There was a part of me that worried about triggering all her past events might not be good for her. But what struck me was the clarity of her writing.
She wasn’t suffering I was sure, but more she was cleansing her soul of her past. The release of everything she had stored in her brain, a lifetime of abuse and trauma, was a time for her to release many of the demons I knew haunted her.
I told her I found her writing profound and that she should continue.
That day she gave me the thumb drive and asked me to read her words.
“ Sister TwoFace was the worst of all the sisters. She was young, I always wondered what wicked notion she had in becoming a nun, she tried to befriend me, appeal to a side she thought I possessed and in that way control me.
When Limp finished beating me TwoFace would take me back to my room and tend to my wounds. She’d sit with me and use her gentle voice and soft hands to tend my damaged self.
TwoFace would promise to protect me from Limp, she’d talk to the Mother Superior, and she’d do all she could to make life better. But it was all a ruse. I gave in a few times, felt I could trust her and then I’d find myself before the Mother Superior, the Beak. TwoFace would bring me to The Beak and announce she had heard me admit to some sin or other, something I said in confidence to her.
The Beak would administer punishment. One her favourites was to lock me in the cupboard in the Refectory. It had a window through which I could see the other girls eating during meal times. It wasn’t until the last girl left that I was given what they scraped off the plates.
TwoFace would come by and attempt to explain that penance had to be paid for sin and that she hated the thought of what punishment was metered out to me but it would be wrong of her to not tell The Beak.
It happened twice and after that I never spoke to her only to tell her I thought she was a cunt. The price of that insult was being left alone with Limp who thought it her duty to teach me the error of my ways.
On my fourteenth birthday The Beak called me to her office and told me that despite their best efforts they were not able to maintain me in their care and that I was to be sent to the State Mental Hospital. I knew the State Mental Hospital was for the worse cases and I knew I was being sent there, as I was too hard for the Sisters.
So I played up when I arrived. It was to protect myself and for the last six years I have lived in isolation, chained up whenever out of my room, no contact with other patients and minimal contact with my so called carers.
This is my brief history, for all that means.”
I looked up at her sitting there awaiting my reaction to what she had said.
I asked her if she wanted change, did she want to mix more with the general population.
She said she didn’t. She was so conditioned to being on her own she was sure being in the company of others would be difficult and she knew she was likely to react aggressively if anyone crossed her. But she wanted to write. And she wanted me to see if I could use her writing to initiate change in the system.
I explained that would require others to see her writing. The Management would have to approve anything I did in terms of releasing her writing.
She knew it would not be easy, as many would dismiss her as an insane asylum patient and discredit her story as fantasy. She reminded me of the Surgeon of Crowthorne, one of the books I had given her to read. It took twenty years for the authorities to realise a major contributor to the Oxford English Dictionary was in fact a patient in a Mental Hospital.
She looked at me with those beautiful blue eyes and for the first time I saw hope within them.
Earlier Parts can be found here: