Tall, Short and Spooky surround my chair gurney. They lower me carefully from the white paddy wagon style hospital vehicle. I am surrounded by the night sky and an eerie dim light coming from inside two glass doors. It’s cold and the fog of my three escorts and my breath radiate in the dim light. I have known fear before but this experience out weighs anything prior. We enter a small dimly lit lobby and Tall introduces me to the receptionist and hands her some papers. Instantly I am hovered by three men in hospital gowns, standing over me, they lean forward invading my space and making me feel even more vulnerable. I look at Tall, Short and Spooky, I look at the receptionist and I demand they get me out of here and take me back to the hospital. I am stared at by all four like a bug that needs to be smashed. I realize instantly no one I know has a clue where I am, I don’t know where I am….I am completely at the mercy of this woman my three kidnappers.
As the three strange men that kidnapped me from the relative safety the hospital disappear out the door we arrived in, I confront the receptionist. I am now in tears and terrified. In a soft voice I tell her there has been a mistake and I do not belong here. I beg her through tear stained eyes and a cracking shaky voice to please call the hospital….please call my family….do something. This is wrong, someone has made a mistake. She meets my tears and begging with indifference and sarcasm and welcomes me to their facility.
I spend 20 minutes answering questions she insures me are normal procedure and tells me I will be able to talk to a Doctor as soon as possible. This reassures me a little and I do my best to answer what she is asking. She takes my jewelry, my possessions, my clothes….I sit in the dimly lit cold room in a hospital gown, stripped of more then just my clothes. My dignity and all hope is gone. Just then…. by a miracle of God another receptionist brings me the phone and tells me I have a call. Tears flood my eyes and I become emotional again.
“Hello” I say into the receiver. As tears stream down my face in salty rivers.
“Mom? Hello Beautiful. Stop crying and listen to me….Have you signed anything?” My oldest daughter Keisha asks me.
“Yes, I did.” I answer. ” I signed paper work given to me at the hospital, and they are making me sign paper work now. The woman here said she can’t let me go. I need you to call my mom, Keisha. Call her and tell her to get me out of here. I am scared.” I say to her through my tears.
“I will mom. Stop crying now. Everything is going to be ok. I love you, try to stop crying. Let me talk to the woman there with you.” Keisha says.
I hear the woman tell my daughter that I did sign paper work. That I volunteered to be put in here and I wont be released until Wednesday. She tells my daughter in a” I don’t have time for this” voice that there are no doctors or social workers available on weekends and no there is no administration personnel until 9 am Monday. Then the phone is hung up.
At least someone knows where I am. Thank God for that. I refuse to sign any more papers, and she escorts me back through a dark corridor and into a long room with wood slat beds close to the ground. Each bed had a thin rubber mat, a small rubber pillow, no sheets, no blankets. 15 beds, 14 other women, and now me. I live a quiet life, and I value small things like light and Privacy. There was only dim light, no place to sit. No where to be alone…no window big enough to look through. I asked the nurses for a glass of water, and if they would let me have one my pills for anxiety. She laughed in my face and walked away. With complete despair pounding on my heart, my mind, my very soul, I turn back to my cot and read the bible in the near darkness. Noise bounces off every wall, laughter, crying, yelling, nurses talking on private calls, and conversing between themselves in loud conversations…..
I am utterly alone, in a terrifying place that I cannot escape from, Surrounded by men and women both patients and employees. No one will talk to me, I try to ask questions and the employees look at me like a bug. Annoyed by my even being there. Annoyed that I would even try to talk them. I have so many questions. So many questions I need answered… the most important of which…When can I go home?
I do not sleep this night.