Losing Weight

In my other post about being a skinny African American girl Being a Skinny, Black Girl in America, I talked about how I gained weight and the response of African American men to my change in size.  This blog is going to do a lot of talking about the problem that I have with losing weight and what society has to say about it (because you know that society ALWAYS has to have a say in why you do things as well as how to do them).  Sadly, some people feel that what they are saying is encouraging to you but, to someone like me that has been on both sides of the coin, some of what you’re saying is extremely offensive.  And lets not get into the stupid myths that people like to throw out there.  So lets get started.

“Why are you trying to lose weight?  You’re fine.”

I’m sorry but did I ask you if I was fine?  I know I’m fine. My self-esteem is great.  Thanks for the compliment but I have lived all this time in my shoes and I see myself on a daily basis.  I want to lose weight because I want to lose weight.  I make goals for me, not for others.  I know what I am capable of and I know that I can be and do better.  

“Men Like a Woman with Meat on Their Bones”

Doesn’t that sound familiar?  Remember when I was skinny and people told me that no man wants a skinny woman?  Yeah, they use the same “encouragement” when you want to lose weight for yourself too. So fun.  Again, I don’t care what anyone thinks about anything that has to do with my body. I know how happy I am when I am in shape, seeing my muscles, and being lean.  I am proud when I can run miles without getting winded. I am proud when I can go up on my weights in my (home) gym.  I miss my little gym. I say this often but I miss my brother so much.  I’m one of a few women that go to that small gym and it has been closed for COVID and it’s just sad that I can’t see my folks anymore and I don’t know if I will ever see them again.  But working out with them or running them off weights made my day.  

But I don’t ever go to the gym JUST to pacify men especially because I really don’t want a man.  I will never do anything JUST to pacify a man. I love me. I love myself either way but I love myself more when I feel accomplished and, losing weight will make me feel more accomplished because I know what I can do. 

Not too long ago, I was talking to a coworker that reached out to me as his son completed suicide and he wanted to talk to me about my bipolar disorder. I told him that my drug of choice was running.  Since I hadn’t been able to run on a treadmill, I had become extremely depressed and unmotivated.  I cannot run with a mask on  and I don’t run on concrete for the sake of my knees and hips.  So, when I ran one day after not running for a whole year 3 miles in 47 minutes, I was high for a good 5 days.  I needed that high again.  

Because of this, I got a treadmill. So I feel a lot better and the weight is coming off.  Mind you, I still walk my dog.  That heat makes it hard.  I literally get out and walk him for long periods on the weekend as that’s the only way that I can get him out before heat comes up.  During the week, I can’t walk him at like 6:00 a.m. but that will change because my daughter is going to be done with summer camp (thankfully) so we can get out there and walk a good hour before work. Yay!

In the End….

I learned (later in life than I should have) that I have to do things on my own for myself.  I don’t want anyone to think I am doing anything for anything but my daughter.  Others that I don’t know, know, have yet to know….. I don’t care about their opinions.  I am going to make it to my license weight  again on my own.  I’m 231.8 lbs as of now but I will get back to 187 lbs again. 

I am doing Real Appeal again through my job and I am very confident that I will do this by the end of the program.  If not, my job will pay for it again. LOL  

But just know that sometimes people do things for themselves. I want to be able to run 5k in a shorter time again.  And I will do it because I did it before so I know I can do it again.  Thanks to C25K, I will get there again and then I will do C210k next. Watch me! 

 

Tales from the Psych Ward (Part 4): The Final Countdown

Let’s Be Honest

As annoyed as you are reading about this stupid inpatient stay, that is how annoyed I am about it. This is the final piece of this stupid experience. I will talk more about where I will go from here, my family, my friends, people that have reached out to me, etc.

On my last day, I was just ready for 1:30 p.m. to come around. They asked me the same old stale questions that anyone can lie their way out of and then was given to a nice woman named Njeri from MinDoula. I actually told her that I had blogged about the company. Personally, I feel that they should have staff from there doing 1:1 consults while you are in the psych ward.

Resolution

When I was leaving, Njeri gave me her information and stated that she would check on me and that I could use the app. I told her she can email my work email because I’m usually on it. Since I have been out of the place, she has called, texted, and emailed me. If you are a big provider or corporation, I swear this is probably one of the best things that they could have done. Shoot, I might even talk to my employer about this.

To have someone that you don’t know just check on you. That’s kind of cool because some people don’t have the support system that I am actually blessed to have.

Grievance Filed

I actually was going to write a formal letter (and I might still do that) but I filled out the little form on their site and I wrote my life away because I like to write. I told them that I recognized that they had merged with MedStar Health in 2012 but that I expected that it would make things better. I talked about how the first time I was there (sad, I know) was around 2008 and things were a lot different. Some things changed for the better, some for the worst, and some not at all.

My first issue (no matter how petty it is, it still is an issue) was the food. Twelve years ago when I was there, we had the same food as all the hospital had. I know this because the food was actually good. My mother was just in that hospital before they transferred her to Georgetown and she loved the food (and she’s picky).

Anyhow, I put it into the perspective that it’s pretty dehumanizing to give us different food than the rest of the hospital and I wanted to know their reasoning on doing so. If I have insurance that pays very well, why exactly can’t I be treated like everyone else in the hospital ? I’ve never thrown my food at anyone or wasted it. So why is our food different? That $10k charge they sent me should have meant my food would be bomb. But nah, cold pancakes and sausage that you had to ask the med techs to warm up for you was what we got. Sandwiches with just turkey, no mayo, no mustard, that’s what we got.

I also complained about the fact that they literally don’t care about the physical health of the people in the behavioral health (BH) ward. I feel that that’s pretty messed up especially if you’re in a whole hospital. How bad can it be to do an x ray on someone that has knee problems (my roommate)? When I was there 12 years ago, I had ruptured the tendons in two of my fingers. It would have been nice if they had taken an x-ray or something to see that. Thanks to them not caring that I couldn’t move my two fingers due to the fact that the tendons were ruptured and you literally only had 3-5 days to reattach them easily, my fingers are still messed up. I could take the tendons from my wrist and reconstruct it but I felt that I needed to keep a reminder. I can do enough and my main goal was to be able to write again which I can so I’m not petty and I chose to let it go because I really wanted to never think of that place again.

A young girl was standing at the nurse’s station and fell and hit her head. That was the ONLY time I saw them take anyone downstairs for their injury likely because it happened and everyone saw it. When my roommate’s knee gave out on her, they asked “Did anyone see it?” Her knee gave out on her a number of times and they just gave her a wheelchair. They could have at least done an x-ray to see what was up. But….no. She had bowel problems and they told her that they needed to see it. So the next time she had them, she pushed the call button for them to come and look to make sure she actually HAD diarrhea (you could smell it but okay) and they didn’t even come.

My grievance about the nurses was pretty light because some were very nice and caring. Some acted like they really didn’t want to be there. I mean, then go home. Shoot, the doctor always got to go home. Why is there only ONE psychiatrist? The other doctors and NPs were just there but really weren’t that helpful. found that to be interesting. I also found it to be extremely interesting that I had to stay for 5 days although I signed the 72 hour form. Yes, I complained about that. Because I was ready to fight everyone ( just like the last time) because I knew what I signed. A NICE nurse came and explained it to me and calmed me down but I was about to have to get a shot in the butt.

I also made it VERY clear that the only people that seemed to be going above and beyond in their jobs were the med techs. I mean that. When I posted the job description in my last post about this, I was mad when I saw how much they made. They work 12 hour days and get paid about $35k. And they do more than the flippin doctor and the nurses combined in all honesty. I mean, they could come around and ask those three stale questions if they wanted to. I would rather them ask than the doctor who really didn’t care about your answers; just wanted to know how many more meds to give you.

The hospital has already contacted me regarding my grievance and stated that they have given it to the Director and that I will get two letters in the mail regarding this complaint.

When it was time for us to leave, the med tech’s words were this:

We hope you don’t have to come back here but, if you do, we won’t judge.

Random Med Tech Man That was FIONE but had blue contacts that made him look weird.
The Shot in the Butt
Photo by RF._.studio on Pexels.com

I have NEVER had to get one BUT, when you get a shot in the butt, it starts your inpatient time over. A lot of people have had to get that shot. The lady that asked me what I was looking at (I observed her quite a lot and think she had schizophrenia) got the shot so much, I’m not sure how she was able to sit down. They were looking to get the shot for ME when I was ready to kill the girl that claimed that I had bumped her. Because I was really going to do her harm. I went to the room, punched the hard bed, my hand was bloody but then I was going to start plotting.

