December 11, 2011
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How do you ask for help? How do you ask somebody to save your life when you donít want your life to be saved? How do you tell your own family, ìI want to kill my selfî? Howíd I do it? With a nervous smirk, and a stomach filled with butterflies, I told my grandma I took over 30 Aspirin.

When my mom had called me on that Monday night, we had a good mother-daughter talk. Then, I broke down and started crying. When my mom asked me what was wrong, I told her I did something bad, but I didnít want to tell her what I did. She told me I could tell her anything, so I did. ìMom, I took three-quarters of a bottle of Aspirin.î She asked me why, and I told her that I was trying to kill myself. She told me I needed to tell my grandmother, or she was going to. I told her Iíd call her back.

ìGrandma, can you turn the TV off? I need to tell you something.î I told my grandma.

ìWhatís going on?î She asked, as she paused Dancing With The Stars, her favorite television show.

ìI talked to my mom, and she told me either I tell you or she is going to tell youÖî

ìOkay, what do you need to tell me?î She asked, confused.

ìI took a lot of Aspirin.î I told her.

ìYou did what?î She said, shocked, ìAre you sick? Do you have a headache?î

ìYeah.î I said with a nervous smirk, and the feeling I was going to vomit all over the pink carpet. ìI am sick.î

Thatís when the phone rang. It was my mom. She wanted to make sure that I told my grandma and not just go to bed. She told my grandma that I needed to go to the hospital, or that we needed to call Poison Control. So we called Poison Control, and they said that the amount of Aspirin (3/4 of a bottle) could be lethal. The lady on the other end of the phone told my grandma to take me to the Emergency Room, and she would call the hospital so they would know we were on our way.

Before we left for the hospital, my grandma asked me why I did what I did. ìI wanted to die.î I told her. I couldnít lie about how I was feeling anymore. Enough was enough. She asked me what had leaded up to me trying to kill myself.

ìWell,î I told her. ìI hate myself. When I read ës**tí in our driveway, yesterday, I cried. Even though they spray painted the whole neighborhood and Iím sure it wasnít intentionally directed towards me, it still hurt. I broke down in English class, and then I got called to Student Resources. When you called last week and asked them about me skipping they gave me three periods of ISS (In School Suspension), and I broke down in coach Schwartzís office. Then when I got to ISS, the teacher was such an a** hole, I wanted to slap him across the face.î

This all happened in the past two days.
A few days prior to that, my aunt and grandmother caught me smoking cigarettes and

marijuana. I got grounded, and I felt so bad about myself, and everything I had done. This was before they knew about sneaking out to go to parties and basically losing touch with reality.

ìDo you know how many Aspirin you took?î The nurse asked, nicely.

ìUh, I think twenty-five or thirty.î I said, just feeling so stupid.

ìDid you take it in order to harm yourself?î He asked.

ìYes,î I said. I just felt so stupid. Iím 16 and overdosing on Aspirin.

ìYou do realize that the amount of Aspirin you took can be lethal? Before it kills you, itís going to shut down your liver, kidneys, heart, and other organs before it kills you. Itís going to be a slow and painful death if you donít go to the hospital.î He informed me.

ìOh, I didnít realize it was so dangerous.î I said, dumbfounded.

When he walked me back to the room Iíd spend a mere three hours in, I was put in a hospital gown. Then, they put what felt like a hundred stickers on me. I had EKG stickers on my chest, stomach and legs. I was hooked up to a heart monitor, another three stickers. I had my blood pressure taken every two hours. I had an IV in my arm, where they drew blood and had anti-nausea medicine, and fluids running through. They took blood from a special vein or artery in my wrist, to check the amount of Oxygen in my blood, which bruised up and hurt for a few days afterward. I had a chest X-Ray. Then I saw the doctor.

ìWhy did you take the Aspirin?î He asked me.

ìI wanted to kill myself.î I told him.

