I want to tell you what happened the other day. I generally choose one day every few weeks to do laundry. As you know, my LG model both washes and dries.
Well, it sort of dries. I have things layered all over to finish drying and hope the towels don’t get hard as sand paper in the process.
Anyway, I got this funny feeling, back here on the bed (oh, and the medicine is helping. But not enough that I want to sit on it!) and got up to go check on things.
Since the washer is not plumbed, I have to hook it up to my kitchen sink, and then run the tubing to the sink so the water washes down the drain as it spins.
Well, the tubing looked like a serpent suddenly come to life and WATER WAS EVERYWHERE! I started trying to sop it up. I always have something heavy against the tubing so it stays put. But it had other ideas that day I guess.
It drenched my basket of cookbooks, what was in the kitchen drawers below, and just about everything within a six foot radius.
For some reason, all this reminds me (don’t ask me why) of what a late dear friend of mine used to say. She was my daughters’ paternal grandmother, and a professor at the college where I got my journalism degree.
She would tell me (I was a young wife and mother back then) what to do should I suddenly be accosted by a strange man. And it looked like I was about to be raped.
She said (and I laugh every time I recall it, because she was dead serious): “Fall to the ground. Then start herky-jerking your body like you’re having fits. Roll your eyes back in your head and drool at the mouth.”
She insisted that no sane person (are rapists insane or just plain vile?) would be able to keep an erection in order to rape you with all that loony stuff going on. And that he most likely would turn and run, erection no longer erected.
She’s been gone nine years now. How could it be that long? And I miss her all the time. She was more a mother to me, I suppose, than anyone.
In 2000 I had a terrible bout with depression. I wasn’t getting along with my third husband. All kinds of things I won’t go into were going on, and I was beginning to feel trapped.
He would get mad and go off for hours and hours (course now I pretty much know where he went), and it would throw me into the pits of despair because I felt abandoned.
I didn’t know it at the time, but I’d experienced what they call anti depressant “poop out.” Which means that for whatever reason, it just stops working for you.
That was the day I made the suicide attempt.
I remember going into one of my trance-like dissociative states. I suddenly felt disconnected from myself and everything around me.
I stopped crying and suddenly became very calm. Everything slowed down.
I picked out one of the quilts I’d hand-sewn and quilted. One that meant a lot to me.
I was a balloon set free. And I floated up and up, light as a feather, into the puffy white clouds. The emotional pain I felt faded away as I looked down at the world below. Everything was minuscule, and it didn’t seem of any consequence any more.
I got into the upstairs bath tub with my quilt, some bottles of pills, and some of his liquor. Oh, how I hated the taste. But I figured between the two, I’d get the job done. I locked the door.
I wrapped myself in the quilt and started taking all that and just laid down. It was kind of like being back in the womb. I told myself to just go to sleep.
How many times before I started taking medication, when my kids were young, had I rocked away the hours in the middle of the night in a tub of water, crying and rocking? Rocking and crying. I didn’t know why.
I’d passed out. He came in the door and picked me up and threw me onto the bed, and started yelling at me. I guess it’s safe to say I didn’t get enough in my system to finish the deed.
Dear God, it was Mother’s Day, a day that’s always been hard for me. But I was in such a bad state, I didn’t have the presence of mind to realize what it would do to my grown girls.
I shall carry that guilt always. But I was just too far gone to care about much of anything.
He made sure to call them up 90 miles away and tell them. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive him that. The words he used when he told them. He meant it to hurt.
In the weeks after this, our friend Chuck, a psychiatric social worker, would come over and talk to me oftentimes in the afternoon. Checking on me, I guess. We’d just talk about this and that. But it was comforting to have him there.
My ex-MIL, the one with the story I told you above, was living in another town an hour and a half away. But oh, she was a dear. She called me every damned day to see if I was still alive. She talked to me until I began to make some sense, I guess. Till she knew I was out of the woods and the new meds began to take effect.
So I have her and Chuck to thank for pulling me through that desperate dark time.
Then, and how could this be so? Two years to the very month, Chuck killed himself with a gun to the head.
It seemed inconceivable to me that he had talked and talked to me about how I really wanted to live life and go on. But somehow, for whatever reason, he just couldn’t convince himself in whatever dark place he’d fallen.
I miss him. He was 48, very handsome, very smart, and about to be married to a pretty architect. He was active in the community. His family was from “old oil” and well-known in town.
We had moved to another city by then. So I don’t know what caused him to plummet so low that he’d do the very thing he convinced me not to do. Sometimes I feel guilty that I wasn’t around. Maybe he would have talked to me.
But I doubt it. Men aren’t like women when it comes to these things. They get to that point and they mean business.
All this to say, I miss you, Chuck and Charlyce. You both were there for me when no one else was. I’m thankful for the time I had you both in my life, and I miss you both so very much.