August 05, 2019

I should tell you how we lived in “Admissions #1”

I should tell you how we lived in “Admissions #1”
We were 4 women to a room which wasn’t a room - it was a cubicle. No walls. No privacy! My guess is there were 6 or so  cubicles housing somewhere around 24 patients although this is only a guess. 
The patients did the cleaning. On my first morning when the nurse was trying to get me up around 7AM she said “come on Mrs Bishop, get up - the patients can’t smoke until everyone is up and their chores are done!” I asked if this was “a jail or a hospital?”. I soon learned the patients took turns cleaning the bathrooms, scrubbing hall floors etc. In retrospect this is not a bad system. I find cleaning to be good therapy.  
After our chores we could go to the common room and smoke [everyone smoked at that time, no one seemed to be bothered by it], watch TV [Robert Kennedy was shot while I was there-June 6/68], and eat at long tables. I remember throwing a dinner roll at a woman across the table. That was before another patient told me she was there because she had killed her mother with an axe! 

I very quickly found myself a card table and a quiet corner in the Common Room. I also found lots of good magazines and I was allowed scissors and glue. I made collages.

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