ìHow much Aspirin would you say you took?î

ìUh, maybe twenty-five or thirty. Iím not sure. I just sort of just took them until I couldnít take them anymore.î

ìAlright. Well, Ashley, Iím going to have to Baker-Act you since you intended to harm yourself. Youíll be held for up to seventy-two hours for psychiatric evaluation.î

ìYeah, I know how it works. Iíve done this with my mom before. I know.î

ìOkay, well as soon as we get your Aspirin levels stable weíll transfer you over to Halifax Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, where youíll stay until you are well again.î

ìAlright, do you know how long that would be?î

ìWell, you reached your three-hour peak. Aspirin usually increases at the six-hour time. When six hours comes, weíll have you pee in a cup for us, and weíll check to see if your levels have stabled or increased.î

The nurse gave me a remote for the TV and I entertained myself with Family Guy and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. My grandma had called my aunt, who came to the hospital with my cousin, Ryan.

I felt like the stupidest person in that hospital. While everyone else was freaking out, and panicking to save my life, I was wondering why they were. I wanted to know why they

wanted to save my life. Why? Why did they care if I was dead? Who would care? Why would they care? Iíve only been a burden on society; Iíve only done the wrong thing my entire life. I was never good enough for anybody, so why did it matter if I was dead? I was never good enough for my dad or brother, so why would the rest of our family give two shits if I were dead. Itís not like I had a whole lot to live for, anyways. I had horrible grades, I was smoking pot, partying, having sex, and living for me. I didnít care about them, so why did they care about me? I didnít care about me, so why did they?

After my levels were checked at the six-hour peak, they had increased and the doctor increased the fluids in my drip. After three hours in Florida Memorial Hospital, I was transferred to Halifax Hospital via EVAC.

The ride to Halifax was by far the scariest part of the whole incident. Iíd never rode in an ambulance before. It wasnít fun. The fluorescent lights burned my eyes. No matter where I looked, or closed my eyes, the lights still hurt my eyes. Since I was in new hands, hospital wise, they added another three stickers to my body. Another heart monitor. Another series of the same questions. ìHow many Aspirin did you take?î ìDid you take them in order to harm yourself?î ìYou do realize the dose you took is lethal, right?î ìYou could have died.î Yes, it really does get old when paramedics and doctors and nurses ask the same questions repetitively. Unfortunately, this wasnít the last time Iíd hear them. The ride was terrible, considering the driver sped the entire way, and hit every damn pothole in Daytona Beach.

After the rugged race to Halifax Hospital, I was transferred to the 6th floor in the Pediatrics Intensive Care Unit, or the PIC-U for short. My room was 2A. At this point all that I was allowed to have was clear liquids.

While they took out my IV and replaced it, took my blood pressure, and checked my vitals, my aunt was in the waiting room. She met a man who was visiting his daughter in the room next to me. She had dual-enrolled from high school into DSC. As she was graduating high school, she was also receiving her Associates Degree from DSC (Daytona State College). She had missed her graduation from DSC because she has Lupus. My aunt, who works at DSC, went to work the next day and set it up so Jennifer (the girl who has Lupus) could receive her diploma. Frank, the interim president of the college, the News Journal Center, and some other people went to the hospital and she was able to receive her degree.

At least one person got something positive out of this.

Iíll bet when you go to bed, you move around. Am I right? You donít stay in one position the entire night. You reposition yourself to get comfortable, so you can go to sleep. Well, imagine not being able to bend your arm without getting a series of beeps that calls the nurse. If the beep itself doesnít wake you up, the nurse will. Just to tell you that you canít sleep like that. Horrible. I had to sleep in positions that are just plain awkward, let alone uncomfortable. I had to sleep with a blood pressure machine hooked up to me. I also had those stickers hooked to wires that monitored my heart hooked up to different parts of my body. Also, being used to a pillow-top mattress, that hospital bed was so uncomfortable.

