Groups, groups, and more groups. That was all I did in there, with the occasional ‘quiet time.’ That is when we had to sit alone in our rooms for an hour, sometimes more. We couldn’t talk, or draw, or dance, or anything. We were just supposed to sit.
The silence was killing me. It didn’t make sense that they were having us sit alone, quietly, when that contributed to getting us here in the first place. Being alone with our thoughts and minds is what ruined us. What were they expecting to happen? The quiet space was my enemy. Each time the pure silence entered my ears, it was like getting stabbed, over and over again. It hurt.
I went to look out the window. I looked down, and there was at least 100 feet to the ground. I looked for ways to open the window, but they had taken every precaution possible to prevent us from opening them. I heard my door open, so I turned around to see a nurse just peeking in. It turns out that they do that every fifteen minutes. I had no privacy.
Another nurse came in to let me know that quiet time was over, and that it was time for group. I drug myself out of the room with the white walls, and moped back into the day room. I cooperated with the nurses and doctors, because I didn’t want to get the so called booty juice.
KL had told me about it. She said that if someone misbehaved, they were sent to the room, all alone, and were given the booty juice, which knocks them out. It confused me how that was even legal, but apparently, it was. The girl, Brie, was evidently the only one who had gotten it during KL’s time here. I was NOT planning on risking acting out, because I was scared what would happen to me when I was knocked out. So I just behaved.
Some time later, it was time for lunch. It was a late lunch because most of the patients had gotten McDonald’s, but I obviously didn’t mind the hunger. Everyone opened up their styrofoam boxes, and moaned.
“Roast beef again?” Nick complained. The nurses just ignored him, because the only thing they would have to say is that they thought it was terrible, too. It seemed as if our meals were last priority to the hospital. We were the outcasts, crazies, and the nuts. Who cared if we got taken care of?
I just picked at my plate, trying to make it look like I had eaten a sufficient amount. Kate seemed to do the same thing. I assumed she wasn’t much of an eater, either. She was so gorgeous, I couldn’t help but wonder what could push her over the edge with her looks. She seemed to come straight out of a magazine.
A sudden grunt interrupted my thoughts. I turned around, and Brie was at it again. She was stabbing her “food” with the plastic spork we were given. We were allowed to have plastic knives, or even forks because they were considered a danger to us.
One of the nurses tried to calm her down. She started joking around, and dancing funnily to see if it would relax her. It didn’t. KL must’ve seen the look on my face, because she leaned over and said that she was autistic, but she also had other mental health problems that made her like this. This made things make a bit more sense.
I had done a lot of volunteering with the special education students before I had moved, and understood them quite well. Though I had never seen someone as rowdy as Brie, it started to make sense. All of a sudden, I remembered something. She was singing the Dora theme song earlier, and it seemed to calm her down. So I tried it.
I mumbled the words to the song, and KL heard me and joined in. Ryan and Nick did too, as it was like a game to them to see who could sing it the best. Brie finally stopped her tantrum, and sang along. It seemed like magic because she went from literally jumping on tables and screaming, to sitting in a seat singing within a matter of seconds. I think we had found something that helps her.
The nurse just went along with out idea for the rest of the day. At dinnertime when she had another fit, we just began to sing. It was easier to sing the embarrassing tune than to listen to her ruckus. The other patients and I had decided to simply suck up our pride, and do what needed to be done.
After dinner, we had silent time again. I went to my room, and picked up a book I was given when I had first arrived. I didn’t seem any harm in reading, as it was still silent, but I was cautious anyways. When the nurse came in to check on me, she didn’t seem bothered by it, so I just dove into the story.
I was taken off to a mystical land, one better than the one I was living in. Well, existing in. There were lots of colors, and everything was so tranquil. It allowed me to think clearly, just focusing on one word at a time, forgetting all of my problems. When silent time was over, I had just finished the last page of the book, and was devastated.
What was I going to do without something so lovely to distract me from my thoughts again? I thought it would be rude to ask for another book, but they actually gave me one when they noticed I had finished the first. I put it on my table, and went to group like I was told. I took the seat in between KL and Kate, and sat down to watch the movie about drug abuse. I didn’t pay much attention to it, seeing as I had no drug problems, and didn’t see a purpose to it. I just sat in a haze.
Group ended, pulling me out of my daydreams, and we were sent back to our rooms to get prepared for bed. I walked into my room, and looked at the blank walls. I went over to the dresser, where my pajamas had been stored, and noticed some graffiti on it.
“It’s the end.”
Those were just a few of the things that had been written on the drawers, in bright red marker. I tried to ignore them, and lied down on my mattress that was most likely stuffed with newspapers, and drifted off to sleep.
I had finished my first day.