So I extricated myself from the behavioral center - a cute way of saying "mental health institution" or "funny farm", although there was nothing funny about this place - with a tremendous sense of relief, and fright, and shame. Here I am with my bachelor's degree in psychology (okay, a very old degree, circa 1974), and 24 years experience as a social work attorney focusing on the mental health problems of thousands of parents and children, and I end up taking an unexpected vacation in the worst of all venues. I could have been in Panama City Beach or Brooklyn, but instead I ended up in a truly horrible place, where the staff was almost uniformly unprofessional and acting in violation of HIPAA, where they obsessed about my eating but limited the quantity and time for me to eat (I lost weight there - my PCP is gonna be pissed), and the ward was comprised of folks who were, with one exception, in a lot worse shape than me. My one point of pride, if you could call it that, was that I was self-admitted, while my ward-mates were almost uniformly Baker Acted. This was a place that was almost as horrible as that dark place in my mind, the one that researches suicide online. That's the lawyer in me, doing research on pills and ropes and trains. No guns; my hands are not strong enough to shoot most guns.
However awful the experience, I lived. and under the circumstances, I am willing to give my thanks to the psychiatric hospital and staff. They must have done something right.
Yesterday I spoke with the Very Nice Lady in Human Resources about my upcoming "separation" from the State. That's what they call it, rather than termination or "we're firing your ass." She answered my questions, and after that I was better informed. My husband has been a rock in helping me through this horror show. My doctors have been gracious and truthful with me.
I have to let go of my demons. And there are so many of them. You don't get to the age of 62, almost 63, without some really hurtful baggage, filled with anguish, anger, pain, guilt, and worst of all, regrets. So many regrets.
I will have to say goodbye to my Pop and my Grandma, to Bethe and her beloved Maurice; and to all the furry babies who brought so much joy, especially both Ira cats, and Minerva, and Tuffy and Athene, Pixel, Polly, and Emeril. I need to stop crying all the time. It won't bring them back, and I know God is watching out for them.
So here I am at yet another doctor's office, for an appointment that was set 6 weeks ago. My daily routine used to involve going to court, attending staffings, drafting petitions - now it's all about going to this doctor or that therapist or another laboratory. I cannot eat at all today. Nothing tastes right to me, not even simple stuff like bread and butter. I've been noticing that the temperature of food affects my ability and willingness to swallow the offending item. I tried a small amount of dairy-based food recently: epic fail. Serious digestive discomfort, definitely not worth the effort or the calories.
Today is not a bad day by any means. Our spiffy new couches were delivered. Recliners, electronically operated. We (Rob and Cory) moved the piano to a less-crowded spot. We are meeting some very old friends (not their age, but the length of time we know them) for dinner. So it's a good day, and I am thankful for that.
Oh crap, I just saw that the US reached a nuclear arms agreement with Iran. It's raining, I'm stuck in the car, and lunch is stuck in my esophagus. The day just tanked a bit.