section 8


Tuesday September 3rd

I know this with complete accuracy, it is one of the ways that we daily assessed – a grasp on date & time seems to be the primary tool on madness measurement here

My daughter delivered me here two weeks ago, having found my attempts to twin proof my home alarming . I am here for 28 days, to be assessed , to be measured, to be labelled.

At first I was confused, her twinny voice raged in my head, demanding that I listened to her, that I paid attention, that we went straight home right now.

The noise was so much that I could hear almost nothing else and longed for silence, tried to curl up into a ball, to hide in corners, to wrap my head in towels & blankets in an attempt to muffle the sounds.

And, just when I really thought that I could not bear another single second of her screaming.  It all changed. Her voice softened, she came to me in dreams again, stroked me and told me what I needed to say, how to best to cope with this new situation. I was able to nod, smile, answer questions, take part – I could feel the satisfaction in the staff – another loony cured, another mad woman functioning  & all the time I walked through this new performance, I felt her voice in my ear, silkily, smoothly coaching and coaxing me

“yes, I had heard voices”

“no – I didn’t hear then anymore”

“yes – I understand now – I have been ill – thank you for your help”

I am become the model patient – my only goal is to get out. If I was a heroine in a story  written before care in the community became the model of madness management , I would have languished for years in a back ward somewhere, grown grey & faded until finally  love or feminism freed me back into the world, where I became a better person through my suffering.

The reality, which suits me so well, is that they want me out, I want to be out, she, her voice always present, instructing, guiding, steering on a course I don’t understand,  insists that we get out.

About cathi rae

50ish teacher & aspiring writer and parent of a stroppy teenager and carer for a confused bedlington terrier and a small selection of horses who fail to shar emy dressage ambitions. Interested in contemporary fiction but find myself returning to PG Wodehouse when the chips are down View all posts by cathi rae

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