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Sunday April 18th 2021

(6) The Abyss

At this moment, I struggled hard on the floor.  My mind was totally blanked out and what I could see was only an opened window.  I only needed to stand up and jump out from the window and I would finish all this torment and “my friend” will leave me forever.  Suddenly, the image of my neighbor’s mother came into my mind. Her hair turned all white overnight after my neighbor lost her life in a traffic accident.  I really did not want my mother to become like her.  It was because of this thought, I tried very hard crawling on the floor and finally was able to reach the phone and called my brother.

When my brother arrived, he immediately put his finger into my mouth, trying to make me vomit.  And I did vomit a lot of white foam.  He could do nothing more but to send me to the hospital right away.

The doctor asked me, “ Are you feeling better now?”  I said, “I am in deep sufferings.  I want to die.”  The doctor said, “How about taking a rest in a sanatorium? I will communicate with the doctor there and see if we can make some adjustment to the dosage of your medication.   Is that fine with you?”  I agreed but felt a bit strange when they asked me to sign some documents.  But by that time, I really did not have any strength to think about why and I just signed them.

Once I arrived there, I just realized that it was a place for psychotic patients!  The ward I was staying was called the “ admission ward “.   It was under tight security control.  There were doors after doors to prevent the patients from running away.

Once I went inside, I was totally awake!  I saw ten to twenty patients walking closer to me and looking at me in strange ways.  They did not look friendly at all.  I fully understood what the place was for within just a few hours. 

Staying here was the same as staying in the prison.  All the windows were with bars.  There was no freedom here.  You must be very disciplined for eating, taking shower, and even sleeping.  You were allowed to make only one phone call each night, and under close supervision. Only one family member was allowed to visit in a day.  It was like a hell!  People were fighting for food and even for remaining food!  Some patients were shouting, and totally losing self-control.  They even took the garbage from the bin and ate it. 

Who was sent here?  Why were they here?  Some of them committed some crimes.  Some were waiting for a psychological report.  A young man abused his own sister. The other one was caught when attacking a policeman; Some were only mentally retarded. Some were physically abused, and some were drug addicts.  They were either harmful to others or being harmed.  People with psychotic and /or psychological problems would be admitted to here too.  That was why it was called the “admission ward”.

You need to be tactful when dealing with the staff here.  Otherwise, you will be bullied.  If you were against them, it meant that you would never be able to leave.  They could tie you up on a bed whenever they thought that you are losing control.  Fortunately, they did not do that to me because they realized that I was not psychotic and I had family members coming to see me everyday. The lives for those who did not have their family to visit them were indeed tragic.

Just within a few hours, I realized how I could survive.  I needed cigarettes and food to trade for my own safety. And I need to use some violence too sometimes, and I must be strong!  I said to myself, “ I have to leave this place with all the methods I can! “  I might have some problems, but this was not a place for me.  I would only get worst if I had to stay here any longer.

I had only one chance to make a phone call in one day.  I was thinking who I should call.  Finally, I decided to call my father, as my father could have more flexible time for coming to see me.  I could only say I was okay because the staff was just next to me.  I asked my father to buy me more snacks.  In that way I could have more bargaining power for protecting myself from others’ attack.  These snacks were my “ bodyguards”. And I asked my father to tell one of my friends to come and see me. Later, when my friend arrived, I told him all that was about and asked him to inform my brother.  They needed to help me to get out of this hell-like place as soon as possible.  On the other hand, I did my best to convince the doctor who evaluated me.  I pretended to be pitiful and very cooperative in answering all the questions so as to gain his trust.  The doctor also thought that I should not be treated here.  Not easily, I finally could leave this place after a few days.

After that, I need to follow up with the doctor regularly.  When I was dismissed from the sanatorium, the doctor reduced 50% of my dosage. But in fact, my negative thoughts and emotions were still with me all the time.  I ended up pretending that I was improving every time when I saw the doctor.  I was afraid that the doctor would force me back to the so-called “sanatorium”.  But deep in my heart, I knew very clearly that even if I could get pass for few times, I need to face my own problem sooner or later and I had no idea what and how I should do to deal with this.

Preview for next chapter:  My situation was getting worse.  My family tried everything they could to help me but causing me even more sufferings.   The cruel and cunning one was trying to kill me! What could help me get out of this situation?  Keep on reading the next chapter, (7) Reborn at the Dead End.

Mr. Ice Cream

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