I don’t do very well with disrespect which is why I don’t “people”. I don’t really do well with rude and disrespectful people, especially when I’m just minding my business. So I do things when I know no one will be around. The ONLY reason I went down to the group room was because they wanted to talk to my roommate alone. That was it! Then she wanted to pick a fight. I was literally thinking of ways to kill her.

You see, they take all pencils and pens from you after your art class. And you should see the lil flimsy pencil they give you. You couldn’t stab a person in the eye if you tried your best. And when you come in, they have to check you for weapons. I forgot about that part. I don’t blame them. LMAO! However, as I tell EVERYONE “EVERYTHING is a weapon”. I don’t need anything. I can poke your eye out. I can slam your head in a door. I can slam your head against the wall. I don’t NEED a weapon to hurt you. Wherever I am, I am thinking of weapons.

I literally got banned off Facebook for 30 days for saying that I would stab someone in the eye with a toothbrush if they popped out of my shower. Protect yourself at all costs. Also, don’t pick fights.

In the End

Don’t expect those people to help you. Expect them to stabilize you to get that check from your insurance. I should tell my insurance to be petty and ask for a itemized bill. That little mess they sent me was NOT itemized and I want to see. That doctor did nothing but prescribe pills and ask me the same question every 2 days or sent someone else in to ask the same questions. He also didn’t work on the weekend. You’re a whole hospital. To me, there should always be someone on staff THERE. Have two flippin psychiatrists, why just one and some NPs? That doesn’t help.

We didn’t get 1:1 care and no one really cared about what was up. In addition to that, the social workers were barricaded in a room like we were going to attack them. And maybe they have been attacked. I don’t know. I know a counselor was attacked the first time I was there by my lil friend. SMH That was just bad.

But, if you’re going to go to the psych ward, know the rules (I should have packed but I just wore the crap I had on because it had no strings and all that good stuff). Have some flip flops and some elastic pants of some kind. If you come in there with sweatpants or some tennis shoes, you won’t get to wear them. I should have brought underwear, pads, I did bring a book, etc, but yeah, be prepared. I wasn’t prepared and I was in a rush.

They gave me those two stupid choices (ambulance or police car) so I had to get in the ambulance. Anyway, that chapter is over and I got some freedom. Now what?

A lot has happened since I have been back so we will talk about The Aftermath next. Some people might not like what I will say and it’s okay. Some people that won’t like what I have to say don’t even care enough to read my blog so they won’t know anyway but there is a lot that takes place and changes after you have made yourself vulnerable enough for people to know that you went to the psych ward. Does it make you look crazy? Weak? Vulnerable? Less than? Well, we’ll check that out next.

Again, thanks for reading.

How Kpop Changed My Life (Part 3): That Time I Saw SuperM Live

Once Upon a Time…..

Many years ago, I learned about EXO and became obsessed with them. So, when I found out that my TWO biases had become a part of a super group called SuperM in 2019, I was happy. However, when I found out that they were coming to the DC area (well, they came to Fairfax, VA but whatever), I knew I had to make a move.

Those that DON’T read my actual blog won’t know that I love Kpop as it is a form of therapy for me and also that I have bipolar disorder. I do not “people” because people are rude and I am violent. Because of this, I don’t do crowds. I decided to go outside of my comfort zone so that I could see my BaeKai. I didn’t care where my seats were or how much those tickets were going to cost, I had to see them. So that’s what I decided to do ALONE!

As my Facebook post stated, it was truly one of the best days of my life and it took place right before COVID shut the world down. The thing was…. I was not alone. Of course I wore my Kai shirt although I did get a Baekhyun shirt as well but I couldn’t wear both. I mean, I could but I’m old. LOL But I felt that I was with MY people. I don’t claim people but I claimed THOSE people. Many of us were there for different groups (I knew nothing about NCT nor SHINee until I saw them in concert and my life hasn’t been the same since) but we were all there appreciating ALL of our people.

People were there with their respective lightsticks (see my post about Fandoms: How Kpop Changed My Life – Part TWO: Fan Wars) but I didn’t know the true power of those dang on light sticks until I saw it in person. Never saw anything like it. Kpop concerts are in a league of their own. And, yes, I have probably been to three concerts in my life but NONE were Kpop. I understand why they get so much money in merchandising. The shows are worth it. For some reason, Facebook won’t let me upload the vid that I had of the power of the lights SO I will post this vid of Kai being a whole HOE in Confession.

KAI!!!!!

The Introductions

Again, I only KNEW of Kai and Baekhyun so that’s who I was there for but, when you heard the screams for all the other members, you started to understand. I’ll post those but um…they talked a little but we were SO happy to hear them trying English. It was sweet and it showed us that they tried. I mean, we sing their songs all wrong so, if they wanted to try out our language, we were all for it. I have vid of that but yall might be bored. But here are the introductions. I will tell you this RIGHT NOW! After seeing this flippin concert, I became OBSESSED with Lucas and Ten. LAWD! NCT is really trying to do their best to take me from EXO but I canNOT let that happen. But dang on Lucas and Ten…… The relationship between Lucas and Kai is beautiful though. I love the two of them together because they’re like brothers harassing one another. Anyhow here is the introduction vid.

You hear those screams?

You hear those screams? So you know that the next time I go, I won’t have a voice because I will be screaming for ALL of them. I highly doubt that we will have another tour by SuperM BUT, if there is one, I will know more about all the groups involved and I won’t have a voice. I mean, all the screaming I did for Kai and Baekhyun, you would have thought I wouldn’t have a voice but I did.

In the End….

There are very few things that will get me to go into a crowd. You can tell that Kpop is very important to me to get me out of the house. Although I was probably the age of the mothers there with their screaming teenagers, I was in there with MY people. The people were from all over. All different races and ages and I was so happy. I do have my lightstick and I reflect on that experience often because it told me that I could “people”. I peopled and had no incidences. Everyone was respectful and we all were just so elated to see our favorites that we all bonded at the same time.

My best friend’s daughter is an ARMY. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to take her to a concert when the world opens up again. Not sure I can handle that. I would have to pray and meditate before that because I like a few of their songs. But you always have to take one for the team. I guess I’m going to have to study for that. They were coming to FedEx Field and I’m sure it was sold out so I don’t think she’ll be going this time IF they come back to the U.S.

Anyhow, sometimes you have to step outside of yourself to be happy. Going to a concert alone to see TWO people (and then love allllll the members and their groups) opened a new world for me. I will never forget that experience. I think I had just turned 40 that year. I usually forget my age because I don’t care. LOL But yeah, most people travel and have big parties for their 40th but I went to a concert.

Anyhow, thanks for reading if you got this far. I hope you turned the volume down because…yeah….I kind of did a lot of yelling. I really wish I could upload that I Can’t Stand the Rain vid though to show the lightsticks.

School Shopping…Never Simple

https://www.ebony.com/life/wardrobe-malfunction/
Wouldn’t It Be Lovely…..

It would be lovely to say that I am ready for my daughter to go back to school and that we are alllll ready for it. But I can’t do that. Why can’t I do that? Because finding school clothes, especially pants, is hell. It has been hell for many years but now my daughter is a 15 year old that weighs a good 151 lbs at 5’2″. She is healthy and solid. So I’m now finding it even MORE difficult to find clothing for her that doesn’t irritate her.

My daughter has always had sensory processing issues with loud noises and clothing especially. She used to walk like a toy soldier and my mother would soak new uniform pants in fabric softener which worked for a while. I literally have a big trash bag of khaki uniform pants that have been barely worn. I was going to donate them but this child needs to pay for something so I’m going to have to put them up for sale.

Last Year

Part of the reason I had to be put away last month was because of the constant frustration of fighting my daughter regarding her clothing for summer school (ESY) and then summer school. She would literally try to wear the same clothes every day although she had plenty of clothing that she could wear.

She would wear this one Mickey Mouse shirt when she had a good 5 of them (all from Target). She wore that one so much that it got little lint beads on it and I had to literally SEARCH for it so that I could wash it.

Friday, my daughter came out of the house with the same outfit she had worn the day before and I just walked out to the car and started cussing. I had to. You have to really walk away sometimes. We have been late to the Melwood bus because she will either sit on the toilet forever while the shower runs or just stand in the shower reflecting on her life. Then, even though I have put clothes out for her to wear, she will come out wearing the same clothes. Do you know how frustrating that is?

