Triggers unforeseen provoke this character into dementia...
|And She Spoke
Written by Sugaree
“Slow down, damned! Sabrina said to Shayla as they traveled from Chicago to visit their oldest
We do want to make it there alive,” Sabrina continued.
"Oh, you have some nerves the way you drive! At least I don’t have fifty million fricken' tickets, and a suspended driver’s license! Hell, since you telling me how to drive, lets see you get behind the gottdamned wheel?!” Shayla snapped.
"Look, everybody is just edgy right now. This is hard for all of us. So please, both of you, just let’s have a moment of silence before we enter that hospital and ask God to let us hear our oldest sister speak again. You know, it has been two whole years! Please!” Shanika advised her two older sisters. “And while yawl doin’ all that cussin’ up there, don’t forget about these poor kids back here, duh,” she added.
The doctors waited at the front desk as Skyla’s family piled into a private family waiting area. Her psychologist warned them not to expect too much of her. Her youngest sister, Shanika, rushed towards Dr. Foster with deep concern in her eyes, then managed to get one question out, “How is she?” Tears were beginning to wail up in her. She took a deep breath and waited for his response.
“You do know that your sister has been through some extremely traumatic experiences in life. The assault she has survived only triggered those times. She will need time and patience in recovering. Dissociative Amnesia is not a condition that just happens in one day, one hour…it will not go away that fast, if ever. She may regress as the memories flood her. I may need to sedate her, just to warn you now,” the doctor spoke to Skyla’s three sisters sincerely.
Shayla’s face was blank as she listened to the doctor warn them that their sister may never be the same. "So, what do we say to her?”
"Just be natural. Her memory of you all, as far as I can discern, is in tact, Dr. Foster responded as he picked up the clipboard of Skyla’s file. "Lets take a walk to her room. She is anxious to see familiar faces.”
They all walked toward Skyla’s room. Sabrina, her second oldest sister, was visibly nervous. The third oldest, Shanika, put her arm around Sabrina, leaned her head into hers, as they walked the long, brightly lighted hall to there beloved sister.
Images of what Sabrina read on the police’s report would not leave her mind. Tears started to wail in her as well thinking of how her sister will deal with this when she learns that two years has passed.
"You will have to pull yourself together before you go into her room. We don’t want her to regress or panic,” Dr. Foster warned.
"Okay, okay. I just can’t stop thinking about the pictures of her we saw in court. That man torturing my sister like that should have been given the chair,” Sabrina said through now blinding tears. Crimes of passion need more examination by our judicial system. She is just awakening from this, and this no good bastard is on his way out of jail next year.”
Dr. Foster gently knocked on Skyla’s door. “Is it okay to come in? You have visitors."
"Sure. I have been waiting all day,” Skyla admitted impatiently. Come on in, please.”
Shayla entered in behind the doctor. She stared into her sister’s eyes unable to hold back the tears, despite the doctor's warning. She rushed into Skyla’s open arms and held her tightly. They cried together. The other sisters piled onto them, also crying.
"We thought we’d never be able to hear your beautiful, intelligent words again,” Shayla said, as she wiped tears from Skyla’s face.
“Please don’t go away again. Talk to us. Tell us what we can do, please,” Sabrina cried.
Dr. Foster was alarmed that the sisters disregarded his warnings not to offset their sister with such emotions especially considering the time lapse she had experienced. He could barely hold back his tears as he watched the sisters hubbled around their oldest sibling.
"Ladies, I really hate to have to end this session. We have additional evaluations and will need to cut this visit short,” he said crossly looking directly into their eyes.
"Where is Lance? Skyla demanded. Why isn’t he here? Where are my children?”
Sabrina looked in the direction of the doctor. She was not sure how to answer the questions about Lance.
"Your children are in the waiting room. We wanted to see you first, then give the three of you the rest of the time together."
"Okay, so…what about Lance? Where is he?” Skyla demanded again.
Dr. Foster interjected, “Let me handle this one, Ladies. Skyla, we will discuss this with time. Please, just enjoy these moments with your family for now.”
"No! I want to know now! Are these flashes real, please, NO!, please don’t tell me that he did this to me. Please say it is not so,” Skyla cried as she looked down at her third degree burns. She traced the lines on her face where she had been stitched.
"Dr. Foster, please do something. She is too upset and we don’t want to loose her,” Shayla begged.
Dr. Foster was ahead of her. He pressed the call button and waited for assistance from the orderlies.
"I am going to have to ask you all to leave, now,” Dr. Foster said firmly. The orderly entered the room calmly. Skyla was too taken aback by the unclear flashbacks to realize that her sisters had left and the orderlies were there now. She had slipped back into the dissociative state that her team of doctors had tried so long to get her out of.
