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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Nightmare Alley

What Dreams May Come



For a decade I had the same recurring nightmare; that I would walk into the Augusta Mental Health Institute for some kind of meeting, the doors would close behind me, and I couldn't get out. The dreams always started off with me having to go there for something innocuous. Once inside they inform me I cannot leave. I check all the doors, I am crying; I plead with them. No matter what I say, no matter what I do, I have to stay there. Locked inside.


 
Although I do not remember exactly when I had the first nightmare, I do recall it was sometime after I was released the first time in September of 1999, into a group home on personal recognizance bail, so I would be in therapy.
 

postpartum psychosis, AMHI Natachia barlow ramsey room baby hunter postpartum psychosisI would wake up in a cold sweat and feel the same thing everytime. This weighted down, surreal, out of sorts feeling. Empty space. I don't think I've ever been afraid of a place, or afraid of anything really, as I was afraid of that AMHI. Just being there the five months I was initially sick with Postpartum Psychosis was incredibly scary.
 
One of the worst things about AMHI is that people mess with you. Staff included, and even when you try to tell someone, you are often not believed because "you" are the crazy one. You're the one who is in the hospital for being sick. There are some real assholes working in mental health hospitals, people who really just like being in control. They shouldn't be allowed to work with people who have a mental illness. Now that's not to say that everyone is bad. They're certainly not, and if you can find the good ones and form genuine relationships within those confines, do it.
 
 
I spent the next 16 months at the group home. I attended therapy, went to school, got my GED, and started working. My trial came about in January of 2001, just a couple months shy of two years from when I had been first admitted to AMHI. I remember standing there holding my attorney, John's hand, and as the juror's filed in. I felt as though I couldn't breathe. I had to stand up to hear the verdict. I was already crying because I knew that even if they found me NCR I was going right back to AMHI.
It had taken them just over an hour to decide. John said that could be a good thing. I was so worried.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

What is Home Really?...

I think a lot of people think of 'home' as a particular place. Maybe for some that's true. For me, home is with the people I love and care about. As long as they're there; that's home.

 
 
I have just moved into a cottage near the ocean until next June. It's furnished, almost complete with kitchen-ware. So while I am bringing in my personal things along with a few small furniture pieces, I'll be borrowing someone else's housewares for the next 9-10 months and I'll call this home.
 

I haven't been online blogging in a while since I had a 'series of unfortunate events' occur that included my phone breaking and thus my internet went along with my communication.
 
postpartum psychosis, natachia barlow ramsey, baby,
Shey and Lanah right after she gave birth 
This summer has taken almost all of my resources and drained them. I am just beginning to feel a resurgence of energy reserves slowly starting to build. I think the quiet of the Village (yes I said Village. This IS Maine and this is the second time in 8 years I have rented a cottage near the water in a Village. The last time being in Liberty, Maine on Lake St. George, one of my favorite places to be) will be just what I need. Mostly I want the people I love and care about to visit and to spend time with them over this Fall and Winter.
 
We are still currently working on a plan to bring my grand-daughter (Lanah) home and my hope is that by the holidays she is here full time. We are her family and we are her home. Sometimes I don't feel as though I can talk about her too much because it causes me such heartache. I am so grateful that she is currently still with a family that is taking such good care of her. She'll be 5 months old this month. When I don't see her for a couple days and then I walk into the room where she is, the first