Now she is obsessed with a pair of shorts (from Target again) so I got her three more pairs of them and some tank tops. She really loves Target and always has, however, I get her a bunch of things FROM Target that she picks out and then she won’t wear them.

Remember how I said to pick your battles? Well, as a parent, you can only let but so much go. Teenagers stink AND some of them don’t want to take showers (my daughter but I can’t blame her because I went through the same phase in my life around 13). However, when you get your period, I have to draw the line. I cannot have you smelling like onions AND trash. Not to mention it’s HOT outside. So this is one battle I have to fight.

Do I feel like it? Nope. I sure don’t BUT I have to. Our children are a reflection of us. Although my child goes to Melwood for summer camp and they understand these things, I still can’t let this go. It’s a hygiene issue ESPECIALLY if she is on her period. I can’t let that go. I have gotten her the period panties and all that but that’s a whole different blog. She also tries to hide the fact that she is on her period so I’m always checking trash cans and wherever she tries to hide things.

Plan For This Year

So they’re likely going back to school on my birthday (not really sure due to the new COVID strain) and I feel the need to have her get ready for school and wear her uniform even if they don’t go directly back to school. I feel the need to do this to keep her in a routine. When it comes to children with autism, you HAVE to keep a routine. And this is why it all went to hell in a handbasket and got harder and harder for her to get back into a routine.

This was my fault. So I have to learn from this so that it doesn’t happen again. I need to take my daughter into a store to try clothing on but I am not really sure how that will pan out. I already ordered some pants from Old Navy that she wasn’t feeling so I’m going to have to return those (YAY!). The pants are not fitted and she didn’t like them because they were too long. When I told her to try the pants on, the first thing she asked was “Are they hard or soft?”

I am going to review the dress code again because I went on Amazon and saw some pants that might work for her as they are yoga pants. She likes yoga pants and these are khaki. I have seen some pull on pants. I don’t know if I want her to wear khaki jeggings because she’s really picky with those too.

Why Am I Writing About This?

I am writing about this because I know I am not alone. I have seen a number of other posts about this and a lot of other parents in special needs groups have said the same thing. With me having bipolar disorder, I try my best to make things easier for all involved.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

The frustration that I experience as a result of this as well as the loss of money can really get to a parent, especially a single parent that gets no support (even though there is an order in place for a whole $50/mo). I actually talked to my therapist about this today (they have been giving me more frequent visits of course and I have met my deductible so my insurance will be paying for everything for the rest of the year) and she told me that I wasn’t wrong for having these feelings and expressing them. The fact that I am cognizant of the fact that this is a bit of an issue is half the battle. It’s hard but I’m trying and blogging is very important to help me cope with my feelings.

It is also to let other people know that they are not alone. It’s hard but we can get through it. We have to take it one day at a time and that’s really all I am trying to do at this point. I said I wasn’t going back to the psych ward so I have to try to live up to this promise. I said I wasn’t going back 12 years ago and that’s where I ended up 12 years later.

Today Was a Good Day

I Usually Hate Mondays But….

I had a good day today because I was off to run some errands. I got some extras along the way.

Of course my daughter decided to move like a zombie even though she was going to summer camp but we’re just going to ignore that part. Afterward, I came home, change my clothes, and put makeup on to make a trip to the MVA. COVID has made it easier because we can make appointments. I was in and out. I was happy about that. I even made it a point not to look homeless. Gonna be stuck with that license pic forever. Don’t worry, I had on a jacket so I could look professional.

I had to laugh though because they kept the weight I had many years ago which was 187 lbs. I am over 230 lbs and told them to put that but they didn’t so whatever.

Next Was the Doctor

Because I have been, again, doing everything I was supposed to be doing as far as diet and exercise but still not losing weight, I wanted to be checked again for diabetes. Yall know what happened last time when my Seroquel stopped working after 8 years So I Have Diabetes. The last time I was tested, my AIC was at 6.1 which is pre diabetic. Because I am still not losing weight, I wanted to be tested to make sure that there isn’t some sort of endocrine issue. I have PCOS as well which is a contributing factor.

I love my NP as she really seems like she cares. When I told her where I was (because they always have to ask about your mental health and wanted to know why I had a COVID test), she genuinely cared. One thing that I can always say about my docs is that they really let me know that they care. My GYN told me maybe like 12 years ago (when I went to the psych ward the first time) that he was concerned about me period. Even my psychiatrist does. That kind of caring is hard to come by.

Either they all care of they’re just great actors. LOL

I Got My Treadmill

I don’t think I said it on here but, some weeks ago, I ran 3 miles in 47 minutes after not running for over a year. I was so happy and was pretty much HIGH off that accomplishment for about a week or so. My therapists told me that I needed to invest in a treadmill if it made me feel that good as the community center that I went to makes you wear a mask while running and I literally can’t do that. I need my peace of mine back and, to run on a treadmill, is a high for me.

They delivered and put it together yesterday and I broke it in today. I started Couch 2 5k from the beginning again just to be consistent. But that really made me happy. I didn’t run that much today but I ran. I’m just concerned about my downstairs neighbors. I might write them a note telling them I will be running for about an hour a day and around what time so they will know. It won’t be early or anything. I don’t want to disrupt their peace.

I Got a Book that Made Me Happy as a Child

I have been doing the things that made me happy as a child to help me just stay in a good mental space. Besides coloring and playing games, I looked at some things that brought me joy. Where’s Wallace? is one my all time favorite books as a child. It wasn’t just the fact that I loved books but this book was pretty different in that there were words but the pictures were great and you could learn the stories of other characters from the pictures accompanied by words.

When my daughter was little, I would get it from the library for her so that she could know my joy.

The Best Part of My Day

My roommate in the psych ward called me today. I was SO happy to hear from her. When I think about it, she wasn’t supposed to even be in the psych ward. What happened to her was not a psychiatric issue. But somehow, we met for a reason. When she called me, of course I cussed her out. LOL It’s love though. LOL I had been calling her phone but they had put her BACK in the ward until they recognized that she had a condition that had nothing to do with a mental illness. So she went to a better hospital. She has lodging for now and I plan to see her soon so she can meet my daughter and the animals.

While I was on the phone, I started coloring again and smiled a lot.

These days are few and far between and I just had to share because we have to talk about the good and the bad.

Today, I learned further that a lot of people care for me. My neighbor downstairs even gave me her number (the one that yelled at me because she didn’t see my dog). She said that she is always there and that, if I need a break, she will gladly take my daughter for a bit.

I have to say that I am very thankful for my village and I will talk about everyone in my Aftermath series. There are a lot of people that love me and care for me. They want to help me but I really have to work on accepting help from others. My job pays for a program and one of the challenges that I had to take note of was accepting help from other people. I let my mother wash my clothes. That’s all I’ve done so far. I will try to do better.

In the End….

This Monday was a great day and I am proud of myself for not being too overwhelmed. I also learned that looking nice actually repels men from me so I was doing it all wrong. I mean, one dude tried to talk to me under the guise of talking about my dog (as they always do) BUT it wasn’t as bad as when I dress homeless. Thanks to everyone for reading. I hope you guys have a great day as well. With all that is going on in the world, we have to take all the happiness we can get from even the smallest things.

Take care.

A Brief Note

I still am not well. My daughter is being great. She’s over here making me laugh. They have not filled my new prescription and I’m just over here existing pretty much.

One thing I was thinking about was how diseased my brain is. My brain is so diseased that I am afraid to BE happy because I think that the universe is going to pay me back for wishing death on myself.

The very minute that I am happy, maybe find someone, maybe have everything I really wanted, I’m gonna die of cancer, get hit by a car, or someone’s gonna shoot me. This is what my diseased mind thinks. Is it crazy? It is. And that fear will keep me in this place until I can find a way out of it.

I see too many bad things happen to good people and wish that it was me instead. I mean, my “snitch” friends have been through a lot of adversity and it pisses me off because they are truly good people that deserve so much in life.

Things are looking up for them and that makes me extremely happy but, when things aren’t going well for them, I genuinely am pissed like it happened to me even though it didn’t.

I also still haven’t heard from my roommate and I have inboxed two people on Facebook that might be her family. I am hoping that they respond. Tell me something, ya know?

