22 November 2005

hospital tales

A few years ago, I worked for a while in a psych hospital.

There was one lady there called Daisy. She was very old, and I used to talk to her when I saw her around. One day she told me that I was one of only two people that said anything other than hello to her.
She'd been living in the hospital for thirty years.
Thirty years of "Hello Daisy", "Hello Daisy", Hello Daisy."

I understood better when I forgot to wear my staff identification badge one day. No one would talk to me. Then when I put it back on, people would look me in the eye again.


Shay said...

Yeah I know what you mean.

I answer calls on the distress line for the Canadian Mental Health Assoc. For a lot of the callers we are the only people that they talk to because they are so cut off socially due to mental health issues.

Tess said...

I totally understand that.

It's like encountering a homeless person, generally we go out of our way to avoid any sort of contact.

It is so sad to imagine someone without that basic contact we take so much for granted.

bedroomdancer said...

Hello, found you through a comment on Shay's site. Very good insight in this post, I used to work at a home for mentally and physically handicapped people and know what you mean. Some people treat them like nonpeople, which is so wrong. Also, read your post below and it really touched me. Aroused is right, it's good to let yourself grieve. Hope you are feeling better today tho.