Daphni, Greece. I was sitting in my office with the computer open, when a patient enters to ask for the medicine he had forgotten to take. The picture of a dead boy on a beach shows on the screen and the conversation that is below follows:
- What’s that?
- A child
- Why isn’t someone picking him up? It will drown.
- It has drowned
- Where’s his mother?
- I don’t know
- She should be put in jail. She didn’t take care of the child
- It’s not the mother’s fault. She put him in a boat to save him from war but those boats have no destination port
- Why don’t they have a destination port?
- Because the countries who aren’t in war don’t want them
- So, refugees?
- Listen Maria…
- John, my name is not Maria
- It doesn’t matter. Your name is random and it’s by coincidence that you don’t live in a country that’s in war. Those who don’t want the refugees are cursed
- They won’t change
- Earth doesn’t belong to anyone. The people didn’t give a land for this child to walk on but earth gave him a spot to die….the soil makes no discriminations….the soil accepts everyone….whites, blacks, yellows…everyone
- You believe he’s resting now?
- Of course! He sleeps on his belly so not to see people
- Go to your bed and get some rest
- Don’t send me away when we’re discussing
- I don’t want to discuss further
- If you can’t take it anymore, go to the PM and tell him that we want the refugees and that he should bring them here. We have space. I’ll lie near the wall and then there’ll be enough space for one more person to lie in my bed. And the food is more than enough. It suffices fo reveryone. This is what you should tell him. Children aren’t supposed to die. Will you tell him?
- I can’t tell the PM but I will tell lots of people in a while
- Will you give a speech?
- Something like that!
- Tell people they should love children
- I’ll tell them
- And bring me my medicine
He’s in his bed, crying…he stopped asking for his medicine……he’s lying as close as possible to the wall and mumbles…why did I tell her just one? If I get a bit closer to the wall, two more people can lie in my bed….
Conversation with a psychiatric patient…
Ilda Dali, Nurse at Daphni Psychiatric Hospital
Translated by Christina Baseos