I’ll get back on the topic of my stay in a little bit but all I did today was take my daughter to Taekwondo (she got her yellow belt today), ran on the treadmill for a little bit (got my 10k steps at least), and slept for hours.

I have an appointment with my psychiatrist on Wednesday. We might have to make those appointments more often as I had gone down from weekly to biweekly to monthly to every three months. I’m pretty sure that’s about to change. I still have my therapist too. I’m just really in a weird space.

Tales from the Psych Ward (Part 3): “Therapy”

I Don’t Know MUCH BUT…

I do know that therapy should be a bit more tailored to the person that is receiving it. The last time I was at Southern Maryland, I wasn’t as knowledgeable regarding psychology. I was obtaining my Associate’s at the time but I just think that there is so much more that can be done. I don’t know if COVID is playing a part in the “treatment” we received but I can say that it did change after I was there for a while because it seems as though some people were on vacation and in training. I don’t know but I’ll talk about the “therapy” I received while in the psych ward.

One on One Therapy….Where?

The only 1:1 therapy I received and gave was with my fellow patients. That’s it, really. I felt that I had a LITTLE bit of an advantage because I DO have a degree but I am not a social worker. I am not licensed. But the same thing happened last time. I was the therapist to a lot of the people that were there and I didn’t mind because it gave me purpose and something to do while I was there. Twelve years ago, I was that person as well but, when they kept me longer because I was still “angry”, I had no one to really talk to about it. It was interesting.

This time was a bit different as my roommate wasn’t a woman with dementia that I actually took care of while I was there. My roommate was the person that I talked to. We both put it all out there for one another. I can actually say that I am broken hearted right now because I have not heard from her since we were released and am on the verge of doing research to find her. I don’t think she wants that but I will because THAT’S how strong the bond was that we formed. I will NOT put her business on blast because her story is not mine to tell but I know what she is capable of and I hope that she knows as well.

I did my best to uplift her and let her know not to feel as though she was going to fail before she even tried. I also talked to her about how we can’t burn bridges and expect people to continue to have faith in us. We have to keep trying our best until we get it right. I accompanied her to some groups that had nothing to do with me just so that we could discuss what was learned AFTER group. I truly have been calling her phone often. I had to dial a number for her a few times but I cannot remember the first three digits. If I remembered them, I would have called that person. I have found her on Facebook so I guess I’m going to have to get into someone’s inbox. They might think I’m nuts but… I mean yeah…. I was in the psych ward so big whoop.

Besides my roommate, I talked to a few other patients for a while. One was “White Girl” (see Tales from the Psych Ward (Part 2): Getting to Know Other Patients) and I don’t have her number but I gave her mine. I learned her story and it’s extremely heartbreaking as well. Do I know for sure if what she told me was true? I don’t BUT what reason would she have to lie to me. There was a lot that I personally believe. Either way, I talked to her. We cried together. That’s what WE did. Being a minority there, I know it was hard for her and she told me that she had been to a bunch of mental health facilities and actually gave reviews that were in line with what I had SEEN when I was thinking about checking myself into a mental health facility. The best ones are INOVA but in the rich part. Can’t go where there are a lot of POC because, well….. yeah…… But I found myself looking out for her because I didn’t want her to be the victim of anything because of her color especially because she was in the minority. Again, I don’t like bullies.

Social/Case Workers or Whatever They Were

You want to know something funny? I think I talked to a social worker maybe three times while I was there. I talked to the one social worker before being admitted (she made the decision to admit me), I think someone talked to me on intake that Friday, and then someone talked to me when it was time for me to leave just to give me other resources because….get out, we need the bed.

There is a great group that talks to you after discharge called MinDoula (check out Mindoula Health, Inc. | Hi, we’re Mindoulas. We’re here for you 24/7.). They talked to me when I was being discharged and have been in contact with me since then. They have an app (the app is annoying because it signs you out often), they text you, or they can call you. I also like the name. They have a desktop version too that I used just a few minutes ago. They talk to you for about 30 days after your discharge I believe. I have to get up and get the paper.

Group Therapy or Fight Club… Whatever….

So I went to group therapy and recreational therapy. Unfortunately, they didn’t start coming around to the rooms to tell us about the therapy until Monday. So that means I was there from Friday to Sunday guessing when they had group therapy. And they use your attendance as proof that you are actually compliant with the “therapy” so I probably wasn’t necessarily “compliant” for a while because I didn’t KNOW there was therapy. One way that we learned about group was that they turned the one phone in the hallway off when there was a group session.

Recreational Therapy

I liked recreational therapy because I got to color. Sad part is (with good reason) that they took the markers and color pencils back at the end of the session. And the sessions were shorter than I would have liked but, I mean, I guess. One way that I knew there was recreational therapy because I heard the music. I have to say that I didn’t think that the music was appropriate personally but I was happy that I was able to request some Kpop because y’all know how I feel about my groups. They make me happy and coloring and listening to them makes me extremely happy. So I sat there and colored my pictures. I gave most of my pictures to my roommate.

But, since a lot of the patients were a little younger (although I do not look my age), we had to listen to some questionable music. I mean, I love DMX all day but…. I don’t think that it’s appropriate to play in a psych ward. I mean, if they had played Party Up, I would have probably been fighting everyone. Oh, you don’t know the song? Well, lemme put it here for you because…. RIP DMX (also, see my blog about him: Think Before You Speak on DMX, Mental Illness, and Addiction)

Once I found out about the group time, I was there even if it had nothing to do with me. You sit there and you nod in the talk therapy. But, again, there were a number of fights in the group. I wasn’t there for a lot of it but the people that were there before I was told me about some of the group fights. They said that they would rather not attend because of said fights.

Fun fact: The chairs are EXTRA heavy so you can’t pick them up and throw them at someone. I mean, if I were actually that mad, I could. That’s why I lift weights. They should have let me have one in my room to bench press. The chairs IN our rooms are bolted to the wall and floor. Again, I get it!

We got a young girl that came in and she kind of hyperventilated when an argument broke out in the group I was in where the old man that looked like my dad told that lady I almost fought “Shut up, you ole gray haired BITCH!” I still hear it. But that little girl must have had some serious trauma in the household because she put her feet in the chair, covered her ears, and started breathing quickly. I was like “Oh goodness!” So the big ole bouncer looking med techs had to break it up (I will talk about the med techs later as they were the MVPs of my stay).

But yeah, I requested some Rainbow (NCT Dream), Amnesia (Kai), Advice (Taemin), and The Eve (EXO DUH!) because it’s Kpop and Kpop is the best. I almost turned the table over though when she played some dang on overrated BTS’ Butter. Yeah, I said it. They are overrated. There are too many other great groups out there but this post isn’t about Kpop so let me not but yeah…..She turned it off real quick.

Personally, I think they should have been playing music from Pure Moods like Enya or just some piano or studying music. She had Spotify so I’m not sure why she didn’t just pick those playlists. It’s more conducive to just focusing and thinking about positive things. But, I mean, if they were taking requests, I was gonna get all the Kpop in that I could and I didn’t care. The songs were calm and all that. They just didn’t know what they were saying.

The Med Techs

I actually went to Southern Maryland’s website to look for the job description of the med techs. I will say that I really don’t have an unkind word to say regarding their med techs. Not ONE! They were all VERY helpful. What I checked the job description for was whether they were to be used as counselors. They were the main ones we saw all the time.

Any time we needed anything from the closet to washing our clothes (they waste a lot of water there because they don’t wash one patient’s clothes with another’s and I get it but yeah). They give you those lil crappy see through panties and paper clothes that rip in the crotch but they’re there to help.

I was on the phone talking to my sister and crying because I was happy about something that they had done for me while I was gone (I will be talking about this too) and a male tech came to me with tissues. He said “I hate to see a woman cry.” I assured him that they were happy tears.

The med techs and even some of the nurses actually CARE. They will actually explain things to you. They will acknowledge you when you knock on the window for something. Some of the nurses won’t. Some are probably burned out or something. I don’t know. But I can say that they were training med techs while I was there and they were very nice. I don’t think I’ve MET a mean med tech while there. They don’t seem like people we can’t talk to.

The med tech that checked me in was NICE. The one that stopped me from beating Mary was NICE! The med techs there are really the stars of the show. Here is the job description for the techs from Southern Maryland’s website. And this is FOR the behavioral health unit.

Here is the job description:

Mental Health Technician

Medstar Southern Maryland Hospital Center Inpatient Psychiatry

https://g.co/kgs/H6HJnx

In Summary….

There is no real therapy in the psych ward. They want to stabilize you and send you on your way. I can’t say that they actually CARE about the patients. I get it but some patients don’t already have an outpatient provider that they can follow up with. It’s nice that they partnered with a lot of other places including some of the substance abuse centers and the like but I just think that it would have been nicer to have a bit more time for the professionals or social workers to talk to the patients. They literally had a person sitting outside of the place where the social workers were which I felt to be a bit weird. Like they needed bodyguards or something.

The last time I was there, one of the counselors was actually attacked. But they didn’t wear scrubs so I can’t really say what her role was on the fourth floor. I just know that my little girl didn’t like her and was talking to me, took off down the hallway, and proceeded to beat the mess out of her. I really wonder where she is right now. I have changed my number since I was there and she didn’t have a steady number but she would call me randomly to tell me how she was doing. I hope she is okay. She had a heartbreaking story too.

There is a lot more that I can say but there are other parts coming up so stay tuned. I will highlight the two snitches. Don’t think I forgot about them.

I will also talk about how my family, and someone I know but don’t know that well, truly stepped up to the plate. I will also talk about some of the things we did and talked about while chillin in the ward. I mean, I was on the verge of reciting the whole The Little Mermaid movie to my roommate. Yup, because I still know all the words. I will also talk about the aftermath. So there might be two more parts of this series coming and then I will get back to my everyday ranting about people and things.

Well, maybe I will talk about how my dog was impacted by this incident as he wasn’t around 12 years ago. I will also talk about the changes I have made as a mother and how my daughter was while I was gone as well as now (she’s trying to do better as am I).

Again, thank you for reading and thank you for caring enough to go on this trip with me.

Tales from the Psych Ward (Part 2): Getting to Know Other Patients

Finally Getting Roomed

When they made the decision to keep me, I was kept in a room with a TV watching old movies and Law and Order: SVU. I kept asking when they were going to take me upstairs and one of the techs asked why I wanted to go upstairs so bad (I was thinking that this unit was an equal representation of upstairs…. yeah, I was wrong). I told her that I wanted my time to start (which ended up not mattering but, as I said in Part One, they like to mess with folks).

When I got to my room, I met my roommate, Janice. She was asleep and I didn’t turn any lights in. I just sat down to wait for the meds to help me sleep. They couldn’t give me my usual meds until I saw the psychiatrist. I had gotten to the ward until around 10:30 p.m. so everyone was pretty much asleep and the day was over.

Before I even went to my room, I was told that I was going to love my roommate because she was the nicest lady. They did NOT lie one bit. I won’t tell her business as it’s hers to tell but, when I go to places like this, or hear the stories of other people, it makes me feel that MY little problems are nothing compared to some of things a lot of these people (especially) have been through.

She was asleep but she woke up and greeted me “Hey baby!” I smiled and said “Hi” and she told me I had the prettiest smile. I thanked her and just stayed quiet because you have to learn where you are before getting too comfortable and I’m not really good with new people.

The nurse brought me my meds and I went to sleep to wake up to a new day and a new routine.

My First Day…. SMH

I woke up and talked to my roommate and we bonded. We talked about why we were there, how we were feeling, our families, all that. She said that she knew that I was a good person the first time she saw me. This has happened before in the psych ward as this is (again) my second time here.

Oh, by the way, the upstairs was the same as it was TWELVE years ago. A hot mess. I think they added more doors to get out though. But yeah….. fun times. Anyhow, the docs make their rounds (if that’s what you want to call it). First you are awakened early so they can take all your vitals. You get your vitals done and you can go back to sleep or whatever it is you want to do until it’s time for breakfast. They ordered me pancakes and they were cold. I think I got turkey bacon too. This subject is going to be talked about later on as I feel that the food that the rest of the hospital gets should be the same as the food that WE got. For some reason, that is no longer the case. I can say that the first time I was there, that WAS the case. The food was good. And it was the same as what the other people in the hospital got. I will remember to talk about this subject at the end of this series as I have a lot to say about how people with mental illnesses are treated as opposed to people with physical illnesses. You can’t claim that a mental illness is just like a physical illness while treating the people that have mental illnesses differently but I have a lot to say about that as someone who is IN the medical field with a mental illness.

Anyhow, they asked their little stale questions:

  1. How do you feel today?
  2. How did you sleep?
  3. Are you hearing voices?
  4. Do you want to harm yourself?
  5. Do you want to harm anyone else?

These questions, if you know the game, are easy to get by on. They observe you throughout the day as well and pay attention to whether you come to group or not (they didn’t even tell us about group until Monday when a lot of their people came back from training and vacation but I will speak on that later as well) but anyone can fake their way out of a psych ward without REALLY being well if that’s what they want to do.

At one point, I was asked to step outside of the room so that they could talk to my roommate with HIPPA and all (we both were in the room from then on because I likely knew more than the docs did and she did too regarding my situation so we had no secrets). When I stepped outside, I went to the group area to see what the layout was.

The med techs had already come around to say “hi” as my roommate was very popular among the staff because she’s just REALLY nice and I actually care about her to this day. We exchanged numbers but her phone has been off and I have texted her and called her a number of times. I hope she is okay.

Anyhow, I go to the group area and stand against the wall. This (I’m trying not to cuss right now) PERSON stares at me. So I notice her staring at me like she had a problem. I will preface this situation and my reaction with the fact that I had missed ONE dose of my medication (just like the last time I got taken in by the POLICE to the psych ward). So I say “Hi, is everything okay?” This broad says to me “No, you bumped me”. I’m looking around because I didn’t bump a soul and haven’t had my meds and I feel the Hulk rising up because, again, ALL I NEED IS A REASON TO MESS SOMEONE UP! So I clasp my hands together and I say to her “Oh, I didn’t know. If I did, I apologize.”

She stood there continuing to stare at me. You can consider me triggered. I don’t like to be picked on and I don’t like people LYING on me. Those are some things that will take me to a whole other place. The med techs were sitting there and they saw a switch turn. One told me to come to them and she held my hands and said “She tries to start stuff with everyone. You didn’t bump her.” I knew I didn’t but the mere fact that you think that you want to really mess with me when I just got there like I won’t literally murder you (and all the ways I could kill her were going through my mind because…. NO MEDS). So I started crying. Most people that know people know that, when certain people cry, it’s not out of sadness, it’s out of rage and the mere fact that you know you’ll get into trouble if you kill someone.

So I walked up the hall and my roommate was coming out. I was punching my hand like it was her face. I then went into my room and started punching the mess out of that hard bed. And when I say I punched that bed hard, I mean, I punched it until my knuckles were bleeding and swollen. I was SO pissed.

My roommate was using a wheelchair because she had knee and back issues from a fall so she hurried up and wheeled herself up there. The med techs were going to come but she told them she had it. And some folks came out of the social worker room looking for the “shot”. I will tell you about the shot a little later. SMH

Somebody always has to try you!

My roommate comes in and holds my hands. I’m crying my eyes out because, again, I KNOW what I am capable of and, just like with my daughter, this is NOT appropriate behavior to lash out and beat someone to a pulp when they touched a nerve. So she wiped my tears and told me to breathe. The staff looked in from the outside and just let her handle it. But that broad took me somewhere that many people haven’t seen in many years. That was going to be her last day on earth and I meant that. So I stayed away from the group area for a while. I just wanted them to give me my meds. I feel like it was a bit of a set up because I didn’t get ANY meds until Friday night after the psychiatrist had evaluated me and “talked to me”. Please believe that I am going to do a deep dive into what I feel is wrong with mental institutions as well as the concern that people with mental illnesses have been pushed out with the closing of so many hospitals that were to help with mental health. But I don’t want to digress because this will really become a rant.

When you know your triggers (see Knowing Your Triggers), you know to avoid them. So I stayed in my room. This broad comes up the hall to one of the med techs (now, mind you, this broad has been at the hospital longer than I have and it is explained to EVERYONE that the color of the scrubs tells you their role) and she asks “Who are you? Are you security?” The med tech just shook her head and was like “No, I’m a med tech”. This heffa says to her “So, if something pops off, are you going to call security?” At that moment, I wanted to bash her head into that wall but my five day stay would have been a LOT longer. She was going to die. I was like “Is she trying me right now as in is she imPLYING that she’s going to fight me and doesn’t want security to stop HER beating me up? Are you THINKING about starting something with me so I can stomp your head and bash it into the ground?”

