In a hospital bed after finally calming down a little, they inform me and my parents that I have to stay in the Psychiatric ER for my own safety. I don't remember much about my first night in the ER other than the hospital staff turning off the light and getting upset when I tried to turn it back on, being told that the TV doesn't work (which later I find out is a fat lie), and only let out to use the restroom. The night staff of the ward a very aggressive and mean. During the morning, the same rules apply accept occasionally someone opens the door to ask how I'm doing, to which I am honest. Turns out, being honest was the wrong move because when my parents come back to get me, they are told that I need a psychiatric evaluation and that I need to stay until I can get transferred to a mental hospital.
The second night alone in the ER, I can't stop crying. Pacing wasn't helping to ease my nerves, I couldn't get any sleep, I didn't know what else to do but cry. The nurses who watch me on the camera must've grew tired of watching me sob, because she came in with a pill and some water. I took it and I begged to call my mom. They gave me five minutes and after that, I was able to fall asleep.
Another night passes and now they are stalling. The mental hospital they are trying to put me in doesn't have a spot available yet. The issue that comes with that is my age. I am too young to be in the current hospital's psych ward, but I am also too old to be in the children's psych ward. Which means I have to stay in this barren ER room until a spot opens up. My parents, who have been visiting everyday, are supportive. I'll never forget how fucking concerned they were.
Turns out another teenager in a similar situation is there and out of pity, they let us interact. This is a Typology forum, so I feel the need to clarify she's an ESTP. She's a year younger than me and loves to sing, she's overall good company. We are only allowed to interact for an hour. Together we get the TV on.
One more day passes and I wake to find that my bed was moved, actually our beds were moved, because the ESTP girl is now next to me in her bed. We are more to have someone to talk to than we are concerned that we have been tampered with in our sleep. We hug.
The Head of the Department comes in and explains to us in more detail what the hell is going on. She explains to us that we are going to the same mental institute, that we are now rooming together in the ER because space is becoming limited, and that even though we are physically in the ER, we should more or less get the same human rights as adults in the psych ward. That being said, she gets two police officers to escort us upstairs because we, for the first time in days, get to have a shower.
Showers were the only positive I could make note of during my experience. Not because of the shower itself, because they suck and made me felt ickier coming out than going in, but because on the way to the shower, there is sunlight. Even before this, I have been obsessed with sun imagery, but the moment I got a glimpse of the sky after a few days of bleak dullness... I was worshiping the window. It was comforting, staring out and watching cars drive by.
The next day, a violently Russian man individually gives us a psychiatric evaluation. At first, despite the grimness and my very dire need to get out, I can't listen to him speak without giggling because his accent is cartoonishly thick. He is insulted, threatening to leave and ask the staff to keep me here, and that flips a switch. He asks me a few questions about how suicidal I'm feeling. In actuality, during my stay I was more suicidal than I have ever been before to point of trying a few times with the little resources they gave me, but I learned by then that honesty is what will keep me in there. I try to pass off my feelings as a 'nihilistic misstep', that death isn't something I seek but it isn't something I fear either and I just conveyed that poorly. He insults me and my intelligence while accusing me of doing the same to him. He threatens to leave me there again and I guess the others can here my pleading for him to take me seriously and just listen because my mom and a nurse barge in to see me in hysterics.
They put me on Zoloft after that.
The next day, late at night, the nurse proudly tells us that two spots are ready. They handcuff me, put me in a police car, and a thirty minute drive later, I'm at the Palmetto Mental Institute, the minors unit. When I am escorted inside, I must've looked grim because the other kids have a nervous air about them. I am shaking, mostly from impatience and anxiety, while they do paper work. Handcuffs are removed, a strip search happens, and I am told to try to get some sleep. The rooms have two beds, each bolted to the ground. They don't have anything except a pillow and a series of loose sheets. I have no roommate so I gravitate to the bed closest to the barred window. I don't get much sleep.