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Right now I'm sitting in a room, surrounded, four walls, one chair, a bed, and me right in the middle of it all. I pay too much attention to how the walls are bare, covered with an odd tan color that's obviously above many more layers of green, blue, and purple as they weren't stripped before being repainted. My bed is twin sized on a metal frame. The sheets are a very pale blue, on top is a thin white blanket accompanied by one pillow. I am in a “hospital” to be “mentally evaluated” as my parents would say because they believe I'm severely depressed.
Fear is running in silent waves between my parents as they sit next to one another reading through my phone. Looking through messages, pictures, and videos as I lay here silently in my bed telling you about my life. I'm imagining this to be a book, on the spine it would read, Disappointments by Bethany Taylor. Two months ago I realized how I let people perceive me. I now understand that first impressions are one of the most important things. In high school, you want to be seen as fun but independent. You don't want to be the annoying girl but you want to be the chatty one who everyone loves, you don't want to be noticeably loud but when you speak you want your words to be heard and understood. The human body craves attention. I personally got it in one if the very worst ways.
I am a good student, History is my weak subject, everyone thinks I'm crazy for saying that but I just can't seem to find the logic in it and without logic things just make no sense to me. I am great with kids I'd love to work with them as a career in my future, teaching is something that interests me I love being able to interact with people and experiment things. While being the good girl who gets good grades I became more and more adventurous seeking fear and thrilling activities. Being an adventurous person has its advantages but it also has many disadvantages. Those disadvantages started eight months ago at Marie’s house with my best friend Jessica.
November of last year Jess and I went to Marie’s house to stay the night. There was a substance. Substance: that of which a thing consists; physical matter or material. A substance that takes lives. Not in the sense of killing them, but by consuming, taking over, and completely manipulating their lives, taking control of them. One thing led to another and the substance took over. Three bodies, three lives, three human beings, completely controlled by one substance. The day after, jess and I went home. No one knew except our friends. No one else was ever supposed to find out about the substances. A week or two after, me and Jess hung out again. My parents weren't home so she came to my house which they didn't mind, they trusted her and they had no reason not to.
There are over 50 million substances in the world. The night Jess came over there was a particular substance. A substance that influences actions, acts as a depressant, and is abused in the household of 17.6 million people every day. With no thought, we allowed the substance to take over. Very few people knew. And it was always supposed to stay that way.
I have never been the type of person to share what I really feel, I bury things deep and imagine them disappearing so I don't have to deal with them. Occasionally they just don't disappear. It's an internal conflict I don't know how to resolve. The thoughts of knowing I stupidly let these substances control me was stuck in my mind. The self-disappointment slowly grew and grew. Nothing would just disappear anymore. It became exhausting until I came to the conclusion that I've already corrupted myself and I again let a substance enter my bodily systems and calm my nerves.
With this new substance placed in my hand, I debated whether or not I should let it take control of me and my thoughts, hopefully making them go away. I remember standing there hearing their voices repeat over and over in my head. The voices of people I see every day, the voices of people I live with, the people I once considered friends chanting one by one reminding me of why I'm a disappointment. I cannot control my thoughts. Having a child string Odysseus bow is easier than trying to control my feelings. I act on impulse sometimes causing terrible outcomes. I am sensitive.
That was the very last time. Three months ago I abused a substance.
Two months ago I was late home from school. I stayed after in the library to complete an English quiz for Mrs. Strasser. I walked through my front door and I immediately knew something was wrong. At the sound of the door opening both of my parents stood from the couch and in unison informed they needed to talk to me. The three of us walked to my kitchen, my parents sat at the table and I sat on a high stool beside the counter. My father explained that he is now aware of the mistakes I've made. Before accusing me, he gave me the opportunity to tell him what I've done. Sitting before the people who raised me, expected the best from me, and educated me to the best of their abilities, I trembled, terrified of speaking. I could feel the words slip out of my mouth as if with each word I spoke, every single voice running through my head, got ten times louder than suddenly, all at once, just stopped. The months of never feeling noticed, loved, and appreciated for how hard I work on everything I do, I had finally gotten attention. Right there in that moment, I had gotten everything I had ever wanted.
They still don't understand why I've done the things I did. They never will really understand the way I feel every time I open my eyes in the morning. I frequently get the question as to what in my life is so bad that I'd feel the need to end it. Every single time, no matter who is asking, they receive the exact same answer, I don't know. I am incapable of explaining to another human being as to why I feel like everything around me is constantly being animated by my brain making it feel as if life is a nightmare I cannot wake up from. I don't have a reason. I never will.
After the long discussion with my parents, I looked across the room to see my mother's phone ringing. In large letters, the screen displayed ‘Jessica Steel’ with a picture of her face below. From the day I met her on August 14, 2014, she has been the only one who knew how I felt. She can look at me and know exactly what's going on whether I'm putting on a smiling face and hurting or just upset, she always knows what I'm feeling and why. I always just assumed it's because she knows me well and as some people might say I'm an “Open book”. As usual the second I answered we both immediately start gushing over what happened throughout our day. The second I heard her voice I felt tears building upon my bottom eyelid waiting to spill over and run down my face. I slowly started to explain the events that had taken place no more than an hour before as I felt a tear hook on my chin and slowly fall to the purple blanket below me.
