Amber met me at the park. We had left our High School separately so we could not be sighted. I rode my skateboard at the path toward the park. It was a shame that we had to keep it so secretly.
Amber waited for me. She was 15 like me.
“Darling. I was afraid that your mother had picked you up.”
“No. I told her that I had to study extra for a project.”
I kissed her.
“Lets go down to the creek, so we can have some undisturbed time.”
The creek or rather the wood at it was our hideout. When we were there the world seem insignificant. We were us and nothing else mattered.
Once arrived, we started to kiss and before long we were also naked. We rolled around in the high grass and kissed.
“I want you.”
My member was stiff. We had been together for two months but had never gone all the way. I placed my self on the top of her and entered her slowly. She smelled nice and we kissed. Not so long after I came inside her.
When I pulled out, my member was spattered with blood. First I was scared but Amber assured me that it was OK. “You were my first.” We kissed once more.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”
We both jumped to our feet. It was our moms.
“Get dressed at once. You both have something to explain.”
Later the evening we ate dinner at our place.
My mother broke the silence. “I have discussed the matter with Amber’s mother. We cannot keep you locked up and away from each other, so we have decided that we all learn to know each other. We have spoken with the school and tomorrow we are going on a small trip to the see where we have rented a cabin. So pack your bags, once you are finished eating. We are going first thing in the morning.”
First I was stunned. Was it my mother, who was speaking? I embraced Amber and we kissed. “Thank you mother!!” Amber kissed her mom.
The next day we left our hometown Flint and turned south on Highway 75. Our mothers sat in the front seat and we in the back. They did not talk very much. Hopefully we would soften up when we arrived.
We studied the brochures and the cabin they had rented. It had spa bath, large porch etc. It would be a holiday to remember.
It took a while to get through Lexington. We ate lunch at a gas station before we arrived late night at a small town called Rockford shortly after Knoxville. We turned into a small road and ended up in front of a large white building. It was a hospital. “Ups. We must have chosen the wrong road. Lets go inside and ask for directions.”
We entered the lobby, where a large woman greeted us. “Welcome to Foreland Hamlet. How can I be of service?”
“It is the Petersen and Schmidt family. We are expected.”
“Follow me. I am nurse Peitsche.”
We were looking at each other. Something was wrong here. Why were we expected?
We sat in her office and Mom gave her some papers. Amber’s mother did the same. Then they both signed something before the nurse stood up.
“Amber and Peter. You are coming with me. Your parents will stay here.”
We followed her out the door where 8 other staff-members waited. Once the door was locked into the office, the nurse spoke again.
“Welcome to Foreland Hamlet. This is a hospital for adolescents and you have been committed here for couple therapy by your parents. Before you can get together as a couple, you have to understand yourself, so say goodbye to each other. When you have done this, listen very carefully to the rules of the Protected Admission Unit – our intake department – you are entering now. Raise your hand before asking question. One finger in the air means personal business like relieve your self. Two fingers means treatment issues. Else there is only one rule: No talking outside group therapy.”
Amber ran for the door, but at once 4 four them were on the top of her. I tried to rescue her but the rest of the staff grabbed me and carried me away from Amber.
“Stop! This can not be right.”
“Shut up or we will restrain you for sure.”
They stopped in a large bathroom where they dropped me on the floor. “Strip!!”
One of them took a hose.
“Do you want to take a bath with your clothes on?”
“Bend over and spread your legs.”
“Do no provoke us. It is late and you should be to bed right now.”
I bend over and felt a hand in a latex glove investigate my rectum.
“You have to receive an enema. Something is in there and we do not like contrabands in PTU.”
Something began to press against my sphincter.
“Stop it hurt.”
“You are a either squeezer or a whiner, but I will give you the benefit of doubt. Hand me some lubrication for the butt plug.”
It slipped inside me. A shock went through my body.
“Never been checked for enlargement of the prostate? Do you care about your health at all?”
It seemed to grow in size. I noticed that it had a kind of pump. Then he connected it to a small tube and I felt some liquid enter my bowels.
“Nothing like a good old coffee enema to remove all feces.”
My stomach began to feel filled out but they just moved closer after having taken rubber aprons and gloves on. It began to hurt and I tried to stand up, but they moved in and held my head down on the floor.
“Stop. I am going to explode.”
They shoveled a gag ball in my mouth.
“Bite down on it. We have to make sure that you are not taking any illegal things into the unit.”
At last the fluid stopped. For a moment I was relieved but they continued to restrain me instead of helping me to the toilet.
“You have to keep it inside you for 15 minutes. Else it does not work properly.”
