Memoirs From the Asylum – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
‘I was scared of trying things that I couldn’t do. I’m one of those people who
rehearses for getting up in the morning. I go through the sequence:
what I’m going to wear, which tasks I’m going to complete, even what I’m
going to think about. If something seems too difficult, screw it. If
there’s a bunch of too difficult things on the roster, well, screw the
whole day; I stay in my bed – my safe, unchallenging bed With my face
turned to the wall and my knees hugged securely to my breast, I journey
inward – to the safety of my within.’
‘Safety is a relative thing. In the bigger picture, my life went from bad to
worse. But, I wasn’t in ‘Nam. I wasn’t failing at a job. I wasn’t
getting into trouble with people. I was simply being schizophrenic.
Disabilitied, Social Securitied, and indulged by parents hiding their
loathing and frustration. Being schizophrenic isn’t so bad – at least
not until they, the great unspecified they that is society, say screw
it, screw you, and lock you away in the warehouse of unloving dementia.’
Have you ever wondered what goes through the minds of those diagnosed with being
“manic depressives”, “obsessive-compulsives”, “schizophrenics” or any
other mental disorder that would require them to be placed into an
asylum? Actually, I’ve never given it much thought until I started
reading Memoirs From the Asylum. I’m sure that’s probably the
case with most of us unless we have had to deal first hand with someone
in one of these mental incapacities.
The more I read of Memoirs From the Asylum, the more I understood
how these people deal with their fears of life. How they are able to
withdraw into themselves. Making a safe haven that allows admittance
only to those that they invite.
After entering their own personal world, is there ever the possibility of coming back? Maybe partially? And if
they do come back into the real world, can the cope with a normal life?
Do they really want to? Reading Memoirs From the Asylum gave me
the answers to these questions, but then it didn’t, making this one
thought binding book. Kenneth Weene has so much insight into the minds
of these people, leaving me with a feeling of "wish" and "dread"....
Wishing I could sometimes slip into my own little world that would allow
me to forget all of my problems but Dread because to go there requires
you to relinquish control of so many things we are accustomed to. This
was one very intense book that I have to admit that I found quite
interesting and quite enjoyable.
All Things That Matter Press
Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com