One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched in the 1975 film.
Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched in the 1975 film. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But anywho, I have another page from the notebook journal I kept while I was at Window Licker Hall. This I wrote sometime in mid March.
The nurses here are of every sort. On weekdays we have a surly head nurse with a facial expression resembling Louise Fletcher’s. Nurse Ratchet is always polite to me, but to others not so much. One morning after playing bingo for 75 cents (the price of a soda in the drink machines here), an elderly man fell backwards in his chair, hitting the sharp edges of another chair. I ran and got Nurse Ratched and her solution was to yell at him to get up. This made my blood boil.
There are the kind, caring nurses who help folks like me not feel so alone. My favorite nurse gave me a dollar for a drink, and another time let me use her cell phone to call Soul Bro to beg him to take me back…no dice. I am a leper now, or maybe I bear an invisible scarlet letter: ‘S’ for suicidal.
There’s a couple of nurses who look and act like “trash.” They obviously became nurses  for the cash, and if they could get away with it, they’d ignore us altogether.
And then there’s Princess. Princess is generally a nice person until someone crosses her. That’s what one resident did over a pill she didn’t want to take because it was broke in two. Yelling ensued. “Either take it or don’t, or I’ll throw it away!”
“You can’t throw my pill away! If you do, I’ll make sure you pay for it.” Then yell, yell, yell.
“How unprofessional,” I said to my roomie’s semi-boyfriend as we watched.
Then my best-friend at Window Licker Hall, Nowheresville, USA, wanted a tylenol with her other pain meds, and when she couldn’t have it, she and Princess also got into it. Like sands through the hour-glass, so are the Days of Our Lives.
Once my best-friend got done having it out with Princess, she yelled to me, “She’s a bitch!”
“Yeah,” I replied.
“She’s a black bitch!”
“We don’t have to bring race into it.”
Meanwhile, Princess is still royally pissed and screams, “You all belong in Grape, every one of you!” Until then, I wasn’t angry, but when she said that, I felt my rage building. If you live in this state, you likely know that Grape is a long term psychiatric hospital. Since I pride myself in considering me an overall sane soul, to be lumped into one category  with the nuts and ‘special’ people is just enough digging  into my insecurities.
My best-friend, the Tylenol bereft one, says Princess only meant the white people should go to Grape, because she doesn’t like us. Well, break me a cracker. My friend has been here 7 years (7 years! I’d prefer self-emulsion), ao she’s been an observer of Princess’ ways. I feel, however, a touch of racial bias on the part of my friend in her belief. Like I said before, Princess is always nice to me, but I do anything to keep anyone from being mad at me. I just can’t take anger now. Anyway, how I get the feeling it wasn’t Princess’ dislike of the pigment challenged of us, is because the first woman Princess got into a fight with was a hateful African-American woman with legs so swollen she looks like a balloon in Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. I must humbly surmise, then, that Princess meant the lot of us should get on the short bus to ride from our rest home in Nowheresville to the loony bin in Crazyboro, USA regardless of race or ethnicity. It’s the American way.
My roommate, however, wasn’t miffed, because she’s already been there, done that with Grape.
In retrospect, Nurse Ratchet wasn’t a bad person at all. By the time I left Window Licker Hall I loved her because she offered to take my cats when they were thrown in the pound, even though she had a Rottweiller and it wouldn’t have been the best idea (it was appreciated all the same).
I heard bad things about my favorite nurse, though I believe she is an overall good person.
Lastly, I still think Princess wasn’t a racist. She hated us equally that night.
Recently I transferred all the unique posts from Each post, I’ll point you to a post I wrote months ago on my other blog in case you missed it and want to see.

21 thoughts on “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest

  1. Glad to see you are back writing. I have really missed your unique style of writing and those “crazy” characters you keep stumbling across.
    Not too sure about your roomies though. Sounds like they are taking advantage. But stick in there Lisa, in time I am sure you will find your cosy place in the world with those cats of yours.


    • I need to get my social worker to give me a back-up plan just in case things go wrongI don’t want to leave. Thanks Loon, I love your writing too!


  2. I was on meds when I was depressed. I had to stop though. I went from being depressed to being apathetic. It’s a weird feeling when somebody close dies and you are unable to feel grief when you almost want to (if for no other reason to show that you are somewhat normal.)


  3. Hey Leese….just HEY!
    Did you see the publicity about the studies (that the drug industry kept quiet about) showing that there’ no actual evidence that anti-depressents work? That’s right; double-blind studies showing that placebos were just as effective! I’d still take them…anything that lets the ‘feel good’ seratonin flow can’t be all bad.


  4. Thanks for visitng our blog. I’m travelling and have limited access to the Net and a TINY screen so i can’t see much. Will revisit next week when I’m home again, ok?


  5. thanks for the visit
    I’m on Cymbalta right now, mostly becasue it’s supposed to have the secondary effect of helping with chronic physical pain – I have all sorts of joint and muscle issues
    some days I think it helps and some days I think it doesn’t and then there are the days I don’t know how to think

    I love the way you write


  6. It’s funny… I just watched One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest again a few months ago. I have to admit I really like Jack Nicholson in that movie… I think I’d still have liked it with someone else in that role, but in my mind his performance really makes the difference!


  7. My heart goes out to you, Lisa. I’ve been where you are. Maybe not in that particular physical place, but in a place that’s like hell on earth. I understand. You’ve tried turning to everyone all around you. Have you tried looking up? Is it a magic cure? No. But there IS help there. I know. I’ll be praying for you in all sincerity. Deb


  8. Yes, I do pray and it really does help. Thank you so much for visiting and I hope you stick around. Thank you too for praying for me, I need it.


    • God loves you and He didn’t bring this on you. May I offer some advice? Quit referring to yourself as a nut case and other such derogatory terms. Instead of thinking of your doctors as “shrinks,” think of them as people that are trying to help you. > Begin building your self-esteem by understanding that God created you and you have a purpose in life. (Jeremiah 1:5
      “Before I made you in your mother’s womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I chose you for a special work.) >
      No one else has your fingerprints, footprints, or eyes. Just as no two snowflakes are the same, no two people are the same. God has a job for you, but you can’t do it by feeling sorry for yourself. (No offense. I mean that kindly.) You can become a responsible, well-functioning lady, but it won’t be easy. It will be the hardest battle you’ve ever fought, but if you dedicate yourself heart and soul to God, He will give you the strength to get through it.> Most of us have had our share of heartaches, depression, family deaths, and battle of nerves. I certainly have. When you get through this phase of your life – and you will – you’ll be stronger because of it, and you will be uniquely qualified to help others like yourself. If you wish, go to my site and you can find my personal email address there. Believe me, there IS hope, and you CAN make it. Hugs, Deb


  9. You hang in there Lisa. Everyone has good days and bad days. You aren’t alone. You must remember that when the darkest clouds are over your head, there is a rainbow waiting to burst through. You just can’t see it and it comes out when it wants to on its own terms.

    Write about everything and anything. It’s an amazing way to vent. Meditate after (some call it prayer), reflection is always another path or window that sometimes makes things clearer. 😀


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