Saturday, November 28, 2015

Bah Humbug...Bah Higgins.....

          Thanksgiving dinner went fantastic. All of my food was great and I finally broke my five year turkey dressing curse in which I have bought stove top as a back up for my mad scientist concoctions of dressing recipes which have all been ultimate failures every year. Inedible bricks. Gross slop in a bowl. Unappealing mushes. Tasteless fluffs. Terrible tongue torturers. This year my sister gave me our old family recipe and it turned out delicious. I am beyond stoked. The curse has broken and all is right in the Thanksgiving world of breads, dressings, and stuffings. I can now officially reclaim my southern woman card now that I can make great dressing and sometimes my homemade gravy is actually edible. Sigh....

.................Now we wait for Christmas to arrive.

              As I brushed my cats tonight, I had a realization. Hobbs loves to be brushed. Lola is over excited when combed. They will actually chase me around the couch if they see me with their brush in my hands. In anticipation of all of the scratches and scrubs the brush gives them, they will flop on the floor and rub their fat fur bodies all over the carpet. But my cat Higgins hates to be brushed. He eyes it with a wariness only those who know the betrayal of a glove of soft rubber bristles will understand. He hides from it. He gives you the stink eye when you edge ever so closely to comb his unruly mane. Brushes are Higgin's number one enemy. Though I have no idea why. The brush has never maimed him. It has never scratched him too hard or even pulled a tangle in his fur. Nary even a hair pull, but he mistrusts it. He dreads it. He hates it.

              And it came to me.....there are two types of people in this world when it comes to the holidays. There are the Hobbs and Lola's of the world loving everything Christmas or holiday related. Basking in the l.e.d. glow of Christmas lights and cinnamon scented candles. Rolling around the eggnog flavored beverages on their tongues. Chasing the big hand holding the holiday sale coupons around the block with glee. They watch Christmas movies and make hot chocolate and string popcorn garlands. They love the smell of Christmas trees and delve into wrapping presents with a gusto rivaled only by Martha Stewart on baking and craft day. They relish everything holiday related and everything holiday related makes them feel happy and accomplished and most of all, warm and fuzzy inside. They love Christmas and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

              Then there are the Higgins' of the world. They are mistrusting of the holiday season. It makes them uncomfortable and edgy. They may have very good reasons for feeling this way or absolutely no reason at all but that does not lessen the truth of their feelings. It makes it no easier for them. They may stink eye other's love of holidays or hide from the crowds of caroling masses. They may ignore the friendly holiday greetings or turn away from the numerous three month long commercial adds proclaiming the holidays are soon upon us. Something about this time of year is upsetting to them, or sad to them, or painful for them and they have to go through it anyway because days will pass and Christmas comes once every year. Just like being a cat that needs to be brushed, it is inevitable. There is no true avoidance of it and we should remember to be extra kind to them.

              I am not saying we shouldn't be jubilant and happy around the season of giving and thanks and family. I am saying we should also reach out to the Higgins of the world and see how they are doing because the holidays can be a very stressful time. It can be a very lonely time. It can be a very hopeless time for some.  While we are focused on buying or making our loved ones gifts for the holidays, we should remember that the best gift is caring about someone to begin with, and we should show how much we care by making sure that the Higgins of the world know that they are loved and appreciated and thought of. Especially, when they are struggling just to get by the hardest part of the year when they are grieving, or depressed, or have anxiety issues, or simply have jerk faces for family members.

            When I brush Higgins, I talk to him nicely and I remember to not brush very hard so he isn't more upset. I make sure to comfort him and make him feel safe. Because really, all anybody wants in this great big world is to be loved and appreciated and to feel safe. People really aren't that different from cats.

              So, be happy if you are a Lola or a Hobbs and celebrate but please remember people like Higgins who aren't as excited about the holidays as you are. Let them know you are there for them. Let them know you care and if you can, let them know that you understand the way they feel because there is nothing wrong with not loving the holiday season either.

 My best wishes to all of the Hobbs and Lola's out there and my understanding and best wishes to the Higgins' of the world as well. We will get through this holiday season, one breath at a time just like we always do.

Neurotic Nelly

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Hey You.....Yeah You....

         Well, it is that time of year again when turkeys are roasting in the oven and brown sugared sweet potatoes are being mashed and made into gooey marshmallow covered casseroles. It is a time for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and a ton of dishes to clean up afterwards....Yes it's that time again.