After a short time, I started to sweat. Then I experienced stomach cramps. I tried to scream but the gag restricted my outcries. When the 15 minutes were up I was reduced to a shivering wreck. They carried me to the toilet and deflated the plug.
When it came out, my bowels were moved. They helped me up and cleaned me with a showerhead.
“You seem exhausted. You need to sleep.”
I was given a hospital gown and then they guided me into a cubicle where there were other beds with patients.
Before I sat down they offered me some pills to calm down on. “Just relax. It is only Truxal. Here are a couple of them. Then you are fast asleep.”
He gave me a cup of water and I took the pills. I had so many questions, but something have me a hint about not trying to discuss anything with these guys yet.
When I was in bed, my head raced with worries about Amber. What had they done to her? Why did our moms do this against us?
Suddenly the world seemed to spin and I blacked out.
My name is Peter. I was born in Boston, but my parent divorced when I was 11. It was not a happy divorce and I have not heard from my father for years. We moved to Flint in Michigan where I attended Amstrong Middle School before graduating and moving to Flint Central High School.
I had been at the school for a year or so, when I first met Amber.
I remember it as yesterday. I was riding my bicycle to school when I had a puncture. I was struggling with the damn wheel, when I heard the nicest voice; I ever have experienced speaking to me.
She offered me to help me. The wheel continued to make trouble and we ended up using a whole hour before we got it right.
First my mom was surprised that I had met a girlfriend. Then she became worrying. “Are you not a little too young to engage in a relationship? Just remember how it went between your father and me.”
But I continued to see Amber. Our moms even met and for a while it went well. Then we forgot the time and came home about 10 p.m. one evening. Our moms had been on the phone with each other and they had agreed that we both had to be grounded for a month and not seeing each other outside school for another.
It was hard and unfair. At school our teachers must have received some notice from our parents because we were informed that we were not allowed go behind the gym and hang out in private.
So we started to see each other after school on our way home. We always took different routes in order to fool our parents.
It had worked until now.
The first day started with me ending up in their isolation room within 5 minutes after I woke. I got out of bed, but the minute I sat my feet on the floor the staff ordered me to sit down again and wait for my group. I did not understand what the big deal was, so they blew a horn and at once 5-6 staff members came in and took me to the floor before carrying me into an empty cubicle.
I sat there for some hours before I got back to the group and I had to apologize for me being restrained.
Then I got to the toilet and had to pick pills to eat while I was there. Because I was worried about Amber, they felt that I was somehow depressed, so I had to eat anti-depressive meds. The look in their eyes told me that I hadn’t any choice. I took the great white pills called Remeron because they claimed that they had no known side effects. Actually the choice of medication was someway up to me because as they said: “We have pills in all colors”.
I was too confused to actually get what the talked about in the group. After group therapy we went back to our beds and sat in them while we waited for dinner. I looked at my group members. They just looked into the room with empty looks in their eyes.
I decided to lie down and get some sleep.
Immediately a staff member came over to me and gave me a push. “You are not allowed to sleep during the day”.
I knew it was an error the minute I said it. He blew the horn and staff-members came over and seized me. They took me back to the timeout room. I tried to hit them but there was too many of them. Then they produced a strait jacket out of nowhere and before I could pronounce the word “restraint” my arms were in the sleeves. There was a strap going between the leg and they pulled it very tight which was very painful.
“We are going to pull it more if you do not calm down.”
I gave up my resistance. I would not risk them crushing my member.
“Now sit down on the floor and do not move or else we will pull the strap even more.”
I sat down. A staff sat at a desk and watched me.
Hours went by.
Next a nurse came with food. “How do you do? My name is nurse Rohrstock. I am going to feed you.”
“When do I get this thing of?”
“When we decide that it is appropriate with your treatment.”
She feed me. The food was some kind of south mix. It was not something my stomach was used to.
Half an hour later I had to go to the toilet. With a smile the staff member guided me into the bathroom where I received the same kind of enema, I received when I arrived.
“You are going to have a diaper on for now. Your girl friend gives the staff members quite a match, so we are too busy to escort you to the toilet all time.”
They marched me back to the timeout room, where I was placed on the ground. My arms felt numb and I could not scratch my leg. I was almost too much to bear. After a while they followed me back to my bed – still in the jacket. I was placed sitting with my back against the wall.
It was warm and I started to sweat. When it started to itch on my back, I tried to scratch it by rubbing my body against the wall. It did not go by on unnoticed. “We are not going to let you hurt yourself by banging your head against the wall. Stop it.”
