Mental Illness? or - Salvation                                                               Copyright ©2014 Hazel Gay

Hazel Gay's To Heal the Broken-Hearted (Chronicle of a woman's 18 year journey through "mental illness" to healing, wholeness and transformation.)
Chapter 9 All quotes used with written permission.

October 1976
        I’ve started writing again, for the first time in months.  It’s scary.  I remember what’s happened twice when I started writing and I don’t want it to happen again.  But it’s like I have to do it since I don’t know what else to do.  It’s been six months since I was in the hospital.  I can’t seem to get my act together and keep it together.  I applied for jobs I didn’t get.  I worked quite intensively on my music, then with the shirts.  I feel so much bitterness, resentment and hostility sometimes that I wonder maybe I have to DO something physical to deal with it, that just talking about it isn’t enough. But what? Getting down to the basic question of what I WANTED to do, to my surprise, I knew there were still two things I WANTED to do and neither was being a singer, or songwriter or seamstress or teacher of the deaf or any of the two million things I could do. I STILL wanted to do that UNKNOWN I had given up to do the night I got the letter from my sister. And I knew I still wanted to write the book I had decided to write just before I went to the hospital last spring, but that had become…someday. 
        When I got my papers back from Jess a few weeks ago I read over some of it. Part of one dream stuck, seeing the book in the fireplace, knowing the book had to be taken out before a fire could be built in the fireplace. 

       This last summer I designed and made men’s shirts, selling them at an arts and crafts market. Told Jess and another psychologist as they strolled by one day, “I’m investigating various sub-cultures.” 
       When a bearded guy set up a box next to me with Tarot cards, I finally got around to doing a reading.  He shuffled, laid the cards down and said, “Cut them.” 
       Cutting the cards I asked, “Why do I cut the cards, why can’t you?” 
       “The validity of the reading is dependent on YOUR interaction with the cards.” 
       “You mean like there’s a certain ‘sensitivity’ in my hand, so to speak, that ‘knows’ where to cut the cards?” 
       “Something like that,” he answered as he laid cards out. 
       “Looks like people who are more ‘sensitive’ in this way would get a more valid reading than people who aren’t so sensitive.” 
       “That’s probably true,” he said as he looked up at me. 
       He had finished laying the cards out and was looking at them.  He pulled a manual out and studied that.  He looked at the cards, back at the manual before he put it away.  Indicating most of the cards with a sweep of his hands he said, “This is all confusion – total, absolute confusion.” Pointing to one card he said, “See this card, this represents stability.  The position it’s in indicates you have tremendous inner stability.  This inner stability is the only thing that’s going to get you through all this confusion.”  Pointing to another card he said, “This card indicates you have a tendency to want to be a martyr.”  The far upper right and far upper left cards had something to do with “gods and kings.” 

        I spent my last $5 one Saturday afternoon going to a gypsy fortune teller. I thought, “What the hell?” I certainly wasn’t finding any anwers anywhere else. I’d never been to one and I’d wanted to for years… just out of curiosity. 
        She looked at my up-turned palms, then at my eyes and said, “You’ve known a lot of pain,” back to my palms, then as she looked back at my eyes I saw her face had instantly changed to a shocked expression as she said, “You’ve NEVER been happy,” then softening, losing all trace of business facade, to visible display of what might have been an unanticipated compassion as she insisted, “But you WILL be happy, you WILL be happy.” She looked back at my palms, and in almost a sing-song voice she rattled off a lot I don’t remember. I do remember her saying, “Two women put a hex on you but they are far away now. You have a secret in your heart but don’t tell anyone. They’ll just laugh at you…” 
       When I heard her say that for some reason I knew I didn’t care if people laughed at me. When I heard her talk about the two women putting a hex on me, I flashed on an “idea” that had been in my mind the summer of ’71 during that weird week of psychosis. I had thought I had been taken to a gypsy fortune teller when I was a child at the County Fair and been told that or at least that’s what I decided must have happened or else it was a delusion of some kind. Instead, it was a future event. 
        Before I left there I couldn’t believe what had happened for she had taken me back to her apartment, given me two pieces of fabric and insisted I do some sewing for her. She came around to where I was selling shirts on Saturdays, found me, and her face seemed to “brighten up” as she came to hug me and kind of “fuss over me.” 
        Last summer I started “praying” (body/mind total being wordless concentration) for a “miracle.”  I knew it would take a miracle, that no book, no therapy, no therapist would ever be able to “fix” the inside of me.  I couldn’t even tell anyone what it was inside me that needed to be “fixed.”  I had had days during my altered states of feeling “fixed” but they didn’t last after that state wore off. 
       In spite of my letters to Jess last May I started seeing him again last month but don’t feel I’m getting anywhere with it. 
       Waiting to speak to Jess last spring, I sat in the crafts room with the recreation therapist, a student nurse and a female client of DBD.  The RT and SN were engrossed in a discussion about their respective experiences with their Mercedes cars.  FC remained quiet.  During a pause in the conversation, FC mentioned she had just tried some new make-up and started to get something from her purse.  For the first time since I had been sitting there, RT acknowledged FC’s presence to say, “I’m really not into that,” turned back to the SN and picked up where she had left off on the Mercedes she had had in Germany.  The SN asked, “When we come up do you want us to bring the TR or the Mercedes?”  FC didn’t open her mouth again as long as I sat here.  I bet I could have bitten nails in two right then and had to flip that switch in my head to keep from coming unglued right there! 
       My oldest daughter had her first child at the end of the summer, a traumatic, draining experience for me since she had developed acute toxemia to the point of an emergency Caesarean. 
       Watching Jess drive the bus during one of the DBD trips to he beach, I became aware that his reflexes were about like mine; he applied brakes at the same time I would have, put the turn signal on at the same time I would have; when coming up behind a vehicle he started looking to see if the other lane was clear for a lane change at the same time I would have.  Amazing! The lack of that synchronous reflex action had irritated the hell out of me in my ex-husband. 
       At the beach Jess was body surfing.  A short distance away on the sand, I turned just in time to see him hit that icy, bone-chilling Northwest Pacific water…just in time to see and hear him let out a delicious, totally uninhibited yell – one of the most beautiful and exciting sounds I’ve ever heard.  From some far recess of my mind I think I heard echoes of some of my own occasional totally uninhibited sounds – and had to wonder….??? 

        A moment by a lake with Jess (and others) Summer ’76 
        Some unknown place in me was as calm as that lake, as calm as the moonless, starless night, as calm as the primeval, wet, tangible stillness I could almost hold chunks of in my hands.  We were non-entities in that moment of overwhelming, naked awareness of absorbing and being absorbed by darkest CALM…we had nothing to say…to speak would have been sacrilege… 

        A lot of proverbial water has passed under that proverbial bridge since I met Jess, a lot for me and a lot for him.  I wanted to do more work on fantasy and dreams but after we started meeting at DBD it was impossible; the noise from the traffic was always impinging on my consciousness and I need quiet to let go.  I think he came back to normal size for me on that camping trip last summer, not that his feet had ever left the ground but he may have grown a little too tall in my eyes.  I didn’t like the new Jess and told him so. It hurt me to see Jess going against himself. 
       One Saturday when he made the mistake of coming down to the market where I was selling shirts, sitting down and carrying on a casual conversation with me, I saw a little of the old Jess sneaking out and I had to start facing the fact that all those feelings were still inside me. I keep reminding myself it’s perfectly normal to have a crush on one’s therapist. 
       Last summer I wrote the song for Jess I had promised.  I took my guitar and as we sat on the lawn in the sunshine, asked, “Would you be comfortable with my singing it?” 
       “No, I wouldn’t be comfortable,” he answered. 
        “That’s OK, I have a fantasy of you hearing it from a stage or a recording.” 
(I thought it fantasy but it was only a wish.) 

