What experience made you grow the fuck up?

In the span of a year, I spent 5 months in a psychiatric hospital. One of the two was a crisis center that I ended up living in for nearly a month, and it was hell on earth. I hope no one reading this will ever know that kind of vulnerability, what it's like to be treated like a fucking animal in a place where you were sent against your will to get better. While there, there were several patient riots I was caught up in, as well as near daily strip searches because of it. I spent two and a half days in solitary confinement with a chalkboard for company. My world revolved around the little 'family' I had built of the people I lived with. We tried to protect each other - I watched and prevented four consecutive suicide attempts from one person and never told any staff because none of us trusted them. That same person - my best friend - killed himself three months later and I live with the guilt and trauma of that to this day.

I couldn't protect him, or my mother and sister on the outside who were at the mercy of my abusive addict of a father, nor could I protect myself and I wouldn't have if I could have.

In the next place I was sent to directly after that things were much better. I was still witness to three different suicide attempts by different roommates in the four months I lived there, but nothing that haunts me so much because I was able to help them. While I lived in that place, my childhood dog was put down. My dad went off the grid and my mother started drinking heavily; my emotionally abusive significant other left shortly after. I've never been that helpless.

Things are barely better these days. I've rebuilt what I could from the ashes of what was but it's never going to fill some empty spaces in my head. I've come out of those places worse than when I went in. But I'll be damned if I haven't become a grown ass woman because of it.

/r/AskReddit Thread