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SPACE IN TIME

Chapter Nine

Part
Two


“No way," I told her.
The doctor interrupted the nurse’s tirade and told her basically to shut up, that they could not do that unless I was a danger to somebody. He sighed as if he just couldn't stand  anymore---of something, I don't know what. Nurse Honne looked angry then looked down  like somebody had just willfully stepped on her foot. Then there was silence. One of the therapists broke the silence and  tried to explain that they couldn’t make me take the stuff by withdrawing privileges, "This  is not our style," she added and looked very satisfied.
“Well how come I’m always on restriction then?”I asked.
“Your attitude,” broke in  Nurse Honne. “Disgruntled, that would be the word. Sometimes disruptive too. The medicine can help your attitude, you won’t be so angry then get you’ll get your privileges, that’s just the way it works. Angry people don’t receive privileges,” she added. I’m sitting there still wondering who is really crazy.
“Wouldn’t YOU be angry if you were locked you up, just like that, that’s what happened to me.”
“When you act out, you receive consequences, that’s just something you learn in here,” she said primly like everything was all settled.
I tuned them out; soon they all nodded to me and told me I could leave, that they were making a plan for me.

SPACE IN TIME

Chapter Eight

Part Seven


“No! I don’t want any,” I yelled at him.
“That is  a common response but usually people who are  stuck in their progress here are helped by this, even for a short time,” Dr. Loofah explained with a sigh.
“I won’t take it.”
“Well, you may have to if we can get permission.”
“My parents won’t give it.”
"Well no one will be forcing you... but I believe this will help you... you’ll be glad you did,” he said and the chair squeaked as he swiveled in it to face the window again. The helper, who understood this meant the end of the session looked up from her nails  and put the nail file away then led me out of the office.




Chapter Nine


Ms. Goonson informed me in my next session that I had been made a temporary ward of the state and if the doctor thought medications were needed they would be given. "It's just, just temporarily of course, because your parents are presently… not fully available for you," she assured me.
And so it began. Everyday a helper would march me down to the nursing station in the morning and the nurse, Ms. Honne, would hand me a plastic cup with a green pill in it. At first it was a silent kind of a thing, no questions, no asking, just them knowing I was going to take that pill. But I didn’t, and after a while this became a problem; she started to wheedle, praise, then threaten and make disgusted faces at me. I still didn’t take it.
The therapist said she was disappointed in me, that everyone was disappointed in me, that I would get nowhere and might be in there for years before somebody decided I was better--- or at least until I was eighteen.  
Finally they ushered me down to a ‘team meeting’ where I was asked to sit down and  two doctors, several therapists and  nurse Honne stared at me. The first thing she did was ask me if  I would prefer a shot.

SPACE IN TIME

Chapter Eight
 
Part Six

“I’m sure you do know, Raynelle. Ms. Goonson
has told me all about you.” That was the first time I remembered anybody using my actual name in there, it was usually dear, miss, or hey you. So I looked him in the eyes again.
“She said you had reported seeing visions,” he said in a small voice then cleared his throat with a rumbling sound and added loudly, “hallucinations, we would term it.”
“I don’t see visions and  I don’t have hallucinations. I was dreaming.”
“Oh. Tell me, what did you see then--- in that dream?”
“Nothing.”
“Now, I know it wasn’t nothing. Please, you can feel safe here.” Now that statement was clearly ridiculous. Here I am locked in a building a with a therapist who hates me, a helper I thought I could trust who ratted on me, and they want to stuff some kind of medicine into me and this guy with the big ears tells me I should feel safe? I smile at him, it’s all too absurd to say anything.

“So you’re not talking. You know you must be able to tell people all about what it is bothering you.”
“Nothing,” I volunteer again.
“You have so much anger!”  he breathes at me.  “Very deep I fear and are so reticent to discuss your issues. Then  this vision or hallucination. Or dream as you say now. How many times has this happened?”
“Never! It didn’t happen. It was  a dream!” I shout.
“Oh goodness you are such a smart girl. Have so much to offer. But an upset girl. My Dear. I don’t know what is going on exactly,” he tells me, “because clearly you have such trouble speaking about your many early issues and ongoing family stress. We have discussed you in our meetings. We know you have great potential but are unwilling or unable to make progress. Poor Ms G. feels so frustrated, she’s a very good therapist you know,” he  added sadly, then  squirmed in his seat and was quiet for a minute or two. You could hear the scraping sound of the helper’s nail file against her thumb nail. He sighed  finally and  said, “How would you feel about trying some medication, only a little... to see if it will take the edge off…your anger, make it a little easier to make progress here and of course eliminate the hallucinations if you are having them  or dreams as you refer to them. Sometimes these are symptoms of worse illness to come…if not treated immediately.”

