I am Human

** Warning – sensitive language **



I speak English, just like you. If cut I bleed, just like you. I breathe the same polluted air in ‘Mucky Leeds.’ Just. Like. You. You see me as a wild animal. You see me as a w•g. I’m not either. I’m a human being and I deserve to be treated as such. I came from Lagos, Nigeria, which the last time I checked was a British sovereign empire. I AM a British citizen.

I don’t care if I’m on Ward 8 at Menston Asylum. I don’t belong here. I should have kept my mouth shut about seeing lions with fishes’ heads. If I did, I wouldn’t have been labelled as schizophrenic and in need of treatment.

Other patients and staff are always fighting me. So I stand my corner by doing the worst damage I can. Even if its biting people’s hands or a cheek. Makes no difference to me. Just leave me alone!

I hate having treatment to subdue me. Electroconvulsive therapy, insulin coma therapy AND antipsychotic tranquillisers are what you treat me with. It’s like you are trying to kill the very essence of me. I’m a Yankee. I like to think I am.

God it stinks in here. When will they change those chamber pots? It’s also cold, very cold so I like to lay underneath the radiators for warmth. But the staff are always telling me to move on. Move on to where? Why does it bother you so much that I want to be warm in this stinking, dirty hospital?

No one has come to visit me. NO ONE. Can you imagine being the only Black person on the ward? Scratch that, the whole hospital? Am I really worth nothing? I don’t think so, that’s why I fight. Imagine being isolated and further isolated by no one treating you with dignity? I DESERVE dignity and respect, just like the next person. When I’m released from here I will make my presence known again in Leeds as a tailor.

I’m not sure how long I’ve been in here but it feels like a very long time. May be a couple of years? A couple of years of being called a ‘crazy n•gger’ is enough to break anyone.

Here’s me wittering away and I’ve not even said my name. My name is David. David Oluwale. Remember it.

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