When the dummy went back to her room (next door to mine and connected by a shower), the med tech just told me “Sis, don’t worry about her. She has picked a fight with EVERYONE here!”

I got the lowdown on this heffa: Her name is Mary and I don’t care if she reads this blog, GOD saved her. When my case worker came around and the psychiatrist (ONE) came around, they asked if I wanted to commit homicide and I said “Yes, to that broad over there”. They were like “Don’t worry, she’s going home in a few hours.” They basically were kicking her to the curb. I later found out that she flashed a med tech and then got mad when they took him off the floor. I learned that she picked a fight with someone that was about to leave and the people had to be like “Don’t you want to go home (this later happened with me in ANOTHER incident the day before I was set to go home)”.

I learned that she would try to interrupt everyone talking to the specific med tech (the med techs were attractive from what I could see above the mask. The women were beautiful and the men were BIG like tall and muscular or some were just imposing. Ain’t nobody trying to fight them), that she had turned the light off on my roommate the day I got there while she was taking a shower, and that she had tried to slap this beautiful younger patient (I’ll tell you about her in the ‘character’ section) there that was so sweet. Had I known all of this beforehand, I probably would have exacted revenge on her for everyone because NO ONE likes a bully. I hate bullies with everything I have in me.

This is getting a bit long so let me just tell you about some of the people I met and some of the shenanigans that I witnessed while there because this is only part 2 of a literal series that cannot be all addressed in a FEW blogs.

The Cast and Crew of the Circus

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com
  1. Chips: I called her chips because all she talked about was the chips and how the people were trying to poison her. She would just bust out with funny stuff and no one knew what she was talking about. She reminded me of Crazy Eyes on Orange is the New Black. I liked her. Whenever I didn’t want my chips, I would give them to her. When that broad I wanted to kill left, she gave her her snacks. I still hate that broad though. But Chips claimed she was pregnant although she was found to be in her 50s. I don’t know nothing anymore. LOL
  2. The Little Engine that Could: Known for trying to be covert and come on the women’s side (the sides for the sexes are not really separated), slamming doors, and stealing food, this dude barely can walk and shuffles down the hallway like he’s going to get somewhere quickly. I got into it with him because he came to the group area and just turned off the light for nothing. Like for why? Literally WHY?! I told him he was petty and he talked about fighting me while shuffling up the hallway. SMH. Again, why? But I can’t take credit for the name as my roommate gave him that name.
  3. The Screamer: I almost got into a fight with her. If I were to guess, based off the days I was there and observed her, I would say she had schizophrenia. She had to get a number of shots to put her down. She cussed folks out for no reason and they had the GALL to put someone in the room with her. I get that they needed to fill the beds as people were downstairs (and I told them I would volunteer as tribute to go BACK downstairs where the TV was but they said no). She got into it with this old guy that looked like my dad and he told her (after reading the bible to us) to “Shut up you old gray haired BITCH!” And then they proceeded to, in slow motion, get up to fight. It took everything in even the STAFF to keep it together. This happened when the regular staff had come back and were training NEW staff. I got into it with her when I was taking my linens to the dirty pile. You have to cross through the group room to do so. So, when I did so, I said “Excuse me” both times I came through. She says to me when I come back through “What you lookin at bitch?!” Man, my response was “Do you want to die today?” She didn’t make her slow motion move to get up but I told her that I would knock her old ass out and then the med techs were like “Kendra, do you want to go home tomorrow? Just let it go.” I stayed away from the group room again.
  4. The Sweetheart: I don’t know how her switch was turned when she first got there but she got released the day before I did. When I was annoyed that I wasn’t going to go home in the 3 days I thought I was going to, she offered me some literature. She was such a beautiful little thing and a mom. She had manners and was just the sweetest. She gave my roommate a hug and was like “Would you like a hug?” I was like “I’m not a hugger but I’ll take a hug from you.” She said to me “I’m not a hugger either. Thank you for accepting my hug.”
  5. The Starer: This broad was so unsettling that her roommate asked to be in another room which happened to end up being the Screamer’s room. She just stood around staring. Wasn’t nobody messing with her. Them quiet ones are the ones you need to be scared of. I know that because of two of my siblings. That ain’t no fight you want, believe me.
  6. Preppy: I will only call her that (no malice) because she spoke properly. I found out that she was very educated and we both write blogs. She also has a number of degrees and we were talking about our experience with the facility and wanted to facilitate some sort of reform. But she was cool people. I didn’t get to talk to her much but I hope to connect with her again.
  7. White Lady: She was the only White person on the women’s side and felt so bad for her. She signed herself out and resigned to live in her car because they were going to send her to a DC Homeless Shelter and we all knew she was going to be targeted just because of the color of her skin. I did give her my number. I really hope she’s okay.
  8. Sis: My roommate. We changed one another’s lives in the five days we were together. I got her to be compliant with her meds by explaining what they were for. She calmed me down when I was pissed and I calmed her down. I was her listening ear and she was mine. I hope she gets in touch with me soon as she is on my mind because she was ready to give up and I was telling her all the reasons why she couldn’t give up and how the hospital was putting her in a better position than some of the other people that left. I really hope she calls me or texts me at least to let me know she is okay. We made a promise not to ever be inside those walls again.
  9. The Birds: Yes, we had birds outside. At around 8:00 p.m. these little reddish looking birds would come to our window. They had a nest above our window it seems. A few times two would congregate and we would make up stories about where they came from, their names, and what they were talking about. We were BORED!!!!!

I will add that you really don’t know if any of the stories told are true. You only know by what you observe because I caught some people in a few lies while I was there but I didn’t say anything. If the number of things change and how they got to the fourth floor is hazy or they don’t remember, you have to kind of just nod and smile. I nodded and smile a lot with Chips. LOL You just had to especially because you couldn’t really understand anything she said but I have to say that the day I met her, I gave her Chips as her name because allllll she talked about was Chips. Lay’s Chips, sour cream and onion but um… we only got plain. She also told me she like the chili and cheese Fritos. I kind of want to go there and just give her some but I don’t want to set foot back in that place unless I have to.

I’m Going to Stop Here for Now

In my next part, I’m going to talk about the “therapy” given while I was there. That’s enough for a blog right there. I will talk about the conditions as well as what I felt could have been handled better. Because I am an objective person, I really had to look outside of myself as to some of the reasons why things were the way they were and the first thing that I totally forgot was COVID. That makes a big difference.

Anyway, thank you for reading the second part of this mess of a story. I mean, the old people fights were pretty funny. And there were a NUMBER of them. And the Little Engine That Could was just a hot mess.

Tales from the Psych Ward (Part One)

Back Again

Okay, 12 years ago, I had to go to Southern Maryland Hospital for getting extremely triggered by my father and cutting the tendons in my hand. I talked about it a little in The Story of My Mental Illness. Well, I found myself back at the same hospital although it is now Medstar Southern Maryland Hospital (I have to look up when they became affiliated with them because some things changed for the worst). I personally was finding my way back to that place and hanging onto a thread although I swore I would never be back there and I meant it.

How Did We Get Back There?

Well, I have been on a downward spiral for a number of months (probably 6 mos now). I had spoken to my therapist for a few months and do not fault him for not really changing my meds or upping my dosage because…. COVID. We have never been like this before so COVID with seasonal depressive disorder AND bipolar disorder(s) 1 and 2 were coded. Of course I checked the codes because I’m a coder. I’ll check the HCC Coder tomorrow to see if there is an Excludes note on 1 and 2. If there is, you can’t code them together. Anyhow, here is a video that gives a little bit of a summary of Bipolar 1 and 2.

https://youtu.be/VNLSCuI4P0w

Anyhow, the seasonal depressive disorder and bipolar disorder kind of suck but they usually come together for some reason. For some people it comes in two seasons. The seasons mine seemed to come in in the past were Fall and Spring. This time it seems as though it came in Fall, Spring, and Summer and I couldn’t get out of it. To top it off, my daughter has been giving me problems and a lot of attitude. What sent me over the edge on Thursday was finally just being really treated like trash when the reason I live is for her. I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind that she would be better off without me. This came from a morning exchange where she literally disrespected me and, to me, this is a HUGE trigger. I don’t do disrespect. But I also have to remember that my daughter has a MODERATE intellectual disability as well as autism. See Having a Child with an Intellectual Disability WHILE Dealing with Your Own Mental Illness. So we have triggers and sometimes you can’t get past some of the triggers when they keep coming at you and you can’t literally beat your child up (especially one with a disability. Can you just hear the journalist telling my story? Mother Kills Disabled Child. Doesn’t sound right, does it?) so what do you do? You have to sit there and take it? No, but you have every right to get tired of it.

