It was an extremely traumatic experience — possibly one that I will never ever forget — not for a lifetime.
I have posted a photo on Facebook at about 7ish in the morning along with the caption「我解脫了。」 The photo shows the aftermath of cutting my wrist with blood flowing.
Dozens of people started arriving around 11ish — when I was still in bed. There were 3 police cars, SCDF, ambulance and a red rhino — and all these were told to me only when I was released after a good long 16 hours later.
I remembered there were loud knocks on my main door and blasting of my door bell, but I feigned ignorance, thinking it was probably people from town council (coming up again to check if everything’s okay with our late monthly payment) or probably some door to door salesman. Daddy came to ask if I should open the door, which I replied with a flat no.
The knocking got more intense, now with a sense of urgency. Daddy got worried and checked through the main door viewfinder, hurried into my room telling me it’s the police. I jerked myself up. What? I was clueless about what’s going on. I pretended nothing was happening and hid myself back in the covers, telling Daddy to say I am sleeping should the police look for anyone, especially me.
Police spotted Daddy right there and then at the service yard, and was instructed to open the door, immediately. It was minutes before SCDF people starts banging down my door.
Everyone came rushing into the house, and there I was, still in my covers, feeling scared. I was feeling surreal at the same time. This is not happening.
I was snapped back to reality when police rushed into my room. I knew by now there is no way to hide, but I remained in my covers, hoping this was a bad dream and everything would go away.
Unfortunately, they did not.
My name was called out multiple times and it took me some time to finally react and responded. I got out of my covers and stuttered, “what ⋯ is all this about ⋯ ?”
I was tensed and overwhelmed by fear at this point of time, noting the number of people in my room. There were about 4-5 police, and a number of paramedics that were fussing over me. I wasn’t sure who else was there because it was chaotic and I didn’t dare to look up again. I had never faced such a situation before.
What have I done?
They promptly asked for my name, and my Facebook of course. They looked through my phone and confirmed my identity and whatever I was reported for.
I was told that the public was alarmed and a case was reported — apparently concerning death — and that the police was alerted upon seeing my post.
By then, Mom has returned home from mid way to work, and shortly after, my Brother and Sister-in-law were at my house.
I was confused.
What the fuck was going on?
Eventually, I learned that I had somewhat committed an offense I wasn’t aware of — suicide. That was never my intention. I tried to explain myself, to no avail. I had to be taken back to their headquarters in their police car — in handcuffs. Obliging to my Brother’s pleas about my unstable mental condition, I was exceptionally allowed by the police to be handcuffed at the front, but was instantly cuffed at the back upon reaching the station. I guessed there has to be a protocol they needed to stick to.
Inside the station, I was handcuffed to poles wherever I was brought to. The handcuffs were so tight they were cutting my wounds open, but I said nothing, for fear of causing more trouble.
I don’t understand, I may have harmed myself but was it really necessary to be given this treatment to someone suffering from depression and on top of that — with anxiety disorder? I needed help. I needed support. I needed my family. I was given none of those, but treated like a menacing criminal.
All that I had with me was my phone and a jacket to keep myself warm. I needed my Berri necklace, but was not allowed to, and was told it will be safer to keep at home. It didn’t matter what I have brought with me anyway, for everything was sealed and taken away from me. I was told there will be a blanket provided so I will not need my jacket. I nodded quietly.
I was led further in — there were tons of security sensors like the ones you see in airports — one after another. What I find most humiliating or pride crushing wasn’t the handcuffs, but having to face the wall with both my handcuffed hands pressing against it. I was searched thoroughly from head to toes. Once cleared, I was promptly guided to the locked up cell. I was requested to remove my spectacles.
I reached the cell and panic creeped over me.
I wasn’t going to be alone. There were other people in there. I wasn’t warned of this. I found out later that one of them was arrested for holding a knife pointing at people, and another a drug addict. There were few more that I don’t know what landed them there, and I don’t think I want to know.
