I had another mental hospital dream last night. Been awhile since I’ve had one of those. I guess it makes sense, though–it’s right around a year since I went to Menninger. I hate that these places I went to for help fucked me up so badly. I mean, really, is that what I deserved? Sometimes it feels like it must have been because it happened over and over again. They said they were helping me.
In the dream, I’d done something that landed me in a state hospital. Instead of putting me in one here, though, they sent me to Bryce, the big state hospital in Alabama. (I got threatened with it a lot in college because it was right near the Bama campus.) I was terrified of going there; I’ve only ever heard terrible things about that place. I know how terrible the state hospital in Iowa was, and they devote much more funding to it than Alabama does. I was also terrified my mother would find out I was there, and being around her and her fake love would make me truly insane.
When I got to Bryce, my friend Natalia from Riggs was there, and I was so relieved. It made me feel safer, even if only a little bit. It made it feel survivable–someone I knew and could talk to. (Honestly, one of the worst part about mental hospitals is there’s often no one coherent enough to talk to, and then you’re completely isolated.) Natalia and I talked for hours. Of course we couldn’t do it privately; mental patients aren’t allowed privacy, so everyone on the unit heard. Later, a guy pulled me aside and told me Natalia was manipulating me. I didn’t want to believe him, but he made such a coherent, compelling, logical argument that I had to. I thought my chest would explode it hurt so bad. I was entirely alone.
God, I’m sitting here crying over the dream. It doesn’t sound so bad, written out. There was no rape–most of my hospital nightmares include that because it’s what happened in Iowa. No, this dream was just complete and total aloneness.
I really hope this doesn’t mean the Trazodone nightmares are starting. I’m actually sleeping, so I need there not to be nightmares.
It reminds me, though, just how much trauma stuff there still is to deal with. I’ve dealt with most of the father stuff, and in comparison the rest of my trauma seems like it’s not real trauma. Oh, so your mother was mean to you? Cry more, baby. You didn’t like being in mental hospitals? Cool story, bro.
Actually what I’m afraid of is that other people, mental health people, won’t take it seriously. I mean, I dealt with my father screwing me, threatening my life, taking pornographic pictures of me, and offering me to his buddies for 16 years. I can do okay with that, but not verbal/emotional abuse by my mother and short-term sexual abuse in a hospital? I’m afraid I’ll be told it’s nothing if I tell people how much this affects me. Also, particularly with the psych hospital stuff, I’m afraid any mental health person I deal with will think I’m attacking them and get defensive instead of listening.
I can’t stop crying. Why can I not stop crying?
Look, Sara, no one has the chance to hear you and help you if you don’t let them. You know this. You’re dealing with people now who very consciously oppose the mainstream mental health attitudes and treatments. They haven’t disbelieved you or refused to listen yet. You have to give them a fucking chance if you actually want help. Either try it or quit whining.