It has been a long time since I’ve been able to node anything. My life has taken several rough turns and things seem to be constantly changing. I am going to try to sum up what’s been happening to me both for myself, to help get it all straight in my head, and for those who are curious.

As many people know, bluebird_is_sad is mentally ill. I have been depressed for as long as I can remember. No one realized how serious my depression was until November 11, 2000. On that day I tried to kill myself by taking over 300 pills of various kinds. I then spent 3 days in the ICU with wires all over me, and alarms going off with practically every movement I’d make. After that was another 3 days in a normal hospital room on suicide watch, never alone. Then began my experience with psychiatric hospitals. Once I was medically cleared I was taken to Charter Oak hospital and put in the lockdown unit for the first day then moved to the open unit. My experience with this hospital was not a pleasant one. I’ve been hospitalized there a few more times since then and now have nightmares about my experiences there. That initial stay was only the mandatory 72 hours, then my mom took me home.

While hospitalized I was assigned a psychiatrist, who I continued to see once I was released. I also began going to a therapist. It was sometime in December or possibly January when I began cutting and burning myself. I didn’t tell anyone but my therapist eventually asked me because I had told her my best friend sometimes cut herself. I couldn’t lie. It wasn’t long after that that my mom put pieces together and made me undress and that was the reason for my second stay at Charter Oak hospital. After that I changed both psychiatrists and therapists.

My new therapist decided that I should go to Las Encinas hospital. He told my mother and me that I would be attending their outpatient day program. He lied. When we got there for the assessment they assessed me and then under his recommendation put a 5150 on me. I never went back to that doctor.

I’ve been to both hospitals a few more times each whenever my mom discovered fresh cuts. I was also hospitalized once for a second OD, which they recorded as a suicide attempt but I consider an accident. I took several of whatever anti-psychotic I was on at the time trying to get the inside people to be quiet. The most recent hospitalization was at Las Encinas for three days starting on January 18, 2002 after I cut myself bad enough to need five staples in my thigh.

After that I continued to see my third psychiatrist who put me on paxil and geodon. I refused to take the geodon because the inside people are better than how I felt while taking those pills. When I saw her last month she renewed the paxil and told me she would no longer be my doctor because she was leaving and that I needed to find another doctor. At this point I was very low and had no where to turn. About this time I turned 21 and spent a very fun weekend in Las Vegas. “Drink fast. Gamble slow.” became my motto.

My mom has always used taking things away as her main way of punishing my siblings and I. She usually takes my car away and does not allow me to go to the library. She thinks the internet is evil and must be avoided at all costs. In between having my car taken away I emailed my favorite teacher from high school. Ms. Ann W. I sent her a very desperate confused ramble of an email. Ms. W. was my adaptive P.E. teacher and science teacher. She was always in her room after school and a great person to hang out with. Ms. W. emailed me back with the subject “There is help” but I didn’t get her email for about a month because I had not been allowed to leave the house. I replied back with another desperate email. The day after I sent the second email I called her at the school and asked if it would be ok for me to come down there. I went to the school and talked to her and she called several phone numbers and eventually found a clinic I could go to get help. She asked me if I’d go down there and I said that I’d try but I’d probably chicken out. She said she’d take me but asked me to come back the next day because she had plans that day. I went back the next day and as soon as school was over, (it was a shortened day) we got in her car and drove to where the clinic is. We ate lunch at Subway and then went next door to see someone at the clinic about getting me help. Ms. W. stayed with me and helped me talk to the people. They made an appointment for two weeks from then for the “intake” meeting where I had to meet with a therapist and answer questions for over two hours.

The next day my mom was off work. When her and my step-dad left to take the kids to school I wrote a note with the phone number to Ms. W’s class and drove the couple blocks to the school. When I called home a few hours later to ask permission to go to a swim meet at another school with Ms. W. My mom told me to come home that “we have to talk.” She was very angry and I knew I was in trouble. By the time I got to my car I was crying and by the time I had driven to the house I was crying so hard I was hyperventilating. I tried to calm myself down and managed to stop crying before going in the house.

When I went inside my mom started in on me immediately, bawling me out for “coming and going as I please” and never doing as I’m told, etc., etc. She wanted to know “what did you tell that Ms. W woman? I can tell you’ve been crying. Did you tell her what a shitty home life you have? How bad I treat you?!” She went on and on. Then she told me to call my father and that I had until the end of the day to find a place to live. I haven’t spoken to my father in well over a year and was not going to call him now. I called Ms. W. instead. My mom, of course, was listening on the other phone. Ms. W. agreed to let me stay with her for one week after talking to my mom. My mom took my house and car keys away and told me Ms. W. would pick me up about 9pm and that I better get packing. I then locked the door and sliced up my legs. I cried so hard for so long. I packed all my stuff and piled it in the hallway. Then I laid down and tried to sleep.

Ms. W. called about 8:30pm to tell us she was on her way. I then got up and called my best friend, YellowFlower and told her what was happening.

When Ms. W. got there she and my mom sat in the living room talking while I put all my stuff in the back of her SUV. Finally I kissed my mom goodbye and cried all the way to Ms. W’s house.