The next day, after I finally got some sleep, I met Dr. Hassan, who asked the same Goddamned questions. ìWhat did you take?î ìHow much did you take?î ìYou do know that

dose is lethal, right?î ìDid you take them to harm yourself?î This was my second doctor in seven hours. To entertain myself, I played a game with myself to figure out my doctorís middle name. I decided that because his name sounded Muslim, his middle name was Muhammad. It also sounds extremely racist, but itís not. You know why? I was right.

One of the nurses that came in to turn off the beeping machine, all because I bent my arm, noticed that I was crying. She told me there were other options besides killing myself. She asked me if I had someone in my house that I trusted and that I could talk to. When I told her that I didnít really feel all that comfortable talking to my grandma about depression, she told me I should talk to God. She told me that God would always be there for me, that even though he canít talk back, he always listens. When I started crying, she wiped my tears and told me I had everything to live for. She told me that Iím young and beautiful and I have a good sixty years before I need to even think about death. After she left, I rolled my eyes and laughed to myself, and I thought she was completely full of s***. She doesnít know me, I thought. How is she going to tell me I have everything to live for? Why does she care? Her only job is to make the beeps shut up, not lecture me about God and his powers of healing sick people.

I had posted on Facebook, ìIn the hospital again. Damn, I suck.î Through my auntís iPhone, when she got to Florida Memorial. My friend Ahmed had commented on that status and asked what happened. When I told him that I had overdosed on Aspirin, instead of laughing like I thought he would, he told me he was almost Baker Acted by his mom because he was depressed. He told me he was glad I hadnít died, because so many people would miss me. When I asked him who, he told me that he would miss me. I asked him why, since weíd only hung out a couple times at Garrettís house. I never got an answer, mainly because I think it wasnít true, he was just trying to make me feel better.

By dinner, I was allowed to eat. The nurses asked what I wanted for dinner. I ordered Mac & cheese, French fries, and a Pepsi. My grandma had come to visit, since it was only five in the afternoon. She had a disappointed look on her face when she knew what Iíd ordered. Itís not like it really mattered, though, that food was nasty. I had soggy fries that were still a little cold, and the macaroni and cheese had no flavor. The only good thing about that meal was the warm Pepsi, which sounds weird. I like warmer soda more that cold soda, to me it just tastes better. I had been refused food since the night before, so that didnít stop me from eating the entire meal.

After I finished eating the nurses asked me if I wanted to play Wii. I said Iíd like to play, so they brought the ìghetto Wiiî to my room. I call it ghetto because the nun chuck that is supposed to be hooked up already wasnít, so I couldnít play Disneyís princess games. I was totally disappointed. I ended up playing Mario Party, and after a while, even Mario canít keep you entertained. So instead of playing Wii, or watching TV, I went to sleep.

The eleven year old (In the room across from me), whoís just come out of a diabetic coma, looked so adorable. Since I wasnít playing the Wii, and I most likely wouldnít play it again, I asked the nurse if she would ask her if she wanted to play it. She played the games

all morning until she got transferred to a hospital in Orlando. That little girlís blood sugar was supposed to be eighty. Her blood sugar was over 420. She went into a diabetic coma, and in the hospital with me; the doctors had only decreased it to 200-something. Her fingers had been pricked so many times, she begged those nurses not to prick her ìlast good thumbî so she could play Mario without it hurting.

The day I got transferred to Halifax Behavioral Services (HBS) was brutal. My aunt, Ryan and I waited a couple of hours before my chauffer arrived. The hospital wanted me to eat lunch before theyíd call HBS. It took the hospital over a half hour to serve me my lunch. After I ate lunch, they unplugged me from the drip, the blood pressure machine, and the heart monitor. I was lucky enough to get to pull the sticky pads off myself, oh fun! Ripping the pads off wasnít too bad. It was trying to get the glue off my body. The pads had been on for so long, they left part of themselves still attached, which took a good week to get off.

The ride to HBS was terrible. I was sitting in the back of an old police car, in a glass
cage basically. The driver was listening to the radio about the Casey Anthony trial. I swear listening to that guy on the radio was worse than listening to Rush Limbaugh.