That day, I got tired of it. Here’s what happened:

First, I told my daughter to get up and take a shower. She got up, went to the bathroom, came out, and started putting clothes on. Now, she has to take a shower in the morning because she sometimes has accidents so it’s best to get up in the morning and shower.

I’m annoyed at her room and her not doing what I tell her so I tell her again to get into the shower. I then get a trash bag and start (trying) to clean her room as it is a hot mess at the time. I’m cleaning out the litter box (which she is supposed to do) and she turns the light off. I ask her to turn the light back on so I can see. Do you know what she says to me? “I’m tired of this, YOU turn the light back on” while standing right NEXT TO the light switch. At that time, I had to pray. Now, I have been having issues with her getting up daily and I understand why:

  1. There is no set uniform for ESY (Extended School Year)
  2. She hasn’t had to dress to go to school for a long time
  3. She hasn’t had to actually GO to school for well over a year

Although these are not excuses, I have to take these into consideration as routine is very important to children with autism and sometimes kids in general. So, with all these changes, it’s pretty annoying and hard to get back into a routine that you were once familiar with.

The Snitches

Well, I’m such a planner (again) that I was doing research to figure out how to commit suicide in the most non painful way. With that being said, I knew that I had bad luck in the past when it came to performing the act. Maybe it’s the Virgo in me but I’m a planner so I looked up “How to commit suicide” and was annoyed when Google gave me the Suicide Hotline info instead. That was counterproductive. I had a bunch of old Seroquel that I was taken off because of Diabetes (see So I Have Diabetes) but it was from a good 3 years ago so that wasn’t going to finish the act. Also, if I used my prescription meds (Klonopin) and it didn’t work, I would have to find a reason to ask for another refill for it which wasn’t going to serve me well. Then I started looking up jumping off bridges. The closest bridge we have is the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. So I started looking up what would happen if I jumped off the bridge. I found out that jumping with clothes could act as a parachute and slow down your fall but you would die a painful death mostly BUT there were people that survived the falls. I also didn’t get a chance to read up on how high the WW Bridge was because my complaint to my coworker (in Michigan that I have never met in person) got put into a group chat with myself and another friend that doesn’t live too far from me. Ohhhh, the fun they had.

They didn’t like my tone. They did not think I was “fine”. One said she was calling the police but didn’t know my address, just knew where I lived. Well, the one I have NEVER MET sent her my address swiftly. And, with that, the police were called.

I went ahead and called the Suicide Prevention number and was talking to a lady when the police knocked on my dang on door. They asked me what was up, I told them that I was alive because of my daughter and felt as though she no longer needed me so there was no longer a reason for me to be here.

You Have TWO Choices

When you go away, they give you two choices ALWAYS: Voluntary or involuntary. Well, the police officer gave me my first set of choices. Either I go in the ambulance (voluntary), or I ride in the cop car with handcuffs (involuntary). Um….. which would you pick?

So, I took the ambulance, got my vitals taken, was asked some questions and taken to the ER for Behavioral Health to be assessed to see if they were going to admit me or not. I was in there chillin. I got to watch Law and Order: SVU but I wanted them to do what they had to do so I could get out. A social worker came and talked to me asking me what brought me there and I told her. She made the decision to admit me. I had two choices: voluntary (3 day stay) or involuntary (10 day stay). I chose voluntary and signed a 72 hour form (this will come back up). I was then in a rush to get upstairs so that my time could start.

Man, that rush was not cool. I would have much rather stayed in the flippin ER watching my shows because going upstairs was like going to hell.

I will stop here for now because I have chosen to go back to work but I have so many stories to tell. Some are funny, some are sad, and I almost got into 2 fights while there, not gonna lie. People like to test you and people are my triggers.

This series will have multiple parts:

  1. My first days there (almost fighting on day number one with a person that liked to pick fights)
  2. My roommate
  3. The lack of care that I felt was given on a 1:1 basis
  4. The fact that we were doing our own 1:1 sessions amongst one another and supporting one another
  5. The seemingly same questions given that could easily be answered so that we could get out of there
  6. Why you have to sign a 72 hour downstairs and once you get admitted and why you have to ASK for the dang on form when you get upstairs
  7. How some patients need not have roommates as they are only more stressful
  8. The difference in the food in the hospital given to the other floors vs the food given to the psych unit (and I know there is a difference as my mother was there about 3 mos ago)
  9. Just the pros and cons and maybe some research on other facilities for behavioral health
  10. Support from family and friends.

A Lot Has Happened in the Past 5 Days

I don’t regret it at all and don’t fault my “village” for caring enough for me to take action and not just take my word for it. They had been paying attention even with all they had going on in their lives and I appreciate them for it although they are going to have to pay. And they don’t like the way that I pay. LOL I had actually wanted to do a series on my “village”. There are some very beautiful and caring women in my village and I would like to introduce them to you one day.

For now, I thank you for reading and I hope you keep reading this series. Kpop will be mentioned, don’t think it won’t be. I had a lot of pictures but it seems as though my little welcome handbook got taken away by accident but it’s cool. I was going to showcase some of my marker and color pencil skills. LOL I actually have coloring books and beautiful color pencils that I love to use so I will continue doing that as it is very soothing. I might do it around lunch time.

Either way, there is a lot more to come and I need to actually do research to find out the actual job description for a med tech because it seemed as though they did more than was necessary and I respected them very much for that.

Until then, time for bed. Please look forward to my other posts about this experience. I hope that this can be a deterrent, however.

Lets Talk About Humility

It’s Best to Humble Yourself Before Life Humbles You

I always say this because I have been humbled a number of times in my life. I can admit it very freely. I admit it so that I can remember the lessons I learned and do my best NOT to repeat them.

There are two reasons I am finally writing about this subject today.

  1. I am in a Facebook group and the question that was asked was something like “What have you judged people on but learned once you experienced it yourself?’
  2. A great KDrama called Love (ft Marriage and Divorce) on Netflix

My Experiences of Being Humbled

Some are pretty embarrassing but this blog has put all my business out there so I might as well talk about it here. It is what it is.

I thought that, when I got engaged, I was better than other women. That was me. I was that one that felt that someone had picked me so I was better. Granted, I was 25 but that still was a stupid assumption. And I paid for it. Just as you can get engaged, it can be called off.

Another one was about bad kids. Now, I never was out here yelling “Beat her/him!” but I was that one that gave a look like “Do something with your kid.” Enter my now 15 year old daughter with special needs, you guys are all familiar with her because I have blogged about my many colorful experiences with her. And there have been many. I am sure there will be more. You want to know what embarrassment looks like? Try having a child with a moderate intellectual disability and autism. Oh, the fun you will have.

I have had my eyes and arms clawed in public, she has fallen out in the floor in KMart, she has pulled my boob out at the pool because she wasn’t good at transitioning (I had to have her see a child therapist and I learned ways to help with those things). So, while we don’t have those issues anymore, she’s growing up and now she likes to talk back.

There was a time when I would be like “Ain’t no child going to disrespect me.” Yeah….no….And the problem is that my mental illness makes it so that I have to walk away because, if I don’t, I could possibly end up in jail. Let me tag some of my other blogs about my daughter here: Having a Child with an Intellectual Disability WHILE Dealing with Your Own Mental Illness, Being the Parent to a Teenager with Special Needs is HARD!, Hard Days Living with Bipolar Disorder. These are experiences that I have to contend with and, sometimes, it makes me really just think about how I thought in the past.

There are plenty of other ways that I have been humbled or ended up in the shoes of those whom I looked down my nose at.

My Parents

One thing that I am still working on is resentment towards my mother because there are some things that I felt she did without warrant to me personally. I can’t see a reason or a defense for some of it. I mean, yes, I was the third daughter, not the youngest child. And I had sisters before me that made a few mistakes but that didn’t mean I was going to be them. I was judged wrongfully. Never missed school, had good grades, did what I was supposed to do. But I was always doubted. It did something to me.

Part of the issue is that I really don’t know much about her history and upbringing. But I know that she ended up being a bit judgmental which isn’t good for anyone. And that judgment was passed onto others, including her kids. I don’t know if it has more to do with religion (she became a Jehovah’s Witness when she was pregnant with me) or what. I just know that being constantly judged took a toll on me mentally.