“But I was only trying to scratch my body.”
“It is regarding hurting yourself. We will not allow it.”
“Now there is no reason to see your stay here as so bad. You are here to get your mental health fixed. We are going to protect you.”
He went over to a drawer and came with a helmet made of rubber foam. Now I was really looking as a patient from cuckoos nest. I started to sob. It was so degrading.
Evening came and nurse Rohrstock fed me once more.
At last it was to sleep. A staff member followed me to the bathroom, where I received yet another enema before being freed from the strait jacket.
Once again the only clothes I had on was the hospital gown. Due to the number of enemas, I got a new diaper. When I came back to my bed I saw that they had fitted my bed with a kind of net. I looked at nurse Rohrstock, who answered the question, which was so obvious that I did not have to say it.
“It is a restraint net. Please lie down on your back quietly or we will force you.”
I had learned my lesson.
Once I was in bed, they put both my feet in leather cuffs. Then they asked me to raise my arms, so they could get them through two holes in the blanket. The blanket was strapped down with 5 straps on each side and a strap between my legs. The last thing they did was to fasten both my arms with straps on my upper- and lower-arm.
I could not move.
“Sleep nice and comfy.”
The next two days were the same. I was helped out of the bed. Received an enema. Next I was put into the straitjacket and helmet. Sat I my bed all day only with breaks when there was group therapy and meals where nurse Rohrstock fed me.
There were three kinds of therapy sessions: Community groups, Confrontation groups and Feelings groups.
I was heavily criticized for my behavior. It bothered the other patients that I had caused so many disturbances in the unit.
All I could say was that I was locked up there without any reason, which caused them to blame me for not taking responsibility for my situation.
I could not win, so I denied answering them once they asked me questions.
Slowly the medication began to work. It was like I was in a glass case. I still felt betrayed by my mother but I could not express my feelings. It was confusing.
Slowly I became a player in the game. I gave them something. I was a liar. I lied about meeting Amber. I was not thinking about the future when I had sex with her without protection.
On the third day I was escorted back to the office of nurse Peitsche, but instead of the nurse a man sat and waited for me.
“Happy to meat you. My name is Hans Torheit. I am your family representative. Now I am going to call your mother and they we are going to have a talk.”
My mother came on the phone and after some greetings between Mr. Torheit and my mother we began to talk.
“For how long am I going to be in this hell-hole?”
“For as long as it take. Your mother and the doctors had agreed that the part of the brain, which should ensure thinking of long-term consequences, lacks some emotional development.”
“I am not brain-damaged!”
“Of course you are not, but you need to address these shortcomings or you will fail very severely in your adult life. Sometime actions have consequences that could last for decades. What if you had made Amber pregnant?”
“I love Amber.”
“But you are in no means ready to become a father. We are talking about a 20 year commitment.”
“Mother. Please let me loose. I am treated badly. They have put me in a strait jacket.”
“I know. I pay extra for your restraints. But you have scared me. You were throwing your life away. I will not release you and risk that you destroy your life.”
I started to sob. I was in prison without every committing a crime and I could not appeal to any court or parole board.
I sort of missed the rest of the talk between my mother and Mr. Torheit.
Weeks went by. I got out of the strait jacket a week after I first were put into it.
It took some more weeks to loose the bed restraints by night.
By one of the phone therapist sessions, I asked how Amber was doing and was told that I should not care for her yet. When I continued to ask to her well being the session was terminated and the staff put me in the strait jacket once more, but only for a day.
Days went by looking the same every day. Only when new patient were committed we could observe how they were restrained like me and how they also got fitted in restraint jackets like the one I had been in.
Then one day they escorted me over to the office. Once inside my mother waited together with Amber’s mother. Soon after Amber arrived in a strait jacket. I was curious.
“Are we going to get pulled?”
Amber’s mother took the word.
“No, you are not. But we are here to inform you that Amber’s father have died in a car accident. Unfortunately his family has requested that you attend the funeral or they will cut back on the deal, Amber and me got when I divorced her father.”
Amber sat down and cried.
“So here are the deal: You are both going to attend the funeral and then return here. The family has got information about Peter in one of the letters Amber has written to her Grandfather without my knowledge, so they want to see you too.”
“However, I still have custody and I have pointed out that I will insist on you doing the entire program regardless what they say. They have accepted if they get letter privileges and get to see you and Peter to the funeral. They did that reluctant, but realized that they can not fight my custody agreement.”
My mother took the word. “Now get dressed. We are going to drive when you are ready. We have been informed about your increase in weight so it is new.”
My mother was right. I had put on some weight - 11 pounds to be exact. When I returned to the office, we waited some minutes before Amber appeared. She was surprised “My god. I have put on 8 pound in just 5 weeks.”
Mr. Torheit interrupted. “It is the medication. Just a last thing before you are going. In order to prevent you from running, you are going to have these transport jackets on. Your arms are not going to be restrained like in the normal jacket. It is just 3 straps on your back and another one between your legs. They will of course only be used during transport. At the funeral you will act as nothing.”
We were put in the jackets and then guided out in the parking lot, where our mothers had rented a mini-van with shaded windows. Once we were helped into the rear seats they put a leather cuff on the foot nearest the door. There was a nylon strap hanging from it, so when the door closed, we could not lift the foot from the floor.”
Once we left the Rockford, we drove north on Highway 75. After 10 minutes Amber began to cry.
“It was so awful. It was abuse.”
Her mother answered. “Pull yourself together. You are such a drama queen.”
I cut in.
“Amber: tell me the story. I have been there. I can understand. Maybe it helps to tell me.”
Amber told her story. Like me she got restrained a few minutes after she entered her unit. Her story looked so much like mine. It was the same kind of restraints. She was also jacketed and had to endure wearing a diaper for weeks.
But most frightening was her story about her being checked for pregnancy and venereal diseases once a week.
“They guided me over to a gynecologist’s chair and I was strapped down with my private parts exposed. First they put a speculum into my vaginal - next they inserted one in my rectum.”
I could only imaging having two pieces of cold steel putted inside me. Awful!
“I did not know what they were looking for. Somehow I felt that they did it because they wanted me to commit to the program.”
Her mother interrupted. “They were looking for an infection in your urinary tract which had spread to your private parts. Also they were worried about that your unbalanced diet can have caused diarrhea. Then there are your returning problems with gastric hemorrhage. Of course they had to put you through a lot of testing.”
The conversation turned into a mouthing between Amber and her mother. I knew from my time with her that she never said no to a burger. Also I understood their conversation Amber had been on various diets from when she was 9.
When they finally had ended their conversation and remained angry and silent, I asked my mother, if she also was aware that I had been in a strait jacket for several days.
“Of course I do. They have sent me a detailed statement of account every single week, so I could discuss the individual items on the account during our weekly conversation.”
“How could you? Do you not care for me?”
“Do not play the guilt trip on me. I know that this is necessary. In fact you disappoint me, I had expect that you were more in control of your self, so you could realize that it is a good thing I have done for you. What you are doing is a standard approach to avoid taking responsibilities about your self. Your approach is so standard that it is written in the parent manual. I am not going to pull you and I have custody, so you have better start to work the program, once you return to Foreland Hamlet.”
I realized that it was a waste of time to talk to her further and we drove the rest of the way with only a stop at a gas station where we bought burgers at the drive-through and ate them at picnic area near the road. Our moms fed us in the car, as we had no use of our arms. We even managed to get to the toilet with their help. I consider myself lucky that none saw us at the toilet because she had to take of my trousers and wipe my behind after I had finished.
We arrived at the churchyard where the funeral was to take place. We parked at a little distance. Before taking us out of our transport jackets, they warned us a last time.
“Remember it is us, who have custody. We will report you as runaways, if you do not return with us willingly.”
It was nice to have the use of our arms again. We joined the funeral gathering. Amber was dissolved in tear. She had missed her father and now she would never him again. I was at her side during entire funeral service.
When it finally was over, we all went to a house of one of her relatives. Several of her family members wanted to talk to Amber and her mother and they ended up in separate rooms, by my mother remained at my side.
Then a man came to me and presented himself as Mr. Carson – a cousin of her father. He took me to the side and at the same time a woman approached my mother and began a conversation with her.
“Listen Peter. We from Amber’s family have research Foreland Hamlet and it is an awful place. Like most of the students in such places you are not belonging there, so we have arranged for you to run away and lie low while we fight Amber’s mother in court. Here is an envelope with address of your father; some money and an address where there is some clothes you can change into. Members of the family are now in fact drugging your mothers, so you will have about 6 hours lead, before the police are looking for you. When you see your mothers pass out, then get out of here.”
He handed me an envelope.
I remained close to my mother until she became tired and sat down. Moments later she slept in a sofa. I located Amber and we made sure that her mother also was sleeping and then we left the building.
The address in the envelope showed to be just a couple of blocks away and we were soon dressed in new clothes. There was also a car key with instructions to be out of the state before we should abandon it.
Six hours later we were fugitives.
(to be continued)