Everything here has been a little depressing lately (because life is a little depressing lately) so I wanted to share a story about my first hospital admission that my family can look back on and laugh about, when reality is, that time was very horrible. But there are always little things that you have to see the funny side of. This is one of those things.
It was 09/09/99. We had walked, together, down the long, dark, covered staircase that led to the building at the Royal Brisbane Hospital that they had put, secluded, down the back of the grounds. This was CAFTU, or the Child and Family Therapy Unit. When we got there, Mum and Dad were asked to settle me in to my four bed dorm, and not come back for two weeks while I “settled in”. I would be spending four months there in the end. We made my bed space as lovely as we could, I had my bedspread and we put up all the get well cards I’d received from friends and family, and mum and dad bought me this gorgeous poster of a peaceful field. They did the best they could do, numb and devestated that they had to leave their 12 year old daughter at this institution for so long without visiting. Soon though, they would feel something else, when a male nurse who was on and watching us set up, asked them to step aside with him for a moment. “Do you think that poster is appropriate?” What was he talking about? “Do you know what that is?” No, it’s just a peaceful scene of a green field. The field of dreams. That sounds beautiful, right? And they thought it would be calming. And certainly were not ready for the next words out of his mouth. “That’s a field of marijuana.” I don’t think they have moved so quickly when they lept to take it down! I think in the end he took it?
For years I have been trying to describe this poster to friends when I tell them the story. But, I’ve recently found a copy of it online in all it’s glory, highlighting how naive my poor parents were. I think they gave it to the nurse in the end!?
Well, it’s still available to purchase! Trippy Store has it in stock. If you have a little girl who’d be calmed by such a peaceful scene 😉
I’ve had some funny experiences over the years with all of my admissions. Walking into a community psych ward lounge room, which was filled with patients, and had One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest on the TV. And when I laughed, no one saw the irony. But I did and it’s a moment that will always make me laugh.
If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry.