I had the wonderful privilege of being interviewed at the Oregon State Hospital Museum by Dr. Mickey Stellavato on September 25th. She took this picture of me while I was there. So much had changed since I committed myself in the asylum in 1971. In search of finding true happiness while I was at the Oregon State Museum, I came across a coping mechanism hidden deep within the ebbs of my mind. Each time I had a negative thought or I felt like displaying negative behavior I focused on my three senses: smelling, hearing, and feeling. For instance, the sense of smell: The perfume I was wearing was an imitation of Liz Taylor’s White Diamonds. It had the scent of sweet rain and Ludens Wild Cherry Cough Drops. I could taste the flavor upon my tongue when I took a whiff of it. It over rid the strong musk and moldy odor that I had experienced smelling as I watched the patients roam
aimlessly mumbling and yelling to themselves in 1971. It was the rotted out shoe odor that left me feeling I had been drugged through the mud and left to dry for weeks. The sound of the car tires on the street nearby as they slushed through the puddles was equivalent to a toilet flushing, and the soft material on my husband’s coat was like silky leather shoe polish as I stroked it. As I repeated the sensations, the stimulus blocked out the distractions of negativity; the old tapes and records, the bitterness that fed my mind as a young girl growing up with a mother who was an alcoholic, the abuse of my stepfather, and the abuse that went on in the asylum. The resentment ceased to exist.
It left me with the realization that my friends on the outside, had never left me.
Reality is living in the now,
The past is just your memory.
And the future is an anticipation of a fascinating journey.