Padded Walls

Another fine fanfic brought you by Angelinhel

kckli@yahoo.com

Disclaimer: Daria, all related characters and whatnot are the property of MTV/Viacom. Now you can't sue me, so there. Neener, neener. Three dialogue sections are quoted from the episodes "The Invitation ", "Monster" and "Sappy Anniversary". I'm sure you can figure out which ones they are.

Feel free to reproduce, post, display in your dreary cubicle, just put my name and email on it!

Summary: Ever wonder why Quinn can't remember Jaime's name? Why she really started calling Daria her cousin? Why Tiffany is so slow? Stacy so suggestible? Or the truth behind why Quinn loves to have guys at her feet?

Daria opened the door to Quinn's room, Helen was right behind her.

"How is she?" Helen asked in a tired, dead sort of voice.

"The usual. She had a date every night this week. And of course the 3 Js, as we call them, are always around. The Fashion Club meetings... " Daria replied. She pitied Helen, having a daughter like Quinn was no easy task.

"Nothing new?"

"Well, there are a few new names added to the social roster." Daria answered.

"Really? Is that good?" Helen sounded hopeful. Daria hated to crush that hope.

"I'm afraid not. It's most likely a sign she's going to remain as she is. She doesn't seem to want to give up the image she's created."

Helen looked at her daughter lying on the bed and a single tear ran down her cheek.

"Muh-oooom! I have to go that party! Sandi said she's going to wear her new over-the-knee knee socks and a new suede skirt and if I don't go then Bryan will ask her to the party next weekend and I'll have to go with Jordan and his parents said he can't drive the Lexus anymore, and it's not like he wrecked it, it was just a scratch and if he had gone the way I told him he wouldn't have hit that bush on that disgusting dirt road and then I could go with him but now that he's driving a Honda, and I just can't mother, I just can't!"

Quinn briefly pauses in her tirade to take a breath and gauge how much more it would take to get her mom to give in. She is momentarily thwarted. Momentarily.

Helen's cell phone rings, "Hellooo? Eric!" Helen walks off discussing her most recent case, but is stopped by the continuation of Quinn's whining. "Oh, all right Quinn! You can go, but you have to be home by 10." Helen says, exasperated.

"Midnight."

"Eleven."

"Eleven-thirty."

"Done."

"Done."

"Hey, Quinn, can I carry your books?" begged Jeffy. "Hey, Quinn, can I carry your... pencil?" Joey wasn't about to let Jeffy get all the attention. "Hey, Quinn, can I carry your, uh, um... got anything else?" asked Jaime, he was too late, he thought, there's nothing left. "A hair scrunchie?" Quinn loved that they fell all over themselves for her.

"Great!" "Don't hurt yourself with that scrunchie." Daria said. Quinn ignored her. "Is that your sister?" asked Jaime "Don't pry, Joey." Quinn said dismissively. "I'm Jamie." "Whatever." It's not like it mattered, Quinn thought to herself.

"Are your cousin and her friend going to follow us everywhere we go?" Sandi asked in a petulant voice. "I told you, just ignore them." Quinn repeated. "You always say that about them, but they don't usually have a camera." Tiffany said in a slow, vacant voice. "It's a little project that I got um, forced into. By the way, which do you think is my best side?" Quinn asked the boy she had gotten to give them a ride to the pizza place. "They're both good." Zachary replied eagerly. "I know, but this side has my better dimples. Um, guy? Would you find out if they have those cheese less pizzas?" "Sure! And, um, it's Zachary". "Why did you invite that guy?" Sandi demanded "I thought you were going steady with Larry this week." Tiffany barely managed to keep up with the current conversation. "Larry totaled his car. Zachary's got his Mom's car." "You're so smart Quinn. You always think ahead," gushed Stacy.

"These are for Quinn." Said the delivery boy, handing flowers to Daria, "You must be Daria." He extends his hand for a tip. "Hmm... " She looks at his hand. "It says here that people keep closing doors in your face." "Hey, do you think your sister might want to go out with... " Daria closes the door, cutting him off, and walks into the kitchen, where Quinn is putting more flowers into a vase. "Hmm...lots of flowers. And chocolates. Did you come down with a debilitating illness and forget to share the good news?" Quinn looks at Daria exasperated, "Daria, it's not like I ask guys to buy me presents. I merely suggest." Daria reaches for the cards. "Daria! That's personal!" Quinn picks up the cards and reads them aloud. "Happy one year since you borrowed a pen from me. Love, Joey. I'll always remember the day you first asked me to get you a soda. Love, Jeffy. These flowers should be twice as big as Jeffy's because I paid twice as much. Love... I can't seem to make out this handwriting. "

"Joey, Jeffy, Jameel." Quinn greeted the three Js. "It's Jaime!" "Whatever."

Helen was caught up in memories of Quinn. How had it all gone so wrong? She knew. It was her fault. No, wait, it wasn't, not really. It was her husband's fault. Damn him. Look what he's done to her! Helen choked back a sob and turned to Daria.

