I don’t know when "it" happened or how "it" happened. All I know is that "it" did happen sometime long ago in the life of Mildred Ratched. As far back as I can remember, I felt different. Not the kind of different that gets a person labeled as someone too freaky or too psycho and must be avoided, but different in the sense that I knew and understood myself from a very early age and what path in life was mine. Some things I knew about myself were hard to accept and others seemed almost like a bad dream or some chaotic prophecy waiting to be fulfilled. Some might say I walked right into "it" without reservation. While others might speculate that mine was a path chosen for me by some higher power. Whatever the real reason for all the how’s, the why’s and the when’s paled in comparison to the experience, insights and education I gained along the way. Afterall isn’t it said that it’s not really the destination that’s important but how one gets there?
Of course, "it" all must have started on some dark and stormy night, but weren’t they all dark and stormy nights during that period? That inner instinct that made me eventually flee was like a compass. Although my actions may have seemed erratic and my course without any direction, that facade slowly crumbled away to reveal that all steps forward were aimed at a definite and precise slow self-destruction. I never blamed others for my plight even when "it" was obvious that the avalanche started when I was young. Perhaps the “it” was a product of being a member of a dysfunctional family. Perhaps starting life with the attitude "if the people who are supposed love me cause me this much pain, what's the rest of the world going to do to me?" was the culprit or perhaps there are just some people who are meant to suffer in silence. Whatever the "it" was, one thing for certain...I did "it" well.
They tell me I was a shy child and wouldn’t talk to anyone, but my family before age 5. I don’t remember that, but wish I could. I was told that I blossomed once I started school. When I discovered I had a voice, I got dubbed as being "chatty" or "gabby" and then turned sarcastic with a witty twist...just enough to get a well timed laugh at the most inappropriate moments. Every class needs a clown, doesn’t it? Most of my early behaviors were aimed to see what reaction I could get. I remember times when I sailed smoothly through everything and then later wondered if I was clever or if others were just blind or stupid or perhaps apathetic. I always took everything one step past its limit...just because I could. In my youth, before "it" got too out of control, I would defy rules. For example, if a person skipped school for one day, I would skip school for 3 weeks. Why? I suppose it was a combination of things, but the why isn’t important now. The why stopped being important as soon as things got complicated and reality set in.
When you play, you pay! One payday came abruptly when I merrily gallivanted home during one of my periods of not feeling like I wanted or needed to attend school. Waiting to greet me were my mother and the truancy office, Mrs. Thibodeau sitting at the kitchen table. They obviously had been chatting about "what to do with Mildred". In those days, it seemed like that was such a hot topic and one in which many people had brainstormed for a viable solution. Often times, I felt as if I was a disease with no cure. I was examined, prodded, probed, quizzed and carefully scrutinized. Times of remission did occur, but those periods got shorter and less frequent.
As soon as I entered the house through the kitchen door, I was asked to take a seat and was properly interrogated for answers to those same questions I was asked so frequently.
And let’s not forget “where?”
"Not today, ladies!", I thought as I drifted into deep thought contemplating the swirls in the Formica tabletop. The acid I had dropped a few hours earlier gave a surreal feeling to the reality of being interrogated. As the acid peaked, all I really wanted was a serene place to listen to some music. Tune in! Turn on! Drop out! My wish was granted when I was sent to my room to await my penance. Interrogation dismissed! Onward to the "safe place" I had found and I was never asked what was so terribly wrong in my life and why I was hell-bent on destroying myself. I don't think anyone wanted to know the answer to that question. "It" remained unseen, unheard and unspoken.
Gratitude statement: I'm thankful that I eventually realized being different was not a bad thing to be.
All gibberish within ©2004-2010 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.