With “Listen to the walls talking”, Ixchel Delaporte describes the daily life of the mental hospital of Gironde through the prism of patients suffering from serious mental pathologies. A work that speaks volumes about mental illness, the negative relationship between drugs, and echoes a word we rarely hear.
“I warn you, we may be in for a surprise“. Ixchel Delaporte suspected that something was going on. When he arrived, they were almost all. The heroes of his book: patients, former patients, employees, residents, a bookseller. Six months after his departure from the hospital Cadillac, the author returns to what we call ” the city of madness”. We accompany him. The forty-year-old man planned to meet them at a bookstore.word games”. A place to live where residents, but also HP patients meet. This is also where his book stack is prominently displayed on the shelf. “Hear the walls speak” I just came out.
“The idea was to tell the story of how I encountered this crazy world and how this crazy world affected me.“, says Ixchel Delaporte. The writer began by sitting on a bench in the yard of the organization. And he waited. Full of curiosity, it is also that of others, which he provoked. The writer was going to stay for six months. Cadillac hospital center Léa Rousselin summarized this term used together in one sentence. “If I hadn’t met Ixchel, I probably would have been hospitalized.”
The author lives in the suburbs of Paris. This is his second time visiting our region. In 2018 he published “Grapes of Passion”, a work in which he describes the dangers of workers in the vineyard that made him the winner of the Albert Londres prize.
At that time, Ixchel Delaporte was already giving voice to those we have never heard. “In fact we can draw parallels with the question of mental illnesses”. he confirms. “Because I’m trying to give a voice to the sick. The mentally ill that we really see very little of in the media. I’m definitely in the process of highlighting and speaking to a population that is in blindness.
Patients with serious mental illnesses are admitted to the Cadillac hospital. Some are in standard units. Others live in UMDs, Intensive Care Units. People convicted by the court. Or the patients felt that they were not responsible for the crime. This was the case with Romain Dupuy. He was imprisoned for more than eighteen years in Cadillac, after the murder of a nurse and a caretaker in Pau in 2004.
in “Hear the walls speak“, the author is genuine. He describes the world of mental illness without reproach. The silence he faced speaks for itself. Management and staff give him a little time. Some caregivers will speak, but anonymously.
Eric Garcia agreed to testify in Ixchel Delaporte’s book. He is a facilitator at the Cadillac Customer Center. A place like a valve inside a mental hospital. “I calm down, I make people laugh, I calm down” he said. “Basically, the project was to build other interesting structures such as a restaurant. It is being researched, but at the moment, it is not open.“. Gentleness that makes the hospital a place to focus on care under restrictions.
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In his book “Listening to the walls talking”, Ixchel Delaporte narrates the daily life of the Gironde psychiatric hospital through the prism of patients suffering from serious mental illnesses. A work that speaks volumes about mental illness, the negative relationship of drugs, and provides a voice we rarely hear.
Eric Garcia looks gentle to the guardians. Before becoming an actress, she was a caretaker and then a caregiver. “I know how difficult it is,” he admits. I know the feeling of loneliness that one can experience. When you are a young tutor with many diplomas, and you arrive at a unit where you no longer have the luxury of being a duplicate or having tutoring. , that we no longer have the luxury of learning what the mind is because it’s not marked in the books, well, we’re getting poorer. But we’re still trying to give to others. Someone told me that the vocation of guardians is gone. think so.”
I don’t think you can go to nursing school without having a calling.Eric Garcia
Facilitator at Cadillac Customer Center
Bad relationship with medicine, mental illness resists as possible. The lack of human and financial resources is obvious. Last September, the decision to close the Moreau unit (a project that has since been suspended) led to a labor strike. According to the unions, Cadillac was missing 15 doctors and about fifty nurses. adjustments, due to lack of sufficient staff, recognized byHealth agency of the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Then he defended the policy of connecting networks in various structures of the psychiatric department. The so-called “shared” positions between several psychiatric institutions were assigned to young doctors.
Psychiatric research was described as madness. And many agree that workers are suffering, and so are patients. Serge Bédère is one of the rare guardians who have agreed to speak with Ixchel Delaporte. Maybe because he had just retired. The psychologist worked for more than thirty years at the Cadillac psychiatric hospital. He saw psychology change. And for him, it is not so much a matter of method as the importance of separating treatment from administration. “A hospital is a medical and administrative institution, it only works if there are meetings between people”, he summarizes. A psychologist condemns imprisonment. For him, the whole problem is knowing how to talk to yourself differently.
A problem that Ixchel Delaporte could see. “I realized that the carers had little time to listen,” he says. “A little quiet time. Listen to the sick. And give them this humane time, sometimes informal, time to smoke or drink coffee. That time really, now, counts. It’s money. It’s money.”
Ixchel Delaporte took time, six months. He listened and asked the patients. Insiders and outsiders. Those who have left the hospital and are now living their lives outside the confines of mental illness. This is the case of Christian Orell. Today he is working Mutual aid group (GEM) from Cadillac. A place of exchange for disabled or marginalized people.
“Ixchel Delaporte came to see us at GEM”, He says. “He was looking for material for his book. He asked us questions and it turned out that I was interested in what he wanted to tell me, ask me, etc. I saw him in the sun. So, we hit it off immediately. We saw each other several times. I told him about my trip. It was almost love at first sight, for because we felt that he wanted to see things through to the end.” Christian Orell was one of the first to buy “Hear the Walls Speak”. “He takes a journalistic voice. There’s no romance. He tells it like it is.”
So Christian Orell has been seen and read. He was heard. “He talks about certain diseases, and we really feel more worried.” he agrees. “He talks about it in public. There are still diseases that are taboo. We don’t talk about them because we don’t know about them.”
When we don’t know something, we ignore it, we fear it.Christian Orell, former patient
A sentiment shared by Léa Rousselin. The young woman met Ixel Delaporte while she was hospitalized in Cadillac. “The fact that he is writing a book about the hospital, at least it can make people from outside understand that the Cadillac hospital is not just for crazy people,” he explains. “It comforted me. I said to myself: I will read it in a book. It’s the first time. He told my story. I thought maybe someone would read it and find himself inside.“.