The next few moments were a blur to me. It was approaching nighttime when we arrived at the home. The sky was the color of cobalt and the air was cold and thick. Or was the air thick only because I couldn’t hardly breathe? I still remember standing outside the home, not wanting to walk inside. I was afraid of what lay beyond those metal doors.
I felt dirty in there. One worker grabbed my backpack and began combing through it, most likely she was searching for some type of contraband. I felt violated. I felt like all my rights had been taken away. Who am I kidding? I never had any real rights. Another worker grabbed a metal comb and began carefully combing my hair, presumably looking for lice. And yet another worker began handing me supplies–deodorant, soap, and other toiletries. I placed the items into my backpack that had already been handed back to me.
There was a form I had to fill out. The paper felt crisp and yet cold. It smelt like fermented urine…or perhaps that was the musty air I was smelling. The form asked me very personal questions. It asked me whether I was sexually active, if I had ever done drugs, if I was on any medications–general insultive questions like that. I felt like I was being judged on the spot by people I had never met. The entire experience was belittling and embarrassing. I felt completely out of place. I was in shock. I still could not believe I was where I was. Just a couple hours before, I was at my best friend’s house planning a trip to the grocery store to buy her mom a rose and hang out. Now I couldn’t go anywhere.
What the hell was going on?
This wasn’t the first time my world had fallen apart.