Today is Day 23 of Nannernannerbooboo. This is for Kerry’s prompt on madness at Real Toads. Kerry has given us several examples of quotes from Shakespeare on madness as this is the great bard’s birthday.  Wee notes:  often times the insane were treated worse than animals.  In the 1890’s it was common to treat/to “cure” insanity to pull the teeth of the insane, to give women hysterectomies, freezing cold baths, laudanum…Bedlam, Willard Asylum – these names conjure up visions of horror.

“I have become comfortably numb” Pink Floyd

My family put me here years ago
when I had a child out of wedlock.
They drugged me
gave me cold freezing baths
cut off my beautiful hair
pulled my teeth
gutted me like a fish
I withdrew from them
Now I live inside my head
I walk on stars and mountains
I am silent
Non-reactive even when abused
by the attendants
I say nothing
I no longer fight
I just sit
And think
And scream
Inside my head
Inside my

public domain photo


Today for day six of the Nannermopo, at Real Toads, we have a photo flash prompt. The treatment of the insane was cruel and unusual – women were given hysterectomies, their hair shaved, their teeth pulled, cold ice baths daily, being bound to their beds, drugged until senseless, raped by their caretakers, starved…


First they cut off her hair –
Then they gave her a hysterectomy-
Then they pulled her teeth.
Her family had deemed her insane because
She took no crap from no man
Because she ran naked from the house at times
Because she found a kitten and hugged it until
it died
Because she laughed at the wrong times
Because she cried at the wrong times.
She hugged a mask until it died
Being insane in the late stages of Victoria’s reign
Was a hard job – but someone had to do it.
She did it well.

Adolph de Meyer (1927)
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