Day One

When we arrived at HBS, I was strip searched and checked for weapons, destruction of the body, and lice. They asked about my mom and dad. The two people I hate to talk about the most. ìWhat does your dad do?î one of the nurses asked. ìHeís dead.î They asked about my mom, ìWhat does your mom do?î Honestly, I didnít even know the answer to their question. ìSheís a homeless, jobless alcoholic and relapsing at the moment. Are you done with the questions?î They checked all my clothes, and all the clothes I was wearing. Like Iím really going to go to a loony bin with a weapon, were they joking? Then, they escorted me back into isolation where I was told to take a nap in the hallway.
When I first arrived at HBS, I was labeled as a ìVisual.î Basically, a Visual sleeps out in the hallway at night and naptime. To get off of Visual, you have to be in the hospital for over 24 hours.
While in the hallway, I was handed a folder. I looked at the folder and it told me my rights as a patient and the rules of the hospital. After the rules, there is a quiz and a personal quiz section, that asked questions like ìIf you could pick an animal that you are the most like, what would it be and why?î and ì If I could send my mom anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?î
One of the rules at HBS, is if you wear glasses, you have to give your glasses to Mr. Bob at the front desk. If you fail to do so, you can get up to twenty-four hours of isolation. They have an empty room. Walls white, with no lights. The slightest infraction, like sticking your tongue out, will get you sent there. Iím not sure why I wasnít allowed to sleep with my glasses in my room. I donít see how I could have harmed myself with glasses, but I guess

rules are rules.

The Sunday of that week, I went to a youth group with my friend Chelci. Her friend Monica is a vegetarian. I talked to her about being a vegetarian, and she convinced me. So, throughout this whole stay at HBS I was a vegetarian.
After naptime, itís dinner. I went out to the Day Room/ Dining Room, and I was called in to the ìDoctorís Roomî and talked to Ms. Sarah, the evening nurse. She asked basically the same questions. ìDo you know why youíre here?î ìWhat did you do?î ìWhy did you take the Aspirin?î ìHow many did you take?î Then she got a little more specific. ìWhat events led up to you taking the Aspirin?î ìWhat makes you happy?î ìWhat do you enjoy doing in your spare time?î

When I left Ms. Sarah, I went back out to the Dayroom/Dining Room, and they handed me a cheeseburger. I told them I was a vegetarian, and I got a micro waved peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I got a carton of 2% milk, and a spoon.

There was a girl named Jennifer. Sheís thirteen and goes to FPC Middle School (Flagler/Palm Coast). She called me over to sit by her before Group. I asked her why she was there and she said it was because she was worried about her friends. I asked her how that got her Baker-Acted, and she said her guidance counselor misinterpreted what she wrote as a suicide letter. We talked about how dumb HBS is and thatís when Tonya came into our conversation. TonyaísÖ difficult to explain. Sheís extremely hard headed about her opinions and is perfectly fine with the way her life is. Iím not so sure if she should be. She was admitted because she hit her mom. When she got released, she went to Stewart Marchmen for four months for smoking pot, taking Xanax and taking Perkaset 30s. Then after she finishes that, sheíll go to jail for hitting her mom.

Group is held twice a day. Itís held once after breakfast and once after dinner. In Group you discuss your daily ìgoalî given by the doctor or your therapist. Since my goal was to learn the rules, Mr. Bob asked me why I was admitted.
ìI tried to kill myself.î I told him.

ìWhat made you want to kill yourself?î

ìI donít know.î

ìYes you do, come on now, Ashley. You had to have a reason to want to kill yourself.î

ìSomeone spray painted ëslutí in my driveway, Iím most likely going to fail my Junior year, Iíve failed my family, my grandma got me three periods of ISS, I had three breakdowns Monday, and the ISS teacher is an ass hole.î

ìCould you have done anything to prevent this from happening?î

ìYeah, I could have talked to someone.î

Finally, Mr. Bob moved on to someone else, and then Group was over. After Group, we had Snack and went to bed. For Snack, we had two graham crackers, four saltines and

milk or juice.

