Most psychiatric staff workers are female. It is a woman’s way to try to appease this man-mountain. He comes lumbering at you; you keep telling him no, and he keeps coming. The usual female reaction is to try to make it seem as if they hadn’t tried to stop him, as if it is all right for him to keep coming. At a primitive, primordial level, as this huge male closes on her, what a woman sees is rape. You do not try to confront a rapist who is four times your size. You acquiesce to whatever small demands he makes in order to protect yourself from the big demand. Eddie cannot be stopped verbally, and no woman can stop him physically.
One male staff member, Michael, is Eddie’s height, but half his weight. Michael laughs derisively at the problem of Eddie, saying, “I picked him up and threw him out of the nurse’s station once myself.” A man can; few do. Al has the same derisive attitude about Eddie.
Al is a patient who lists the prisons where he has done hard time, and notes that he and the Son of Sam had the same therapist. Al, not surprisingly, suffers from an aggression disorder. He takes an elephant-sized dose of Thorazine—900 mg. at a pop. He explains that he has “OC” after his name—Organized Crime—which means that if he gets busted for anything else, he will automatically get sent up for more hard time.
Al has a solution for Eddie: prison with the lifers. Men doing ninety years to life in prison care about very little—but they do care about keeping their territory tidy. They would not put up with Eddie’s bad manners. It is common for the prison warden to put ill-behaved youngsters into cells with older men who can teach them proper behavior. Eddie, Al notes with annoyance, is nothing, not a threat at all.
To men—who dare to stand up to him—Eddie is not a threat, but most men do not stand up to Eddie; they placate him. To women, Eddie is a threat. He repeatedly harasses women when no staff are present.
On Sunday, he got me. On Monday, he got Tam, then Cindy. All three times, he harassed us when no staff members were present. When we, the women, cried out then the staff punished us. All three of us, at three different times, were heard to cry, “But I didn’t do anything! It’s not my fault!” Do you know what it feels like to be innocent, and punished instead of protected? I knew a man who got sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He went crazy.
Eddie has learned only one thing: he’s learned how to manipulate the system so that he goes into psychiatric care instead of prison. He is not six years old; he is a man. When is the system going to protect the innocent? Eddie has no capacity for insight; only strict behavior management over a long period of time will make him a person who safely can remain in society. He does not have a psychiatric illness; he has a behavior problem. When is the staff going to do its job and stay on the floor where the action is? When are the cowards who work at CPEP going to deal with the problem?
The adolescent bull elephant keeps harassing the rhinos. He’s going to do it until he kills someone. When is the system going to get the guts to deal with it? Send him to prison. He’s not sick. He’s a bully who is manipulating the system.