He wasn’t always in the padded room. He once lived a normal life. He had a job, paid his bills, went on dates. He had almost married once….but she left him for someone else years ago.
All that changed 18 months ago.
She was just a child. 12 years old. All she knew was pain. Ever since she was old enough to walk and talk she had been abused. Her Mother was a heroin addict. She didn’t even know what a father was. All she did know is that when a different man came to the house to see Mommy, she would be scolded and told to get lost until Mommy came for her. The men used Mommy and if she came out early they would use her too.
One time a man came over. He gave the child a doll. Kind of a “get lost” gift. It was a rag doll that had seen better days. One eye missing, discolored….ugly. She had never been given a gift before.
The “freak outs” began at work one day. He was in a weekly managers meeting when all if the sudden he started convulsing. Not quite a seizure, more like a jello mold on a table that had been bumped. It stopped almost as quickly as it started.
“What the hell was that? You ok?” the supply manager asked.
” Go see a doctor or something. That’s not normal.” another said.
“Yeah…,I think so. I don’t know what that was.”
His head jerked back and forth. His leg twisted and he grabbed his skull and shrieked.
The staff was horrified. He was sent home for the day. It would be his last day at work.
She loved that ugly doll. It gave her companionship and something to talk to. She would pretend it was her Daddy. They would talk and play. It took her to the place she always wanted to be. She felt safe and happy with her ugly doll.
His moments of calm never lasted long after the first outburst. His arms would flail for no reason. His stomach would knot up and his insides would twist. His hair began to fall out. His ears turned to cauliflower.
Doctors were no help. They could find no logical cause for his condition. He was referred to a psychologist. During their first session she ended up sitting too close and got battered by an illogical arm swing. For her own safety and for his, she requested he be admitted for evaluation at the psyche hospital.
The doll allowed her to get lost without being told to do so. The using of her stopped because she wasn’t around to be used. She locked herself in her room where her Daddy kept her safe from harm. She thought she finally knew what happiness was and she had her ugly doll to thank for it.
That was until the door was kicked in. The ugly doll giver stood in the doorway wearing only underpants.
“Mommy is done for the night, but I’m not. Time to pay up for the present I gave you.”
” My Daddy will protect me from you!” she said as she held up the doll.
“Ha! I’ll show you who’s Daddy.” he lunged at her.
The drugs to calm him did not work. The convulsions continued. The contorting limbs and shaking did not stop. When he wasn’t in seizure mode he just sat and cried.
The doctors said that whatever was happening was causing irreversible damage to his brain. His nerve ending were shot. Unless this got under control he would be going nowhere.
For the staff and other client safety he was place in a padded room and fitted for a strait jacket.
He would just stare at the walls, drool and wait for the next onslaught.
When the doll giver left, she felt completely broken. She now knew happiness was not for her. Pain and despair were her only options. She blamed the ugly doll. She looked at it and no longer felt love for it. Only rage.
“I want you to feel how I feel.” she said to the one eyed toy.
She shook it violently. She smiled an evil smile and said,” I want my Daddy to feel my pain.”
She twisted one leg and pulled its hair.
She carried the ugly doll with her at all times. Every now and again she would look at it and punch it in the stomach. Knock it’s head back and forth. Pull out some of its hair. Squeeze it’s ears till her hands hurt. Just to make herself feel whole.
This worked for a little more than a year.
Then one day she went a whole week without being used. Coincidently, that entire week she didn’t see her Mommy come out of the room.
She just fed herself whatever she could find until there was no more. Then she had to look for Mommy.
She opened the door from the room. The stench hit her. Mommy and some man were dead. They had needles sticking out their arms. She closed the door.
She looked at her doll and smiled a sweet smile. She picked up a box of matches and the man’s lighter fluid and headed out to the backyard.
She threw the doll on the pavement and squirted the fluid all over it.
She looked at the drenched ugly doll and said,”Mommy is gone, so my pain is gone. Your pain will be gone too, Daddy.” she lit the match and dropped it on the doll.
There usually aren’t fire drills at the psyche hospital. For some reason the alarms were wailing.