Time for bed. Sleeping in that hallway was terrible, especially the first night. Since I was a Visual and the staff had to be able to see us at all times, the lights never went off. The mattress was literally two inches thick, hard and had a built in pillow that was harder than the mattress. It also doesnít help when a twelve year old who had a partial brain lobotomy, sleeps less than ten feet away from you.

Madison wasnít my favorite kid in HBS. She got treated differently because she was ìslow,î which was totally unfair to everybody because she was annoying, and sometimes-just plain rude. She chewed her food with her mouth wide open, for everyone to see. She would blow on your neck and you couldnít make her stop. When you asked someone at the desk to make her stop, they wouldnít. They completely ignored the fact that she was annoying. The staff would put everyone else in Time Out for being rude to Madison, instead of putting Madison in Time Out when she really needed it.

That first night, Madison, got what we call ìBooty Juiceî. She was kicking the door, hiding in the shower, walking around and talking. Mr. Bob and Mr. Willy told her she needed to go to sleep. She, of course, didnít listen. Mr. Bob started to get annoyed with her, so he told her, ìMadison. Itís time to go to sleep. If you canít calm yourself, youíll have to go to Time Out. Do you want to go to Time Out?î

ìBobby, whereís my mommy?î

ìSheís probably sleeping. Can you go to sleep?î

No. I thought. Of course she canít go to sleep. Are you fucking kidding me?

Well, I was right. After Madisonís second trip to the shower, Mr. Bob and Mr. Willy got pretty annoyed. They carried her to the Time Out room. When she wouldnít comply with Time Out, all of us Visualís heard Mr. Bob say, ìWhereís the needle?î This meaning, Madison was going to get a shot of Thorazine (Booty Juice) to make her go to sleep. She came back to her bed all groggy and fell right asleep.

Now itís Tanyaís turn to get the Booty Juice. Tanya was extremely bipolar, who actually goes to Seabreeze. She was in a state of psychosis, thinking her dad was threatening to take away her therapy, and that he used her mom as a ìtoy.î She was convinced that her dad was an alcoholic who was the one who had a problem, not her. She says she was misdiagnosed, and that sheís just ìa teen full of angst.î

Tanya was unable to control herself in any way possible. She always needed to brush her teeth, get a drink of water, pace, or interrupt someone when they were talking. Whenever Tanya didnít get her way, sheíd cry and run to the Time Out room because nobody could tell her she wasnít allowed to go there. After she ran to the Time Out room, she threw another fit, and Mr. Bob, again, said, ìGrab the needle!î and Tanya got her Booty Juice. She was then brought back to our hallway, and went straight to sleep.

We called it the Booty Juice, mainly because it was a shot you got in your butt or side. The next day, people would say their butt or side hurt. One thing I learned, quickly, is that you donít want the Booty Juice.

After a couple of hours, it seemed, I fell asleep.

Day Two

Waking up for the first time at HBS was difficult. Since the Visualís slept out in the hallway, staff woke us up by kicking our beds. Or at least thatís how they woke me up. Nobody knew my name, so they kicked my bed and said, ìHey, itís time to wake up. Go get your vitals done.î So I dragged my mattress back into the room, made my bed, and went out to the Day Room. The blurry man took my blood pressure and temperature. I asked for my glasses, and had to get my blood drawn, yet again. After I had my blood drawn, I was told to pee in a cup. So, I did. After I peed in their cup, I ate breakfast. Half a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, with a spoon I wasnít allowed to throw away.

The thing with spoons was we werenít allowed to throw them away. Since they didnít watch everything that was put in the trashcan, if we threw away our spoons, we could have kept the spoon and used it to cut ourselves. To me, it makes sense for those who actually cut themselves. I donít cut myself; I donít think I ever could.

