beyond bedlam

It is important to know that the worst atrocities happened to me in the prettiest places.  One looked like a farmhouse from the front, with lots of flowers and trees.  Way back in the woods, there was a small concrete unit where the shock patients were housed.  That was where I spent most of my time.  The other pretty hospital looked like a college campus.  At least no one pretended that the state hospitals looked like a college campus.  They looked horrible, and they were horrible.  The “nice” places were an illusion where more drugging and sexual and physical abuse happened to me than anywhere else.
— 

Dorothy Washburn Dundas, “The Shocking Truth”, Beyond Bedlam: Contemporary Women Psychiatric Survivors Speak Out

I’ve been saying this sort of thing forever. People rarely seem to believe me, unless they’ve been through similar things. And when I tell people my worst nightmare – literally a recurring nightmare I have about an institution that’s not only pretty but that embodies most people’s ideals about what a “good institution” would be like – they really don’t believe me, or think I’m joking or confused or something.