You can check out any time you like

From the last post

That's when I decided it was time to check out and into a psychiatric hospital.

Always trying to get lost.

On a mound of red dirt I sat nestled in the tall trees as far away as I was willing to wander from our new Tennessee home, situated in Hixson, that's right, Hick-son, waiting to see how long before someone came looking. Entertained by studying ants, digging small sticks into the earth, I tore up leaves, crumbled earth between my fingers until it got nearer to dusk. Finally when no one came looking I went home.



Or maybe found. In North Carolina while my family vacationed at campgrounds, we stopped in a small NC town for lunch, In front of the touristy shops there was a life-size tepee to show how native Indians sheltered. Between stores I popped inside and sitting down cross legged, waited. Moments went by until through the crack in the soft fold I could hear my family calling my name, their feet passing right in front of me. No one bothered to look inside so I had to climb out. "We called your name so many times! We walked past here several times! Did you not hear us?"

(I heard you.)

In a vortex of my own imagination and I'd wander off at a mall. More than once I heard my name being repeated over the loud speakers, "Anna, please come to the information desk and meet your parents. Shoppers, If you see a little girl…."

Frankly it's a curiosity that I'm still alive.


I don't know what it was. Was it the sexual abuse, my inability to focus and learn, the strange new land we inhabited, the culture, the lack of physical freedom? Our house was situated in a very hilly subdivision, that while you might bike down, wheeeeeeee, it was another animal to get back up. And where would you go, it was all highway once you left the subdivision. I hated it.I hated the heat. I hated the tiny Baptist church we attended, the panelled interior made my skin crawl. I'd zone out during services until there appeared to be a glow surrounding the pastor's head. The music, the altar calls, the umpteenth verses of "have thine own way lord," the preacher sure, every week, there was someone out there that the Lord had called, I hated it all.

Our VW Rabbit paused at a stop sign at the top of a very steep hill, my mama putting the car into gear to make the right turn that took me to my first visit to a psychologist when I was fifteen. I asked for it, I wanted help, a nameless thing was upon me. Desperately unhappy, not conforming or adapting in my new environment, I had no one with whom to trust my life.


Given a prescription for lithium with no measured affect. The counsellor after speaking to me privately would invite my mother into the session; I refused to speak with her in the room. My mother did not protect me, my mother did not stop my father from verbally abusing any of us, my mother made excuses for his behaviour, my mother wanted to live an unruffled life at home as she was promised she would not have to work once we moved to Tennessee. She used her retirement to buy our house. My father unable to find work initially, a horrible thing to imagine as a parent of four children, would never generate enough income for her to stay home

I did not trust my mother.

She went straight home and told my father I didn't speak during the sessions and they ended abruptly as, 'a waste of money".