Part 3: The ER
T/W: Mentions of eating disorders, self-harm and suicidal ideation/suicide attempt
Hello to those reading this! This is the third part of this specific blog, so if you haven’t read the first two, and would like to, you can find them on the home page of my blog! I do recommend reading those parts before this one or you might be confused. Also, keep in mind, that this blog post deals with sensitive topics that are listed above. If any of those themes will trigger you I suggest for your mental health that you don’t read this. Thank you!
Now, moving on, in the last part I left off just before I got to the ER. I stated that I was there for two days and that both days were full of drama. So, let’s jump right in to that drama!
Starting off, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, hospitals generally weren’t allowing visitors. Being that numbers have decreased, this hospital had a rule of one visitor per patient for the whole time they spent in the ER. Well, my best friend and roommate (the one who knew where I was after calling me while I was in the ambulance) was my first, and to my knowledge, supposed to be my only visitor. When he came in we talked and it was good—I felt validated and loved.
Later, I knew my mom was going to drop a bag of my things off that I would be able to have at the mental facility (when I would finally get transferred). By this time my friend had gone, and while I knew my mom would be coming, I didn’t imagine that she would be allowed back, given the visiting rule…
So imagine my surprise when in stroll both of my parents with my bag of things for the facility—which I certainly was not allowed to have at that time. I was expecting my “watcher”—a nurse assigned to make sure I didn’t harm myself further—to say something but she shrugged it off with a, “they’re already here.”
What’s truly messed up about this to me is I wasn’t even asked if I was comfortable with them being there. However, when my roommate had showed up first, I was! Some might think that I’m lucky and that I shouldn’t complain about extra visitors when some in the ER would surely give anything for that luxury.
I truly do understand that and I don’t mean to come off as ungrateful! However, my parents (though I do love them) are a huge source of my stress. I’m not going to get into all of it, nor do I want to—so suffice to say that, especially at that moment, I was more comfortable without them there. I didn’t want to have to pretend or be strong—to have to put on the face as “the parent” for them and shoulder what should be their responsibilities as I always had. As selfish as it might seem to some, in that moment I wanted it to be about me. I wanted to give myself a reprieve and some much needed grace to finally start healing. This is something that would prove to be impossible while trying to also heal those around me.
Luckily, the visit wasn’t actually that bad and it wasn’t too long either. I thought for sure everything from that point on would be smooth sailing. A different nurse on duty even explained to my parents that there was a miscommunication and that the front desk assumed that I was a minor which is why they were allowed back. So for the rest of my days, it was confirmed I could only have one visitor—of whom I thought would be my friend, as he was my technical first visitor. They both agreed to that, we said our goodbyes, and on they went.
Smooth sailing indeed!—until the next day…
Somehow, my mother showed up again—and again—I was not asked about this. To top it off, it was then assumed that she would be my one and only visitor. Which was annoying but I could have dealt with it had it Joe been for what happened next…
A member of the mental health team at that hospital came in. It started of standard enough—he asked me if I wanted to wait for the facility I’m currently in (was in at that time—I’m rescinding this outside of there now) or if I wanted him to call around. I replied politely that I’d appreciate if he tried calling around so that I could find a place that also assists with eating disorders. He agreed with ease and turned to go. The pit of restlessness in my stomach that I had when he walked in—given that he was a man and I have bad many bad experiences with men—was beginning to fade and I thought maybe misjudged him and his eyes that appeared as cold as the most bitter ice.
Well, my instincts, unfortunately, turned out to be right.
As he was leaving he turned on his heal quick and asked if that was my mom sitting in the visitor chair. I said yes, and then he asked if I loved her, which I also said yes to. He then asked about my scars and what caused me to do this. I responded, like I had to everyone who asked at that point, that I didn’t really know.
Apparently, there was a right and wrong answer to his question and you can get that mine was the “wrong” one…
In an instant, any warmth that was held in his already cool gaze had swiftly chilled and an ice storm began to take place. He didn’t hide his incredulous look. It was as if I had reeled back and smacked him (I kind of wish I had—haha) and he began telling me just how “wrong” my response was.
Right off the heels of my “I don’t really know”, he responded with a “yes you do.” I was already annoyed but thought it best to be civil and excuse his ignorance even though he was trying to tell me how I felt. I gave a timid laugh and shot a look to my mother—who also looked a little taken aback but said nothing. Then I tried again, searching for an answer that he might deem acceptable, “Well, I guess I do, but it’s a lot of things and it’s kind of hard to explain…”
Sure enough, he wasn’t all that interested in a real response and he cut me off and started going on and on asking me if I loved my parents (which again, I said yes to). Then he claimed I didn’t and that by doing this, I was killing them—yes, my illness, a fault of my brain chemistry and shitty life experiences, was somehow killing my parents…even though I never asked them to show up or call (apparently my dad had called that morning). That’s not to say that I wasn’t grateful, but this man didn’t know me or my family enough to put issues in our lives on my shoulders alone.
I made sure I told him that, and explained that my decisions were my own and that if it somehow “killed” my parents, then that’s on them and not me. He told me that I wasn’t taking accountability and that I was acting like I was 19 instead of 24 because of my sarcasm (even though I’d been fully cooperative before he started yelling at me). He tried to break me and told me that all other mental professionals didn’t care about me and that they wanted to keep me sick. His reasoning behind this was that I had a therapist but clearly it wasn’t working because I ended up there.
You know what though? I decided that I wasn’t going to take any of his bullshit.
I had been to hell and back all of my life and to top it all of, I saved my damn self! I was an expert in accountability at this point and always acknowledged my faults. Still, I’m sick—a scientifically irrefutable fact—and so he was gonna hear me.
I told him that clearly I had taken accountability because I was here and had called for help myself, but that even if I hadn’t, I’m sick! I dismissed his incomprehensible and disgusting theory that nobody cared about me (which is so fucked up to say to anybody—especially a suicide patient) and told him to leave the room. He did with a huff and a few more words thrown my way.
On his way out, I locked his icy gaze with the fire of my own and let my last words of that conversation ring through the air, hoping they’d impale his thick skull, “I don’t now how you’re certified.” He dropped his eyes first and slithered off like the snake he was.
My mom remained silent, never once defending me. I told her to go. She tried to hug me but I wouldn’t allow it. I decided then and there that I was definitely my own woman now—my most devout protector.
After that, I reported that “mental health professional” and apparently he was reprimanded…at the very least, he was kicked off my case and within the next day I was off to the facility that I am currently in (For one more day as of April 11, 2021–woohoo! Edit: I’m revising this today, May 7, 2021 and am obviously home now!). It would be a short stay (it’s a short-term facility), but also enriching! I discovered more of me this week (at the time I wrote this) than I ever thought I could.
Part 4: The Facility will be uploaded next week—stayed tuned and thank you for reading!