Chapter 3, Part 3
WHEN I GOT DROPPED OFF IN THE COO-COOS NEST
My Tattoo Of The House All OF This Happened In That Summer.
So, Let's Sum This Up Really Quick
Great summer – went to Colorado, saw my mom, my little brother, and my stepdad. Got choked by some big fat 8th grader. Everything seemed nice and dandy until one day…
I was joking around and fell down a flight of carpeted stairs. My mom was standing there in awe, looking like “OMG!” wondering if I was hurt as I just laughed. Simply because of her reaction, I threw myself down the next flight of carpeted stairs.
She freaked out, which is why I did it! Attention! Now, remember, I’m 10, and these were carpeted stairs. To me, it felt like a massage. 10-year-olds are limber and nearly invincible lol. She was screaming, “Don’t do that! You’re going to give me a heart attack!” and stuff like that.
And just out of a desire for attention and wanting more of it, I did more stuff that all added up. My mom kept freaking out MORE. In the end, I grabbed a knife and then chased my little brother around the house with it. Upstairs AND downstairs until he locked himself inside my mom’s room. I stood outside the door as I said all creepily “I’m going to get you Billy.”
You can see a knife under the house in the tattoo.
Now, let’s be serious for a second. Grown as I am now, this kid we are talking about HAD serious problems. But at the time, I knew I was doing all of this for attention. I KNEW I was just kidding and I meant no harm. But she thought I was serious. Sooooooo they called the cops on me…at 10 years old.
The cops came and started asking me why I did it. I just said I was kidding, guess that didn’t fly.
The cops looked at me like I was crazy. I remember this because I can specifically remember his facial expression. My stepdad came home and was giving me that, ‘What the fuck is wrong with this kid?’ look.
They decided they didn’t want me in the house at all. I remember my mom crying, tissue in hand. Four or five cops were sitting in my room, downstairs in the house, with the sun coming in on me to my right side. Them all talking about how I was going to get where they were sending me.
They told my mom, “You can drive him there if you want.” She looked at my step dad and then looked back and said, “No, you guys can take him.”
I remember that ambulance drivers were actually the ones who drove me. I was perfectly fine, non-restrained, and holding full conversations with them. I was asking them, “What’s this?” and, “What’s that?” and they’d laugh at me as they explained.
My mom followed in a car behind us to where we were going. When we got there, she parked like 50 yards away and waved and cried as I was escorted into the building.
Unbeknownst to me, I was at a hospital as my own mother put me in a fucking coo-coo ward – a mental hospital for children. I remember the staff walking around with tasers during nap time. We slept in rows of 10×5 in cots, and they slightly dimmed the lights and told us to take a nap.
As a kid, I recall these as being some of the worst days of my entire life. I hated it there. It felt like I was dying. I plotted my escape every time the door buzzer that let people inside the ward buzzed, but there were numerous door entrances so It wouldn’t happen. I found out there was more than one locked door to get out as I actually slipped past one of the doors trying to get out, only to hit the second door that was placed there for that very reason.
I wonder how my mom and stepdad told my aunt, “Hey, you can pick him up from this mental hospital, here’s the address.” I don’t know how long I was there – the days all ran together.
I do remember when my aunt Susie came to get me out. I felt like I had just been saved from a pitch-black room and hadn’t seen light in months.
What’s unfortunate about her having to come get me from Texas all the way in Colorado was that this was the last straw for the Army. She had left base and the field and had so many issues that interfered with work with me that they discharged her from the Army.
Basically, I got her kicked out. She had like two months to get everything in order and we prepared to move back to Chicago.