I was suicidal and mentally unstable when I was sixteen. I never wanted to hurt anyone, but I have always had a sense of hopelessness and emptiness. I made several suicide attempts over the years and no one ever knew about. I did have friends at the time, but they were all in higher level classes. Whenever I tried to get together with them, they would always tell me that they were busy. The people I was stuck with in my classes ignored me, so I was a fairly quiet student.
One night when I came home after jogging around the neighborhood, I saw a police car parked on my driveway. I did not commit any crime or caused trouble, at least not that I could recall. Did someone break into our house? Was there a murder? I cautiously entered the house. “Is everything alright?” I asked. I saw two police officers sitting at the kitchen table with my parents. One of them was young woman, and the other was man who looked like he was in his forties.
“Young man, you’re not in any trouble. We just need to talk with you for a little bit,” said the male officer. I grabbed a glass of water and sat down with them. Both of the officers greeted me. “I am Officer Jessi,” said the female officer. “And I’m Officer Max,” said the male officer. “You see, someone at your school went on to a police app and anonymously reported that you threatened to gas and shoot up the school,” said Officer Jessi. I was in complete shock of what she said. “I… never said anything like that, but if I did I am sorry. I hardly even talked to people as it is,” I said. Officer Max started to get angry. “This was reported from the school to the state police! This is very serious!” he said.
I kept telling them that I never said anything, but every time I did, the two cops got more and more aggressive to the point that they started threatening me. I began to tear up and eventually mentioned how I was suicidal. They then calmed down and told my parents to take me to the emergency room. Shortly after they left, I found myself in a hospital bed in the mental health department of the hospital.
Hours have passed, and I was waiting for a doctor to speak to me. I was very stressed; it was in the middle of the school week and I had a test the next day. After a while a fell asleep, and later I was woken up by a nurse at 2 in the morning. There was an iPad sitting a cart with a doctor on the screen. She asked a couple of vague questions about my mental health. I then explained to her that I was suicidal, and how I would like to go local counseling sessions. The doctor ignored my requests, and said that I needed to be mentally evaluated. I declined, saying how my depression isn’t severe and therapy would do just fine. Unfortunately, I was still forced to sign papers to go to a psychiatric facility for mental evaluation.
After the nurse took the cart away and closed the door, I slowly fell back to sleep. When I woke up it was 7 AM, and I was transferred and locked into a private waiting area. There was a refrigerator, a hallway with several bedrooms, a bathroom with a shower, and a lounge area with a TV with only a few channels. There were also security cameras everywhere. Patients would be kept in places like this while waiting for an ambulance to transfer them to another hospital.
I was in this place for eight hours, and there was a three hours delay with the ambulance. I was overwhelmed with anxiety, and I felt as if my sanity was slipping. I had nothing to do except lay in bed, and watch boring TV shows with long commercial breaks. I banged on the doors, cried, and at one point, even tried to hang myself. Seeing how stressed out I was, the nurses called my parents and allowed them to come visit. They gave me books to read, showed me silly YouTube videos on their phones, and brought board games to play. This calmed me down a little bit, and while my parents visited, a nurse walked in and told me about the place I was going to be sent to. The place was called, Sunnyside Hill. She said to me that it will be a place where I could discuss my problems with other young adults, play games, and spend time outdoors. It sounded very promising, and I even felt a little excited about it. Eventually after my parents left, the ambulance came, and a crew strapped me to a bed on wheels to the ambulance. However, when I arrived at the mental hospital, instead a sign saying Sunnyside Hill, it said Foundations.
I was taken to a dark hallway, and I heard animalistic screaming echoing through the halls. It was late at night, and I was too tired to ask any questions. The place was very filthy and run down; the walls had stains, many parts of the area I was kept in had a foul stench, dirty carpets, and the bathrooms were claustrophobic and rusty. The bathrooms didn’t even have proper toilet paper, but instead tiny paper wipes. I also noticed that there wasn’t even any clock to be seen in the entire facility. As I went to bed, the screaming slowly stopped. Who ever was making those noises must have finally fell asleep. All doors in the bedrooms had to be kept at least slightly open. Every five minutes, guards walked in shining lights in people’s eyes. So I tied a cloth around my eyes and was able to fall asleep.
