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Updated on November 12, 2011

The little window in the door slid open and Janis, the nice nurse that had gone over the rules with Lynn and brought her belongings was peering in. “Lynn? Lynn, listen to me hun, as soon as you calm down we’ll get you out of here. Your doctor has been called and when he arrives you can talk to him. Do you want me to bring you some water?”

Lynn’s tongue was thick and made of cotton, preventing her from answering so she nodded her head and reached toward the door. She fought to get her mind clear but it seemed like she was dreaming. The slot in the door opened and a hand, holding a paper cup appeared and the window was open, showing Janis, smiling at her. She got to her feet with much effort and walked the three miles to the door snatching the cup and downing the water in one swallow.

“More?” Her voice sounded alien to her, far away. Another cup was produced and she thankfully drank from it finishing it a bit slower this time.

“Lynn, honey, you had to be medicated to calm you down and we brought you here until you could do that. I know you must feel very confused right now but things will get clearer as the shot wears off and in a few minutes I’m going to bring some clothes and help you get dressed. Do you understand?”

Lynn understood what she said but did not understand why Zach wasn’t in here and she out on the ward. “Yesth, ah doo.” Did someone shoot her mouth full of Novocaine? Maybe if you cuss they medicate your mouth so you can’t spew curse words.

The window closed and she sunk onto the floor waiting for her clothes. One thing about this place, she thought, there was always something going on to keep your mind off of your troubles. She had been trying to express them to her doctor for a couple of months now but between his busy schedule only allowing for ten minute appointments and her difficulty finding words to describe what was going on in her troubled mind, it had been fruitless. He increased her Valium but it had not helped much. At first she felt more capable, but very soon she felt her self slipping further into a deep crevice with slippery walls that refused her attempts to claw her way out. It was there that a tormenting fear grew inside her and the need to keep herself and her children confined to her small bedroom became crucial to their survival. She was trying to manage the unmanageable, fight off demons long present in recesses of her mind. Familiar with her weaknesses, they toyed with her, opening doors to memories she had long forgotten, presenting terror in new shapes, easily overcoming her exhausted state.

Lynn startled as the door opened and Janis and a female aide she had never seen before entered holding a gown and a robe. They helped her into the gown, tying the strings in back and its twin, the robe, with the strings in front. She kept her eyes on Janis as they led her to a bathroom where she could “freshen up” and stayed outside the open door as she urinated and washed her hands, bringing cool water to her face and mouth. Janis handed her a comb and she raked it through her long tangled hair with still weak arms, hoping she was presentable. The dark circles under her eyes and shadows in the hollows of her cheeks gave her a skeletal appearance that scared her as it stared back at her from the mirror.

“Let’s go see Dr. Pinden now sweetie, he’s waiting for you.” Janis walked with her, arm around her waist, down a long corridor that seemed unfamiliar to Lynn and opened a door that revealed Lynn’s doctor seated behind a desk and one chair facing it. She looked questioningly at Janis who nodded for her to go in and take the seat as she closed the door.

“Well then, Lynn what have we accomplished?” Dr Pinden looked over his glasses at her, his gaze questioning and, if she was not mistaken, a bit concerned. “That is what can you tell me about how you are feeling?”

She wasn’t sure how to respond. Did he mean right this second, over the past couple of days, was he asking for an apology for her behavior toward the staff and Zach? Did he mean the anger or maybe the humiliation that was growing? “I’m not sure what you want to know. I hit him because …”

“No, no – I have the report of that incident. I am referring to how the medications are working. I’m seeing a need to tweak these a bit, removing one which seems to be causing you some distress and we will start you on a different line all together. I’ve had appointments set for you with a psychologist at the Center at your release.”

“My release?” Lynn’s heart began pounding. She came her for help, was more screwed up now than when she got here and he was going to release her back into trying to care for herself, her children, to face the demons again? “When am I being released?”

Dr. Pinden closed her file, stood and pronounced, “When you are ready, Lynn. Let the nurses know if you need anything and they will contact me.” He walked to the door, turned back and smiled at her. “It will get better.”

Lynn was allowed to stay in her room the remainder of the day and even take a short nap, which she did after a shower and a quick smoke while the others were involved in Arts and Crafts time. She awoke to Jennifer tapping her on the arm repeatedly and calling her name in a theatrical whisper. “Lynn, it’s me Jen, Lynn, LYNN!”

