My aunt, G, is schizophrenic. Recently, her long-time partner died. Since then, she's been doing ok. Better than that, actually. My mom has been talking to her a lot more recently and commented that G sounded so clear—-not foggy or slurry, not meandering or incoherent. She sounded like she did in high school, before she began showing symptoms of the disease, when my mom and her sister G were close, best friends.

This weekend, we got a call that G reported she'd been raped. Who raped her changed frequently—-her dead father, her brother, her dead partner, a childhood friend, etc. Then it was a 6 foot tall man. She told my aunt M that she'd been avoiding calling her because she thought M would be disappointed. M called her two daughters (my cousins) who immediately went to G's apartment, called the police, and took her to the hospital. The spent all day with her.

The consistency in her story is this: She was going to meet someone but got on the wrong bus. When she got off, she was in front of a bar. A group of drunk men started harassing her, and one followed her home. She let him in and gave him a glass of ice water—-it seemed like she thought if she was nice to him, he might leave. Then he raped her.

The rape exam suggested that she'd had sex recently, probably, but since it was done several days after she says it happened, there wasn't much. Her vagina was red, which only suggests sex took place, not whether or not it was consensual.

For lack of better words, she was out of it. Not tracking well. Not making sense. Yelling at the nurses: "And you're not going to shave my legs THIS TIME!" My cousins were both heartbroken about the whole thing, although there were occasions to laugh. During the physical exam, they left the room and went across the street to a bar.

The police have the man's name and number, the glass he drank out of (she hadn't moved or washed it during the in-between time, so they took it for evidence and to get prints), and are pursuing an investigation.

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Because my aunt was so unwell as a result of everything, they admitted her to the psych ward on a 72-hour hold. My mom called, and despite protocol and rules, was able to get through to G (I think a nurse made a mistake and was later reprimanded, because family who called after weren't allowed through). G greeted my mom by saying "Oh HI! Bizzy bizzy bunny Lizzy, how ARE you?"

"I'm well, G. How are you doing?"

"Oh, I'm ok. I cut my leg shaving and went a little kookoo, so I'm here now. But I like this place. They're nice." She's been to this hospital psych ward before—-she does actually like it.

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"That's good."

Then, G told my mom if her husband (my dad) doesn't treat her right, G will come and punch him in the face. "G, penguin's father and I have been divorced for over 20 years. We're good friends."

"Oh, that's right! You're divorced. Are you depressed about that?"

"Well, not anymore. I was sad about it, but that was a long time ago," said my mom.

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"Are you sure? Maybe you need therapy."

The conversation remained very weird.

Word is, they're going to try and commit G to the psych ward for a longer stay than 72 hours. Even after she's released, she'll probably have to go to a group home. Our family would like that. She lives alone right now, and it can be problematic. Her landlord, knowing her condition, disconnected the gas years ago because she'd forget to turn it off. But she'd probably do better in a group home.

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I don't really know if I have a question, or need support, or anything. I just wanted her story out there. It must be incredible to live in her mind—-both the good and the bad. I can't imagine. She's had so much heartbreak in her life—-children taken away, husbands who've died in her arms, abuse, isolation, and various kinds of treatments and medications. Behind what people label as crazy is a person with some mixed-up thoughts, through no fault of her own.

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