Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sometimes I feel like I can't even sing

Sometimes I feel like I can't even sing (say, say, the light)
I'm very scared for this world
I'm very scared for me (say, say, the light)
Eviscerate your memory

Why bother? Watching the evening news, i just don't understand. Tensions in the Middle East mounting, most likely a war next year. Every day another story of a mother or father murdering their children. Or a boyfriend murdering their girlfriend. Children in parts of the world, all parts going to bed hungry. Commercials on TV asking you to sponsor a hungry child. Another commercial for Polar Bears. Our Boys and Girls coming back from war and nothing there to help them once they arrive back here. People abusing animals.Tiger isn't a hero anymore. It's all too much.

My mother and I were watching the news and what made me even sadder than I was, was how she was talking about how almost everyone writes a book nowadays, what is the fine line between fiction and non fiction?

This brought up the discussion of my novel- I told my mother it is a NOVEL. I will send it out as a novel, even though most of it is true. Mom had just read a book about prison and she was upset about strip searching. I just looked at her and said, they do that at every hospital I have ever been at.

She looked at me and almost cried. No....

"Oh yes, and it 's the most horrible thing, evasive as hell. They do a body cavity search". She didn't believe me. I continued, "yes, they put you in a room with a nurse and another woman, they tell you to strip down to your bra and panties, then they remove the bra, one woman is checking out the bra to make sure there is no contraband sewn in, and the other one is checking your boobs to make sure there is no contraband there. Then they hand the bra back to you, you put it on, and they tell you to remove your panties and it's like having a gynecological exam, they stick a finger inside, and they check your rear end too." She got upset and said why?

Easy, I said. The second time I was at that hospital a girl OD'ed because she snuck sleeping pills up in her privates. They were finding the drug addicts were putting drugs up there or their rear ends.... And yes, it's humiliating, it's really humiliating. I am sure it's worse though for a guy.

Last night I dreamed of J- I had not dreamed pf him since he left over 3 years ago. I woke up in a cold dead sweat. I dreamed of Absinthe, something i have never had, but i feel like the girl in painting.

I want to sing again. i want to pick up my clarinet and wail hitting that high "F" in Tchaikovsky's 5th- and play jazz. Pick up a guitar with my surname on it- and play til my fingers bleed.

I want to be able to write, write write until my fingers bleed and my nails have all broken. I just don't know how to anymore. I have more ideas floating around in my head than I have in years, I just... I just.... I want to be great. It's all I got, it's my only dream. And I feel like I am that guy who gets to the Olympics, breaks his leg and comes in last with his father. I may be down and out, but I will cross the finish line. As he was dying, baseball great Tug McGraw signed a baseball for my father. "You Gotta Believe". I believe this. I will get my groove back. I just need patience, and that is something I have never had.


Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about getting overwhelmed by all the negative stuff in the world. I have been reading Stephany's blog, and my heart is breaking over and over again for her and her daughter. The phrase "There but for the grace of God go I" is constantly in my mind. (If you read this, Stephany, please know that I am sending so many thoughts and prayers every day...)

I don't know how I have handled it this long, and I don't know how I manage to go on, knowing that there are others who don't even have their basic freedoms.

I am so sorry to hear about what was done to you in the hospital. If it is any consolation at all (I don't know how it can be, though..) reading about experiences like yours, and that of Stephany's daughter, makes me more determined to stay away from the system, as much as I can, myself, and to speak up when I am able in order to spread awareness. People with mental health issues are people too, and deserve the same respect as anyone else.

Comforting tailwags,

Ana said...


susan said...


I read Stephany's blog too every day- and I know where you are coming from. I don't know what to say anymore. So I just keep her and her daughter in my prayers.

I only mentioned this bit about the hospital, because if my mom didn't know it goes on, then I would guess most people don't know it goes on. I am a Law and Order junkie, so you expect it to happen at a prison- but not at a mental hospital.

Tailwags to you too! ;-)

susan said...

HI Ana! Sending you tailwags too!

sallyo said...

I'm sorry you've had to go through such humiliating procedures. Getting the word out that such things happen will help bring attention and change to the field of mental health.
I've been thinking about the problem of getting overwhelmed with all the heartbreaking stuff going on in the world. Sometimes I have to take a break from the news and find something positive to focus on and get my perspective back. Here's one site that you might enjoy:
Hope you hannakuh season is joyful.

sallyo said...

I'm so sorry that you've had to endure such indignities at a place that should be healing. Exposing such practices should bring needed attention and change to the field of mental health care.
I, too, have been thinking about the problem of getting overwhelmed by all the negative happenings going on in the world. From time to time I find it helpful to take a break from watching the news and find other, more positive things to focus on and help keep things in perspective. One place you might enjoy is:

I hope your hannakah season is a joyous one!

Anonymous said...

Susan, I'm sorry those things happened to you. I think of how many patients have issues because of sexual assault and then to assualt them again in the name of treatment is barbaric. They've got to know that this leads to nightmares, anxiety attacks and increased depression. The weird thing is even in those environments people started to adapt. At times I felt like I deserved what they were doing to me, and I wonder if the patients who don't complain about that kind of treatment have just come to expect violation.

It's so counter to common sense.

Syd said...

It's easy to be discouraged by world news. I watch a lot of it and after a while it numbs me. There are things that I can change and things that I can't (which is most everything, except for me). I am choosing to be positive on this day. And to do my bit to smile at someone who may need it.

Moody Swinger said...

I guess I was lucky when I was in the bin recently; the closest I got to a strip search was taking off all my clothes & changing into scrubs. I'm sorry to hear you've had to go through that; I'm not sure it's worse for men, but it's invasive for anyone. Thanks for sharing this piece of reality. And write your novel!

Bill White said...

No doubt, the humiliation of an admission to a mental health unit is tough stuff. I've worked at one as an intake counselor, fortunately not as a tech on a unit. I've had to disclose such procedures to patients coming in and it was an awful task. But the fact of the matter is, bringing in contraband in cavities is a reality and a danger. And it goes beyond self-harm to endangering other patients. I can remember a young woman in whom several razor blades were found. Yes, she was a self-injurer, but what else might she have done with the razors? Absolutely, brutal protocol and a sign of the times, but what are you going to do? Thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

Bill White, when psych hospitals traumatize people to treat trauma and cause depression to treat depression then I can't help but wonder what they're accomplishing. Perhaps these patients would be better off not being admitted.

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