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For five minutes I was able to escape into the showers, and feel the hot water, and stinging strength of the water pressure as it hit my skin. I washed up, and changed into my new clothes that my husband brought. The pajama pants fit perfectly, and my oversized hoodie was perfect for curling up on the couch.
When I walked down the hall towards the common room on Sunday morning, something didn't feel right. I was met with stares from a man who was six feet tall at least, and around 200lbs. The same man who had spoken about being a god, and claimed he could do 100 push-ups in under a minute. He was surrounded by other men, talking about football, and women. When I came into sight, he whistled. The same whistle men use on the streets to catcall innocent women. This caused the other men to turn, and look at me. I was then he spoke to me directly. The words he spoke were, “I want a piece of that," and then he proceeded to blow me a kiss. At this moment, I was terrified. I ignored him of course, and paid him no mind, but deep down I was panicking. The nurse had overheard what he had said, however when we made eye contact she just shook her head no, and rolled her eyes. He had an overly inflated ego, and everyone he thought was his friend, I believe they saw him as annoying and loud.
As the day progressed, this particular patient became more and more obnoxious. Causing a stir everywhere he went, and driving the techs to bend to his will just to get him to be quiet. He wanted outside, and began banging on the window of the door. My table was by the door, and I felt unsafe, but I couldn’t move away. I didn’t want to move, in the fear he would notice me. The techs opened the door, and he ran through it, straight outside to the courtyard. I stayed inside at the safety of my table, and watched what was occurring outside. I noticed he was only wearing underwear now, and his gown was in the hands of a tech. He used the tarp covered courtyard as a racetrack, and began running from the Tech’s who were trying to get him clothed again. Lap after lap, they chased this patient. When they gave up, he put his gown on, proving to them that he was in charge of himself, not them. The other patients laughed at the show, while I rolled my eyes at his behavior. When the patient was brought inside, the nurse gave him a shot. I was thankful for whatever she had given him, as I watched two male techs drag him to his room, while he began passing out in their arms. Finally quiet.
I called my husband, and shared what had been going on. He was of course a little peeved that I was being treated like that by a man, but he wasn’t worried. He was confident that the nursing staff would protect me should he try anything, and that I wouldn’t have to worry about it. I was worried, even though I was supposed to be in a secure place. I still had the picture of his cold, dark brown eyes, filled with insanity staring at me.
It was close to dinner time, and we were all in the common room, laughing and sharing stories. I was on the couch sitting with four other ladies, and waiting to get my vitals completed when I saw the man I somewhat feared come out of his room. He took a seat at the table directly in front of me. He began to speak to me, asking me general questions about why I was there, and whether or not I was crazy. I became angry, and wanted to put him in his place, but I chose to remain calm, and simply say “none of your business”. On the outside I appeared cool and collected, but inside I was going crazy with fear and worry. The nurse called me to get my vitals, and I got up and walked away. Upon my return, the man was gone, and I took my seat back on the couch. Suddenly he was in front of me again. He told me something that terrified me to the point I couldn’t hide my fear, and anger. He looked me in the eye with his daunting brown eyes, and spoke
“When we get out, I am going to find you, chloroform you, and rape you." Then he smiled.
I looked at the girl next to me, as if to confirm the words that were being spoken. Her mouth was open, and eyes big in disbelief at what had just occurred.
I turned to the nurses station behind me to see if they had heard, and she told me “Don’t worry, he’s just talking crazy." I told her he needs to be separated from me, and she refused my request. She didn’t see a reason for me to be worried. I was terrified, and alone. With no protection, with no one to fight to keep me safe, it was up to me.