Ch. 4: “They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha Ha!”

By admin On December 8th, 2012

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Well…well, what can I say? Up until about 40 hours ago, I just thought mental illness was…uh…well, I wasn’t exactly sure what it was. Oh yeah, there were a few times in my adulthood, that I was definitely walking on the edge. A few real bad moments in my life. And before all this Hell broke loose, I had, of late,The_Scream Wikipedia public domain by edvard munch c.1893 been experiencing some real mental problems, at several moments. For instance, a voice had spoken to me in my head one day, a few sentences. I had also experienced some sort of personality change, that I couldn’t explain. And one or two other similar phenomena.

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But now…but now I knew that mental illness was much, much more than just a head that needed shrinking! Now I had been thrown into some sort of Cosmic Armageddon! Now I knew we humans are not alone! This epiphany would have been startling and incredible enough! But now I was going through something so horrifying and unbelievable, that I’m amazed that my heart didn’t just pop right out through my chest! The horror-factor was totally off-the-charts!

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All my life, I had lived in an atheistic world. Supernatural things just didn’t happen! And the few times they did, I just brushed off as…well…as just something to shake off and dismiss out of my mind! 

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But this was just the beginning! Things were gonna get a whole lot crazier than what I’d already experienced! Yeah! A whole lot crazier!

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OK, it’s time to get back to the story…

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CH. 4: “COMING TO TAKE ME AWAY!“…

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3rd Day…8 AM

“A MONSIGNOR MOMENT”…

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The_Scream Wikipedia public domain by edvard munch c.1893As I said… I heard someone coming through the front door. Was it an ambassage of spirit beings coming to impatiently escort me down into the fiery courts of the netherworld? I just didn’t know!

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But one thing was certain; I was gonna find out!

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I hadn’t slept at all the previous night. But sleep was the least of my concerns, right now! As I went out to see who it was, my parents and I met face-to-face in the front room. No doubt my brother had clued them in as to my… uh… less than acceptable behavior.

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It was about 8 AM on a Sunday morning, I was wearing a long thick black velour hooded bathrobe with a large brown cross down the backside. I never really thought about this bathrobe in a religious manner before…until now. But for some reason, I became aware that it looked like something a church authority might wear around the house on his day off!

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REPENT AND BE SAVED !!…

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I began to speak to my parents about…uh…I don’t remember what. But whatever I said, I’m sure had a profound effect on them. And not a good profound effect! Oh yeah, I remember…a little bit. I think I told them that it was the end of the world. I probably told them that they must pray to be delivered; delivered from the nuclear end of the world.

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MOST HOLY PRAYER POSITION…

474px-Saint_Francis_of_Assisi_by_Jusepe_de_Ribera wikipedia public domain

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Of course, as far as I was concerned, it was my Judgment Day, or perhaps, everyone’s Judgment Day! So whatever I said, no doubt had to do with this topic. But I do remember specifically asking them to pray.

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But in order to set this scene up properly, I have to describe the surroundings. We were standing in a sunken area of the living room next to the fireplace. The room had tall multi-angled cathedral ceilings (modern style…no fresco’s). On the wall above the fireplace was a large round sheepskin hanging. (or some long-haired animal skin). Just now it reminded me of a round, world-globe. I can’t remember why…but it just did…at this moment. And as I just said, for some strange reason, everything was just now taking on a religious significance.

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FILLED WITH THE “SPIRIT”…

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And so I began to feel very “ecclesiastical”. And if that weren’t enough, as I began to lift my hands to pray, my arms began to lift themselves, until they were above my head in prayer position, coming down slowly until they were in front of my face. My hands were folded together: something you might see the Pope do. I had absolutely nothing to do with this! It was all involuntarily, as though guided by an unseen power.

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Now it must be stated that my parents were not religious at all! None of us were, prior to all this. We were all a family of, well, pretty-much atheists, more or less. But at this moment, they put away their atheism. Now they were going along with all this for obvious reasons.

