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From Kendall

I arrived at the hospital in 2019 when I was twelve-years-old, after my mom called the ambulance because my therapist at the time told her to, since I was having a very intense panic attack (to the point where I was refusing to come out of my closet). I was so terrified that I wouldn’t even leave the house or talk to anyone for weeks before this. I had also attempted suicide a couple days before. I was not used to being around other humans regularly in public. I would not even speak to my therapist because I was terrified to speak. I have Autism and selective mutism.

I was dragged out of my closet while kicking and screaming near my mom because she didn’t want the ambulance to take me. Nobody told me where I was going or what was happening. I did not have time to pack my clothes.

When we got there I was brought into questioning, and then they put me in a wheelchair and wheeled me to the children’s psychiatric ward. I had been at the hospital for hours for questioning and waiting and I was exhausted and just wanted to go home. I was so confused and scared. I had to strip in front of two female nurses and be weighed. It was so embarrassing. Then they made me shower and change into some clothes that they provided me. I kept wondering where my parents were. When I was crying, they told me I shouldn’t be crying because it was my fault I was there but I didn’t even know where I was! I asked to call my parents but they would not allow me. I sobbed for hours and kept begging to call my mom.

The next day I was still very confused on why I was there. Also, while I was there, my parents had their wedding and moved into a new house… I remember very little but I remember refusing to eat and one of the nurses yelled at me and told me if I “didn't eat or get a better attitude, and stop crying, and go watch TV with the other children,” I would have to stay longer. I remember they would take my blood nearly every day for some reason, and it caused me to have very painful and ugly bruises along my arms.

I remember one of the nights I was sobbing too loud. I was showing no hostility. I was not yelling. I was not insulting the workers. I was simply just crying and begging to call my mom. They called a police officer who was twice my size to pick up my small twelve-year-old body and put me in a room with no lights that was sound-proof and also had nothing in it. The police officer just stood there and watched me beg for hours to go home. I was so scared. Then he left and I fell asleep on the floor there. I think this happened more than once.

On my last day, a boy my age arrived and he was obsessed with me. Even though it was only one day, it was still terrible. He kept telling me weird things and during TV time he tried to grab my thigh and my chest. I complained to the staff and they did nothing. I was physically assaulted by another patient another time, and it left me bruises. I was also frequently told that “women cannot be depressed”...

I have diagnosed PTSD from all of this and frequent nightmares. I am scared of opening up to therapists and psychiatrists because I am scared of being sent back.

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