But I will say that I hold no resentment toward my father. Because everything he did, or said, I understand the source. One thing that children usually don’t understand is that parents were kids. Parents are people. Parents have feelings. Parents have a past.

So when I talk about my father, I always point out the fact that he is a Vietnam Vet. That is not an excuse for anything he has done in the past but it is a reason for PTSD and alcoholism (self medication). And when you are old school and aren’t encouraged to talk about your feelings as a man and all the things you’ve experienced, it takes a toll on you. Not an excuse but a fact. If you choose not to take the help that could rectify a lot of things and help you learn what you need to do to cope with the past, it will continue to wreck you. And that’s what it is doing to my father. But, at this point, I can’t help him. I also don’t want to be like him but I understand his issue and I know the source of it.

Being a Dummy Over a Man or Taking Back a Cheater

Many people have done it in the past and I can raise my hand on that as an adult. But there was a time when I didn’t think I would ever do that. I didn’t think I would ever cry over a man. I didn’t think any man would have a power over me to make me continuously allow him to make a fool of me more than once. One man did. And, to top it off, he told me we were never in a relationship. LOL

I reflect on that experience often. Why? Because it taught me things about myself such as:

1) I have a heart that can break (didn’t think I did)

2) I have the ability to love and give my all to a person

3) I can be made a fool of by the very person that I gave my heart to

I mean, I could go on with this but those are the three things I really learned. There was a time that I could have a whole roster of dudes and just do whatever with no feelings involved. But, after that “relationship”, I learned that I couldn’t anymore. Once you have felt what you thought was “love”, you want that feeling back BUT you don’t want to be a fool again. So I am happy that I had the chance to feel what I thought was true love even if it broke a piece of me in the end. But yeah, that’s it for my Ted Talk on that.

Cheating

I actually had to come back to add this. I cheated before. On a VERY good man. The very man that I was engaged to and he took me back because he loved me. But I truly didn’t know what love was and I was afraid to love because I thought something or someone was going to take him away from me. I think I touched on it in one of my previous blogs about how all my friends moved away and that gave me a bit of a fear of abandonment. I loved him but I wouldn’t allow myself to TRULY love him the way he needed to be loved. So I did some self sabotaging. I can honestly say that it as a huge mistake but I got my Karma if you look at the previous portion. I got my Karma. Life teaches you in different ways but that was a way that life taught me. That pain that I felt when I found out that someone bold faced lied to me and then called me by the name of the girl he went to be with instead of me (I didn’t do that part, that’s horrible), that’s a horrible pain. And I took him back months later when she gave him a dose of Karma. And it goes around and around, doesn’t it?

But yeah, I was a damaged individual, didn’t know what real love was, I don’t even know if I felt that I deserved love at that point. But yeah, I messed up a relationship that could have been beautiful had I been more emotionally and mentally mature. But I am glad that he is happy in his life with someone that is MUCH more suitable for him than I was. I was a selfish, young girl that literally had just started my “hoe” phase. He was a divorced dad of two who had already lived his life and was 8 years older than me. I didn’t deserve him and I can say that because it’s so true.

Examples Given in the Group

Many people talked about how they judged people with multiple children by different men, single moms, people that lived with their parents, people that wore certain things, having certain jobs, staying with an abuser, etc.

My point is that you can never really judge especially if you have never walked in their shoes. Sometimes life humbling us makes us understand. I literally try to warn people so that they don’t suffer the same fate that many other people that have lived a longer life have lived. I was one of those people. Most people are those people. Life is a journey and you learn about life until the very day you die. I choose to learn from observation rather than experience if I can. Because no one really wants to go through that heartache.

Sometimes, however, we don’t learn until it happens to us, especially if we’re teenagers. Teenagers don’t have fully developed brains so there are some things that adults might say to them out of concern but teens sometimes find other reasons (“they’re jealous”, “they don’t know what it’s like to be a teen”, “I’m smarter than them). No one wants to watch someone fail but sometimes we have to go ahead and let them go ahead because there isn’t that much talking in the world that can convince some people.

Now Lets Talk About Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce)

If I could get everyone to watch probably the FIRST episode and then one episode in the second season, I would. The FIRST episode has three women that work together. While getting ready for the radio show, an audience member decides that she’s going to confront a mistress (who works for the radio show). After this happens, the mistress is fired and the three women talk about this situation. In talking about this situation, they place the blame of the husband cheating on the WOMAN, not the mistress, the actual WIFE.

They then go around talking about how this won’t happen to them and why.

One is married to a psychiatrist (who turns out to literally likes to play with people’s heads and I don’t know HOW he had the energy to do the things he ended up doing) and she feels that her husband is absolutely perfect. He would never stray or anything. From the outside he had a whole BUNCH of us fooled. This man treated his wife like a queen, was a good father, etc but he was probably the biggest surprise of them all.

One is married to a professor and she gave up her family to be with this man. They have two kids together and this wife gives her all to her children. But she thinks that, because they have been together for so long, he’s not going anywhere.

Then there is a newlywed and she is pretty but extremely bossy and pretty selfish. I can say this because it’s true. The way she acts, the way she treats her husband’s parents, the way she straight up just disrespects him, is sad. The thing is that she thinks it’s a game. She was even proud of herself in the second season for making him “suffer” because he had pointed out that maybe she should wear a little less makeup. He apologized, bowed in front of her, brought her flowers but she was like “I’ll let him suffer a little while longer”.

Now, we’re going to go ahead and fast forward to season 2 where there is an hour long episode with one of the couples talking after something is brought to light. I will not spoil this for you if you would like to watch it. It is worth the watch and it is on Netflix if you don’t mind subtitles.

The person says what I had to learn myself and it might not seem like much but it is truly everything because he pointed out how his wife and her friends all thought they had everything under control and that nothing they did was wrong. They thought that these things would make a man stay. But the series shows how all three were humbled in different ways. Today, someone kind of got annoyed with me because they said “Not MY husband” when we were saying that sometimes single women are the ones that respect other people’s marriages enough to turn married men down. When she said that, I said that she should be verrryyyy careful with those words because life will come and mess with you.

I stand by this. I have seen it and experienced it. Now lets talk about what this man said that I have been yelling for a very long time. It is NOT all that profound but it is the truth and people really need think about it when speaking on the relationships of others or even their lives in general.

When it’s not happening to you, you can guarantee anything and make textbook choices. But it’s easier said than done when you’re caught in the mess.

Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) Season 2, Episode 12

Sometimes we need to mind our own business or give advice when it is solicited. Otherwise, just don’t even. These women were giving advice to one another. One said that the professor’s wife (the oldest of the three) should dress better and take more pride in her appearance. Her husband had even picked out an outfit and tried to take her to a hotel but she wanted to go home and be with the kids (again, not blaming her for the downfall but I can see both sides of this). But this woman worked hard, supported her husband in pursuing his career, cooked food for him every day after working her butt off, and she thought that this was how to “keep” a man.

I am speaking of cheater men only because that is what the show is about so don’t come for my head. I already talked about how I cheated and learned my lesson. The point is that, no matter what you do, a person can cheat on you and they can give you reasons all day and most of the time, they really have nothing to do with you. In my case, my reason had NOTHING to do with my ex fiancé but everything to do with me.

In the End….

It’s okay to have confidence in where your life is now. No one is saying that but don’t go running that mouth on someone else and their life, especially when you don’t know their journey. When I was obtaining my psych degree, I learned to look outside of myself. A lot of people don’t do that. They look at their life and apply their rules to other people forgetting that everyone isn’t YOU. YOU are you. YOU live your life. YOU see things differently than those around you because no one has the same exact life. Even my siblings and I came from the same parents and all ended up in different positions in our lives.

And it’s okay to catch yourself while judging. Because no one is perfect, we might slip up sometimes but, if you actually care to do so, take a step back and consider alternatives that might have put someone in a position to do something YOU wouldn’t do. Some people say they would never be homeless or they would never steal. But sometimes things happen that we can’t really control. So… that’s the end of my rant. I hope everyone understood what I was trying to convey.

AND FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS RIGHT IN THE WORLD, WATCH LOVE (FT. MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE)! IT’S ON NETFLIX!!!!!

People thought I was being a jerk when I pointed out that all the women were going to be humbled for their judgmental response in that first episode but I knew because I had been there in my own way.

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