October 28, 1976
       Like I told you under the pavilion at Blue Lake, I’d spent considerable time trying to figure out that particular way of looking at me you had sometimes.  Such a steady gaze, I was unable to tell if any thought was going on behind your eyes, at least at what I think of as a conscious level. 
       That look – the words I come up with is like – you see me like I am, not like you heard I was, or you wish I was, or how you want me to be, and it’s like you accept what you see.  It’s like the boundaries defining therapist and client have ceased to exist; I want to say like the boundaries defining Jess and Hazel have ceased to exist; like the world has ceased to exist outside that space.  That day at Blue Lake I also told you, “Oh, sure, I could get hung up on thinking the way you look at me is with love but I’m not doing that.”  In the light of everything that had happened, I felt you weren’t collected enough to get past but one definition of the word “love.”  For a long time I stifled some impulses, was so careful of what I said because you might misinterpret it into a declaration of “love.”  I was also aware you were stifling a lot of yourself; you didn’t want me thinking you were leading me on.  God!  What a situation for two such sensitive, feeling people!! 
       Back to that word “love” – I do think you looked at me with love, not the kind of thing our society is hung up on but something more beautiful than that.  And I never felt it so strongly as in those moments when you looked at me in that special way, when we were not touching physically and no words were being spoken.  Once in a while when I was talking and not looking at you, I’d become afraid to look at you.  I was afraid you might be looking at me like that…almost as if you were losing yourself.  I think I was always left a little shaken… 
       Those are memories I take out from time to time so I don’t lose them completely.  I miss being looked at like that.  At least now I know what I want… 


       Jess got to a place of “clarifying” our relationship so often I began to wonder if he was clarifying it for me or himself… 
       I read somewhere that some therapists will assume the posture of the client for reinforcement, to help make the client more comfortable.  Last spring I began to be aware, suddenly and acutely aware during a session that it was almost a mirror image!  It was somewhat disarming to suddenly realize we were just sitting, gazing into each others’ eyes, our legs in the same position, our arms and hands in the same position, our heads tilted just so and wondering how long we’d been like that!  Later in the summer, I noticed we simultaneously put our hands in the same position. I was so aware of it I left mine in that position and he immediately changed his. 
       That summer I put my father’s poem to music.  Getting enough accomplished on my writing that I felt Jess could read it, I offered it to him.  To my surprise, he refused to take it. 
       “I won’t have time to read it. I’m going to California.” 
       (Quite some time before he had asked to read my writing saying, “I think we, as 
professionals, have a lot to learn from the people going through it.”) 

       The more I got into my writing, the less sleep I needed, cutting down gradually.  I cleaned my house, NOT in frenetic activity, but steadily and thoroughly.  (Disorder seems to bother me more during some of these periods; putting things in order being a recurring activity in all altered states.)  My car brakes got bad and I had enough sense to park it.  No money for food; I lived on tortillas, zucchini, and chow-chow I had canned.  My two children still at home stayed with their father most of the time, about a mile and a half away. 

From notes, Fall ’76
  Through all my trips I got a little more worked out in my mind, “working through” a trauma. 

I comprehend, I understand, whatever it is that makes ME is beyond roles, beyond NAMES, the ultimate unknowable…What do I feel?  calm…peace…death?  satisfaction? 

Confusion of time, confusion of past, present, future… 
It’s like I’m making the past and future at the same time… 

I didn’t think Jess knew what he was talking about when he said I reminded him of that song “He sang from his heart, he sang from his soul, he did not know how well he sang, it just made him whole.”  I didn’t think he knew me if he thought I sang from my soul.  He said he didn’t perceive himself like I perceive him.  Could it be I saw something in him he didn’t know was there? 