"Hey there, Tim, Skyla cheerfully spoke to one of the orderlies. Ready for that chess game you promised?” Dr. Foster knew that voice. He knew that she had regressed back to a child.
"Christy, I am going to have to give you a shot,” Dr. Foster said as though actually talking to a nine year old. The doctor beckoned with his eyes for the orderlies to take their places to restrain her.
"Christy, we will have to wait on that game til another time. I’m sorry,” Tim said to her sadly. He had grown fund of Christy, but knew what her reappearance meant to Skyla’s progress. He placed his hands on Skyla’s wrist gently.
"Christy, I am going to have to hold your hands until the doctor gives you your medication. It wont take long, maybe sting a bit, but not for long, ok?”
"Okay, I will be a big girl, Tim.” Christy said with an innocent child’s voice and a cheerful smile. Dr. Foster opened the syringe, swabbed Christy’s forearm with an alcohol pad, and then injected 10mms of Haldol into her forearm.
Christy’s smile subsided as they all watched her sink into yet another trance like state. The doctor was not sure if this medicine would have her sleep, or change to yet another alter personality.
The orderlies maintained their positions as directed by the doctor. Dr. Foster watched intently as another personality immerged.
"What the fuck? Get out of my goddamned room you asshole! Let me go you fuckin’ idiots,” Skyla shouted irately. The doctor and orderlies knew by the language, change in tone, and mannerism that Safronyal had replaced Skyla and Christy. That was a problem for them all. Safronyal’s eyes were even different. They were evil, malicious and vengeful.
"You bitch! let me go,” Safronyal continued shouting as the orderlies placed wrist restraints on her already bruised wrists. Despite the feelings Tim had for her, he knew that this was best. Safronyal only wanted blood, from anyone in her sight. Christy and Tim were playing a game of chess one afternoon when Safronyal immerged, grabbed Tim’s stethoscope, swung it hard as she could cutting Tim’s face deep enough to require stitches.
Safronyal was the alter personality that protected Skyla and the other sixteen alters. She was the one that kept Lance's friend from totally mutilating her the evening of March 24th 2002, which led to her current stay in Wisconsin Memorial Mental Health.
Dr. Foster ordered 2mg of Ativan. He needed Safronyal calmed so that he could ask her some questions pertaining to that evening while she was present.
"Safronyal, I am going to give you an injection,” the doctor spoke calmly.
"You will feel a sting and it will be over."
Dr. Foster stated routinely as he proceeded to inject his patient. He was wondering if he had pushed her too soon after her primary state had returned.
"You better watch yo fuckin’ back if I ever see you, bastard…we gonna see who gets stuck then! Ha! Safronyal laughed maniacally, as she directed her comments to the doctor.
The nurses replaced the orderlies at Skyla’s side. After about ten minutes, the medicine took its effect. Skyla appeared sleep, but, no one really knew so they left her in the restraints. Nurse Joan was sad as she watched Skyla fall into her deep slumber.
She had been her nurse for two years and heard in therapy, the horrendous things she had endured as a child and now this more current assault as an adult. She placed her hand on Skyla’s cheek, trying not to show emotion, but could not hold her tears back seeing her favored patient like this.
Nurse Joan was in the room when Skyla first spoke. She recalled that precious moment that seemed like a miracle. She did not want to alarm Skyla by letting on that she had been a patient for so long. She just listened to her, nodding her head. Nurse Joan remembered telling Dr. Foster, "It is as if through her the earth and sky have spoken."
Nurse Joan had endured a great deal of abuse as well as well enlightenment from Skyla’s condition. Each one of her dissociative identities shared yet another piece that explained why there were so many.
The one time she recalled specifically was the evening she was not feeling so well, actually cranky and inadvertently took it out on Skyla not realizing that she had regressed back into a little girl named Christy. This alter was like any other child around the age of six; fun yet mischievous.
This day, during social hour for the patients, Christy was in a chipper mood and wanted to play tickle and wrestle. She jumped from the sofa to the chair to the floor over and over until Nurse Joan’s nerves could not stand it any longer. She shouted at Christy, which provoked yet another childish dissociative identiy to evolve.
This child rushed to a corner, covered her head, kicked, screamed and cried, begging for someone she called Andrea not to pour the hot water on her. Later that very day in therapy, she found out that Andrea was her stepmother.
Nurse Joan knew immediately that she was dealing with a woman that had endured much more than anyone would ever know. That evening she noticed old lacerations that had cut deep into her flesh. She also noticed how deep the mental scars were.
