Fourteen Years In An Institution

Anne McDonald 1977

I’m on the right, next to my best friend Leonie. In this picture I’m sixteen, she’s fifteen.  We’re sitting in a twin baby buggy. As one does.

By Anne McDonald

I lived in St Nicholas Hospital until I turned eighteen. Until I was sixteen I was totally unable to communicate with any adult because I am a severely handicapped athetoid. Athetosis is a type of cerebral palsy which results in a lot of uncontrolled movement; as well, in my case, there was an enormous excess of muscle tension. The combination of these difficulties meant that I could not use my hands, walk, or talk intelligibly.

In 1977 I was taught to communicate by using an alphabet board on which I point to letters in order to spell sentences. That is how I wrote my part of Annie’s Coming Out.

The worst thing for me about going into an institution was the total separation from everything I had known. St Nicholas would not allow parents to leave toys or clothes when they left a child. My rabbit, which I loved dearly, could not come, and neither could the animals we had as pets. The ruthless way in which children were parted from their toys was typical of the system’s treatment of children. We upset all their rather puritanical ideas about how children should behave. We were not good patients. We cried because we felt abandoned. The nurses didn’t know what to do; they didn’t know we could feel anguish. The institution had no tally book for broken hearts.

Nurses were discouraged from cuddling children. A crying child needed to be punished for its own good, so it would learn to accept the absence of affection and be happy. Punishment consisted of locking the crying child in a small dark store room. The hospital defined a happy child as a quiet child. Silence was not only golden but sullen; the nurses never saw the looks we gave them when a child was put away.

The doctors were no better. They went home at night, when the crying was worst. Remembering home was easier when you were in your cot with no toys, no games, no stories and no tucking in. We didn’t want to be kissed goodnight – that would have been unbearably distressing – but it would have been nice if someone had shown some sign that they would be glad to see us in the morning.

Talking about shit filled an enormous part of the nurses’ days. They spoke only a limited form of English, so the words they used were usually those used as abuse in polite society. You used to hold off shitting until you just about burst rather than suffer the abuse. We could not take ourselves to the toilets even if there had been toilets, so we were all in nappies. If you did not use your bowels you would have a suppository rammed in. This was recognized by the authorities, who had provided a tome in which all movements were recorded for posterity. It was called the Bowel Book. This caused no end of problems, because failure to score resulted automatically in laxatives. One day missed meant Duralax tablets; two, suppositories; three, an enema. You had no say at all.

Some nurses never marked the book, so totally unnecessary suppositories were frequently given. If you had a shit after being given a suppository you still had to listen to remarks about your odour and messiness. Instead of giving laxatives at night when they would cause the least embarrassment, they were always given at breakfast or lunch, ensuring a totally ruined morning or afternoon. This would not have mattered once in a while, but some of us were being dosed every second day.

Still, we thought we would be going home. Perhaps we were going to be cured. Little did we know! St Nicholas only has ‘hospital’ in its title because it occupies the old Children’s Hospital buildings. Of course, these were available for us only because they had been condemned as unsafe and inappropriate for children. Less medical care was given than we had at home. Laughter was the only medicine apart from laxatives and anticonvulsants, and humour was discouraged because laughter was confused with epilepsy and treated by injecting Valium or paraldehyde.

The nurses had never seen physically handicapped people before and had no idea which responses we shared with normal kids and which were significant indications of distress requiring intervention. Jittery nurses often thought we were frail and used to keep us in bed until the temperature had hit eighty. This resulted in even those children who had no physical handicap becoming wasted and pale. For the spastics, lying flat was disastrous. Their spasm became worse lying flat than sitting, reduced their ability to speak clearly, blocked gesturing, and usually removed any means of interaction. We were each marooned in our private cage. Vitality ebbed. We became prey to infections, which proved to the nurses that they were right to keep us in bed. The ultimate irony was that outsiders used to commend the nurses for treating us so well.

Despite this I was very attached to some of the nurses from the beginning. I think that some did marvelous work to cope with the numbers of kids in their groups and still be affectionate to us. They treated us like babies, but some treated us like nice babies. I was very fond of the night nurse on Ward 4. She was never flustered and was always even-handed in the way she dealt with us. You always got good treatment regardless of whether you responded or not.