She opened one eye, reluctantly, and looked at Jennifer who was grinning like the Cheshire cat. “I brought your stuff. I went off ward while you were – uh – busy and I got you all the stuff you asked for and some treats from me. Look!” The girl thrust a handful of candy bars, three packs of cigarettes, some potato chips and two cans of Coke beaded with coldness, onto Lynn’s bed. “AND”, Jennifer retrieved a bag from her dresser drawer, “you need these. I don’t use them, not my color after all and I don’t care for those brands. Your clothes are clean too, Pat did them and I hung them in your closet. You really need to get some more clothes. I added a couple of my blouses but you wear smaller jeans than me, lucky girl. Now get up! I have to get back out on the ward before someone catches me.” Jennifer gave her a quick hug and disappeared out the door, closing it softly behind her. Lynn sat up in bed and opened a can of Coke, drinking down half of it. A large “BURP” escaped from her mouth and she laughed out loud, surprising herself. She examined the bag Jen had given her and inside found a plethora of make up, skin lotions, and an envelope. She opened it and found a card signed by most of the other residents she knew and some she didn’t. The front showed a chimpanzee wearing boxing gloves. Inside were words affirming that the senders knew she would get well soon and “beat” this passing illness. She hugged it to her chest, knowing she could go back on the ward without shame or fear of rejection and then climbed out of bed. Lynn dressed, applied a little of the make up she’d been given and, cigarettes in hand, headed out for the coffee area.


Submit a Comment

  • Poohgranma profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from On the edge

    Thanks for the encouragement, MT.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image

    Linda Rogers 

    7 years ago from Minnesota

    Dear Pooh-Maybe it's because I havn't had an easy life either but I find reading your stories give me hope amidst the struggles. One of the reasons I love your writing is because it is real, it is raw and it is true. There is nothing more powerful than someone that writes from experience. I love all your memoirs. Keep on writing, keep on healing!!!! Love Linda:)

  • LaurieDawn profile image


    8 years ago

    LOL! Hey Lady! Sometimes even us hard core bag ladies need hugs!

  • Poohgranma profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from On the edge

    Big mushy hugs back at you...gag...LOL

  • LaurieDawn profile image


    8 years ago

    And I am glad there is YOU, one just like you, your brutal honesty, your compassion and your strengths. And yes I know you do not like mushy, too bad Woman! *laughs* I found a quote that can say it better than I ever could.

    "I'm a survivor-a living example of what people can go through and survive." It fits.

    And I hope you always keep going with your story, your memoirs and it is your story and you can do whatever you want to! Isn't that a song!

    Love ya Girlfriend!


  • QudsiaP1 profile image


    8 years ago

    Ah, so I was right. :)

    It is okay, Pooh love.

    I will read, whatever you feel like writing.

    I am glad that Lynn feels better from part 3, confusion aside, I wonder if that jerk will cause future problems for her.

  • stars439 profile image


    8 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

    Whatever you say when you write will probably serve to educate the world in important ways. The conditions you experienced in your life were very unpleasant to put it mildly. No young lady should ever have been mistreated like you were in your life. I admire your courage , and I truly believe your helping to protect a world of young ladies by pointing out the importance of standing up for individual rights in life. God Bless You Dear Heart.

  • Poohgranma profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from On the edge

    Thank-you Scarlett and SOH. You guys and Laurie, plus Dusty, Charlie, stars and a few others have taught me some important lessons. What ever we choose to write about, as long as it's ours to share and is presented without malice on intent to harm is all good. Some is horrific, some beautiful, hilarious, informative, unforgettable or just plain fun. Maybe sometime soon I'll be able to write in each of those categories but where ever and whatever I write comes from me and there is no one lease like me ... PRAISE GOD! LOL

  • SomewayOuttaHere profile image


    8 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky

    ....good stuff...keep it up...tough's your story...glad you decided to continue on.... :) :)

  • Scarlett My Dear profile image

    Scarlett My Dear 

    8 years ago from Missouri

    That's what I thought. Class, can you say, gullible? i'll fall for anything.(;

    This part of the story evokes feelings of frustration and desperation, that Lynn is also going through. Well done!

    I'm so glad to see that you have 'friends' amidst the madness here! I look forward to the epiphany.

  • Poohgranma profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from On the edge

    My dear Q, sorry to have mislead you last evening but I was so amused by your comment I couldn't resist playing with words. Yes, this is Lynn's story, part of my memoir and I have moved this hub back under that category. I am truly sorry that my writing pains you and pushes you beyond your limit to read. I may write of happier times and have written a couple of silly poems and a satirical piece that few got, but this is what I am writing about now. It is part of me and not all of me or my life has been pretty to look at or hear about. I fully understand your choice to read more uplifting hubs and I hope to write one of those someday. My apologies again for teasing you.


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