Circles

Thursday Morning:

They search me, they trace their hands up my sleeves to ensure I’m not hiding anything. They ask what’s in my pockets before forcing me outside, into the back of their car. I feel eyes watching me from every window, the immovable sense that I’ll be some gossip for when their husbands and kids get home.

They take me to A&E. They follow me to the desk and again, everyone’s watching me, trying to work out what I’ve done to have police escorting me. They put me in the special room I’ve seen so many times before. For criminals, for people being abusive or violent, for drunks. We sit there for hours. On the hottest day of the year, no windows, the heat rising and I can’t remove my sweatshirt because they’ll see what I’ve done.

It’s a blur. They ignore me, they talk amongst themselves, listening to their radios and commenting on the accident that’s being reported and go on to talk about RTA’s they’ve been to where they’ve had to scrape people off of the road.

Thursday Afternoon:

It goes on for hours, and then they’re gone. More people come and eventually go again.

“What happened this morning before the police brought you in?”

“I don’t know, I don’t remember.”

Again, and again, the same forms, the same questions, the same cold, blank expression from the person asking me, the same tiny box of tissues being handed to me in an attempt to clean up the mass of tears, and the unshakeable feeling that this is never going to end.

The hours pass. They clear the A&E bed and room of all equipment so I don’t attempt to garrotte myself with a blood pressure pump, a nurse sits with me the entire time and closes the paper curtains so no one has to see me sobbing uncontrollably. I ask to go to the toilet, she follows me and tells me not to lock the door. I’m not allowed to use the phone. We return to the bed, she tells me I can sleep but I ignore her and sit bolt upright, watching the blue curtains for shadows approaching, waiting for someone to come along and tell me this was all a terrible, ugly dream.

Another doctor arrives. We go through the questions again and he asks what I want to do, I tell him I want to go home and he says that’s not possible, it’s not safe for me yet. He says I need to go to another hospital for the night, a secure mental health unit to be assessed properly before I can go home. I ask what the other option is, hoping there’s some way out and he answers simply –

“We’ll have to section you under the Mental Health Act.”

Thursday Evening:

I’m taken in the back of an ambulance to the other hospital. I can’t see where we’re going, I don’t know the hospital. I don’t know who I’m with and it all feels so, so wrong. We arrive at the hospital and start going through a series of locked doors, as many doors are locked behind me and the paramedics as are opened before us. All too soon, we’re there. Locked in.

They go through my bag, taking away my glasses and phone charger, they fill out more forms. The woman keeps telling me I’m really tearful when I’m sitting there still, completely numb and for the first time all day I don’t feel like crying.

The rest is a blur. I’m forced to sit with other patients in a lounge area because the dorms are locked. They offer pills I don’t know and I refuse them. I’m told I might be lucky enough to see a doctor for the assessment tomorrow. Eventually I’m allowed to sleep. In an empty room, with the lights on, and a opaque window that won’t open.

Friday Morning:

I’m allowed to see the doctor for my assessment. Except, it isn’t an assessment. They tell me I’m going to be OK, they nod enthusiastically as if I’m supposed to join in, they tell me my family’s supportive and that this was just a blip and that I can go home.

I leave the procession of locked doors to be the outside world, without any money, without my phone, without a single phone number or leaflet, or what I should do if it happens again and without the slightest clue as to what happened to me to cause the events of the previous morning.

21 Comments

  1. One of the bravest posts I’ve ever read. Love you x

    Reply
  2. Beth @plasticrosaries July 8, 2014

    Can’t say anything more than Jenny above – your writing is stunning even in the worst of circumstances. x

    Reply
  3. Hannah July 8, 2014

    Powerful post cas love to you always xx

    Reply
  4. There is something wonderful inside you to cling onto – it’s there I promise. Look at your words, your articulation, your intellect – that’s is all you. You are perfect as you are and you will find you eventually. Much love to you at this awful time. We are here.

    Reply
  5. Mummy Glitzer July 9, 2014

    Oh Cas, this is one of the bravest things I have ever read. I wish I could give you a great big hug and I wish, more than anything, I could take it away. Xx

    Reply
  6. Katie Kitchen July 10, 2014

    Lovely I cannot imagine how frightening that was for you… yet you write so amazingly. Brave does not even cover it Mrs x

    Reply
  7. Isabel July 11, 2014

    I don’t even know what to say. I wish I could make everything different for you. I’ve been there, and I have been back again. I promise it’s possible. It’s just very hard.
    xo

    Reply
  8. steph July 12, 2014

    Cas, my heart is breaking for what you’ve had to go through. It’s so unfair. Anya has already said what I feel – there is something wonderful inside you, even in these dark times it’s so blindingly obvious. I’m here whenever you need to talk. Biggest love to you xxx

    Reply
  9. Emma July 14, 2014

    What Anya said completely, it’s so so true. I don’t think I have ever read a braver, more honest post. x

    Reply
  10. You aren’t lost Cas, no matter how you feel inside. Your words show the power and determination that somewhere is there. They demonstrate the “you” shining brightly through all the crap that you are trying to deal with. Hang on to them, they will keep you and guide you home.

    Reply
  11. Otilia July 14, 2014

    Thinking of you Cas xxxx

    Reply
  12. vicky @ acupcakemum July 14, 2014

    Thinking of you. X

    Reply
  13. Donna@MummyCentral July 14, 2014

    Frightening and raw and brave and powerful. And I wish I knew what to say.

    Reply
  14. Rebecca July 14, 2014

    I’m so sorry you have had to go through this and haven’t been given any answers, or much kindness either from the sounds of it. I hope things are improving and you can get the help you need. Thinking of you. Often.

    Reply
  15. Cass@frugalfamily July 14, 2014

    Such a brave post Cas – there’s nothing I can say to make everything alright but if I could, i would lovely lady. Stay strong x x

    Reply
  16. Boo Roo and Tigger Too July 14, 2014

    A brave and powerful post, I am disappointed to read that they sent you away with no follow up, no phone number or anything. I hope things seem a little brighter and that help is finally being sorted

    Reply
  17. Mum of One July 14, 2014

    Cas this sounds beyond terrifying and I cannot imagine the stress you are under right now. It is also incredibly well written. Listen to Anya. You are talented, you are special, you are so admired and respected. You know where to find us when you are ready. x

    Reply
  18. Pinkoddy July 14, 2014

    Whatever happens, just don’t give up xxx

    Reply
  19. Domestic Goddesque July 14, 2014

    Keep writing my love, keep talking, keep communicating. I like to think that somehow, sitting too far away to help, that my reading your words, realising what you have experienced, are going through, continue to endure, will help. Huge, huge hugs.

    Reply
  20. Zoe July 16, 2014

    Your writing is so wonderful, so articulate and so honest. You are strong, I can feel it in your words and even though they left you with no follow up – no number to call or anything, which is very disappointing, keep hold of your strength. You’re going through bad times but it won’t always be like this. Everything changes and the sun will shine for you very soon. Sending love x

    Reply
  21. suzanne3childrenandit July 27, 2014

    Goodness Cas, this is awful. I can’t believe that they just let you go home without doing or saying anything. I do hope you’re ok. Thinking of you xx

    Reply

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