It’s an extraordinary thing. You know that? You throw me in the madhouse, you strip away everything I have, everything I know, you treat me like a rabid dog, like a madwoman. And you know what happens? I’m blessed with the gift of total clarity. I am more sane now as a madwoman than I ever was as the head of Briarcliff.
When I was a child, I’d come home after school to an empty house. My father had flown the coop. My mother worked as a maid in a hotel. It was lonely… so I brought in a baby squirrel I’d found and kept him in a shoe box. And then one day when I came home, he looked sickly. He was dead already, but I didn’t know that. I’d forgotten to feed him for a couple days. So I took him out of the box, and I laid him on the table, and I praid my heart out for several hours. And when my mother came home and found us, she screamed bloody murder, and she picked him up and threw him in the garbage. She worked hard, my mother. She was exhausted, and she couldn’t have known how cruel that was. But I cried and cried, saying, “God didn’t answer my prayers.” I remember, my mother was pouring herself a whiskey - the Martin family cure for everything. She looked at me and laughed. “God always answers our prayers, Judy. It’s just rarely the answer we’re looking for.”