Posts Tagged ‘residential treatment’

When I feel autistic-like, exhibiting a lack of social skills, I become frustrated. Then I remember that there are a few obstacles I’m facing, namely being institutionalized for the better part of my young adulthood. Inappropriately, improperly institutionalized by parents who fail to recognize faults in themselves and find it easier (and it probably is) to put the exposed kid under constant supervision.

At the first place, I begged to leave upon my first phone call after 30 days of being there. Did I mention that this place actually did “allow” or rather force me to call my mother two weeks into being there, not to wish her a happy holidays or anything, rather to inform her that I had engaged in self-injury after 2 years of not doing such.

Did Anyone care to ask why I had performed the act? Nope.

My friend and I were talking and he was messing around on a fitness machine. He fell and cracked his head open and when I went to get help from staff, they began helping him medically all the wrong ways. I informed them what would be best to do in this situation and rather than listen, they shooed me away. If felt more than unimportant and an absolute waste of space and the sharp objects practically called my name.

Be it known that years later when I spoke with the admissions coordinator she told me she was really scared when she admitted me, knowing that there would be a break in treatment due to the holidays and I was extremely suicidal (just got out of what was supposed to be a 3-10 day hospitalization but turned into 17 days without any fresh or outdoors).
People are typically in the program for one year, maybe slightly more. Thanks to my formed dependence on the program, I remained there for 1 year and nine and a half months. That was the first one.

There were four subsequent placements and eight other hospitalization since that time. In total, I have been in mental health treatment (only counting residential and hospitalizations) nearly three years of the past seven years. Holy shishkabob, no wonder integration is a challenge

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I sit in class, amongst people, most younger than myself by at least half a decade.

What was I doing when I was their age?

Oh, yeah that’s right, I almost forgot.

I almost forgot the reason I didn’t graduate on time. Why it will be more than 10 years after high school graduation when I receive my college degree.

Almost.

I was in college at their age.

I was in college, part-time with an entire continent separating myself from the rest of my family.

My family who sent me to the first program.

I was excited at first when I heard I may be going to California.

It was two weeks after I was discharged from my first psychiatric hospital stay.

The stay that according to Conroy, the social worker who admitted me was supposed to last between 3-10 days.

I stayed 18 days.

No outdoors. No light aside from the fluorescent ones beating down on me in the halls, in the rooms, in the showers.

After discharge, no one knew where to put me. They said it would only be once that I’d be in the hospital for things like this, that I was just going through a “transition”.

I guess I have a lot of “transitions”… 8 hospitalizations, 3 residential treatment centers totaling 2 and a half years and half a dozen IOP/PHP and 3 attempts later.

I remember sitting in class half a decade ago wondering if I’d make it to college graduation.

I remember thinking that I would get in trouble if I was seen chewing gum, not by the professor but from someone also in program going to school seeing me. We weren’t allowed to chew gum in the lower levels.

I remember not being able to accept rides from friends at school, even from my professor the night that it was pouring rain, pitch black, and I was all alone at the school bus stop with nothing or no one around late on a Friday night after class finished.

I remember begging my parents to get me out of the first place, saying, “I’m sorry, I made a mistake.” They told me it was either the program or the streets.

I didn’t even do anything wrong to deserve long-term residential “treatment”.

I was severely depressed, I needed love.

Love is not what I received.

I received way more fake hugs than I’ll ever get in my life real hugs.

I saw people try to kill one another.

I saw other people struggling, constantly talking about suicide and the next attempt.

I saw people attempt.

I saw people relapse.

I got abused, mostly verbal and emotional abuse.

I thought that was in the past. I thought the abuse was done.

It was thrown in my face constantly.

My current classmates have an average age of 20.

At the age of 20, I was taking 20 prescribed pills a day.

Once, someone from the program had to call my professor prior to the school year beginning to let him know that I was heavily medicated and may fall asleep in class.

My classroom experiences at a traditional college age are skewed.

So, when I sit in class, a bit ashamed that during the working hours I’m in a classroom at a desk, I wonder what happened, I almost forget what went on.

I know others wonder why I’m in class at the ripe old age I am.

If they ask, I tell them, usually surface-level things.

Usually, I just say I did the college route backwards, went to work first after high school and now I’m in school.

If only they knew the real story, the fucked up shit that I was locked away for, years of my young adulthood taken from me, because of depression stemming from abuse, neglect, and in-affectionate beginnings.

When I sit in class, I start to think of all these things. I think about what I was doing when I was their age, what I was exposed to, what was going on in my life.

Absolute madness.

A few weeks ago, K and I talked about me attending residential treatment programs and how they were largely ineffective. The practices that went on there were akin to boot camp. Just weeks ago she made it clear she understood how harsh of a place the treatment centers were, saying, “all you needed was to be shown that you were loved, not the boot camp method.” Well guess what? That continues to remain true, I still need to be shown that someone loves me, and especially from someone who knows I need love, and she’ll provide to other people, so it’s not like I can even say it’s not supposed to happen since it’s from a therapist because that breaks all therapeutic boundaries. Except it did happen, at least for B. B was given and still is given the love she is needed, at least from one person. I don’t get any love though, I don’t get boundaries crossed, even if that’s what I need. Either isn’t healthy, having boundaries crossed and not getting the support and love I need. Both ways I’m still in a deep hole. It’s not getting any easier.