There I was, in the locked up cell — with nothing but cement floor and four walls. A ledge that covers a hole for your peeing and pooping businesses. There wasn’t even a toilet bowl, merely a hole, and there wasn’t any toilet rolls. There was no drinking cup either. I had to stand around the ‘hole’ if I needed water.
And that was when I felt truly like a prisoner.
I was deeply humiliated.
I hid myself in the corner, away from everyone else. I did not want any interaction with anyone.
I miss my family. I am scared. I want to get out of here.
I told myself that it will all be fine, soon. I will just have to see the IO — probably shortly after, and will be released in a couple hours at max.
How wrong I was.
For at least the next 10 hours, I was in the locked up cell, deprived of the blanket that was promised to me upon confiscation of my belongings. It was freezing cold. I looked around at the ladies snuggling in their blankets, and then back down at my bare hands — they were literally turning blue. I begged for a blanket time and time again, only to be brushed off, or ignored.
I was left there in the freezing cold cell, with nothing. I thought I was dying from the cold. I really felt so.
I was devastated.
I can do nothing but hugged my own legs, occasionally rubbing my palms against each other on the tee I was wearing. It didn’t help much, I trembled hard, but it was better than nothing at all.
There was no clock. I didn’t know what time it was, and how much time has passed. All I knew was I had a lengthy wait, and while waiting, I had drifted in and out of sleep. I wasn’t even sure if it was considered a sleep.
And then, my name was called.
I instantly jumped up. I had to be handcuffed before I was let out of cell. I didn’t care. I was glad. I thought I was going to see the IO and then leaving this horrible place — only to find out that I was only seeing the prison doctor — confirming my medications. It was barely a couple minutes before I was back in the freezing cell again.
I avoided eye contacts and went back to my corner.
It was a much longer wait this time. I wasn’t sure how many hours have passed when my name was called again. I was hopeful. It had been so long. I should be released by now, shouldn’t I?
But I was crestfallen.
Food was actually delivered to me — which only meant it was going to be a really long wait, as said by the police. I was given a lunch box along with a green apple and a cup of tea — none of those my kind of food. I refused to have any of it. But when the police came back telling me it will indeed be a long wait, I really should be eating, and that she’s waiting for me to finish up, I realised there was nothing I can do but to take a few bites at least, and wait for my next call. I was famished. It took me just 3 mouthfuls to gag at the horrendous meal. No way I can finish them. I was to bring the food back to the little ledge at the door just as where they were delivered to me — big enough only for hands and lunchboxes. I placed the hardly eaten lunch box with the untouched apple and cup of tea back on the ledge. It was thrown away within seconds.
I lied back down hugging myself on the cold hard concrete floor freezing and shivering, again drifting in and out of sleep, seeing my hands turning a worse shade of blue.
Finally my name was called again — not knowing how many hours have passed.
I finally got to see the IO, had my statement made, finally relieved that all should be okay now, but only to be locked up again in that freezing horrifying cell.
All I could do was wait, again.
Every single time a police walk by, or someone approaches to call a name, I had hopes that it was going to be me. Time and time again, it was not me they were looking for. Eventually I gave up and told myself, “without hope, there will not be disappointment.” I convinced myself that I will not be let out today, and that was how I managed to get through the hours. I was prepared to stay through the night.
At one point of time, there was a group of police banging hard on our cell doors and shouting. I assumed they were calling for my cell mates but no one responded. The banging got louder. I then realised they were the group of police spot checking cells from time to time — just like what we see on TV. Random yelling, banging with black sticks of sorts, and only coming into the cell after all of us stood up, shouting at us to face the wall with hands pressed against it, doing search on us.
I hated to be given this treatment. I did not deserve this.
I don’t know how much time has passed before my name was called again. This time, it was an escort to IMH. I am to be consulted by a psychiatrist before deciding if I should be warded under police care or to be released.
I knew I was still in their hands, but relief rushed over me. I am finally getting out of this terrifying cell.
