Messages of mhere (an American tale) – Chapter 8

The miles crept past and mhere in desperation started talking out loud reciting the directions they turned, in a hopeless effort that someone might hear her, because she still held onto a glimmer of hope that somehow americanrommel would rescue her and just maybe, by a miraculous effort was tracking her whereabouts.  She would say, “we turned left a mile past highway X” and “we are headed north to town Y” (bringing back memories of those crazy roads outside a mid-West post where the highways get named with letters and the interstate rest stops are off the left lane of the interstate (quite disconcerting at first).   mhere was beginning to feel like she was now trapped behind enemy lines, because how could this happen in America?  She was just an ordinary homemaker who ventured onto an online message board and posted her political opinions and here she was being driven off in handcuffs to where, she knew not.

At long last they arrived at a mental health facility in a coastal city, at least that is where mhere thought she was, but she had the most lamentable sense of direction imaginable.  hotshot82nd used their oldest child as the navigator when he had to leave mhere in new places.  When they arrived in a foreign country when mhere’s oldest daughter was only in 1st grade, hotshot82nd had told mhere she needed to get her drivers license immediately, because he needed to go south to train where the Army was changing to a new mechanized idea.  mhere did manage to get her license on the first try, surprisingly considering her first drivers license took mhere three long years to acquire (worthy of a separate story, lol).  hotshot82nd had their family on a waiting list for military quarters, so he had found an apartment for the family in a nearby town.  hotshot82nd loaded mhere and the children into the car and he kept turning around telling mhere’s oldest child, “you’ve got to help Mom, so she doesn’t get lost, just remember to turn here, then go through the next town.”  And so the directions continued and mhere felt panic that she would not be able to find her way to the nearby military installation and then back home.  She got lost just getting off the interstates and getting back on, because she would invariably be headed in the wrong direction.  mhere’s oldest child had an unerring sense of direction that had amazed mhere’s parents when they had visited and her oldest child was but 4 years old – she guided them to a Piggly Wiggly grocery store, making numerous turns in their neighborhood outside a stateside post –  at nighttime, no less.  That girl was so much like hotshot82nd that it amazed mhere – she had a fearless attitude, while poor mhere was always afraid.  hotshot82nd had loved to stand their oldest daughter on the kitchen table when she was only a toddler and he had taught her to run across the kitchen table and leap into the air while he caught her and yelled, “Airborne!”  mhere sure never would have done that as a child, she was always running and hiding – scared of everything.

After being checked into this mental health facility, hotshot82nd left and fear kept mhere in a constant state of near-panic.  No one explained anything to mhere and she was escorted to a room.  A short time later a nurse walked in.   mhere’s mind could not make sense of any of this mess.  The nurse was mrstaroleaf, a former division commander’s wife, whom mhere knew from her volunteer activities.  mhere spoke her name and by the reaction, mhere knew it really was mrstaroleaf.  The immediate thought that followed was, “omg, they left here a couple years ago, why is she here?”  mrstaroleaf left and mhere felt bewildered and very afraid.

Life in an American mental health facility began and all mhere could think is, “no wonder no one ever gets better, because all the staff, to include the shrinks do is “observe” the patients’ behavior – they sit on their butts and watch, with hardly any interaction with the patients, except for the group therapy sessions.  Where mhere really could not believe the chaos was at the dinner table.  The first meal time set the routine that mhere would follow.   Ordinarily, mhere would never have dreamed of making a scene, because she was by nature a little miss goody-two-shoes, but she truly had taken the mindset of being a prisoner behind enemy lines.  The constant thought of how could this happen in America preoccupied her thoughts and more pressingly, the question: WHY? preoccupied mhere’s thinking:  “what if they try to drug me or poision me?”  mhere decided to throw a hissy-fit and just grabbed a random tray from the rack, then she took her meal to the group table and sat down.   Pandemonium reigned at this dinner table as mhere watched this little old lady wander around the table, while other patients yelled at her, accusing her of stealing their belongings.  The staff sat behind their desk – “observing”.  mhere couldn’t allow an elderly old lady to be berated and yelled at so mhere stood up and asked the other patients what was going on.  Another patient told mhere that the old lady keeps going into everyone’s rooms stealing their belongings.  mhere guided the little old lady to an empty chair and helped her get seated.  Then she told the lady who had been shouting, “We’re at the dinner table and everyone is going to be polite!”  The angry patients told mhere about the old lady stealing their stuff and mhere told them, “I will talk to the little old lady and find out why she’s doing that, but for now we’re eating and we can all get along at the table!”  mhere assisted the little old lady with her meal.

