Twenty-one years ago today I awoke naked in a seclusion room at Clinton Valley Center, a Michigan state psychiatric hospital. I had just managed to live through the worst night of my life, and upon regaining consciousness I thought that I had died and gone to hell. For three days I was in that little cell while my breast milk painfully dried up and I was overdosed by the attending nurses with Haldol, an anti-psychotic drug.
As the dystonia overtook my body, my tongue was lashing uncontrollably out of my mouth and I was shuddering with convulsions and seizure-like body movements. I was quickly transferred to a medical ward where I was once again placed in four-point restraints on a gurney and given 50 mg of Benadryl to help with the reaction.
Thus began the nightmare that was the biggest wake-up call of my life.
Three months previously I had given birth to a beautiful little girl and after a move in the dead of winter when she was six weeks old, I quickly degenerated into sleep deprivation mania and then experienced a psychotic break when she was three and a half months old. My husband and parents took me to a private Michigan hospital where I absolutely refused to sign myself into the psychiatric ward, and so I was sent on a medical certificate to the state hospital which was located in Pontiac, Michigan.
A few hours after my family left me in the care of the "professionals" I was being gang raped by four orderlies who, after cleaning me up a little bit, threw me — literally tossed me naked — into a seclusion room where I landed with a thud on a hard mat.
In mania a few days before I was hospitalized
Don't believe torture exists in America? Do a little research on the abuses of the mentally Ill in long-term psychiatric care for more clarity on that topic.
Why write about this painfully private and horrifying episode on the eve of the biggest power grab in American History by the federal government? These stories need to be told.
After a year of being court ordered to eat a cocktail of psychiatric medications, I was able to find a female psychiatrist who gradually helped me to wean myself from the medications I had been forced to take by the judge. During the six weeks of my hospitalization, I had absolutely refused to be medicated as I wanted to continue to breastfeed my daughter.