Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sue's Poem about ECT

A picture of me a year before I had electroshock. I had just turned 17 years old and I was dressed up as I was going to my Grade 12 graduation.

I attended at the Sir Wilfrid Laurier High School on Carson Road in Vanier in 1972. I was an in-patient at the Royal Ottawa Hospital on the Whitney 4 ward at the time of this picture. I was let off the ward by the hospital staff to go to my graduation.

I wrote a poem this year 2007 about my experience with electroshock. My poem is entitled "ECT Hurt Me" I was given ECT against my will at the age of l7 years old, I was not an adult yet in 1973. I got the ECTs forced on me at the Brockville Psychiatric Hospital in Ontario, Canada.

Here is my poem:

ECT Hurt Me

by Sue Clark-Wittenberg, 2007

The day I got my first ECT
I recall the room was white
the nurses wore white
the doctor wore white
and I was white as a sheet with fright

I lay on my back on the bed
with wires put on both sides of my head
a rubber band put on my forehead
and a rubber mallet stuck in between my teeth

I was scared to death, terrified
I wanted to jump up and run
but I could not
I saw the ECT machine
right to my left
and knew that horrible machine
was going to be turned on
any minute
and it would hurt my brain
and it did

I woke up after the ECT
dizzy, confused and did
not know who I was
where I was

I was put in a wheelchair
I missed my breakfast
and had to to wait for lunch

a peer on my ward
told me many years later
that when the staff grabbed me
to take me to the ECT room
I screamed, kicked and bit the
staff and hollered
"Somebody, anybody, please
help me"
But nobody did

ECT hurt my brain
No one told me
truth about what ECT
would do to me
because nobody cared

So that is why I want ECT
the atrocity that it is
to be banned, to end
to stop now
so no one else has to
go through the torture
like I did which is called ECT