Four-point Restraints at the Institute of Living, Hartford Hospital for 19 hours +

Restrained at the Institute of LIving for Not Following Directions....Dr Amy Taylor presiding
In Restraints at the Institute of Living, Hartford Hospital, 2013, for Not Following Directions….Dr Amy Taylor presiding

9 thoughts on “Four-point Restraints at the Institute of Living, Hartford Hospital for 19 hours +”

  1. I just saw this image today and found it deeply disturbing. I was a psychiatric aide at the Institute of Living in 1966-68 when I was 19-20 years old. Four point restraints were commonly used and were often used as punishments. The whole place made me sick and I hoped it had changed. When I left I vowed never to work in an institution again and never to treat a patient in any way that felt wrong. I have been a therapist now for 42 years and I think I have kept to my vow. I am sorry for what happened to you there, Pamela.


  2. Dear Carole, I cannot tell you that I understand your comment. I do not completely understand the concepts. I admit that. Nevertheless I know that you mean it well and lovingly and I appreciate that. Thank you. Love, Pam


  3. Pam
    This world is comprised of people who have a life wish and people who have a death wish. Both viewpoints are valid and neither one is either good or bad, right or wrong! Often people who caress the death wish are more creative. This is because this reality is a chosen one with physical limitations and an adherence to the tenet that we forget who and what we really are in our multi dimensional existences. When we disengage this physical reality we shed the body and the body consciousness and explore other realities. I am not saying this reality is second rate. On the contrary, it is extremely creative, rife with sexuality and emotion. but we give ourselves limitations that we discard when we move our consciousness to other realities that aren’t encumbered by physical laws. You Pam take on a mantel of notoriety and misery and do the suffering for those of us without the stomach for it. You are very good at suffering. A fucking plus!!! I do love you Pam. Carole.


  4. Dear Tom,

    Wow, what a comment, and it has taken me all day to truly take it in. In fact, I wanted to do something with your class’s assignment on Lectio Divina, just for myself, because I am in such a terrible place at the moment and I thought it might help. (I will get back to you on what happens with that.)

    As to Fryer’s Pieta, the Jesus in the Electric Chair, yes, it is enormously powerful, but again, he depicts Jesus suffering, and Jesus suffering is what it appears to many to be all about. Not MY stupid suffering at the hands of cruel aides and doctors at a mental hospital, nor my continued suffering, which I have videotaped in private journals, largely because I know this sort of treatment of others continues, that while it felt personal, in fact the Institute of Living recently came out with a booklet/pamphlet for patients that clearly intends to pre-empt complaints like mine and justify this sort of “treatment” in advance…

    But I deeply feel that my complaining, as opposed to my complaints, is not justified. That I deserve, qua devil, qua evil being, any brutality they dished out…so I am queasy about drawing myself crucified, even if I attempt to let myself stand for all those who are/ have been so brutalized…I know myself and I know I was really thinking of the hours and hours I spent wracked on that bed, immobilized and humiliated, and begging for release from people who wanted me to cry “Uncle” and then just ignored me…

    I am not a good person. If I were I would have put Jesus himself on that crucified bed of restraints…instead I thought it was more important to image myself there. What sort of picture is that? Not exactly showing humility or acting “christ-like”…is it?

    Thank you so much for your encouragement; despite my black mood, I do hear it.

    I wish I didn’t despise myself so much. On the other hand, I fear that if I did not keep myself thus in check, I might do even more damage than I do…



  5. Well, Pam, forgive me if I reflect with you about how appropriate your image’s allusion to the crucifixion is. From a religious point of view, this makes Manet sense insofar as part of the horror, meaning and power of Jesus’s death on the cross was how rightfully commonplace his crucifixion was. The Romans, after all, had already crucified thousands of people before and after Jesus’ death on the cross. Nor was his suffering necessarily greater than many others. That wasn’t the point, was it (despite the cult of suffering that oftentimes attaches itself to it). His death was an unnecessary, senseless act of human violence, and I think that it is fair to say that insofar as he willingly underwent it, it was an act of sacrificial love in which he identified himself with all such victims (along with the perpetrators of the violence in his act of forgiveness: ” Father, forgive them for they know not what the do”).

    A few years ago, I taught a high school theology course in which I invited my students to prayerfully meditate on several religious-themed pieces of art. Here is a link to that particular entry found on one of my class blogs. Take a look at the very last image and I think you will understand how appropriate and powerful your own painting is!


  6. yes, i remember that image from the movie..never thought i would employ something similar as an image but it simply came to me…and worse than merely crucified because the legs are stretched off the wood onto the bed. But i dont like to take the metaphor too far, not personally, because the last thing i feel like is Jesus Christ. I merely feel that they are torturing me in a position and public way that resembles crucifixion. Not that i am a divine person, far the opposite!


  7. Very powerful, moving image! I cannot help but find myself reminded of how, in the movie “Dead Man Walking”, Sean Penn’s character was made to look like he was being crucified as he was fastened to the gurney before receiving the lethal injection.


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