Jon Crispin's Notebook

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  1. oMordah (@oMordah1) said, on 25/02/2013 at 5:41 pm

    Hi, I found your article and photos of the “Willard Suitcase” project particularly poignant and moving to me, as my mother had been “institutionalized” as a teenager. She had had an unusually sad life from a very young age, and had health issues all of her short life. Yet, she was probably one of the most vibrant people many of her friends had ever known.

    She passed when I was 15 of cancer of the everything, at age 43, three years after my father, who died of a massive heart attack at age 38 from stress. Your article is interesting to me, as, other than the few stories she told me of her time spent there, I have little information. What she did tell me was not a walk in the park.

    She was first sent away, because having been raped by a family member, and becoming pregnant, she later tried to “steal” her son back after he was forcibly taken from her. (My grandmother had allowed her to keep him for two years, but then the stigma and stress became to much for her, and she made her give him up). It is a very long sad story. She was given shock treatments, which were horrendous, and told of having to “put her shoes in a large pile of other’s shoes each day and having to hunt for them later on” This was especially hard for her as she had had polio as a very young child, and had to wear two different sized shoes, so could not simply “grab whatever size was close”.

    The reason I’ve written all of this is that, I don’t know the name of the institution where she had been placed.
    My grandmother would never talk about the past, and what little my mother told me was at a very tumultuous time in my own life, and I don’t recall her telling me. I would like to privately tell you her name, on the off chance that maybe you have some information about her. My parents are long since passed, but even now that I am 54 and a grandmother, I still want to know whatever I can about them. There were a lot of secrets, and “skeletons in the closet” in those days.
    Thanks for taking the time to read this.

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