I’ve written before about social media and the complete lack of reality of so-called recovery accounts. Of all of them, the most exasperating is a close friend of L’s. In many ways, H is a lovely young woman, but one who seems determined to be “iller” than other people. She does not have anorexia, but claims to the world she does, posting pictures of the food she eats without difficulty and telling people how hard it was. L and I speak of this often and it infuriates her, that someone would make up an eating disorder in this way. She mimics the tone of the posts, mockingly and yet when I ask her why no one calls her out on this, she says that this would be met with fury because no one wants to upset H. Most people see through it and some friends have drifted away. When I visit L she asks to look at H’s Instagram and usually I read it to her and she snarls. Last night I looked myself. There is a picture of our local psychiatric hospital and the entrance sign, naming it clearly. Underneath is this text
Visited E who has been sectioned in (Name) Hospital. Another patient set my hair on fire and a man graphically described how he would rape me. Am so determined to get better as a result. Had a great afternoon with the Year 7s helping them with their maths. I felt great.
I am open mouthed. There are two possibilities. One – this is true and a hospital has allowed a friend/acquaintance to visit someone on a secure unit and during this period they have been subject to two assaults, a patient has the means of lighting hair and no restraint was used. I know that either every rule in the book has been broken, or Option Two: This is a lie. I post a comment with care. I tell H this is outrageous and a report should be made. As I know senior staff at the hospital I will do this.
Suddenly my phone is filled with angry texts from H. Why did I interfere? She is SO annoyed with me. Who do I think I am? I assure her this is concern and she tells me the police were involved and everything is fine. She continues to send angry, abusive texts until I tell her to grow up and stop. Which she does. I have my answer it seems. Option Two: A Lie. Because my comment was so couched in concern for her, a simple Don’t Worry would suffice. But I have done what no one else would do, allow facts to burst her bubble of fantasy and delusion. But what makes me so angry is: How dare she lie and in doing so portray psychiatric patients as violent rapists and nothing more than but part players in her drama? What kind of egotist does this. L phones me – H has said they can’t be friends any more because of me. That’s sensitive of her. But L and I laugh and I say she deserves better. That H seems in league with Ed, to control and manipulate her and keep her ill, because thus makes her interesting. I didn’t mean to cause trouble, but if I’ve assisted in helping L to see how destructive her friendship is, it may well be for the best.