For breakfast you had a few choices. You could have up to two boxes of cereal, a muffin, a bagel with cream cheese or peanut butter, two juices or milk. Unfortunately, if you wanted a bagel, they didnít toast it, they used a microwave to heat it up. They used a microwave to heat everything, so everything tasted disgusting.

After breakfast, we worked on our goal sheets, which had our daily goal on them. My goal was, ìWhy were you admitted, and what could you have done differently?î
As I said yesterday in Group, I wrote, I was admitted because I tried to kill myself. I took æ of a bottle of Aspirin, and spent three days in the
PICU, at Halifax Hospital. I could have let things go, I could have talked to someone, or I could have calmed down before I tried to kill myself.

Of course, Group was held by someone different, and they didnít appreciate my answer, so I got to go into details about what happened, why I tried to kill myself, the events that led up to me trying to kill myself, an why I felt I should die.

Maybe the best part of HBS was school. True, it was the simplest class Iíve ever taken, but still fun. My assignment was to read a magazine and answer questions about it. At the end of the three-page packet, was a crossword puzzle, which dealt with the Discoveries section of the magazine. I learned how to do these types of packets in third grade. Now that Iím about to be a senior in high school, these packets were just as easy as writing my name. I finished my packet and turned it in. The teacher handed me the answers and a different

colored marker and had me grade my paper. I got a minus two on my paper. When she collected my paper, she handed me Jay McGrawís book about being a teenager. She had me read the introduction. Reading is one of my strong suits, so I read the introduction in ten minutes. When I finished, she had me read one of the Life Laws chapters that sounded good to me. I read another two chapters before class was over.

Ms. Diane came down to the classroom and took us back to the Dayroom for lunch at 12. Again, they tried to serve me meat, and tried to tell me I wasnít a vegetarian. I laughed and told them I wasnít going to eat what they handed me, so unless they wanted me to starve, they could give me a vegetarian meal. That was my worst mistake. Mr. Rog (short for Roger) gave me a vegetarian lunch.

My lunch consisted of carrots that looked like they should have been thrown away, stale Oreos, a bowl of peaches and a veggie burger. The veggie burger was the worst piece of food I ever ate at HBS. It was basically a lot of rice, and some other vegetables that couldnít be identified, deep fried with ranch dressing on it. I was scared to eat that burger after the first bite. After I finished my fruit and Oreos, I showed them my meal; I put up my spoon and threw away the rest. They asked me why I didnít eat all my food. Are you kidding? Would you have eaten that? It smelled about as bad as it tasted. The nurse laughed, and wrote down that I ate 30% of my lunch.
Jennifer sat by me, and asked me if I was a nerd. I told her no that I was going to be a senior in high school; the work we were doing was for third graders.

We went back to the classroom after lunch. I read the rest of Jay McGrawís book, that now I canít even remember the title.

When we left the classroom, Tonya, Jennifer, Tazhania, Samantha, a few younger kids and I went to the gym. We played a skewed game of croquet. We hit our balls to the other side of the gym. The goal was to get our balls as far across the gym as we could without hitting the wall. Jennifer won the first game, and I won the second game. After two games, we picked up our balls and went to different corners. The goal of this game was to hit the ball as close to the center of the gym as possible. After everybody hit his or her ball, the goal was to hit somebody elseís ball so you could hit your own ball again. When you hit somebodyís ball, you want to hit it out of bounds so they would be skipped. When everybodyís ball was out of bounds, the only person who has a ball left in bounds wins. When we played a game, the teacher let us have free time. I played basketball, Tonya threw a ball as hard as she could against the wall, and everyone else sat around and talked.

After the gym, it was naptime again. Of course Madison had to be told to quiet down a couple times, Tanya had to pace for an hour, and everyone was whispering. All I wanted to do was sleep. Madison decided she was going to stop talking and kick her door. Tanya broke down and went on her merry was to time out, and we had three staff members watching us to make sure we didnít talk.

