The Straight Jacket

He chased around the house, from one room to the next, telling her she was nuts, just like others in her family.
Just like them.
Drunk he was, and he’d driven home that way, very much out of character.
She was already in her pyjamas, as it was late, although it’s entirely possible that she’d not changed at all, that she’d not gone to work. Depressed again.
They were having a terrible row, and he wouldn’t let up.  Doors were flung open, only to be slammed shut.
Screaming, crying, hiding.
In a moment of “clarity,” she went for it.
Even braless, in an oversized sweatshirt, & pyjama bottoms, she calculated where her purse was, made a run for it, threw her trainers on, and made a bee-line for the front door.  
She had no idea where she would go, family and friends were not only scarce, but sparse too.
Tears streamed down her face as she sprinted to nowhere.  Finally, getting herself together, she hailed a cab, thinking of the only place where she could go for help.
“Emergency, “ please take me to the nearest hospital. I need to go to emergency,” she asked, still crying. 
For hours she waited to be seen, watching others sitting in the emergency ward, bleeding, in pain, this or that. Her pain wasn’t visible, but it was the size of the whole world, and all in her head.
She wondered what they thought of her. Even now, she ponders aloud  their memory of that night…
“Remember that kid who came into emergency begging for a diagnosis of bipolar disorder?”
A part of her was ready for the straightjacket. To sit in a room, all alone, staring at the wall, allowing it to be her only company…Or perhaps she’d have bashed her head against it, like she sometimes used to at the place she called home, where everything was picture perfect.
At that particular time, the psych ward offered salvation. She’d be safe, people would take care of her. Her rotting mind…(?)
When she was finally called in, in the wee hours of the morning, she practically demanded they tell her she had bipolar disorder. They would know the answer, emergency always knows, they would confirm what he was saying. 
She was asked ridiculous questions like, “what is your name? What day is it? What year are we in…?”
Within a matter of moments she was released. No Bipolar. A pat on the head, and ‘on your way, dear,’ sort of thing.
No comfort, but the decision she’d tried to pawn off on someone else, anyone else for much too long, she finally made.
And she left.


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