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TOPIC: Scared about tomorrow

Scared about tomorrow 6 years 9 months ago #478

So tomorrow my leadership class is taking a tour of the Oregon State Hospital (mental hospital). If you've seen the movie "One flew over the coco's nest," it was based on the this hospital (I personally have never been able to watch it). The old hospital is closed now, (still standing there), and a new hospitl is now build with much more humane treatment.

The part that is going to be hard for me is that my mom spent a lot of my early childhood there in the 60's. I have never visited or even seen the place because children weren't allowed to visit their parents and I guess as an adult I didn't want to face it. As a child I was told it was a horrible place and I made up a picture of what this place was like. As a child I heard really bad and scarey things were happening to my mom (like shock treatments....I figured they were making her put a key in the electric socket, and they made her come back like a zombie which was more scarey then her hysterical behaviors before leaving). I have also been told that the old hospital saddens everyone with the chains and bars and "coldness".

I've been preparing for this since I started the class in September, but tonight it's hitting me hard. I have premission to leave if it gets too tough (they are going to do a presentation on the history of the place and that's what I'm most worried about). I also have someone from my class who works there, who is going to meet with me during the lunch hour and talk about the different buildings and just let me process.

I've never been close to my mom but I know it will be sad to hear what could have happened to her (she never talks about it!!), but I'm also starting to feel angry that the mistreatment they gave her could have and most likely had a trickle down effect to me.

Lots and lots of feelings and tears tonight. As painful as this may be, I really hope there is some healing effect and maybe some closure to this mystery part of my mom and her life.
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Re: Scared about tomorrow 6 years 9 months ago #479

Kym - I'll be thinking about you tomorrow. I'm glad you have support at lunch and a no questions asked escape route if you feel overwhelmed. Sending you hugs.
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Re: Scared about tomorrow 6 years 9 months ago #480

Kym, this is a HUGE thing - well it certainly would be for me anyway, so I'm not surprised you are feeling anxious and scared about it.

As you have said yourself, it might be quite painful and upsetting, but it might also give you some insight and answers and in some ways be quite healing for you - and I think I would try to keep hold of that aspect to get me through the visit.

Be brave - as you always are!
I will be thinking of you xx
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Re: Scared about tomorrow 6 years 9 months ago #481

So I made it through my day actually better then I thought. I got there an hour early to walk (like I do everyday before work). I walked through the old buildings, some are being used, some not, and they weren't as scarey as thought they would be. Then I went into the building where we were meeting and was told that most likely my mom would have stayed in that building or the one that was torn down in 2010. I shed a few tears. I did OK after that during the presentations, although the patients who spoke to us got me a little chocked up. Then in the afternoon we toured the new hospital (well, new building an remodeled old building). I did Ok until we saw the restraints room and I lose it. Lucky for me my friend who works there saw me right away and pulled me into the sensory room, closing the locked door behind us so I could pull myself together again. We didn't go into the other older building which I've heard are hard to face, and I'm Ok with that.

It was nice having so many people from the class who knew this was tough for me, checking in with me. I normally struggle to accept help, but I decided to let them give this to me and I think it really helped. The museum with all the old pictures and equipment was closed, but I've decided that I want to go see it (brining a support person of course!). I also think it might be time for me to watch the "one flew over the cococks' nest", with a support person again. I think this is a part of my past that I've never dealt with and since today went so much better then I thought, I think it might be time. Maybe it will help with my resentful feelings towards my mom. Today's event has already softened my heart some :)

Thanks for the positive thoughts today!!
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Re: Scared about tomorrow 6 years 9 months ago #483

Kym, I was thinking about you all day, so I'm really glad you posted to let us know how it went!

I'm really glad your friend was there and able to give you the support when you needed it, and I'm glad you also felt able to let your guard down a little and allow the people in your class to get a little closer and take in some of their caring.

I know it's hard to let people in, especially if we're feeling vulnerable.

I cracked and cried in 'process hour' last week, probably because in 'process hour' we are not allowed to respond to each other, and what people put out there during that time - so I guess it was a safe place for me to let it out, knowing that people would not try to comfort me, and not ask questions.

Yet still once that time was up, 2 members of the group were really eager to see if I was okay, and I was, and more than that I am actually starting to be able to feel their sincerity and warmth and feel okay with people caring about me, and maybe that I'm worth caring about and that when the relationship is a reciprocal one, then it's not about being a burden, it's about 2-way care and support, and I care about the 2 people who offered their support very much too.

Sorry, I went off on a tangent about my own stuff then!
I'm just so pleased that you coped so well and are really embracing these opportunities to process stuff - it's wonderful!

S xx
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Re: Scared about tomorrow 6 years 9 months ago #487

Kym - Congratulations. I love the way you approached this challenge with courage and wisdom. You are doing a great job of role modeling the value of engaging challenging situations head on with support in place. Shh your story support the same concept. Sometimes I get so stubborn about doing it myself. Good thing I have you two to show me how it's done with grace :)
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