I stumbled onto this series during a time when my parents and I had to live out of a hotel to get our bathroom renovated. It was me and my kid in one room and my parents in the other. It was SUCH a nice vacation from their old couple bickering, seriously, you can’t even imagine. It was just me and Lexi roughhousing for exercise, going to walks to the nearby Wawa, doing her homework, reading, and watching TV, movies and Youtube. One of the TV shows that caught my eye was “60 Days In”.
I have never been to prison. I have, however, been to plenty of psyche wards during the years after I was knighted as a schizo, and let me tell you, there were plenty of times when I had to deal with people who are a hell of a lot more problematic than a lot of inmates I have seen on this show.
I know the hospital is not the same as a prison, but if a hospital is run poorly (as it was during many of my stays, to the point were I could lead a group meeting and have done a better job) it can feel a hell of a lot closer to a prison sentence, at least when it came to how they handled mental illnesses. The only redeeming qualities at times were that the food was better than prison food, you got free diet sodas at meals, and I got the chance to regroup and piece myself back together after having an instance of hearing voices. I have to be in the hospital to get the hallucinations to stop because if they are not stopped in their tracks, they lead to brain damage. Every single time I hear voices I have gone to the hospital. My parents, family members, friends, and my daughter’s school teachers helped looking after my daughter while I was away. They will continue to do so. She will never have to worry about my illness ruining her life because that is not an option for her, and it never will be.
There is no rule book when it comes to raising kids, but aside from the people who get off on judging me, no one thinks I am a bad parent. Everyone helped me get away from the abuse I was being forced to deal with from her biological father and made sure that I got the help and continue to get the help I need to maintain custody of my kid. I might not be perfect, but nobody spends as much time and effort as I do for my daughter. Now that I have been free of hallucinations for the past almost five years straight, I do everything in my power to keep my piece of mind.
A lot of things go on behind the scenes that you don’t see. I don’t use every person in my life as content fodder. I don’t care how boring some people might think I am. I have the right to get things off of my chest without jeopardizing the privacy and/or safety of others just because I don’t like them or that they are doing something to really piss me off.
I don’t dox others as a means of retaliation. That is what desperate, weak, and feeble-minded people do.
Having said that, because of the way I was treated in the hospital, there were definitely times where it came close to feeling like an actual prison. Having to witness the staff break HIPPA privacy practices left and right like they were doing something as trivial as blowing their nose. The constant gossiping while patients who are within ear shot but still functioning fine on the inside about the “regulars” that come in there all of the time. The time I was changing my clothes and a male staff member decided to take it upon himself to do room checks in the women’s ward of the hospital without even knocking on the door, and then sounding pleased to have seen me standing there taking off my shirt. Thankfully I was wearing a bra at the time. The time when the same staff member told me I should quit smoking because he didn’t want to see me ruin my looks. The time when a male staff member walked right into the bathroom that he clearly saw me in while I was trying to clean myself up and had no bra on. The time male staff members came up to me and tried the “I bet you have a really pretty smile” routine. The time a male patient took me to the side and asked if I was “shaved”. The times when male staff members were talking amongst themselves about their sex life right in front of me and being forced to hear one of them say clear as day: “You know me, I’ll fuck anything.” The time some male patient grabbed my ass while we were trying to do the trust fall game during group. The time some other male patient walked right in on me while I was in the shower completely naked and put his hand on my shoulder while my back was to him.
(And people really still wonder why I don’t care about the fact that I gained so much weight?)
Yeah, at those times, I might as well have been “60 Days In”.