St. Paul Woman Claims She Hasn't Eaten, Drunk Anything For 7 Years
ST. PAUL, Minn.— A 44-year-old, bob-haired St. Paul housewife, who "knows the world will not believe me," averred today she has taken neither food nor drink for seven years.
Strong enough to cook and do the housework for her husband and son, Mrs. Martha Nasch sat mending socks in the front room of her little home at 642 Half avenue as she stolidly maintained, under questioning of a reporter, that she has not eaten or drunk since 1927.
Across the room sat her husband, Louis J. Nasch, 55-year-old department store painter, who says he has not seen his wife eat or drink since July 29. The husband notified newspaper men of his wife's condition because "I do not want people to think I am starving my wife."
Twelve-year-old Robert Nasch, a student in Theodore Roosevelt junior high school, has, his parents said, smiling, "been telling every one that my mom doesn't eat or drink anything."
Although unable to explain completely what she describes as "my supernatural condition," Mrs. Nasch is willing to undergo a test under constant surveillance to prove her fasting claims.
"Place me under constant watch for any length of time," she said, "and I can prove that I do not need food or water. Let the test run six months if necessary."
Mrs. Nasch contends that when she first observed a change in her life she consulted a St. Paul physician. The result was confinement in the State Insane hospital at St. Peter.
"Somehow the world was not the same," she said. "My body felt and still feels as though it were petrified. I could not eat or drink. I did not want it, although I continued to get meals for my family.
"The doctor told me I had a case of nerves," she continued, "and because I refused to eat I was sent to St. Peter. They thought I was insane, yet they told me I was normal in every other way. I read books, wrote and drew pictures. I hid or threw away the food brought me."
While in the hospital Mrs. Nasch sought through scientific books available to find some explanation of her condition.
"I found a plausible explanation in the Bible," she maintained, "although I never had paid much attention to the Bible up to that time. In the Old Testament I found this: 'They shall see food, but not eat. It shall be of wormwood. They shall see water, but not drink. It shall be as gall.' That describes perfectly my condition, but I cannot understand why this curse should be visited on me."
Posted on Fri Mar 07, 2014
(Also hasn't used the toilet)
She won't go public for the same reason.
Was the name of your father Ralph, not Robert? The newspaper accounts from the 30s said 'Robert' but I see that 'Ralph' is listed in the later census info.
To Curator, yes, they misidentified Ralph as Robert. He has no memory of being interviewed, and he's mystified how the neighbor girl knew anything about this. He was only 6 when his mom was institutionalized. We did a records search for St. Peters and could only obtain an admittance and release card for Martha, but no medical records. Exact diagnosis remains unclear and mystifying. It's possible that during that time, the medical records were kept all in one book. However, it indicates she tried to escape twice from St. Peters and was caught.
The "Women of Asylum" book is a very compelling insight into what those institutions and years were like....some better than others. Women, particularly, were often confined unwillingly, on simply a husband and dr.'s orders. Reasons cited were "hysteria," or religious disputes with your family (therefore you must be crazy). I suspect that "hysteria" may be closer to untreated menopause symptoms....and interestingly, Martha had some undisclosed surgery at age 38 and then was admitted to St. Peter's at the age of 39. Medical treatment at the hand of institutional doctors for women was harrowing during that time.
If anyone else runs across any other info, articles, resources, please share! Thanks.
By the way, Cotard Syndrome was featured on an episode of "Black Box," oddly enough.
contrary to the knowledge we have been taught to accept and believe as factual it could be totally true that your grandmother had indeed went without food or drink for the time frame spoken of. why do ppl find it so hard to believe that life can be sustained without the aid of external input. what is alive inside each of us is more real, powerful and life sustaining than whats around you.
that's not even speaking from a religious stand point but a energy stand point. all things around you once existed within you. they are all a manifestation of thought. now we need those manifestations to survive?
no we don't i totally believe this to be possible. but i also believe in mind over matter though, so.... lol, i'm a different type of thinker.