Effects of Institutionalization

The last real kind of friendship I had was when I was institutionalized for weeks and months on end as a teenager. This went on for years.

On one side, there are the people with debilitating mental illness where they’ve disconnected from the world or from themself. And then there are those who managed to survive whatever it was that broke them.

We came from all walks of life. Some of us were teenagers who never really stood a chance. Some were 20 and 30 somethings who were tired of playing the game. Others were burnt out elders who were tired of seeing people destroy themselves.

I got used to having very short but intense friendships. It’s how I endured for so long.

Outside of that time and place, it’s like I don’t know how to be. In the past, there was something that tied us together. It was a kinship of sorts and now, I just feel alone around people.

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