It must be about 3 a.m. I am laid up in this hospital with breast cancer writing about my life. I was married to a doctor, God rests his soul, but men in my days were not fun to be with. I had a depression problem and I believe he was more burdensome than the depression itself.
There was a time when I just had a baby, I became very depressed, and my husband said it would do me well to get fresh air. I, the woman of the times, wanted to get better and I trusted my husband, and had no other way. So he took me out in the country, and I mostly stayed in this beautiful house that had become my prison with one room in particular. It was there that I realized nobody was listening to me, I had become everyone’s burden, and my own burdens were not to be heard of. After all, how could I possibly have any, I was given daily baths and massages, I was not to look after my baby at all. I was feed breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was told not to write; it was most forbidden of it. They believed writing excited a woman too much; such a thing was not to be heard of. In that 1880’s time a woman was to tend to her husband and the house hold.
The room that I stayed in had the most absurd wallpaper. It was yellow, and it some areas it was faded or torn. I despised the wallpaper, but my dear husband said, “My love if I fix the wall paper then it will be something else I will have to fix. So this is part of your therapy. You must get used to it.”
After a while it seemed as if the wallpaper began to reach out at me calling my name. It seemed like a woman was trapped inside the walls. I thought to myself, “I must free her.” And night I would wake up, and I would see her watching me. At first I was afraid, but now it seems as if we have become one. I watch her crawling around out in the yard from time to time desperately looking for freedom. I wanted so bad to free her, but how could I. I wanted to ask her, but how? Maybe she doesn’t want this freedom I believe she so deserves. I could not wait anymore, I desperately tore at the paper, and at last I freed her. I know now she wanted so much to be free. She was so beautiful with her yellow dress and the way she crawled on all fours, free to do as she pleased.
As I lay her in this hospital bed, I have told my story. I am taking chloroform because I know longer want to live with the pain that comes with breast cancer. I have lived my life the best I knew how and suffered so much. I don’t feel I can express the harshness of being a woman in my times. Please don’t feel sorry for me as I take my own life “God forgives me”.