Long before the movie with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere there was the song by Roy Orbison and remade by one of my all-time favorite bands, Van Halen. This song has everything and nothing to do with the movie and the movie sort of has everything and nothing to do with this post. See Leprekon introduced me to this chick and the moment I laid eyes on her, I was smitten. She looked so sad and forlorn standing there and it cost nothing to fulfill his request for me to help her. So, after I was done helping her, we hung out for the rest of the day and through the night and most of the next day. That’s when she told me she was detoxing and needed to go to the hospital and asked me to call 911, which of course, I wasn’t about to do. Instead, I offered to drive her and then drove her to the hospital. As we we’re driving, she was in and out of consciousness which scared me to the point it was all I could do to focus on driving her safely. She had said she wanted to the hospital because ahe was afeaid of dying and people have died from the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal which is what detoxing actually is. When we got to the hospital, she let me help her out of the car and then collapsed next to my car and was completely unresponsive, even when in desperation, i dumped ice water on her. I was in a panic and trying to figure out what to do when an ER nurse saw me. She then had other medical professionals come with a gurney and they loaded her on. As they were loading her on the gurney they seemed to recognize her and began using her proper name. One of the males in blue scrubs said he recognized her by the brown New Balance sneakers.
I waited for an hour in the ER until they told me they were admitting her and wouldn’t allow her visitors at the moment until they stabilized her condition. When I got back to my car, I realized she had left a bag of her personal belongings in my car and I kind of felt obligated to make sure she got them back. See, if the roles were reversed, I would hope that someone would do the same for me and give me back my stuff when I was released from the hospital. That’s basically how I operate, I try and treat people the way I would want to be treated if the shoe was on the other foot. From our conversations, I realized that other people in my present position in the past had instead used situations like this where they were in possession of her stuff to take advantage of her and steal her things. When I told Leprekon what had happened he said that this is what always seems to happen with her and that I should distance myself from her because she was a crazy bitch. I grew up with two different alcoholic stepfathers and a mother who was addicted to pain medications for about 40 years before she overdosed in 2011. At one of the group homes several of the kids were recovering addicts and I learned how the struggle with addiction and the bad behaviors it causes can manifest. Most of the kids the various group homes were broken from abuse neglect and because of this they often displayed mental health issues that manifested in behaviors that developed as a response to the mental and physical abuse they encountered at home. It was difficult learn to separate the negative behaviors from the child who in many cases were often not cognizant of them and they weren’t consciously doing them. Instead the cause was defensive and in response to what they percieved as a threat. I am addicted to nicotine and cigarettes in particular. I have tried to quit and successfully quit several times, only to find myself going back when things got stressful. My own struggles combined by what I learned about addiction in the health class I had to take for my anthropology degree made me realize that it’s truly a mental disease and that addicts aren’t always in complete and total control of their actions. Since we don’t blame cancer patients for cancer or for having bad days after chemotherapy, we really can’t blame the addicts for their addiction or the bad behaviors they exhibit that are directly and indirectly caused by their addiction because no one sets out to become an addict. This is much the same way that I had to learn to deal with my son’s behaviors which are caused by his having Asperger’s and getting angry with him for those behaviors is counter productive and causes more damage and harm then good. Instead the best way to deal with those behaviors is to explain why they are wrong and cannot be tolerated and why he should strive to change his reactions and actions rather then shouting, chastising and punishing him. I just wish I would have learned this sooner when he was younger because I think it would have gone a long way to strengthening our relationship and lowered both of our frustration levels.
Like every alcoholic, when she was sober during our time hanging out, it was the bee’s knees and we had a blast just talking and getting to know each other. The moment she began to drink, her attitude and mannerisms would slowly begin change as the alcohol lowered her inhibitions and the negative things that drove her to seek solace in drinking to numb those memories that began to haunt her thoughts. Slowly as her level of intoxication increased the warm and sweet woman began to be replaced by angry, aggressive and bitchy drunk woman while her behavior became more and more erratic.
