Thoughts From Disturbed Patience File 1
Mark Gregory. 28-Year-Old Patient at Monroe St. Hill Psychiatric Ward in Petersburg, Virginia. 1980, December
On days like these, I am reminded who I really am. Cold. Damp. Scary. On the inside nothing but a core of what is. Last night, Mr. Cole told me he and his helpers were going to make the sounds go away. These sounds, these noises. The damp, cold, scary screams and whispers inside my ears.
"Oh, yes, sir!" I said to Mr.Cole. "Yes, sir. Noise never a good thing, Mr. Cole. My Daddy's never been ever to hear since I was born. He got the good gene in my books, yes, sir."
He alway just smiles and nods his bald black head when I call him sir.
Mr. Cole take me away into this small bedroom-type room. He had to get his biggest boys to guide me, one man on each arm, just so I could stop the yelling and kicking. The funny thing is, I don't reckon I remember yelling, but Mr. Cole said I most sure was. The only reason I kick and scream is 'cause those noises in my ears keep telling me they're going to kill me and my Mamma. I get so scared for my Mamma and me, never knowing when they're going to come get us. It scares me half to death sometimes.
Mr. Cole and his big men took me into this white bedroom like I was saying earlier. Each one of those boys had thrown me on the bed and put this white sweater looking thing on me. Thing is, I had to cross my arms and couldn't move once even if I tried to. Mr. Cole said it was just a good exercise we were doing. That calmed me down a little because I always hear from my friends down in C and B hall that Mr. Cole is always doing exercises with all the good folks there in our big house.
But that's when the big boys started hitting on me. They kept on hitting and trying to choke my mouth so I couldn't breathe. I kept looking over at Mr. Cole because he was just standing in the back of the room with his clip board and bald black head, just looking as his big, white boys beat up on me. I couldn't well move my body or move my face. One of those big boys took off his leather belt with a nice shiny buckle and just about whipped the black off my face.
I don't reckon I remember anything after that except getting really light-headed and going to sleep. I couldn't feel the boys hitting on me no more. And wouldn't you believe I done woke up right back in my room? They must have picked me up and put me right back in my bed. Mr. Cole just did leave and told me that I was a very good boy and his exercises went well. It didn't seem like a fun thing for me, but Mr. Cole said it only hurt a lot because I was getting stronger. He said they were going to keep on doing that until I don't feel no more pain and can make no more people like me again.
I guess it's a good plan because Mr. Cole is always smart, so I believe the words he says. I like it here sometimes. The weather always makes me feel like I am sad, which is a feeling I like. The feeling makes me distracted from the pain. I like it here, and I know I am helping learn for everybody.