Chapter One – Madeline Geoffrey
“Can you hear me?”
A noise, a distorted voice, I can felt it interrupt the ticking. I gasp for air. Confused and dazed, I can feel my eyes roll, they are tired, heavy. I want to yell, I want to run, but suddenly the voice inside my head is gone, I am alone again, fatigued. Faced with another doctor, more questions, the same questions. “Do you know where you are?”, “Now Madi, Can you tell me why you’re in here today?”. But my answers are never good enough, they want me to break into tears, to fall apart, admit a defeat.
“I don’t know”
Is all I can reciprocate back to this stranger. Her questions all sound different but have the same meaning. I have to concentrate, focus on words, how she articulates them, How she pauses, her body language. I’ve zoned out again, I can hear the tick, I want to scream, give a sign, but all I can do is stare. My heartbeat now mimicking the invariable ticking. Straight-faced, retaining eye contact, all I can do is watch. My whole world is falling apart and all I can do is stare. How can I have lost so much power, how can something so personal be so out of my control?. My thoughts are no longer my thoughts, they are shared if not only with the voice inside but also these educated strangers. These people who “want the best for me”.
There are times she didn’t hear it, and there are times that she did. For Madeline, the voice inside was always there. Madi glanced around the room precariously, with the perpetual ticking of the large wall clock haunting her every thought, her every move, her eyes were jittery as they followed the dated skirting boards around the room. The walls melted vertically from the high-reaching ceilings. Her eyes flickered with each tick of the clock, it mocked her. There were no corners, the windows were frosted if only to keep unwanted eyes out and her in, with only a large door holding her away from the rest of the world, the world that deemed her “insane”. Now only a hollow shell of who she used to be. She sat broken, folded up in the corner-less corner of the room, every noise a new noise, a fright. The smell of sadness and despair brimming the room, she found it was hard to breathe, how could one breathe through so much sadness, every breath a reminder of the past and the looming future. She knew what was to come, the looks the of pity, the questions, summoned by the now looming distrust. She could feel the cold concrete floors underneath the aging carpet that she was so nervously crumbling between her delicate cold hands, the occasional screeching that she heard and felt when her warn down fingernails unintentionally ground on the now exposed concrete. The screech broke the silence like a frozen glass being exposed to a stream of hot water. It was shattered.
Madeline is to be described by her closest friends and family as a hard-working bubbly young woman. Her eye for detail and passion to care for others set her apart from others and allowed her to shine in her own light. Madi was observant. She could see the emotion in others faces, understand it. Her relationship with empathy guided her. Where many others could be clouded by anger and poor judgment, she was calm and attentive to others, their thoughts and experiences.
But with such a high functioning persona and colourful personality, an individual loved by all, must leave the question, what went so “wrong” for Madi, how has she found herself in such a place as an Inpatient unit? What would happen next? And what would she tell her high school sweetheart Jesse Owens?
Chapter Two: Jesse Owens