I had been stuck in a locked ward for months, trying to get better, over the stress of life and was so bored. I spent the time writing and doing art at the group. One morning as I was on my way to art therapy when I met this lovely looking boy in the corridor, who was also on his way there. We smiled shyly at each other and said hello. I had a crazy thought in my head that he was my soulmate. He was tall, blond and handsome, with a Mohican and huge trousers which he held up at the waist. He had a sweet face and a nice smile. We introduced ourselves in the group, it was just us with the tutor, and he drew a naughty picture to impress me. He said later he loved the Native American mask I was making and had thought I was cute.
After that we spent all our spare time together. We were both happy to have a friend on the same wavelength and were relaxed in each other’s company. We passed the time by learning French, doing exercises, playing chess, doing meditation and chatting till bedtime, 11pm. We slowly fell in love as our friendship grew and we got close. He says I was funny and a character as I thought I was an alien and wanted to be a boy. He just wanted to run away, again. That was why he was in a locked ward, he was Houdini. He had had quite an adventure, having been in several hospitals all over the country after he had run away. He had escaped from two locked wards and ended up on the roof of a third. He had just spent a week in London on the run. When he got low and wanted to escape again I knew I had to help. I had to be understanding and help him get back in the community and I knew I could do it. I knew his self confidence was low, so to stop him feeling down and wanting to run away I made A4 posters of the good qualities I saw in him, like funny, generous and motivated. I stuck them all over his wall so he could look at them when feeling low to stop him from running away. Plus I knew having a friend in there would help him.
It worked; he stayed on the ward and was soon getting time out on the grounds and to the cafe. Plus his family were there for him. We often discussed how much fun we would have outside and that helped because it gave us something to look forward to. His mental health, which I didn’t think was very bad, improved and he soon got out, before me in fact, to an open ward. We kept in touch though. We helped each other get back to reality and get well. I had to organise going back to university in Aberdeen to finish my degree. We spent time together when I got onto an open ward and I visited the castle he grew up in which was a fantastically different world.
He came to visit me when I was in Aberdeen and this is where we got together. I think he kept me well and as I was content I could finally concentrate on studying and got my degree. I couldn’t have done it without his support. I visited him too and we sometimes went on small trips, to Skye and to Arran. He took me out for my birthday and bought me champagne. That winter we went skiing in Canada, this was a new experience for me. We also got married out there.
However no relationship is without its trials and tribulations and while in Canada Gavin got very ill. I tried my best to care for him and help him out of his nightmare; we ended up staying there for six months due to this. However his medication also helps him a lot and the fact that he had stopped taking it had made him ill. When we returned the hospital in Scotland his family and the staff blamed me for his illness, although I had tried to put him on medication and care for him. We ended up getting divorced. I also got ill due to the stress. After a few months of being apart we were able to talk and work out what went wrong and knew we still loved each other.
We got back together and finally got acceptance from the hospital and Gavin’s family. Gavin has had a couple of minor episodes but been so well in the last six months that he has got his driving licence back, which was a dream, and is going back to college to finish his course in furniture. I attribute my well-being to Gavin and I know I have helped him by offering love and support and making him feel safe and cared for. We got married again this summer and this time we had the support and well wishes of the hospital and Gavin’s family. We have become strong enough to last the whole way.