At five Oíclock staff woke us up. I dragged my bed back into our room, made it and

went to dinner. For dinner, we had cold sandwiches, salad, fruit and a brownie. Since, I didnít eat the ham/turkey in the sandwiches, I just had a cheese sandwich. They gave me mayonnaise and mustard for my sandwich You know how some people donít like peanut butter because it sticks to the roof of their mouth? Well, imagine eating sandwiches where all the ingredients stick to the roof of your mouth, and you have to drink a carton of milk just to swallow. Not cool. I took off several layers of cheese, and just left one layer.

Group, again, consisted of us talking about our goal for the day. We went around in a circle and talked mainly about our anger and depression problems and how we can help to resolve them.

The next two days are sort of blurry. Since we had the same schedule everyday, it started to blur together. I started to forget everyday how many days I had been there.

A new person came in every day and someone left every day. The new kids came in as young as nine. The oldest age in HBS is 17.

LaShara is fifteen. She lives with her step dad, mother, sister and two younger brothers. She didn't like her step dad because he was verbally and physically abusive to her younger siblings and their dog. She told him this, and he called her a c***. She'd gotten into a fight with her step dad because he hit her younger sister. When she told her mom, her mom ignored her. She locked herself in the bathroom, and when her step dad couldn't open the door, he accused her of running away. He and she were screaming at each other and she texted her mom that she'd rather be in HBS than being at the house with him. She'd been to HBS before due to her anger. This time, she wanted to go. She'd dealt with her anger and decided she didn't want to be that way anymore. She arrived at HBS around dinner. In group, she broke down about her step dad. She is a really nice girl and was released after only two days.

Janel is seventeen. She's in a group home. She's a really awesome person. She has piercings on her cheeks and one in the center of her lip. She's got a "Don't mess with me" sort of attitude at first. When you get to know her, she's really nice and sweet. She cares about her friends. She was admitted to HBS because she got upset with the adult at the group home and kicked a wall. Because of her probation, the group home adults called the police. She was still there when I left, but I think she got released the day after I left.

Marissa is thirteen. She loves to dance and sing. She's an amazing artist as well. In her first Group, I found out why she was admitted. She had been molested by one of her father's friends and he didn't believe her. After a while, though, he told that friend not to come back to his house any more. Marissa has a little sister who's ten. They share chores at home, and when her little sister refused to do her part of the shared chores, Marissa snapped. She grabbed her head by the chin and forehead. She twisted it, and she heard her little sister's neck. She was admitted to HBS and she went home the day before I left.

Davonte is nine. He was admitted because he got in a fight with his thirteen year old

brother. Davonte was so sweet. He loved to play with anything that dealt with guns. He had BB-related guns. He had AK-47's that shot out BBs, grenades, shotguns, pistols and he said he had a bazooka that shot out BBs. He left the same day as I did.

Brittany was there when I got there. She intentionally got sent to HBS over and over because she didn't like her home. She was in Foster Care, and they treated her bad. She had over dosed on triple C's, which is a cough medicine. She wasn't suicidal; she had been with a friend who told her to take it. She had to go to court because she was with a friend who was stealing. She had cut herself on a Friday so she wouldn't have to spend the weekend in DJJ, which is a juvenile detention center. She left the same day as I did, on Tuesday, and was going to have to spend thirty days in jail. One of her goals was to write a letter to her judge about why she didn't steal and why she shouldn't steal.

Tazhania. Where to start with Taz. She's thirteen, and spoiled rotten. She told her mom she was going to cut herself because her mom wouldn't take her to get her nails done. Her auntie decided that Taz needed to be held responsible for her actions, even if she didn't mean what she said. Taz has to be the funniest person I've met in my entire life. She was my roommate and I couldn't have asked for a better one. We had some funny talks about what we were going to eat when we got out. She told me she was going to have her mom drive her all up and down Granada Boulevard to every fast food restaurant so she could order one of everything on the menu. Taz is super sweet. She loves her mom, and her five brothers. Her dad is a mixed Haitian-Puerto Rican. She loves and hates her dad, because he robbed a bank for $600. He's a fugitive, and he calls every once in a while for updates on the family.

