I never told Mum and Dad and so they happily thought that I was well cared for by Sister Night; until now, it remained my biggest secret.
It was my final year at RMIT and with heavy and difficult study loads, I hardly had time to speak face-to-face let alone going out with Sister Night as I used to do. I thought she needed time to altruistically tend to the newly arrived Vietnamese refugee girls in my house. Years later Summer-scent – my roommate – explained to me that as I was Sister Night’s favourite girl and her god-daughter, I had insensitively made Sister Night suffer the maternal grief of losing a child.
Foxy was a teenage girl in the house recognised for her sexually provocative language and manner. Even though the other girls of Foxy’s age could turn a blind eye to that blemish in her character and give credit to her cheerfulness, she wasn’t popular amongst the older girls and I. Foxy played on Sister Night’s anger towards me, and became a wedge that broke apart our relationship. While I never had any physical contact with Sister, Foxy would lay her head on Sister’s lap while she watched TV in her rocking chair and Sister would stroke Foxy’s hair till Foxy went to sleep. While I never confided in Sister, Foxy would often ran into Sister, hug her and tell Sister of her sadness, fear, …. as if she was still a young child needed protection and support.
When I reminded Foxy to limit her time on the phone as there were others complaining of not being able to receive or make phone calls, Foxy told Sister of her fear of me! Sister accused me of making Foxy fearful and when I tried to explain: “But, Sister”, she cut me off “NO, hiMe, NO, NO, NO!” and looked at me as if I was her enemy. From then on, Sister Night began to pick on me unreasonably for small mistakes and scolded me without allowing me to explain myself. Sister would grin with Foxy in front of me, and show me how she spoiled Foxy with presents like new furniture and sheets.
When I couldn’t stand it anymore, and couldn’t help arguing and disobeying her, Sister ordered me and Turquoise to see a doctor, otherwise we would be thrown out. Turquoise was a teenage girl who used to sarcastically question Sister’s dictator-like orders and sensibly make fun of her childish remarks and hot-tempered behaviour.
The ‘doctor’ we saw turned out to be a psychiatrist whose first question was: “Do you hate Sister?” The tablets I was prescribed made me have ‘restless leg syndrome’ and the girls used to comment: “hiMe, it’s so strange! Why are your eyes closed when you’re walking around the house?”.
When I complained to the psychiatrist about the drugs effects, he prescribed a different kind of tablet which put me into long sleep. All this torture I was put through lasted a few weeks and it affected my study, my appearance and my physical well-being.
Twenty years later, I learnt that Turquoise’s and my appointments with the psychiatrist were no secret in the house!
Later, a journalist came into the house and interviewed the girls for an article about Sister Night and her care of the refugee girls. Turquoise and I weren’t told of this appointment, so we weren’t interviewed and didn’t appear in the newspaper’s picture.
After the last argument with Sister when she told me to move out, I begged a priest who frequented the house to find me accommodation.
After that, I went to see a GP concerning the long-term effects the forced tablets had on me. The GP told me that it sounded to him I was given antipsychotics, and that it was very wrong to have received them. Ignorantly, I never thought of complaining to the authorities about the psychiatrist and Sister Night for the torment I went through.
When love is lost, revenge is hate,
Which will berate,
With cruel taunts,
A hurt that haunts!
When Sister wants complete controls,
On rightful souls,
Two girls are framed,
And madness named!
When haven turns into jail cell,
A shame for God,
by Irene Miranda.