Schizophrenia - Book cover

Schizophrenia

Sxmmy

2: And What Are You in For?

Is this what they call group therapy?

Deral had brought me to a room where patients sat in a circle with what seemed to be a doctor holding a clipboard.

Each patient, including myself, all had our wrists cuffed together. I guess this is so we don’t lash out or hurt anyone?

But it seems a bit barbaric if you ask me; they dig into my skin even when my hands lay perfectly still in my lap.

I sat between two elderly patients who both looked as if they had eye bags for days. The woman to the left of me had dark circles around her eyes; does she get any sleep?

The man to the left of me has a tooth or two missing—whenever he would talk it would be all I notice. What happened to these people? Am I going to end up that way?

The doctor looked at us one by one and asked us to introduce ourselves and say what we were in for.

Apparently they were only doing this since I was the new patient in the group. Way to make me feel like the odd one out…

The doctor pointed to the old, toothless man to the right of me. “Tyler, correct?” He asked. The old man nodded. “Tyler, why don’t you introduce yourself?”

The old man, Tyler, cleared his throat and began speaking. Man, the gaps in his teeth are all I can think about.

“The name’s Tyler. I’m sixty three years old and have been here since I was forty two. I suffer from post traumatic stress disorder.”

He spoke so casually about what he dealt with. Before I could even think, the doctor spoke up.

“What events occurred that you are now dealing with PTSD?”

“I witnessed my wife’s brutal murder,” Tyler said casually again.

“She was murdered in our bedroom one night and the killer hit her over the head with a hammer. Then he stabbed her a couple times and threatened to come after me if I called the cops.”

He paused for a moment. “I feel like that killer is still coming after me…”

The room fell silent for a moment.

The doctor spoke up once more.

“Thank you Tyler for telling us about yourself,” by the tone of voice, the doctor was a bit unsettled. How can he be unsettled when he asked the question?

“Next we have our new patient Ryder. Ryder, why not tell us about yourself?”

For a moment I sat silently because I didn’t know what to say.

‘Hey everyone, I’m here on false accusations by my psychotic mother! It’s great to meet you all!’ Does he really expect me to say that?

“Ryder?”

I looked at the doctor and down at my hands. I began twiddling my thumbs. “Ryder Bends. 17 years old.” was all I said.

“…and what are you in for?” the doctor edged on.

I let out an annoyed sigh.

“My mother claims I have schizophrenia. In reality, no one here did a background check because I’m here for no reason. I don’t have schizophrenia, I don’t have any disorder, and I don’t deserve to be here.”

I tried to cross my arms but the cuffs prevented me from doing so.

The doctor checked his clipboard. “According to your information sheet, you have a family history of schizophrenia. Is that correct?”

“Good god, I don’t know!” I groaned.

“Maybe she’s in for being cranky.” Another old man piped up and laughed.

The doctor ignored the side comment and continued speaking, “You do seem to have some sort of ancestral cases of schizophrenia. Even some cases relating to some of your recent family members.

“Which is …incredibly rare for how often your family has experienced this. There’s only a 6% to 10% chance children inherit schizophrenia from a parent.”

I rolled my eyes and sat up in my seat. “My mom isn’t schizophrenic and I’ve never met my dad before. No one in my immediate family has schizophrenia and what are the chances I’d even get it? 6% out of 94%?”

Once again, people are reaching for something that isn’t there. My uneasiness became replaced with annoyance and restlessness because this doctor was trying to diagnose me with nonsense.

And what does he mean by inheriting it from a parent anyway? Neither of my parents are sick. I mean, mother is questionable, but still.

***

As soon as the session began, it thankfully ended. Deral dragged my by the arm back to my room and left me alone in my room once more.

Thankfully he took the cuffs off my wrists; I felt like my circulation was going to be cut off if I wore them any longer. I looked to the analog clock to see it was barely two in the afternoon.

The day is barely over and I won’t be out of my cell for another few hours for dinner.

I haven’t earned rights to the ‘free time’ room where patients would play board games and walk around and mingle with other patients. As of now, it was only me and this creaky, old bed.

I layed on my right side on the bed and stared at the wall. My eyes traced the old, chipping paint lines that detailed the entire wall.

When was the last time they fixed this place up? I feel like I’m in an old horror movie with the walls crumbling around me.

I turned over to my left side and stared at the wall once more. My focus was on the chipping paint once more, but this time a mark caught my attention.

I sat up from where I lay and slowly inched closer toward the scribble on the wall.

The closer I got, the better detail I saw, except the paint was covering a larger portion of the scribbles.

I began to chip away the paint on the wall and slowly revealed what seemed to be an image on the wall. The image was disturbing to say the least.

It was a faint black marker that had a scribbled drawing of something …or someone? It was hard to tell.

There were also letters mixed into the shuffle of the marker drawing but it was hard to make out what it said.

K …I…L…M…E…

‘Kill me?’ But it was misspelled.

More letters were revealed the more I chipped the paint.

B…L…A…

Bla? What’s ‘Bla?’ And whose drawing was this? Who was in here before me?

Before I could chip more paint away, the door swung open. I looked to my left and saw Deral staring at me in disbelief. “What are you doing?” He yelled. “Defacing property like that?”

I looked back at the wall and realized just how much paint I had really chipped away—two times the size of my hand was how much of the wall was chipped.

I tried to apologize but instead nothing came out. Deral aggressively grabbed my arm and yanked me to my feet. He pulled me out of my room and locked my hands once again.

He pulled me down the hallway to who knows where. “I’m going to need custodial staff in Winston Hall; a patient destroyed wall paint and we need a paint job ASAP.”

Deral spoke into his walkie talkie with annoyance.

Destroyed wall paint? Isn’t that strong wording?

All I could think about was those drawings, those messages. Who drew that? What are they trying to tell me? Am I in danger?

Or was it just another deranged patient trying to scare me? I felt like I was going to be sick with how many thoughts circled each other in my mind.

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