          I have read an astronomical amount of " 26 days of Thankfulness" Facebook posts. Actually, if I am being honest, I should say I have scanned over an astronomical amount of "Thankfulness" posts. I tend to not jump in on trends as a general rule. 

          You see, I know what this holiday is supposed to be about and it isn't supposed to be about me and the twenty six things I am thankful for this year. It is supposed to be about the  pilgrims and the Native Americans joining forces as they learned to live together in peace and harmony. That is what those elementary school plays with the construction paper pilgrim hats say it is about, anyway. That relationship of joining forces kinda went south after how badly we treated the Native people a few years after the "historical Thanksgiving" we all think of when we think of this holiday. A fact they seem to omit  in the window displays of the local grocery stores next to the cardboard cut outs of Thanksgiving cornucopias filled with fruits, bread, squash, and goodwill. There is no mention of that when we go out to buy more canned cranberry sauce and five dollar turkey shaped butter sculptures, though I can't imagine why......(sarcasm). 

             It annoys me, this being thankful for twenty six days trend. Like I have to tell the world what I am thankful for or I am not thankful enough for it. Like I am required to participate in something I think somehow sullies my thanks.

             First of all, I do not have to take stock of why I am thankful for twenty six days a year. I do it everyday. Every morning, I wake up and am thankful for my friends and family that stick by me, love me, and put up with me. That isn't a Facebook quota. That isn't one day a year. That is every damn day, because I am very aware that I am blessed to have those people in my life. I could very well have shut myself away and never let anyone in.

                I am thankful for my friends who push me to do better, to try harder, and to believe in my ability to do things. I am thankful that their belief in me has made me learn to believe in myself. I am thankful for this blog and it's amazing readers. I am thankful, whether I loudly shout it from the rooftops for everyone to hear or if I quietly close my eyes and whisper it to an empty room. I am thankful. Trust me...

               The thing is, I don't feel like I need to list all of the things I am thankful about for twenty six days. I don't feel like twenty six simple days could remotely be enough to cover all of the things in life I am thankful for. Because you see, there were times in my life where my depression had made me blind to those things. There were times when my OCD made me deaf to them. There were times when my battle with my mental illness left me too exhausted to focus or see anything else before me but my own pain and struggles. There were times in my life, when it felt as if I lived inside a sensory deprivation tank unable to feel, or smell, or taste, or think unless it was about my intrusive thoughts. Twenty six days of trendy posts on Facebook couldn't possibly explain that. There really isn't any words to properly describe how bright the world is when you have lived most of it in the dark. It can shine so brightly that it hurts your eyes. The light of it can be blinding.

                 Nor is twenty six days enough to tell the world, or in this case fb, how I used to be so ashamed of my imagined faults, that I had zero self esteem. I let people treat me poorly because I thought that was all I deserved. Or how I was lost to myself for years because I was different and I blamed myself for those differences and judged myself too harshly for them. There is not enough Facebook posts to explain how much I despised myself or how much I grieved for the "normal" life that I would never have, when I realized that my OCD would always be a factor in my life. That I would always have it. That there would never be a day that I could simply wash my hair in the shower and it would wash down the drain with the shampoo suds and bits of soap. I am thankful that I no longer dwell in that place of pain and self doubt. Believe me, I am thankful.

                   I guess it bothers me because my thankfulness is very personal to me. I am aware that many people struggle with the things I have struggled with and may not be able to feel thankful about it right now. I want to be compassionate and supportive in that when dealing with life and all of it's curve balls, sometimes it is too hard to see all of the little things in life. Sometimes it is too hard to feel the sun on your face. Sometimes it is too hard to feel anything at all let alone feeling thankful for anything.

                   I don't feel like, what feels almost like bragging to me, is very helpful when so many are really struggling with all of the issues that have come their way. I am in a good place right now, and I am so thankful for it but that doesn't mean I don't understand what it is like when thankfulness seems an impossibility. I don't need to pressure everyone else to feel that way right now, because it is trendy or the thing to do. It doesn't mean that in my thankfulness to be in a better place mentally in my life, I should ignore those that aren't there yet or turn a blind eye to others that are suffering today. I get it, I really do.

