there to heal me. The best part about being there was in they would put us in our cell for reasons. We couldn’t be out in the pods without a guard so while one would leave and another would take their shift, we would be in our cells.
This was a place of regrouping for me. It only lasted no more than eight minutes but that was all I needed to have a small conversation with him. I don’t remember what we would talk about since I never gave us a back story. But I know we never stopped talking when I was in my cell.
Finally, two nights before I was able to leave, I realized that I’ve crossed my own line. How did I know? You would think, even for a week, you would remember nights and even a couple of moments of being in juvenile detention for the first time. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t recall some nights or staying up past twelve. I only remember some moments of going to lunch, cleaning the other pods with some of the girls, playing Monopoly, and going to church.
I sat there and looked around my pod. I was alone. It was late. And I haven’t seen Ludwig at all that day. By ‘seen’ I mean what any kid with an imaginary friend would mean. He wasn’t there, I knew he was never there, but I felt him. And for the rest of my stay I couldn’t feel him.
I didn’t sleep the last two nights before I left. I couldn’t sleep because I made myself stay behind the line.
Almost half a year later I had to go back. Only for the weekend this time. I went through the same routine, but this time more talkative and friendly to the guards because I knew them well. I had a different cell and there were different girls in Pod-B this time.
For the second time I stayed there, I didn’t have Ludwig by me. I think because I knew where I was. I didn’t feel alone. Even for just two more days, I still didn’t sleep. But I got by just fine.