Remember me? My name doesn’t matter, well not to you on the outside anyway, but I’m the one who has been locked in HADES (the loony asylum) for more than ten years. I was put here because those that I thought loved and cared for me managed to convince the white ghosts that I was crazy. I suppose in their defence they didn’t have to work hard to convince them because by the time I got here I’d nearly given up fighting against them.
Here’s what I remember. I thought I was happily married, thought my family loved and cared for me, things were tough but no tougher than other families. I was working 60 hours a week and I thought every day when I returned from work my family was actually waiting for me to turn up. It never once occurred to me that they were only waiting for the pay cheque I was bringing home. To be fair to the kids I’m fairly certain they didn’t see it the same way, they were all aged less than 10 years old at the time.
I was a CEO for a multi-national corporation, we sold all manner of consumer items and we were regularly buying up new brands to increase our market share. Our business model had always been to sell the best of everything we chose and if someone came out with something better buy it. It was a model that was working well and despite my long hours I thought I was doing ok.
I came home tired everyday and when I worked from home I got caught up in things in my office instead of being with the family, but I thought I was managing a work/life balance. What I didn’t realise was that because I was tired my wife saw it as me switching off, saw it as me not wanting to be part of the family. Then after a few months of that she managed to convince my own parents of the same thing, so before I knew it my entire family was against me. While I can now accept that my work life balance wasn’t as good as it could be I still don’t accept the crazy label I was issued with, but there was a reason for it which I’d come to work out after several months of sleeping in a padded room.
Actually padded rooms aren’t that bad and they don’t deserve the stigma ‘sane’ people give them. Ask a sane person, actually I’m going to stop calling them sane because as I have already stated the so called ‘sane’ people outside these walls are worse than most of the people inside the walls, from now on I’ll call them ‘outsiders’. Ask an outsider what first comes to mind when they think of the word asylum and many will say ‘padded walls’ like it’s a bad thing but they really can be good.
For starters they are padded, soft, even comfortable. They are relatively warm so when you don’t get a blanket and your only clothes are loose fitting white pants and a jacket with buckles that do up at the back, the soft floor and walls can be very comforting. But the best part of padded walls is the exact thing they are designed for, bouncing off. Again it’s not something you outsiders seem to understand, too many of you think that it’s a sign of insanity when someone bounces off the wall but it can be very therapeutic.
Many years ago the band W.A.S.P. Oh Christ, for the love of god don’t ever mention to the white ghosts that you like a band who’s lead singer used to wear a red cod piece on stage and cover himself in fake blood while singing a song titled “Animal. Fuck Like A Beast” because it’s just more fodder for the files they keep on you. Where was I? Oh yeah WASP.
Many years ago W.A.S.P released an album titled The Crimson Idol, I wont go in to details about the concept album, although I will say the song ‘Invisible Boy’ written about the boy forgotten by his family could nearly have been written for any one of us in this place. Oops side tracked again, sorry. At the start of one of the songs on that album the leader singer Blackie Lawless can be heard saying “Some people never go crazy. What truly boring lives they must lead.” There has never been more honest words spoken, if one has never gone crazy then what gives them the right to judge others, they don’t even have a yard stick to judge crazy by!
Why did I offer up that line? Oh that’s right, padded walls can be therapeutic. People who never loose control don’t really understand how good a dummy spit can be. I’m not suggesting everyone who spits the dummy is doing it right, a good dummy spit doesn’t involve damage or violence, at least not to others, but it can be extremely relieving. A padded room gives a person the ability to spit the dummy, hit the wall, kick the wall, jump up and down and whatever else they like to let off steam without damage to themselves or anything else. Imagine doing that in a normal room with hard walls, oh you probably can’t if you are an outsider because you’ve been told such behaviour is wrong.
How did I get onto the padded walls? Oh yeah that’s right I was explaining how I got here and why those who I thought loved me had me condemned rather than simply divorce me or stop talking to me.
It’s actually an easy to understand story however it’s also one that I stopped sharing with people around here not long after I got here because it was not believed. My then wife, I call her that because despite the fact she never visits she also knows divorce is not an option, was able to convince the white ghosts that I was trapped in my own mind. The blame could only possibly be layed on one thing and that was my work and the stress it put me under. I have to admit she was extremely convincing and with the white ghosts on her side the insurance companies with which I had several large and beneficial policies with were forced to pay out. So instead of a divorce which would only yield her half of my estate she worked out that with the insurance companies paying the bills for my incarceration and a large portion of my weekly wage going directly to our joint account when I was dumped here she wouldn’t have to work another day in her life. Apparently the lure of money was also an incentive for my parents to go along with the plan too. So I guess there are times when one can have too much insurance!
Oh speaking of insurance agents that reminds me of the gynaecologist that we had in here a few years ago. His name was John and he went around the twist after a judge ruled against him for shaving a woman’s pubic hair during a hysterectomy. His claim was that it was required, what he hadn’t taken into account was that the lady was a prostitute. The lady’s lawyer successfully argued her case and John was sued for ‘destroying the roof off her workshop’.
I think I’ll sleep now.