Friday, 14 March 2008

Time out

When C needs time out from a situation he will go and sit on the toilet. If he needs to distress or unwind that’s where you will find him. No amount of coaxing, or bribing with food will get him off until he is ready. If we are at my brothers house and his 4 children are being particularly over excited with seeing Aunty Casdok, C will hide out in the toilet, I have even given him his lunch there, as I do understand his need for peace. The longest I have left C there is an hour and a half. I certainly wouldn’t leave him much longer than that.

So I was intrigued when I heard this story yesterday;

US authorities are trying to work out why a Kansas woman spent two years on her boyfriend's toilet - so long that by the time he called emergency services her skin had grown around the toilet seat.
When the unnamed 35-year-old Ness City woman's other half finally picked up the phone on 27 February to report that "there was something wrong with his girlfriend", police found her "sitting on the toilet, her sweat pants down to her mid-thigh". She was, according to Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple, "somewhat disoriented", and apparently suffering from atrophied legs.
While she initially said she "didn't need any help, that she was OK and did not want to leave", she was eventually convinced a trip to hospital was in order. Whipple explained: "We pried the toilet seat off with a pry bar and the seat went with her to the hospital. The hospital removed it."
Whipple elaborated: "She was not glued. She was not tied. She was just physically stuck by her body. It is hard to imagine... I still have a hard time imagining it myself."
Investigators were yesterday due to present their report to the county attorney who will decide "whether any charges should be filed against the woman's 36-year-old boyfriend", as ABC puts it.
He reportedly told the authorities he'd taken his bog-bound girlfriend food and water every day, and asked her "to come out of the bathroom". Whipple said: "And her reply would be, 'Maybe tomorrow'. According to him, she did not want to leave the bathroom."
The former privy prisoner is now described as "in fair condition at a hospital in Wichita, about 150 miles southeast of Ness City", but has "refused to cooperate with medical providers or law enforcement investigators".
Police are unsure if the lady has any mental or physical disabilities, but hospital reports claimed she was in a 'fair condition' although she had refused to give medical and law authorities her cooperation.
Neighbour James Ellis said he'd known the woman since she was a child but hadn't seen her for about six years. He explained that she'd "had a tough childhood after her mother died at a young age and apparently was usually kept inside the house as she grew up".
He concluded: "It really doesn't surprise me. What surprises me is somebody wasn't called in a bit earlier."

Many questions spring to mind, so it will be interesting to hear more about this case.

52 comments:

DJ Kirkby said...

Good morning. What I don't understand is why this woman did not die of an overwhelming infection of her pressure sores which she surely must have had. Pressure sores can being to form in as little as 15 minutes under the right conditions which this was.

Chris H said...

That is just so very sad. Poor lady must have a real problem, and a huge one would be her "boyfriend"...!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Is this for real or perhaps a little exaggerated? The woman must have serious psychological problems. Did the boyfriend have another toilet in the house that he could use?

Crystal xx

Elissa - Managing Autism said...

2 YEARS!!!

And he didn't think at anytime before then that perhaps he should do something to help her!?!

A million questions come to mind... but at least she's got some help now.

Meredith said...

Oh wow. I'm also surprised that somebody wasn't called earlier... two years, wow.
BTW, my hiding place is also the toilet - in school, this is the only place where you can have privacy, lock the door, block out crowd chatter and sunlight. Lockable loo doors are the greatest invention of human interieur design ^_^

Mima said...

I can totally understand the need for privacy & quiet that C feels, it must be really nice for him to be able to shut out the world for a while and just have some peace, but to spend 2 years in the loo is just mind blowing!

And like the first commenter said, how could she not have pressure sores sitting on a hard surface like that!

Do you think that she was still in the same clothes that she wore going in? Her boyfriend must also have serious problems not to have called for help sooner.

KAREN said...

I read about this too, and felt very confused. The boyfriend had another toilet he could use. Was he somehow to blame? Did he think he was helping her in some warped way? Clearly the lady needs help. Maybe they both do. Like you said, it'll be interesting to hear more.

Vi said...

Last I heard, he was going to get charged for leaving her there.

A Bishops wife said...

I heard this on the news and found it quite disturbing that he let her sit there for 2 years. She was obviously in some sort of "crisis". She is now physically impared from this. How sad.

Bettina said...

it's very strange isn't it?

Obviously both of them need some kind of help and intervention. She was obviously in some kind of crisis and he obviously did not posses the tools or knowledge to respond appropriately.

very sad.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

How bizarre! BG

Suzy said...

Yes, only in America.

We're a proud bunch we are.

Seriously though, once again it's about people not caring about the mentally ill or abused and no one has the balls to step in.


Love to you and C

Suzy

Flea said...

