So far the first 4 days of February have not been any gentler or kinder to us. Is having one full day of peace in my life really just too much to ask for?
I was in emerg again last night, this time though it wasn’t for me. Spending any length of time in an emergency room causes me a lot of anxiety given my history and traumatic experiences I’ve had within them; the sounds and smells are especially triggering (and in one particular hospital, the elevators are too.
But last night something else happened while I was there helping with a loved one that suddenly triggered me like never before; at some point during my time there, 2 police officers entered the emergency room, hand in arm with a women; she was in handcuffs. That was it for me. I lost it. I felt nauseous. My heart was racing and I became very emotional.
They placed her in a wheelchair when they came through the main corridor to the emergency room. She was berating the police officers for putting her in handcuffs, saying she had never had a “fucking cop” do this to her before. It was certainly not what I needed to see or hear in that moment, but there was nowhere for me to escape from the nearby room we were in. Her voice echoed through the halls.
I certainly don’t know the circumstances that led to her being brought in to emerg in handcuffs by 2 officers on either side of her but it was hard not to hear her cries for help and see how much she was hurting. But mostly, she just deserved some privacy.
This did not take place at the same hospital, nor technically in the same city for that matter that I was at a few weeks ago when I too was brought into the emergency room in handcuffs. But either way this seems to be a new norm. What truly upset me more than anything and differed greatly from my own experience though was that she was put on display for every single person sitting in the waiting room area or in neighbouring rooms to see.
I cannot imagine what it must of felt like for her knowing that all eyes were on her while in crisis. She was left there in front of the triage area for more than 20 minutes, handcuffed and crying as everyone looked on. At least when I was taken inside it was done through a back door where police and ambulances normally park their vehicles. Triage was done privately and away from the general public. She deserved the same respect.
No one ever once tried to comfort her or offer her support. It was truly heartbreaking. This needs to change. Maybe Mayor John Tory needs a letter from me next?
I just wanted to also take a moment now to say thank you for all the incredible messages of support I received yesterday after posting a blog (in case you missed it, click here: https://wheredidmommyssmilego.com/2023/02/03/trigger-warning-very-sensitive-content-below-discusses-very-intimate-thoughts-on-suicide-and-medical-assistance-in-dying-m-a-i-d-2/.
I am truly grateful to have so many amazing friends and a community at large standing beside me while at the same time being super respectful of my wishes.
#anotherbotchedcrisis #police #mentalhealth #handcuffs #youarenotalone #mentalhealthadvocacy #hospitals #dobetter #youareenough #helpthevulnerable #grateful #blessed #thankyou #beavoice #mayorjohntory