Group Time

 The hardest part about being here is having to be around the other patients. I am surrounded by people who are suffering from mental health issues.  Some are drug addicts and alcoholics, some have post-traumatic stress disorder which I mainly see with the veterans that are here, and there are some like myself who have bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.  When I look around I, ask myself what could I possibly have in common with these people.  Yes, we all suffer from a mental illness that caused us to end up here, but we are so different when I look around the room.  There are people from all walks of life.  Some are from different countries like Australia, Guyana, South Korea, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, India, Ireland, Italy, the United Kingdom, and of course the United States.  You name it, and they were in the building: different languages, different races, different sexual preferences.  Everybody is just different.  There are doctors, lawyers, nurses, business owners, real estate brokers, construction workers, pilots, and even the unemployed are here.  The upper, middle, and lower class all in one room dealing with a mental illness.  A mental illness that could cause us to take ourselves out of this world, or someone else.  One of the main things that I saw we had in common was that we were given another chance at life we wanted to quit and succumb to our internal struggles.  We all are different and unique in our individualistic ways by our own cultures and backgrounds, but we all have the same underlying issue, which is pain.  

Group is about to start in a little while, and so I decided to pick a seat on the couch up front near the panel of speakers who are preparing themselves to talk to the group of patients who are entering the room where we are supposed to meet together and also have recreational time.   

Ms. Mary one of the Mental Health Assistant Supervisors yell out “smoke break time.” Out of thirty patients, only five were remaining in their seats, and the other twenty-five took off towards the red bin where Ms. Mary was standing behind the desk holding.  Out of all the patients who smoked there was only one lighter they could use which was provided by the hospital.  So you can imagine how anxious everyone was to get outside in the back open space to get their chance to light their smokes.  I guess everyone has their addiction. While everyone is thinking about cigarettes and when is their next smoke break, I’m sitting here wondering when is the next snack break.  I guess my addiction is food because I was ready to eat and was not use to eating on a schedule like I am supposed too.   

In the very back of the group room was a patio that had benches and tables along with greenish-brown grass, and an enormous tall fence with barbwires at the top of it.  I guess there may have been a few patients who wanted to bust out this place, so the hospital decided to take some more precautions to keep us in here.  I went out on the patio one time, but I didn’t like it.  Even when they were not smoking outside it still smelled like smoke.  So I just stayed in the recreation room and just colored or write like I'm doing now to pass the time.  Being around people who smoke don’t bother me too much, but I hate the way it gets in my clothes. It's so annoying when I like to smell sweet and fresh like flowers all the time.  It’s just my nature I guess.  

Oh Lord here goes this fool up girl Stephanie again coming down the hall with her coo-coo self.  She is so damn annoying always complaining about everything single thing.  None of the patients likes her, not even the staff.  You ever know someone that every time they walk into the room the entire room says here goes this bitch again in their head, and everyone tries to ignore her? Well, that’s her ass.  She weighs over three hundred pounds, Caucasian, and wears glasses with brown hair that is cut around her neck.  I’m peaking from the corner of my eye because I’m certainly not trying to make any eye contact with her crazy ass, I see that she is bloodshot red with tears in her eyes…I wonder why she is upset now.  Here she comes let’s see what drama she brings in today’s soap opera.  

“I hate my life; I hate my fucking family, fucking cock suckers. I wish they all go to hell, burn and die mother fuckers.”  Everyone turned their head towards her and then went back to watching the TV, or playing cards like nothing happened.  I chuckled to myself a little because these patients can be so cruel especially if they see you are an asshole.  The mental health assistant then asked her what was wrong from her desk and Stephanie yelled out, "my father was supposed to buy me a Porsche, and he bought me a Honda instead because he says I tried to stab my grandfather.  I didn’t try to stab him, how am I going to stab his old crippled ass with a butter knife.  If I were, I would have done it with a butcher knife fucking ass hole!  What I look like driving a damn Honda?"   

The MHA then told her to calm down and if she would like we can discuss this privately.  Stephanie then yelled out, "I don't have anything else to say; I’m done with my father. I can’t stand him, and I don’t want to talk to him ever again.  All he wants to do is fuck his little blonde dumb ass girlfriend and take her on trips and shit, but when it comes to me, he doesn’t want anything to do with me.  My other brother and sister get everything, and I don't get shit. I hate him." The MHA then said, “Stephanie come, let’s talk in the office.”  Then Stephanie got up from the couch and pulled the silk pajamas out the crack of her ass and proceeded to the front of the room where the offices were just outside in the hallway.   

When she got up the Puerto Rican guy, who was from New York who was an alcoholic covered his nose as if he got a whiff of something that did not agree with his nostrils.  He then said while covering his nose, “damn she smells like fish! That bitch needs to take a fucking bath!” I then saw Ashley who is Caucasian with blonde brownish hair kept in a ponytail and wore glasses look over to New York and say, “I hear the doctors have to write an order for her to take baths because she doesn't take them.  They have to have an MHA stand outside the bathroom to ensure she washes her ass. Otherwise, she won't wash”.  New York then said “that is fucking insane, how the hell you don’t wash your ass and you a fucking female.  She smells like a bag of rotten fish and a dead rat that’s been sitting in a city dumpster for three months.”  

I’m just going to sit here and continue writing while they continue to discuss what she smells like and comparing it to all the shitty smells they have ever encountered in their entire existence.  I feel a little sad for Stephanie because I can see her confidence is so low and she cares nothing about herself or how others perceive her.  It’s like she has let go of herself and wanted to give up on life.  She reminds me of myself a few years ago, well just a little bit because I wasn’t as extreme as her going around saying I wish my parents would die.  However, I hated myself, how I looked, and I hated when people rejected me because of how I looked.  I was overweight, miserable, and lonely. Stephanie told us she couldn’t keep a job and she has gone through ten positions in the last six months.  She doesn’t know why she can’t keep one. I thought to myself, probably because you don’t care about what comes out of your mouth.   

I knew I could hold a job, but I couldn’t keep a man.  I would go through men like they were panties, and I just wanted a different color or fit based on how I felt for the day.  There is a difference between her and me.  She can’t seem to find anything to be grateful for.  She points the blame on everyone else, instead of accepting accountability for her own actions.  Every other minute she complains about what her parents did to her, or her grandparents, and what she didn’t get and why she is in the position she is in, and she is in her 30’s.  A completely grown woman who has the choice to go after what she wants instead of waiting for someone to hand her down what she thinks she deserves.  I do know I do not have it all upstairs, and the Mad Queen and the Queen of Hearts tends to take over from time to time, but at least I am grateful for the things I do have and the people who are in my life.  I do have at least one thing to say positive.  


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