Don’t Bring People Home From The Psych Ward

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So I was admitted to the local psychiatric unit on March 8th I believe it was. While in there, I met quite a few people, as they were almost at full capacity. One of the people I met was a woman, Hannah we’ll call her, who was in there because she had drank herself nearly to death, a blood alcohol level of .60, she was on a ventilator, all kinds of crazy stuff, plus she has epileptic seizures too. I liked her, we got along and it turned out she knows my aunt and my uncle that passed away in October. Her and my aunt spent a lot of time together in jail/rehab. Anyway, Hannah was getting out on the same day as me and she had no place to go. She was supposed to go to the homeless shelter in town. For some messed up reason though, I was having a hard time with the thought of her having to go to the shelter like that, straight out of the psych unit. So, being the do now think later fool that I am, I suggested that maybe my husband would pick her up when he picked me up, and that maybe she could come stay the night with us and go to the shelter the next day. She came home with us and we started talking about it and I thought, well maybe she can stay here til she finds a living arrangement suitable for her. At this time she seemed fine, a bit slower in certain ways, but generally alright. I knew in the psych ward that she was kind of out of it a lot, but I figured that was the meds they had her on in there and coming down off alcohol. 

She had appointments that she had to go to for the next like two days after we got out, so the shelter was like less of a priority to her. She had made it clear that she didn’t want to go there at all. My husband and I were thinking of giving her two weeks and then she’d have to do something from there, but the longer she stayed, the more I realized just how sick she really was. It was like the first day was fine. The second day was alright, but the later it got, the more she changed, it was as if she were drunk, but I knew she couldn’t be, because I had been with her all day long. She was unsteady on her feet, walking into thing, etc. She slurred her words and often didn’t make much sense.Like I said, the later it got, the worse she got, falling asleep with cigarettes and food in her mouth. I literally had to make her lay down, so I knew she was safe and the rest of my house was safe, before I could go to bed; and she absolutely did not want to stay in bed, she kept getting up, saying “oh well I just need this” and “I’m just gonna smoke one last cigarette” and eventually I got to the point where I was losing my patience and starting to get snippy with her, raising my voice and losing my cool. 

It got to the point where I started talking my tobacco to bed with me, because that was what she was smoking, my stuff. Which wouldn’t have been so bad except that she went through over half a bag of tobacco in three days. I sat her down and explained to her that I needed her to respect the fact that I did not want her smoking in my house at night while everyone was sleeping, because she was not safe with a cigarette in that condition and that I did not need her setting my house on fire with my babies and husband in it. She objected of course, saying that she was fine with a cigarette at night, but I told her I knew better, that I’d seen her fall asleep before. She got upset about it and made a wise crack about how she’d just smoke cigarette butts. I turned around and looked at her and said, “If you can’t respect my children’s lives enough to not smoke at night, then I can’t have you here Hannah.” She got poutty and she finally went and laid down. Every night after that she got like that at night time, almost as if she were drunk. It started to get where she was like that during the day too. In a matter of days she declined. It was sad and fast and I wasn’t sure what to do with her, but I knew I couldn’t take care of her on m own. I felt very guilty and bad about that. Then the final straw happened. I got up on Friday or Saturday night and I happened to catch her in the smoking room, smoking cigarette butts. I was furious. The ONE thing I had asked her not to do in my home, she had done anyway and furthermore, she tried to make me feel guilty about it. Like I was the bad guy for being mad, but no, that’s bs, because she knew better and she just couldn’t see what she did that was wrong. 

That night she was like, “Fine, I’ll leave, I’m just causing more stress in your life and you don’t need that”, and I felt bad, but it was true. I couldn’t take care of her the way she needed to be taken care of and she wouldn’t really listen to me. I knew I had to get her somewhere where they had the resources to get her in touch with all the right channels. She didn’t wanna go anywhere I suggested, including a sober living treatment facility down state, but then all of a sudden she says that she never said she wouldn’t go down to one, so I was like, “okay, that’s another option” The next day comes and she is calling everyone she can think of to see if she can go stay with them…. and none of them wanted her, she either couldn’t, or they didn’t want her. She’s almost forty years old and she’s burned a lot of bridges. I want to be her friend, but I can’t be what she needs, I can only support her in doing the right things, I can’t take care of her in my home. I talked to her brother who’s living in his truck right now, and he said it, their parents have pretty much give up on them. It’s truly sad. So I watched her call around to all these friends and family members asking for help, and I keep seeing her get more and more frustrated because she’s not getting her own way. She ended up finding a girl she’d known a long time who’s a nurse at the hospital, who was willing to come get her, but just for the night. She has a life too, a kid and work, daycare she lives in low income based housing where they wanna know all your business. I don’t know what she’ doing now. 

I’ve tried to get a hold of someone in her family. I’d like to know what’s going on. But I haven’t heard anything and I know she’s mad at me for it. But if she would’ve kept staying here it would’ve enabled her to not do the right thing and it was time. Hopefully she’s at the shelter right now getting the help she needs. I just hope she is seeing the truth about how bad her brain damage really is. I care for the girl a lot and I’m praying for her constantly. It was just something that I found I couldn’t handle. I have too many problems of my own that I need to work on. I hope that doesn’t sound cold and callous.  I really like her and I care about what happens to her  but I just couldn’t take the responsibility for her. I pray she gets the help she needs, I believe she will. Hopefully I get a hold of her soon…. But for now, let’s just say, I learned you can’t save others, It has to come from within that person. 

I truly do wish her all the best. I’m just not well enough myself yet in order to be trying to help someone else. I should’ve seen it before, but I didn’t. Lesson learned. 

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