H.O.P.E.

I remembered, the first time hearing “Hold On Pain Ends.”

Thinking, “Yeah, right.” The truth is pain never ends.

The first time, I was hospitalized, I didn’t know what was wrong. I followed other people’s behavior. At one point, I thought I saw the devil’s hand.

Everyone else thought I was faking it or acting out for attention. I remembered, insisting that I wasn’t ready to go home after being hospitalized for an entire month. I told myself,

“I’m going to prove them wrong.”

When I got home, all I could think about was hurting myself because I deserved it.  It didn’t matter that I had loving parents or loving sisters and brothers. I had a lot of things I should have been excited for, I just started high school.

I remembered, taking sleeping pills one day before going to school.

Dizzy. Nausea. Dried mouth. Dissociating. Crying. Thinking,

“Please, let me die.”

Fellow students were worried. Passing by and speaking amongst them, “Is she okay?” But no one stopped.

My mom yelled at me one day after school when she found out that I still was taking stuff to hurt myself.

“How could you be so selfish? How could you put this family through this again?”

I just cried. I was so angry and confused because I didn’t know what was going on with me. I felt lost, hopeless, and Isolated. While all the “professional” people were telling me and my family that,

“I’m faking it.”

“I have control over my actions”

“It’s your anemia.”

No doctors validated my feelings. I felt lonely. I felt unloved. I felt ashamed. And I felt like I had to apologize for the way I was acting even though I had no control over my actions. And still, I kept saying,

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”

I was sent to a longterm Psychiatric center for children. People called it CPC for short. It was the third hospitalization in three months.

I felt trapped. I convinced my doctor that I was going to escape and kill myself so they kept a close eye on me. When I was admitted to CPC, it gave me too much time to think about everything that I’ve done to myself.

At CPC, I had a friend named Bailey. It was the first time that I had a friend that truly understood me. It was the first time, I met somebody who understood what I was going through. I remembered when I was leaving crying out loud or in my head, thinking that we would never see each other again.

Before I left, Bailey wrote me a note:

“Marie,

It has been great getting to know you. I enjoyed being your friend. You are a really nice person—don’t let people tell you otherwise! I won’t say goodbye. I will say see you later because I know I’ll see you again. You are a very funny and sweet person and I love that about you. There are not a lot of people like you left those days. You were given this life because you were strong enough to live it. Always be you. You inspired me to be me. Thank you. I will miss you a lot. You will always be my friend.

-Bailey

See you soon”

I remembered feeling both happy and sad when I got out of CPC. I knew that it would be awhile before I’d not be affected by my past, my trauma, and by my loss of Bailey.

Two years later, I was back in the hospital. My first real relapse. Being back at the place where I was first hospitalized was scary.

I was forced to take a sleeping medication that I refused but the “professionals” couldn’t handle a no. They held me down on an ambulance bed and forced me to take the medication that I had the right to refuse. As five people held me down, it was like I was being assaulted all over again. It made me feel powerless, hopeless, and scared.

After everything, I know it’s my strength and faith that made it possible to be here in the present and to say, “I’m still struggling”.

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