Trauma from a Psych Hospital

Have you ever experienced something in your life that scarred you?

Did it cause you trauma for the rest of your life? After you experienced it,  did you hallucinate about it? It’s always there even if it’s not. Nobody else can see it but you. You dream about it every now and then. Maybe more often than that depending on how bad it is.

Have you seen the Movie IT based on the book by Stephen King? That book and movie can conjure up a fear of clowns. They think, “When is a clown going to show up and kill me?” “Ahhhhhh! I’m so scared, please help me.” This thing that happened to me felt like that.

It all started after I came home from a trip to California. Every west coast visit I take, something bad happens in my life right after.

I call it “The West Coast Curse”.

The curse started after I got home from my very first visit to that great state where the stars live. I was in a relationship at the time. I wasn’t happy. I was miserable and I needed to end it. Don’t ask me why I’m not sure. People questioned it but I don’t care. It’s my life, I need to be happy. I’m not going to marry a woman just so I’m not alone. I always wanted a girlfriend. It had to be a girl like I’m going to describe. For some reason, a girl who fits this description was the only kind of girl I wanted at that time.

A girl I knew fit it and she flew off to another state. I never saw her again. Long, black hair, sexy clothing, covering their face with all the makeup they can put on, and it had to be red lipstick. No red lipstick? I don’t want you. Sorry, you’re not the girl for me. Why? I don’t know.

Sounds strange and I don’t get it either. I had nothing to offer to get a woman like this. But it’s the only girl I wanted. What do I do when I want something? Be a risk taker. I risked myself to be something I’m not just so I could make out with a girl with red lipstick on. It was a dream.

It’s going to cost money I don’t have just to do it. I want it so bad. But the problem is, their personalities don’t match mine. That hurts and that’s why I won’t have it. Christmas 2016 came. Sad and depressed. Didn’t even care it was Christmas. I just wanted a girlfriend and lots of money.

Is that so wrong?

No but did I handle it right? Absolutely not.

I handled my siblings being in relationships wrong. I didn’t take my medicine. “No Louis, you just can’t do that.” All of this put me in an ambulance on my way to a hospital. My second psych hospital visit in my life but this time it was like a prison. I couldn’t have my cell phone. How am I going to let my friends know I’m ok? I need my Facebook, YouTube videos and music to cope at night.  What am I going to do?

Am I ever going to get better? Some people didn’t think I would. I couldn’t stop crying for two days even though I was laughing inappropriately on the way. The people there, none of their lives are as good as mine. They don’t have a car. They don’t have a good family. They use language I don’t. I could go on and on. Basically, what I’m saying is, they’re not my people. One patient even told me this.

This Unit is nothing compared to the upstairs unit. Just imagine if I was put in that other unit. What if those people sexually abused me, got violent with me, and I felt unsafe? I would have been there more than the scariest 9 nights of my life because I would have thought about not leaving that place alive.  Would staff have wanted to help me there?  Would the doctor have helped me get out of there? They didn’t care if I got better. If they cared about that, I would have stayed there a lot less days. My mom even said 9 nights wasn’t necessary.

On the night before my discharge date, I was better. During a group session, another patient got mad and screamed when I talked a lot. I would have defended myself but then I would have stayed longer to continue to fight him. I won’t see that nasty patient again anyway so I just ignored it. I needed to go home. I thought I would never go home.

No place like home, so please take your medicine so you can stay home. Any place you think is bad that’s good, this place is 100x worse. Good food? I’d rather gain 10 pounds in a week at McDonald’s than eat the hospital food. Why does it still traumatize me? I have nightmares about it every now and then. One night, I had a dream that a hospital was chasing me when I was well. My mom and I had to escape an emergency room. If we didn’t escape, I would have went back to that hospital for another 9 nights. I need to take my medicine. I need to be happy and healthy. I will say something I said while shedding tears at the hospital, I’ll do anything just to be home and not there. I love my family, my life is good, and not having a girlfriend shouldn’t require psych treatment at a hospital. All of you, please do the same. Stay away from the psych hospitals if you can. They are places to get better but it’s like prison. Amen

Louis Scarantino

Louis Scarantino is a man on the autism spectrum. He advocates for autism awareness. He grew up in Northeastern PA. He started writing and speaking after meeting his favorite singer Shania Twain! He's also published articles for The Mighty, Thought Catalog, YourTango, and Unwritten! He has his own website! He hopes to become an international Autism Advocate and get a film made about his life!

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