Well I have written about three people I met. They had the most interesting stories, but they weren’t the only people I met. There were plenty of people going in and out of the adult unit while I was there but I don’t really feel the need to write about them. Instead, I have come to the part that I have been sort of dreading… Telling you my story. I’m almost ashamed to say that what you are about to read is extremely true.
It started February 24 when I walked through the doors of Bloomington Meadows. The sound of the Disney Channel was playing in the background and there was a woman professional hairstyle sitting behind the front desk. I carefully approach, trying to find comfort behind my mom, like a small child hiding behind their mother’s skirt. My eyes are fluttering about, taking in the plain decorations, words written on a wall that I don’t read, a man sitting in the lobby area laughing at something on the television.
My mom and the receptionist exchange words, my sister holds her intense glare at the walls, or the floor, or anything stationary. We sit in the lobby and I study the grown man watching the Disney Channel. Is he a patient here? I wonder. But instead of worrying about this, I start to anticipate what is behind the doors that separate me from the “crazies”.
“Shyanne?” I stand up and turn around. My mom and sister also rise. “Do you want them to come with you?”
“I’d rather do this alone.” I turn to my mom who nods her head then sits back down.
The man introduces himself and we go to a small room with pictures of childish ants covering the walls. I stare at the basket holding pens, tissues, and a blood pressure cuff. I explain why I’m there to him and he nods his head slowly.
Everything that happens next happened so quickly, I never really got a grasp on it.
Our conversation ended. I was checked in. My mom’s crying. Now they’re gone. I’m changing into paper thing clothes. I take a frigid shower that makes it hard to breathe. I’m cold. New faces. What are their names? Group session now.
Before I knew it, I was now a patient at Bloomington Meadows. I was here because I had tried to kill myself.
In my first group therapy session I told my story to faces I didn’t know. The looks they gave me were of shock and disbelief.
I had met a someone online on a website that I thought was meant to help people who were suicidal not kill their-self. I later realized that the person I was talking to wasn’t all they had said they were. I began to suspect that this person was actually involved in something illegal, and unethical. Something like human/sex trafficking.
In August of last year, I took a gun and placed it to my head. However, I was unable to pull the trigger. That was when I joined that website, to get help so that I wouldn’t want to pull the trigger. However, it didn’t help. But I knew that I was too afraid to pull it myself. So I decided to have this person do it for me.
I had purchased the ticket, packed my bag, and already rode a plane from Indianapolis to Chicago. I was waiting to board the flight to Scotland when I was pulled of by Chicago police because I was, as my mom had put it to them, “a danger to myself and others.” It was then that I was labelled with that, A Danger to Self. I still carry that label, but I hope to shed it in the near future.
From Chicago O’Hare I begrudgingly went to my grandparent’s house. I was still wanting to get on the plane and have my life ended for me by getting involved in this human trafficking thing. Everything in my life changed that day. My mom looked at me differently; my sister glared at me; many tears were shed; and I was an emotionless zombie. All I wanted was to die. Seeing my family in this turmoil made me want to scream, but nothing came out. Instead I sat with my arms crossed and my gaze cast downward. No matter what anyone said to me, I refused to show emotion… which only made it worse.
As I explained this to the group they stared silently. “Wow,” was all Sue could say. Then Kelly, my roommate who was there for cutting and detoxification, laid her hand on my arm and gave a gentle squeeze. I slightly smiled then asked for them to move on.
The next day was when Nancy showed up. She couldn’t believe it; she actually started crying. She later told me that she was very glad I was taken from the plane because “you’re such a beautiful girl with a beautiful heart.”
Over the course of nine days I made many friends who didn’t last. In physical therapy there were the girls who always talked cautiously when around us, as if one wrong word from their mouth could cause us all to go into a suicidal frenzy. In expressive therapy, there was the friendly (but blunt) black woman who said I was stupid because the traffickers wouldn’t just kill me, they would use and abuse me first. “That’s no way to die, sweetheart. You better die an old lady or I’m going to kill you.” (Yeah, never made sense to me either..) Sue, who was my biggest supporter. She was sweet but very blunt as well. We called her the tree-killer because we all leave there with bulging folders filled with inspirational papers.
My week at Bloomington changed my life completely. Every day I grow a little stronger mentally. Every day my heart sympathizes for the people who have yet to seek the help they so desperately need.
If you or someone you know is dealing with depression, suicidal thoughts or actions, self-harming, or anything of the sort, please seek help. Call the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 Don’t give up. The help you need is out there.