Flash Fiction: Can I Go?

“I just want to go to a friend for two nights,” Patricia yelled, asserting her words with some colorful language, as she grabbed the nearest chair she could reach. “You are NOT going to treat me this way,” nurse Nancy replied with more anger in her voice than she probably intended. More calmly, she added: “If you want to go on leave for longer than originally agreed upon, you need to discuss it with Marjorie, and she’s not available right now.” At that point, a blonde nurse in her mid-thirties entered the ward. As Patricia saw her, her anger rose and, heaving the chair off the floor, she threw it at Marjorie, barely missing her. Turning to the nurse’s station, Nancy told Patricia, not even looking at her: “Here are your meds and the address for the homeless shelter; for your severe aggressive behavior, you’ve been suspended until Monday.”


This piece of flash fiction is based on a true story from a fellow patient at the locked psychiatric unit back in 2008. I always felt rather conflicted about patients, especially those without a home, being suspended for severe challenging behavior. In this case though, the patient got exactly what she wanted.

I am joining the Six Sentence Story Link-Up, for which the prompt this week is “Shelter”. I am also linking up with Friday Writings, even though it’s Saturday. The optional prompt is conversations you’ve overheard. Though I didn’t exactly overhear this conversation, as it was told to me by the fellow patient later on, I thought it’d be fitting enough.

Poem: Locked Up Inside

In my bubble
I sit
Staring out
At the world
Outside

From around me
I hear
People talking
To me
But I can’t respond

Through the invisible wall
I try
To reach out
To someone
But I can’t

A tight grip
Of panic
envelops me
Because I know
I’m locked up inside


I have had the concept of being “locked up inside” in my head for a few days now. I first came across the phrase in an E-mail support group for parents of children with selective mutism, a disorder in which a child is unable to speak in certain situations due to intense social anxiety. I have never had this diagnosis, but as a teen and young adult, did experience periods of mutism due to anxiety and dissociative freeze responses. I use the term “locked up inside” for a feeling of intense anxiety which causes a freeze response that leads to an inability to speak and sometimes move. The feeling of being “locked up inside” is particularly frequent and intense lately.

I am linking this poem to dVerse’s Open Link Night.

Dear 2021…

Twenty-twenty won
That’s how you begun
For good or for bad
All that we had
Back then, you would continue
And you did

For most, it was probably a sad thing. COVID wasn’t over with. In fact, it’s likely here to stay.

For me, it was a good thing though. At the end of 2020, I was approved for the right level of one-on-one support for a year. I just found out last week that it got approved for another two years to come. I am so relieved! For me, I am more than happy that twenty-twenty won. At least in this respect.


This piece was written for Friday Writings, for which the optional prompt this week is “Dear 2021…”.

My Perfect Lover

I think my husband is perfect. He is the ever-most-beautifullest, ever-most-lovablest
person in the world. That’s why I chose him as my lover.

My husband and I can finish each other’s sentences and it doesn’t get annoying. Or sometimes it does. Then we say “banana spider” and the other knows we’ve bored them out of their mind.

We joke that, when we get old and suffer with dementia, only the two of us will still understand each other, since we have so many special phrases and words between the two of us. At least I hope we’ll have something to laugh at ourselves about then.

Honestly, it’s too bad that my blog is in English and my husband and I communicate primarily in Dutch. After all, our expressions sound even better (or should I say even weirder?) when written or spoken in our native language.

Written for Twiglet #257: “Even Better” and FOWC: “Lover”.

Poem: Invisible Pain

You can’t see it
The pain
Inside of me
So you assume
It isn’t there

You can’t hear them
The screams
Inside my head
So you assume
They aren’t there

You can’t feel it
The suffering
Which I endure
So you assume
That I’m just fine

I wish I could show you
The agony
I go through
So you’d know
What it’s truly like

The monster
Keeps me hidden
Silent
Untouchable
Trapped
Inside this world of darkness

If only
You could reach in
See or hear or feel
The pain
Then maybe
I wouldn’t feel so isolated
So invisible


This poem was written for Friday Writings, for which the optional prompt this week is to write about pain. I am also joining dVerse’s Open Link Night.

