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Letter to the System

by Mira Sunwon Goldstein


To Whom It May Concern,

My name is Mira Sunwon Goldstein. On April 24th, I will turn fifteen. I have two cats named Mercutio and Emerald. I have depression. I love the winter when the sky is white. I miss the vastness of the world outside and I miss the comforts of my homes. I am diagnosed with anxiety and I have panic attacks. I have a little sister who hates when I call her baby. My parents are divorced. I have post-traumatic stress disorder. My favorite artist is Sufjan Stevens. I have an eating disorder. My favorite color is purple.

My name is Mira Sunwon Goldstein, but a security guard at B______________'s nicknamed me MG. I have been away from home ever since February 12th. First I was at C________ Hospital for a few hours, but then I was transferred to the pediatric ICU at B_____ M______ Center. I almost got liver surgery. This was because of a Tylenol overdose. The Tylenol overdose was for many reasons. From B_____ M______ Center I was taken to F_________’s, a psychiatric hospital. While I was at F_________’s I had panic attacks nearly every day. I stopped eating for my last week there, so I was transferred to B______________'s where I have been waiting for psychiatric care for more than a month.


My name is Mira Sunwon Goldstein. I’ve gotten to know systems pretty well by now. The alphabet is a system. There are systems in math. I was part of the school system. I’ve never been fond of institutions, though. There are too many rules for me. There are sweatshirts without drawstrings and my hospital room without curtains. There are security guards who sit in your room and laugh with you and then suddenly those same security guards are holding you down and it hurts. There are nurses you play Uno with and the same nurses shove a feeding tube down your nose into your stomach as you lie there and cry. Eating disorders hate hospitals. The last time I was at an eating disorder center, W_____, I ran into a moving car to get out of the system. The system there was all too focused on the effects of my eating disorder, and not at all on the underlying cause. The system at F_________’s was all too focused on my suicidal ideation and not on my eating disorder.


My name is Mira Sunwon Goldstein. I have been waiting for help all my life. Now that everything's out in the open, I was expecting to get it. I did not expect to be at B______________'s a month after I was medically cleared, waiting for a bed in a mental hospital. I know that my case is “comprehensive”. I know that being suicidal and having an eating disorder isn’t getting me anywhere in the mental health services system. I know that my doctors and parents have been trying their hardest to get me into a setting where I can be Mira with an eating disorder and Mira with suicidal ideation. What I don’t know is how long it is going to take. Every day I feel my chest cave in a bit more. Everyday I spend in my tiny white room unable to leave bed, my heart sinks just a little. My patience is wearing thin. I miss my home. I miss being around people. I miss the sky.

My name is Mira Sunwon Goldstein. I have been to nine hospitals since January 1st, 2019. I have been in seven ambulances. I don’t know what can be done for kids like me to receive the help they so desperately need. There has to be a way for me, the whole Mira, to receive treatment, not just Mira’s depression or Mira’s eating disorder. There has to be someplace I can go, something I can do, not just sit in bed and wait. Hopeless kids are terrible at waiting. Helpless kids can’t just be told to sit and do nothing.

My name is Mira Sunwon Goldstein, and I am not just frustrated. I am utterly outraged that I cannot receive care. I am outraged that I don’t have any options. My heart is breaking being cooped up alone in bed for seven weeks. Seven weeks without the sun. The time I’ve spent waiting at B______________'s has made me more depressed, not less. It’s made my eating disorder worse, not better. It’s like I’m running a sprint that’s turned into a marathon. Every bone in my body is ready to drop to the ground and yet I’m forced to keep going day by day. I never knew how similar a hospital is to a prison when all you have to do is wait out your sentence.


My name is Mira Sunwon Goldstein and every night I wish I had died on February 12th. My name is Mira Sunwon Goldstein and every morning I wake up, ready to make a change.

Love,

Mira

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