My message to Dr. W:
I would greatly appreciate it if you would be able to take time to respond to this. My name is Logan R——, and I am a friend of a former patient of yours. His name was Matt S—–, and he recently passed away while in your care. Let me first say I don’t blame you in any way for what happened, I am merely curious as to the details of his stay at ———-, as I received a notebook that he had made extensive use of during his stay there.
I was just wondering if you could shed some light on the notebook and Matt’s behavior in general. The drawings and writings in the notebook can be quite disturbing, especially with a lack of context, so I’m hoping you could maybe clear up at least a little of it.
Thank you for your time,
Dr. W’s Response:
My apologies for taking so long to get back to you. I have been far busier than I would have liked to be in the last few days.
I certainly remember Matt, and you have my condolences for his loss. It is very tragic whenever we lose a patient, and Matt is no exception. Given that he was my responsibility, I can’t help but feel that I failed him in one way or another, but that man had more than his fair share of demons to deal with.
The notebook you have received I incorporated into his therapy after several days of him not communicating in any way. I decided that even vague drawings were better than nothing at all, as they would give us a starting point at the very least. When we could occasionally get him to write in it we would do our best to keep him going, but it was often quite a struggle.
From what I was able to gather, your friend Matt was a believer in a myth known as “Slender Man,” and he became obsessed with it. He believed that this Slender Man was responsible for the attack on his squad in Iraq for reasons that I could only guess at. I was somewhat wary of mentioning the Slender Man to Matt during therapy because the majority of the time it would cause him to simply shut down and draw something.
I shared some contact with his former head officer in Iraq and learned that someone had been researching the Slender Man on the base’s computers in the days leading up the attack, so my conclusion is that Matt suffered a mental break of some sort and he fabricated the Slender Man attack as a result of what he had been reading on the internet.
The story that we pieced together from Matt’s limited responses was that, in his mind, the Slender Man attacked his squad while in a town. Three of his squadmates’ bodies were thrown into a nearby tree, while the rest of them, as well as two civilian children, were murdered by the Slender Man as well. At some point the bodies became engulfed in flames. I understand that the story isn’t as clear as you might like, but you have to understand that for someone who can’t talk, establishing continuity is a bit of a challenge. What actually happened according to the military is that they were in the town, and one of the children was carrying a bomb, which she detonated. Matt was the only one to survive the attack, and thus he quickly ended up in my care.
I understand you interest and curiosity into your friends death, but I truly must warn you that very little solace is ever found in a search for answers such as this. The way that Matt died was disturbing enough to create a morbid sort of interest, but digging for information isn’t always the answer. When someone chooses to end their own life, they leave behind a whirlwind of emotions to those close to them, such as yourself, and letting that whirlwind settle is usually the far wiser choice than to give it fuel to continue.
I will answer any more questions that you might have, I only ask that you seriously consider whether or not you really want to know the answers before you ask them.
I am pretty numb… I really have no idea how I feel about this at all.