The Damaged – Chapter Four


Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience and rebellion that progress has been made. ~ Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900), The Soul of Man Under Socialism


The Ward
The gray walls are depressing. I’m already depressed and those walls don’t make it easy to recover. Why would the Navy choose battleship gray for the wall color? Don’t they realize color makes a difference in the healing process or do they not truly want me to heal? I have to remember what my two-bedroom apartment looked like with its cool brown, orange and golden autumn colors. I have to remember so I can keep the little sanity trying to survive within me.

It’s been difficult to sleep. Unlike normal hospitals, these quarters are co-ed. My bed is nearest the bulletproof double doors with the nurses’ station a few feet outside my mental prison.

I stare at the tight-bun(ned) nurse sitting there writing on a note pad. I’m not sure if she really likes me. Maybe it’s because I refuse to take the antidepressants. I’m pregnant. Don’t these people get it? I’m not going to kill my baby. Each time Tight-Bun hands me that tiny Dixie cup filled with pills, she often scowls at me because I tell her won’t poison my baby and she can’t make me. The only pill I take is the prenatal vitamin. As usual, I politely return them to her and walk away.

Because of my refusal, I have been threatened with court martial for disobeying a lawful order. So what. How bad could it get? I’m in a mental ward surrounded by a variety of mental illnesses.

My feet are swollen.

My back hurts.

My blood pressure is extremely high.

My unborn child is fidgety all day and all night.

The food is awful, and I’m losing weight.

Most of all, my roommate, Scott, sleep walks and tries to climb into bed with me every night.

Again, how bad could it get?

Strange Footsteps
Scott was the first person I knew who walked in their sleep. I had seen television shows and comedy skits about people walking in their sleep, but I had never seen it happen in real life.

The first time Scott tried climbing into my bed, I screamed and the staff rushed in, tackled him and put him in restraints. I was mortified and felt so badly for him. The look on Scott’s face was weird. He had a blank stare and he didn’t respond to, nor resist, being restrained. I had never before seen such a thing and it scared me.

The next morning, Scott showed up for breakfast, greeted me with his usual gap-tooth smile, sat next to me, and ate! I couldn’t figure out what was going on with him but I did knew my baby and I were not physically safe. I let the charge nurse know how I felt and asked if I could be moved to another room or location. Tight-Bun happily informed me that this was the ONLY room and to ‘get used to it’. Great! I have exchanged my chamber of horrors with a new chamber of horrors. To answer my own question, “How bad could it get?” This is how bad it gets.