It Still Hurts

60560468_10218794236148546_1202719953891885056_n

The hospital is dark, only the dimmest of lights flickering. That ever-present hospital smell floats around her like an ominous mist. Walking slowly down the corridor, her right boot squeaks, the sound seemingly amplified in the stillness around her. Glancing down at the offending boot, she takes notice of her clothes, as though she was not previously aware of such things. Her black jeans, tucked into her black boots, feel tighter than she remembers them being. A stark contrast to the baggy summer top under her open plaid shirt that is hanging off her frame.

Walking past the nurse’s station, she glances to her left, the bay is eerily silent. All but one of the eight beds shrouded in darkness, the lone occupant seemingly asleep with an almost translucent light surrounding her. Slowly approaching the bed, she notices how strange it is to see the lady, not in a hospital gown, but her own clothes. Taking in the appearance of the familiar navy trousers and that white shirt with its blue flowered pattern brings a feeling of sentimentality. Leaning down over the bed, she kisses her forehead, tears in her eyes as she pulls a chair forward from behind her.

Bright blue eyes open and meet her misty ones, “You look like my Sophie. But older.” Her voice is so soft and unsure, it breaks her heart.

“It’s okay, you’re just dreaming.” She reaches over for the hand resting on the bed.

“I’m dying.”

She nods slowly, “yes.”

“I worry about you. How you’ll be.”

“I know. I’m fine. I miss you, I always will but there are times where I feel you with me and it is such a strong feeling that I can’t even attempt to brush it off as me just being hopeful.”

“I’ll always be with you, sweetheart.”

“You know, at some point, you told mum that she shouldn’t worry about me because you knew I would be okay…”

“I know you will be.”

“I never thought I would be.”

“We raised you to be. You’re a fighter, whether you want to be or not.”

“It still hurts. I always miss you.”

The grip on her hand tightens, thin fingers wrapping around her palm, “and I you. Always.”

Her head drops to their clasped hands, tears leaking freely from her eyes. She feels a hand in her hair, comforting in a way that is almost foreign to her now, “I love you.”

“I love you too, sweetheart. So much.”

She raises her head, sight blurry as she lays a soft kiss to the hand she holds. A cold hand reaches out and places some fallen hairs back behind her ear, “Tell me about your life now.”

“I’m a social worker. I work with children with similar problems to the ones I had.”

A content smile and a knowing look is her response, a slow nod of the head that she reads as approval, “Married?”

She shakes her head quickly, “No. I couldn’t get past the idea of not being able to walk down the aisle with you and grandad there.”

“We’ll be there. Maybe not physically, but we will be there. It isn’t something either of us would ever miss, sweetheart. Please, don’t let that stop you if you have someone special in your life.”

“Visiting hours are over in 10 minutes, ladies.” A strong voice surprises them from the hallway.

“I think that’s your cue.”

“Yeah.”

“It’s okay. Go. Go back to your life.”

“Love you.”

“I love you too.”

Standing up, leaning over one last time to place a kiss on her forehead, she starts to walk backwards. She keeps eye contact for as long as she can before she’s no longer in her sight, turning to walk back down the silent corridor.

 

 

I was wanting to work on my tenses – and also on writing something that hurts… this is what happened (Part 1 of 2)

Learning Something New

Today, within my University lecture I learnt something new – kind of the point, I know… but still…

In my Law and Policy lecture this morning, we discussed all things law related and we were pointed in the direction of a case involving the Mental Health Act and the Human Rights Act. No other information was given other than the name of the case (Bournewood Case).

As my interest in mental health is quite a healthy one, I immediately noted it down and made a mental plan to go and look at it when I had chance.

I now have a 3 hour break (11.00 – 14.00) and find myself in the library getting a laptop out on loan to look at what I can find.

As someone who has spent years working with individuals with various learning disabilities and conditions, I find it horrifying to read that a person with autism could have ever been detained under the Mental Health Act ‘informally’. Surely the aim of being sectioned under the Mental Health Act is that it is the last resort and only done as a way of providing treatment and ensuring that the person is in a safe environment to heal and recover…

(Though I have never been detained or sectioned – my own experiences assure me that the system is not a kind one and that my view that people should be made to feel safe and secure may not be the case)

 

“They engaged a solicitor on his behalf and took a case for unlawful detention to the High Court, which ruled against him. The Appeal Court overturned the decision in October 1997, and the hospital chose to section HL, although he did not meet the criteria, and in December that year he was finally discharged by the hospital managers…”

“In 1998, the House of Lords overturned the ruling that HL’s detention had been illegal…”

“Mr and Mrs E decided to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights, which in October 2004 ruled in HL’s favour. As a result the government introduced the new Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, which came into force in April 2009…”

This case changed the law (in Britain) – thankfully, although I find it incredibly disheartening that change came from such trauma. As is usually the case.

I recommend reading about it (Bournewood Case), if you haven’t already.