Melinda or Mindy is a nice girl who was admitted because she ran away. She was originally sent to Beach House, which is a place for young adults to stay for a few days to a few months. When they saw that she was really depressed, they admitted her to HBS.
Mindy's gay, and doesn't have a great relationship with her mom and dad. She arrived on Monday.

Samantha is a really nice seventeen year old. She was admitted because her and her mom would get in fights. Her mom, her sister and herself would sit in the house all day and do drugs. Samantha cut herself and nobody knew about it. Her dad is a fugitive. Samantha never said what her dad did, but he calls every once in a while to see how she is doing. She got released the same day as I did.

Tanya is a fifteen year old who also goes to Seabreeze. She's been diagnosed with bipolar. Because of the medications she was on for depression and bipolar, she couldn't smoke pot. Of course she did, and it pushed her into a state of psychosis. She wined when she didn't get her way, and she constantly talked about how ignorant her dad was to her and her needs. She doesn't think she has bipolar, and her dad has all the problems. She says he's an alcoholic, who's bipolar. She thinks smoking helps her. I had a few conversations with Tanya, and she wasn't my favorite person, mainly because all she talked about was smoking pot,

rapping, drinking and the 1960's.

Madison is twelve. She had a partial brain lobotomy because of her constant seizures. She has a pace maker in her heart, and I often thought to myself, Why is this child alive? She has so many problems. She couldn't help but to be annoying and rude. She was often given special attention, and I'm not sure if she really needed it.
The last day at HBS was so long. I woke up happy, knowing I'd be going home. I had that feeling that I just knew I was leaving. I'd had enough of HBS and all the people there.

When I got to see the doctor, during lunch, he asked me a series of questions. "Do you hear any noises that aren't there?" "Do you see anything that isn't there?" "Do you want to hurt yourself?" "Do you want to hurt anybody else?" "How are you feeling?" When I answered "No" to the crazy-people questions, he told me I'd be going home. I asked him when I could go home, and he said the nurses would call my aunt.

I finished my lunch, and we went to Group. Samantha and I talked about how excited we were to go home. We talked about how we'd had enough of HBS and we wanted to be home in a real bed, with real people, with real food. We were so eager for our parents to call to say they were at HBS so we could go home.

We went to the gym, and the teacher asked who of us were going home. Samantha and I raised our hands high and proud, while everyone else looked glum about staying. We played a game called Wally-Ball, which is like Volleyball; except you don't hit the ball you catch it. You throw it against the wall and over the net. You have to pass it twice before you can throw it over the net. It seemed like forever that we were in that gym.

When we left the gym, we had naptime. I asked the nurses at the desk over and over again if they'd reached my aunt. They kept saying no. I decided instead of sleeping I was going to stay out in the Day Room and color. One of the nurses told me to go to my room and I sat up in that bed waited. I waited for the nurses to tell me that my aunt was here and I could go home. It didn't happen.

After naptime, I went out to the Day Room. I asked again if they got in touch with my aunt, and they said they had. She was on her way. Finally I would be able to go home. Finally I could eat some real food. Finally I could sleep in a real bed. Mr. Rog asked me what I wanted for dinner. I told him I wasn't going to eat dinner because I was going home. He looked a little disappointed for a split second, and then he laughed.

Halfway through dinner, the desk got a call that my aunt was here. She was actually here. I was going home! I was told to gather all my stuff, and get my shoes. When my aunt got there, we had to fill out mounds of paperwork. It felt like an hour that we were standing there waiting. When we finally got done with the paper work, we left.

The sun was something new to my eyes, and it burned a little at first.

When I got home, the first thing I did was put conditioner in my hair, and I styled it the way I did before I was hospitalized. My cousin Ryan, my grandmother, my aunt and I went to Olive Garden for my first meal home. It was so nice to be with my family again, without an hour restriction, or a five-minute hug after family therapy.

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