I could have left her at the hospital and never talked to her again but she left a bag of important stuff in my car and like I said before, I really liked her and was attracted to her. Part of me felt sorry for her, because she seemed to have nothing and no one who truly cared about her as a person. So I called the next day and she seemed genuinely pleased that I called and told me to call back. When I called back later, she seemed calmer, more rational and sane then she was just before I dropped her off.
I then called her on Friday afternoon, two days after I took her to the hospital and she told me that she was being released. I told her I would pick her up and she hesitated and then said ok. This should have been a clue that she already had a plan or that something else was going on, but i just dismissed it without thinking about it too much. We had agreed to meet in the emergency room parking lot and when arrived, i waited about half an hour without her making an appearance, so I then called the hospital to inquire about her. The hospital informed me that she had already left and when I asked about how long ago this had happened, they said it had been about half an hour. When we talked on the phone, She had told me that she was planning on walking from the hospital to her storage. So when I left the hospital, I slowly drove the route that she should have walked if she was following that plan and didn’t see any sign of her along the route. So, i decided to parked across the street from her storage in a shopping center where she would see my car and I could keep watch for her if and when she finally made it to her storage.
When I saw her walking towards her storage a few minutes later, she casually waved and smiled and disappeared in to the storage unit, or so I thought. She didn’t reappear for what seemed like an incredibly long period of time and was all smiles and happiness. She hugged me and thanked me for being her friend and for acting like a friend should act. We drove to Jack In The Box, so I could use the restroom and she pulled out a dollar and some change and asked me to buy her a beer. I hesitated and she said it would be only one, which I knew was true because I had no cash to buy any more alcohol and neither did she apparently. I explained that things had to change because I couldn’t handle any more of the drama she seemed to cause when she was drunk nor did I ever want to have to go through the stress and sadness I experienced dropping her off at the hospital. She smiled and said she guessed it was time to sober up. So, against my better judgement, I went and got her the alcohol she wanted, some nasty malt beverage in a can.
When I got back to the car and she began drinking the beer, she asked if I could play music and we could go somewhere like a park so that we could just sit and hangout while listening to music. I then went to the restroom and after filled my cup with ice and water from the soda fountain before returning to the car. In the time I had been gone, which was around ten minutes at most, her intoxication level had seemed to increase to the point where she was acting more erratic, and babbling in a way that seemed almost insane. Curious, I decided to see how far down the rabbit hole she was going and realized I needed to get her somewhere where she would be less stressed and reminded of the recent bullshit she had been through. This would hopefully make her less likely to act out and draw unwanted attention to herself and ultimately me because I hate dealing with law enforcement and try my hardest to avoid it at all costs. So I began the drive to a park that I like to frequent between Antelope and Roseville. During the drive, she must have picked up on my annoyance and she was looking for something to get triggered over but I refused to give it to her. She told me to take her home when we were almost at the park and I refused explaining I didn’t want to waste the precious gasoline and was going to visit the park and she could just sit in the car if she didn’t want to enjoy a walk in the park.
When we got closer to the park, she marveled at the beauty of the trees and lanscaping along the road to the park. Once at the park she got excited and said it was beautiful and thanked me for taking her there. We got out and began walking and when I wanted to take a path that branched off the main path, because there was a fallen tree by the creek we could sit on, she balked. We walked maybe a hundred feet more and she said she needed to sit down and did so right on the path. She told me to go have fun, so I walked about a hundred feet away to see the creek and take some pictures of wild flowers, all the while keeping an eye on her and making sure she was ok. So when she waved to me, I walked back over and she told me she wanted to sleep and I said I would take her home as I helped her to her feet.