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After this, my parents asked me to go with them for breakfast. So I cleaned up and put some slacks on, etc., and we went down to the Kopper Kitchen. It was Sunday morning and very busy. As we entered the restaurant, I was shocked to see a former Fraternity Brother. This old frat-house brother was all excited about his present circumstances as an Eastern Oregon Cowboy. His “pull-yerself-up-by-yer-bootstraps” lifestyle made me feel kind of stupid, in view of my present circumstances. And having been escorted here by my parents didn’t help. But I suppose this was the least of my problems.

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Painting of St Frances courtesy Wikipedia. Public domain.

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“NAME THAT DOOM”…

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All through the day I was going in and out of… hellish delusions! It seemed like I was in Hell! I couldn’t tell if I was truly in Hell or not. I couldn’t tell if people were real…or just demons in people’s bodies. Or maybe they were just some Devil-created illusions. I honestly didn’t know!

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By nightfall, my brother, mother, and father all came by the house. I was trying to leave in my car. They kept urging me to stay.

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It was then that someone suggested we all play a word game. And they were in agreement that this was a good idea. OK. I didn’t mind either. So we began to play this little word game. Someone would think of a difficult word. Then everybody would try to think of a synonym.

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WORDS ON FIRE!

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Now as this game began, the words they chose seemed to have a hidden agenda…to condemn me! As a result, I immediately went into one of my delusional hellish moments. Now I can’t remember exactly which words they picked. But it went something like this…someone would say a word…like… “Quandary”. Then everyone had to find a synonym. So someone would say a word like “predicament!” Obviously, this word-game quickly began to appear like a conspiracy to me. A conspiracy by the unseen spirits. My family couldn’t have picked a worse word to use. Then it was time for a new word… “eternal”. Then someone would answer… “forever”. Then someone would say something like, “excruciating”, and another would answer… “unbearable”. Although I didn’t know a thing about the Bible, yet the following verse kind of captures what I was going through…

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“Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand;

 

it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt:

 

And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them;

 

they shall be in pain as a woman that travails.

 

They shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.”

Isaiah 13:6-8

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So I sat there listening to this word-game, feeling more and more frightened that these were devils in human bodies, sent to torment me. It felt like we were playing “Name that Doom”! Their faces didn’t seem real! Every thing and everyone seemed to be straight from the fires of Hell! All I could do was to sit, silently listening. Terrified by each new word and each new definition. And with each new word came another frightening thought. The horror factor was so great that I felt like somebody had thrown me into “Dante’s vat of  fire and brimstone”!

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“…and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels,

and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever:

and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image,

and whosoever receives the mark of his name.”

Revelation 14:11

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The Prophet Isaiah (Bible Card from 1904) – Wikipedia – public domain

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THE REAL HELL’S ANGELS …

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As this word game went on (my family was playing this game only to soothe me, as well as fill the void of dead-air space) the words they used kept scaring me more and more. The words they chose, all seemed so relevant to my current situation!

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Finally I couldn’t take listening to this word-game anymore! I hopped up. I told them I was going for a drive.

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They also jumped up and got between me and the front door! They then tried to persuade me to go to the emergency room to see a doctor. I refused, but they kept up the persuasion. I told them I didn’t want to stay there at the hospital, and they promised I wouldn’t. So I reluctantly went with them. Anyway, this game which was supposed to calm and pacify me, was so unbearable, that by the time we left for the hospital, I was A Real Hell's Angel- www.signsofheaven.orgagain reduced to a “puddle of liquid”. I kind-of felt like that guy in the movie “Termhttp://www.flickr.com/people/22338756@N03inator”. You know, the guy that whenever he was shot with bullets, he would turn into a puddle of Mercury. And then in a few moments, he would return into his solid body once again. Well, I was being blasted with bullets by the Hell’s Angels! No not the motorcycle gang (picture on left). These were the real thing! THE REAL HELL’S ANGELS!! (picture on right!!)

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This next verse really says it all… “And to them (beasts from the bottomless abyss) it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.” Revelation 9:5, 6. Yeah! Torment like a scorpion when it strikes a man! That’s what it felt like! Like I was being struck by a giant scorpion!

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Hell’s Angel photo wikipedia share-alike license.

