I spent some time with a few individuals still residing in the forensic hospital I once did. They are all very different individuals. They have been diagnosed differently. They have been in the system from a couple of years to over a decade. I really don’t know the story of the crimes they were involved in but each is unique. They all have different conditions regarding privileges. They are each being treated with varying degrees of success.
If you put all of them in a room you would come to like at least one. Would you like the one who was part of a well respected profession? Would you like the one who has a gentle way about him? Maybe you would like the one who I have been witness to most. He is a man who likes sports and was once an accomplished athlete. I have seen the tenderness he had for a woman he loved. He is full of names and dates and quite intelligent. He is a great conversationalist and has a smile to go with some of it. I don’t know him well but he was there before me. It took everything I had in me and great efforts by professionals, family and friends to make it through. I am a stronger person for my journey but I am unsure I would have the spirit to endure as he has.
It is unfortunate that few if any who read this will ever meet these individuals. It would be more unfortunate if the fact that they are forensic patients strikes enough fear or loathing in your heart that you cannot find a place in it for these men. “There, but for the Grace of God go I.”