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Seventy-five Days


It had been forty years, but the woman looking at photographs of the now crumbling buildings and broken windows remembered the time like it was yesterday; memories fade but scars remain forever... 

Her father didn't understand the situation so he did what he had always done, threw his weight around and had her committed to a mental institution at eighteen years of age.  

She recalled the faces young and old, collection of lost souls and the truly insane, open ward with no privacy permitted, burly enforcers bearing straight jackets and keys to isolation, staff who didn't care and didn't want to be there any more than patients did, doctors who barely spoke English, dark tunnels, forced medication, terrifying tremors, and screams in the night.

Mind and soul manipulation ran rampant, with her father controlling what subjects would and wouldn't be broached in family sessions, and doctors threatening shock treatment and long term confinement if she didn't conform to their collaborated plan.  

It hadn't taken long for her to realize that, if she was to have hope of freedom beyond wire windows, legal papers, and locked doors, the best course of action was to play along.  

~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Note: This story is based on an actual event  ~  
release from this nightmare occured forty years ago this month.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Linking up with Lillie McFerrin at Five Sentence Fiction
where the writing prompt this week is "time"...


and with Brenda at Pondering With A Purpose
where this week's prompt is "loss"

22 comments:

  1. Terrifying, and all too real.

    A tragic example of the banality of evil.

    JzB

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    1. Yes, for someone that young it truly was terrifying, JzB. Evil is always with us, but thankfully,so is good!

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  2. A sad but so realistic tale: so it was, and not that long ago either - a well written and poignant story :)

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    1. Thank you! Conditions in mental institutions have thankfully changed a great deal since then.

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  3. Real, terrifying, and all too heartbreaking. Well written and important.

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    1. Yes McGuffy Ann, heartbreaking, and spiritbreaking... but only temporarily... life goes on and if we are determined, we rise from the ashes!

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  4. wow... okay you have given me goosebumps... and I have to tell you that most of the time the stories that make the 'best stories' are those that are based upon true events....

    sending hugs and thanks for pondering with me!

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    1. So true, Brenda, we write best what we know best, and I know this tale better than I wish I did!

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    1. Horrifying indeed, but I can assure you that the woman in the story survived and in fact is thriving for the most part these days... I know because I see her in the mirror each day. ;-)

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    2. well written, compelling and all too realistic excepting the absolutely sane mental response of:

      "... the best course of action was to play along."

      I would have preferred something along the lines of:
      "She knew the only way out of this hell hole was to pretend the bastards were right."

      Sorry to hear that this was true story. The pain of the experience is immense. I know it to be true from many angles.

      Randy

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    3. I really like your ending Randy, it packed a strong emotional punch! I have worked hard over the years to detach myself from the emotions of this event, so perhaps you are right that the ending could have been a bit stronger. I appreciate your input!

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  6. Such a very painful piece to read; the fear and frustration runs right through the whole five sentences. Very well done. For surviving the experience too.

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    1. Thank you Sandra, I was hoping to convey the feel without too much detail or drama. I am a survivor and proud of it! :-)

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  7. I've always liked the scrappers the best. The ones who understand what hell is. They tend to be more open minded, more open to risking and a good choice for a friend. The damaged make an extraordinary tribe.

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    1. Thank you Maria, you have always understood where I am coming from.

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  8. Too true, scars always remain. Very well written and I'm glad you survived, many don't! Something similar happened in my family ten years prior to yours, so many buried secrets...

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    1. Ah yes, Lisa, things that were never talked about again, as if it never happened... but it did. That's why it is important to speak up and speak out... end the stigma!

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  9. My word! The fact that this is a true story took it to the next level in my mind. Well done!!

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    1. Yes CC, I guess you could call it an "inside story"! :-)

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  10. I'm glad you found your way, Josie

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    1. Thank you Shimon, I am grateful that God kept me safe there and helped me find the way out.

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)