We took some time to realize that we were not being treated. You expect a hospital to discharge patients other than in coffins. Some kids did come for temporary stays; funnily enough they frequently died. Usually children who visited knew when they were leaving. This meant that they did not become part of the ward and they took a superior attitude to us long-term residents. (As usual, I am talking about those who could communicate – most could not.) We tried not to hate them. It was difficult. Not only were they going home but they also got more than their fair share of attention. The nurses used to make a fuss of them and compare us unfavorably to them. The nurses felt no responsibility if we were skinny, sickly and sullen.

We had ways of communicating between ourselves. Usually we tried to cheer up any short-stay kids by pointing out how much better their state was than ours. We felt that nowhere could be as dreadful as St Nicholas; however, it seemed that the outside had its problems too. Most short-stay kids we saw were very physically handicapped. Those who spoke were generally unhappy because no one understood them, and they had no one to talk to. At least we had each other. Sometimes kids wanted to help us, but telling others was impossible for them too.

Dying was dependent on the way you felt. Jobs in mental hospitals do not attract the best doctors, and there was no supervision. The patients could not complain. If you wanted to die you had every opportunity. Many short-stay kids took their chance. Death never appealed to me; I wanted revenge. Now that does not seem to matter. What is important is stopping other kids going through what we went through.

Deceiving yourself was the hospital pastime. You imagined you talked perfectly and that you would be taken out for ever. You imagined waking up cured. You never took your condition seriously; it was never as important to you as it was to others. We had never walked; it did not look like we ever would. It was something we had grown up knowing. For busting out of confinement, speech seemed more desirable. We knew there were kids in St Nicholas who could walk, but none who could talk properly. All our imaginings depended for their fulfillment on speech.

Time was when the strongest emotion I felt was hate, and hate makes you strong. Tender emotions were dangerously softening. Implacable hatred of the whole world which hunted handicapped children into middens like St Nicholas twisted my relationships with people for years.

More here: http://bit.ly/2Ni3bD0



It felt appropriate to show and share that regardless of how tragic your own life is that others have it much worse. ~ Mitch Santell (editor’s note – mine).

Parting shot: There will be no global awakening. This site will be closed in a number of days and after that all indications that this site was ever here will be gone. I wish you all the best of luck as the world you live in has been taken over by pure evil. It is only through faith and discernment that you will survive what is coming. ~ MJS


#depression #anxiety #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #sad #love #ptsd #mentalillness #depressed #selfcare #stress #suicide #recovery #health #therapy #bipolar #quotes #selflove #healing #motivation #sadness #suicideprevention #life #art #mentalhealthmatters #mindfulness #pain #memes #chronicillness #bhfyp #wellness #ocd #bpd #help #depressionhelp #suicidal #chronicpain #trauma #broken #meme #lonely #sadquotes #follow #alone #meditation #selfharm #spoonie #psychology #positivity #music #anorexia #poetry #fitness #feelings #sadedits #adhd #loveyourself #endthestigma #inspiration #lost #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #anxiety #depression #selfcare #love #selflove #health #mentalillness #therapy #recovery #motivation #wellness #mindfulness #healing #ptsd #mentalhealthmatters #fitness #wellbeing #loveyourself #psychology #life #meditation #happiness #worldmentalhealthday #suicideprevention #endthestigma #inspiration #positivity #bhfyp

Upbeat, Positive, and Inspired

A Reflective Commentary On Real Happiness

2017-03-29 21.00.30 1481649702919065308_bigreggaemix

The ability to remain positive in challenging times is what separates those in 2019 who are highly functioning and others who scratch their head and can’t figure out “what the hell is going on.”

Accountability and Responsibility for yourself is your #1 responsibility in 2019. Why do I write this?

Answer: In the grand scheme of things, no one is showing up to take care of you, so you had better start to read up on what you need to do to feel and be happier.

There are straightforward things that you can do to start to improve your quality of life.

One ~ You are what you eat. If you eat crap, you will feel like crap.

Two ~ If you don’t hydrate, then your body and brain won’t function as well.

Three ~ Watching 12 hours of Netflix shows is not going to prolong your life.

Four ~ Simply walking each day at a gentle pace for 20 minutes can quickly improve your outlook, your health, and your attitude.

The reason that I have always been obsessed with doing simple things to keep my health is that these are things that anyone can do.

mark of maturity

What is an EGO?

Answer: Edging God Out.

Confidence is a great thing and I always support that mindset. It is the letting go of any worry about what other people think or what other people do. You have to work on you first.

Stop being depressed about all of the things that you can’t control.