Y'know, I read this story last night and it immediately sprang to mind as I started reading about C. So glad he doesn't stay there. :)

laughingwolf said...

there was a similar story about a 'huge' woman whose body become part of the couch she was reclining on, for years at a time... her skin fused with the couch material... they had to remove an exterior wall of the house to remove her... by forklift... couch and all

Christy said...

I wrote about this, too. I think both parties need to see psychological help. She for obvious reasons... He needs to because clearly he has issues if it took him 2 years to get her help.

Mrs. C said...

Two years is a bit long (!!!!), but I can sure understand reluctance at calling for "help." I'm thinking of the "help" they'd receive and that alone would keep me from picking up the phone. I think I'd rather push the lady out of the bathroom and be charged with assault, thanks.

Incidentally, with 6 kids at home, I'm trying to teach everyone that if someone isn't dying or bleeding, DON'T bug Mom when she's in the bathroom. Please.

motherx said...

Poor woman! I cant believe that. I do understand Cs need for peace. Z is very much the same. Has to unwind on his own by sharpening pencils. If you talk too much while he is doing this he will say "Close your mouth."

Rosie said...

They both need help dont you think?

J said...

Goodness, that's quite a story. Sounds like the boyfriend may have some difficulties himself.

Maggie May said...

Yes, it was in our paper & I wondered if it could possibly be true. How could you fall asleep on a toilet? You'd think she'd have fallen off before her skin had time to do what ever it did.
They both sound as though they need to be looked after.

Anne said...

When my son was little, extraneous noise would make him scream uncontrollably. No amount of consoling did any good. Removing him from noise was almost impossible, so we removed noise from him, whenever possible.

That worked for about a year, and then we were at a loss. Providing a "quiet place" was not the problem, getting him to routinely GO was the problem.

By seven, after several YEARS of constancy and routine, it finally kicked in for him and he would just GO when the tough got going.

He is a pacer, so we had to provide space for him to be able to pace. Some kids are rockers, some are screamers, some throw tantrums. Our son is a pacer. We'll take the pacing over any of the other behaviors. It worked out well for school, etc.

If more Moms of autistic sons recognized the world from their child's view, I think that they could deal with things better.

Thank God that C has a Mom like you who respects his space and still limits how far is safe for him to go. He is very lucky to have you.

Re: toilet lady - no way that should have gone on as long as it did. Both have serious "problems" and needed an intervention badly.

Get Off My Lawn! said...

Reminds me of hermits living in caves and fasting, coming out with visions and stigmata. I wonder if this woman had any holy experiences?

Genevieve Hinson said...

Wow, what a story. Maybe a couple of days and I would've called. Strange story. Hope it all turns out okay for em.

CrazyCath said...

Sometimes the bathroom is the only plaace to get peace... I think C is very wise, but so is his mum for her careful, safe boundaries.

Re the story - I read it on some one else's blog. I agree they BOTH need some help. I think it is very sad that the first thought of "authorities" is to consider whether they should charge the boyfriend! Yes of course he should have got help earlier, but maybe they should look at why he didn't? Also, what about other people in their lives? The neighbour hadn't seen her in SIX years and called no one. Should he be charged? A very sad tale. It will be interesting to get all the facts (if we ever do).

leslie said...

I can only reiterate what everyone else has said here. I'm stunned! Did she not have any other family or friends who wondered where she was???

Ellee Seymour said...

That's an extraordinary story, I can't believe nobody intervened beforehand.

Omega Mum said...

There has to be an awful lot more to this - doesn't there? Please keep us informed...

Eileen said...

I did not hear about this story yet, but it is so very sad to me. It seems that something is very wrong, mentally/emotionally with both her and the boyfriend. Serious emotional issues, and this clearly shows how there is a serious lack of services/help for people in need. Things like this should just not be allowed to happen, but they do. So very tragic.

As for C, I can understand, why the toilet is a safe place for him. Makes sense to me, and if it makes him feel safe, and it is not causing him harm, good for him. You are so intuned to his needs Casdok. Amazingly so.
XOXOXO

LAA and Family said...

Wow, just when you think you've heard it all!!

My son has been using the bathroom as a hideout when it is time to do his school work! It is about the only room he can get away from everyone.

Punkys Dilemma said...

I heard that yesterday and I couldn't believe my ears. How is that possible to allow anyone to stay in any room,....for 2 years! One hour or two I can understand. Maybe even a day. But 2 yrs is just a bit long, wouldn't you say?? Yikes....

buffalodickdy said...

Gaaaaa!! Is she in Guiness Book of Records?

Momma said...

I heard something about that story, but gee whiz! The part I like is that the authorities don't know if she has any mental disabilities. COME ON!

