|Cathy Porter-Maynard (#47009361)|
| || member for 6 years, 9 months, 8 days|
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"But don't forget the pioneers!
Brave heroes and heroines!
Their graves shall yet be found,
And monuments shall mark their dust,
As sacred earth and ground."
SOURCE: Mr. Wally Garchow.
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|Messages left for Cathy Porter-Ma... (115)||[Leave Message]|
|Kay Baldwin||RE: Logue family.|
I saw this memorial:
Created by: Cathy Porter-Maynard
Record added: Feb 19, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 85174121
And wondered if you had any ties to this family? I am researching my families lineage and believe I'm a direct descendant of a Logue in this same family line.
Thank you for your time and for the work you do for Find A Grave!
|Joy||re: May Stevens Nevada State Hospital Cemetery Memorial|
Your memorial tribute for May Stevens is achingly beautiful. Thank you for taking the time to research her story and to share it so lovingly on her memorial.
I am not related to May Stevens, nor did I know her; she died eleven years before I was born. But her story could have been my story. In 1968, when I was barely fifteen years old, I had a “breakdown” after going through a horrific series of traumas, and was put in the Nevada, Missouri State Hospital by my abusive parents. I spent almost two years there, the longest and hardest years of my life.
I have written a bit about this on a blog. Here is the link: https://healingfromcrazy.wordpress.com/the-new-york-times-likes-me/
Last May, my husband and I drove over 600 miles from our home to the site where the state hospital used to be, before it was closed and torn down in the 1990s. The main Kirkbride building was the largest structure in the state of Missouri at the time of its construction, measuring over a mile in circumference. At the time of my incarceration, that massive building was packed to overflowing, as were the peripheral buildings that had been built to hold the overflow.
You are correct in saying that most people committed to that institution in May Stevens' era were never released. That sad fact had not changed even by the 1960s. Probably the main difference between my time and hers was the blanket use of powerful tranquilizers like Thorazine, which – contrary to popular belief – does not “treat” nor “help” mental illness, it merely makes the patient more docile and easy to manage, while simultaneously damaging their brain.
Shortly after my parents put me in the institution, I asked the ward doctor how soon I could go home. He matter-of-factly replied that, according to the current statistics of the time, 97% of the patients committed to that institution were never permanently released. If I were to remain longer than one year, he said, my odds of ever again being free would go down to less than 1%.
Seeing what must have been a look of shocked disbelief on my face, Dr. Conn told me to ask the other patients on the ward how long they had been there, if I doubted his word. I did ask, and the shortest answer I remember hearing was eight years, the average closer to twenty years and beyond.
I was not a criminal. On the contrary, I was quiet, shy, docile, and very eager to please. I had never harmed anyone, nor had I ever threatened to harm anyone (unless you count the cheating boyfriend I had threatened to slap when I was thirteen). I was a good kid! And yet, my life was over before I was old enough to drive.
That's why I did the only thing that seemed reasonable under the circumstances, I ran away at the first opportunity. When I was caught, I was punished by being strapped to a bed in solitary confinement for at least a week, with four-point restraints.
The third time I escaped, I managed to elude recapture for two days and my escape was broadcast on the news. That time when I was caught and brought back, a furious hospital administrator cursed me out, then ordered my immediate transfer to Maximum Security, where they kept the criminally insane. This ward was so dangerous that, with the exception of shift change, the nurse attendants rarely stepped outside the safety of their locked office.
I was a skinny and frail 15-year-old. I almost did not survive Maximum Security.
As horrible as my experience was, I was one of the lucky ones. Although there was no psychotherapy treatment done for the vast majority of the patients at this institution during my stay there, at least none for the vast majority of the patients I personally saw on a daily basis, when a newly graduated psychiatrist was hired to take over my ward during my second year there, he quickly decided that I was not mentally ill, and went to bat for me to secure my release. Thanks to the progressive thinking and tenacious courage of Dr. Fenster, I was given the opportunity to have a life. I married (more than once), had three children, worked for the 700 TV ministry for several years, went to nursing school and was elected class president, then wrote and published a novel.
Today I am a 61-year-old great-grandmother, happy in my life and grateful beyond words.
My fate could have so easily been no different than poor May Stevens, and the countless thousands of others who lived and died in the Nevada, MO, institution. I do wrestle at times with survivor's guilt, just as my Vietnam veteran husband wrestles with guilt because so many did not come back from the horror of combat.
Today, more than forty-five years later, the time I spent in the insane asylum still haunts me. I am writing a book about it, or trying to – writing this story is one of the hardest things I have ever done! But I think it's important for me to tell my story. I have searched online, looking for others like me, but I have yet to find a single fellow survivor of this asylum.
It is heartbreaking to me when I see how many of the Find a Grave memorials on the Nevada (Missouri) State Hospital Cemetery site say nothing whatsoever about the individual who lived and died there. It is equally hurtful for me to see the number of memorials where a distant relative of the deceased has written something along the lines of: "Nevada State Hospital also housed people who were not mentally ill, but who had a physical illness such as tuberculosis. My ancestor/relative died here of TB (or something similar), but he/she was not one of the mental patients."
Some of what I call these “denial memorials” use the fact that their relative's death certificate did not mention any mental illness, as “proof” that they were not one of the (dreadful!) mental patients. Thank you, Dear Cathy, for pointing out the fact that although May Stevens was diagnosed with depression and spent more than thirty years of her life here, none of that is mentioned on her death certificate!
Family denial only perpetuates the intensely painful, unfair, life-crippling STIGMA in our society against mental illness. This is why I appreciate your honest and COMPASSIONATE memorial so very much!
During my almost two year stay in this “hospital,” I never saw nor heard of any kind of patient other than the mentally ill or cognitively impaired. Furthermore, in my research for writing my book, I have yet to find a single *official* reference to this institution ever having been routinely or widely used for anything other than the warehousing of mental patients. While many of the mentally ill or cognitively impaired patients did have physical illnesses as well, and many of them undoubtedly ultimately died from their various physical ailments, these physical disorders were not the reason for their incarceration in this institution.
As your memorial for May Stevens truthfully notes, this institution was officially named “Lunatic Asylum No. 3” early in its history. Some time later the official name was changed to “State Hospital for the Insane, No. 3” – this was its name while I was there, only later was the name shortened to the more politically correct “State Hospital No. 3.” With the words “Lunatic” and “Insane” being part of its actual NAME, who are all these people kidding when they insist that their relative was in this institution for tuberculosis, etc., and no other reason?
As I am going through Find a Grave, leaving an angel memorial on each site, occasionally I come across a rare memorial which acknowledges that the person was, indeed, classified as mentally ill. But most of these truthful memorials communicate this fact in a terse, cold, and often shameful way, such by including a photograph of an old newspaper clipping reporting that the individual had been arrested and later “found guilty of insanity” in a court hearing, and then taken by the sheriff to the Nevada hospital, with not a single word of kindness or compassion anywhere on the memorial.
My heart aches when I see these things. I hate to think that someone may come along after I am dead and gone, and post about the worst, most painfully humiliating time in my life, on my online memorial! Again, Cathy, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your HONESTY and COMPASSION, two traits that are far too rare, in our society, when it comes to the topic of “mental illness.”
God Bless you, beautifully lady!
Added by Joy on Feb 21, 2015 2:48 PM
|Derwin||Effie A.Voorus 69381990|
Wow! What a great deal of information you just added to Effie's memorial. My great grandmother, Elizabeth Dickey Laughlin (71367811) was the superintendent of schools in Pierre SD which is how she knew Effie.
Added by Derwin on Feb 21, 2015 1:05 PM
|Derwin||Effie A.Voorus 69381990|
I have recently added a photo of Effie to her memorial.
Added by Derwin on Feb 19, 2015 11:51 PM
|lizz grant||RE: Hiram Edwards.|
|High Plains||RE: I appreciate your help. Thank-you!|
My pleasure, Cathy! Anytime.
Best wishes and blessings,
High Plains :)
I know very little about my Childers connection except that one marriage. My ancestors came from VA into MO too, so perhaps that is how Anna Christina Kohl met John Childers, just not sure. If I find out anything further, I will let you know. Anna/Annie is now buried in NE but I do not know what happened to John Childers.
|Joyce Snell||Childers surname|
Thanks for the contact. I know very little about the Childers surname except that my ancestor married "a John Childers". Her name was Anna Christina Kohl (Cole). She and John and "her daughter Mary" (from her first marriage) were living in KS during the 1880 census. The MO connection is through Anna's son-in-law (Mary's husband), who was my direct ancestor. The only other info I have, is that Anna divorced John Childers in 1886 and at some point, married a third time, to Levi Woodruff (living in NE).
|Kathy Mesa||Patricia Sue Hadley-JONES|
I guess she is listed with her last married name.
|Kathy Mesa||Patricia Sue Hadley|
You have a newspaper photo of her on her memorial. I was wondering if you have the article that goes with it (her marriage announcement). She was my mother-in-law at one time, so I have her on my family tree. Any info would be appreciated!
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