A memory: One a.m, my brother driving my mother’s car across a moonlit pasture, I’m riding “shotogun” on the right front fender holding my grandfather’s .410 looking for rabbits…. A high school parade float just went down this back country road, “Pioneer Power 76″… a VISION…I have to try to save my children. I would spend my eternity in hell rather than give up hope – It’s HELL WITHOUT HOPE 

I guess one of the worst things that can happen to a woman is having a baby as a result of being raped.  I lived through that in the days before legal abortion.  The ironic thing is if I had not fought so hard he would have used a condom.  Last year Jess saw me start getting in touch with some feelings about that – for the first time… 
        My first mother-in-law told me, “There’s no such thing as rape.”  My second mother-in-law told me, “It’s your fault your son has meningitis.” 

An outsider could not study my family, only an insider.   
An outsider would not know which questions to ask. 

The synthesis of reason and feeling 
the synthesis of the OT and the NT 
the synthesis of art and science 
for ME  –   schizophrenic 

It starts breaking down when I start trying to feel what other people would feel when fantasizing.  How sure are they of what is fantasy and what is reality? 

       Yes, Jess, you were right the day you said, “…and worried about finding true love,” even though I responded with “Oh, hell, Jess.” 
       I want someone to come to see me like I came to see that farm, to see my “wildness” and “disorder” and not want to change it, to love all my ferns and weeds and wildflowers and wild berries and not enforce THEIR plan on me, to start planting neat grass that will look very manicured when mowed, turning me into something that’s out of place in its environment, to look at ME and say, “That’s the way God made her, isn’t she beautiful,” not meeting anybody else’s standards of perfection or beauty but FINALLY matching perfectly the pattern I was stamped with at the moment of impact when the sperm invaded the ovum.   

From acceptance to doubt to a new concept for the old word.  I couldn’t take Abraham’s God nor Christianity’s Jesus so it came down to “I’ll just take my marbles and go home…” 
       Do you know where HOME is?  For ME….


From notes Fall ’76.  Words and star from notes ’74.  The star was added as kind of an afterthought.  When I added it to this picture, I felt I had “crossed a bridge.”  The vertical bars represent societal attitudes toward inner depth experiences.

       The only thing I asked of anyone was to ask Jack one Saturday night, “Will you take me to the Crises Unit?” 
       “I can’t tonight.  I’m going out but maybe tomorrow.” 
       I knew I couldn’t keep waiting so I started walking.  It was about 35 miles to the hospital. After I’d walked a couple of miles or so I thought, “I’ll go east, see the states, just chuck it all, no job, owe a year’s rent, no car, no money, no water (the well had gone dry) no heat, just keep walking,  Nobody will miss me, anyway…No, maybe I should go on to the hospital…”  Three or four miles down the road a man stopped to give me a ride.  Though my rational thinking was affected during this time, I was not delusional.   

(One element during ALL altered states is the feeling of what’s happening being “purposeful,” “for a reason,” going TO something,” never a feeling of it being for no reason.  Sometimes when I was tired, I’d feel like it might be a futile quest, like I was on a wild goose chase.) 

        The man got to a suburb of Portland and started to let me out where he was turning. 
       “I’ll just go along with you, this way’s fine,” I said. 
       “But I’m going back up in the boonies,” he protested. 
       “That’s fine, that’s where I want to go,” I insisted. 
       “I’m going to my dad’s place, it’s just me and my dad, you don’t want to go there….” 
       “Yes, I do, that’s fine, wherever you’re going…” 
       We circled back around almost the same direction from which he’d come, winding up across the road from the Spar Tree at Estacada.  He took me to a camper trailer saying, “You can stay here.”  He went to the mobile home next door where his father lived; they brought blankets and made a bed for me. 
       “If you need anything, Dad will be right next door.  Here’s a flashlight…” 
       “You can stay here as long as you want.  We have plenty of room,” the father said before he went back to his place.  I laid down; the younger man kissed me lightly and left. 
       Though I was very sleepy, when I’d start to doze I’d do something I’d been doing for a few days.  A sensation would go through me that felt like concentric waves of electric shock radiating out from a central point in my chest, making me wide wake again.  I gave up and went over to the old man’s house.  He made me feel comfortable, gave me a pair of pajamas to sleep in and made the couch down for me. 
       I had developed a horrible cough so he bought medicine for me when we went to town the next day and kept saying, “Now, you tell me what you want to eat, we’ll get whatever you want…” 
       He was 71, lived there by himself.  A nice home, it was a mess so I started cleaning house. He got into the house cleaning spirit; we were very busy. 
       He saved things.  Like me.  He liked nice things.  Like me.  He had a curiosity.  Like me. He was intelligent.  Like me.  We seemed to think a lot alike.  I trusted him; I felt he was capable of taking care of me if need be.  A thought started nagging at me – he might be my real father. His son favoring one of my father’s brothers didn’t help at all.  But, I needed a logical explanation so I wavered between two possible explanations. 
        By the next day fighting the delusions was too much and though he said I could stay as long as I wanted, I had him take me home.  I couldn’t accept that delusion but I couldn’t fight it anymore. 
       He had a big, beautiful white chow dog that he said NEVER liked ANYONE!  He could not understand why the dog liked me, followed me around, laid at my feet, put his head in my lap and never even growled at me! 