I was free from handcuffs this time, but much to my horror, they have instead strapped my hands tight against my body around waist with zero possible movements and legs together. These were worse than handcuffs. The more movements you make, the tighter it gets. I was to walk along multiple long corridors to the lift. It was a long walk. My ankle hurts from the really tight straps. I wanted to let them know, but I remained quiet.
I was brought into a lift, where they temporarily quarantine me in a separate section with closed door that has holes to see through. I was more than mortified. I was treated like a threatening murderer.
I was escorted to IMH tied up in this manner for another long wait — at least a good long 6 hours. I could feel my arms stiffen. I could feel my palms getting numb from the tightness of the strap at the wrist. It hurts, badly.
My family — Daddy, Mommy, Brother, and Hubby — was already there when I arrived. I didn’t know why unliked other arrested people, I had to be wheelchair bound, and unfortunately my family did not see me when I was pushed into the observation room. I tried to get to the toilet in hopes that I can sneak peak at them in the waiting area. In the toilet, I was helpless. I couldn’t even pull down my shorts. I couldn’t even move half an inch. Thankfully, the female police escorting me was being really kind and helpful — cleaning the toilet seat and helping me with my shorts. She even offered to wipe. I cannot express my gratitude enough. I regretted not getting her name.
I am not supposed to be seeing nor talking to anyone during arrest but I begged for her to let me see my family, promising that I will not speak a word. I was rejected of course. I pleaded desperately again and again, and she finally gave in — on one condition: I am only to see them, nothing more. I was grateful enough.
Once I was out of the toilet, I caught sight of my Daddy and couldn’t help but to call out, “Daddy! Mommy!” All of them flew over within seconds.
After hours and hours being alone, I finally get to see my family. Tears sprung to my eyes. I longed to say something, anything, but I had promised to keep quiet. They were trying to comfort me but all of them were talking all at once so I couldn’t quite get what they said, but I do know they were telling me everything’s okay, everything will be over soon.
I was pushed back into the same observation room in less than half a minute of seeing my family, but I was thankful for that bit of chance. Once again, I was facing four walls, apart from the two police that was escorting me. This time I felt safer, knowing my family was within reach.
Several hours gone yet again, and all the while I was strapped up tight, strictly with no possible movement. It was plain torment — physically and mentally.
And then, it was finally time to see the psychiatrist on duty.
I was nervous.
The escorting police pushed me into the consultation room and stayed throughout the talk with the psychiatrist. The psychiatrist wanted to make sure I wasn’t trying to commit suicide, or attempting to, nor even thinking about it. Which in truth, I wasn’t. I admitted truthfully that I was only using physical pain to release my emotional distress. I have no thoughts of ending my life. And that I have no idea something I posted as a photo journal will get me into this serious trouble. The psychiatrist understood.
I almost cried when I heard him telling the police, “I think she’s fine to go home.” I closed my eyes. I mouthed a silent “thank you” to no one in particular for the entire torture that was about to end. I was pushed back into the observation room.
I am officially ready to be released.
The police unstrapped my hands and legs, the freedom and relief devouring me. I noticed the bruises and swelling on my wrists and ankles when the straps were removed. They looked even worse then the cuts on my wrists. They were painful. But these were nothing compared to my new found freedom.
I was finally let out of the observation room.
I was finally back with my family.
The moment Mommy held me in her arms, the tears came flowing. I cried uncontrollably. I was wailing out loud. I didn’t care if anyone else heard me. I let myself loose completely.
I was brought home shortly after. I cried all the way back. I choked on my sobbing a couple times but I didn’t care.
I am back with my family.
I am back home.
I am safe.
No words can describe my emotions and feelings the moment I stepped through the door in to my house.
I looked around. I was still in much disbelief after such long hours of being ‘alone’ and that now I am truly back home. I talked to Berri. I hugged Mochi. It may seemed like it’s no big deal for anyone with just more than half a day locked up, but it was more than I could handle.
I hugged my family for the longest time, cherishing every single moment, with them by my side.
All the emotional torture, physical pain, it was all over.
I don’t know how I made it through.
But I am glad to be home.
I am free.
Thank you loves, for taking the time to read.
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