Now, looking down on Skyla, after learning more about her condition, Nurse Joan could barely stand to bare witness of the evils done to her patient. She closed her eyes, and began to say a silent prayer.
Just as she finished the prayer, Skyla immerged smiling. She was confused because the last thing she remembered was her sisters all gathered around her. Now it was nurses and orderlies. She wondered to herself, in fear seeming crazy, what had happened to the others? The looks on everyone’s faces forced her to ask aloud.
"What happened to my sisters? What’s going on, Joan? What happened? Skyla begged her for information.
"Sky, you were very upset. The doctor had to sedate you. I'm sorry. You will be fine. Just stay calm, Sweety,” Nurse Joan smiles as she left to get the doctor.
"Nurse Joan walked down the long corridor, thinking how fast her prayers had worked and said aloud, “Thank you, God.”
When she reached the Dr. Foster, he was explaining Skyla’s condition in depth, to her sisters.
"Your sister has a condition that is attributed to severe constant childhood trauma. This disorder was called Multiple Personality Disorder in the past. Today, we call this Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). What happens to some children when they are faced with dangerous, horrendous crimes against them is that their minds split off to shut out whatever pain they may be feeling at that moment. This helps them cope and ultimately survive while they are experiencing the trauma. In the face of danger, they dissociate and another personality or identity that can handle the situation better takes over. Eventually it becomes spontaneous in the front of danger,” He attempted explained in laymen terms to Skyla’s family.
"Oh, that explains why she never really remembers big events or cursing anyone out, or that time she pushed her boyfriend out of the car for tickling her. They all laughed about that. Well, is there a cure for this?" Sabrina asked trying to hold back more tears remembering some of the things she also endured through out her own childhood.
"Unfortunately, this area in psychology is new to most of us. Many don’t believe that it exists, making diagnosis and treatment much more difficult. I looked into Skyla’s background and some past medical files. Had the doctors, including her pediatrician, been more aware of this disorder, they could have started a treatment plan sooner. Instead, she has been diagnosed as bipolar, treated for major depression, anxiety, and a few other symptoms,” Dr. Foster sighed after his long explanation.
"Well, with all the doctors she’s seen in the past, they should have been sued then,” Shayla interjected, cutting off the next words from the doctor.
"I am not saying that she does not exhibit the disorders that she was treated for, but those were just what was obvious to what they were trained to deal with. This is the most complex mental illness of all. They did not understand that she was depressed from not knowing from one day to the next, or one year to the next, what was going to happen in her life. But, while some her other identities may not be depressed and Skyla is,” the doctor continued to explain. "Can you imagine not knowing what is going to happen from day to day?"
Nurse Joan interrupted eagerly, “Skyla is back, and she is asking lots of questions, Dr. Foster.”
"Can we go back in, please?” Sabrina asked.
"I really don’t think it’s a good idea right now. Let’s see about tomorrow,” Dr. Foster said to Skyla’s sisters sadly. He really did not want to deny them her company, but believed that she needed time to recover since it was her first time staying in that state of mind for two years.
"I understand what you are saying Doc, but we drove ninety miles just to hear our sister speak again. Her children did not get to see her yet. Please? Shayla begged.
"I’m sorry. I do understand your position but my first loyalty is to your sister’s mental health. I don’t want her trying to figure out what happened to her just yet.”
"But what will we tell her children that have been waiting for three hours to see their mother? Shayla offered in a plead.
Nurse Joan spoke this time, “Try to explain to them. Pray for the words to explain to them. They’ll come to you.”
The three sisters conjoined again, walked down the long corridor to the waiting room where their nephew, eleven, and niece, five, were anxiously waiting.
"Auntie Brina, can we see my mommy now,” asked Shamura, Skyla’s youngest child.
"Yeah, we want to see her now. We have been waiting forever in this stinkin’ room?” Malik snapped.
"Boy, you’d better watch your tone! Sabrina said with a frustrated tone. Your mother is not well and you wont be able to visit her today,” she said to both of them trying not to look into their saddened faces.
"But! Malik started to plead, but Shayla cut him off.
"No buts, Malik. We don’t have any control over this. She is ill and that’s all it is to it.”
"Yes, Ma’am,” Malik said as he slumped his shoulders and walked to the exit. His little sister followed him, not quite understanding.
Sabrina walked back to the nurse’s station. “When should we come back?”
A petite African American nurse answered, “You will need to call the doctor for an answer to that question, Sweety. I know how frustrated you must be.”
"Thank you,” Sabrina said as she walked to join the rest of her family at the door exit.
"Well, I will call again tomorrow if Dr. Foster doesn’t call first. It is out of our hands. All we can do is pray,” Shanika finally spoke up.
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