This poem is based on the personal experiences of myself, friends and loved ones that have had to survive the abuses in the US mental health hospital system. This is the unfortunate truth for a large percentage of the American population who suffers with mental illnesses, as described in the culmination of received oral reports.
I’m a diagnosis, a thing. We’re all just things- poem by Drem
June 18, 2016
“In that place
I was another blue haired
that likes to rip her skin off for fun.
Who loves the color red.
And paints her face like a Cherokee Native American
because there’s too much blood in her body.
Pumping and smacking those veins.
Get the most out of them and make a beautiful mural.
I’m the next Picasso.
I work a lot in Earthy tones.
It scares my mother, though.
I’m a thing.
Let’s list ’em, okay?
For the insurance companies.
I’m not sure this is all necessarily me,
but what would I know? I’m apparently crazy.
In any case, we need to make the hospital money with:
after 15 minutes with a doctor, nurse, and social worker meeting
and a 2 page questionnaire.
That’s all they got out of me.
Maybe they need more blood…
They look a little sad.
No, it’s not that I was raped.
or that I was sexually assaulted again this past August.
No, it’s not that my father liked to fuck my dog-
bestiality was his way to jerk off.
No, it’s not that I was molested when I was a kid either.
That’s not my problem.
No. It’s these diagnoses.
I don’t need therapy.
My head just needs more synthetic drugs
to solve my never ending pain,
Medicare, the best solution is electric shock, I mean convulsion, therapy.
Do you hear the doctor, Medicare?
They want to put me under anesthesia
and shock my brain
as I seizure.
My toes tremble.
I’m strapped down.
And I then miraculously wake up
forgetting the past four weeks
with a rebooted brain
that can’t feel pain.
That can’t feel depression.
That can’t feel anxiety.
That can’t feel life.
I wake up dead.
Isn’t that nice?
The brain’s an electrical machine
They say it works.
Not a person, like
I’m an expression, they said
who is not right in the head.
Supposedly an expression
of my sub-conscious,
since I can’t keep food down anymore.
That or I’m an anorexic now
since I lost so much weight.
And collapsed in the kitchen.
It’s not that I need psychotherapy.
I need those fucking pharmaceuticals, baby.
Up the mood stabilizer.
Add another to the list
next to my Vicodin (panadeine forte)
Oh the list.
Oh the list!
Just another suicidal cutter
that likes to slice up her body
and paint her face with her own blood
and sing “You may be right, I may be crazy”
by Billy Joel
on the top of her lungs
because what else is there to do?
Stare down the only clock on the floor?
We’re all a little bored.
Even the other people in my head
are getting rather restless
after all this time in this room.
I don’t feel like making
with that man who tried to slice his throat open
with his own hands and a sharp knife
after three years
in bed alone.
He’s quite loud
and covered in thick scary scars.
I also don’t feel like making conversation
with the glistening boy
who’s currently on a manic high
and hates wearing condoms.
He floats in and out
and converted to Judaism.
He’s kind of fun to talk to, sometimes,
when he knows where he is
and knows who he is talking to
so he can keep his stories straight.
I think he thinks he’s still in Israel.
We’re all locked in.
The loud one, the pretty one,
and the rest I forgot since my brain was shocked.
Two safety doors.
One activity area.
Three meals a day,
that I remember.
so we don’t throw ourselves
out the windows.
It’s tempting at this point
even though none of us wanted to go out that way.
Just give us something to do
that confuse our brain
even more than they’re already confused.
I’m a diagnosis.
We’re all just things.
And it’s okay
to walk me through
the hallways naked
covered in vomit
to the sides of the walls
and then thrown in a cold shower.
Cold showers are good for psychotics.
Did you know?
You know this is a psych ward.
So we’re all assumed psychotic.
We’re all assumed crazy
the minute those two doors lock
and we’re wanded up and down
and padded down
for “illegal” drugs.
We get the cups of our legal ones
at a quarter after nine
and again at 6:30 at night.
Often minus water.
apparently don’t need water.
I’m a diagnosis.
We’re all just things.
We’re all just things.”
Art featured is by Sam Weber.