17:08

Real life horror

I'm not one for horror - books or movies. I have an overactive imagination and don't need to dwell on that space. Unfortunately, fact can be worse than fiction and real-life accounts of what can happen to people have the ability to leave you speechless.

A couple of years ago I read an account by Tony Judt, the historian, about his nights. He was suffering from Motor Neurone disease and was unable to move a muscle. These nights he called his 'cockroach' - when every urge to move or itch was impossible and the time interminable

To match this in horror I have been reading Oliver Sach's 'Awakenings'.In it he decribes a woman, 'Rose R', who suffered from encephalitis lethargica which had the effect of locking her in timelessness for 43 years. What was it like? She described it as follows. 'Everything I do is a map of itself. Every part leads into itself. I've got a thought in my mind, and then I see something in it, like a dot on the skyline. It comes nearer and nearer, and then I see what it is - it's just the same thought I was thinking before. And then I see another dot, and another, and so on. Once I get going I can't possibly stop. It's like being caught between mirrors, or echoes, or something.'

The true horror is that suicide was impossible for either Judt or 'Rose R'. Every day was a living nightmare. This is hell on earth - and it's real.
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