The Other Side of Depression Alley (StoryADay Post)

The orderly stared at the frightened girl in the room. She had heard the girl had been through a lot in her short life. She had been bullied, kidnapped, abused, and generally had a terrible life. No one bothered to help her or anything like that.

Well, enough was enough. The girl needed some help and ignoring the problem wasn’t going to solve it. The orderly had to see to her needs, no matter what they were.

“Do you need anything?” She asked the girl, who sat on the bed. The girl nodded, but she didn’t say anything. The orderly knew that the girl had a long way to go before she could recover.

Another Ugly Duckling (StoryADay Post)

There was a girl named Joy Baxter, and she was the oldest person in her sixth grade class. She felt ashamed for being almost three years older than her classmates. She hated herself for not being “mature” enough to be with people her own age.

She was also angry with her parents and blamed them for her mental disability that held her back. Nobody wanted to help her; they were only interested in seeing her fail.

But one day, Joy decided that enough was enough. If no one wanted her to succeed or live her life, she would remove herself from the world she lived in. No one would dare look for her, as she assumed they could care less if she was gone.

That night, she packed everything she owned into a suitcase and climbed out of the window of her house. After hitching a ride on a train, she left the world she knew behind. (Of course, it wasn’t an easy decision for her to make, but Joy realized that unless she removed herself from her toxic life, she would never grow up.)

In the next town, she was discovered by a theater troupe. (As it turned out, the girl was a clever actress; she had to be if she wanted to be around other people. She hid her disability so well that no one noticed that she was disabled.) The troupe, impressed by her acting skills, invited her to stay with them. Joy was happy because she felt that she was with people who accepted her the way she was instead of pointing out her disabilities.

As for those who tormented her because of her disabilities, they were shamed because they didn’t help her at all. (Her parents blamed themselves and each other for not being there when she needed them.)

As for Joy, she grew up to become the actress Skylar Ashley. Not bad for a girl who once lived a sad life.

Depression Alley (StoryADay Post)

So, it’s come to that, isn’t it?

I found myself stuck in a place where I never wanted to be. A mental hospital. I never did anything crazy or talked about how I wanted to kill myself, so this was a first for me.

Still, how was I to know what led me to being in this place?

I’m telling you now; someone HAD to put me up to this, as I would never do anything to myself. I’m not the type of person who purposefully hurts themselves just to make a point. I know I’m better than that.

But that doesn’t excuse the fact that some people decided to slap the words “mentally ill” on my head and send me to a mental hospital, as if I was a danger to myself.

It’s not like I don’t hate myself.

Oh, wait. I do.

I hated how I lived my life, with no parents and being bounced from foster home to foster home. I never fit in. I had no friends. There was also the part about me being kidnapped by some creepy man when I was 10 years old and no one came to rescue me until five days had passed.

But let’s not start, OK? I don’t want to talk about it.

But I should have foreseen the final straw, as I thought about my social worker and how she had told everyone to make my life miserable, as if I wasn’t already living a sad life. She never showed me any kindness, nor did she care that she was hurting me with her cruelty. I guess in a way, she was blaming me for my own problems, problems that no 12-year-old girls should have to deal with.

But how did I end up in that mental hospital, you still ask?

Well, one of my teachers, deciding that he had enough of me putting myself down and saying that I deserved to be bullied (and me telling him to stop caring about the mistreated students, as they deserved to be mistreated by their classmates), he went to the principal and he called the police and social agency. My social worker was arrested for child intimidation, but that didn’t solve my problems.

In fact, it only made my problems worse.

My current foster family, refusing to let me go without a fight, begged the judge to find a place for me where I could get the help I needed and never got. In their minds, they saw me as a troubled young girl with no hope, no happiness, and no future. I would end up dead before I turned 16 years old.

The judge agreed and here I am, in the place where abused children are sent. In that place, they are kept away from their families (lest the person who abused them came from the family). The teachers there are strict, generally when it comes to them making the students talk about their problems, even if the student in question didn’t want to talk about the problem at all.

That is going to be my fate, for better or worse.