       Again, there were periods when there seemed to be distance or screen between me and all my bad memories.  They didn’t hurt so much, when so many good, funny, forgotten memories came out. 
        During the day a friend helped take care of me I became concerned about Jess, not his physical safety but concern for his MIND.  “Feeling”  persistent, pervasive feeling that I couldn’t shake.  I started attaching words to the feeling, “Jess has freaked out – he’s had a breakdown – he’s schizophrenic – he’s in a mental hospital…” 

       My friend and my oldest daughter took me to the Crises Unit.  I was ready to go since I didn’t see a stopping place.  But when I read the paper they wanted me to sign at the hospital I realized it would give them total authority over me and what would be done to me. 
       “If you draw a line through that statement right there, I’ll sign it, otherwise I won’t,” I said. 
       I wasn’t suicidal or exhibiting enough overt confusion to be held against my will. 

       The night was spent with friends in Portland.  After they went to work the next day, I started following my feelings again, and, again, the goodness of a stranger helped take care of me.  She went way out of her way to drop me off to see Jess, saying a prayer for me before she left. 

       “How was your trip?” I asked Jess. 
       “It turned out all right, I saw G.  I became a little confused, then a little more confused but everything’s fine now.” 
       I tried explaining where I was in my head with the delusions and rational thinking sometimes going on almost parallel, like functioning on two planes simultaneously.  I told him about the visual hallucination I had experienced earlier that week, that had been like watching a technicolor movie production… 

       “The sun was going down, a huge, orangey-red fiery ball, so I went out onto the back steps to look.  I don’t know how long I had been standing there when an image of my father appeared in front of the sun – like a photograph of him from about the waist up, not a close image of his face.  He had on a hat, the one he wore with his suit.  It lasted a few seconds and another image appeared; the same position and size but with a different hat, his work cap. That lasted a few seconds and a third image appeared, this time in an army helmet.  Then it was as if he walked into view from the left side of the sun (as I faced it).  Again, three times he walked into view wearing the same three hats.  After the last image faded, it was as if he were sitting to the right of the sun, stood up, no hat but wearing some kind of light colored loose robe type garment, turned his back to me and started walking away, rapidly fading into nothingness.  At that point I smiled, stood erect, saluted and said, “Yessir, and you won’t have to tell me again!’ for at that moment I had felt it was a message to me from my father from the grave, LIKE…’You’ve been hanging on to me all these years, carrying me around, and now it’s time you turned me loose and buried me,’ and I was AWED by the way in which he had told me.   I wasn’t going to argue with someone, or anything, alive or dead, that could make me see what I had just seen.  He had finally won… 
       Clouds were starting to form below the sun and taking on a violent red hue.  I saw the clouds, a kind of flat, rough long string, as clouds.  Suddenly, I saw it as a burning city.  Falling back against the wall of the house, I cried out it was SO REAL – like looking at a burning city from afar.  They were then transformed into a river – a fast moving, turbulent river. From that they became a wide, smooth river, like the Mississippi and from that into a scene that looked like a flood plain possibly from a little distance.  That would have been the way Mud Creek looked when it flooded, where I was born.” 