I am thankful, yes, but I would rather not engross myself in that as much as spending the time to tell others that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. To let others know that they are not alone in this fight. That one day thankfulness can come into their lives as well. That thankfulness is not just an fb trend but rather something that happens to you when you are ready to see it and feel it and live it. It will come.

So, if this holiday things are not going the way you had hoped, if things are stressing you out, if things in your life seem completely hopeless....please hang on. The world needs you. Your loved ones need you. You are worth so much more than you know. You may not be able to feel or see or hear thankfulness right now, but those that have you in their lives are thankful that you are there. We are all important in this world, no matter our struggles. We are all meant to be here. We all have a place here, even if you can't yet see yours. On this holiday when the world is thankful for everything, I am thankful for you. Because every person on the face of this planet matters. 

Thanksgiving to me, isn't about overpriced turkeys sculpted out of butter, or canned cranberry sauce, or construction paper pilgrim hats. It isn't about all of the things I am thankful for. It isn't about a stupid twenty six day Facebook post. It is about giving to others. So, I drink a toast to you, whoever you are, the person dealing with so much that they just don't know how to feel. I am thankful for you being here on this earth because believe it or not, you are just as important as everyone else. You belong. You matter. You are a magnificent human being. 

Happy Thanksgiving my readers, I hope it is a wonderful holiday for you all.
Neurotic Nelly

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Don't Like The Label....

                   As all human beings are individuals, I don't like the use of labels or umbrella terms describing us as if we are all identical. Living with any illness, be it mental or physical, you are going to have to come to terms with people labeling you to put you in a category with similar people for statistical purposes or to more easily describe to others what you suffer from. You get used to it, and even get used to using these labels when describing yourself. Because it is easier. Because it is common place. Because  like anything else you repeatedly hear and do, it becomes habit.

                  That being said, I have a problem with the term I am supposed to use for my disorder. I have a problem with the term anxiety disorder when describing my OCD. There I said it. Everyone light your torches and get your pitchforks ready...I don't like the label. I can not speak for everyone, I can only attest to my own thirty two years of having OCD and what my opinion is about those hellish thirty two years. Anxiety disorder as a description is not wrong when it comes to OCD,  but it lacks the complete description of what actually goes on. OCD, to me, is not simply an anxiety disorder. It is an anxiety causing disorder and there is a difference.

               Anxiety happens to everyone at some point in there lives. That isn't what we are talking about here. Anxiety has several disorders under it's wing. We aren't talking abut those in this post, either, although those are equally life altering and important to talk about. We are talking about a mental illness that isn't as much triggered by the anxiety as it causes the triggers to be there in the first place. It causes the anxiety. It creates the issues. Not the other way around and I think just simply calling it an anxiety disorder and not an anxiety causing disorder makes people misunderstand how it works.

                Calling it just an anxiety disorder doesn't explain how OCD fishes through your brain to find the most vile, most revolting, most disturbing thoughts to bother you with. It isn't interested in small things that don't upset you. It wants to horrify you, terrorize you, and make you live in a world of shame and guilt. It needs the anxiety to function, so it must cause it to do so. These thoughts are what cause the anxiety. Once it finds the one thing or three things or ten things that are completely unlike your personality, once it has uncovered something that really disgusts and upsets you, that is the image or thought it hooks onto. That will be the thing you obsess over. That will be the thing it haunts you with, until you learn to desensitize yourself to it. Then it goes fishing again. Once an intrusive thought no longer bothers you, it is dropped by the OCD so it can search for something else to up the ante, crank up the fear, and increase the feeling or horror.

                 No, the term anxiety disorder doesn't quite explain the Hounds of Hell that live inside your head, trying to take over your life by making you feel dirty and shamed, afraid and horrified. It doesn't really speak of the depth you will go to avoid such upsetting thoughts or how much you can end up giving up just to try and prevent the hell that OCD shows you. Calling it an anxiety causing disorder makes way more sense than just calling it simply an anxiety disorder because that is what it does. It causes the anxiety that causes the anxiety. It is more than just a few words under a label. It is my life. It is many other people's lives and it entails way more than simple labels can describe. That is all I am saying.

