Whispers of madness.

White walls, empty Halls

Echoes of silenced pain and lives put on eternal hold.

Unmarried asylum seekers in days of old

Imprisoned indefinitely to save their souls.


Families wanted them hidden away

To arrest society’s decay

Often damaged not decadent

Guilty of innocence rather than indolence.


Incest often lead to childbirth and illegitimacy

They were declared insane because of forced intimacy

What madness masqueraded within

When authority had power and victims powerless remained?


©Alison Jean Hankinson

I am putting this into d’Verse open link night. I wrote it last year when I reflected on how things had changed so much in terms of attitudes to mental health. These women were often asylum seekers and deserved better than they got.

I have been working this year with families and carers in crisis, who have a loved one experiencing psychosis and Bi-polar.

Image- Woman In A Psychiatric Ward With Two Dolls. Stock Photo, Picture in public domain.