In today’s society, people with HD, (as well as people with mental illnesses) are often thrown into psych wards because their caretakers feel like they have no other choice. And I get that. I feel a strong sense of desperation everyday, but there are other options.
Don’t get me wrong-I know that there are some great mental facilities out there. They’re just harder to find, and often more expensive.
But I have witnessed the horrors of government-run mental institutions first-hand, and the experience scarred me for life. Remembering my time spent there is extremely difficult to write about, but for the sake of “Exposing the Truth,” I feel like I am obligated to tell my story.
At the time, I was on the brink of suicide and begging my mom to save me. She didn’t know what to do, so she checked me in to an institution called “Green Oaks.”
Here is my story.
They told me they were there to help me. They told me that I would be carefully observed and then given appropriate treatment and counseling.
Their eyes were kind as they gently urged me to commit. They said that I needed it, that I needed to surrender to their care so that I could get better.
They were there to help me. They promised they would help me.
I was desperate. I believed them.
They took away my phone, my purse, my necklace, and even my hairband, and then they grasped my arm to lead me away from the outside world.
I was led into a small room covered in all white tile. They told me to take off my clothes, and when I hesitated, they snatched my shirt off over my head and yanked down my pants.
As I stood inside the four, white walls, naked and shivering in front of three complete strangers, a sudden, sharp, cold pain suddenly stabbed me in the chest as the nurses began to hose me down…almost as if I was an animal covered in dirt.
After the painful “disinfecting” process, I was forced to undergo an uncomfortably thorough search of my exposed body. I didn’t want them touching me. I never gave them permission to scrutinize my naked body…at least I thought I didn’t. In the middle of fighting for my right to privacy, one of the nurses sharply explained that once I’d signed the (extremely) long packet, that I had basically handed over the rights to my mind and my body.
So, I was forced to comply. After sealing the last of my belongings in a big, plastic bag, I was given a short, thin gown to wear-and nothing else. Anyone could easily make out the shapes of my body that I wanted to keep hidden for modesty’s sake, but the rules of the institution were set in stone.
I was then led to my “room,” which turned out to be a gymnasium with about 50 beds, all lined up into rows. The auditorium was co-ed, and every single male that I passed by as I shuffled to my assigned bed had something filthy to call out, undressing me in my already transparent gown with lust in their eyes.
None of the nurses stood up for me or offered words of comfort. They simply positioned me onto a bed at the end of the front row.
The events that I witnessed within the eight hours that I was stuck in that filthy, government-run asylum have haunted my dreams since the moment I sat down. Rows and rows of insanity echoed against the white, brick walls, sending my suicidal mind into a dark, black hole that contained nothing but fear and hopelessness.
People were walking around and talking nonsense to themselves, provoking an unnecessary raid of physical aggression from “medical professionals” who tackled both women and men to the ground while shoving a needle into their thigh that forced them into a deep, long sleep.
Everyone around me was either rocking back-and-forth, pulling out their hair, screaming profanities, or whispering obscenities so foul that I’ll never be able to repeat.
The disheveled woman next to me kept leaning over and whispering things in my ear, claiming that the devil had sent her to me and that she had demons living inside of her. As tears of fear swelled into my eyes, the woman cackled in satisfaction, continuing to provoke me.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I begged the nurses to let me go, insisting that I wasn’t crazy…but of course, they were used to hearing that spiel constantly…but from people who were actually crazy. I was instructed to take my seat until my time came to see the counselor.
I sat inside of that prison…no, that hell, for eight hours. Eight hours of torture.
When my time finally came to see the psychiatrist, the nurses led me into a messy, dim office that contained no windows. The only source of light illuminated from a small, faint lamp that sat on the corner of his desk.
“Are you suicidal?” He asked, staring blankly at my file.
“No. I’m fine. I’m not crazy. I shouldn’t be here. Please get me out. Please let me leave.”
He examined my body from head-to-toe, slowly…almost as if he was taking in every exposed shape that lay beneath my sheer gown.
“Are you religious?” He inquired, which caught me a bit off guard.
“Yes, I am a Christian.”
He lowered his crooked glasses and gazed into my eyes.
“You know that if you are a Christian and you kill yourself, you go to hell, right?”
I paused, finding myself at a loss for words in a situation where I would usually stand up for my beliefs. Instead, I simply nodded. I just wanted to go home.
And then suddenly, I was released. I was home.
It took a long time for the nightmares to dissipate, but over time, I finally found a treatment that helped me feel more normal than I had in years.
The point this story, my friends, is to shed light on the abuse that still goes on within places that are supposed to be “safe havens.”
Do your research. Test things out. Make sure that your loved ones have access to the right kind of help. Educate your local police departments, your hospitals, and your doctors on this difficult subject. Fight for the rights of those who are sick. We desperately need to continue spreading awareness and education.
Here is a fantastic link that provides all the information you need on educating the police about HD. Click HERE.
Much love to you all. We are in this fight together.