Sunday, 8 July 2012

Dear Andrea

Dear Andrea....
Nice to meet you. I'm your new room mate. We haven't spoke much on the residence but the staff think me and Sam should be separated. I agree. She's a bully and a thief and made my life miserable being her room mate. I'm Kez. You probably think I'm crazy. Truth is, I am I guess. That's what they say. I'll be above you in the top bunk.
I remembered you had the most soft teddies I'd ever seen. Your 11, I'm 13, but still, surely you should be over those dolls and teddies by now, right? You have about 6 cabbage patch dolls in your bed. Isn't that uncomfy?? Everyone on the residence thinks your a baby and bully you for it. Come on though, you even walk them about in prams and dress them in diapers still. You suck your thumb! I like you though. You have the most infectious laugh I have ever heard. You made me feel so welcome in your room. Mariah I don't think liked me. That's cool though. Didn't take to her either. You were always the first asleep under me, and I'd just peer through my bunk bars at Mariah across the room on her single bed, with her headphones in blasting Carrie Underwood. I liked being in this room, but damn did I ever get any sleep. You snoring like a hippo, her music, and that stupid skylight. That was also too high to ever escape out of.
You loved that I was English. You thrived off it. I'd sit with you on your bed saying silly words for you, and you'd roll over laughing. I didn't mind too much playing with your dolls. You were happy for once. I was your only friend. 13 girls on the residence and they all rejected you, but I was okay with you for now. I once scornfully laughed at High School Musical with the other girls, but you got me into it. I'd sit in the kitchen with you watching it comfortably. When we were outside we'd sing the songs like idiots, but I never did it in front of the others. You were so innocent, and so normal, in a setting that really didn't suit you.
Then the girls started again. Yes they were my friends. Very much so. They were my run away buddies. My restraint buddies, my kick-off buddies, my run riot buddies; my have fun buddies. There was more to life than playing with dolls with these girls.
''Why are you hanging with her? She doesn't even wash, or brush her teeth. If she snored that loudly at night I would have kicked her by now or made it clear to her it was pissing me off.''
They were right. They knew how to twist my supposed Bi-Polar symptoms. I now hated you Andrea. Everything about you was annoying. I realized you actually didn't wash. I had major OCD, I had an obsessive showering habit that my psychiatrist says is due to boredom and depression. I shower and change up to 7 or 8 times a day. You shower up to once a week. This makes me not want to be near you. I don't want your hugs. I cant sit and watch High School Musical with you on the same chair. I suddenly start to notice your body odor. Your snoring is more obvious. As I climb up the ladder to my top bunk, I stop and peer at you, like a beached whale, your gob open, snoring loudly. I had to physically stop myself from just pushing my foot through right into your mouth as hard as I could. I started to notice things about you that I didn't before. You have a school year book. You know, the one with all the glossy pictures in of your friends at school. You showed me once, with a heart drawn around your crush. Your own book of memories. You have lots of clothes. More clothes than me. Clothes from the Aunt that's in the process of getting custody of you. You have your ears pierced. You got them done at 5. Your Aunt who you will get to live with buys you teddies, BIG teddies, and new dolls, and visits you EVERY week. Your a spoilt, smelly brat and I hate you. You have everything, and you love it.
Your at school. In fact your on a day trip, because you are SOOO well-behaved and have such nice manners. I'm having a bad day. I decided to not go school today. You know the day I mean Andrea. That explosive day where something is going to happen, I don't know what, but it never ends up pretty. You know, the reason why me and Sam were separated. The fighting and pure hatred for each other.
Today the staff are against me, as usual! I've already been in the quiet room twice. Paul isn't on, nor is Margie. It's Scott. I hate Scott. I lock myself in our room. I'd rather sit in here with no food all day than sit on the residence with Scott. But I'm like a ticking time bomb. I cant be in here bored. The anger in me is too much. I'm crying. Just like half the time, this time I also don't know why. Maybe its my medication, or that Scott's on, but everything is annoying me. I try to distract myself. I snoop about. You and Mariah are at school. I open your high school book. The glossy pages, filled with happy faces. I look through your clothes, majority pink and glittery. A picture of you and your new family to be. Your favorite high school musical soundtrack cd in the player. None of this I have. NONE. Why should you be any different and be so spoilt. You don't know the meaning of pain. All you've ever had is love. You literally have no clue!
