I didn’t belong in the hospital. A psychiatric ward full of kids with hallucinations and delusions? Definitely not the place for me. I didn’t hear voices or see things or think I was superman. I was just a teenage girl. I was in here because of a simple mistake. That was it.
If you’re looking for details, I was in the adolescent ward of Del Amo Hospital, a place for crazy and depressed people. All the kids there were either psychotic or wanted to kill themselves. It was idiotic. The only good thing about the ward was that they kept the boys and girls apart, so all the druggie perverts were far from me.
The worst person in the hospital was definitely Vicky. She was always having screaming fits and never would do what the staff wanted. She refused to take her meds, tried to start fights with the other kids, and even ended up getting “booty juiced” quite a few times. Yes, that’s an actual term kids in these hospitals use. “Booty juice” is a sedative that kids get through a shot in their butt when people think they’re freaking out enough to be considered a danger to themselves, other patients, or occasionally even staff. Whenever Vicky would throw her little tantrums, the staff had to try to calm her down until they were forced to physically restraining her and eventually sedating her. Sedatives usually kept a kid down for a good day, so the fact that I saw Vicky pitch fits and get sedated multiple times just shows how much of a mess she was, considering that people usually didn’t stay in a hospital for longer than a week. If they still needed help after that, they were moved to a residential or long term facility. I kept wondering why Vicky hadn’t been moved to one of those places yet, considering that she obviously wasn’t going to get better.
A few days into my stay at a Del Amo (which, by the way, is known to be one of the worst psychiatric hospitals in Southern California), I finally agreed to go to one of the groups. This was the first time I had left my room for anything other than a meal. I hadn’t even gone to the sessions with the psychiatrist. I didn’t need it, anyway. So it was my first time talking to any of the other patients.
I sat by myself, staring down at the table. A few other girls sat near me, but I wouldn’t talk to them. One girl, very pretty with dark skin and eyes, tried to speak to me. I ignored her.
The group was boring, as I expected. When the group began, the therapist woman leading went around asking each kid our name and what had brought us to the hospital. When she got to the friendly girl with the dark skin, she said her name was Lucy and that she was in the hospital to recover from trauma after her father tried to kill her. Most of the kids looked at her like they felt bad for her, but I just rolled my eyes. She sure didn’t look like a trauma victim, and I was sure she was just saying it for attention.
Then the therapist got to me. I sighed, figuring I might as well say something since I had come to the group.
“I’m Molly,” I groaned, irritated with everything. “I’m here by mistake.”
Everyone looked at me, all either confused or smirking. I rolled my eyes again. They all thought I was lying.
“What do you mean, Molly?” the therapist asked me.
“It was a mistake. I just got in a fight, and the other kid made it seem like I attacked him. Because I denied it, they thought I was delusional or something.” I shrugged. “I just kind of gave up on getting them to believe me.”
The therapist forced a smile, obviously not believing me.
She moved on, and moved on. Eventually, she got to a girl sitting by herself with fluffy black hair. The girl didn’t say anything at first, until the therapist called her by her name. I wondered about that at first, but then realized that the girl must have been here for a while, so the staff all knew her name.
The girl snapped out of her daze, looking up at the therapist.
“Vicky, are you okay?” the therapist continued.
“Vicky, can you tell us why you’re here?”
The girl with the fluffy hair sighed.
“I didn’t take my meds one day, and I thought my teacher was trying to hurt me. I hit her with a stapler and stabbed her with a pencil. I didn’t mean to.”
Some of the kids looked sympathetic, while others looked slightly disturbed. I was just bored.
The rest of the group went on as expected: boring and unhelpful. At first, I thought I only saw it that way because I wasn’t fucked up like the other kids, but then I noticed that they were all as bored and irritated as me. It went on for an hour before dinner came, and I had gotten bored and lost my appetite. I was about to get up a leave when someone tapped my arm. It was Lucy.
“Hey. It’s dinner now. Where are you going?”
I shrugged. “I’m not hungry. I’m just going to go back to my room and read.”
Lucy smiled. “Oh really? What are you reading?”
“It’s an anthology. The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe.”
She giggled, confusing me.
I asked, “What?”
“It just sounds so pretentious. ‘Complete tales and poems’ sounds like something one of those kids who thinks they’re so superior because they drink tea and listen to classical music would read.”
I rolled my eyes. “You have issues with me because I’m smart enough to have a problem with modern media and millennials?”
Lucy laughed. “Are you serious?”
“Do I sound like I’m joking?”
Her smile faded, realizing that I was serious. I was still irritated.
“Are we done here?” I asked.
She forced a new smile. “Yeah. Enjoy your book.”
I could hear her sarcasm, and I turned to walk back to my room.
She may not have been crazy, but she definitely didn’t understand me.
When I finally agreed to see the psychiatrist, she went on for ages about delusions and even bipolar disorder. Eventually, she told me to start taking something called Seroquel. I didn’t know what it was, but apparently, my parents had given consent for me to take it. All I knew was that I would not be taking these pills.
