"My Trauma Was Someone's Grade"
November of 2020, I attempted suicide due to being abused by my white adoptive family (I am black). I was also stressed about the recent deaths of black people such as Breonna Taylor, and my white mother wouldn’t let me get a BLM flag. It resulted in a huge argument and me being abused. After the attempt, I was taken in by paramedics who joked about suicidal patients in front of me. One said, “He overdosed on sleeping pills, I wish I could sleep like that,” right in front of me. Another asked if I attempted suicide for attention. A white paramedic told me that he cared about Breonna Taylor’s death more than me.
When I arrived at the hospital, I was watched over by a nurse who had the worst attitude. She’d tell me to shut up and told another nurse in front of me that she should be paid more to watch me. After that I was moved into a hallway by a trash can and left there with no supervision for a day. No one told me what was going on or what was going to happen.
Finally I ended up at the psych ward where I was told to strip as well as get my body checked for any objects. I stressed discomfort as I am a sexual abuse survivor, but they did it anyway. When I finally got into the psych ward I was treated inhumanely. The nurses, doctors and other professionals would gossip about patients right in front of us. They’d treat the severely handicapped patients worse. I was spoken to as if I was dumb. I was told if my rights ever felt violated, I could call a number. I did many times but no one answered, and the nurses would stare at me.
Now to the worst part. Nursing students from a college came to watch us as if we were zoo animals. I got pointed at many times. I was sitting and drawing at one point when the teacher joined. She first started talking to me as if I was dumb, but once I answered her normally, she started talking to me regularly. She had a student come join and talk to me as well. We talked for about thirty minutes. After the psych ward, I told my nurse friend what happened, and she said the student was only talking to me to write a paper about me. This was an important paper nursing students have to write and it would be graded. The nursing student also has access to my personal records and why I am at the psych ward. They write about your mental state, why you’re there and your whole “story.” Not once did the nursing student ask me for my consent. So basically, my trauma was someone's grade.
Once out, I was more traumatized from the psych ward than the attempt. In fact it was the most dehumanizing, traumatizing experience in my life. I can’t explain how traumatic it was. These are only a few terrible incidents at the top of my head.
Thank you for allowing me to share my story. It means a lot.