The Online Newspaper of Lakewood High School

Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times

Lakewood Times



Windsor-Laurelwood Center for Psychiatric Treatment is a big, depressing building with creaky floorboards and fake windows so you don’t try to jump out of them. They have fake silverware, fake chairs, and fake tables so you don’t try to hurt yourself with them. They don’t like to run the heating system because it costs too much, and they don’t like to provide real blankets or pillows or mattresses for the same reason. They clean their wards with a cheap solution that smells like glue, and they never let you wear perfume or use your favorite scented shower products because it might irritate your inmates, or maybe because they want to further strip you of your identity. When they bring your clothes back from the wash, they aren’t warm and they don’t smell like home. They’re cold and somehow lost all their color and smell like the same glue-solution they use to clean everything else. Sometimes, you don’t even get all of your clothes back because they just never felt like cleaning them or they gave them back to the wrong ward or the nurse who’s in charge of you said they don’t think you deserve that specific shirt anymore. 

Being in Windsor-Laurelwood feels like breathing in smoke instead of clean, fresh air. You forget what it’s like to be outside and speak without permission. You look out the fake, thick window and see the world moving on around you, and you wonder when it’ll be your turn to move on, too. You wonder what it’s like to be free again. You wonder what it’s like to sleep alone without somebody coming in, opening a big, screaming door, and shining a flashlight in your eyes while whispering, it’s okay, it’s just checks, go back to sleep, do you need meds? every 15 minutes on the dot. You wonder what it’s like to sleep in without being woken up at 4 in the morning to two nurses grabbing your arm and sticking a needle in your vein. You wonder how on Earth people are able to live their lives every single day without being told exactly how to do it. You wonder if you’ll be able to do it when you get out, too. 

When you’re woken up for the hundredth time at exactly 7:00 AM and told to make your bed, brush your hair, clean your teeth, and come to the common room, you wonder what everybody your age must be doing right now. You wonder if they’re awake yet, and if so, why? Because you so badly wish you could just sleep in your own bed for once and wake up at noon and stay in bed even though you’re already awake. Instead, you have to sleep on a cold, hard mattress that makes the gray, tiled floor look like it’s made of clouds. You have to lay your head on one singular thin pillow that doesn’t cushion or support anything, and you have to cover yourself with two bathroom towels stitched together and hope it’ll be warm enough to lull you to sleep. Then, when you’re finally allowed to get up even if you’ve been restless all night, you have to wait in line for your vitals to be taken before you can receive breakfast. Breakfast comes in a little styrofoam takeout container and looks more like dog food than human food, but they tell you it gets your nutrients in and you can’t afford another mark. You can’t afford to stay one more week because you didn’t eat your food and now you’re labeled as anorexic in need of treatment. All you can do is obey the orders of people who aren’t you, have never been you, and never will be you. The world goes on around you, and you’re not allowed to see any of it. For as long as you’re in there, you’re stuck reliving the same day over and over and over.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Lakewood Times Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *