Well, today was what I would call one of my Mom's "bad days." I didn't see her for long, but the short time I was there visiting was enough to know that she's not doing well today.
I could tell as soon as I walked in that she wasn't thinking straight today. The look in her eyes gives her away every time. She doesn't have to say a word as long as I can see hers eyes. They speak for themselves. She had that wild look that she gets sometimes. I thought to myself "OK, lets see what the issue is today." Normally, there is one thing that she is really focused on, such as the war, the government, or her doctors. Today it was Central State Hospital.
I had gone into the bathroom to change into my work clothes, and when I came out, she was standing in front of the door waiting for me. It startled me at first, opening the door and having her breathing in my face. She said to me....If I ever have to go back to Central State, you claw my eyes out, and if YOU ever have to go to Central State, I'll claw YOUR eyes out.
I've learned the hard way over the years not to try to reason with her. It's my natural instinct to want to explain why her thinking isn't on track. But that's a useless approach. Instead, today, I just responded with "Well, Mom, Central State has been closed for a long time and neihter one of us will ever be there." She seemed somewhat satisfied with my answer, but she was still watching me with untrusting eyes as I gathered my purse and clothes together. I could feel her eyes on my back the whole time. It's strange to have an uncomfortable feeling in the home of my own mother, but sometimes, she's very unpredictalbe. She has been known to hit me with anything she can get her hands on, or slap me in the face for trying to reason with her....yeah, that's what I mean by "learning the hard way."
Anyway, I'm hoping that this will just be one of those short spells, but only time will tell. We're supposed to spend the day together tomorrow, so at least I'll be around most of the day if she doesn't get any better. Sometimes I hate leaving her alone because I never know what to expect from her. Will does a great job most of the time, but he has his own issues as well.
Mom did trigger my interest in the whole story with Central State. If you're not familiar with the hospital, it was one of the state's largest long-term mental facilities for nearly one hundred fifty years until it was closed downin 1994 due to accusations from patients of neglect and mistreatment.
I saw for myself the neglect and mistreatment of many patients when I used to visit Mom there. It was no surprise to see patients lating in the hallway in their own feces, vomit, or anything else they could get their hands on. It was common to see patients fighting outside with one another, or eating dirt and grass as they wandered the grounds. it was a very scary place in so many ways. I can't imagine having spent several years of my life in that environment. I'm sure Mom endured more than I'll ever know at that facility. Some of the matters regarding my mom are rather personal, and my mom would probably not want me to share many details with anyone, but from the little I do know, I wouldn't be surprised if that place turned sane people insane on a regular basis.
There are several articles I have found on the web about Central State. Most of them are about the supposed hauntings there. Some are about a graveyard that was found on the grounds that is believed to hold the remains of several former Central State patients. I have yet to find any information on the accusations that were brought to the state's attention. I would really like to know more of the details. There is a medical museum there now in the old pathology building. I have thought about visiting the museum a few times, but I'm not sure I want to go back to that place. It was such a huge relief when Mom got moved to Logansport in 1994. I never felt uncomfortable there. I NEVER made a trip to Central State alone. Even after I could drive, I always wanted someone with me. Logansport was never like that though. And, luckily, Mom has done so well for the last eight years, that I haven't had to consider visitng another mental hospital. I can only pray that Mom is home for the long haul this time.
Here are a few of the website I found interesting. Let me know if any of you find anything while reading that might tell me more about the accusations that were made.
There are a couple pictures of the hospital above. The aerial view was taken in the 1920's. The other photo is recent. The grounds have been sold and are to be renovated sometime in the future.