Insane Asylum Patient
Last week, I had the privilege to talk to a recently released insane asylum patient. He was taken in Iowa and was held for a full year until finally being released after being proved sane. I interviewed him recently to get more information for the paper company I work for. This is his story.
I was taken in last year for suspicion of murdering my wife and her mother. During my court trial, my lawyer pleaded insanity. The alternative was 10, but I didn’t really have a say in the matter. The judge granted it and I was on my way. I arrived on November 17th, 2013. I was driven to this asylum and placed in a small, isolated room with a small window. That was the only light I received for weeks. I longed for release, wishing to be let free.
After weeks, the guards noticed I was one of the more obedient inmates. I was inmate number 216, and soon became respected among the guards with my overflowing knowledge. I read my days away in the small, but resourceful library, a privilege I earned overtime, and was accompanied by a guard who I would often engage in small talk. I was almost happy, for a man in an asylum. Everything was alright.
Until the construction began across the street. I noticed it one morning as I awoke and peered out my cubby like window. I saw a man with a crew, drilling into the ground with their jack hammers. I was intrigued when I first encountered the sight with my eyes, and my mind constantly wondered what they could be building. That day, I skipped my reading session and simply watched the men drill all day. I slept with a smile on my face, dreaming of the possibilities. They constantly drilled, day in and day out, until the sound was almost sickening. I prayed for them to stop, but they never did.
76 days. 76 days they drilled. I remember asking myself how deep they could possibly need their hole to be! 76 days I didn’t attend my reading sessions. Guards came to check in on me and feed me, guards which I lashed out upon. I began talking to myself, mimicking the drilling sounds, sometimes even in my sleep. I was soon feared among guards and they checked on me less and less, until they stopped all together. I was nearly starved to death until my old reading acquaintance stopped by. I could tell he feared me as he quickly dropped the food and was about to scurry away until I muttered 2 words.
It was a whisper, but he heard me and smiled, exiting casually. The next few weeks were different. I was fed and began to read once more. I engaged the guard in small talk once again and we shared laughs. Things were looking better and on the date of November 24th, 2014, I was released after I was proven sane. I had to encounter a variety of tests and undergo therapy before I could be released. The construction was completed, and resulted in a small Urgent Care center. I am now a respectful citizen and am working on a job. I have truly turned my life around.
The man’s story really inspired me, and we talked for a little while even after the interview ended. Through our talk we came across a question that made me uncomfortable and scared.
“What would you consider your greatest achievement while in the asylum?”
He answered without a stutter, and stared into my eyes. He almost had a sly smile on his face.
“Convincing the guards I was a sane man.”