I've been looking at photos of mental hospitals for about 20 minutes, looking for one to feature in another post I'd just completed. I expected some old, dilapidated buildings, I guess. Just photos. I didn't expect the search to affect me.

But it did.

The words lunatic asylum hit me over and over again. At first it was just a barely-acknowledged, quiet understanding that these were scary places, that I would probably have been placed there. Dark and looming. Overgrown trees and weeds. Graffiti splattered on walls. These were supposed to be hospitals.

Then I had to think of the descriptions I've heard, the horror stories, of current mental wings of hospitals. Of how you're treated there. Of how it's still rundown and unpleasant.

And then there was the word. Lunatic. Not in a funny, silly way. No, used in a terrified, other way.

I was reminded of a terrifying program I saw on the history of lobotomies. And one woman in particular who was just lively, but her family called her insane. She became like nothing and no one after the removal of parts of her brain. I've always seen myself in that woman.

Scared. Yes, that's the word. The images scared me. And they brought to mind everything else.

featured image by Daniel_Nebreda