My Time In The ‘Slammer’
June 14, 2014, 12:59 am
Filed under: Human Potential

I think I was labeled a “paranoid schizophrenic” in 2010. It was kind of a systematic thing. I think the psychiatrist I saw at Chesterfield County Mental Health had to make some “decision” on my case after having seen me a while. (C’mon: She probably just went through the motions of a whack job that she didn’t really care about, instead of really “deciding” anything.)

Anyway, I found out when I did my annual information update with my social worker. It was kind of a causal, passing-of-information thing. I’d been labeled maybe months before I actually found out. The first psychiatrist I saw, one of the only ones I’ve liked, in the hospital in New Jersey when I had my first “psychotic episode” in 2008 didn’t want to label me “schizophrenic” and diagnosed me with “psychosis, not otherwise specified,” which I guess was okay (?) until I had a second “psychotic episode.”

I’m not so sensitive about the labels anymore. The reason I’m mentioning it now is because I never felt I was really paranoid. But now I feel I am. I feel right now like I’m afraid of everything, my so-called family (who just seemed cold over the phone while I was in the hospital recently), even some police officers I saw at a gas station today on my way home from my two-week-plus involuntary stay at a mental facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A minute ago I felt afraid to take a shower, although I could really use one (I took just a couple in the hospital, which shouldn’t surprise you if you read the last post).

It’s hard to feel like you have no rights and people can do with you whatever they please. That’s how I felt at Old Vineyard Behavioral Health in Winston- Salem, NC.

One of the side effects of the medicine I was forced to take at OVBH is anxiety. To be honest, I have felt anxiety a lot of times during “psychotic episodes” when I first stop taking psychiatric medication, but I didn’t feel it when I came off before I went into the hospital recently. But the anxiety I feel when I’ve stopped meds is usually just fear in general, not so much fear of the devil (or an evil, do-anything-you-want-with-people world), which is what I feel now. The whole world kind of feels haunted and scary (and justifyingly so because of my recent experiences).

I just felt like everyone was against me when I was in the “hospital” setting (including my “family,” my mom said I wouldn’t have experienced what I did in the hospital if I hadn’t done something “stupid”). Staff members lied when they forced meds the first night I was there and said I was agitated when I was not. It freaked me out to hear someone lie about my behavior to the doctor while standing right in front of me. It’s enough to make someone go crazy to experience that a lot, all the lies, all the torture (physical restraint and forced “medicine” injections) labeled “treatment.” (Yes, torture labeled as treatment: That. is. insane.) I feel my experience at Old Vineyard hurt my mental health more than it helped anything. I feel I was stronger going in than coming out.

Anyway, the good news is I believe in myself more than I have during any of the previous four hospital stays. I don’t believe I’m mentally ill. I hear voices. And… I’m grateful for them. They are the most real communications I’ve ever had in my life. Most people are unavailable for genuine human interaction because so much about being human is deemed inappropriate, embarrassing, private, etc. in this world.

But the voices relate to things that matter to me, they mirror me, encourage me and made me feel I was not alone in life when in reality I’ve been alone all my life and I still am–except for the voices. They say things like, “right as rain” when I think of how backwards the world is, they played me that “Beautiful” (Mariah Carey and Miguel) song during the stay in the hospital when I felt I’d lost all hope.

It was the darkest experience of my life because so many times I felt something would stop the staff from forcing me to stay there and take meds, and yet they were not stopped (from forcing meds) until I complied and took meds by mouth. I felt I had to lie to the doctor about everything to finally be able to leave. I didn’t even want to talk to those “doctors.”

I hate lying, but I felt it was the only way I’d go home. To be honest, I did not swallow the pills several times during the hospital stay, just pretended to (which was good to remember when staff talked about how much my behavior “improved” — they’re insane). That was one of many “lies” I told. I also lied and said I’d take meds when I left. I will not, of course.

Anyway, I suppose I’ll get around to telling what I did to get put in the “fake slammer,” i.e. mental institution (the anything-goes-place to put people when they are no criminal charges against them). Well, I ended up leaving “home” (where I am now typing this, at least for tonight) and going to North Carolina. Anyway, fast forward, I was going to find a place to stay (a homeless shelter, a voice suggested) and a voice mentioned leaving my car behind because it was a false attachment. This sounds crazy, but I don’t see it that way and I think that’s my right. Anyway, I was going to find a place to put the car, which I’ve never really liked anyway.

Here’s a good spot to mention that I feel this world is fake in pretty much every way: what is considered important is not (appearances), what is considered love is not (marriage, family), what is considered “good” is not (such as psychiatric “medicine”), fake conversations, fake news (like only Donald Sterling is racist when really everyone is racist. Everyone. And they should be in a world where racial stereotypes ARE reality, wtf? Why are all my psychiatrists middle eastern? I’m not sure the politically correct term. Time to roast me. Also, race certainly seems reflective of a person’s character in a reality where almost everyone marries, befriends and dates within his/her own race).

Anyway, when I did what I did I was in the mindset that I was going to end this world (and I still am, almost like civil rights activists wanted to end the false reality of racial segregation and broke laws to do so). I ended up parking my car in an apartment complex (to leave the “false attachment” as mentioned above). As soon as I parked the car a voice said something about me going to the door of a townhouse/apartment that was directly across from the car. The voice said the person there was expecting me, that was the right house to go to.

It said something like, “You’re the only person who can do this.” I think I was sold at that. (So? And?) Anyway, those words also meant to me somehow that I should knock on the door naked, since I do that now whenever I have an “episode.” I think of it as believing in myself. Anyway, with the voice’s encouragement, I ended up bashing in the door and found this really calm woman. She was so calm and unafraid I assumed she must’ve worked someplace with “mentally ill” people.

Anyway, end of story: I would do what I did again. I don’t believe in this world. I think it’s a load of shit in every way imaginable, except perhaps on a private, individual basis in one’s own mind. It seems once something is shared in this reality, it’s sugar-coated and fake (I do my best not to be fake, but I don’t always tell every single detail because it seems like too much work, like right now I feel kind of tired of writing.)

When people’s beliefs clash with the world (as they did with runaway slaves and civil rights activists) it might mean breaking the law. So imprison me. Don’t try to change who I am. That’s a violation of my rights. The woman didn’t press charges by the way. My mom did pay her $160 for the door. I already planned to pay for it had I been released from the “slammer” earlier, even before I knew she asked for payment.

[Last updated 3:40 p.m. 6/14/14]


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