There was a degree of truth in my supervisor’s initial comment to me on entering the new workplace.
“You don’t have to be mad to work here, but it sure helps.”
It was a place where the irrational and so often the illogical were the norms. And that was just with the staff.
The patients were obviously disturbed, and many sat in the corners of the rooms in foetal position some rocking back and forth, and others giving the appearance of being comatose.
There were others who were very active. One boy read all the time, you might think a good thing, but he read books upside down, more of a challenge he told me once.
A girl in long plaits sat at the piano every day and composed. So often the most haunting of lullabies and totally disconnected from what she was playing.
My ‘favourite’, if I could be so bold was Darcy. Darcy stood at the back of every room and stared at you, sometimes licking her lips and looking at you in the most provocative way. She was watched closely as she was known to attack you and even though a small slip of a girl she had nails that could inflict injury.
I worked there for a short time. It wasn’t a place you could make a career from though some did and I did marvel at their resilience. For me, it got to me, because after a time I began to feel ‘there but for the grace of God go I”.