Note: For the article about the Daria fan magazine, see The Padded Walls.
Padded Walls is a story by Angelinhel providing an usual explanation for why Quinn is obsessed with dating yet cannot remember Jamie's name. Padded Walls Part One was Angelinhel's first non-Iron Chef Daria fanfic. Some representative dialogue for Quinn's inability to call Jamie by the correct name were taken from the canon episodes "The Invitation," "Monster," and "Sappy Anniversary."
Part Two begins just after the accident in the canon episode "Boxing Daria" and was a response to an Iron Chef wherein: in "Boxing Daria" she hits her head during a car accident, and when she comes to, things have changed. It seemed a reasonable connection to Part One.
Warning: The following may contain plot or ending details.
Daria leads Helen Morgendorffer to where Quinn is waiting, and they discuss Quinn's recent social activities. Her life sounds fairly normal for a teenage girl until it is revealed Daria is actually Dr. Daria Griffin, and not Helen's daughter. Helen only has one daughter, Quinn, who has been in a mental institution for some time.
Dr. Griffin recounts the events that led to Quinn's hospitalization:
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... They married quickly... As it turned out, Joseph was really after Quinn all along... 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.
Though Quinn had testified against her stepfather, the psychological damage was too much for her. She withdrew from friends and activities until one day her psychologist asked Helen about her new friends and the Fashion Club of which she had become vice president.
To Helen's shock and dismay, it became clear Quinn had begun to create a separate world in her own mind, similar to the real world, but where her real father was still alive and she was in full control of all the males around her. Two of the three most ardent admirers, who even fought one another for her attentions, were named after her abuser (Joey and Jeffy). Dr. Griffin supposes Quinn created Jamie as another male to dominate, but since he was not directly linked to her abuser, had difficulty recalling his name.
The other 'people' in Quinn's world are representations of the various parts of her psyche:
- Sandi- a strong, controlling personality, represents Quinn's feelings during the abuse or could be a version of Jeffries. Sandi's last name is the same as Quinn's main doctor- possibly because Quinn views the doctor as trying to control her the way her abuser did.
- Stacy- a weak personality, represents her need to please even when she didn't agree.
- Tiffany- a slow-speaking undeveloped personality is seen as a 'null' or 'blank slate' Quinn has created for a possible future personality.
- Helen- in Quinn's mind-world a self-centered workaholic, was designed to give Quinn a reason she didn't notice the abuse other than simply not caring.
- Jake- an almost identical match for his real personality, Quinn's mind merely saw an opportunity to 'bring him back'.
- Daria- Quinn's 'sister' she is the personality developed after the abuse who was better able to handle her emotions. Quinn won't admit she's her sister, most likely because of the guilt she allowed the abuse to happen.
- Quinn- The mind-Quinn is almost solely manifestations of qualities Quinn believed might have saved her from the abuse or drawn attention to it.
Quinn occasionally 'becomes' Daria when she speaks and the doctors have been following this personality's life as well, which shows promise psychologically since she has more normal attitudes about friends and has even developed romantic feelings for another male personality she's created.
Daria wakes up in the hospital, thinking she's had a car accident. To her dismay, she cannot understand why her mother calls her 'Quinn'.
To the consternation of Helen and the doctors, Quinn has come out of her mind-world, only as her new personality 'Daria' and has no recollection of the real world, thinking her mind-world was real. Unsure of how Daria would take the destruction of her carefully crafted world and the people she had created and become attached to, the doctor gives her a sedative while she consults her team to decide how to proceed.
Once asleep, Daria reenters the mind-world, thinking the real world was merely a dream. She speaks with Jane, her mind-world best friend, and reassures herself she knows what's going on. She goes to sleep but wakes up back in the real world. Panicked, she calls for her mother.
Dr. Griffin appears, having decided to tell Daria the truth and hoping it won't destroy her fragile mental state. Helen arrives and sees her daughter awake. Hopeful now her daughter knows the truth, they can begin healing and become a family again, she embraces her daughter.
Daria, faced with the knowledge she has lost the people she loves in her mind-world, to be replaced by memories of fear, pain, and humiliation, chooses to return to her mind and abandon her mother and the conscious (real) world. Seeing her daughter choose the catatonic state and mind-reality, Helen breaks down.
The story ends with Daria greeting Jane with the words, "I had the strangest dream..."