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Adolescent Unit

Anonymous
Posted by Anonymous
  • 8 Replies

POP-TART

I glance at the clock: 2:54 pm. Exactly 6 more minutes before Jen, the perky young nurse, will come to check on my progress with my pop-tart.

I turn my head down the hallway, slightly swaying in the cushy desk chair. Jen leans against the wall beside the rec room, listening to a complaint from a tall Mexican boy - Tito. She wears a smile and asks all of the right questions, evidenced by a nod and brief grunt from Cindy, the older battleaxe nurse. Cindy has been part of this place when they were still allowed to chemically sedate us without parental permission. Now everything has a form. Even this pop-tart has a form.

“Aletta?” My eyes dart up to the clock: 2:58. I lick my lips and clench the half-eaten pop-tart in my hand, feeling the sugar crystals melt into my sweaty palm. Jen kneels beside the desk chair. “How are you coming with your snack?” I can feel the curiosity and genuine caring roll off her in waves, unsettling my stomach.

“Um...I have two minutes, right?” A question with a question. That's what everyone else does in here.

“Of course. I just wanted to see how you were feeling.” Jen raises her head toward the clock. “I also don't want you to rush yourself through it and make yourself sick. I understand that this is still new for you.” She smiles that smile again. I return with a grin that resembles a grimace, then take a bite of the pop-tart. Jen stands, gives a light pat on my shoulder, and walks into the nurses station. The telltale click of keys erupts from underneath her fingers. I imagine what she may be typing in my chart.

Aletta ate 50% of afternoon snack within the 30 minute window. Aletta declined to discuss her feelings. RN provided reinforcement and encouragement. Aletta continues to eat snack at this time.

Jen and her concise, factual, specific information. She is from the generation that grew up with computers, and she navigates the charting system better than most of veteran staff. It's a pride point for her, and also the reason why I've been here for three weeks. Before she began working under Cindy, no one paid attention to my meals. I was just quiet. Now there are food charts with star stickers and an innate feeling of rebellion bouncing around in my twin bed.

I'm not the only one with charts and rituals. We're a mixed bag of kids here. The cutters, the sociopaths, the histrionics, the druggies, and the suicidals. But we are all capable of being saved as long as we are taken out of real society and placed in a vacuum of puzzles, crayons, and talking about our feelings. Jen is one of the nicer ones, actually. She told us in group that she thinks we are the symptom, not the problem, in our society. That we need to take the good with the bad and move forward to change the world. Cindy smirked at this suggestion. She's not as optimistic after decades of working with us troubled adolescents. After what I've seen just this last three weeks, I don't blame her.

Tito walks by my chair to his room. We don't make eye contact. The first time I laid eyes on Tito, he was decked out in piercings. One by one, the staff coerced him into removing them. Despite his protests that he was done with cutting, the forms his parents signed said that he would remove all piercings. I know why we can't have piercings. It's the same reason why we can't keep pencils in our bedrooms or use staples. I'm less clear on why we can't keep soap in our shower, but I'm sure there's a reason for it that I don't want to hear.

I sigh. I really can't eat another bite of this. I throw the crumbles into the trash and walk into my room. I know there's a good chance that Jen will come find me for a debriefing about not finishing the pop-tart. She'll try to dig down deeper to the “real issues” that we're supposed to discuss in group.

They say it wasn't always about food. Maybe it still isn't.

To be continued...

Posted by Anonymous on Jun. 17, 2013 at 2:00 AM
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Replies (1-8):
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jun. 17, 2013 at 3:13 AM

story bump

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jun. 17, 2013 at 3:13 AM

TLDR bump

carolyntx
by Gold Member on Jun. 17, 2013 at 3:16 AM
:) well written
crumpy_gat
by No. on Jun. 17, 2013 at 3:17 AM

LOL

Quoting Anonymous:

TLDR bump


Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jun. 17, 2013 at 3:19 AM


Thank you.  The thread floating around about being in and out of mental hospitals inspired me.

Quoting carolyntx:

:) well written



Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jun. 17, 2013 at 3:24 AM

my lovely lady bumps

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jun. 17, 2013 at 3:24 AM

everyone else does it bump

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jun. 17, 2013 at 3:25 AM

look at me ma i'm an active post bump

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