Thursday, June 02, 2011


“Yesterday was my birthday and I had to point that out myself.”

Here at Doc40 we have long made free with image and memory of Marilyn. We love her and indentify with her in our own perverse way. She just our kind of fucked-up goddess. In 1961 she was committed to a mental hospital in New York for four days. During her confinement she wrote a six-page letter to her psychiatrist. Here is a part…

“I didn’t sleep again last night. I forgot to tell you something yesterday. When they put me into the first room on the sixth floor I was not told it was a Psychiatric floor. Dr. Kris said she was coming the next day. The nurse came in (after the doctor, a psychiatrist) had given me a physical examination including examining the breast for lumps. I took exception to this but not violently only explaining that the medical doctor who had put me there, a stupid man named Dr. Lipkin had already done a complete physical less than thirty days before. But when the nurse came in I noticed there was no way of buzzing or reaching for a light to call the nurse. I asked why this was and some other things and she said this is a psychiatric floor. After she went out I got dressed and then was when the girl in the hall told me about the phone. I was waiting at the elevator door which looks like all other doors with a door-knob except it doesn’t have any numbers (you see they left them out). After the girl spoke with me and told me about what she had done to herself I went back into my room knowing they had lied to me about the telephone and I sat on the bed trying to figure if I was given this situation in an acting improvisation what would I do. So I figured, it’s a squeaky wheel that gets the grease. I admit it was a loud squeak but I got the idea from a movie I made once called “Don’t Bother to Knock”. I picked up a light-weight chair and slammed it, and it was hard to do because I had never broken anything in my life — against the glass intentionally. It took a lot of banging to get even a small piece of glass – so I went over with the glass concealed in my hand and sat quietly on the bed waiting for them to come in. They did, and I said to them “If you are going to treat me like a nut I’ll act like a nut”. I admit the next thing is corny but I really did it in the movie except it was with a razor blade. I indicated if they didn’t let me out I would harm myself — the furthest thing from my mind at that moment since you know Dr. Greenson I’m an actress and would never intentionally mark or mar myself. I’m just that vain.” (Click here for the rest)

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The secret scent is Chanel No. 5

1 comment:

Aleleeinn said...

Her letter is amazing. So honest, so human, so articulate.
I've spent much of my life listening to people tell me that they know better than I what is best for me. After all, they are professionals. Perhaps that's why professions hide so much of their theory and prectice in jargon--to conceal the fact that they actually don't know much more than the rest of us.
In the clinical sense Marilyn's letter is proof that she is sane. It is calmly reasoned. It is coherent ant lucid. But I'm sure the staff would have disagreed with my interpretation.
Thanks for the post Mick.