There was a man standing in the corner yelling “Save the Boombox”.
Another man kept counting to himself while rocking
back and forth “2+2=4, 4+4=8, 8+8=16” and he went on…..
The coolest guy in the room was randomly quoting fun
facts. He didn’t communicate except to say another fact and the occasional
outburst. His two favorites were “In
1976, the 10 billionth gallon of "Coca-Cola" syrup was produced. “and “It is illegal to say "Oh, Boy" in Jonesboro, Georgia.” This
would be followed by a few minutes of hollering “Oh, boy” up and down the
My personal favorite fact was the one that made
Brit the Bulimic cry. “Every time you lick a stamp you are consuming 1/10 of a
calorie.” I don’t expect a Christmas card from her this year.
You would think I would be scared to be locked up
with these people when in reality I love them more than I have ever loved anyone.
They are flawed and some damaged beyond repair but they don’t judge me for what
I have done, they don’t question how a seemingly normal girl ended up in a
place like this. They all know that there is no such thing as normal.
To the outside world it probably seems that I gave
up on life when I came here, to Shady Lane Mental Health Facility, otherwise
known as Shady Lane Nuthouse. I’m not completely insane like the people around
me. I don’t hear voices or try to hurt anyone around me. My problem has been
labeled many things but certifiable has not been one of them. Even my
psychiatrist doesn’t think I need to be here.
However, I do.
It all started one night when the kids would not be
quiet, running and screaming, using my furniture as trampolines and diving
boards. Toys were scattered from one end of the house to the other. The dog
needed to be walked or fed, something was making her hound my heels to the
point that I stepped on her paw. The husband and the proclaimed King of the
House was on his video game and yelling at me to keep the kids quiet because he had important business to attend to in his virtual playground. I couldn’t
breathe. I couldn’t think. I just wanted peace and quiet. A moment of silence
would have been nice. The room began to spin and I fainted.
I woke up in the hospital two days later. The
doctors couldn’t find a medical reason for my fainting and sent me on home.
When I got there the kids needed baths and homework done. They had projects for school and they were due yesterday. The man had a big competition coming up on his video game and told me I shouldn’t be tired. I had, after all, just slept
for two days. In just moments I was bombarded with 15 different things and I
couldn’t cope. My hands shook as I ran back out the door, ripping my coat on
the rusty nail that held the screen door closed because my husband was too busy
to fix anything.
I drove 400 miles that night and when I could finally see the ocean, I felt like I could breathe. I had thrown my cell phone out the window many miles back and for just a few moments I felt free. Then I turned around and drove home.
We tried to work it out, the hubby and I. Well, I
tried and my psychiatrist tried, mostly the man just showed up and heard what
he wanted to hear. When I point blank told him he was making me crazy he heard
that I wanted to see other men. If I had possessed a weapon in that moment I
would have killed him.
Months went by and nothing changed.
Then one day I drove by ....Shady
Lane..... The lawns were beautiful and the people
seemed so calm and sedate. Even the crazy people who thought I was their
daughter or sister and were irate when I contradicted them calmed down soon
after the nurse gave them their medicine.
So I went home, packed a bag and check myself out
of life. Maybe one day I will be able to
go back but I don’t even want to think of it now. I get so much writing done
while I am here and the kids seem to be doing remarkably well since their Daddy
is too tired at night to yell and play video games.
I would have to say; overall, checking in to the loony
bin is the best thing that ever happened to my family.