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About Robert
Share a Poem
My father's 30+ year career was in the mental health field. It spanned the full gamut, from providing direct patient care, acting as the Mental Health Commissioner for Guam and being the Executive Director of regional community mental health centers in Pittsburgh, PA, and Western Oklahoma. The following are some poems he wrote on the topic.

Having Needs Met

Maslow claims the needs of man
Depend on prior needs
And each fulfillment often brings
Another need to seed.

Horney, in her simple way,
Is anxious to describe
The neurotic core in every man
That motivates his every drive.

And Freud, the Master of them all,
Has cast on man a hex
For every thought and every need
And even man's most pious deed
Id disguised by lust for sex.

I have little else to add
Except a simple creed:
To me the greatest need of all
Is the human need to need. 

Just Another Inpatient Day in a Ward in Pennsylvania

I first met her when the police escorted her
to the nursing station, handcuffed and accompanied
by an Emergency Order for Detention signed by the 
arresting officer when he placed her in protective custody.

SHe was in her mid twenties, and had made numerous
suicide attempts since early adolescence. She 
had scars on her wrists where she had tried before,
and the saddest, yet most beautiful eyes I had ever seen. 

She was very young when her Father killed himself,
but not so young that she could not remember. The 
only thing she forgot was the years before when he 
had raped her so frequently it became one long rape
instead of something that happened daily.

And it was a year ago October when her brother
shot himself on the lawn outside of the mental 
health center. He was not a patient, but he must
have thought his dying there would be message enough.

She was placed on suicide watch, and for three days
was subject to constant observations. But she was
bright, and knew all the right words to say that would
please her doctors.
After supper on the fourth day she went into the 
bathroom and hanged herself from the mental bar which 
stretched across the entrance to the toilet to 
give her privacy and dignity. Even back then, civil
rights were always a requirement. 

Later, after the ambulance left, I found her note 
inside the drawer of her beside table:

  Please throw away all my clothes
  And all that you might find,
  No one will want these ugly things
  That I have left behind.

  I've tried to be considerate
  You'll have no mess to clean;
  No blood to dirty up your floor -
  I'm not that bad or mean.
  I only have one last request.
  I bet you to permit
  That my remains be flushed -
  With all the other shit.

She was buried two days later
next to her father and her brother. 

Mental Health Center

Inpatient, Outpatient, Partial too
Are services we offer you.
We help you heal, make you well,
Replace your pain, remove your hell!
We are trained in what we do
In therapy to counsel you.
Years of work and sacrifice
So you might have a better life.
We will not rest upon our laurels,
We have the temperament; we have the morals.
We'll heal by day, we'll pray at night,
That you, like us, will gain insight!

For we take pride in what we do;
We are the best, the chosen few.
We're here for you when storm clouds gather, 
Soon as we get our s--t together!
My fears are growing strong today
That I may kill myself someway.
Staff pretend they're kind to me,
But it's a plot hat I can see.
I know there are no other choices,
I hear that from secret voices.
My patients are not really there,
They are not real, they do not care.
But I will teach them all a trick:
Black magic is what made them sick.
For I'm instructed by the Lord -
He said "Return back to the ward."
So i'll return, help and assist,
For I am but a therapist!
I seek no glory, praise or cheer - 
I,m now Employee of the Year!

Split Personality

It's ever so peculiar
I don't know what to do - 

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