By Ruth Carter
ISBN: 978-1-84747- 606-7
Key Themes: mental health system, relationships, recovery
It is about the journey R takes on her partial escape from the mental hospital. It looks at her fleeting relationships and the importance of her cat to her recovery.
About the Author
Ruth Carter had a happy childhood, she walked the fields on the small farm. Her father pointed out wild strawberries, violets and early purple orchids. Her mother had ample arms with which she cuddled her four children. It was only when the eldest daughter died that her mother suffered severe depression and became aggressive towards the other three.
The picture of the lost one was placed on the mantelpiece with fresh flowers placed at the side. Even though the girl did not even like her older sister she wrote letters to her. She wrote to the angels and left them where her mother might find them in the hope that she could be loved again.
She set out on her journey through the council estate where she lived, and noticed that there seemed to be more grey satellite dishes than before. She wondered how they could afford it, because she couldn’t, not with the cat food and bills, but then she supposed they probably didn’t pay the exorbitant rent which she did. Even for her one bedroomed flat she paid three hundred pounds a month, then there were the bills. No wonder she was always broke. Maybe she would stay in hospital, if only part time, so she would get her meals for free. That would be one solution to some of her problems.
R arrived at her flat. The lock was stiff, she wriggled the key. She put her shoulder to the door to wedge it open. She sat on her kitchen chair, which was left by a previous tenant. She only had the one chair, and that a second-hand one, because her only friend had been sectioned for an infringement of a minor rule of not being in her night-wear for ten o’clock medications. The restrictions were explained as necessary for the greater good of the whole. Which whole was that?, R wondered. She had lost a friend on the outside.
She had no need for more chairs as she didn’t have visitors, apart from the old lady who lived next door, oh and of course her cat. She always thought of it. It was her main reason for living, that is if she really wanted to. She thought of how most of the staff at the hospital behaved.
“Bollocks; just control freaks,” R decided.
She went back though. She had no choice.
As she thought, she realised she had no food or drink in at home, but more importantly, she had not enough food for her cat. Her purse was in the bottom of her hand bag, covered in tobacco from discarded stubs which she used to save for before breakfast. She found a five pound note, a little torn, but still viable. She remembered she would need a drink for herself, maybe a small bottle of vodka. She bought milk, a can for the cat, a pastry and the vodka with the loose change. She went to collect her cat from the old lady who lived next door.
She rang the bell. After five minutes the door opened a little; the chain still kept her half hidden, with the door half shut. The cat had come with the old lady, but it bolted when R bent down to stroke it. R didn’t know where it had gone, but it was certainly not pleased to see her. She was almost angry with the old woman for stealing its affections. It had happened before with her other neighbour.
The woman spoke.
“Never mind, I expect she has just got a bit shy because I don’t really have visitors, not at my age. Come in dear and I will make us a nice cup of tea.”
This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 14 October, 2008.