My toughness is slowly collapsing under the wait of God’s kindness for me. But I still enjoy telling stories of how I recovered my ability to stand up for myself. As I said before, my maleness was deeply injured when I got molested at nine.
I had been a smart aleck most of my life but when push came to shove I was always the guy backing down and running away. That all changed my last year in Texas.
I used to hang out near this Sonic in Mansfield and I kind of sensed stuff going on there that was not all flowers and roses; drugs and misogyny it seemed to me.
By this time I had taken the name Andrew Dancing Bear for myself and that is a story in itself. Anyway, one day I walked over there and just kind of looked in the window. I started screaming at some guy working in there that he had better keep his hands off the women or I would end him. Whether he was doing anything like that it is hard to know for sure, in my mind I was working of instinct.
This guy with his family at the drive up part of Sonic starts yelling at me to shut the fuck up. Now in the past this would have been me flee moment. I looked at him and said, I bet you beat your wife too you son of a bitch. She got a look on her face like maybe I was right. But I asked him to go ahead and step on out of his truck. He stays put and calls the cops and they arrest me for swearing in public of all things.
The cops told me the judge was deciding between letting me appear in court or sending me to the mental hospital again. I had already been up there twice, the second time for just an hour and they really could not find anything wrong with me, other than I wouldn’t take the drugs they were pushing. I said I would love to see the judge and challenge the constitutionality of that no swearing law. So it was off to the hospital again.
When I first got there I was still a little keyed up but not actually planning on hurting anybody. If you are a big guy and start getting loud in a hospital people tend to get pretty nervous. So before I know it I am surrounded by five or six big techs and guards. For some reason, I said, “let’s wrestle,” I had already made up my mind I was not going to throw any punches. Well after some struggle I found myself on the ground with a needle stuck in my ass.
Well they kept trying to push drugs on me when I got upset by this or that, but I never took them orally, I would make them shoot me in the ass, if they felt like doing it that bad.
One day one of the techs decided they were going to teach me a lesson, they took me into my room and roughed me up a little, spraining my arm and leaving a deep thigh wound. I was smart enough not to resist. I had sensed the one tech was bullying kids last time I was in there.
The thing about mental hospitals is that they have to hire very big men in case a ward starts to lose it a little. The techs end up subtly intimidating the nurses who are mostly women and then bending the rules of fair play when they feel like it.
Well I pushed back and eventually got the tech fired, I think, at any rate I never saw him again. I filled out a report for the nurses and doctors which may not have been enough. But I also got to see a judge who stopped by on occasion to see that indigents like myself were having their rights protected. He believed my story and looked really apologetic that it happened and said he would take care of it.
When you start stirring the pot in a sick system they generally find away to get rid of you. I reported another tech who threatened to throw me through a wall. Walked right up to him asked him his name and wrote the report standing right in front of him. I was done being bullied. With in a couple of days they moved me to another hospital in Wichita Falls.
They took me to court and got a court order saying I had to take the drugs. I took them orally for a while but ended up making them shoot me in the ass if they were so keen on giving them to me. The side effects were nasty, short term memory loss, muscle weakness, and lack of sex drive to name a few.
Well I kept writing letters to my doctors complaining about the meds, I did the same thing when we had our brief visits. Well after two weeks I got sick of it and wrote a letter to the local paper complaining about my treatment. I made sure the doctors saw it going out. Well, the next day they told me I had made marked improvement and they let me go.
Looking back I can see mental hospitals and maybe regular ones are where people go to rest. We are a go, go, go society that allows for little illness or even reflection time. It is tough on a lot of folks and they find themselves unable to cope. When I was not feuding with the doctors and staff, I took full advantage of those warm beds and showers.
I am prideful and this is hard for me to admit, but I may have been a little manic at the time and was still having plenty of panic attacks. I could feel God’s grace, but there was also a lot of unresolved emotion spilling out of my psyche. But still I was not willing to give my self care over to a bunch of doctors. I knew I needed the rest and would have gladly accepted it had they not been constantly trying to force meds down my throat. I also needed someone to listen to me and that doesn’t seem to be a high priority in mental hospitals.
Besides the control freaks there were also a lot of kind doctors, I think they sensed that the drugs they were using were doing little to actually help people, but they did not know what else to offer. Kindness, non-judgment, touch and love are what heals, I am convinced of that and do my best to spread that kind of healing.
Now if I had to do it again, I may have gave them fellas my best Mother Theresa look and responded with kindness as best I could. Turned the other cheek for them needles so to speak.