My name is Carol Picton (maiden name: Wood) and I lived in Woodlands Institute (center block) in New Westminster.
My friend Sandy is helping me write this, because I am still very nervous and afraid of the public world, even though I remember not being scared of the world before my placement into Woodlands Institution.
I stay inside my home where I feel safe, I only go outside after my husband coaxes me, maybe two to three times a month and only for very short periods.
I am afraid to speak much about the scary things I lived with and deal with the tortured memories still today. The painful screams and cries while hearing someone being slapped and beaten were routine sounds inside.
Freezing cold water baths that many of us, including men, had to share the same tub water, over and over even when the water turned a pinky red color . being hungry . yelled at . called names: idiot, retard. This was my life while living beyond the Woodlands walls.
I am writing this before the demolition of the Woodlands Centre Block tower; the building I survived in will finally be gone this Tuesday.
I am writing my personal thank you and warm appreciation to Mayor Wayne Wright's goal to support me and the other survivors, by pushing to have the tower gone. I think you have a very warm heart and really care about us. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I would hug you if I could, for truly helping us heal, mayor.
Carol Picton, New Westminster