About Off Her Rocker

Off Her Rocker was born during my writer’s residency at the former Minnesota State Hospital/ Asylum in Fergus Falls, also known as The Kirkbride.

Off Her Rocker is about resilience and the power and beauty of darkness and rebirth. Off Her Rocker does not romanticize or glorify suffering,  but instead appreciates and embraces what we have been through and what we have overcome.   Dark, light, and shades in between.

From where I sit, silence, shame, and stigma surrounding mental illness prevail.   We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. Mainstream narratives continue depicting us with mental health issues in stereotypical, cliche, and harmful ways. It’s time for us with mental health issues to reclaim our own stories. Less haunting, more healing.

Specifically- Off Her Rocker is a launching point and platform for my creative nonfiction essays and research for my MFA thesis. This blog blends my creative nonfiction writing about my experiences in rehab/ mental health facilities as both a patient and social worker with my archival research at the state asylum library, other seminal mental health texts, psychology texts, and literary texts that discuss mental health. You can guarantee that each post will be thoroughly researched and cited to the best of my ability.

A generous thank you to the folks at Springboard for the Arts for this opportunity. You may find my other writing at http://www.tessatorgeson.com or contact me at tessa.torgeson@gmail.com.