Before getting on with this post, I would like to thank Deborah over at Dnd and Lisa Marie over at Lisa's Chaos for the awards they so generously bestowed on me. Thank you both for thinking of me when handing these out. I have posted them on my sidebar with pride once more!
I would also like to thank Crazycath for pointing me towards the correct terminology for the electric shock treatment that was given on the ward. When I wrote the post I couldn't think of the correct terminology - I could only remember that I was threatened repeatedly with shock treatment. Crazycath has it correctly when she told me that it was ECT - or Electroconvulsive Therapy - that was administered on the ward. The IV connections that the patients had in their arms allowed for easy administering of anesthesia instead of having to start an IV every couple of days. I know that my aunt did not have this kind of shock treatment during her early days as my uncle told me in detail of watching her being given shock treatment while she was awake. I have no idea - and really who would - if all that shock therapy contributed to her brain tumour, all I know is that it certainly changed her.
For anyone who is interested in ECT - I am including this link to Wikepedia's description of it.
When I returned to the hall I felt an immediate peace and was glad to be back where it was safe from the outside world. I can’t say what my fears of the outside world were, and even today I can’t exactly say, but I have been affected by this experience and still deal with it daily. I don’t often leave the safety of the barn except to do things with which I am familiar. But that is getting ahead of myself once more.
After I had been back on the ward for a week and my medications had been adjusted and I had grown accustomed to my new room, my doctor decided it was time to deal with the problem of my mother. When he first suggested this I cried and cowered in my chair, shrieking that I couldn’t. He took his time with the issue and eventually called my mother during one of our morning sessions. He got the response I knew he would get and was not pleased at all with the conversation. My mother knew I was in the hospital from the staff that came to visit. She also knew that she wasn’t allowed to visit or call me in the hospital. My fear of my mother was so great that I needed extra medication every time she was mentioned.
My doctor and mother met in his office without me. When he told me he was planning this I was almost uncontrollable. I paced and wrung my hands, wept and worried myself to the point of throwing up. I was wild-eyed and frantic. When he told me the meeting had finally taken place, I sat frozen to my chair, afraid that I was going to be turned over to her or chastised by him for something in my past. I felt like a small child and that I had been bad.
When he told me that she had at first been cold and trying to stare him down, I thought I would wet my pants like a little girl. I knew that look and those tactics. But they had eventually talked and I looked at my doctor with eyes as big as saucers and thought how brave and smart he must be to face my mother and come out the winner.
I was given the task of writing a letter to my mother. In this letter I was to tell her all the things she had done that upset me or hurt and how I felt about her. I worked at this letter for two weeks and when I was done I presented it to the doctor. When he told me I was to give it to my mother, I was terrified! There was no way I could show her how she made me feel and I tucked it away in the bottom of my nightstand.
Then he asked me to write a letter to anyone I could think of that had hurt me and that I couldn’t deal with. I wrote a letter to my younger sister. When I was finished, I presented it again to the doctor for his review. We took those two letters and worked on the problems I had written about. Eventually I learned a lot about myself from them and about the people who affected me the most.
One afternoon, shortly after visiting hours began, my mother appeared in the doorway of my room. I had been in the hospital for six months and had not seen her for the entire time. I looked up and saw her standing there, looking the same as she always did, except for the look on her face. Her eyes were sad and full of tears and I stared at her, speechless. She came into the room and sat beside me on my bed and put her arm around my shoulder and hugged me. I cried hysterically to the point where I had an asthma attack. While I fumbled with my inhaler, my mother went and found a nurse and they gave me some fast-acting medication for my anxiety. Mom sat beside me, holding my hand until the tears finally stopped and I was able to take a normal breath again. When I had quieted enough to be able to hear, she said “I’m sorry”. I leaned into her, unable to speak, yet somehow safe once more.