Thank you She Does The City for this opportunity to share💌.
I always try to speak as openly as I am able about my experiences living in psychiatric wards as a teenager. It is always a process that is heavy, and scary, but freeing.
Even just calling that place by that name can seem risky. The words “psych ward” are so deeply associated with layers of misrepresentation. Even as someone who has lived there, I find it hard to use that title without feeling I’m referring to some grim fictionalized place that shouldn’t be spoken about. But at the end of the hallway where I lived, there was a sign “Youth Psychiatric Ward”. I spent enough time looking at it to know that those are the words I have to use to explain that part of my past. So, those words are very worth saving from the misrepresentations.
It was grim. Though it was also very real, and very important to speak about.
(Excerpt from article. The full version is available here):
“My ability to be proud of that time derives from my decision to share the details of that time. I am not proud to say I was a psych ward patient; I am proud because I am able to say I was a psych ward patient.”