Update on Nia’s story:
(Queasy hat-tip to R. Mildred, who noticed this before I did)
(Note: contains some sexual-violence triggers)
I’m ashamed to say I missed this the first time ’round, since I was reading more for the passages on the medication and its side effects, but it seems as though Arthur Linklater and Robert Drummond–not to mention Nia’s care providers–have their priorities twisted in more ways than one:
Nia spent the days isolated in her room. The other young people in the unit found her intriguing. One boy of similar age who had been admitted with mania became instantly infatuated with her. His adolescent urges and manic disinhibition were a fertile mix and the staff found him trying every trick in the book to get into her bedroom. It’s remarkable what can be contrived, even in a locked ward. One night, they were found in bed together. Nia was put on one-to-one observation.
…I’m sorry, gentlemen, what do you mean to say here? I don’t think it’s come out quite right. Because I read this and it seems a little unclear, a little equivocal, a little misleading. There’s this word lurking between the lines, I wish I could remember it, it’s on the tip of my tongue, starts with “r” and rhymes with, I can’t believe you assholes would wail and gnash your teeth over some pudge on a teenage girl and then turn around and softpedal RAPE.
That’s the one! Rape. Yes, rape. She was raped. He raped her. This was rape. Attempted rape, maybe; “in bed together” is a little vague. (I’m sure that wasn’t intentional.) You remember: the word we use to describe some guy forcing himself on a woman, carnal knowledge without her consent and all that?
“Sexual assault” would have worked too, really. “Stalking” and “harassment” would have been gravy. “Criminal negligence,” while you’ve got your notepad out. We’re not picky over here in feministland.
Let’s show our work, shall we? You’ve provided such a florid description of her madness. It’d be a shame to waste it now that we’re trying to talk about what actually happened.
We’ve got this girl, Nia. According to you, she’s paranoid, withdrawn, and completely out of touch with reality:
A railway line ran a few hundred yards past the bottom of their garden, far enough away for the family to ignore it. Nevertheless, Nia said she could hear people talking about her inside the painted steel carriages. In the clank of heavy rolling stock she could pick out snatches of conversations about her—derogatory insinuations that crept into her room through the plastic veneer of the double-glazing. She also told him that she had seen things on television. The newsreaders had begun looking at her. In the corners of their eyes she began to read signs. They were sending her messages; messages that linked up with the voices on the trains.
And we’ve got this guy who seems very insistent:
One boy of similar age who had been admitted with mania became instantly infatuated with her. His adolescent urges and manic disinhibition were a fertile mix and the staff found him trying every trick in the book to get into her bedroom.
So he’s not stable. He’s doing everything in his power to assault this girl. She’s withdrawn and terrified and suffering. The staff was completely aware of what was going on, and had plenty of warning. Do you think there was anyone at the hospital who had experience with restraining people intent on harming themselves or others?
But hey, maybe it was consensual. Two crazy kids locked up together, it could happen, right?
This one needs a little editing, too:
In fact she got worse. She wouldn’t talk to the staff and her meals were brought to her room. For hours on end she lay with her head under the pillow, the radio quietly on. The clinical team was now faced with the difficult decision of which medication to prescribe.
Huh. In the article, it seems like this happens after the wacky mishap where the other patient snuck into her room at night and forced himself on her. But you don’t make it very clear. I’m confused. Do you think that Nia getting markedly more depressed and withdrawn might have something to do with the rape, or not? I think you need to flesh this out a little.
Okay, so: nothing, but nothing, is worse than getting fat. You know, if she is actually abnormally sanguine about her descent into lumpenness, I think I’ve found a possible explanation.
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