                    Labeling it as just an anxiety disorder makes some people confuse it with normal anxiety and it is way more than just anxiety to us. It is a life full of undeserving guilt and pain. It is a life full of people misunderstanding your diagnoses. It is a life full of pushing through and jumping over hurdles that OCD purposely puts in your way. It is the hell we are trying to crawl out of one fistful of dirt and ash at a time. To call it anything less than what it is to us and what it does to us feels insulting and sanitized and there never anything sanitized about having OCD. It is an anxiety causing disorder not simply an anxiety disorder and I refuse to call it anything else. I refuse to bow down and live my life under a label I don't believe describes my pain accurately. I refuse to label myself with something that only half describes the hell I live through on a daily basis.  I think it is important to label ourselves correctly if we are going to be forced to wear the labels given to us, around our necks like chains, to make us more easily identifiable by our mental illnesses. So, if we must be labeled, I am  going to label myself by how I feel my disorder affects me. And when asked by others what OCD is, I am going to say it is an anxiety causing disorder because for me, it is the truth. It is my truth and I will wear that chain of labels more proudly if I feel it represents what I live with more clearly to others. I mean, I will probably put charms on my chain and snazz it up with some spray paint or modge podge or something, but I don't mind wearing a chain of labels or a chest plate covered in name tags, or whatever the hell they want to give me to describe my OCD, as long as it is factual to what I go through. I just need factual and honest and real if I am going to have to use labels to define my life's issues. I don't really think that is asking for too much, I mean I could be wrong. But I have to represent myself the way I feel I am not how others think I should be. This is me. My name is Nelly and I have an anxiety causing disorder. I have OCD and I am not letting something as small as a not descriptive enough label hold me down.

Neurotic Nelly

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween And An Awesome Link....

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you all have a terrific holiday and that you all stay safe.

In my last post I discussed the fact that I wrote a pitch and sent into an online magazine that I really admire, CultNoise. Regardless, if my pitch is something they are interested in or not, I want to share their amazing site with you. It isn't just a site about OCD, although there is some very informative OCD articles within. There are opinion pieces and current affairs. There is fashion advice and an entertainment section. There is a whole slew of interesting things to check out...Basically, there is a bunch of really great articles written by really great writers and I felt the need to share all of this "greatness" with you. I am not trying to tell you what to do, or what to read, or who to be, but in my humble opinion, it is worth a good read. Maybe three or four good reads. Heck, you could even make it something you read all of the time, if you want to. I know I do.

So, please check out the link and get your read on. Have an awesome weekend full of joy, laughter, costumes, and maybe if you are very, very lucky lots of candy too.  Please eat it responsibly :)

Neurotic Nelly

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Hermit With A Mustache...

        I am tired of the OCD pushing me into a dark corner. I want to shine and feel the sun on my face again. I want to taste the air and feel it on my skin. Sink my feet into the dew dampened earth and breathe in the warm scent of rain. I want to appreciate the silence of winter only broken by the eerie skeleton bone sound, the ice covered tree limbs make whilst clinking together in the wind. I will be damned if this mental illness is going to steal one more thing from me. I don't care how small it is. I can do this. I will do this. I am doing this and my OCD can go to hell, where it belongs. I am stronger than it ever thought of being. I just want my OCD to know that I am still here, standing, climbing, crawling, and fighting even though that's not what it wants. I am not going anywhere and I clearly am not going to bow down to it. I am the warrior of my own mind and I will NEVER give up.

       My son jokingly called me a hermit last night.... I have yet to bloom into my full hermit mode, in my opinion. But as I told him with a strong sense of self assurance, I fully expect to get to that point by my mid sixties. I also plan to get one of those mustache tattoos on the inside of my pointer finger so when I put my hands a certain way on my face, I can look as if I have a handle bar mustache. No, I do not care if that is cliche. It's gonna happen....

        I guess I am closed inside my home more than most people, but I have been slowly working on it. I now walk outside for around four miles every other day for exercise. I sometimes sit on my front porch to read. I even went to the grocery store all by myself the other day. I dressed up a bit to go, so I felt good about myself. It was kind of nerve wracking but I didn't have a full nuclear meltdown. I was pretty proud of myself. I am thirty six years old and that was the first time I remember going anywhere completely on my own in the last few years. It wasn't too bad. I may do it again sometime. In all honesty, I was more worried about the fact that my dress was shorter than I was used to and I was afraid one wrong move could show the world my rear end. It didn't but I can't be sure if it was because it was just me being afraid of something new and well fitting or because I did some side ways calisthenics to get the things from the bottom shelves without bending over,  just to be sure. All I can say, is no hind ends were shown and that is a win for me.