"We've made some conclusions after observing Quinn for the past few weeks." Daria led Helen to a vacant room. "Please sit." She gestured to an empty chair.

Helen sat, afraid yet relieved to finally hear some answers, even though she knew it wouldn't be good news. Somehow, she had known that from the beginning. She looked at Daria. Dr. Griffin actually, she thought, but by now they were on a first-name basis. Quinn could've been a doctor, she reflected, noticing the dark-haired woman sitting across from her. Still fairly young, Daria Griffin was pretty, long black hair, sharp but still feminine features. If she wore too much make up, had messy hair and scanty Goth clothes, Helen could almost imagine her being in a grunge band. She shook off her wandering thoughts.

Daria began by confirming information they had already gone over, numerous times. Helen had had Quinn with her first husband, Jake. She was a very bright, though serious little girl, but gradually warmed up and had several close friends through elementary school, mostly met through accelerated after- school programs and art classes. Then Jake had died of a heart attack when Quinn was 12. Helen had been very depressed and lonely, but tried to keep things together for Quinn's sake. She had met Joseph Jeffries a year later. He was a godsend at the time, or so she had thought. He helped out around the house, even watched Quinn when she got home from school so that Helen could go back to work and try to pull her life back together. They married quickly. Helen thought she was so lucky to find someone like him, undemanding, supportive. She wasn't really in love, but they helped each other, and it seemed like the perfect arrangement. As it turned out, Joseph was really after Quinn all along. Helen found out when she came home early one day. It still sickened her to think about it. Her poor little girl. Quinn was 14 and Joseph had beaten and abused her for almost a year. He never left marks where normal clothes wouldn't cover it. He had threatened to hurt Helen if she talked, so Quinn had never said anything. Helen had no way to know something was wrong. She was still battling her own depression and had missed the more subtle signs of abuse. She had him arrested and he would be locked away for a long time. Quinn had even testified. Helen thought things might be all right. Then Quinn had started to withdraw from old friends and activities. The councilor Quinn was seeing asked Helen about Quinn's new friends. As far as Helen knew, she didn't have any new friends, and her school didn't have a Fashion Club. That's when it all fell apart.

Quinn had started to build her own world, most likely right after the abuse had begun. Victims often create a "safe" place where they can mentally escape. Quinn's was leaking into her real life. It wasn't long before Quinn started to live almost exclusively in her mind. Helen had had her committed. Quinn had crated a whole existence similar to her real life, but one where she was in control. She rarely came out of it long enough to speak to the doctors, they gathered most of their information from conversations Quinn had aloud with the people in her mind. Helen had been there during one, she'd cried for days afterwards. Quinn even took on a different voice for each person.

Daria began, "What we've determined is, Quinn has assigned new identities to herself and everyone she knew. She's created relationships she can deal with. The relationship we considered most important is the one she has with "three Js". They dote on her and she has absolute control over everything they do. They often physically harm each other because of her. Joey and Jeffy are normally her focus. I'm sure you can guess where this stems from."

"Joseph Jeffries," Helen whispered, she hated that name. "What about the other boy, Jaime?"

"We're not sure why she created three. He doesn't seem as important as the other two. She doesn't seem to be able to remember his name, or even those of most of the other male figures. We think she just wants a number of males to dominate. She is never physical with any of them. Not even kissing, so far as we can gather. She is still afraid of male physical contact in her world."

"What about her new friends? And the Fashion Club?" Helen had a burning question but wasn't ready for the answer just yet.

"The Fashion Club." Daria repeated. "Jeffries was attracted to her physically. He also left revealing marks on her. It may be that in her world Quinn spends time on her looks to control how others see her. Her clothing in particular may be due to a subconscious need to draw attention to her body, perhaps in the hopes something will be revealed."

"And Sandi and the others?"

"Well, Sandi is the only strong, controlling personality besides Quinn. Their passive aggressive relationship may be a manifestation of Quinn's feelings during the abuse or Sandi could be a version of Jeffries. Quinn wanted to do something, but couldn't because of her fear for your safety. Sandi has the same method of controlling her, using her fear of something. In this case, abandonment and exclusion. It may be a way for Quinn to work out her helplessness issues. She wants to fight back, but can't bring herself to. Perhaps as she deals with her feelings about the abuse she will begin to stand up to Sandi. Sandi has the same last name as me. I think Quinn feels I'm trying to "control" her as well, or is resentful of my interfering with her "new life." Stacy is probably a manifestation of her need to please even when she didn't agree, again due to control through fear. Tiffany seems to have no relation to the abuse. It may be why she talks so slow and doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the group. Quinn hasn't really assigned her a personality or a purpose, much like Jaime. She may have some future need for them, but as of right now, they're unimportant."

"And me? Jake?" Helen was almost pleading. "Why did she make me such a career-driven bitch? I always made time for her, always! I was home by six almost every night, and I never worked on the weekends. I made it part of my contract!" Helen had started to cry.

