Everything has started with Prozac. Now I am that girl who takes Xanax under my tongue when I need it. How we cope with our problems creates who we are as a person in the long run.
Loneliness is my biggest issue with the outside world.
I was one of the normal and relatively successful children in my school years. I was loved by almost all people. I have been taken care of by my family. I had chances to choose whatever I think is okay or not in most cases; like choosing which kindergarten I should go, what kind of toys I should play with etc. even when my family even when they are not wealthy. They always gave me choices to make about me in their terms. I have been treated like a person since I was born by my mother. I have been loved. I have been loved by my mother, my other close relatives, and our friends.
My father worked abroad as long as I remember. He mostly came to Turkey once in a month or two, or three. When he came we had fun, eat cakes, go on trips in a close range. We were good when I did what he wanted. We were not when I decide to do things that he does not like. He loved me so much, my mother said. Unfortunately, he is a deranged person. The fact that nobody took his issues seriously until he kicked me out of my old home made our lives more and more difficult.
There I was. Sitting in a stairwell, watching the sundown, talking with my mother on the phone. I just started to study at Boğaziçi. I was in a study room in one of the Kilyos dormitories just before she called. She said he wants her to choose between him and me. Added he does not want my things in his house. That was enough. I told her that to move my things to my grandmother’s house and that he is her husband. She did not make me repeat myself again. I was homeless now. Correction, I accept Kilyos as my home instantly.
I could not accept the fact that I did not have a father anymore. I started to drink too much alcohol. It made me forget about my sadness. It helped me sleep. The number of drugs which the doctor prescribed was increased. Then, I started to hang out with some people and my “daddy issues” showed themselves. Even though I came from a conservative family and I did not plan to encounter any sexual experiences, I could so I did. I suffered major depression and anxiety more than ever. I drank a lot more.
When my last grandfather died, that was it for me. I was in Nevşehir, staying at my cousin’s house and preparing to come back to my “home” when I had the news. Everyone said that I should not participate in his funeral because my father could make a scene. I went. When I begged to him and said “Your father died yesterday. You are my father. There is death in the world. Let’s make peace. Please.” and he did not even look at me, I understand there is no way us to get along well.
I did not know what to do next. I was lost. Even though him banning me from his life is predictable at some point; I did not accept the fact that my father, half of my genes, does not care what happens to me. I formed an abandonment fear in my cores. My mother almost always cared for me, loved me, and sent me money whenever I need but I could not get the possibility of her rejecting me too out of my head, ever. I started a countdown. I would commit suicide when my 19th birthday, if not everything but some things would be better. So I drank more, kissed more; did not care about my grades or my well being. I just waited an idea come to my mind. Now, I do not have any regrets about this. But it was painful as much as fun.
My doctor suggested that I should be hospitalized long before. (Honestly, I love psychiatry departments even the ones in clinics. I can stare at everything however I want and meet interesting people.) I decided it was time to go when my good friends left me one by one until no one is left. It was really difficult to commit oneself to a mental hospital but I knew this was my last choice so I did and said whatever it takes. They accepted me.
I seemed one of the sanest and most conscious patients in my ward. I did a lot of observations and forgot most of the firsts because of the heavy drugs. (Of course, it took some time to take my notebook and a pencil because of the dangers it could cause if I was not sane enough to had a pencil.) I met a lot of people who are suffering from various diseases. I made some friends. I count most of them(even the ones who were not talking) as my friends because we lived together and healed each other to some extent. They were schizophrenic, bipolar, psychotic people, phobics, and so on. Additionally, I observed that some people have thrown in the facility because they “annoy” their families. Or have nowhere to go. A woman who was raped and thrown in here by her rapist, her husband. While menstruating. A grandma, whose son is staying in the men’s ward. They were hospitalized because they both diagnosed schizophrenics. When I asked her do you want to go out, she said “Why? I have hot water, a bed, and food here.” The other girls said she was living in a dump. I believed them. There was a foreign girl, She immigrated from Ukrain or somewhere. She married a Turkish man and gave birth to his baby. Then, she was here, away from her baby and her so-called home where she thought she had been loved. She seemed healthy. I could not figure out her. Everyone said she was a prostitute before she was married because she had a tattoo on her hip. Yes, we could see everything because of the lack of privacy. (It was really difficult to me at the beginning) There was a woman, mother of 3 children, her soon to be ex-husband thrown her here because he and his family did not want her to have the custody of her children and if she was committed that would be difficult.