I jump up to my bunk, fiercely rip apart my teddy with a zip compartment, and pull out a permanent marker I stole from the office a few weeks back. This was the perfect opportunity. I cleared the floor, placed your high school photo book down, opened my marker, and began to cross out all the happy faces. Crying, and shaking, yet snickering at the amount of pain this would cause. Pushing firmly down with the marker, I came to your crush. I wrote foul names above him and the same for yours. I calmly closed the book and placed it back. Your clothes. Every single one, I drew a huge line across each front. I made sure every item was unwearable. The photo of your family to be. I ripped into tiny pieces, then clipped the pile of shredded memory back to the blue plastic butterfly. I had never felt so much power. This was euphoric. Your c.d, I snapped in half, then placed back in the player. Your dolls. Each one I drew a male genital on their faces. This was the last straw for me as I got on my bed, laughing hysterically. I went into our en-suite toilet and cut my wrists. Made sure the room was spotless, not a spot of chaos to be seen, and went back into the residence to show Scott my arm art work. 'Fuck you Scott' scraped into my arm.
Straight away restrained against the wall, the 'primary' was called, and straight down the quiet room, where I kicked up a royal fuss, needing 3 men to restrain me. Flying, screaming, thrashing, biting, head butting. I loved the struggle. But this was my plan. You'd soon discover the mess upstairs. I knew for a fact Mariah would be home before you. It HAD to be her. I'd of course been in the Quiet Room all day. Well, they did say I was crazy.
The aftermath of that week was hurrendous. Yes, I lied, blamed Mariah. She knew a little bit it was me, but was too scared to blame me back, for fear of me doing the same to her, or worse. The staff knew for sure it was me. I lied for 2 days. Mariah spent 2 days in the quiet room with me. It was hilarious to me to see also her suffer. I was there to see you unfold the terror I had done. First you noticed the picture. You screamed for the staff. You were in tears, you discovered the year book and were hysterical, and discovered the rest of the turmoil, and broke down into Margie's lap. You were heart broken.
I sat in the Quiet Room with Mariah. Your reactions spinning round in my head. I turned around and admitted it was me. I couldn't lie any longer. I wanted my friend back. I don't ever remember saying sorry. You didn't speak to me that night. Or for the next 11 or so nights. There was no eye contact. I was expecting a flying kick to the head, or to find my most prized photos and possessions shredded, but no. Just nothing.
We were back to normal after a while. My new enemy was Mariah, but that's obviously a different story. You forgave me. You never said it, but you forgave me. You made me feel terrible, as you were just still so nice to me. I could never say sorry. I was still far too stubborn. But I tried to make it up. I gave you one of my dolls for your collection. I let you share my pizza pocket. I tried my best to spend quality time with you. I gave you a cotton hair braid. I never dared do such a horrific thing to you again.
I left NCH. The girls cried. I remember the 'Good-Bye Circle'. It was such a heart-breaking day, but I especially remember how sad you were that I was leaving. You wrote in your letter of how no matter what I did to you, I was still a good friend, and the nicest anyone had ever been to you.
I never saw you again. I spoke to you a few times on the phone, my first year back in England, and you were ecstatic to hear from me. But my life moved on over here. I always thought of you though.
As my character grew over here, and I gained a sense of empathy and compassion for people, I treasured more and more the memories I had with you. In my head, I wished the best for you with your new family.

I remember finding out about your death. I broke down for 3 nights, sobbing over the shock and disbelief that you were gone. Its been 5 years I haven't seen you. You were 15. Died from meningitis. You suffered for 3 weeks in hospital. Your new family were there. I read online that you were a bright student, A* doing well in high-school. You weren't in a placement and in a normal family home. Everyone described you as bubbly and a shining star. They went on about your infectious laugh, that I once stayed up late at night listening to. And now your gone.
The guilt. The huge wave of guilt I felt and still feel. If I could take back all those things I did to you, but more importantly, if only I just wasn't so darn stubborn. I knew you had forgiven me, but I know you would have wanted just that one word. 'Sorry.' As I write this, a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye, at the fact that it was a broken good-bye. I didn't plan on saying good-bye to you forever. How Sorry I am to you for being a stubborn, selfish and narrow-minded little girl to you that day, I can not begin to tell you. You are and were an amazing girl. As well as the bullying from the others, and being in such a dysfunctional setting, you never judged anyone, looked down upon, or ignored. Always laughing and smiling, and never down. You were younger than me, yet a far bigger person than I was and even am to this day. I learnt a huge lesson from you. No matter how crap I may feel at forcing myself to say sorry, the other person will always feel worse, if I never apologize. I love you to pieces, you are always in my heart. I am immensely sorry, You are incredible. Rest in Peace.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Against what's right for the child....Thanks.

