Scarlet

A Caged Bird

I think I know why the caged bird sings.

I’ve been in a cage before, and not of the iron-bar variety. Now, one could argue thateveryone has been in a cage at some point in his or her life, but most peoples’ cagesare mental; mine wasn’t. Or maybe it was, and the actual cage was a by-product.

I think the caged bird sings because the bird is safe, and it’s okay to sing.

You would think that being in a hospital three times within three years would be a badthing, a scary thing – but it’s really not all that bad. You get into the groove of things.It becomes safe, a place to thrive. Obviously I’m not implying that actual physicallyill people feel safe or thrive in a hospital setting; I’m talking your garden-variety crazyperson.

Am I crazy? Well, that’s a matter of perspective, I think, but then again… yes.

Three times in three years – the best of times and the worst of times occurred in thosethree long years.

I loved my first non-family person.
I stopped eating. (Hospital Visit #1)
I fell in love.
I tried to kill myself. (Hospital Visit #2)
I got a 4.0 GPA and never picked up a textbook.
I had suicidal ideation. (Hospital Visit #3)

There’s a feeling of safety and order for me in a hospital that most people get in their ownhomes. Well, I shouldn’t say most people; it’s more like a feeling well-adjusted peopleget in their own homes. Not everyone has a family like mine – not everyone wouldunderstand what it’s like to be in a bad home, what it’s like to be tormented at school andpicked on at work. Most people don’t know what it’s like to have all three happen at the same time.
Most people don’t know what it’s like to be abused by a mother and a lover in three years– most people don’t know what it’s like to have things thrown at you at lunch duringschool or to be intentionally pushed down the stairs while trying to go to your next class.

It wasn’t like I asked to be BiPolar, not like I wanted to go to the hospital, but ithappened, and good things came out of it. I haven’t been in three years and two months…not that I’m counting. It’s like rehab for nuts. It’s somewhere I’d like to avoid in thefuture, but it’s also somewhere I know I’d reach my full potential. Sure, there are otherways to tap that potential, and when you think of one for me let me know, because I keepturning up blank.

I wish I could tell you why I’m not like most people, and though I try to figure that outevery day, I can only tell you what made me into what I am today – and I will, if you’llloan me your time.

I am me, Scarlet, and this is my story.

Chapter 1: Part 1
Chapter 1: Part 2

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