Slightly Insane Mom

"All mothers are slightly insane." –J.D. Salinger
February 8th, 2017

Welcome to the Psych Ward: Bend and Spread ‘Em

Congratulations! You just tried to kill yourself! You’ve won a one-way ticket to the inpatient ward of Shady Pines Hospital. Oh, don’t worry! You won’t be here forever. Only until your hospital-appointed psychiatrist whom you’ve never met decides you’re well enough to leave. But enough talking! Step right this way…

This is our conference room. First, let’s go over some paperwork. This one is where you sign waiving your right to leave of your own accord. Next, you’ll waive your right to sue us should anything go awry in your treatment. Oh, and here is where you sign your consent to let us restrain or sedate you if necessary. Lastly, this is where you sign to waive your Second Amendment right to ever again purchase or own a gun. We understand you never owned or wanted one anyway, but one can never be too careful, can one?

Louise Fletcher and Jack Nicholson in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time to kiss your loved one goodbye. You’ll see him again in a few days during visitors hours. Alright, now just step through these doors. I know the door seems heavy and the locking mechanism is rather loud, but it’s all for your protection, we promise. We wouldn’t want you trying to leave now, would we?

Next, we’ll have you turn in those hoodies you packed so we can cut the strings out, and all the long socks, and all of your makeup and personal hygiene products. Maybe we’ll give you some of those back. We’ll see. We don’t want you hanging yourself by your crew socks, of course!

If you could just step right into this room over here, take off all your clothes, and put on this hospital gown… Now, we’ll need you to open your mouth and stick out your tongue. Now squat and cough. Next, bend over and spread your buttocks while we shine this flashlight on you. And please, try not to feel violated. It is for your safety, after all.

Here you go, into your new room! No, there’s no bathroom door, just a foam-and-vinyl flap that sometimes stays shut. But don’t worry, the men and women who stay in this hallway try not to pay attention to what happens in the bathrooms. And here is your roommate, Angie! She talks to herself and snores like a chainsaw, but other than that, she’s quite nice.

Since you’re new here, you won’t be allowed to leave the ward for meal times. But it’s turkey dinner night! We know it’s not optimal, but it really is for your safety.

Here are the phones. If you want a handset, you need to ask at the front desk. After all, you could strangle someone with the cord or beat someone to death with the handset. So, for your safety, you’ll have to ask for permission to use the phone.

Well, that’s about it! Enjoy your stay, try not to make Angie angry (she’s a little temperamental!), and of course, here are your meds. Welcome to the psych ward!