“No! I’m not going!” I yelled as I tightened my grip on the beige overstuffed chair. “I don’t want to die. I don’t want to kill myself...I just don’t know how to stop the pain!” I pleaded as I looked wildly around the room in search of anything I could use to throw at her and dissuade her to come towards me.
“Rachel, it will be okay. It will be a safe place for you. I need you to be safe,” Dr. McConnell said in a calm, quiet voice. Dr. McConnell reached out her hand in a reassuring gesture, attempting to calm my frenzied wild-animal glances around the small therapist room.
“I can’t give in. I have to be strong. I have to be loyal. Get away from me!” I kept telling myself. As soon as Dr. McConnell moved an inch closer to me, the wild animal in me came out, thrashing at anything that threatened me. I felt like I was being pushed up against the wall in the corner of a room that was slowly closing in on me. I felt like I was being suffocated and trapped. I grabbed onto the armrest with a death grip and trembled as an earthquake of fear overtook my body.
“Rachel, I’m going to get your parents from the lobby and have you admitted to the Harmony Mountains Psychiatric Hospital for your safety.” As Dr. McConnell quietly left the room, I stared at the open door. As she and my parents returned to the room, Dr. McConnell explained, “You can either volunteer to go, or you will be forced to go to the hospital. It’s your choice. You can either get up and walk to your parents car, or you can wait for the paramedics to strap you to a gurney and take you there.”
Buzzzzz. Click. The glass door slid open as my parents and I walked through the front doors of Harmony Mountains Psychiatric Hospital. We sat down in the front lobby. I didn’t even know what to think. I sat in the plastic chair looking around the front lobby, and absent mindedly picked at the bandage on my wrist. I didn’t even remember slitting my wrist the night before. How did I end up here? I was having the time of my life a few months ago, and now I’m sitting behind doors that buzz open and click when they lock me in. No one knows the pain I’m in. I have to keep pretending that everything is okay. My sadness quickly dissolved into anger. How could my parents take me to a place like this? How can they leave me here? Do they really think I’m crazy and need to be locked up like an animal? I hate them! “Rachel, time for you to say goodbye to your parents and to come with us”. Fine, I don’t deserve to be part of the family, anyways.
“So, Rachel, do you know why you’re here?” Well, yeah. My parents think I’m crazy and need to be locked up! “My parents and therapist think I’m suicidal,” I responded with a quiet, but respectful tone. “Are you suicidal? Do you want to kill yourself?” How dumb can these people be? Don’t they ever listen? “No, I’m not suicidal. I’ve fought too hard to stay alive. I just don’t know how to cope with what’s going on. I don’t know how to end the pain”. If only I could explain how deep my pain is and how I curl up into a ball at night and cry on the inside. If only someone could see my quiet, invisible tears that I so badly want to let out, but don’t know how to. If only I could tell someone that I’m dying inside and need their help. I’m dying inside, and nobody even knows it. But no, I can’t talk about this. This is my problem, and I need to fix it on my own. I need to be loyal. I need to keep my family safe. I can never tell! I tried to keep up the front that I was fine and that I didn’t need help. I tried to act tough, but as the doctor asked me questions, I quietly slipped into a deep hole of desperation, despair, and hopelessness. I felt like I was being swallowed up by a heavy suffocating blanket. As the blackness of despair washed over me, I heard the doctor gently say, “Well, let’s start with looking at some pictures. I’ll show you a picture and you tell me what you see.” As I looked at the first inkblot picture, I replied with a questioning voice, “All I see is some paint splatters”.“Yes, these are ink splatters, but what do the splatters look like to you?” the doctor kept pressing me for an answer. I cautiously took another look at the red and blue splotches. As the doctor flipped the next picture card onto the table for me to look at, I began to panic. No, no, no! I can’t show my fear! I can’t face it! I need to shove it back down. It’s too scary! I can’t breathe! Help me! “I see a girl and blood,” I nervously answered, but I was suddenly paralyzed with fear as flashbacks flashed before my eyes:
A gruesome crime scene photo is shoved in front of me and as I looked away, the photo is pushed up against my face. What do you see? he repeatedly yells at
me. Believe me when I say that this will be you if you ever tell anyone!
“Rachel, you need to tell me what you see”, the doctor kept prodding me. No! I won’t ever tell! Ahhh! Just make these images disappear! Just stop! Every time the doctor asked what I saw in the inkblot pictures, the more terrified I became. I don’t know if it was out of terror, out of stubbornness, or perhaps a little bit of both, but I was mute. I would not answer. I just stared at the doctor with a death stare...a blank face...a face void of emotion...a lifeless stare.