Search just our sites by using our customised search engine
Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

By Donna Flood
Chapter 18 - Campbell, Mental Health Clinic

“They took me to a mental health clinic in Oklahoma City, “ Mariah was a women full of aplomb, today the phrase would be, “cool.” She turned her head and gazed out the window beside our booth and seemed as unconcerned as if she was discussing what to serve for lunch.

“Are you sick?” She didn’t seem sick to me, maybe a bit too calm, but I wasn’t even sure of that. Mariah classically never was a person to loose her cool, as the expression goes. Often, when others were not coping she would make some off hand remark to bring a person to common sense thinking, which is a very Native American trait Bertha must have taught her sometimes during Mariah’s first fourteen years with her mother. I had not even been shocked to see her battling the men who were abducting her. She seemed to be doing the right thing, to my way of thinking.

“What did they do to you?” I was curious.

“Oh nothing. I just slept most of the time. I needed the rest.” Moriah took a sip of her coffee. She reminded me of my Native American grandmother who had the same kind of reaction to life. If was as if they were unconcerned and removed from whatever trial was thrown upon them. She now was closely watching the goings on around her in the little café. Whatever she had suffered was just so much more of an inconsequential, unimportant event in her life. The present was more to her interest. It was a lesson for me though, and this was Moriah’s way of teaching me.

“They wouldn’t let me have a razor to shave my legs. That was barbaric. What lady wants to go around with hairy legs?” Ura May was making fun of the therapy she had. She knew it and I did, too.

“Why not a razor?” I was curious about something like this.

“Afraid someone might kill themselves, with it,” I suppose. Moriah was still as removed from the event as if she was discussing a day at church or some other uneventful occurrence.

“Good Grief!” This last statement caught my attention.

“Why did they send you home?” I now had Moriah’s full attention and surely was enjoying the moment.

“Who knows.” Moriah shrugged. “I suppose it is a diagnosis, I’m not crazy.”

“Well, I could have told them that.”

“Might have been because I decked one of the aids who kept following me continually, even to the bathroom.” Moriah turned her head toward me, looked directly at me and raised her eyebrows. “Could have been Dad didn’t want to spend another* 2000.00 for treatment.” This too was a casual observance of what we both knew was the most likely reason, and we both laughed.

That was more probable than anything else to me, but on the other hand, I was very shocked Moriah would have lost her composure to violence. If anything was crazy and out of the norm this would have been it. However, the people in the clinic didn’t see it that way, supposedly, and must have seen the act, as something sane. Too bad they couldn’t have witnessed the way Moriah fought, when she was forced into a car and taken to their clinic.

I was little more than a child but a deep impression had been made upon me. At the time my mind was not able to grasp the full implications, but I began to listen more closely to my Native American grandmother as she skillfully painted word pictures of her own joy in going to the boarding school, Chilocco Indian School.

*This was in the year 1950. Today that treatment would be more akin to 6000.00 in a private institution, or maybe even more.

Return to Chief Index Page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus