This is my favorite psych ward story…..
At the tail end of a long shift, I was sitting in the nurses station when I heard a blood curdling scream. Leaping out of my chair, I raced into the hallway where I found one of the nurses pointing at an open patient door. She was as white as a ghost.
“In there!” she screamed. “In there!”
In my fifteen odd years working with psychiatric cases I had seen people hang themselves, slit open their veins, bash their heads into walls, savagely assault people, eat their own feces and even came across a couple of dead bodies. As I crossed the door’s threshold my psychological force field snapped into life – ready to shield me from trauma and allow my brain to deal with whatever crisis was coming. But the room was empty.
Seeing nothing, my first thought was we had a suicide in the bathroom. But before I pressed to the far end of the room I had to clear my six o’ clock. The doors to the patients’ rooms opened inwards and sometimes they’d hide behind them. When entering a room you never wanted to let a patient get behind you and trap you inside. That happened to me once and I had to fight my way out – not an experience I wished to repeat. So, I partially closed the door and found what all the screaming was all about.
Instead of a dead body, cut up patient or someone waiting to pounce, I found a naked and pretty young woman on her knees giving a blowjob to an equally naked young man. And when I say blowjob, I’m talking a world class full on HD porn quality hummer. My first thought was, “Man, that girl knows what she’s doing.”
“Make them stop!” the nurse yelled. “Make them stop.”
“I don’t remember reading about this in the manual,” I said.
“Make them stop!”
Sexual activity between patients is not allowed but, let’s be honest, it’s inevitable. Coop up people with impulse control problems and varying degrees of cognitive ability and this stuff’s going to er…pop up. But since mental illness can affect a person’s ability to give proper consent, you must prevent said activity or stop it when it happens. But just imagine you’re getting it on with your honey when a middle-aged guy bursts into the room and tells you to cut it out. You wouldn’t be happy.
Taking a deep breath, I said the first words that came to mind. “Young lady,” I said. “You have to stop what you’re doing right now.”
Without missing a beat, the girl popped the guy’s penis out of her mouth and looked at me with a wicked grin. “Don’t call me young lady,” she said. Then she got back down to business. Did I already mention she really knew what she was doing?
Standing in the room I felt a cascade of emotions wash over me – embarrassment, powerlessness, anger and yes, sexual arousal. But there was also something stagey about the whole affair, as if the young woman was putting on a show to elicit the very emotions I was feeling.
I already knew the woman was seductive and manipulative from my previous encounters with her. That was part and parcel of her illness. But I also knew that, earlier in the day, the psychiatrist had extended her commitment another two weeks. This wasn’t this patient’s first hospitalization. She understood how psych wards worked. She knew the staff would catch hell for what was happening. The patient was getting her revenge.
I turned my attention to the young man on the receiving end of the girl’s attention. He was so blissed out I don’t think he knew I was there – but if there was going to be trouble he’d be the one to watch. Keeping my eyes on him, I placed my hands gently on the girl’s shoulders and gingerly pulled her backwards. The seal was broken.
By this time reinforcements had arrived. “You’ve made your point, miss,” I said to the girl, standing her up. “Time to go.” Then I propelled her out the door and into the waiting arms of a nurse with a blanket.
“Yeah, baby,” the girl, said. “You liked watching, didn’t you?”
Ignoring her, I began talking to the young man, prepared for him to explode into a blue-balling rage. “Sorry to stop the fun,” I said. “But we don’t allow that here.”
“It’s all good, man,” the kid said. “I got mine.” Then the boy got dressed and the girl ended up going into the seclusion room. Walking into the staff lounge, another nurse cornered me, ranting breathlessly.
“Can you believe that?” she rasped. “Unbelievable!”
“I’m just glad it wasn’t a suicide,” I said.
“Did he come?” she asked feverishly. “Did he cum in her mouth?”
“Ah…I didn’t look that closely.”
“I was more worried about his fists that his penis.”
“Why would you be worried about that?” she said. I looked at her balefully.
“Disgusting,” the nurse said, shaking. “Disgusting.” I thought about explaining the concept of “fear is the wish” to her but thought better of it.
Of course, there was hell to pay. The charge nurse berated us for letting it happen, there were reams of paperwork to fill out and some poor slob had to tell corporate what happened. Both patients were placed on 1:1 arm’s length eye contact – meaning staff had to be standing next to them for the rest of the night, which played hell with the staffing numbers. I shook my head. The fellatrix’s little show had produced its desired effect.
“Jesus,” the night nurse said when he came on shift. “What the hell?”
“It was only a blowjob,” I said.
“And you had to pull her off him?” I shrugged.
“Dude, that’s some classic shit. You totally earned your money tonight.”
When I finally got home I tossed my clothes in the hamper, took a shower, changed into my jammies and poured myself a drink.
“So how was your day?” my wife asked when I sat next to her on the couch. I grinned.