When they called me the next night to take my Seroquel, I was going to refuse until I saw who was at the front of the medication line: Vicky. The girl was arguing with the nurse about why she didn’t want to take her medication. I stepped into line and watched the argument build until Vicky knocked over the medicine cart. Staff ordered everyone into their rooms, and I quickly found myself in my room with my panicking roommate Stella. While she was curled up in bed crying, I pressed my ear against the door, trying to hear what was going on in the hallway. I heard Vicky screaming until she crashed into something. It was hard to tell what was happening after that, but eventually, the banging stopped and Vicky’s screaming slowly got further away. I figured they were taking her to the “time-out” room. The screaming got more distant after I heard a door close, and eventually the screaming stopped. She had probably been sedated.
Several minutes later, they let us back out into the hallway. As I was walking back over to the med cart, I decided to run over to the “time-out” room, to see if Vicky was in there. Through the barred windows, I saw a nurse sitting next to a bed. Two staff members quickly got in my way and made me go back to the cart, but I’d seen what I wanted: the fluff of black hair sticking up at the bottom of the window.
Six days into my stay, I knew I’d been there too long. They told me I couldn’t leave until I started taking the medicine so they could observe its effects on me. But there was no way I was putting that shit in my body. Besides, if psycho Vicky could get away with not taking her drugs, so could I. So I decided to do something about all of this.
Vicky, for once not in the “time-out” room, was sitting in the dayroom watching TV after breakfast. I came up behind her, looking at her for a moment without her knowing I was there. She was fairly skinny, no curves to her name. She couldn’t have been older than thirteen. I couldn’t help but smile as I imagined her tiny body in the state of my sister’s.
I poked her from behind, and she jumped, looking startled. I smiled at her, the thought still in my head.
“Hi, Vicky. Can I talk to you for a minute?”
She looked nervous, but stood up and looked at me expectantly. I waited for her to respond, until I realized she was too retarded to give me an actual response.
“Hey, how long have you been here?” I asked, still smiling.
“Eight days,” she murmured, looking nervously at the ground.
“What’s wrong?” I asked. “You look scared.”
She shrugged. “Anxiety, I guess.”
I laughed and put a hand on her shoulder. “Do I make you anxious?” My smile widened, and I got closer to the crazy girl. Her eyes bulged in fear. She started to stutter nonsense, eventually getting a word out.
“Great!” I threw my arm around her shoulder. “You wanna see something cool? I found it in the bathroom.”
“I guess,” she mumbled.
“Let’s go.” I pulled her away from the table, toward the exit to the dayroom. We were almost out the door when we heard the most annoying word anyone in a hospital knows.
I sighed, turning toward the staff member who had shouted at us. I wanted to yell at her. I wanted to flip her off. I wanted to tell her to fuck off for trying to mess up my plans. But of course, I kept quiet and smiling. I took my arm off of Vicky’s shoulder. I instead grabbed her by the hand and pulled her toward the bathroom. I pushed her toward the sink and ran over to the stalls. I checked behind the curtains, and found no one. I laughed, looking over at Vicky and her anxious stance. I grabbed her around her shoulders again and pulled her toward the stall.
“Hey Vicky, check it out.” I grinned, pulling back the curtain that served as the stall door. She looked inside, confused and paranoid.
“I don’t see anything,” she said quietly through her stutter. She whimpered a little bit. “Hey Molly?”
I continued to smile. “Yeah?”
“What’re we doing in here?”
“Shutting you the fuck up.”
I grabbed Vicky by the back of her head and forced her face into the toilet. I flushed it, using quite a classic yet effective technique. Once the flush was over, I pulled her face out and smashed her head against the back of the toilet. She went down, and I darted over to the entrance to the bathroom. I held the handle firmly, not letting anyone in.
Vicky, regaining consciousness after her ten-second sleep, started to crawl away from me to the back of the bathroom. I laughed, making sure no one was pushing against the door. They hadn’t noticed yet.
I walked up to psycho-girl, watching her move around, disoriented.
“Did you really think I was put in here by mistake?” I laughed, kicking Vicky’s teeth in. She whimpered, choking too much to be able to scream. “Did you really think I was that much denial?”
She covered her face, trying to spit out her blood and missing teeth. I grabbed her by her shirt collar and slammed her face into the sink. Still choking, all she could do was cough and whimper.
“You know how I got in here?” I said, unable to quit laughing. “You know how? Do you have any idea?”
I pulled her face up to mine, grinning into her broken and bloody face. Her eyes were unfocused, and she seemed to not even understand what was going on. She was too disoriented to fight back, let alone respond to my question.
“I beat the living shit out of my sister. I slammed her ugly fucking face into the kitchen counter so many times she nearly died. It seemed like she was going to go into a coma. Just like this!”
I grabbed the back of her collar again and started slamming her face into the counter. I began to laugh too loudly, and the slamming noise became too loud. The staff were going to come in soon. I only had a few seconds left.
I threw Vicky down so that her chin would hit the edge of the sink. Her head snapped back, and bone cracking could be heard.
By the time staff were inside, Vicky’s neck was broken.
They found me standing over the corpse, my foot on her bashed-in head.
I wasn’t lying when I said I didn’t need to be in a psych hospital. I don’t.
I need to be where I am now.
And putting me in there was a mistake. After all, if they hadn’t put me in there, Vicky would still be alive.
But at least I got rid of psycho-girl, I got myself out of Del Amo Hospital, and best of all, I fucked up that shitty hospital’s reputation.
And yes, it was worth it.