Polyptych of Earthly vanities and Heavenly redemption wikimedia share-alike license on photo by Rama

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“CUCKOO’S NEST”…

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Now the only contact I’d ever had with the inside of a mental ward was from watching the movie, “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”. You know, that movie with Jack Nicholson, which was filmed in the Oregon State Hospital. And so needless to say, I had a very low opinion of mental wards. I mean, this movie had shock treatments and other really bizarre and terrifying stuff!

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And oh yeah…I also had my opinion on mental wards formed from that horrible song, “They’re Coming To Take Me Away!”. Do you remember that song? Absolutely horrible and chilling. Not funny, one bit! I didn’t even think it was funny back in the 60′s when it was on radio. As a matter of fact, the song was banned in Salem, where the Oregon State Mental Hospital was. So others shared my opinion.

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Picture copyrighted but used under “fair use” by Wikipedia. Click for “Fair-Use” information.

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“HEY, I THOUGHT THIS WAS JUST A VISIT !”

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After a short car-ride, we arrived at the emergency room of the local Medical Center. I don’t remember exactly how long we were there or what happened. But when suggested I go up to the mental ward, I flatly refused! After resisting their pleas, they decided to give me a shot of something to put me to sleep. “Chuck, this won’t hurt. It’s just something to relax you.”

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Of course I refused again. So then a nurse called for Mr. Strong”. And in a few minutes, three or four large men came in. After refusing the needle one more time, they got a hold of me, along with my brother and dad, as well as one of my friends. So I fought as much as I could but was quickly restrained. And after the needle went in, I immediately got sleepy. I was put on a mobile table (or gurney) and wheeled up and down the hospital corridors. As this mobile gurney was whisking me up and down corridors, I was barely conscious as I gazed up at the hospital ceilings whisking by, as well as the people who were wheeling me through the clinically pale yellow walls of the Medical Center. Then up an elevator. Then down the hall, and finally stopping at a certain door.

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In my drug-induced stupor, I could barely lift my head to see where they were taking me! My head possibly felt like a bowling ball, it was so heavy! But I managed to lift it long enough to see the double-door entrance to this hospital ward, which obviously was the door to the mental ward. But when I finally did lift up, I was totally shocked at what I saw! It was the number above the windows of the mental ward doors. It read 3600! I couldn’t believe it! 3600! “Unit 3600?! Hey! That’s the address of our restaurant! 3600, South 6th Street!”, I thought to myself, “Oh no! What’s in store for me here?!”. Words cannot describe the terror going through me, as I realized that this was more than a mere coincidence. Was this all pre-planned by the spirit? Was I in some sort of Stephen King novel? Was this the Twilight Zone? Well, it was all of the above and then some!

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“SO FUNNY I FORGOT TO LAUGH!” 

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Anyway, when once in Ward 3600, everybody became relieved and began joking together. And I just laid there, still on the gurney, half-conscious. And as they talked, they sounded to me like demons, engaging in taunting humor!

insane asylum The_Rakes_Progress_8-wikipedia-public-domain

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For instance, my dad was telling a joke in order to describe my situation. He said, “Chuck really does want to help himself. But he’s like that guy with no arms and no legs who wanted to play baseball so bad, that he let them use him as home plate!” They laughed and my good buddy retorted, “I never appreciated your sense of humor before this, Chuck (My dad’s name is also Chuck).” As they walked out of the ward together. I thought to myself, “My friend doesn’t even know my dad! So why would he make the comment, ‘I never really appreciated your humor before’!?” So I just figured that these were merely two devils talking together through my friend and through my father. It seemed really satanic to me!

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So there I was! Stuck in 3600! No, not 3600, South 6th Street (the address of our family restaurant). No, this was now my address in this mental ward. And now I was getting very sleepy. But still asking myself the question…”What’s in store for me up here? What do these ‘Hellish Powers’ have planned for me in this Cuckoo’s Nest?” At this point I dozed off…

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insane asylum The_Rakes_Progress_8-wikipedia-public-domain 

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Judgment Day license plate www.devouringfire.com

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To go to the next chapter, just click here …

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Chapter 5: One Flew “INTO” The Cookoo’s Nest

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What happened in the mental ward? Not what I expected!

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