Focus your time, attention and action on what YOU CAN DO!

Stop telling yourself why you can’t and switch to how you will.


You are allowed


parental advisory explicit content

#toxic #narcissist #emotionalabuse #love #toxicrelationships #gaslighting #memes #ot #narcissisticabuse #nocontact #narcissism #abuse #survivor #manipulation #sociopath #domesticviolence #npd #instagram #mentalhealth #narcawareness #meme #toxicpeople #rainbowsixsiege #narcopath #albareche #lies #r #memesdaily #albalia #bhfyp #rainbow #narcissisticabusesurvivor #operaciontriunfo #healing #lol #narcissisticpersonalitydisorder #npdawareness #covertnarcissist #siege #albarecheot #otgira #albaganadora #mentalhealthawareness #youarenotalone #siegememes #poison #albaynatalia #trauma #xbox #rainbowsiege #reche #natalialacunza #nataliayalba #recheteam #relationships #lmao #nataliaot #funny #flyingmonkeys #teamreche #narcissist #narcissisticabuse #gaslighting #sociopath #emotionalabuse #narcissism #abuse #toxicrelationships #toxicpeople #domesticviolence #narcissisticpersonalitydisorder #npd #psychopath #healing #psychologicalabuse #nocontact #manipulation #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #crazymaking #covertnarcissist #narcopath #narcissisticabusesurvivor #narcissists #trauma #verbalabuse #psychopathfree #domesticabuse #parentalalienation 

 

Stay Open-Minded & Be Happy!

Open Minded People think


Can you merge your private self with your public self? Can you step away from your own education and programming to see and feel more?

Yesterday was a most exciting day as I talked at length for over an hour with a listener of Zeph Daniel. What became very obvious to me within 10 minutes of being on the phone with this gentlemen is how divided America is in 2019. Can you say another civil war in 2024?

For those who read AfterHollywood.Online regularly, I’ve openly told you in numerous blog postings that you need to step away from “labels” and the “left/right” agenda.

There is only one way to blow out the New World Order which by the way is already here.

What do you do?

Answer: Vote with your money.

Why do I say that?

Answer: The purpose of 9/11 was to turn America from a constitutional republic into an empire.

Post-September 11th, all of a sudden you had to take off your shoes at the airport, empty your purse and your pockets as well as turn in all of your plastic bottles. Right?

While this was going on, I kept thinking to myself “American’s aren’t going to put up with this, they need to stop buying American Airlines and United Airlines plane tickets until they stop this stuff. Then the Government ramped it up by making people walk through scanners and then they had people from the TSA feeling up your crotch all in the name of safety.

Look what happened to the Gillette Company because men fought back:

News.com.au reported:

Razor brand Gillette says it is “shifting the spotlight from social issues to local heroes” after an ad delving into “toxic masculinity” caused a customer backlash.

The new ad, which launched last week, stars Australian firefighter and personal trainer Ben Ziekenheiner. “I’ve been a firefighter for 19 years,” Mr Ziekenheiner says in the ad…

…In January, Gillette sparked an online firestorm and boycott threats with an ad about the #MeToo movement challenging men to “shave their toxic masculinity”. The ad, which depicted various scenes of men bullying and catcalling women, asked, “Is this the best a man can get? Is it?”

The “We Believe” ad was labelled by some in the media as an “attack on men”, but others praised the brand for starting a “conversation”. In May, Gillette followed up with an ad featuring a father teaching his transgender son how to shave for the first time.

While the “First Shave” ad was generally well received, it was widely seen as Gillette doubling down on its push into social issues. In response to one Facebook comment, the company said, “We believe brands play a role in influencing culture and have a responsibility to use their voice for good.”

Pressed on whether Gillette would continue to talk about divisive issues like toxic masculinity, Mr Airan repeated, “We will continue to represent men at their best. This is our purpose and has been our purpose consistently for 118 years and that is not changing.”

Read more here: http://bit.ly/2MxYZA1

All I hear all day long is how people just “Hate Trump.” President Donald J. Trump was a darling of the media and was created by them because the man is mediagenic. Obama was just as mediagenic as Trump and had this way of talking where he sounded great, but he didn’t say anything. Hey, if you don’t like something, don’t buy it!

cognitive dissonance of slavery

The bottom line of this blog posting is that you can vote with your wallet!

I’ll leave you with one final thing. Ready? 

