Steenie’s First Admission to Behavioral Health Inpatient Care

February 6, 2013 at 7:05 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

This is the first post I am going to make of many detailing my time in the hospital. I spent four nights there total although it felt like weeks. This is for people who want to know what happened, I’m too sick of talking about it to explain anymore.


My mom keeps telling me I’m minimizing my suicidal feelings to the cops. She wants me to be admitted. She called an ambulance about twenty minutes ago and an officer is asking me questions. “Is there anything we should know about in this bag? Marijuana, cocaine?” I laugh at him and tell him there’s nothing that fun in there. I’m sitting in the back of the ambulance, an EMT is taking my vitals. He keeps asking me if I want to kill myself. I tell him, it’s fleeting. I show him the bruises on my legs that had blossomed into bizarre patches of brown and purple. I told him I did this. I want to be admitted.

On the drive to the hospital, he asks why I feel this way. He’s looking for an answer for my behavior and I don’t have one to give him. I tell him I can’t get out of bed most days. I tell him I have fits of panic and can become inconsolable. He tells me sometimes you have to just deal with it. That’s what everyone keeps telling me. I laugh.

He asks if I was on any drugs. I tell him no. It’s the truth. I understand a lot of mental health problems are mimicked by drug use. This for once is not the case. I am genuinely on the bottom of things, looking up. I’m trying to find a way out. I claw at myself. He tells me that drugs are a crutch and that I need to control myself. I cry quiet tears the whole ride to the ER.

The cops walk me into St. John’s. They carry my bag for me. They insist. My mom crawls out of the front seat of the ambulance and follows us in. We have to wait for a room to open up. It’s busy.

I am admitted to patient observation room 20. The TV is behind plexiglass. There are no hanging wires in this room and there’s a toilet underneath the sink. A large beige shutter hangs over the sink, I guess in case I’m deemed at risk and they’re afraid I might try to drown myself in the basin. There are also cameras situated in the top corners of the room, adjacent to each other.

The nurse walks into the room. She’s skinny, about my age, seems nice. This all may be due to her being new to the job still. I’m glad she’s relatively civil to me. She’s the only one to not bruise me while drawing blood throughout this process.
She tells me to take off my clothes. She continues to stand there. I ask, “you have to watch me?” She nods. I make some sort of joke and swing my hips at her.

I’m watching some commercial for the Hobbit after the nurse leaves with all my earthly belongings. I’m staying calm by jotting notes down. A cop is sent in to listen to my statement. I tell him everything about my crazy. My tantrums, my anxiety, my weeping, my fleeting thoughts about everything. I tell him about the fight with my mom that led me here for the second time. I tell him the battery of bruises are self-inflicted, that I have a history, “fleeting suicidal thoughts”. If i am to be admitted, if it’s not based on merit it will at least be based on principal.

My mom writes down the playbook of psych meds in my note book, coaching me. She tells me, “don’t take the depacote or the lithium.” I nod and laugh. She leaves to smoke a cigarette.

The nurse comes back to take a blood sample. She accidentally snaps me in the face with the rubber tourniquet. She looks horrified. She tries to apologize profusely. I continue to shake my head and laugh. If i were in her shoes, this would be the least of my fuck ups i’m sure of it. She laughs nervously.

I am required at this point to piss in a cup. The nurse pulls out the weird toilet and tells me to try. I am successful. I’ve never been more proud of myself.

My arm is already developing a bruise from the blood sample fiasco. I can feel it pooling. My eyes are dry and my head is starting to throb. My mom is back in the room now, arguing with the insurance lady. The lady is talking too loud.

A younger guy comes in, asks another barrage of questions.
My $14 nail polish chipped I noticed, I am unhappy.

Dad shows up eventually and looks ragged. He tells me he just finished working a double. I can see the stress in his face. He doesn’t say much. He talks to my mom about his schedule, they jibber jabber for a while. He hardly speaks to me. I instantly feel awash with guilt and shame. He is exhausted and I have dragged him out here to be present for my first world breakdown. I hate myself. He’s falling asleep in his chair. He doesn’t deserve this. I am a selfish brat.

I settle on watching Robin Hood Men in Tights while I continue the intake process. I make a nurse fetch me a sandwich. It’s been hours. It tickled me that I could just ask for something and someone would just go and get it for me. The sandwich itself reminded me of elementary school cafeteria food. Plain turkey on a roll. No cheese. I could have gummed it. My eyes are still dry.

Both of my parents and I are waiting for a bed to open up so they can move me out of this room. All I hear is the background noise of sword fights and my parents furiously tapping on their phones. I want to grab them and throw them against the wall. I want to smash their toys into pieces. I wish my eyes would quit this nonsense. I’ve already put half a bottle of eye drops in them. The bastards.

It’s 12:30 AM. The security transport van ran out of gas. I am still waiting to be moved. My mom is talking circles. My dad is sleeping in the chair. There is no such thing as time.
My mom went out for a cigarette and she comes back in waving he arms about and yelling. She somehow managed to get into a confrontation with the security van driver while she was outside for those five minutes. She is in a full tizzy. I shake my head. Typical.
The nurse tells my parents to follow the van over to the psychiatric unit. The security driver couldn’t wait. The dick.

I make it to the proper building and the nurses at the front station take inventory of my belongings. There’s a strange clockwork orange vibe as they carefully check through each of my items. I try to not giggle in recognition. I am the anti-hero of this tale. I am the bastard brat who gets everything they deserve yet the reader feels a strange sense of empathy towards me. Love me, I’m awful.

I’m not allowed drawstrings and my notebook is confiscated. They’re scared i’ll tear out the binding and garrote someone. The nurse responsible for me sequesters me into another room and asks me more questions. She seems tired. She doesn’t laugh at my jokes. I walk back out to the nurses station.

I am given an ambien. I turn around from the desk and a petite woman with an Amelie hair cut is standing in the middle of the common area stark naked. She has a lost look in her eyes. I try not to look at her directly. I stare at the floor instead. I grab my notebook from the nurse and finish my thoughts.

A short man appears and approaches me while I’m sitting and jotting down details from the night. He
tries to shake my hand. I am unsure whether I should touch him or not. His eyes are electric and he scares me.

This place is strange but not in the way I was prepared for. I’m still processing my surroundings. Hopefully this ambien kicks in soon so I can tune out for a few hours. it’s almost 2 am. People are up and pacing. They make me nervous. I am not ready for this 8 am wake up call.



  1. depression nation said,

    thanks for writing. it took me decades to find a support community. and, yeah, that took checking into the ER and out-patient care. good luck. seems you have a headstart on me. 🙂

  2. bipolaronfire said,

    you are my new favorite crazy person.

    • karolinegreeley said,

      this legitimately pleases me. i’m going to finish a write up about the rest of my time there in coming weeks. it gets better.

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