"Helen, don't blame yourself. The way Quinn has portrayed you is probably because she wanted to tell you but couldn't. She hoped you would notice or find out and rescue her, which you did, eventually. She's offsetting blame onto you for not noticing sooner, and created a reason for you not to, other than you didn't care. She knew you cared. She had to find another reason. In her mind-world, you couldn't have noticed. Not being around would've made it virtually impossible. As for Jake, she loved her real dad. From what you've told me he remained pretty much unchanged. He was never a threat and she retained him as is. This was a great way for her to 'bring him back'."

Helen nodded. Jake had been a bit flaky and had hated his father, but he was sweet and loved Quinn more than anything. She wished she could bring him back, too.

Now for the most disturbing question. "Why a sister?" Quinn was an only child.

Daria sighed. "Daria is Quinn." Helen looked surprised, confused, then suddenly it made sense. Daria continued, "Quinn split her personality into someone she was before the abuse and someone who could deal with life after the abuse. Daria is more antisocial and cynical than the old Quinn, but from what we know, she looks like the real Quinn and has more of her personality and habits. The new Quinn is almost pure manifestations of qualities that she feels would've saved her or would help to avoid the same situation again. Every boy does what she tells him, they can't control her. She's popular, the more people around her the better chance someone would notice something wrong." Daria paused, "Often in abuse cases a second personality develops, one that can handle the abuse, in Quinn's case the second personality came with a whole world she can deal with." Seeing the question in Helen's eyes she went on. "I think she gave her 'sister' my name because deep down she knows I'm trying to help her. In her mind, she often asks Daria for help with deeper issues."

"Why does she call Daria her cousin? Why won't she admit she's her sister to her friends?" Helen remembered Dr. Griffin had mentioned Quinn frequently called her sister her cousin in the last session. They had just been giving her updates on what her daughter's "life" was like. They hadn't given her any reasons why it had happened until now.

"It may be her new self is ashamed that her old self allowed the abuse, even though she knew it was wrong. She goes back and forth between sister and cousin depending on the person she's talking to and how she thinks they'll react. Maybe if she resolves her victim's guilt, she'll admit Daria's her sister, or even merge the two back together."

"Does she talk to Daria often?"

"No. But occasionally she'll "be" Daria and we can follow her life. We have hopes there. Daria seems to be on the path to a normal life. She has intimacy issues, which is understandable, but seems to be making progress. She has a friendship with a male who she doesn't control but isn't afraid of. It could be something to follow. She seems to be afraid to make it possible. She's set up a number of ways to sabotage it. Best friend's brother, much older, total opposite personality, we don't know where that's going."

"And Daria's best friend? Jane? She sounds like Quinn's old friends." Helen's eyes grew sad.

"That's what we thought, too. She's retained some ties to who she was."

"So there's no hope she'll come back?" Helen looked defeated.

"There's always hope. Maybe she'll work through her issues using the world she's created and come out of it. Maybe she'll delve so deep we won't even hear her conversations anymore, and live out her life in her mind. We can't say. I'm sorry, Helen. We'll keep you updated."

"Thank you, doctor."

Helen walked down the hall and looked through the window into her daughter's room. Quinn was lying on the bed, staring at the ceiling, her mind lost in its fantasy life. "I'm so sorry Quinn." At least I'm in there somewhere.

-End-

Author's Notes: I thought this was a totally original idea, until I was about halfway through planning it out. Then I realized it was very similar to an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer I saw about a year ago. So I guess I should thank them for the inspiration.

I'm not a psychologist, but I have taken numerous psych classes in college and in trying to resolve some of my own issues have discovered interesting things about the human psyche. Victims of physical and sexual abuse do often create a second or even multiple personalities to escape the reality of the abuse or deal with possible future abuse (watch the movie "Sybil" it's a true story and a good example). Some victims of violence cut all ties with reality in self-preservation and live completely in their heads. So, this story has some basis in reality.

There are some characters in "Daria" that I thought never really fit in the show. Tiffany for example, especially in the later episodes. She isn't someone Sandi can really control (you have to be conscious for that) and doesn't seem to have a function. She doesn't move the plot along, provide comic relief or even provide an interesting counterpoint to anything. I've always wondered why no one can remember Jaime's name. It's not that unusual or complicated. This story had interesting solutions, I thought.

Did you catch who Dr. Daria Griffin was? Monique. I was going to put in that Quinn really wanted a nurturing male figure (Trent seems to be pretty good at caring about Jane) and Monique (another appearance of the doctor who's trying to "control" her) was yet another obstacle preventing intimacy, but it seemed like it was getting too long. I had to explain Daria's involvement with her own social circle, but Quinn's immediate relationships needed to be more important. This is the same reason I left out Barch as a controlling man-hater and O'Neil as a weak male. The adult/teacher relationships were not important here.

Questions? Comments? Nutrition Information? Email me. I love feedback.

Copyright (sort of) Angelinhel April 2003.