Pine Rest 2017

Day Two at Pine Rest. Or, I was alright for a while; I could smile for a while . . . Or, women: why don’t they lose some weight? Or, Mondays, amirite?

Monday, February 13, 2017
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
Grand Rapids, Michigan

  • Days left: 16
  • Spiritual status: Jewish (pending)
  • Dietary status: Kosher (pending); Vegetarian (pending)
  • Drug status: Caffeinated coffee (pending); Cigarettes (pending)
  • Marital status: Mad Men
  • Visitor rights: Revoked


From the journal of Jeannie M. Hahl
Monday, February 13, 2017
1:30 p.m.

Karen is on the level; she talked to Dad and he’s explaining to her everything about the “total institution” (Goffman).

Hallmark commercial “Because there are no regular love stories.”

Watching movies/TV: Grey’s Anatomy – Christina post Burke move-in; Custody premiers March 4. 

From the journal of Jeannie M. Hahl
Monday, February 13, 2017
6:00 p.m.

A group of staff came in the TV room in which I was sistting alone. A young, butch lesbian seemed to be the ring leader. A Nigerian-American nurse, Gladys, RN, was worried about what might happen to me if I stopped being a bitch or continued. I am agitated. Obviously . . . my husband and step-father (Buster) will be here in 45 minutes. I have been threatened in the following ways:

  1. Take the pill (atavan) or you will get a shot.
  2. Take a shot or you will not get visitors
  3. Eat your food and don’t look at me with a smirk or you will get into trouble.

From the journal of Jeannie M. Hahl
Monday, February 13, 2017
6:30 p.m.

Thank god for Karen Rose xxoo. All I have to do is stay awake until Ben and Buster get here. (written later: they weren’t allowed to visit)

I just called Dad to tell on them (Pine Rest) and Karen had already told him.

I’ve asked for a vegetarian and Kosher diet for several days–still nothing.

I’ve asked for a rabbi spiritual consult for days–nothing.

How do I get out of here? 

Stacey, RN — a June graduate; hyper middle-class. Lisa, Ferris State intern–sweet. 

Day two at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services was as equally traumatic as Day one.

Sunshine and M’Sama were still there. Sunshine was on the phone, on and off, sucking herself back in and out of negative Nancyism. M’Sama was doing yoga in front of the mirror, complaining about the weight she’d put on during her recent depression. Me too, M’Sama. Me too.

I know my day started around 6:30 a.m., because it always did. And I know that lunch came around 11:15 a.m., because it always did. And I know we ate dinner at 4:45 p.m., because we always did. I know I asked the lunch/dinner ladies for “Kosher/Vegetarian” food, because I always did. I know I told them I was a “rich, white woman,” because I always did. I know I used colorful language for attention, because I always did/have.

I remember the Chaplain, David, attempting to meet with me. I said I wanted a Rabbi. They said Rabbis didn’t make visits to the Oak Unit. What. The. Fuck. So, I turned him down at that point.

I got my second Code Green that evening. I told them I’d take the Lithium, but no Seroquel. As Tupac once said, “Mama didn’t raise. No. Fool.”

I think I started talking to Shelley and Tabi that day. Two white ladies, ages 55 and 41. Shelley had been in her apartment, doing her own thing and the cops came to drag her to a mental institution. Tabi’s story was a little more complicated. She was voluntary . . . she began at Pine Rest in the partial day program, then moved to the full hospitalization program. She had some problems: anxiety, OCD, self-criticism. But, don’t we all? She was a great dancer and we rolled around on the floors, giggling and kicking our legs in the air. Women, they think they’re people.

So, when I told Gladys the RN or Stacey the RN (can’t remember which one exactly) that I wouldn’t take the Seroquel around 6-8 p.m. (first round of evening meds), I was threatened. Take the Seroquel or get a shot. They didn’t know me very well yet.

Must have been Stacey the RN, because I told someone to go fuck themselves . . . Gladys the RN, a Nigerian ex-pat, intervened: “Jeannie, go into the second TV room while Stacey the RN finishes giving her meds out. She’s frightened of you; you will get a shot.” OK, I listen to non-white, non-American women. So, I went to watch TV until Mirando the Care Giver came in and started with the second round of threats.

Mirandthe Caregiver leaned over the back of a chair and said: “Jeannie, you need to take your meds or you’ll get a shot.” She didn’t know me very well. “Fuck you!” She was still the Butch Lesbian to me . . . I hadn’t called her any of my cooler nicknames at that point. She shrugged her shoulders and rolled out of the room with style. Eh, nice try.

Joey the Caregiver (I think–the memory isn’t so great under stress) came by next. I think I called him a 23-year-old fetus with a beard. I began to amass a small following: Probably Shelley, Tabi and Chicky (Chico, but Chicky to me). Chicky was a 59-year-old biker chick who went by a male nickname. I’ll come back to Chicky.

I’m funny so when I saw Stacey the RN walk by the door of the TV room, I hollered something faux-threatening. Maybe, walk faster, bitch! Stacey the RN was terrified of me and called for a second Code Green. Then, my fans were ushered out of the TV room and in came 12-15 staff members from Oak and other units. I think Ratchet Face (a reference to Cry Baby and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) was there. Later, I realized her name was Deb the RN. Lauren the RN had the evening off.

Same thing went down as the evening previous. I was surrounded. Don’t these people know that you never corner a caged animal? They were wearing gloves; better not have been Latex. Maybe they were polyurethane, like what Female Condoms (FC) and non-lax condoms are made out of.  A fat, mouth-breathing, angry guy was behind me. Fuck that. “Get this angry motherfucker away from me!” They obliged.

There wasn’t much of a scuffle. “I told them: WHO WANTS TO GIVE ME THE SHOT? I look forward to suing whoever it is in a court of law.” Then, I saw a young, sweet girl aged 23 (approximately). Maybe it was Monica who speaks Spanish; I always called her Monica with a Spanish accent, because her full name was Delmonica and she spoke Spanish. Whoever it was, I said: “Come here, sweet girl. Where do you want to do it? I won’t sue you.” She gave it to me in my arm and I slept like a baby.

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