I stood up and began to walk around the room where I would stay for the next three years. The room was small, with a set of drawers, a bed, a desk, and a closet full of clothes (which were donated from the Salvation Army. I stared out the room’s tiny window and saw the city quickly passing me by. It was as if the people living in the city forgot that I existed.

But no, I can’t give up now, not when I had been on my best behavior all year. I never caused any trouble in class, did all my homework, and made sure to stay away from the other kids. Even that couldn’t save me from my inevitable fate of ending up in the hospital.

To be honest, I never considered myself to have a mental illness, but I remembered my mother killing herself when I was five years old. She had lost everything she owned to a cruel brother-in-law and was forced to live in poverty. People always said that my mom was crazy and she should have been locked away instead of being allowed to marry my father and have me, but that’s a given. I myself have no idea of why she never got any help for her problems, if she had any problems to begin with.

You know what they day about pride and falling down.

But let’s not start.

As I’m pacing the room, I saw that the bed had a simple quilt on it as well as two soft pillows. I also noticed that there were quotes on the wall, quotes that said, “be proud to be yourself” and “always remember that someone loves you“. I guess someone tried to make this sad place happy by putting positive quotes onto the walls.

FYI, you can’t force a person to be happy; in fact, people who are happy all the time are the biggest sinners of all. Happy people always seem to hide their pain behind a smiling mask. That’s why when that person commits suicide, their family or friends said, “He/she was always so happy. I didn’t know that something was wrong with them.”

If only you know the truth about why they were sad, you would have helped them. But you chose to ignore their unhappiness in favor of forcing them to be happy. You can’t force people to be happy; happiness is supposed to come naturally.

I then sat on the bed, wondering what I should do next. I already know I’m going to miss the school choir’s trip to Santa Cruz, and I’ll never get to sing my solo part before the crowds. I’ll never get to make the people forget about seeing a poor, wretched miserable girl who had the voice of an angel.

But I knew I needed to recover from my years of misery. The question is, though, would I be willing to change everything that made me me?

The Life & Death of Joannie Ray (FAWM Song)

It was the ninth of December, a day that I’ll always remember
Because a tragedy happened on that day
You might not know about, it or may you have
But when I first heard the news, I couldn’t believe my eyes
It was on that day I found out that Joannie Ray was dead

Now Joannie Ray was a very special kind of girl
With a sunny smile that lit up the whole town
She never really had any problems that we knew about
She always reached out to people, no matter who they were

Yet we didn’t know of the demons that she had
We never saw her feeling sad
Now that she’s gone, it seemed as if
We never really knew her at all…

Goodbye to our dear Joannie Ray
Fear not, we’ll live to see another day
Let the gates of Heaven open up and greet you
Before the devil knows that you’re dead

If all tears that were shed could unlock the door and memories can build a path
I would walk straight up to Heaven and bring you back home again

There are so many others out there who are just like Joannie Ray
When we see them, they always have a smile on their face
But the demons they have are hidden deep inside
Why do they smile
What are the lies that they’re hiding
What is the pain that they’re denying
Why do we love their smiles
And yet ignore the grief that they have?

We never knew about the demons that Joannie Ray had
We ignored her painful cries for help
The demons finally killed her before we could save her
But she’s with the angels now…

Goodbye to our dear Joannie Ray
Fear not, we’ll live to see another day
Let the gates of Heaven open up and greet you
Before the devil knows that you’re dead

If all tears that were shed could unlock the door and memories can build a path
I would walk straight up to Heaven and bring you back home again

Everyone knows someone’s who’s just like Joannie Ray
Always smiling, yet hiding their pain
We need to reach out and take that Joannie Ray by the hand
We have the power to save a life
We can no longer ignore the evils that plague the mind
We have lost too many people to the demons that they hide
Joannie Ray desperately needs our help
We must reach out and save her life…

Goodbye to our dear Joannie Ray
Fear not, we’ll live to see another day
Let the gates of Heaven open up and greet you
Before the devil knows that you’re dead

If all tears that were shed could unlock the door and memories can build a path
I would walk straight up to Heaven and bring you back home again