That entire week was a whirl-wind of activity. One night we had donuts at 2am! We went antiquing one day. We went to Chuck E. Cheese. We went to several malls. We ate at Rainforest Café, Coco’s, Denny’s, Claim Jumper, Chevy’s, and a couple others. Shop shop shop. On a quest to find all the Star Wars figures.

On Monday afternoon we rented a van and took the members of the high school diving team that qualified to CIF in San Louis Obisbo. A four hour drive north. We stayed at Motel 6 and ate dinner at an expensive Italian resturant. Then we went to the Madonna inn and she showed us the men’s restroom that has a waterfall for a urinal. She also admitted that when she was in college her and several of her friends ran through the hotel lobby wearing only paper bags on their heads and nothing else. LOL Her face turned so red as she told us!

The next morning we went to IHOP for breakfast then off to a local college where the diving meet was. Then Ms. W. and I went shopping for a bit while the students dived. After the boys were done, one of the divers, Ann, and I went to Ben Franklin’s sandwich shop for lunch. No one else was hungry. On the way back we were in a 3-car accident. No one was hurt and the van had very little damage. The police took down the info and we were on our way back to the pool.

When girls’ diving was over Ann took us to Gum Alley. Gum Alley is a walkway between two buildings that are completely covered with chewed bubble gum. Each of the divers added their own piece of gum to the wall. Then it was time for dinner. We went to F. McGlintocks, a rather unusual resturant. After dinner was the long drive home. All the divers slept most of the 4-hour ride home. Then each diver were dropped at their doorstep and we went home to Ann’s house. By this time it was about 1am and we had to be back at the school by 8am so we pretty much went straight to bed.

The next morning we dragged ourselves out of bed and went to the school to get a paper that needed to be taken with the kids to CIF swimming that day to the swimming coach, then returned the van, and made it back to the school in time for first period. It was a very long day.

The week sped by for me and before I knew it, it was Friday! On Thursday we’d talked to my mom for almost an hour on the phone and she agreed to meet with us on Friday evening. On Friday afternoon she called and said that she wasn’t going to meet with us because it wouldn’t change anything and that the appointment I had the following Tuesday she was going to take me and Ann couldn’t come. I didn’t my mom to go to that appointment with me because she turns everything around and makes me out to be a manipulative bitch when really that’s what she is. I’ve been assessed when my mom accompanied me before and never want to do that again. Ann had promised to take me and still agreed she would take me to that appointment. The original plan was for me to be home by Friday night but my mom made it clear I was not welcome there so Ann agreed to let me stay with her until the appointment on Tuesday.

The appointment was very emotionally draining for me. Over two hours of answering very difficult questions and revealing so many of my painful secrets at one time. I cried a lot, pulled my hair a lot, and sucked my thumb. Ann was very helpful. She stayed with me the whole time and helped me explain to the therapist all the things it’s so hard to talk about. I never would have made it through the meeting without her.

Because I had no home I qualified for a program called AB2034. They asked Ann if she would be willing to let me stay with her one more night because the AB2034 case manager was not there and therefore couldn’t find me a placement. She agreed.

We went back the next afternoon and I was taken to a Board and Care in Pico Rivera. I cried and cried. I hated it there. My roommate was rude, people were smoking every where I went and I was coughing so badly. The next day my case manager, John, came and took me to see a psychiatrist. After asking lots of hard questions the psychiatrist prescribed Zyprexa and Wellbutrin. He thinks I may have DID or BPD but said he didn’t have enough information for a diagnosis. I did not like the doctor but the medications seem to be helping.

When I got back to the Board and Care I attempted to take a nap but my roommate came in and turned on loud music. I eventually took my discman, book, and journal and sat out in the grass. I don’t know what happened after that. I was only sort of there. I was as if I was separated from my body and looking through a tunnel. I know I was crying and pulling my hair and that some of the other residents there had been throwing cigarette butts at me. Suddenly my mom was shaking me and telling me to stop crying. I couldn’t stop crying. The more I tried to stop the harder I cried.

My mom and step dad took me to Sizzler but I was crying to hard to eat much. They took me back to the Board and Care and put all my stuff in the back of the van and took me “home.”

My mom then told me to take a shower and came in and washed my hair just like she did when I was little. She didn’t say anything about my scars. She was gentle and loving. Not angry at all. It’d been so long since I’d seen her like that. It was kind of frightening but I loved it so much. After my shower she even came in my room and laid down with me. I wished she would stay like that forever but I knew it was too good to be true.

The next morning, things were back to “normal”. She got angry again. I had to clean my room and make it perfect for her. She was no longer mommy from long ago like the night before.

You can’t miss what you never had.

Before the two weeks I spent living the life Mommy Ann showed me I was miserable but had accepted the fact that this is the way life is and this is the way my life is meant to be. During those two weeks my life was not the way it had always been. I was seeing new things, feeling happy without guilt, feeling calm and safe. I even looked forward to the next day! Now I miss that life. I realize now that my life is not a normal life for someone my age. I realize what a sheltered life I’ve lived and now I’m more miserable that before because I’ve seen the other side, I know what I’m missing as I spend all day and all night in my mother and step-father’s home.