A little over a week before my 18th birthday, mom and I had gotten into it again and I was so sick of the way my life was going. I was over always being on restriction and not being able to do what I wanted to do. Of course, being on restriction was 100% my fault, but back then I blamed my mom.
I wanted her to give in and give my stuff back to me so I tried to pull a guilt trip. I had already refused to go to school that day but she said I couldn’t stay home alone so I went to my grandma’s house. I was texting her saying I hated my life and I was sick of living this way and that I would just rather not be alive at all. Well…considering my dad had just committed suicide the November before (my birthday is in May) that didn’t fly with my mom.
Next thing I know there’s a knock on the door and it’s an ambulance. Mom had called 911 saying I was wanting to kill myself. They asked me a few questions and then decided to take me to the hospital. They took me to Lexington first to evaluate me. They came to the conclusion to admit me at Baptist and mom had a judge comitt me so that I couldn’t check myself out when I turned eighteen nor could she check me out. So, to be transported from Lexington hospital to Baptist, I had to be put in handcuffs and ride in the back of a cop car.
Once I got to Baptist, they took me to a room and asked me a few questions then got me all checked in. They gave mom a list of things I could and couldn’t have so she could send me appropriate clothes and shoes. Then she left. And there I was in this strange place. On the bright side, because I had identified as being gay, I got a room to myself and didn’t have to share with another patient.
The rooms had just two single beds in them, a night stand for each bed, and then two desks. There was a camera in the room and a call button. There was also a bathroom in each room that remained locked at all times. You had to have permission to get into the bathroom. It was also where we changed since there were cameras in the rooms.
Outside of our rooms there was the commons area where we could sit around and watch tv, play games and other activities they may have planned. We had arts and crafts day, music day and meditation day. Also, Monday through Friday we had school for a couple of hours. School consisted of work teachers sent from school so you wouldn’t get behind by being there. When we weren’t in our rooms we also had to have closed toed shoes on and no revealing clothing.
There was a schedule for everything. Everyday we’d get woken up at the crack of dawn for breakfast. If we didn’t get up, we didn’t get breakfast and wouldn’t get anything to eat until lunch. After breakfast we usually had school then a group activity such as music or crafts. Thrown in there somewhere throughout the day was free time and then there were also designated “quiet times” where we were sent to our rooms. We had snack time as well as three meals a day. Then we also had counseling time where we met with our counselor to check on our progress.
The first couple of nights were rough. We did get phone privileges but only a set amount of monitored time and we couldn’t place calls, we had to be called. Hearing mom’s voice made me so home sick the first few times she called that all I could manage to do was cry. But once things kind of became routine, it got a little bit easier.
The saddest part of the whole situation is the people that said they were my friends didn’t even try to see where I was or make sure I was okay. The last thing I had told them was basically the same thing I told mom-“I’m sick of living this way.” For all they knew I was dead somewhere but not once did they text or call-nothing. And as mad as I was at mom at the time, it was the only option she had left. She had literally tried EVERYTHING in the months leading up to this and I honestly believe it was either being admitted to the hospital, jail or dead. That was the path my life was going down at the time.
Looking back now, in that season of my life, that was the best thing my mom ever did for me. When I got out, I eventually went back to those old friends and it took a while for me to completely rid my life of those toxic people, but during my time at the hospital I was able to step back and really evaluate my life-where I was, where I had been and where I was going. A tiny seed was planted from that experience and even though it didn’t immediately grow, it was there.
Dear Lord, I am so thankful there is a time and a season for everything. I am so thankful You were ever present in my mom and she had the faith she did (and still does). Without You, there is no telling how my mom would’ve ever been able to handle me and all of my rebellion. I am also thankful for that experience in my life despite how much I hated it at the time. I am amazed at how pieces of the puzzle fit together looking back over my life when at the time all I could see was the one piece-And I still don’t have the whole picture yet. I pray that You continue to write my story with Your glory and that I follow obediently. I also pray for the strength and courage to be half the mom my mom was. In Your name I pray, Amen!