I was committed to the mental hospital (ElmGrove) for 72 hours on a form 1 and because of my inability to cooperate with their protocol was stripped and sedated. They took me into the pick unit pinned me chest down to a thin mattress and pulled down my boxers, the last thing I remember was a male nurse putting a sedative in my buttocks. I instantly passed out. To be completely honest it felt like someone anally raped me when I went under.
As a child I was a major sleepwalker, I would even have full conversations with people as I wandered. My grandfather even compared our sheltie Buddy to me; “He’s a wanderer, like Ryan.” A car hit buddy one night when I was at work. He was one of the only dogs we taught how to howl. I really miss that dog.
When I opened my eyes all I could think was thank god I’m still alive. There was a plate of food on the floor next to me. Potatoes and some thin slice of meat. While I was in the pic unit they had placed a bucket in the corner of the room for me to urinate in. During the night I got up and walked over to it and urinated out pieces of my heart. I know this because when I looked into the bucket there was lard like chunks floating in the urine. The room couldn’t have been more then 10×12’ and the window was caged. They kept me in there for the entire 72 hours. I didn’t eat.
The only way I could keep track of time was the fact that 3 nurses changed shifts throughout the duration of my stay in that room. I took my clothing off and did some push-ups; to be honest I was an angry young man. Instead of ever voicing my anger I bottled it up, and it drove me to the breaking point.
Eventually they kept sending in one after the other of psychiatrists; the first two who I refused to speak with. I eventually began talking with a Doctor who asked me if I would like to come out into the rest of the unit. I was still very cachous of anyone, I hadn’t seen my family in 3 days. He was a kind doctor but he suggested that I be put onto a form 2, which instates another 2 weeks at ElmGrove.
The nights in that place were terrifying, and there were no cameras. Every few hours’ nurses would come by with trollies filled with medications and hand you pills. I was reluctant to take any; I said “no thanks.” The woman I shared the unit with would walk around without pants on and at night she would scream; “They are raping me!” It made it extremely difficult to sleep.
By the fifth night there I was without sleep and hadn’t eaten. The food there was not very good. It made me sick to my stomach and my testicles and scrotum smell. I truly believe there was something in the food there. They had a television in the top right hand corner of the room but they wouldn’t allow me to watch anything so I did sit ups to pass the time.
I sat on the couch and refused to sleep in my room, a male nurse kept bringing me pills asking me to take one and eventually I gave up and said; “sure.” I felt like it was my only way to leave. I took the pill and drank some water and went to my bed to lye down. As soon as my head hit the pillow I heard voices screaming, explosions, dogs barking, sirens and chaos. I also heard people praying and asking for help from god. It got to the point were I couldn’t hear anything except voices, I yelled at the top of my lungs “GOD!” Everything went silent. I didn’t hear anything anymore; the male nurse came back into the room and asked me if everything was all right? I said “yes.” I fell asleep.
When I woke up I felt a lot better and I asked if I could have a shower, they said I wasn’t allowed to go out on the main unit yet. I remember a man my age who I went to high school with he kept knocking at the door asking me when I was going to get released out of the pic unit. It was nice to finally see a familiar face. My toxicity report had come back that day and there were no narcotics in my system. My family came and visited me, and I felt much better. I was finally starting to see the bright side of things, mainly the fact that I was still here.
That night I lied down in my room and was about to drift to sleep when I heard a voice yell; “You want to know what it feels like to be all alone!” The lights turned off and I could hear the television static from my room. I slowly got up and walked to the nurse’s station but it was empty. I looked at the T.V. and it had no signal. The building was completely empty and I was locked in. It was truly the most terrifying feeling I have ever felt. To be all-alone. I ended up putting my face into my hands and I apologized to god for my sin. I almost squandered the greatest gift I was ever given: my life. I felt a hand on my shoulder and it was one of the nurses, she asked; “Ryan is everything all right?” It was day now, I felt a rush of relief over my body and I didn’t tell anyone about my experience, the doctors wouldn’t have understood.
To be continued…
Ryan John Patterson