The next week, after I returned from my grandmother's funeral, I discovered that my best clothing and purses were missing from the moving boxes. Fighting with the moving company over the loss of the items proved futile and I shifted my worries back to more pressing things.
The dynamics of my family changed that week. My parents had lived under the thumb of my grandmother for 40 years. My mom would get so angered at her and how she treated my dad, and my father would project his feelings of powerlessness by berating my mother and feeding her insecurities. All this was over now. I would no longer be the sounding board of my parents’ frustrations - wouldn’t have to play the therapist or clown to lighten the mood or boost their confidence. That one thing that had stopped me from suicide on so many nights before, the obligation to take care of my parents, was gone. I could go now.
But it didn’t happen that suddenly, after all I was starting a new life, so I hung on for a few days. The catalyst was a seemingly minor event. My friend’s 7 year-old daughter, Mackayla, and a friend of hers were at her aunt’s house, where I was staying. They liked to hang out with me and I, in turn, enjoyed playing with them. After a few hours, and a few vodka crans for me, Mackayla started to get very sad and then began to cry. Having as much experience taking care of kids as I had performing brain surgery, I was clueless as to what had happened and what to do. I felt as guilty as if I had committed murder as her little friend explained that she was jealous because she felt I was paying more attention to the friend than her. For some reason this devastated me. I tried to tell her that I loved her, and that I didn’t intend to neglect her, but this changed nothing. I freaked and began crying, and without knowing what I was doing, ran to my apartment and crouched down in the corner of the kitchen.
They came after me, Mackayla now apologizing for making me so upset. I was horrified by what I had done, what I was doing. Letting these impressionable young kids see a grown-up acting like a crazy person. It was something I obviously couldn’t explain to them because I didn’t know what was happening in me. And I thought “You are insane! How do you ever expect to live a normal life? How could you ever possibly have kids, when you’ve already ruined this one in a couple hours.” I don’t remember how that ended, but the next thing I knew I was in my pajamas driving to my parents’ house. I had sobered up but what was left of my brain had shut off. I thought of nothing, I just drove.
When I arrived we talked briefly, then, exhausted, I announced I was going to bed. I closed the door, walked into the bathroom and took all the pills I had and some over the counter medicine, then went to sleep. Sometime during the night, I started vomiting in my sleep and by God’s grace, my mom heard me. The next thing I remember were the paramedics asking me questions and my parents frantic beside the bed.
I had my stomach pumped and spent three days in the ICU,
followed by a mandatory 3-day stay in the psych ward, then 4 weeks of intensive
therapy. When I finally did come home, I
was surprised to see that all the furniture in the bedroom where it all took
place was on the opposite side of the room. Except the furniture had not been
moved. It was then that I realized that
during that horrible night, I had been looking at myself, not out from
my own eyes which is why everything looked opposite from how I recalled it in
Go to Death Rattle.