I don't know when the break occurred. My husband and a handful of doctors have been trying to find it. I'm not sure why they want it but my incredible coping mechanisms (surprise to me) hide most of the lunacy. Sometimes I want to go back thirty years and ask the therapist I saw briefly, "how did you miss this?!" In any event, as far back as I tried to go I couldn't find one calm spot in my entire adult life. How hosed up is that? So I gave up and accepted that the last year has been pretty heinous and that the actual break had to have occurred sometime in the last month, right? Not necessarily.
What I experience is a pressure, or buildup of something I can't quite explain. Sometimes it might manifest as rage or hysteria but that's not quite right; it's just there and it's intense as hell. The spikes cycle and the cycles speed up until I spike at something really rather minor. As my husband puts it, this is all cumulative. At some point in time, I broke. It might have been when the silly assistant controller laughed in my cube and I ran out of the building. It might have been during the time that Nanny's mother was here and there was just that one more thing on my plate and in my life. It might have been my ex-husband sending a child support check for $240 instead of $440 with a note suggesting that I ought to encourage our daughter to speak with him (it's been ten months, she shows no signs of bending). To cash the check is to agree that the $240 is right (for the record, it ought to be $1200 but I agreed to the bare minimum of $440 just to have it all be over and NOT drag Cletus into court) and then it would have been one more thing every month. To send it back would insure more pain for my daughter. To ignore it, well, that is just about killing me. And it might have been a seemingly innocuous email from my mother. It doesn't really matter other then we haven't been able to figure out how long I made it day to day in a complete psychotic break.
On Sunday, February 3, I got out of bed and showered. Then I wrapped myself in a towel, bashed a safety razor blade with a ceramic cup until it cracked and then pried out a blade with my tweezers, all the while hoping my husband in the next room might not notice the noise or delay. When I had freed the blade I sat calmly on the closed toilet and made three 3/4 inch incisions, side by side, in my left thigh. It was amazingly easy and nearly painless. I held a cotton ball to the cuts and tried to stop the bleeding in the interest of not leaving a mess or being found out. I did this to release pressure. Guess what? It just created more.
I took very good care of my cuts. I took care of them all week long while my husband worked until after midnight most of the week. On Tuesday I nearly drank myself to death with a small glass of Vodka. Seriously, I can't stomach the stuff anymore but I probably needed medical attention given the results. On Wednesday night my husband finally stepped out of his denial fog and we agreed to see my doctor on Thursday. On Thursday the doctor was off.
We canceled Thursday.
On Friday I went to the office. I worked from 8:45 to 1. At 1 I packed up my computer and got into my husband's car. We drove to the doctor's office. It gets a bit fuzzy after that. I remember my doctor calling Stamford hospital. I remember him telling me it was all going to be all right and that I might see some scary things but that didn't mean I was scary. I remember getting back in the car and calling my boss. I remember calling a co-worker and telling her that no, I could not get at my computer or voice mail and that I was just giving her a heads up. I remember entering the emergency room and sitting calmly looking at fish. I remember sending my brother a text message and telling him where I was and that my husband was going to need him. I remember being admitted and laying in a bed in a hospital gown in a small ward in the ER with a bunch of seriously vocal crazy people who were scaring the living shit out of me. I remember talking to the on call psychiatrist. I remember finding out that my husband couldn't come with me. I remember wanting to scream but not doing so because I was pretty sure I would never ever in a million years stop.
I guess I got the fifteen day paper because I resisted but I'm not sure that resisting a ward like the one I imagined is crazy. I didn't even know I got the fifteen day paper until Sunday night. All I know is that I had a very nice ambulance ride from Stamford Hospital to Hall-Brook and that I found out pretty quickly that my husband wasn't coming with me here either. I'd like to say I went calmly but I can't. The best I can say is that my kicking and screaming weren't so bad I needed restraints.
The doors closed and he walked away. I sat in my hospital gown and watched his shrinking form through the portal window.