Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Departure - 11 March 1954

This is a photo of my bed on my last morning in Craig-y-nos on March 11th 1954.

My mattress, on which I had lain for four years and two days, is neatly rolled up, and the blankets folded into a tidy pile.
All my possessions are tied up in parcels with most of them in one big cardboard box.
A long piece of string is dangling from the bed waiting to wrap up any items that might have been forgotten.

The front door of Craig-y-nos.
You were allowed to go through it twice- first on entry ( 4 years ago in my case) and on departure.

The red crosses mark the windows of Ward 2

Going home

I had so looked forward to this day.
In Wales we call this longing ‘hireath’, a pining for that place we call home.
But nothing had prepared me for that move back into the outside world, to that place I had thought of as home.

Why was returning to the farm so uncomfortable? why did I feel so isolated and lonely?
I had left the farm as a sick child and returned four years later as an institutionalised adolescent, though neither my parents nor I realised this at the time.

Here after all I was surrounded by my family.
Except I no longer fitted into the family circle.

I found it claustrophobic.
I didn’t like home.

Mother suspected my unhappiness though she never said so in so many words just asked if I wanted to go back to Craig-y-nos to see the girls.

So we did. At the next visiting.
And they were still lying there in their beds, just as I left them barely a month or so ago.

I had changed.
They had a not.

Now I was in limbo, neither at home on the farm nor could I go back to Craig-y-nos.

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