This post is PART 21 in a guest blogger series following author Rachael's transition from an A.M.A.B (Assigned Male at Birth) individual to that of a self-identified trans woman.
If you are just discovering Queer as me, start the story from the beginning here.
After I signed they said that there was no room for me anywhere in the system at the moment, but I could at least lay down in one of the beds in emergency until the morning. Then they would send me to a hospital that had room. I was indifferent, but at the same time a little bit of anxiety had started to fill my head with worrisome ideas of what might happen to me. I pushed those away and sent a text message to my mom, telling her that I was okay, and that I should be home tomorrow. I’d see her then.
I didn’t really think I would sleep, and for the most part of the night I was right. The constant talking and adults or children crying kept me from any deep slumber. But I must have slept a little as the night flew by, and by eight in the morning they came for me. Two orderlies came to bring me to the receptionist which gave me a taxi ticket. I was to use this to go to the hospital in the NE of Calgary where they will have space for me. I thanked her, and ignoring the look of pity I saw cross her face, I sat down to wait.
The taxi showed up within minutes, and I was chauffeured to the Peter Lougheed Hospital. I was given a packet before I left to deliver to the receptionist here. I’m guessing that it was about my lack of desire to live. I waited in the reception area until almost noon. I was about to just leave when they called my name. This time it was two security guards that brought me to a room that had a huge door with large locks on it. They asked me if I had any weapons or drugs on me. Laughing sarcastically, I said what if there were, and regretted my words a moment later when they told me they would have to strip me if that was my choice. I stuttered that I had nothing of consequence and then let me into a small room where there was a large mirror and the bed was part of the floor. When I turned around the door was locking, and I could see scratch marks all over its back.
I waited sitting on the edge of the bed, staring at the wall in front of me. I thought about laying down, but I could feel (OK, I know this sounds weird and unbelievable) a sorrow so deep and profound emanating from the room itself. Strange I know, trust me, it was very unnerving to say the least.
I looked at the mirror, and even though I knew that someone was probably watching me, I kept staring at it until the door opened. It was a young woman who had a small juice box and some crackers. She said sorry, that’s all they have right now, but once they got me a room upstairs in the psych ward they would be able to feed me proper.
After an hour, the feelings of utter despair seemed to fill the room, and the sorrow I felt creeping up inside made me think that it would never end. It started to feel like it was filling my mind until I thought I would scream. I curled up on the bed, the juice and crackers forgotten. I couldn’t keep them out, I thought I was going to go mad if I couldn’t get out of here soon. It was too much. With my mind overwhelmed, I just shut down.
However long it took them to come get me, I no longer knew. To me, time had lost all meaning. I felt a sigh coming from somewhere, and then a moment later I heard the door unlocking. A hospital worker flanked by security staff came in and asked me to follow them. We went through many long and different hallways until we came to a set of old elevators. As they slowly took us to the top, the worker asked me if I needed to call someone. I realized that I hadn’t heard from my mom, so when the elevator doors opened I quickly left a voice message on my mom’s home phone, saying that I was safe and I would call again when I could.
As we reached the doors of the ward, the security guards stopped, and the worker and I entered alone.
So it began…
Editor’s Note: To read Queer as me – Part 22: Losing everything, click here. Or click here to read the previous blog post Queer as me – Part 20: Consequences of keeping your word, For the latest LSOP blog posts and so much more, make sure to add us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.