Friday, April 8, 2011

The space in my head, changing my mind, and memory loss

Part 1
Overdosing on sleeping pills really complicates your life.  There is so much information and so much emotion floating between my ears and not enough brain power to sort it enough to put it down on paper, or on screen in this case.  Two weeks ago tomorrow I took 80+ sleeping pills and sedatives hoping to go to sleep and never wake up.  I probably would have succeeded except I changed my mind and text messaged my girlfriend in the next room.  I wish I had some great reason why I did what I did.  I wish I could write about this dramatic event that put me over the edge, but the reality is nothing that big happened to me that day.  It was an ordinary day for me.  I had therapy in the afternoon and the rest of it was spent leisurely. 

It was Friday night but I didn’t feel like going out, so my girlfriend and I watched a weird movie about people who are raised to be organ donors when they turn 30.  We drank Mimosas as we watched this strange movie that kind of reminded me of the book, A Brave New World.  I drank my mimosa and tried to concentrate on the show on the TV and not the one in my head.  After that strange depressing movie my girlfriend put on an animation to lighten the mood.  For most of Friday, I had been stuck in my head.  My thoughts were on a cycle of bad memories and self-hatred.  Sometimes I get flooded with these intense feelings, the same feelings I experienced when I was living through the things I lived through.  I get lost in these feelings and memories and thoughts.  I get lost and it’s so hard to come back.  I couldn’t watch the movies, hold a conversation, or enjoy anything on Friday.  I don’t even know what happened in Therapy that day.  I had this email exchange with my therapist Friday evening.  I don’t even remember writing my emails but I remember reading my therapists a few hours before I did what I did. 
“Do you think I will always be this screwed up?  Do you think it’s possible for anyone to help me?  Can people like me ever change? I was born screwed up, so maybe this is just who I will always be.  I will never have a happy life full of people that love me.  Everyone runs away from me.  I will never be decent enough to deserve anything more.”
She responded with this:
“I think these questions that you're asking indicate a desire to lead a more connected and fulfilling life and that you're struggling to figure out a way to make that happen.

It's not something I can adequately address over email, so let's talk and explore more together when we see each other next week.”
And then I wrote this very shortly before taking the pills:
“It’s okay L. I already know the answers to the questions. I am not sure why I felt the need to ask them. Thank you for everything.”
A few weeks ago I discovered that my foster father had passed away, the same foster father that told me if I ever told anyone about the things he did to me at night they would take me away and lock me up for being crazy, that I would never be adopted.  He was right.  That’s exactly what happened.  I’ve told people that he died and they have responded positively about his death.  They are happy he died.  I don’t feel that way.  I feel like I shouldn’t have any feelings about it or I should feel relieved that he’s dead, but I don’t really know what I feel.  I had been spending a lot of time on his memorial website reading and rereading all the sweet positive comments about this man that is responsible for so much pain in my life.  No one will ever know who he really was, what he was capable of.  No one will ever know what he really did.  No one.  If I hadn’t been Nobody’s kid, he would have died in prison.  If I hadn’t been nobody’s child, someone would have connected the dots.  Someone would have protected me.  Instead he died surrounded by family that loved him.  I doubt he ever thought about me again and I think about him every day.   

I was stuck in this space when I got up from the sofa and went to the bathroom.  I stared at my reflection in the mirror for a few moments.  “Who is this hideous creature staring back at me?” I asked myself out loud.  Suddenly I notice my three pill bottles on the counter, two sleeping pills and a sedative for anxiety.  I looked at the pills for a while before I picked one up, opened it and poured it into my hand.  I opened the second bottle and poured it into my hand, amazed by how so many pills fit so easily into my hand.  I opened the third bottle and poured its contents into my hand as well.  My palm was overflowing with tiny blue pills and white pills.  I looked at them in my hand and thought how easy it would be to take them and go to sleep.  How easy it would be to take them and feel nothing.  Without much thought I poured half of the handful in my mouth, drank some water and swallowed.  The second handful followed right immediately after the first.  I went back to the living room and sat on the sofa to watch the movie.  I began to feel flushed after a few minutes so I decided to go lie down in my bed.  I left the light on.  I stared at the ceiling fan going around and around.  While watching the fan my head began to spin.  I began to think about my childhood, my girlfriend, my dogs, my DNA baby, and then I began to panic.  I thought about how much I would miss, how much I would lose, how much I wouldn’t do with my life.  I changed my mind.  I didn't want to die, but I wasn’t able to call out to my girlfriend.  I wasn’t able to get up.  Next to me on the bed sat my cell phone.  I picked it up and texted my girlfriend in the next room.  I texted her that I was sorry and that it wasn’t her fault.  I didn’t want to text her something that would leave her feeling guilty if she didn’t get the message and found me when it was too late.  I sent the text message and then I passed out.  I don’t have much memory for the next three days. 

The next three days are filled with only small flashes of memory here and there.  Everything else is blank.  I don’t know most of what happened or what I did or said for most of three Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  I’ve been told things about what happened and what I did, but mostly I don’t remember.
My first memory of the ER is of pulling out my IV.  I’m not sure why I kept doing it, but I did.  I kept disconnecting everything over and over.  I think I just didn’t like the tape on my body.  My next memory is of smelling salts offending my nostrils over and over again.  The next is of having to pee really badly and nobody or caring.  I was really worried about wetting the bed.  Somehow I managed to free myself from the leather handcuffs around my wrists.  I do not understand how I did it, but I remember doing it.  Somehow I used one of my feet to push the handcuffs from one hand, and then freed my other hand with my other hand.  I can’t figure out how I got my foot that high up, but I did.  I got up and told a nurse I had to pee.  He called me Houdini.  Apparently this nickname stuck and that’s what all the nurses called me.  My next memory is falling in the bathroom and landing directly on my toes.  I didn’t trip on anything.  I just fell.  I remember saying, “I think I broke my foot.”  The next memory is drinking charcoal and gagging, totally unable to swallow once it was in my mouth.  I gag when I drink Pepto-Bismol and this was like extra thick, extra strong pepto.  The next memory is being given socks for my feet and the next I am in the hospital sobbing and demanding a lawyer.  I am not sure what I thought a lawyer could do for me, but I was very angry that no one got me one.  I remember pulling my hoodie over my face and sobbing, thinking no one would notice me with the hood over my head.  I remember being extremely angry with my girlfriend, though I really don’t know why.  I still don’t know why. 

I remember a couple of the conversations I had with my therapist, but I don’t remember why she was calling me.  I remember begging her not to drop me as a client and asking her if she was afraid to be my therapist.   I remember her telling me that she couldn’t save my spot for me for when I was done with treatment.  My heart literally stood still for a few beats.  It was the most hurtful thing she could ever say to me.  I would rather she tell me she just didn’t like me or thought I was too crazy. 

I was told that I was raging at the hospital, that I was very hostile.  I’m a quiet person.  A shy person.  I’m not a hostile person.  I really don’t understand what my problem was but I was extremely angry with the whole world the first couple of days in the hospital.  I didn’t eat.  I refused visitors.  I refused all blood tests and urine tests.  I refused my medication.    

I have a few more memories here and there, but mostly everything is blank.  I have almost no memory until Sunday evening when my girlfriend and my friend, the mother of my little man came to visit me.  That’s where my memory picks up and stays up.