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If prison, as Manning has said, made her feel like a ghost — alive in her supporters’ thoughts but unable to be with them physically — then her time in solitary was akin to erasure.Isolation “changes you; it makes you angry,” she said.We were many floors up, suspended in the storm clouds, and through the window, I could see the spires of the skyscrapers on the other side of the Hudson River.Manning, who is 29, tapped an unplugged microwave next to the door and asked me to place my laptop inside: The Faraday cage in the microwave would block radio waves, she explained.Four months later, she was free, trying to adjust to life in a world she helped shape.Finishing her coffee, she fished her i Phone out of her purse and asked her security guard for a lift back to the apartment where she was staying while in Manhattan.The one-bedroom was furnished sparsely, with a wide glass table and a tan couch, opposite which Manning had set up an Xbox One video-game console.
But people with knowledge of the situation said Manning tried to hang herself and was recovered by guards, breathing but unresponsive.n a gray morning this spring, Chelsea Manning climbed into the back seat of a black S. A storm was settling over Manhattan, and Manning was prepared for the weather, in chunky black Doc Martens with an umbrella and a form-fitting black dress. She wore little makeup: a spot of eyeliner, a smudge of pink lip gloss. and directed her security guard to drive her to the nearest Starbucks.For almost a decade after that, barred by prison officials from communicating directly with the public, she remained silent as her story was told in books, an opera, an Off Broadway play and countless magazine articles, almost all of them written before Manning had come out as transgender. B., seemed to understand the toll that incarceration was taking on Manning.“It wasn’t the whole story,” she told me, “ whole story.”Absent her own voice, a pair of dueling narratives had emerged. “Prison isn’t the best place for anyone who actually has actual emotions besides hate, anger, bitterness, apathy or indifference,” he wrote. Unfolding the note, which was folded and sealed shut with spare adhesive from a stamp book, Raby read the header: “Chelsea E.