I deduced that mental hospitals accommodate women are not only used to heal them but also to get rid of unwanted women all over Turkey. (Like blaming women, calling them witch and burning them in middle ages) Furthermore, I learn that these kinds of facilities are in some people’s dreams because of financial situations and inequalities. Of course, I cannot know about other countries but I am sure about this because of the fact that I was in the BRSHH, the best-known institute in the country.
Behaviors of the doctors, psychologists, caregivers, and the other essential employees really surprised me. Doctors and interns (committee) came every Tuesday and Wednesday. We were seated in the couches in the tv room those days. They came and they looked at us from above, like we were just textbook patients. They were commenting quietly, nodding, taking notes. We were released only when they went to the other wards. I naively thought even if we are sick, they would treat us as individuals before went in. Wrong. We were treated like animals. Thank god my education and the name of Boğaziçi University made them treat me like less a wild animal and more like a pet. Okay, I admit sometimes they liked me and I felt like a human from time to time. Letter of S, the abbreviation of suicidal, was written next to my name in the chart and I was treated like a baby sometimes. But I do not know how many times they yell at someone because they wet themselves unconsciously or spat out because she thought a genii spat in her mouth. I do not know why it took a long time to intervene when someone fainted or has a high fever.
Some features need to be improved in order to have a healthy and safe environment to rehabilitate patients and reintegrate them into society. Lack of particular qualifications causes us to return to mental hospitals repeatedly. I know that because most of them were competing with each other about how many times they were committed.
I saw what does life to us in that ward, and sometimes its garden. I met people from all walks of life. I healed myself. Okay, the healing was done %70 by me, %20 with the patients and %10 by the doctors and psychologists. Yes, they do not take care of us. I remember sitting on the floor in front of their rooms just because I want them to let me in for 20 minutes.
When my hospitalization is completed, I went outside. It was hard. The car ride was horrible, the noise was A LOT, the people were acting. I got used to pure feelings and reactions so I could see every artificial behavior. The first thing I did was to go to the hairdresser because I missed my purple hair. I hugged my mother. She was shaken about the issue of my depression could come this far because of rejection by a parent.
I got used to people, fake behaviors, lies, the world… I sent my mother back to Nevşehir and went to the dormitory. It was snow break so nobody was in my room. When they came back, I could not stand it. My grades were not good either. So I quit. I rent a house in Hisarüstü and started to work 2 part time jobs in order to help out my mother. Then I got fired from one because I fall a sleep. I adopted a black cat and named him Pamuk. He is still with me and I want to find immortality just because he could live forever with me. I thought I made good friends. I lost and/or get rid of some. I made new ones. (I hope they are forever friends.) I do not have time to pretend someone I am not. I set up my first house and moved it to another location all by myself. I had pneumonia 2 times while I was alone and I survived. I carried my old things from my grandmother’s house to my new house. I made myself a home. I was okay. I am okay.
However, I feel like my problems are not even begin. I have some serious fears and nobody can help me. First of all, I could not shake the feeling of the risk of staying poor instantly if someday my mother and I fight hard and she cuts my money. I have no idea what I could do. I do not trust people. I cannot be able to trust people. If half of my genetics could abandon me, why the other half cannot do the same? Or how can I expect people to love me and care about me while my father does not do that? I still cannot be in any kind of real romantic relationship with neither men nor women. I hope my friends will always stand beside me but I do know that everybody leaves.
When it comes to my father, he hurt a lot of people in my family. He does not speak with his mother since he learned she has the opposite political view. Since my grandfather was ill, she suffers depression too. When her husband died and her son rejected his daughter and behave poorly to his family she started to use a lot of medicine because of the depression. He does not speak with his cousins who are supporting me about the whole situation. He does not speak with my mother and my brother if not necessary even though he retired and came to Turkey to be with his family. I still send him messages and emails about their well being and things like how to avoid corona etc. but he does not answer me understandably. I remember drunk dialing him in 2017 a lot. He only listened to me when I was begging and saying that I would be transferred to ODTÜ. Then I always changed my mind again when I was sober. It has been literally 3 years. It is nonsensical that people who are driven crazy by medically disturbed individuals are the ones face consequences of this madness. I admit I had some problems but I blame him for instantly increased ones.
He contributed to my personality by not being with me. I would not become who I am today if he behaved differently. Maybe it would be difficult to learn in the future what I had learned so early, because of him. Still, I have serious trust issues and it probably will reflect my reactions to a lot of situations in my life.
I am not weak. I am stronger than ever. In fact, I am better today than I was yesterday and I will be better tomorrow than I am today.