           I also have been trying to broaden my horizons with my writing. I was actually terrified to write my piece on the Willard Suitcases. I was afraid that it wasn't good enough or that I would fail and let everyone down. I was afraid it wouldn't read well or that my opinion wouldn't come across. I not only second guessed myself, I third, and fourth , and one hundred and sixty eighth guessed myself. But I think when you have a passion you have to be willing to try even if failure is an option. Thankfully, it was readable and became a post I am very proud of. I got nothing but positive feedback from it which assuaged away any fears of what I sometimes see as my own shortcomings, whether they be real or imagined.

            Last year, I pitched a writing piece to an online magazine hoping they would publish it. They didn't and I shouldn't have tried at that time, anyway, because I wasn't really ready. It just reinforced my OCD negative thinking.  I want to keep trying  new things and sometimes when I have gotten an opportunity to be a part of something small,  I get scared and end up not doing it.  That has to stop. I know that I am a decent writer and that just because something I write does not get picked does not mean anything more than it was not what they were looking for. All of the "I am not good enough", "I am a failure", "Who would want to read something a thirty six year old high school dropout would write, anyway?" OCD thinking can not be allowed to take over my life. I don't need to listen to the lies I tell myself because of my OCD. I am capable of anything I put my mind to, including writing.

            To prove to myself I am at a better place mentally, I sent in a writing piece to a different online magazine. I don't feel worried about it. If they don't choose it, I am not going to be upset. I know it has nothing to do with me personally, nor does it speak of  my skill set. I have to keep trying new things. So, I am going to, and see what happens. If it doesn't pan out, who cares? It is not the end of the world. Publishing doesn't define me, I define me. Getting printed doesn't make me any more or any less talented. I am secure enough in myself now, to have a to hell with it attitude. If it works, awesome, If it doesn't, I will keep trying.

             I am afraid of rejection but I can't let rejection make me fear living my life. Hell, I am afraid of a lot of things. You can't live your life if fear controls it. The worst thing that could happen from this is people saying no. I mean, big deal. It's not like I have never been told no before. So, here I go slowly putting my toes in the water. I hope that it all goes well, but if it doesn't I can handle that too.  My OCD isn't going to be allowed to drive me around anymore. This is my life and I aim to step out of the backseat and actually live it.

Neurotic Nelly

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

OCD Week...

This week is the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Awareness Week!!!!!!

I would have taken my picture holding the sign like I try and do every year but my face has decided to break out and no one really needs to see that. I have no idea why this happens to me, I am not a teenager and haven't been for a very long time. Anyway, I will just post the poster on my blog sans my face and also the links to how you can get involved with showing support of OCD Awareness week.

OCD Awareness Week

Remember you can show support by using the #OCDweek hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to help get OCD Awareness Week trending!

The biggest thing I want people to understand about having OCD is that many people that have OCD do not have the symptoms everyone associates with the disorder. Not everyone has a fear of germs, or contamination fears, or shows physical compulsions. OCD is a very complicated disorder with very complicated symptoms and although all of sufferers have the same types of feelings of guilt for our intrusive thoughts and self doubt, that doesn't mean we all do or have the same symptoms.   You may know someone that suffers from OCD and have absolutely no idea that you do. We tend to hide it as best as we can. So, please support us because we could use it. Please share the awareness for our disorder. It is important that we not only teach others about just what OCD is and how hard it is living with the disorder, but also that we give those of us that suffer from it, a podium to open up publicly about it. We need to be honest, be real, and  help others by tearing down the stigma that surrounds not only our disorder but all mental illness, everywhere.

Thank you for your support,
Neurotic Nelly

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Their Names Matter....

        When the volume of the world around us is ear-splitting, the silence of the stigma we face daily, is deafening. It is proven with the way we treat those that have suffered before us. By the looks we avert and  the absence of our questions. The disregard we pass on to the past. Who were these people? What were their lives like? What were their names?

         Questions that Jon Crispin and his amazing website Willard Suitcases makes us pause and think about. Questions that need to be asked and in some small way, answered.  Willard Suitcases is a record of these people's lives  through the contents of their personal suitcases. With four hundred suitcases ranging from 1910 to the 1960's it is an open and honest depiction into the lives of the patients that called Willard Psychiatric Center home.

