Saturday, August 18, 2012

How I Stopped a Stalker

There's one in every hospital psych ward. It's the person crazier than you who drives everyone else nuts.

In my case it was Amber. She was very unstable and experiencing a lot of psychosis. She would eat any food she could find, so at meals we had to guard what we had very carefully. The ward fridge, which would normally hold light snacks for the patients, was empty - staff couldn't stock it because Amber would just eat it all. She was also bigger than me and mean, like a menacing rottweiler. And she fixated on me.

She would follow me up and down the hallway (walking up and down is the only way to get exercise when you are locked in a ward - they don't let you outside). At meals she would stare at me. When I went to the TV room, she would come - and change the channel I was watching.

The nurses would try to intervene, but didn't have a lot of time to help. I had to think of something - something I could do that would solve the problem, but wouldn't get me put into seclusion.

I found out that she was religious. Extremely religious.

There is a magic trick I learned a long time ago. You take an empty styrofoam cup (we drank out of them at mealtimes at the hospital), and discretely punch your thumb through the back, like this:

Then you pretend to drink out of it. I waited until Amber sat down and started staring at me, like I was her meal. I pretended to take a couple of sips. Then I waved to her, and made the cup levitate, like this:

She screamed, "You are doing the work of the devil!!! You are evil!!!" and ran out of the room.

After that, she avoided me.

And I finally got to watch the TV shows that I wanted.

Mental note: Learn magic tricks. You never know when you will need one.


Dana said...

I'm so glad that worked out! It could have gone horribly wrong. :)

D'Arcy said...

Absolutely! But living 24/7 with a person like that makes you pretty desperate. About a week after that when she was more lucid, we actually had some pleasant conversations, so it resolved pretty nicely!

taowalker said...

Magic to stop a it.