Friday, April 25, 2014

"Mommy's Crazy"

This image, from the internet, I borrowed from Hedgewitch's post today. We are writing to Margaret's prompt at Real Toads: to write in the first person about asylums. I was most struck by this list of Reasons for Admissions to an insane asylum. I remember my  despair in an unhappy marriage when I was young, and how my ex could provoke me into hysteria. I realized that, not too many years previously, I could have been admitted to an asylum for even one of those episodes, under "Imaginary Female Trouble, Hysteria or Domestic Trouble". Wow. 

Outside, rain running endlessly
down the windows.
Me, looking out, tears running
endlessly down my face.
He glares, shakes his head in frustration.
His red face, his ranting,
my faults, my lacks,
his needs, not being met.

Words, words, words assaulting,
driving me up the stairs,
into the bathroom,
behind a locked door.
Desperation mounting to hysteria:
I cannot take it
any more.
I smash a jar. I rend the towels.
A cry of despair through lips
I've held too tight
breaks free.

Outside in the hall,
to my little children,
their father says smugly
"Mommy's crazy."

The good news is, when I came out of the bathroom, I went downstairs and began making arrangements to take the children and leave. Life got very much better after that! I escaped just short of the asylum doors.


  1. gah, run! run! so glad you did. not everyone does, as you know, asylum or no.
    and to think i was just hysterical earlier today! ;)

  2. This is very touching. The horrible emotional trauma is palpable. I'm so glad you managed to find a way to a better life for you and your children.

  3. This story is all too common. You capture it powerfully with no extras, no cushions.

  4. Susan beat me to what I was going to say here... Very powerful write, this one, and if it hadn't been for the final explanation we never would have known it ended well. Loved it!

  5. Sometimes we have to go crazy to find our sanity, Sherry. I'm glad this list inspired you so well, even on an awful subject.

  6. Thank goodness for stopping this side of crazy, so you could become you!

  7. I'm glad your story has a happy ending.

  8. Agh! People who we loved or once loved have a great deal of power over us! Your despair very palpable. k.

  9. thank god you were able to breathe at last with your precious darlings and found a wonderful and strong voice within...

  10. makes me a bit angry, Sherry, and glad you got out. ~

  11. I love the last stanza. So smug, the red face. Anyone can be declared crazy and how can it be disputed? From that list we certainly all are. Nice job and look how strong you are.

  12. These life challenges form us stronger. Glad for your step out of craziness!

  13. This struck me on a personal level.
    The rain on the window made it even more real.
    Wonderfully done.

  14. Not so crazy, after all. Taking action and saving yourself is as sane as it gets, Sherry.

  15. Clearly, you were blessed with an inner strength and sensibility that astounds. To turn your own life and that of your children around like that is truly heroic. You write about it here with a 24 karat passion and power.

  16. There are always extenuating circumstances, triggers to push a person over the edge, and no one who will step up and accept responsibility for allowing another to fall.
    This is all the more vivid for its basis in true experience.

  17. raw and so vivid! I almost deleted this prompt as I know it was not a "pretty" one. This poem, though, is one fine example of what I hoped would come of it. Thank you and yes… a few years earlier and this might have been your last home. Quite sobering to think who easy it was to be "placed" here!!!!!!


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