Like the great Phoenix, Mildred Ratched arose from the ashes. Actually, she arose when her survival mode finally kicked in. She had weathered all the ECT's they gave him all the while not knowing how to feel about the act of sending an electric shock through a person's brain. From the outside looking in it appeared as if that sudden burst of electricity seemed to disrupt a person's whole psyche starting with the short term memory first. After about 20 shock treatments, she was convinced that they "worked" because any person receiving them simply forgot they were depressed. They forgot the trauma and stress. The brain had temporarily short-circuited and was trying to reboot. With an altered reality and a new regimen of drugs, she began to wonder if the person she first met would ever return. Even though she felt he now measured her worth in what she could do for him, she remained hopeful!
Mildred coped with the episodes of him nodding off with lit cigarettes with justified fears. Since he slept very little at night because this was when the psychotic episodes happened and his inner demons came to life, he stayed perched in the livingroom downstairs where he and his Lazyboy could become one. Mildred confiscated the hatchet he kept under his side of the bed "for protection" knowing she was safer without it being there. Protection from what? How does one really stay protected from the figments of their own imagination that lurk in the darkest recesses of their mind? She looked towards the future and knew the day would come when those demons no longer existed. She remained hopeful!
Yes, he and the Lazyboy became well acquainted while she fell asleep each night wondering if it would be her last. Each day she saw new evidence from all the burn marks on the furniture that it was a real possibility that he would burn down the house one night while battling his demons. Reality suggested that since all the bedrooms were upstairs, anyone asleep there would probably not make it out of the house if a fire started. After smoking for 27 years, Mildred quit so she would have better leverage to get him to quit. Smoking had already effected his general health and now while he battled issues like congestive heart failure, she knew quitting was the only sane thing for him to do. Did I really write "sane"? Even when the issue eventually erupted into rage on his part and he punched Mildred in the face, she remained hopeful!
As he sank deeper into his own little world rarely doing anything more strenuous than holding the remote control, it became glaringly apparent he was extremely over-medicated. As he went to both VA doctors and civilian doctors, neither set checked with what the other was doing. Both had labeled him with a different disgnosis and both gave him different treatment plans. Mildred finally stepped in demanding that the VA doctors address the issue not next week and not tomorrow. She wanted it addressed NOW! Their idea of addressing the issue was to whisk him off to the VA hospital in Biloxi, Mississippi where they abruptly stopped all his meds. Yes, you read "abruptly" correct! What Mildred got back in two weeks was a person in a full blown manic state with not only having delusions of grandeur, but also heightened paranoia and hallucinations. Mildred remained hopeful right up until the day he left taking with him just about everything they owned.
With him went their only means of transportation, 90% of all their belongings (Mildred got to keep the pissed soaked mattress and some dishes) and all their money. As one flew over the cuckoos nest, the other one remained to try to rebuild a shattered life. She did feel some sense of relief to know the guns were finally gone. Yes, I said guns! This is another case of someone who shouldn't be allowed to own a gun who owns not one, but ten "for protection". Mildred says in her most sarcastic tone, "We all need to feel safer because the Second Amendment gives people the right to bear arms!"
Gratitude statement: Although you're probably expecting the statement to read that I'm thankful because I no longer have this cross to bear, what I'm really thankful for is being able to have experienced mental illness is such a personal way and still remain hopeful.
All gibberish within ©2004-2011 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.