The Sane Person In The Attic, Reprise (or: Not that I’m cheating or anything, but…)

Three weeks ago, one of the topics for the Writing Workshop was 'Tell me about somewhere you used to work'.  While I did not, strictly speaking, have time to write a post, I did have a post I really wanted to write; the story of the six months I spent in a live-in job in a psychiatric hospital, which was notable not so much for the job (though I enjoyed that too) as for what it was like to spend six months living as a lurker on the top floor of an enormous, near-empty, old psychiatric hospital.  This was not an experience I could resist having the chance to blog about and so I spent that week writing about how I came to move to that job and what it was like living there.  The only problem was that, due to unforeseen delays involving vomiting children, I ended up not getting it finished until after submissions had closed on Sunday, and thus finding myself in a position of having spent my non-existent spare time for that week on writing a post that no-one other than myself, my family, and Kirsten from Mansfield would ever be likely to read.  I was, as you can imagine, just a tad miffed.

This week, I still don't have time to write a post (as usual), but I checked the topics out anyway (as usual), and, lo and behold, the first one on the list was 'Tell me about a time when you decided to move house'.  Having moved house twelve times in my adult life, I have plenty of potential material there; but it just so happens that one of the times I decided to move house was the time I had to move to take up a new job in a new area in a psychiatric hospital where I would have to live in, and, guess what, I just happen to have this perfectly good pre-written post on the subject all ready.  There now – that worked out pretty well, didn't it? 

Admittedly I'm stretching the topic considerably, not only because only a small proportion of the post is about the reasons why I moved, but also because it's not terribly accurate to say that I 'decided' to move house; I had to move house (well, move residence, given that what I was moving into was not a house but a hospital) because I didn't have an available job to go to in the area where I was currently living.  What can I say?  I hate to let a good post, or for that matter even a mediocre post, go to waste.  If you have time, do please go and read it.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “The Sane Person In The Attic, Reprise (or: Not that I’m cheating or anything, but…)

  1. Hey, I read it! I guess I should comment more so you know about your loyal readers.

  2. Granny Constance

    Yes, I also read it and found it very interesting. I actually visited this facility which was and had been a home for many individuals over the years. Although it is in large and stately grounds it had a sense of homeliness to it. No doubt there are criticisms that can be made of that era and its approach to the therapeutic needs of those suffering from mental illness BUT there was a sense of many good things lost….the emphasis on communal self sufficiency, gardening, growing own vegetables, running what was in effect a small holding, lovely views, air, beauty in the buildings, beautifully tended flower beds. I noticed some back numbrs of the community magazine/newsletter that were left around and it had a real sense of community and of the ungruding acceptance that illness sometimes just takes time and lots of it. It was far from the present sense of penny pinching and grudging view of mental illness where therapy and accounting seem a little too close for comfort. Anyway that is my rant. I did rather wonder if you might have considered psychiatry as a specialty though I am sure that there are hundreds who are happy that you ended up as their primary care physician. V Proud. Granny C

  3. Me too! I really enjoyed it, I can imagine it setting the scene for some kind of detective or crime novel!

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