SPACE IN TIME



Chapter Eight

Part Five



He reaches across his desk to shake my hand and mumbles "Dr. Loofah"  then stares into my eyes, that same look---like he’s trying to find something that was lost in there or maybe that he’s looking at a thousand piece puzzle strewn around in front of him wondering how long it would take him to put it back together. I look right back at him, straight into his eyes, which I’ve learned  grown-ups, at least the ones at PM, like. His eyes are moist and murky green like two  pools of  marsh water.  “Have a seat then,” he says to my helper then turns and looks out the window. “What brings you in here today?” he asks me in some kind of accent and turns towards me again.
“I don’t know. SHE did. Ask her,” I tell him, meaning of course my therapist. I assume he’ll know who ‘she’ is.
Meanwhile the helper who brought me there is now sitting in a chair across the room filing her nails, apparently used to his routine.
“You don’t know,” he says almost in a whisper, like he's talking to himself, and  raises his furry eyebrows. They remind me of the black caterpillars I used to catch on the tree trunks at Prospell Park and I stare at them. I notice his ears which are also big and somewhat furry; they move just a little every time he talks, like they‘re  some kind of small fleshy animals clinging to the sides of his head. I begin to wonder if there are any animals which do this and then glance at his fingers which are tapping the table, fast
. I wonder if he's mad at me and why he seems so impatient then wonder why it matters to me and decide it doesn't. I look back at his face.

SPACE IN TIME

Chapter Eight

Part Four



"It wasn’t a vision!” I finally shouted after she had lectured me for a good twenty minutes about dangers of leaving  hallucinations untreated.
“They’ll grow and control you,” she continued without listening, looking worried. “Medication will help this symptom,” she added as if she was talking to herself.
“It was a DREAM!” I shouted.
She looked at me as if seeing me for the first time that day.“That isn’t what you told Taletha. We have very good communication here you know, otherwise how can we help you people?”
“You’re NOT helping people, at least not me,” I yelled. “I just need to get out of here. I’m not crazy. I don’t see visions and I don’t need any medicine.”
“We’ll see Dear,” she says, but I do need to refer you to Doctor L."
“For what!”
But the session is now over and she had  begun straightening up her desk, silently.

So the next thing I know I’m sitting in some huge office with a bearded man staring at me from behind a huge desk, wider than a car. At least the room had a lot of windows---it was more light than I’d seen in a month.

SPACE IN TIME


Chapter Eight

Part Three


“Have a seat dear,” she chimed. I kind of thought she let me overhear the call on purpose, that’s the kind of therapist she was. She was trying to get me to distance myself from my parents, accept that I would need to make my way on my own. "Just let go,” she had already said a few times. That was fine with me. I had decided long before that I’d need to make my own way but I at least had hoped my mother would be around, like in the background of an interesting picture. Well, I finally did just let that go too.
As I sat in front of her, listening enough to nod or smile when she paused, I decided to devote almost all my time to my plans to evacuate the place from then on.
Twice a week I would go in and sit in front of Goon while she droned on about my problems and how I  could overcome them. In reality, I  was using this time to plot the specifics of my escape. I had developed a great  ability to nod pleasantly to her when she thought she was making a point, like a little part of me monitored what she was actually saying in case she asked me a question. I didn’t want to miss it or she’d be onto the fact that I was paying about as much attention to her as my mother gave the background music at Macy’s.


It was a few weeks later that I made my first major mistake at PM. I had gotten friendly with one of the helpers---actually to help me get out of there. I figured I had to create some staff trust towards me, that would be key. So I got chummy enough with Taletha to actually end up telling her a few things about myself and one of them being that dream or vision I had of the thing with the lights outside my window. I wasn’t prepared for her reaction though.  It was clear she was making more of it than it really was. She kind of jumped just a little and raised her eyebrows then tried to wheedle me into talking more about it from that point on--- no more like two friends, she was now keeping a distance, just watching,scrutinizing, just squinting  slightly with those pale eyes like maybe sizing up a piece of fake gold jewelry she had taken for real. Clearly she had learned in her two week orientation that something to do with seeing things or hearing things was a big red flag in the wind that immediately had to be grabbed. The next day she seemed a little afraid, looked at me like seeing a strange insect all of a sudden, that she must identify before it bit her. “There’s no more to tell,” I told her when she asked about it again, “that’s it,” but you could tell she wasn’t convinced.
She tried to be nice but after a while her whole attitude changed. Well, I learned then to keep anything a little strange to myself---but she didn’t keep it to herself.  Before you know it there I am in front of Goon who brings this up out of the blue in my therapy, calling it a vision and demanding how often I have these
.

