The day after my incident,
was the last time I saw my family for over 6 months. This dark and dank place is my home now. I have not seen or heard from any of my family since that day. It is as if what I did is unforgiveable in their eyes. They don’t understand how I felt. They don’t care that the feeling has finally passed. I can finally take care of them the way a proper lady should. I still cling to these ideals, these hopes, but they are starting to slip away.
Although it is a stark contrast to my home, I am starting to get used to this place. At least it is not quiet. I cannot stand the quiet. I discovered that when I was out there. The quiet drove me to this place. The other women are constantly making some type of noise around me. Even though the lack of quiet is due to the sicknesses of the patients, I am thankful for it.
One of the women staying here runs up and down the hallways a few times a day just screaming. I am not sure why she screams, but I can understand the sentiment. I can see from the looks of the others, they understand her as well. In fact, the noise gives me a much-needed distraction. It is less time in which to fill the spaces in my mind.
We aren’t allowed much to occupy ourselves, even less than what I was allowed when I was sent to my father’s to heal. Some of these women are unable to speak for a variety of reasons, we do not have many friendly conversations with each other. Once I was feeling better, I tried to talk to some of the other girls.
“Hello. My name is Mrs. William Shaw” holding out my hand to another of the patients.
The girl, who never told me her name whispered, “There are no proper titles here Mrs. Whoever you are. You would be wise to learn quickly to become more modest and stay quiet before you get us both in trouble.”
I was confused by her warning, but I have come to learn that those of us who have tried to speak have been silenced either from fear of repercussion or inability to maintain a conversation. So for those patients who break the seemingly required silence with screams or frequent self-proclaimed musings, I am thankful they keep the absolute quiet at bay.
Even though we don’t speak, we empathize for each other. We all have our own version of nightmares that wake us screaming at night. Day after day, we suffer abuse I could never have imagined existed until that fine day I was secluded to this new home. Despite our previous status, we all suffer this place together. It is an unspoken bond that we have gained from our close proximity to one another and the trials we continue together.
Although my environment has drastically changed, I somehow have been able to change the darkness in my mind. It may have taken months and I am unsure of how, but I am finally happy. I no longer wake screaming from nightmares. I am much stronger now, and I am happy here alone. I have learned to trust in me and what I want.
It is a stark contrast to my surroundings. Maybe it is because of my surroundings. I have found solace in overcoming the hardships this place has put on all of us. I have faith in myself. In my survival. You can see this in many of the eyes of the women here. Determination. I am surrounded by women determined to survive. It brings hope to my situation, even though none of us know how to make it happen.
To Be Continued…