Jess just listened. She let me dump my entire world of feelings on her. Afterward, she explained that she had called because she knew something must have been wrong. She said she could feel in her stomach that something happened and she needed to make sure I was okay. Confused, I asked what she meant. Slowly jess explained what she feels. When I or someone else is upset or happy she can feel it. Physically, she feels weak or nauseous when someone around her or someone she cares about is upset. For this to be true, ‘unexplained feelings’ is an understatement. She has something special. I was slightly upset she hadn't told me before. She stated it is only because she didn't want me to think she's insane. Completely understandable. She is caring but shy and pays too much attention to what others think of her. Yes me saying that make me a total hypocrite but it's the truth, I also understand she can't really control it.
After jess and I talked for awhile my mom came into my room asking for me to get off the phone. When I put the phone down she calmly sat on the end of my bed, “why are you in here” I asked nervously. She responded saying “Your dad and I feel its best that you get help, we now realize we are not capable of providing you with that help here so we have made the decision to take you to a hospital.” Immediately I felt sick to my stomach. She told me to grab some comfy clothes and explained that everything else I need will be there for me.
The car ride felt long. I remember feeling the leather seats under my fingertips as each tree on the side of the road flew by giving me no time to process how each one looked.
I was scared. I was scared that when I got to this mental hospital I was going to be locked up having no access to the outside world. I was scared of being surrounded by crazy people, and
I was terrified of being alone. I had every right to be. I felt our large white suburban slow down and pull into a parking space. I felt the silence in the car like thick humid air making it hard to breathe. I felt brave being the first one to open a car door and step outside. My feet hit the ground heavy, but the outside air didn't make breathing any easier.
My dad approached the doors and held them open for me and my mom to walk through. When I reached the front desk a tall man with dark brown hair and hazel eyes asked for my name. My father responded for me also giving him my date of birth. “Bethany Taylor born May 12, 2001” he said calmly. The tall man grabbed a sleek black phone connected to a long cord and asked for assistance. Two women walked from around the corner. The first had long brown hair tied up in a ponytail. She grabbed the clothes from my hands as I noticed the ring on her finger. The second girl was tall with short brown hair also tied up. She walked aside me with a clipboard asking me to tell my parents goodbye. After hugging them both another man came and started talking to my mom. I Couldn't understand what they were saying because the two nurses were escorting me to my room. The numbers 8669 were etched into the wooden door I stood before. Without entering one of the nurses said that was my room. We continued walking until we reached a white room filled with gowns pants and shirts. The clothing I brought was placed in a bad and a gown was handed to me. The nurses asked me to change but stayed in the room. When I finished, they put the clothes I had just taken off into another bag.
The two nurses walked me back to my room informing me that doctor will come in shortly.
I still remember, sitting in a room, surrounded, examining the walls and everything around me. There's was one thing I just couldn't get past. For the past month, I had been so happy. I hadn't felt depressed, things weren't getting me down as easily, I was just happy. Then I was sitting in this room meant for crazy people and I didn't even feel crazy. I wanted to know what jess was doing, I wanted to know what my parents told my siblings, I wanted to know what everyone was doing in school, I wanted to know what time it was, I wanted to know when I was getting the hell out of there.
Two months. I spent two months in that room. Every morning Ms. James brought me a pill, no one ever told me what it was, she would stand and make sure I took it then come back in four hours to give me another one. After my first pill, I would go talk to Mr. Chase, my therapist, we would talk about how I feel and do weird exercises to calm myself down. After Mr. Chase, I went back to my room then in an hour I went to Mr. Rosenthall for coping resources.
I spent two months staring at the same walls. The walls in a building I will never forget. The walls that stood around me whether I was falling or not. Soon I realized I need my own walls. Not the ones I had before, the ones that I used to lock myself away from everyone who were only trying to help, but walls with doors. Doors that let people in my own little room where I could trust them not to take things that don't belong to them and destruct by belongings. Some door will be locked, one's leading to things that upset me and make me feel as if my worthiness is no longer worth just a burden.
I have successfully disappointed many people in my life, mainly my family. I gave them reason to no longer trust me. from stealing things to abuse of substances to thinking about death, they had every reason to put me within the very four walls where I cleared my mind and day by day, saved myself. I saved myself, from myself. From my own thoughts, stress, and disappointment. I am happy now. Happy: Bethany Taylor.
I am writing this now because I have been home for three days. My parents never visited me in the hospital but I didn't really mind. When they picked me up I got my phone and computer back so I could talk to my friends and family members I've had no contact with for two months. It is weird being home I don’t feel comfortable. I don't feel at home. I told jess everything that happened while I was gone. The terrible days when I got started on my new medicine. The long weird therapy sessions with my doctors. Everything. Today my mom took my phone because she wanted to see what I have been telling people. I'm getting it back tomorrow but I deleted the messages between jess and I. What happened in that building, within the four walls I spent two months, is something I will never tell anyone else about. I am a different person. I am proud to be a different person. I am Bethany Taylor.