My Person, Jayne
September 8, 2022
My niece, Jayne, is now 34 years old and lives in Texas with her husband of 15 years (Yes! 15 years!). She is an ER nurse and a foster mom. She's still my Person. She's been my Person since the day we met.
After I was discharged from the my second lengthy psych hospital confinement this morning, we FaceTimed for a good couple of hours off and on. I got to visit through the kids bath time ritual, which is always a delight.
I didn't know until today she'd spoken with the ER nurses every day, gotten to know them by name. When I went to the psych hospital, she spoke with the patient coordinator every day, gotten to know her well, too.
She wasn't at all surprised my behavior those first four days was officially documented as physically and verbally abusive. I took issue with the "physically abusive", but she explained that might simply mean I'd jerked my arm away when someone tried to touch me. Yep. I did that. As for verbally abusive, yep, I'll cop to that, too. I was horrid. As horrid as I've ever been. I was so angry. So angry. Mostly with myself for being stupid. Again. As I've said to all my nieces many times over:
Stupid has no age limit.
When she spoke with the patient coordinator yesterday, she asked about my behavior.
"She's been on her best behavior," the coordinator said.
I was relieved to know that. That's a good thing. I figured it out. I figured out I needed to just submit to the system, because the system does keep you alive. It's just so fucking hard to submit to the system. Are we born contrarians?
Writings from the Nuthouse Summer 2017
I met Jayne when she had just turned four. Jayne my brother's fiancé's daughter from her first marriage. Jayne's mom and my brother were madly in love and wanted to spend every minute together. Jayne and I were madly in love and wanted to spend every minute together. It was the perfect arrangement.
Jayne was an incredible young woman. Even at four, I would describe her as a young woman. She had a very strong leadership personality. "Jayne, you are going to be the CEO of a major corporation someday!" I told her that all the time.
She was fearless and strong, yet not argumentative or contrary. If you watched her in a room of adults in conversation, her head moved to follow and listen as the talk passed from one person to another. She took in and likely without much comprehension, evaluated everything that was said.
She matured long before her time. She was born an old soul. I, not having had any children myself and not having the distraction of parental responsibility, treated her like the young woman she was. I didn't dumb down for her. If I used a word she didn't know, she'd ask. I'd explain. I treated has as an equal. We were friends, compatriots, very very close. I worshiped her and she me. She gave me more joy than anything else in my life then or since.