It was my second psych ward. The cameras at every corner of the room got flipped off often, but mostly I was scared to be in this place. The locked doors boxed me in and farther than that there was the high metal fence that wouldn't move. Between it's bars I could see cancer patients walking around, all too young to be sick, and most looking closer to death than anything else I'd ever seen.
The reasons I was there are numerous. Every night I would wake up from nightmares in which a pair of deformed hands reached from the darkess to grab my nakedness. Every day I would ingest and uningest multiple times. It was these and the blood, the words, the constant blackness and the spinning of the room.
At the time I was living with a woman from my church who was a nurse. She was a kind soul, though sometimes we had our disagreements.
At that time the reasons and facts behind my second stay at a mental health ward bothered her greatly, to the point of it being obvious that something was wrong.
At work one day, a man walked up to her to do some work and noticed that she didn't look ok. When he asked her why, she told him about the girl that had been living with her but whom 7 days of an institution had not been enough to cure her of her problems.
The man listened and left, I assume.
He later returned holding a package from Build-a-Bear. Inside was a beautiful fawn brown bear with yellow ribbons around both its ears, a journal with a letter inside, and a gift card so the bear could get some clothes.
He said they were for the girl. He said they were for me.
I got them about a day later.
The fact that a total stranger would go out and spend money on me, me. . . was mind-blowing. It had happened though, and the bear, which was later named Wendy (because the ribbons on her ears and the yellow of a Wendy's cup in my room matched) was tangible proof of that.
The letter was writen in a beautiful script and in a pen that somehow changed colors within itself. . . I'm not sure how that works, but it does. It's green and purpleish and beautiful.
This man wrote that he had gone through hardships in his life, and that someone he respected had given him a teddy bear a long, long time ago. He kept it in his truck now, and everytime he needed a boost of hope or courage, he would rub his bears head. The bear had no fur left on it's head now.
He said that love was real. He said keep hoping. He said so much more, because even if he hadn't said anything; he had said everything.
Wendy is now sitting on my bed in my new home. College is a huge step for me, but Wendy is here watching, and her stuffing's already distributed wierd because instead of rubbing her head, I hug her as tight as I can, and she fits perfectly.
As for the time at Children's, she never left my side. I was a 15 year old carrying a teddy bear to my chest and writing sad poems and waking up crying. And it was right.
Honestly, I don't know if I could have made it through that time, and the time to follow without Wendy- no, not without Wendy (though she is amazing) but without the thought that people, even anonymous men who's names I don't know and who's stories I won't get to hear, care. Care enough to take time out of their day, money out of their pocket and love out of their heart.
Let's love like that- every day, all day, for everyone. You never know what kind of difference it'll make.