State Mental Hospital Part 1

When I was a little child, probably before I even really knew what exactly my mother was saying or threatening me with, my mother started screaming at me, almost every day, that she would have me locked up at the nearest state mental hospital.

I really can’t say for certain when it started. I just know that it was a part of the tapestry of my elementary school life, woven repeatedly and daily into her shrieks against me.

I don’t know why her shrieks. I really don’t. I was a well behaved kid. I was terrorized into being almost catatonic, of course I was well-behaved and compliant. It seems hard for me to believe that there were things I did to deserve her crazy abuses. If there were, I can’t remember any of them. I was a little girl. I guess that was reason enough for an abuser.

I know that this was so much easier than what some survivors went through in regards to threats of mental hospitals. I do believe that she went this far in her threats, and no further, because it was exactly as far as she could go and get away with it. But this, on top of all the murderous hate and rage my “mother” threw at me. It was horrific and it was devastating.

I don’t remember her threatening any of my other siblings with this particular torture. This particular abuse didn’t seem to register on them, the abuses and verbal tortures she put me through with a casual , but crazy zest. 

They have never chosen to comment on her varied and exacting tortures against me. Even after I told them in recent years about remembering physical and then sexual abuse by her. The emotional, verbal and psychological abuse perhaps seems too small to them. It isn’t for me.

I wonder why none of them chose to intervene for me. I wonder what they think of it now. I wonder if they feel any guilt for what they allowed to happen to me. I wonder what they think and feel about the scapegoating they gleefully took part in against me. I wonder if they think of me now. I wonder. Probably not.

One of my parent’s friends had worked in a mental institution. She had been attacked by a psychotic patient there, causing her back damage. I don’t remember that word from my childhood, psychotic. I just remember the words crazy and dangerous.

It seems as though my mother made a point of bringing up the topic, urging the woman to recount the attack and to discuss at length her back damage and pain. It seems that way to me. Because it came up every visit where my mother got her in private conversation while the men were speaking of other topics. 

I loved talking to real adults who treated me like I was a real human being. So during their visits I was often sitting in the kitchen table with the adults, listening and talking. My eyes would get huge with fear. It can’t be possible that this reaction eluded my mother. She was orchestrating it.

So this was the image my mother put into my mind about what State Mental Hospitals were like and that she was threatening to have me put there and locked up forever.

I didn’t know that it would be hard for a mother to put a little girl there, one who exhibited no mental disease or suicidal ideation. I don’t know what they did with little children in the 1960s who were so abused they collapsed emotionally and psychologically. I don’t think that they took little seven year old girls, but I didn’t know that at the time.

3 thoughts on “State Mental Hospital Part 1

  1. I wanted to add that I believe that she wanted to believe that I was crazy and threatened me with the mental institution because she had sexually abused me and she feared discovery and conseuqences. If I was crazy and if she could convince my whole family that I was as well, she was safer. And having them all verbally abuse me created an environment where I was abused more and she got to enjoy the whole environment of abuse that pervaded my life.

    Kate

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    • Yes, I think you’re right there. Setting a survivor up to believe she/he’s crazy (or a liar) is a standard thing abusers do, they also try to set that expectation with others.

      My older brother did apologize to me once, for teasing me about a specific fear I had as a child that he know understands the basis of. He also said he felt some guilt for not protecting me. He’s never told me if he remembers anything specific that happened to me but it was nice. I don’t talk to him much these days. I think I freak him out, and remind him of his own gunk. My younger brother is supportive.

      I know of other survivors who were the only one abused in their family, or of ones that were the only one abused and then the abuser moved on to a younger child when they hit puberty or whatever. Beign the scapegoat in this way is a horrible thing. I’m sorry this happened to you.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.
      SDW

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  2. Hi Paul,

    Thank you, I really appreciate your comments. I understand what you are saying. You are right, It is minimizing. I will work on this.

    “A mother who distorted reality so greatly to make herself feel better at the huge expense of one of her children is reprehensible. I cannot wrap my head around that.”

    You are right. She distorted reality. I think that is why I needed to know what realiy really was. And to learn that I could be loved by someone else, even though she never loved me.

    ” I am sure my abuse wasn’t about me, but about them. But this doesn’t seem to help me much. I wonder why this helps others and doesn’t help me.”

    I believe strongly that one size fits all therapy or healing doesn’t work. I hope for you that there is something that brings you that help. You are a wonderful and insightful person. Good and healing thoughts to you.

    Kate.

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