After that first meal, mhere observed more commotion with the little old lady, who wandered up and down the hallway, entering other patient’s rooms and picking up odd items, as she went.  A patient started screaming at the old lady, accusing her of stealing her comb.  Finally, a nurse got up and took the comb from the old lady and told her to stop taking other people’s stuff.  The old lady continued to wander aimlessly.  mhere walked up to the old lady and started talking to her and immediately it became obvious to mhere that this little old lady had a good degree of dementia.  The little old lady told mhere, “I can’t find my room?”  mhere gently took her by the arm and told her, “I’ll help you find your room.”  mhere asked another patient as to which room the little old lady belonged in and mhere noticed that none of the rooms had numbers or any other distinguishing features.  After settling the little old lady in her room, mhere went to the nurses’ desk and told them that it appeared that the little old lady has dementia and how it would help if they put a colored piece of paper or something on her door to help her find her room.  The nurses told mhere that the little old lady is always taking other people’s stuff.  mhere told them, “she seems to have dementia and is lost.”

mhere made it part of her daily routine to look after the little old lady, who began to hunt for mhere when she needed anything and mhere took her to her room and helped her find the things she was looking for.  And as usual, mhere began listening to almost every patient. They came to talk to mhere and tell her about their problems.  One young woman was placed in mhere’s room and she sobbed non-stop.  mhere sat down next to her bed and started talking to her.  Gradually, the girl calmed down a little and mhere pieced together this young woman’s story.  She had been raped and she was the child of a soldier, which made this kind of personal to mhere, because she made helping soldiers’ families a lifelong commitment.  mhere went to the nurses desk to talk to them about the young woman.  Another patient was an Air Force wife and mhere talked to her many hours.  That kind lady crocheted two red and green potholders for mhere.

Mealtimes quickly fell into order.  mhere would pick a random tray and then sit down.  mhere told anyone who tried to make a commotion, “this is the dinner table and we are going to be polite here!”  She reminded one huffy lady who got rude, “We say, “please pass the salt!”  And the lady backed down and began saying, “please”.  As days passed, all the patients started coming to mhere with their problems and mhere listened, which was her life story.

One evening a tiny blond young woman arrived and mhere started talking to her.  This young woman reminded mhere of her favorite country singer, countrystar1017, to the point that they could have been twins.  As they chatted mhere listened to the woman’s problems, but she had to ask her if she was related to countrystar1017, because the resemblance was uncanny.  The young woman sort of squirmed when mhere asked her and then she said, “No, but I have been to Garth Brooks house.”  mhere felt this young woman was lying and she thought, “I think she is related to countrystar1017.”

The days turned into weeks and mhere followed the same routine, listening to patients, mealtimes, occasional visits with two different shrinks, one the good cop, the other the bad cop, arrogantass#1, who talked down to mhere constantly.  hotshot82nd and the children visited mhere daily.  mhere’s sister left shortly after mhere was locked up, because when she had come to visit mhere in this nuthouse, mhere screamed at her asking her, “how could you betray me too!  I told you I was attacked!”  And mhere told her she didn’t want to talk to her ever again.  mhere followed the rules (as usual) and she could even step outside on the patio to savor a few minutes of fresh air each day.

This nuthouse set-up consisted of a main common room, with sofas, TV,  and a long table, where they were served meals and a long hallway with their two-person rooms.  A nurses’ desk, centrally-located, separated the male ward from the female ward.  The progression was after a day or two, each female patient, moved out of this ward and into the next level of counseling, except for mhere.  mhere stayed stuck on the beginning phase, (as if she cared – she kept thinking, “how can I escape?”)  There was a pay phone down the hallway and mhere called her mother several times and tried to explain what had happened to her, but her mother refused to believe mhere when she told her mother, “I am in danger, because of some stuff I wrote on a politics message board online.”  mhere kept telling her mother, “Mom, I know you don’t believe me, but don’t you think it’s strange that they are holding me in this place, involuntarily for weeks?”  And mhere kept telling her mother, “I keep asking them how long am I going to stay here?” and “when can I be discharged? and no one can answer that”.

One day as mhere stood near the nurses desk, she spied an older man sitting in the men’s common area and stark terror filled her, followed by a crushing feeling of betrayal.  mhere kept watching that man and she knew, that’s my old first sergeant and he’s the first person I told americanrommel, who could vouch for me.  mhere knew he would never betray any of his troops, but somehow, the lies he was fed had him believing mhere had turned on her country or some such bullshit.  Hadn’t thatwitch2016 gone on TV and blamed the “vast, right-wing conspiracy” of trying to destroy presidentmendacity.  mhere felt hysteria grip her and she screamed, “Top, not you too!”  She kept screaming at him and two large male staff came around the nurses desk and they tackled mhere and pushed her on the floor.  mhere was wearing a blue jumper and they pushed her jumper up, yanked down her panties and injected her with something.  Anger, fear, desperation, so many emotions filled mhere at that moment, but the overriding one was a burning anger, such as she had never felt before.  She began pacing up and down the long hallway for hours on end, tapping her foot on the infantry-blue line by her doorway  that ran along the side of the hallway.  And each time she tapped her foot on that infantry-blue line, mhere made a vow that no matter how long it takes, no matter what she had to do -someday I am going to drag thatwitch2016 to justice!!!  Top would never betray one of his troops and mhere vowed, some way, somehow  someone is going to pay for dragging him into some petty, vile shit like this – all over some postings on a politics message board.  mhere always followed the rules, in fact, she had never even gotten a speeding ticket in her life.

And mhere believed in the Constitution of the United States!!!

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