Have you ever seen a human being parading around in an enclosure at the zoo? No, of course you haven't, it would be classed as inhumane and being held captive would be classed as a form of mental torture. Thankfully, us humans are coated with a protective layer of human rights that makes it illegal to keep humans in a cage for twenty four hours a day. So how can human captivity be made legal, and the mental torture be deemed acceptable? By reducing the amount of time the human is locked up by an hour and calling it solitary confinement of course. Now, I often enjoy being alone with my thoughts, it gives me chance to focus and think without distraction, but I have the option and freedom to go anywhere I want and be alone for a time period that suits. Being confined to a windowless box with no breathing room to escape myself would most definitely cause my mind to fold in on itself. My want for no distractions would be the complete opposite of a need for distractions, rather than enjoying being alone with my thoughts it would end up being the thing I fear the most. Dehumanized, confined to a cell with no human contact, alone with every negative emotion silently screaming inside my head, negative thoughts attacking the last ounce of sanity I so desperately cling on to. That last ounce of sanity could be the only thing keeping my mind together, allowing me to see another day through the eyes I am familiar with. Not that another day would make any difference to me, the nights become my days and my days melt into one, time would feel as if it was slowing to a stop. I try to remember my loved ones, the ones I left behind on the outside, I fear they may have forgotten about me, out of sight out of mind, right? I try to picture their faces but all I get are my demons that haunt me every time I close my eyes. Now that I think about it, am I really the one who is locked away from them, or is it them who are locked away from me? Solitary confinement would see my mental health slowly and painfully decline at the hands of my own torment, each battle lost against my fears and nightmares is another hole in my mind’s safety net. If I stare at the same brick in the wall long enough, it may just start resembling a face that stares right back at me, if I ask my mattress enough questions it will eventually answer, but the answers I’d rather not hear. The lack of sunlight would have me contemplating whether the sun actually exists, is it just something I once had a dream about or seen in a movie once? The time has come for me to leave my windowless box for an hour, to have a break from being a caged animal and be human for a little while. But there's no novelty in being let out of a cage to be led into another. I suppose the change of scenery is good for an abused mind, it allows for the fabrication of new torments...what are the walls saying about me while I'm gone? I'm sure what's left of my mind will let me know when I get back. There's a good chance a healthy mind can be reformed with the right attention and support, but I imagine solitary confinement would push the mind past the point of no return. Losing your mind to the hands of your mind is a tragedy to say the least.
Shaun Weldon July 2017