Despite Katrina's promise it was more than a week before I was even examined by a doctor, and nothing else happened for several more weeks. So I was very bored, very frustrated, and very frightened.
I decided to write down, as a list, everything that the voices were telling me. There were writing materials in a drawer; until I left home to come here I had been to school, so I could write. I took a sheet of paper and pencil--I still didn't trust myself with pens--and started to write.
Maybe someone will read this, I wrote at the top of the page. And maybe they won't. Either way I will always go down in history as being crazy, but I can tell the nurse here doesn't think so. She's just as frightened. She knows the voices are real: they're not just something I'm hearing. That scared her, I think.
They tell me lots of things. They used to be kind, to talk to me. I'd talk back. But now I don't like them, because they threaten me. They tell me that I can never get rid of them, and the harder I try the more likely they are to stay. I really don't like being threatened.
At least I know what won't work. I'm scared. I don't know what to do. Now that I've left home I don't have anybody to turn to, and I don't have any friends here. I don't even know how long I will have to stay. If I can't be cured, will they keep me here to look after me, or will they send me away?
I don't want to be in the real world again. I can't cope with the noise.
As I was writing, Katrina returned. "Michelle, would you come with me?" Grateful that something was at last being done, I got to my feet and followed her out into the wide, soft carpeted corridor. Other children watched me curiously. I only knew one or two of their names and I didn't know what any of their conditions were, because we never spoke.
I think they might have been scared of me. That suited me just fine. I didn't want to have a friend who would want me to explain the voices to them. It would just be too complicated.
Katrina took me to a little room where the doctor sat in front of a table. He had a clipboard and a small computer, obviously for making notes. "Michelle!" he said as I entered. Why did everyone here know my name? "Thank you for coming. I want you to tell me exactly when these voices started and what they said to you then."
"Now?" I wasn't really prepared. That was the sort of thing I would have liked to think through, but he did seem eager. At his nod, I agreed. "All right. But I don't really remember that long ago."
Which was a lie. I remembered everything perfectly and clearly.