The Nut House

The nut house
Excuse my turn of phrase
I’ve found it to be a wonderful place
Everyone cares so much for your feelings
They allow the fire alarm to keep your head reeling
Saying they have to listen to it too
Implying it’s ok for you

Don’t you dare tell anyone that you are ok
Cos they won’t think you are
And they want you to stay
Yes dear, no dear, three bags full dear
I’ll make you conform with ‘there’s nothing to fear’
Dare I show anyone this verse I have made
How do I know I’m so very afraid

I can’t say again that I want to go home
That I’m frightened they’re turning me into a clone
Of these people who probably started out as I did
An uncertain, obliging or angry kid

They don’t want to take any chances you see
They have to observe you acting ‘normally’
But since none of them know me, how will they tell
While they keep me here in what feels like hell
To observe, confuse and test with patronising games
Designed to check your functioning, ensure you are sane
And you’re so shit scared of putting a foot wrong
You do your best to stay on your own

I’m a simple girl, I speak the truth
But I wish I had learned this voice in my youth
For so long I had stifled what I had to say
And having found my voice, I’m now locked away
I do car maintenance, DIY and teach IT too
And can knit and cook there’s so much I can do

But don’t expect me to be tidy
For that simply is not me
I only do what is necessary
Sometimes I wear odd socks
Or change how I dress
I do not have anyone
I need to impress
I don’t wanna be what you want me to be
Why can’t you just take a look and see
Is there something wrong with me being me?

You worry about Health and Safety
So I can’t even serve food
I’m crying out for things to do
This does not feel good.
The National Charter claims to aim
For dignity and respect
And I have to wonder
If that’s what we get

And yes, I know
You’re not really out to get me
But can you sit there and say
That you even hear me
I don’t think you do
Or why treat me this way

You treat the others like idiots
They’re not as eloquent as me
But none of them are stupid
They see what I see
Seeing what they see
Does not make me wrong

I hope I don’t have to
Stay here too long
I’ve seen that it’s catching
How madness passes on
You are also paranoid,
Can you not tell?
Maybe YOU need
To stay here for a spell
I read feelings and looks
You can’t take that from me
No matter what you do
With your foolish trickery

My mother was recently appointed to the Board
Not even weeks before I came on this ward
So I hope that with time 
We can at least make some change
For not all the people 
Who pass through here are strange

Yes I’m a bit cross,
The staff should be educated
But instead walk around
With their egos inflated
People need uplifting,
What they get is pain
But I see them smile
When I remember their name

They know that I know
Exactly how they feel
And I’d never give
Any of them a raw deal
The ‘professionals’
Really don’t like what they see
But all they should see
Is me being me
Always helpful and kind
To everybody

If I had to stay here long
I’d really want to be dead
I’m incredibly bright
And extremely well read
I’d talk to the patients
See they were alright
I did that for a living
And in here it felt right
I saw how they perked up
When given some time
And although I’m a patient
My time is mine

There’s nothing to do
My brain needs stimulation
They don’t even let me out
For recreation
A criminal in prison is treated better
At least they are scheduled
Time out for an hour
Staff thought it strange
I wanted someone to talk to
Locked up in here
What else could I do?

I have some real theories
 About mental illness
And have been in here
Trying to raise your awareness
I very much doubt
You have read as much as me
I have over a thousand books
In my library

You walk around here
Thinking that you know best
Cos we’re in here we can’t
Put your ‘knowledge’ to the test
One of you even thought I was staff
I was glad I was still
Able to laugh

To the compassionate staff
This part is for you
Believe me I’ve really seen who is who
Thank you for making my stay more bearable
Doing what you could to help me feel comfortable
Talking and treating me with real respect
And I think you know this dictates what you get

Mother Teresa was a kind hearted Virgo
Just like me
They didn’t lock her up
For vulnerability
It’s my belief
That not everyone needs drugs
And the people who
Force them down can be thugs
They held me down
When I knew what I was doing
If I wasn’t so calm
I’d feel like suing

It didn’t take long to write this verse down
But I knew if I didn’t I would keep my frown
And my sullen looks
And my tears and my pain
And just mull it all over
Again and again
So when you’ve finally had enough
Of this mad world’s game
Be careful,
You might just find yourself insane!

Reading over this rather long verse which took me quite a few hours, I can see how the staff thought I was being obsessive. However, this is often how writers write! I was seething over my mistreatment and writing was my release. 

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