Thursday, April 26, 2018
Nicole sends a Snapchat message to her Cru group message and asks for prayer. She doesn’t give any specifics but just asks them to pray for her. She suspects something is going to happen and that she will be taken to the hospital.
When Taylor returns to the office and his chair, he relays the news he has for Nicole.
“So I spoke to my supervisor, and we believe it would be best for you to go to the hospital for an evaluation.”
As he speaks, she anticipates each dreaded word, and her vision darkens, putting her into a trance-like state where she can’t feel her body. Her mind disconnects from reality, and her demons take this moment of instability as an opportunity to invade and annihilate her ability to function.
She panics as her mind tries to comprehend and process what she has just heard. Her anxiety is now through the roof, and there’s nothing she can do to bring it down. Her breathing is gradually getting shallower, her hands are shaking, her entire body is tense, and her heart is pounding in her ears. She’s in full panic, and her mind is screaming in terror.
“No. No. No. NO, NO, NO, THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING. PLEASE, NO. PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME GO. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, I CAN’T DO THIS. PLEASE, I CAN’T GO TO THE HOSPITAL. NO, PLEASE, PLEASE. PLEASE, I’M BEGGING YOU. PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME GO. PLEASE……..”
Taylor sees that she is panicking and does what he can to help her calm down. He speaks to her gently, validating what she is experiencing and guiding her in breathing.
“Okay, hey.” Taylor moves so that he might get Nicole’s attention and bring her out of her panicked state. “I see you are panicking, try to breathe…I know this is scary.”
He sits there watching her for a minute, waiting for her mind to come back to the room. After a moment, she returns and brings her gaze from the floor back up to him.
“There you go; come back to me….There you go…Just breathe. Okay? Breathe in…and out…in…and out…in…and out…There you go…”
Once they do the breathing exercise a couple times, Taylor follows up with the important but dreaded question.
“Okay, now I need to know; will you voluntarily go to the hospital for an evaluation?”
Nicole’s panic ensues, and she can barely breathe. She looks down away from Taylor again trying to decide what she is going to say. Her mind is screaming, and it clouds her rationality.
“NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO. THIS IS NOT HAPPENING. PLEASE, NO, I CAN’T GO. I CAN’T. I HAVE FINALS AND I CAN’T AFFORD AN ER VISIT. I HATE HOSPITALS SO MUCH. THIS CANNOT BE HAPPENING. MY PARENTS ARE GOING TO FREAK OUT WHEN THEY FIND OUT. I SHOULD HAVE NEVER SAID ANYTHING. I NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE. I CAN’T DO THIS. I CAN’T HANDLE THIS. PLEASE. NO. PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME GO. PLEASE, I CAN’T DO THIS. I DON’T NEED TO GO; I WILL BE FINE. JUST PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME GO. IT’LL JUST MAKE EVERYTHING WORSE. PLEASE. NO. PLEASE. I CAN’T GO. PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME. I CAN’T HANDLE THIS. PLEASE. PLEASE, NO, PLEASE, I JUST CAN’T……”
As she tries to avoid eye contact, she reluctantly nods.
“Okay, good. Thank you.” He pauses again.
“So, we’ll call campus police and have them drive you to the hospital. I can’t drive you because of legal guidelines, but I will go with you, and stay with you while you wait……When we get there, they will ask you what you are there for. There will also be a Psychiatric Evaluation Team that will ask why you’re there……If you can’t talk and need me to explain, I can, but I’ll need you to sign a release form.”
Taylor then rises from his chair moving to his desk chair and makes the phone call to campus police. Once the call is made, he turns to Nicole to tell her they are on their way, then faces his computer and starts typing something up. Since he is looking away, Nicole feels less anxiety and pressure as well as decreased possibility of judgement or criticism, so she takes out her phone to respond to the messages she has received from Marie, Leigha, and Matt.