This is my final word before the end…
Don’t count on seeing me again
It’s your daughter, Jamie. Remember me? Well you’re going to have to, because soon, I won’t be here anymore. I’m leaving because I know for sure that you don’t love me anymore. And I’m sorry if I hurt you or something, but it seems kind of pointless for me to stay living in the same house with someone who hates me. Tell Jeanette and mom I’m sorry too, and I know that you all will be so much happier without me here. I want to go because living with you is too much pain for both of us. So, I guess this is the last time you’ll hear from me.
P.S. I hope you can finally be happy now that I’m not here
This letter was written at the beginning of two weeks that changed my life. I was only 14 years old at the time. My family had moved cities and I had spent all eighth grade trying to fit in and make friends at a new Junior High. These things did not come easily, however. For much of the year, I was angry at God and a horrible child to my parents. I often asked God, “Why would you take me here to this awful place? Why?!” I blamed Him. I blamed my parents and believed neither them nor God cared about what I was going through. About how hard it was.
So, I took matters into my own hands. I was suicidal and felt unloved and uncared for. I thought about it and even devised a few plans to end it all, but I never could get myself to do it. So instead, I decided to run.
Up above was the note I left my parents. So many things happened in between writing this note, running away and spending the next two weeks in rehabilitation. My life completely changed because my identity became redefined by the One who will never change and never stop caring about me. But those personal experiences are not what this blog is meant to share. This blog is about those that I met, the people I had the privilege of getting to know for just a bit, while I was there.
I am choosing to talk about these people in my first post mainly because of my personal experience being one of them. There is a very negative stigma attached to being in Rehab. I remember a couple times in High School hearing students in my classes gossip about so-and-so who was spending time in Rehab because they did drugs or were dealing with depression. Perhaps you were part of these conversations or maybe you were the one saying these things. Perhaps you were the one in Rehab like I was.
My first roommate’s name was Marsha. When first arriving there at around 1AM, I was absolutely terrified. The verse, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” was my only solace the first long, lonely night which I spent sleeplessly staring out the window.
The next morning my roommate returned to the room with wet hair after her shower and looked at me. “You came last night?” I nodded. She gave me a fake and weak smile. “I don’t really know what to do, I’m kind of confused,” I said slowly. “Aw, being in a hospital for a while can do that to you,” she replied. “For a while?” My heart began pumping harder as the fear and stress began to rise once again. She nodded. “This is my second time here. I’ve kind of gotten used to it. Two weeks really isn’t that long.”
TWO WEEKS? I thought to myself. She turned back to me after completing a portion of what seemed like her morning routine. She laid out the things I should know. No patients could touch anyone else, say their last name, leave the room after or before a certain time, etc.
The first meeting included all patients. We went around a circle and shared our names, schools, age and why we were in the hospital. The other children talked about their drug addictions, attempted suicide or their issues cutting. I had never realized this darkness and pain existed in people that went to a school like I did or to private schools better than mine.
I heard many stories from the people there. They talked about their painkiller overdoses, using hallucinogens to escape their lives or marijuana smoking. The third day there, my parents brought me my Bible. I spent time everyday reading it. Marsha would watch me and ignore me. I asked her about herself and why she was here. She had told her mother she wanted to sit on train tracks and hated her life. She told me this was her second time here and this program was stupid and they were doing nothing for her. I asked her if she ever thought about praying. She said she did not believe in God and did not care about anything anymore. On my fourth day there, she left because she had “finished” the program. But she clearly was not happy nor healed.
Sometimes I wonder what happened to Marsha. Did she return to Rehab again because she made another remark revealing her perspective that her life was of little value? Did she ever actually take steps to end her life? Did she ever find true purpose for her life? A sure identity?
“So God created mankind in His own image” Genesis 1:27a