I just hope she's okay and gets the help she needs. They should do something about the boyfriend, too. After maybe 2 days of that, I would have had someone out there to help her. I hope that never happens to your son!

Peace - D

Jim said...

I read about this in today's paper. I am really wondering what really happened.

Ron said...

We were all just talking about this story at work, earlier in the week.

It's sad, really. I wonder exactly WHAT her childhood was like, that she simply withdrew herself from life?

I'm interested to hear more about what they discover.

Enjoy your weekend, dear lady!

Nicki Mann said...

I heard about that case. It does make sense... Sounds like a very extreme case of that anxiety disorder that prevents people from going out of the house! The bathroom may sound like a gross spot to stay, but think about it... its a small room, and the only room where you can always go to be alone and nobody is allowed to bother you. My best friend, who has three rambunctious children, says she often takes a book into the bathroom and pretends to be going "Number Two" because that is the only way that she can justify taking some much-needed time alone with the door locked each day!

Sweet Irene said...

That's a very odd tale, isn't it. Much more information would be needed to make any sort judgment about it. God only knows what sort of mental condition she and her boyfriend are in. I hope they get all the help they need and that the media will not haunt them too much.

Angela said...

Ouch
That is awful. I can't even think of howI would stay in one place for that long.
Hope something gets worked out

Melissa said...

This is such an odd, odd story. I think that there is likely a lot more that we don't know. Like someone else mentioned, how did she not get infected sores? Just perplexing!

Jen said...

The last update that I saw (Friday night), said that the Sheriff's office was going to recommend that charges be laid against the boyfriend. I'm all for that- I can't imagine why he wouldn't have called SOMEONE after the first couple of days.

That's great that C has found a way, and a place, to calm himself (as inconvenient as it might be at times if you're in a one-bathroom place!) One of the things that's really been encouraging me over the past year with my daughter is that she's recognizing constructive ways to calm herself when she needs to. For years we've run the gamut of sensory calming techniques, but it's so encouraging to see her not only identifying when she needs calming, but which is going to be the best technique to do it for her. She still has times when she's so wound up that she can't identify her feelings or participate in the choices, but we're getting there!

Bess said...

I would suggest the possibility that someone, somewhere - whether in the school system (when they were both children) or disability community (various agencies) had to know something early on was off or off-kilter, and that neither of these 2 individuals ever received the ongoing assistance and supports that they needed. I'm inclined to believe that someone "dropped the ball" - whether professionals or family/friends. I couldn't possible "judge" anyone's actions until I knew the full history of why this all came to what it did.

monsoon-dreams said...

shocked to read this story,casdok.they both need help,i think.God help them.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Clearly the poor woman must have been in distress mentally to not want to leave the shelter of the toilet. How on earth did she survive the sheer boredom of being there 24 hours a day for two years. Perhaps also her other half was in distress mentally for just leaving her there. A truly unimaginable situation.

Marla said...

Unbelievable. Questions sure do come to mind!

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I know I have retreated to the bathroom a few times for solitude but that is amazing!

Eagles' Wings said...

I can understand your son, C's desire to have peace and only get that in the toilet. I sometimes retreat to the toilet for some too... so does my elder son, plus a book :-)

andrea said...

No way! Is this real? If it is, this phrase blows my mind: "...unsure if the lady has any mental or physical disabilities..." Looks from here like her mental disability (or illness)has given her a physical disability.

momto4kidsny said...

I think they both have problems and his is why it took so long for him to call for help. What I can't grasp though is why no one else around thought to go and check on them. Someone else in her life had to have thought something was amiss with her after so long.
I'm stunned to say the least.

It's great that C knows when and where he can go to find peace. And it's good that you set limits for how long he can stay there.
My son Curtis is still in the learning phase in finding his quiet place. He keeps changing it on me!

vivavavoom said...

how sad....and why did the boyfriend wait 2 years??? something doesn't seem right...aside from the story itself.

Club 166 said...

Oops! I didn't notice that you had already blogged on this when I wrote my post today.

I think that we (as a society) revert too quickly to legal sanctions when people are too "weird", rather than looking at how we can properly support them.

Joe

Jen P said...

That's just freaky

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Kelly said...

I can soooo relate to wanting a place where you are guaranteed peace and quiet!

It sounds really weird about that lady - and although we can wonder why the boyfriend didn't react sooner, I think charging him for it is ridiculous! Without knowing anything more, it he was at a loss to know what to do, and although we might have called someone earlier, the fact he didn't isn't any sort of crime I can think of. I think help and support and understanding would be far more important than making him a criminal. She was afterall, an adult.
Good luck to them both - and yes, if there is an update, I'd be curious. :)