The next morning, I was able to take a better look at the people I was with, and it was like something out of a horror movie. There was an old man who was bald, and chunks of his skin were ripped out all over his body. He had where a metal mouth restraint so he won’t bite himself or anybody. “What brings you here?” he asked. “I was falsely accused for making threats and I have depression. What about you?” I said to him. The man tilted his head at me. “I… keep ripping out chunks of my skin with my teeth and eat it. I am not suicidal or anything. I just find my flesh to be tasty… very tasty,” he said. The man grumbled in frustration. “It’s… been 4 months… since I last tasted my own flesh and blood. If only I… could have just… one… more… bite. Even a little bite… would do.”
There was a middle-aged woman who was always in a fetal position softly weeping. When I tried to approach her and talk, she suddenly shrieked at me and even tried claw my face. Luckily a pair of guards were able to restrain her and take her away before I could get hurt. Then there was a little boy who looked like he was seven. He was very low functioning; all he could do was ramble gibberish, and make animalistic screams. I felt horrible for the kid. He was also very unpredictable; he may be sitting quietly drawing something, and then suddenly shriek and throw himself into the wall violently, repeatedly banging his head against it and punching himself. I couldn’t imagine what his parents had to deal with. I really wish I could help him in some way, but couldn’t. He was shortly sent to another group of people who were lower functioning.
Another person I saw, was a young man who was my age. He had tally marks carved all over his body. “The names Victor,” he said. “I don’t get very good grades in school, but I do everything I can; go tutoring, look stuff up online, trying new study methods etc. But I just can’t do well in school. Frustrated with myself, every time I fail a test or quiz, I would cut myself to remind every one of how much of a failure I am.” I then noticed a beautiful young woman with blue eyes and black hair sitting by a window. “Who’s that?” I asked. “What? Her? That’s Sophie Lang,” said Victor. “She came here yesterday. According to the staff, she recently witnessed her best friend not only get run over by a car, but saw her head get crushed by the wheels. She hasn’t spoken a word since, and the staff have to force feed her.” Sophie noticed me and smiled at me. “Hey! That’s the first time anyone has ever seen her smile here!” said Victor.
I approached Sophie and tried talking to her. “I heard what happened to you. I am sorry for your loss. I went through some terrible things to,” I said. I explained to Sophie of everything that happened to me since I came home from jogging and she began to cry. Sophie began hugging me, and although she didn’t speak, she wrote down something on a piece of paper, and it said, “I am terrified of this place and the people around me. A lot of the people around us are crazy, but you don’t seem that way. I got to your school and I am a grade below yours. I sometimes see you in the hallways. I apologize if I did anything wrong to you, can we be friends?” I got confused, asked her what she did to me, but she didn’t give a response.
There were many other patients I met, and they made me very uncomfortable. Sophie was always by my side. Many patients were mistreated, and I caught a glimpse of the child I saw earlier tied up and getting beaten mercilessly by several staff members. One patient who was a slow eater, got yelled at, and got punched in the face by a staff member when lunch time was over. Another patient zoned out while a staff member was talking to her, and he grabbed her face and shouted at her. The entire facility was sheer chaos, but Sophie and I were always together comforting one another. We were both afraid and overly stressed, but neither of us were alone.
The next morning, I was called by the doctor of the facility to have a talk. When I told him by name, he got very surprised. “My goodness! Your name isn’t on the list of patients!” said the doctor. “It appears that you were sent here accidentally. I apologize for everything. I will inform your parents and the hospital that sent you here. You will be sent home today,” I was so relieved after all that I have gone through. After speaking with the doctor, I instantly told Sophie about it, and for the first time, I heard her speak. “I’m so happy for you! Good luck back out there!” She said. “You… you just spoke!” I said. She began to cry with happiness and started hugging me. When my dad came to pick me up, I said goodbye to her and left the facility.
As I walked to the car, I looked back and saw Sophie waving goodbye from a window. Shortly after I got back home, I started going back to school and slowly made up all the work I missed. I went for counseling and got an antidepressant. About a week later, I was called to the office for a conference meeting. The principal revealed to me who falsely accused me, and her name, was Sophie Lang.