No longer is the door open, no bright light comes from the hallway. No handle, no way out. Four concrete walls, a linoleum floor, a toilet with no paper and a bare mattress - this “seclusion room” is a prison cell by another name. A steel-blue gown falls to my knee, fabric distressed by so much wear yet still rough. There is nothing to hold my mind or attention. Outside this room could be anything, anyone. There is nothing even to mark time. Would someone come in five minutes or five hours? Would I know the difference? The panic is no less than with the straps, trapped is trapped.

Disembodied eyes peep through the only window, a mean rectangle of glass in the flat iron door. I ask to be let out. I try to reason with them, show how sane I am. Nothing works. The anxiety that was being kept at bay begins to win. My voice gets higher, but I’m not just terrified, I’m angry too. I hit the door, a mistake. More of that and they’ll be back in with more needles. I swallow the rising bile and sit on the mattress, feeling the cold floor right through it. No noise. No movement. Only a complete display of passivity will get me out. Time to meditate. Time to bury my screams in my bones, shut my eyes, empty my head. The only way out is inhuman levels of self control and a “professional” demeanor. It works. The staff are confused.

By Angela Abraham, @daisydescriptionari, May 29, 2015.

Authored by Daisy, here.