Here are the top six benefits of keeping an open mind!

open minded

FREEDOM FROM CONTROL

An open mind frees you from having to be in complete control of everything you experience. By allowing for new points of view and new experiences, you open yourself up to new thoughts, and you challenge the beliefs you currently have. While this might sound a bit unnerving (particularly if you feel very strongly about your beliefs), it’s actually quite liberating to experience the world with an open mind. 

NEW, LIBERATING EXPERIENCES

Keeping your mind open to new ideas almost always keeps your heart open to new experiences. This doesn’t mean you’re going to engage in acts that counter your current beliefs, but it does mean you’re likely to experience things you’ve never encountered before, and these new experiences will either help shift your current beliefs or remind you why those values are so essential to who you are.

VALUABLE VULENRABILITY

Vulnerability sounds intimidating, but it’s actually one of the greatest things you can experience — and it’s often the result of having an open mind. By opening your mind to the world around you (and others’ points of view), you’re admitting that there are possibilities you may not have considered before. This admission — while terrifying at times — is liberating and exhilarating.

FRESH MISTAKES

Mistakes probably sound like something you don’t want to have more of in your life, but they’re, in fact, a wonderful side effect of opening your mind. Striving to see life from others’ perspectives allows you to not only recognize potential mistakes you’ve made in the past, but also to be open to the idea that you may make more mistakes in the future. Mistakes are part of life, and the acceptance of them is one of the greatest benefits of open-mindedness.

INNER STRENGTH

An open mind provides a platform on which you can build, piling new idea on top of old. It allows you to learn and experience new things, and these experiences can build on (and enhance) old believes. Every experience you have strengthens who you are and what you believe in, but it’s very difficult to experience novel things if you don’t keep an open mind.

STUNNING CONFIDENCE

Those who are open-minded have the greatest confidence. Why? Because they possess a strong sense of self. They are not confined by their own believes, but, instead, are open to their own values, as well as those of others. And the more open-minded they continue to be, the more they come to understand themselves and the world around them. If you want to be confident, stay open-minded.

Even with the knowledge of these brilliant benefits, keeping an open mind can be a challenge. For some, it comes as effortlessly as breathing. For others, it may be something they have to work hard to attain. This often has a lot to do with how you were raised (as well as what your personality type is), but regardless of your background or personal traits, don’t give up on open-minded thinking. There are so many advantages to living life with an open mind, and the effort it takes to cultivate open-mindedness will be well worth the rewards you will reap.

Read more here now: http://bit.ly/33WsEIm

Keep Positive Yes

Play this loud and proud and read the lyric.

Make this Your Day and Screw The World If Others Don’t Get You!

Analog Remaster/ Digital Stereo From The Motion Picture: Jungle Fever (c)1991 UMG/ Universal Music @ All rights reserved.

“Fun Day”

This is fun day 
Yours and my day 
This is fun day, dee ooh, wee ooh This is fun day 
On a fine day 
When the air is filled with tweeting birds that sing 
together in the sun 
This is your day 
Yours and my day 
When you feel the joy of children playing, 
laughing from dust till dawn 
On a day like this you share your joy 
with everyone 
Share your peace, and share your joy, 
and share your love 

This is fun day 
On a fine day 
When you feel the urge of getting up to start-up 
with the break of dawn 
This is your day 
Yours and my day 
When you turn on your radio and hear the DJ 
playing your favorite song 
On a day like this not even bad can rub 
you wrong 
Cause you say it’s okay cause it’s your day 

I’m gonna go out to the park 
Where you feel the joy in every heart 
That’s what I need to start each day off right 
Oh, I’ll find a place for you and me 
Underneath the shade of a lover’s tree 
Fun day should be each day in all our lives 

This is fun day 
Yours and my day 
This is fun day, dee ooh, wee ooh 

[harmonica solo]

This is love day 
A celebration 
A day on every calendar that’s set aside 
for everyone to give 
This is your day 
Such a fun day 
I cannot believe a day like this has come 
that’s if this really is 
I’m so very proud to say that for this day I’ve lived 
To see your peace, to see your joy, and to 
see your love 

I’m gonna go out to the park 
Where you feel the joy in every heart 
That’s what I need to start this day off right 

Oh, I’ll find a place for you and me 
Underneath the shade of a lover’s tree 
Fun day should be each day in all our lives 

This is love day 
A celebration 
A day on every calendar that’s set aside for 
everyone to give 

Let me solo, let me solo, let me solo…solo