It was an outing day, which evidently excited almost everyone, but attendance wasn’t optional, so Nice Mom accompanied the six of us to a Target store some cities away. All dressed in black, we probably looked like some kind of Gothic Breakfast Club.
I felt like shit as usual, and my ass had practically been dragged out to this Target, so I decided to just sit and try to write or people watch in the Starbucks therein while I waited for everyone to finish their shopping. I was strongly tempted to get up and run while I had the chance, but my legs were too heavy and my chest already too tight; I had to be put on some medication anyways that made me dizzy and nauseous as hell. Writing had already become like drawing blood from a turnip, especially without any cognitive enhancing substances. I was more bitchy, tired, sedate, and frustrated with being forced to eat a diet that didn’t seem to work for my body- particularly with severe blood sugar regulation issues. I already wanted to go home, but that would have only been going back to doing what wasn’t working for me, and I wasn’t currently welcome there; but I felt too exhausted to do anything else- much less treatment. I was already beginning to feel that I wasn’t getting the things I needed physically, and was at my patience’s end with Jacqueline ‘s continual “testing” of it.
Nice Mom did take us to the gas station afterwards however to get cigarettes, and on the regular- which smoking was still the highlight of most everyone’s days and nights. I always thought it was ironic, an RN taking us for smokes; but she was nonjudgmental and bought a blowtorch lighter she would for the future enjoy nearly burning our faces off with every light.
Weeks began to pass in this normal blur of a routine. Some days I couldn’t bring myself to do anything but refuse to leave my room because my mind continued to feel inexplicably dark and terrified. The proper diet and rest were surprisingly not helping at all with regulating my severe moods or physical pain and exhaustion. The spells of confusion and dissociation that had first begun with the seizure continued, but I was told that it and the physical pain and exhaustion were in my head. I confessed to Shawna to stealing some painkillers from the nurse station, to which I received only a room search and severe chiding from Jacqueline and Brendan; as well as a locksmith in the next morning to change all the locks. Through some irrelevant means, I inadvertantly got Andre in trouble. More than once. I was legitimately remorseful and ashamed- I’d never felt so guilty as when it involved Andre- but I was also angry and weary of running to stay in place everyday. I didn’t think I could be helped because I didn’t believe they truly even understood or believed my situation; I didn’t even know if I wanted help anymore. I was tired of wasting everyone’s time and good intentions ; and I was beginning to figure out that this place wasn’t helping me, only draining me, and I began to really question why I needed to be there, and putting up an unconscious resistance to treatment which became more evident to everyone.
It had been raining heavily for the last couple days, which was a welcome change from the hell that summer always seemed; so while everyone was watching a movie- Sabrina had chosen the first Lord of the Rings and it was at an uncomfortably loud volume to me- so I slipped out into the rain to sit beneath the lemon tree, veiled by darkness in the far corner. I had taken to sitting there each day at some point, usually when I was upset- which was confessedly most of the time. Though he did not meet me on this dark, rainy evening; I had befriended a baby hummingbird that I named Highlighter- because his bright red chest sparkled with a surreal brilliance than I had never seen. But each day when I would go out and sit or lie beside the lemon tree, Highlighter would buzz up a moment later, perch in the lemon tree, and sit with me until I left- however long or short that was, as I usually went out there to be alone to think, pray, or often confessedly to simply weep.
I laid down on the brick lining of the lemon tree’s raised planter, blinking up into the rain and sighed heavily.
“God, what the hell am I doing here? Why do I need to be here? This is stupid. You know full well that they can’t help me. They don’t get it. They don’t understand that I’m not just getting up in the morning and choosing to feel like a miserable 75-year old lady; And the many problems I may have with eating or anything else really won’t matter when I feel like there’s really something wrong with my brain; I don’t feel right in the head, and I don’t know what’s going on but it’s scaring the shit out of me. I try so goddamn hard but I really can’t control whatever the hell these episodes are. One minute I’m angry enough to break shit, the next I can’t even leave my room I’m so depressed, the next I’m climbing the walls- literally suffocating, and then I’m fucking asleep; in a nearly endless loop. I need to go home. I need to go back to hiding, there’s no point in people seeing me. Therapists and shit may act like they like me but what’s it matter, no one in the real world would love me.”
I finally shut my mouth and waited for a reply.
“You’re right. This isn’t about helping you.” I could have sworn I heard the voice in my mind say.
“So what, am I supposed to be helping someone? How?? I’m apparently doing the worst of the six of us.”
There was a “secret” whiteboard in the staff office, sectioned off into one for each of us. Leo had the night before peaked through a slit in the covered window and read off to all of us what ours said; everyone was quickly third level in privileges and I had been stuck at second,not even being the only one to misbehave. Mine was the only one with a new big red “hazard” and the old “suicide watch” written underneath. They hadn’t even seen a fucking hazard yet.
I was still waiting for another reply, when a massive white owl swooped down of the Cyprus overhead, talons outstretched for my leg, which was crossed up over the other. I kicked out to change its trajectory less than a mere foot away from me.
“What the hell???”
I figured it was a rogue event and went to refocus my attention to listening. The owl swooped down a second time, I kicked at it again, then jumping up and making my way across the patio to the lamp by the door; when a raccoon came charging out of the brush straight at me, between me and the back door. I didn’t want to mess with a raccoon; So I turned right back around, ran around the house, and over the fence to the front yard. In the light of the waxing moon in Aquarius I found myself beneath that great oak, which was accompanied by a few smaller oaks. I saw that one of the oak trees had fallen and now laid across the brick walkway. It’s trunk remained in the ground, but it had been broken in two a bit more than halfway down, seemingly by a great force of which I could not account for. The break had had revealed a large hollow section in the middle of the tree, and upon closer examination of the break, I couldn’t help but imagine it having been struck by lightning, though I hadn’t heard anything so that was perhaps foolish. But I was also struck by an undeniable sense of deja vu standing beside this broken oak. But I got an idea- one I would likely not use for years- but I stored it away in my mind for the proper time.