        A few days ago I stumbled upon Jon Crispin's work and realized that he had held a mirror to my face. What I found there was something that not only could I not turn away from  but needed to see. It is a window into the past. The past of people much like me and you. People that suffered from the silence of stigma and in many ways, although they are long gone from this earth, still suffer from the affects of it. I saw these people through the eyes of an amazing photographer who showed us their lovingly packed away belongings, the little bits and pieces of their forgotten lives, the soft whispers of their past. I saw their talents as an artist, a leather worker, a budding author, an academic. I saw their dreams and their faces smiling back at me in black and white and sepia tones. At some point, unbeknownst to myself, these pictures of simple suitcases filled with their clandestine contents stopped being something to view out of curiousity and became something very personal to me. I read some of their thoughts, gathered minute traces of their lives, and in doing so found myself lying there somewhere beneath the satin shoes, little carved terriers, books written in German, old records, letters written by loved ones,  blackened shoe polish, matching Bakelite hair brushes, and brightly colored embroidery string. These patients were not silent ghosts that lurked the halls invisible and forgotten. They were people. They were you and me.  I could have been them if I were born in their time. One of those suitcases could have been mine...One of those notebooks could have had my name scrawled across the top in pencil.

       Difference being, that my full name can be printed and photographed and their's can not. Not because they weren't real people. Not because they aren't worthy of such an overlooked privilege, but because they were mental patients and  because of the New York patient privacy laws, their full names are forever redacted. Many of them have numbers on their tombstones instead of names as if their lives did not matter. As if they did not have talents, loved ones, aspirations, or dreams. As if they were simply cogs in a wheel. Nondescript.  Unmentionable. Undesirables, graceless, faceless and nameless because they suffered. Their voices, or in this case names, remain silent. Much like the creator and photographer of the Willard Suitcases site, I feel this is unacceptable.

 Their names matter.

       The sterilization and sanitation of the ignored and forgotten has become all too familiar. The turning of a blind eye to things we do not understand or the shame we dole out onto things that make us feel uncomfortable. These hauntingly beautiful photos speak of a person's life as the individual. Not just as the inmates of an asylum scrubbed raw and washed clean only to become indiscernible from each other. These people had families, friends, lives, and dreams. Lives that don't simply disappear just because they were institutionalized. Having lived in Willard Psychiatric Center in no way makes them any less remarkable, less talented, or less human than anyone else.

       I applaud Jon Crispin and his site for giving these people  their dignity and individuality back and for showing us the humanity the world has stripped away from them for far too long. For showing us the human face behind the diagnoses. For reminding people that mental illness sufferers are not any less unique and individual than anyone else.

In closing:
      Their names should be allowed to be said, printed, and remembered. They deserve to be heard in death as they should have been in life. They should have their names on their grave markers above their bodies. They deserve to be seen. We have to stand not just for their names but by their names because it is not just  taking a stand for these remarkable people, it is taking a stand for all of those that came before them and for all of us that have come after. They deserve better.

      I have never been to New York. I have never visited Willard, but that doesn't change my opinion on doing what is right. These remarkable people deserve to be recognized for the people they were and the lives that they lived and should not be allowed to fade away from history slowly and deliberately, simply because they suffered from mental illness.

Please take a a few minutes to look at Jon Crispin's site  Willard Suitcases and leave him a message of support for his remarkable work in keeping these people's memories alive and in the public eye.

And if the story of these people has touched you in any way, please check out these links to help support the cause of giving back these wonderful souls the rights to their names.

For a more detailed look at Willard Psychiatric Center and it's suitcases story click here to purchase:
The Lives They Left Behind:Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic by Darby Penney.

For more information and updates on what is being done to restore the name rights to the former patients of Willard Psychiatric Center, please check out The Willard Cemetery Memorial Project.

For New York residents that want to get involved, Legislation for The Willard Cemetery Memorial Project.

For more information on the patients of Willard Psychiatric Center, check out The Inmates of Willard by Linda S. Stuhler and a link to her book The Inmates of Willard 1870-1900 a Genealogy Resource.

Their names matter. They always did, and they always will.

Neurotic Nelly