SPACE IN TIME



Chapter Eight
Part Two

 I thought about my mother as I walked into the room to see the therapist who was still talking, now with a hushed voice. How could all of this happen to Mother? It always seemed like she was smart in her own way and so sure everything would work out. I remembered her again, staring up at the sky outside our narrow apartment window at night, telling me, “Raynelle, you know people don’t realize this... but they’re here already, the beings from space, maybe the Gallations… I don’t know which planets for sure but they are already walking among us  I can tell you that and they’re already helping us, maybe not in ways you would notice yet and they’ll help us more, that’s one thing they have, kindness, not like most earth people. I’ve read all about this.” The thing is, all her talk got me interested and I began to believe most of it myself, and also to believe that things would work out in the long run with or without their help, but secretly I hoped it was true and not just crazy thinking as my father used to say. My mother had strong opinions about him as well. She once confided to me specifically that she felt he was really one of them, that’s why he would get so upset when she talked about them. “He’s a little strange looking too, if you really look at him, those almond shaped eyes, that big head--- but he’s done a lot of good for me at least, that’s why I first thought about it…” my mother added. This was before my father was thrown into the slammer for dealing pot. But  it was becoming clear now all hope was gone about my mother‘s theories, she had to have been
wrong. The therapist slammed down the phone and stood up to meet me.



SPACE IN TIME



Chapter Eight


This situation called for a whole new level of planning and smartness. It had become clear by then that no one was going to magically appear and let me out, like for instance my father or  mother, though I still did have  hopes that she would get her act together and there she’d be at last, to pick me up. No, this would demand a whole new level of intelligence to get out and stay out,  but something I felt I could carry off well. After all, did I ask to be locked up? Bottom line, I hadn’t done anything but get A’s then get C’s and escape after they locked me up. It was like I was punished for getting good grades otherwise maybe they wouldn’t have noticed it. Anyway, it was all my mother’s fault and my father’s, to be honest. And I suppose they would say it wasn’t their fault, it was their parents' fault for their lousy upbringing, and their parents would probably say the same thing, and on and on. So I decided it was going to stop here. I wasn’t going to pass on this chain of misery from my poor parents and the first thing to do was get the heck out of a place where they had unfairly stuck me .
Even though I was trying to formulate escape plans,  like I said, I still had these tiny hopes that mother would get herself together and show up to save me. Well, a few weeks later these little hopes were blasted away. Maybe it was because of my therapist’s complete stupidity, I don’t know. Anyway I was being brought into her office by a helper for my session one morning and I heard her talking down the hall in a pretty loud voice and I knew immediately she was talking about my mother “…out on the streets... that blonde hair… she’s earning money out there now being kept by some man, giving him most of it. What a shame, was brought in by the cops but they couldn’t keep her.” Then she must have heard us coming because she lowered her voice and almost whispered, “But they’ll keep trying. Here she comes now I think.” The helper looked at me, all sympathy, like how could that therapist be so stupid then dropped me off at her office.

SPACE IN TIME

Chapter Seven
Part Six

"And you are very angry. You'll need to get in touch with that anger,” she added.
Well that floored me. Here I am minding my own business a couple of months ago then all because of my mother they lock me up and when I try to get out they tell me I’m angry.
“You’re the one with issues,” I told her. “I just need to get my butt out of this place that’s my only ISSUE. How would you like being locked in here?” I sneered, not so politely.
At that point her face got red and she announced, “You know, if you keep talking that way you’ll need to be on escape precautions, especially given your history of three runaways. You have no insight, zero.” In the middle of this ridiculous pronouncement her stomach set up a terrible grumbling, I mean so loud you couldn’t ignore it. I guess maybe she skipped breakfast and here it was almost eleven o'clock and obviously being one of those adults controlled by three meals a day, her stomach was screaming.
Well needless to say I laughed out loud. Then she got all redder in the face with a tight little smirk on her mouth like she was saying you’re going to suffer for this and then her beeper went off. She gave a tremendous sigh like somebody had just let the air out of an inner tube and answered the page but she kept her eyes right on me.
From that moment on I decided I would get out of there, that was my first aim. It was just a matter of when, and doing it right. I wasn’t going to try some half-baked way like I’d done the last times, then get caught the next day by some overweight cop. This situation called for a whole new level of planning and smartness.

SPACE IN TIME


Chapter Seven
Part Five


By this time I definitely decided I didn’t like her one bit and began to wonder if I could change therapists or if not, what I could actually do with my mind when I was sitting there in front of her desk during my therapy sessions. But she began to yak, just running at the mouth telling me about the issues I have and the first step was to recognize this, how with all the losses I’ve had, anybody would have issues. After that she said that  I just need to work on them, then she says to me like I’m the one who is nuts, “Why, your grades went down, then you ran away from Miss Willoughby's twice--or was it three times? That’s a problem, wouldn’t you agree?”
“No,” I said. “I didn't like Willoughby’s.
"Well I hope you don’t act out again." Seemed like she had some new vocabulary all her own and I was just supposed to know what she was talking about. So I asked her how did I act out, what are you talking about. Meanwhile  I began wondering if she was crazy herself and maybe even  if the P.M.  people just took people off the street and called them therapists.

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