Two Sizes

We all want to feel wanted. It’s sometimes difficult to differentiate what we do to get what we want and what we do to feel wanted. I have been in situations where neither option existed. When you are in the Hole you are lucky to have a Bible. I was always sure to ask for a Bible wherever they shipped me off to. I could be found with the regular population, with those in Protective Custody, in the solitary medical cells or in the Hole.

My first experience with the Hole was when I was asked the trick question. I knew the answer by morning. (Now I know it by mourning) The question is whether you feel suicidal. I said “a little bit.” I was severely stressed and without some or all of my medications. My whole life had just been yanked from beneath my feet. It was my first time in jail. They don’t have one of those maps like at the mall. When you’re not expecting to be there it can be quite alarming. “In here.” Flash! “Take your clothes off over there.” They already had my watch. “Lift your left foot.” “Right foot.”  “Lift your arms up.” “Open your mouth, lift your tongue.” “Turn around.” “Bend over and touch your toes.” “Okay here’s your gear, get dressed and grab a pair of shoes out of the bin.” It was a mass of used singles. “We have two sizes… too big, too small and too bad!” When only hours ago you were eating Doritos it suddenly seems a strange day.

It was a long night; half naked on a concrete floor in a tear proof suicidal gown that you would gladly throw off were it not for the drain in the middle of the floor. For some reason the drain scared me. Why was it there? Would there be trouble for me now or later? They have a 24 hour light on you so possibly you think more than your usual 3 am existence.

I wasn’t feeling particularly better when they guided me back to the nurse in what I assumed to be morning. “Are you feeling suicidal?” Hell Ya, I wanted to scream but I shook my head No. They do have medical cells with a mattress and the same toilet. Maybe they thought the Hole was therapeutic? I’m sure it is safer because we all know people who have died from eating their mattress. Peace be upon them!

7 thoughts on “Two Sizes

  1. It’s absolutely criminal the way that prisoners with mental health issues are treated. It makes me so sad because I guess I realise that the saying ‘there but for the grace of God (whoever that happens to be) go I’ but even more so I think about just how many people are in that situation today and how wrong it is. I’m rambling… but thanks for sharing. Hard as it is to read, it does me good to know reality.

    • I always thought it was other people that these things happen to but as you say, at times there is little that separates us from people in these circumstances. Because it happens to a small percentage we don’t think to rally for change. Those of us that it does happen to usually just try to slide into our lives and try to forget the circumstances.

      • And that makes so much sense. It just suggests even more so that those of us who have avoided it need to start rallying for change, or get off and butts and do something.

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