       During the hour I started hurting again as I sat huddled under the window.  “Sure, you can tell me to forget my book, there’s nothing I can do for my mother and sister.  I’m only hurting myself by continuing to think about it.  But, Jess, how can I forget them?  Everybody says to forget it, take care of myself.  ‘Don’t get involved.’…Maybe that’s what’s wrong with the world today; nobody’s involved.”  Through my tears I said, “One thing about it, my daddy can’t call me a slacker.” 
       I really believed he would see that I got home. 
       “No, I can’t take you home,” he said when it was time to go. 
       “Well, I’ll just go along with you where you’re going.” 
       “No, I can’t do that, either,” he said and left the room. 
       I was devastated but finally pulled myself together enough that I could go into the office where he was. 
       “Will I see you next week at your regularly scheduled time?” 
       “I don’t know.  I can’t say what I’m going to be doing next week.  I’m taking one day at a time.”  I left his office.  I left DBD.  I didn’t know where I was going. 
       Home was 30 miles away and it was getting dark fast.  I went to a restaurant and called a friend; I called Jack; I called other friends.  No one could come to get me.  By this time it was dark.  I called the County Sheriff’s office. 
         “Do you have any provisions to see that someone gets home when they’re stranded 30 miles away from home at night?” I asked the man that answered. 
       “No, lady, we don’t do anything like that,” he replied. 
       “Then do you know of any organizations or agencies that can help me?” 
       “Oh, maybe the Community Action, but I don’t know for sure.  That’s the only one I can think of, you might try them.” 
       “Well, can you call them for me?:” I asked since I only had so much money. 
       “No, that’s not my job,” he very quickly answered. 
       “Yah, but you can come out and pick up the dead bodies beside the road.” 
       He laughed.  “No, we don’t do that, either.  The coroner does that,” he glibly remarked and hung up. 
       I decided to call Jack.  Again.  Collect. 
       “No, I can’t come and get you,” and he started on the old refrain, “It’s your own fault, 
everything that’s ever happened to you is your own fault…” that started sounding like “Everything that’s gone wrong in the world for the past 200 years is YOUR fault.”  On and on and on…. 
       As I listened I decided I was really dead, and in hell.   
       “I’m dead, I’m dead, and I’m in hell, that’s what this is, that’s the only thing that makes sense out of all this, I’m dead and gone to hell…” I began to verbalize quietly… 
       THEN he asked, “Where are you?  Where are you anyway?” 
       “I’m in hell, that’s where…I’m dead…” I continued quietly.   
        “Will you tell me where you are?  You got yourself into this, you didn’t know when you were well off.  Just tell me where you are,” he demanded. 
       “It doesn’t matter…I’m dead and gone to hell…” and he would not shut up.  I pushed the lever down to disconnect him; he wouldn’t disconnect.  I banged the phone box with the receiver in my hand…I heard a woman’s voice talking to him… 
       “Tell me where you are…where are you…” 
       I hung up…I stood there…”Now what?…These things around me…they’re not real…this is my hell…something’s happening in my head…I feel like if I concentrated hard enough I could destroy the whole world with my mind…I think I’m afraid to try…I want to call my mother…”  I put the call through; my mother wasn’t there.  I said, “Please give her a message.  Tell her her daughter just died,” and hung up. 
       “What do I do now?” I wondered as I stood there. 
       The phone rang; I answered it.  A woman’s voice said, “Why did you say that?” 
       “Because it’s true,” I answered.  She talked for a while, then gave me to her supervisor who also talked for a while, till she said, “I have to get busy now.” 
       I hung up…”What now?…Things are looking more real…I have a few dimes…I’ll call Bev” …A man’s voice said, “You have to put a dime in the phone before you can complete your call.” I couldn’t tell if it was a recording and I didn’t get a chance to tell him I had already put a dime in. I tried to call Mureithi; another dime in the phone; the same voice saying about the same thing. That’s when I broke the glass in the phone booth; the only part that would crack being the little strip in the middle.  I knew some kind of trip was being run on me but I couldn’t understand it. 
