Chapter 13 Notes from I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

Joanne Greenberg
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I Never Promised You a Rose Garden Chapter 13

After that session, Deborah bounces back and forth between reality and Yr. Anterrabae warns her that her substance is poisonous to all earth-ones, and Deborah wants to die because of her own vileness. She wakes in a cold pack and Helene, a violent patient, is in a pack next to Deborah's. When Ellis comes in to check their vital signs, Helene resists, and so he hits her repeatedly in the face while Helene can only spit back at him. "Deborah, watching, saw what would be to her forever after the symbol of the impotence of all mental patients: the blow again, calm and accurate and merciless, and the spitting back again and again." Part 2, Chapter 13, Pg. 100

Deborah feels obligated to tell the ward administrator what happened to Helene despite how vulnerable it makes her. When she tells him, he just brushes her off, so she tells Furii, her nickname for Dr. Fried since the woman's touch had burned her arm. Furii promises to look into it, but doesn't promise any results. Deborah gets mad at the injustice, and Furii says:

"I never promised you a rose garden. I never promised you perfect justice . . . and I never promised you peace of happiness. My help is so that you can be free to fight for all of those things. The only reality I offer is challenge, and being well is being free to accept it or not at whatever level you are capable. I never promise lies, and the rose-garden world of perfection is a lie . . . and a bore, too!" Part 2, Chapter 13, Pg. 103

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