Dear Sue,
I was glad to meet you at first. You were nicer at first sight than Eric. Eric was nearly 7 feet tell, had a slick hairdo, a very broad chest and shoulders, and looked at me like I had 5 heads. When they scrapped him being my probation officer and give me you instead, at first impressions, I was glad.
Your short, and stubby. Long brown hair, wore glasses, and surprisingly listened to me. You weren't threatening in the slightest. But I quickly grew to dislike you. A dislike that turned to hatred.
I'd already been in YDSU twice by the time you got me. YDSU put me in my cell 21 hours of the day. Going to court was the biggest highlight of my life at that point. Just to get out of the place. Yes I was still in my bright red strong clothes, in a police car with handcuffs and shackles for an hour ride back to Durham County Court, but at this point in my life, anything was better than being in my cell ripping my hair out.
So we get to court. There you are.
''Hey! How ya doing?? Bet it feels good to be out there hey? At least for the time being?''
Sure. 20 minutes goes by as the court hearing proceeds, and Sue, your a very different person now in a very different role.
The judge goes through my behavior at YDSU and events in the past few months.
* Numerous attempts of escape
* 2 Suicide attempts
* Numerous self-harm attempts
* Attack on in-programme nurse to overdose on medicine
(All these things resulting in physical restraints because of my emotional and psychological state, resulting in severely aggressive behavior, which occasionally lead to me having a dislocated shoulder, or a member of staff having a broken jaw.)
Funny how I never got to speak up in any court hearings. I sit there in my handcuffs and shackles, with my head down, dreading the worst outcome. Which is to go back to YDSU. The place is a hell hole. A nightmare.
My attorney is rubbish. I have more balls than him. He's a weedy fella that is practically bricking it everytime when he's around me, which in a way doesnt help my case. He stutters and stumbles put forward his recommendations, and because he cant get his words out, you Sue, with your gutsy mouth, butts in and gives your point of view.
What I ask SUE, is EVERY court hearing, why do you recommend to the judge that I be placed back to YDSU, and I prove for 3 months that I can behave then to MAYBE reconsider finding me a more suitable caring home? Is that a joke. I sat there and cringed and shuddered at your convincing words of how it was right to do that. I was 12 years old.
You put a dog in a kennel for 21 hours of a day, and expect it not to bark, you have another thing coming. Just look at the facts SUE. I've had a mis-diagnosis of Bi-Polar and am prescribed 3 drugs for something I don't even have. I'm also on another drug for supposed 'Insistent Explosive Disorder' which quite frankly I don't think even exists. On top of these I'm ADHD, and a range of other rubbish. Being on all this medication, being in a cell for 21 hours a day, being suicidal every minute I'm in there, yet not being able to kill my self because of staff watch, actually DOES make me go crazy and anyone that does come near me I'll physically attack, because I am that angry and bitter inside. Answer me this, what in your right mind, do you think sending me BACK there for 3 more months is going to do for my well-being?
The judge gave his verdict. Back to YDSU. I'm hysterical. Cant cope. As you pass down to leave the court room, I'm screaming and hurling abuse at you, I try to headbutt you and reach to pull you down by your hair, but am thrown down by the guards.Believe me SUE, I need massive help. But 21 hours in a cell will do nothing for me but send me to the brink of suicide. I'm 12. Because of your stupid messed up decision that had no logic, I spent my 13th birthday in Jail. And this round of going in I hadnt even committed a crime. I served my time for those crimes. You just sent me back because I was crazy.  It ended up being 5 months SUE. I attempted suicide in that period for one reason and one reason only. To die. In my 8 by 8 foot cell. Screaming and crying, kicking and slamming my head against the walls. Just like the crazy people in the movies. Exactly like that. I felt like a caged dog unable to escape. I collapsed on my bed frame, in floods of tears, experiencing just a major panic attack of pure chlaustrophobia.
What I did next and what happened next was one of the worst things I've ever experienced in my life. All because you are one of many people in this world that is TOO quick to make decisions. Not thinking about what affects a decision may have on someone's life or state of mind can be one of the most dangerous things ever.