One of the most emotional moments at the psych ward was the first time I saw my kids as they walked down the corridor towards me. The moment I saw them I started crying and couldn’t stop. We all hugged and I just kept on bawling my eyes out. The kids said they’d never seen me cry before. I don’t know why, because I’m a sucker for sad movies. They became regular visitors and got to know many of the other “inmates”.
After about four weeks I was told I could look forward to leaving. Questions arose about where I would live and how I would support myself. Would my wife accept me back? No. Did I have a place to stay? No. Did I have an income? No. Did I have any savings? No.
Finally, it was agreed I should be transferred to a men’s boarding room. Ironically, living in a boarding room had been one of my greatest fears! Now that fear was about to be realized. I’d hit rock bottom.
The boarding house itself was an old converted mansion which was tired and neglected. The large original rooms had been converted into small cells 12 feet by 10 feet. They were dark and gloomy with linoleum floors, a single metal bed, a small wardrobe and a small table with a mini fridge underneath. That was it. The tenants were former homeless men, most with mental issues.
V helped me move in – not a huge task given I only had one suitcase. She was appalled at the conditions but assured me it was only a temporary measure. “I’d be back on my feet in no time.”
V asked if I wanted any personal pieces of furniture from home. Perhaps my antique wall clock or a small chair. No, there was nothing I could add to this room to make it a “home”. Instead, I stuck up a couple of the bad oil paintings I’d painted in the psych ward as part of my rehabilitation. One was of an icecream which I’d titled “I Scream”. One was of an ocean inlet with yachts tied to buoys.
In a way, I find this writing experience cathartic. I’ve never written it down until now.
That’s all for today. I’m exhausted. I’ll talk soon. Thank you for reading my story.