Not the End

My mind is exploding with chaos. So many thoughts, feelings, wishes, voices, dreams and visions float through it. It is so overloaded I am tempted to give up. Through the chaos, I can hear the monster speak. “Give in,” it lures, “go to the clouds.” I can almost picture the heavenly realm, the place the monster is trying to get me to go to, in my mind’s eye. I cry out: “No!” I am bombarded yet I stand. I won’t give up. This is not the end.


This piece was written for yesterday’s Prosery. The idea of this challenge is to use a given line of poetry in a piece of prose. The line we were asked to use is: “I am bombarded yet I stand.”

In the above piece, I try to capture what it is like to be overloaded with depressive and suicidal thoughts. Yet, I also aim to make it clear that I am fighting back. After all, this is not the end.

Thieves!

When I was little, my parents would store their sweets (usually licorice but sometimes other sweets too) on a shelf just within my and my sister’s reach in their pantry. I’m pretty sure they’d tried putting them in higher places but we’d just climb up stairs or other furniture to reach them.

Invariably, on Saturday and Sunday mornings, when my parents slept in, I’d lead my sister to the pantry and we’d steal some sweets. Yes, I am pretty sure I took the lead.

I obviously thought they were unaware. That is, until one day when I was five and had just learned to read. There it was, on the sweets shelf, a paper that read “BOEVEN” in large print. This is Dutch for “crooks” or “thieves”. My parents never actually confronted us about grabbing their candy except on this one playful occasion.

In reality though, I still wasn’t truly aware that my parents knew. In fact, I remember one day when I was about fifteen, my parents had left like eight hamburgers on a plate in the kitchen and I sneaked into it to eat one at a time. My parents never confronted me and it wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized they must’ve known. That is when the shame at having eaten this many hamburgers caught up with me.


This post was written for Friday Writings, for which the optional prompt this week is food. It is a an autobiographical piece.

Treatment Plan

While in the mental hospital, every six weeks, or later, every six months, I’d have a treatment plan meeting. Not that my treatment or its goals changed anything over the 9 1/2 years that I remained in the hospital; my treatment goal was always to find me a suitable place to live and my treatment involved, well, what, actually? I honestly can’t tell you even now that it’s been over four years since I’ve been out.

What did change, were my diagnoses; from autism and an adjustment disorder (which explained my acute crisis that had led to my admission), to autism and impulse control disorder, to autism, dissociative identity disorder and PTSD, to eventually no autism at all and just borderline and dependent personality disorder and a little bit of depression (not otherwise specified) thrown in (just because with just personality disorders on my file I would have had to be discharged right away). The nurses said the psychologist who’d added depression, did me a favor that way. I think they were just completely clueless as to what they were doing with a complicated case like mine.


This post was written for the Six Sentence Story Link-Up, for which the prompt word this week is “Treatment”. I am not sure I did it right this time. I hope I did.

Riding the Train

Back when I still lived on my own in 2007, I would frequently ride the train. Or go to the train station planning to go on a train somewhere but melt down once at the platform. Then, people would often call the police.

I shared my experiences of riding the train, or wanting to do so, as an autistic and blind person on a public transportation users forum in 2008. I shared pretty much every little detail up till my crisis on November 2, which happened at a train station too. The person who had asked me to share, then pointed out that it might be a little TMI, but that’s how I am.


This piece was written for the Six Sentence Story blog hop, for which the prompt this week is “Train”.

Home Is Where…

Some say home is where my bed is. Then again, do they mean the care facility’s bed or my husband’s bed?

Others say home is where my toothbrush is. Then again, I take it with me wherever I go.

Dallas Moore would say home is where the highway is. My husband might’ve agreed when he was still a truck driver. Then again, neither his home in Lobith nor my care facility in Raalte is on a major highway.

I say home is where…
I can feel safe. I can feel comfortable. I can be myself.
That place, I’m not yet sure I’ve found.


This post was written for My Vivid Blog’s writing challenge: “Where”. I am also joining Writers’ Pantry #81. This post was inspired by today’s daily prompt in Day One, my diary app, which asks me to describe my ideal home. It was also inspired by this song.