Friday, October 21, 2016

Insanity

Look up the word ‘insanity’ in the dictionary. You will find that it means ‘derangement of the mind.’ Apparently this is what I suffer from. News to me.

They think I can’t hear them. They think I am unaware of the implications of the austerity of my surroundings. I watch them, every hour of every day, completing their tedious tasks. They refer to me as “the patient”, as if I have no identity. I hear mind numbing cries and moans from the other inmates, echoing within the four white pristine walls which swallow me as if I am a mere insect being trodden on in the street. I mean nothing to them.

Who would have thought that I, Helen Parker, could end up somewhere as dismal as here? My wrists ache as the tight restraints hold me down as if I am some sort of animal. The clock strikes noon. Soon a nurse will enter my room to give me my “medication” and will release me from these god awful chains. They think I am a danger. I cannot be trusted.

For one hour of each day I am allowed to spend time in the day room. Except on a Saturday; they give me two. They think they are offering me some sort of freedom, a chance to breathe outwith that cage. Ha, their pettiness makes me laugh.

I watch these “people” day in and day out, observing their actions. I say “people” with sarcasm as I simply cannot regard these robots as real human beings. It is as if they have no soul and are merely acting on a programmed set of controls. The nurses with their perfect hair and squeaky shoes, the doctors with their crisp white lab coats and fake smiles. They are keeping me trapped, telling me they are protecting me from my “insanity”.

I sit by the window in the day room, watching the blusterous November winds crash against the naked trees. This is my favourite spot in the building. My sanctuary, as some may call it. This is where Adam comes to visit me. A fine handsome man he is. His strongly defined jaw and cheek bones are still as prominent as they were when I met him 20 years ago. Our trivial chit chat and reminiscences of old memories are the only things that I find worth living for nowadays. The connection that Adam and I feel is almost electrifying, overpowering all other emotions when we are together. I have never met someone who can quicken my heartbeat as fast as my husband, as if we are meeting for the first time all over again. It feels as if nothing can come between us, no one can stop our love. He is the one person who makes me feel safe.

Gazing out of the wide arched window, I watch the trees dancing wildly in the wind as if they are talking to one another. A familiar sensation begins to come over me. I fight it, knowing the hurt it will bring, the terror it will cause. But I am powerless to prevent it. My mind begins to wander to images of a horrendous recurring nightmare in which I see blood. Pools and pools of blood. My eyes begin to fill up with a scarlet red haze. I see a man lying on the floor, enveloped by this red monstrosity. The bludgeoning sounds of the hammer pound through my ears, smashing into the side of this defenceless man’s head. A high pitched scream follows, practically deafening to the ear. It is me. My body starts to jerk frantically, responding to these gruesome images which will not escape my mind.

“Adam! Adam!” I cry. “Help me!” And I feel his strong arms wrap around my fragile body, pulling me into his tight grasp. Suddenly aware of my surroundings, I watch the nurses hurry over to my sanctuary with a sharp needle in hand, ready to fill my bloodstream with poisonous liquids. I do not want it but I am forced to the ground, being held down by this evil woman. These heartless robots are trying to kill me.

Here comes the head nurse, her jet-black hair pinned immaculately in a rigid, sprayed sculpture upon her head. She is about to tell me what she tells me every day – that my husband is not actually sitting opposite me, that I am talking to myself. Such nonsense this woman speaks! I see Adam perfectly well. I smile at him whilst waving the nurse away. Ha, and they label me as the insane one. It is simply that they cannot see him. So who has the more limited mind?

The robots are taking me back to my room. Back to loneliness and only my ever changing thoughts to keep me company. Time, all I have is time. Time to think, time to ask myself the same questions, over and over. Every doctor that passes me gives me a look of pity. Oh poor Helen Parker, stuck in ward 33; the psychiatric institute. Ha, I’ll show them. I’m as innocent as the next person, I have done nothing wrong and I am not insane.

The late night sky falls and I can see a glimpse of the full moon outside my barred window. The restraints feel tighter than ever due to my “incident” in the day room. I look down at the throbbing veins on my naked wrists as if they are an arterial roadmap. My eyes begin to feel heavy, my whole body feeling entirely weak. The faint monotonous sounds of the heart monitor beside my bed drones through the almost empty room.

The nightmare has come back again to haunt my empty mind. The sight is repulsive, sickening. A macabre smell fills my nostrils, even in my dreamlike state. The body lies helpless on the ground, curled up into a foetal position as if he were a child, emphasising the weakness which emanates from this man. He is a grotesque monster, inhuman. Flies have already started to attack their new meal. Soon his flawless skin will perish and nothing but a hollow carcass will be left, his soul long escaped. Who could commit such violence? Who could take another’s life?

What frightens me the most is that I can see this horrific image through my very own eyes. It is me. I am the perpetrator. My knees can no longer carry my own weight and gravity pulls me to the ground, paralyzing my entire body. I sob as I stare at my loving husband, the bloody hammer lying next to his head. I have killed my own husband. This dream feels like it is reality, as if I am reliving it all over again. It is as if a suppressed memory has come flooding back into my mind like a tsunami. I murdered my husband out of pure spite. The son of a bitch had been disloyal to me, kicked me to the kerb as if I was worthless, all for some blonde 22 year old who was only after his money. How dare he underestimate the extent of my rage. Ha, that will teach him.

What am I doing? How could I be such a monster? My body sits bolt upright against the rickety bed, beads of sweat running down my face. Maybe I am insane. Maybe these robots aren’t trying to kill me after all, they are trying to help. Trying to help a psychotic woman like me who kills her own husband over another woman. It’s terrifying what jealousy can do to the mind. The images recede, leaving me exhausted.

Death is the most inevitable concept in our melancholic lives. The thought of losing a loved one is so distant that you would never even begin to imagine it happening to you, so close to your "happy" life. Yet at the same time, death is just around the corner for any living soul. Our lives are in the hands of fate, death cannot be overcome. Losing your mind may as well be death. A part of your soul loses itself and dies away, something which seems impossible to return. This is what I have fought with for two years; someone constantly telling me that I am sick, my mind is not what it used to be, and I must be given medication every few hours. I’m just another helpless human trying to fight the battle of what we call life.

The rain begins to crash against the small window and I feel colder than ever, both physically and mentally. A feeling of rejection fills my body and soul. I begin to think who would miss me if I were gone. I have no family, no friends and only now have I realised the extent of my jealousy over my husband’s mistress. There is nobody left to love me. I am just a psychotic woman who is tied down every night to protect others. I am just left alone hoping my past happy memories will drive away the insanity threatening to seep deeper and deeper into my mind. I know this will never happen. I am just another patient. But I have Adam. Soon he will be here. Only he can keep the encroaching darkness at bay.

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