Le jardin des fantômes
L’univers méconnu des schizophrènes
LES EDITIONS de L’HOMME
The Ghost Garden
Inside the Lives of Schizophrenia’s Feared and Forgotten
Random House of Canada
It all started when...
The Ghost Garden began quite accidently. I did not have intentions to write a book about schizophrenia. Rather, in October of 2009, as a door opened and then shut behind me with a resounding thud, I unexpectedly found myself face to face with a group of highly misunderstood people—those with extreme psychiatric illnesses. In my case the door was an elevator that requires a special key to gain access. Not being able to leave was unique to my experience as a hospital visitor. My heart was thumping as I stepped into a hallway to see listless men and women in various states of undress. Grooming was non-existent. I heard slippers whispering to the linoleum, heard murmurs of private conversations some were having with themselves, felt the heat of their suspicious eyes. That was my first day as a volunteer on a locked ward. I was meeting Camilla for the first time, a woman whose background was simply described as ‘troubled.’ I wore a zebra print cotton dress and Camilla was wearing a zebra print cotton top. She gave me a once over before our eyes locked, a gaze that burned a hole right through my scalp. It was an auspicious reckoning that would ultimately shift my purpose. We became friends from that afternoon until the hour of her death, a relationship that altered us both.