        I knew I had to do something or something was going to snap in my head.  “Can I destroy the whole world with just my mind?…It’s not real….” 
       I went to the gas station by the phone booth and told the two attendants, “Unless you want to see the world come to an end right in front of your eyes, you had better help me.  I’m stranded and I’m too tired to walk home.”  They called a cab out of Oregon City. 
       “Do you have any money?” the cab driver asked. 
       “No, I have a guitar I’ll give you when I get home, you can get quite a bit for it.” 
       “No deal.” 
       Just then a city policeman drove up, got out and came into the office where I was sitting on a chair. 
       “You look familiar,” he said in a very quiet, calm voice.  Don’t I know you from somewhere?  I know I’ve seen you before…” 
       “His eyes, his eyes are OK,” I thought.  “I can trust him.” 
       “I can’t quite remember where I’ve seen you, are you sure you don’t know me?” he continued. 
       “No, you don’t know me.  I’ve never seen you before and you’ve never seen me before,” I stated matter of factly while I was thinking, “What does he mean?  Did he know me in a previous life?  Is there something in our eyes we recognize?  We’re descendants from a different species and there’s something we recognize in others of our kind?  He has such a gentle voice; he’s not making sudden movements, taking it easy…his eyes…his eyes are OK…” 
       A county sheriff came, he wasn’t so nice.  “All right, let’s see some I.D.,” he impatiently demanded. 
       I wasn’t moving. 
       “Come on, let me see some I.D.,” he demanded again. 
       I still wasn’t moving. 
       He called someone back in since everyone had left the room and said, “I want you to be a witness,” picked up my purse and took out my billfold.  “You’ve got cards here with three different names.  Which one are you?” he snapped. 
       “You figure that out.  You have a card from the library with a name but you still don’t know me.  You have a Kaiser card but you still don’t know me.  You have a Portland State card with a name but you still don’t know me.  You know those things ABOUT me but you still don’t know ME.” 
       By that time he was towering over me as I sat on the chair.  I looked up at him and without warning heard myself saying, “I feel like just kicking you right in the balls.” 
       Reflexively, one of his knees drew in toward his other knee as he jumped back about a 
foot while saying, “You’d better not!” 
       “Don’t worry, I wouldn’t be stupid enough to tell you first,” I said, never breaking my gaze from his face.  Some part of me somewhere was shocked, “My God!  Hazel! You really said that!!” while another part of me was glad I had. 
       Obviously upset, he went outside the door and talked to the city policeman.  They talked to someone on their radios.  I heard the county man tell the city man, “They told me not to take her.” 
       Since I trusted the city policeman I allowed him to lead me out to his car.  Talking quietly in his calm, undemanding voice, he handcuffed my hands behind my back.  I didn’t know where he was taking me.  He drove to a residence and picked up a man he called “lieutenant” while I was having fleeting delusions about it all.  The handcuffs started cutting off the circulation, tears were streaming down my face and my nose was running but I had no way to wipe my face.  I figured out where we were going. 
       When I got out of the car in front of Dammasch State Hospital, I asked the young policeman, “Will you please wipe the tears from my face, the salt is burning my skin.” Very gently, he wiped my face and nose. 
       By the time he led me to the admitting desk I had to work my rings off my hands were swelling so badly.  I felt like the condemned prisoner, walking to the gallows, pride still intact. Papers had to be filled out, but the handcuffs were not removed.  The woman filling them out seemed to be having a difficult time.  I was watching her fill in the spaces; she wrote my zip down wrong.  I told her again but she still couldn’t get it right, so, quite loudly, I told her again. 
       “Here it is, she can’t even fill out the forms right and SHE’s working and I can’t even get a job!” 
       Eventually, the policeman escorted me, still handcuffed, up to a ward where the handcuffs were removed.