Ever since her attitude began to change and she started displaying erratic behavior she had been hinting at me being part of some grand conspiracy who was working in concert with those who had taken advantage of her. This is a common side effect of prolonged alcohol addiction and high levels of consumption. It should have been a clue that she had already consumed a significant amount of alcohol before I got her the beer and therefore prepared me for what she was going to do and how things were going to proceed that evening. There was another car parked beside the road in front of mine when we got back to the car with a man and woman sitting in it. Instead of getting in the car, she approached them and said something that I couldn’t hear from my position in the driver’s seat of my car. She stepped back and then returned to my car and got in as the other car sped off. At this point her behavior had gotten so erratic that I was beginning to make the plans on my mind to divest myself of her company because I didn’t want to be involved with that kind of drama because it almost always ends with interactions with law enforcement.. She must have sensed that I was put out with her because she said in a dead serious, matter of fact tone that I was her best friend and maybe the best friend she had had in decades. The sincerity wasn’t forced and the genuineness of the response seemed real, like she wasn’t as afraid of me taking advantage of her as she was me just abandoning her. So, I swallowed my rebuke and told her I needed to get some food.
We stopped at WinCo and I left her in the car, because she said she didn’t want to go in. When I returned to the car, I was irritated because she wasn’t in the car and had left her stuff again and I didn’t see her anywhere. Just before I had committed to the decision to leave, I saw her walk past the car, seemingly oblivious to the car and me sitting in it, glaring at her. As I was deciding on leaving her or just moving to another spot in the parking lot, she returned to the car where she demanded I take her home. Then suddenly she had to go to the bathroom and before I could say anything she got out, closed the door and began sliding down to a squat while trying to push her pants down far enough so pee. She then struggled back to her feet and pulled her now wet pants back up and got in. I swallowed the rebuke for her getting in my car and sitting on the seats with her now wet pants. Once again this should have been a clue that she had consumed far more alcohol then I realized but I was stressed from her behavior and was trying to figure out how to extricate myself from her company without being a dick about it because I truly didn’t want to hurt her feelings or cause her more emotional pain because I knew she wasn’t completely in control of all her faculties. Drunk people rarely are and addicts have even less real control.
I wasn’t able to get food at the WinCo, for some reason the transaction wouldn’t go through on my card even though I knew there were available funds and as a result I just left the food at the self check-out as I exited the store. I was incredibly hungry and realized it had been about eight hours since I had last eaten and I needed to change that so I changed course to go to the 99 Cents Only store, where I knew my card would work because it had worked there this morning. When I returned to the car with my meager collection of food, she once again suggested I was part of some conspiracy and that she was hot. I said I could fix that and turned on the air conditioning when she went off on me screaming that I didn’t need to make sexually suggestive comments to her which stung as if she had smacked me because during our brief friendship, I had made sure i treated her with respect and dignity. I got angry and snapped at her saying just that and that I didn’t deserve that kind of bullshit. She then said I could just drop her off anywhere and didn’t have to take her home. I asked her what she would do, where she would go and how she would get home if I just dropped her off and she asked why I cared and then told me I should just do it and stop playing games with her. I calmly explained that I cared about her and that’s why I was asking, I wanted to make sure that she was ok and I would take her home.
As we got closer to her house and she began to recognize the area, she asked me not to take her home right away, so I told her I would find a place to stop and we could talk. As I was driving to the spot I intended on taking her, she told me she wanted to go to the hospital and asked me to take her to the hospital. At this point, I was relieved because this was my way out and it would allow me to exit stage left without causing any direct pain. Casually, I asked how long she thought she would be in the hospital this time and she said three days to a week and then immediately followed up with stating she could have visitors and then asking if would I visit her. I was taken aback, because this was the opposite of the attitude she was displaying before.
I changed course to take her back to the emergency room where I had dropped her off two days before and as we began to get closer to the facility she asked me where I was going and I told her the ER. That’s when she said I was going to the wrong hospital and she wanted to go to the other one. Suddenly, the reality of the decision she had just made manfiested in my brain and i changed course again to get her there. As I turned a corner she said she had to go to the bathroom and I told her I would stop at the first place I could. Fate seemed to work against us as we caught every traffic light between our location and the McDomalds where she could pee. I apologized as I explained I was doing all I could as fast as I could to get her to the restroom and she looked at me, smiled and said she knew that. After she returned to the car from the restroom break we drove on to the hospital, getting there shortly after sunset.
The first morning after we met, when she was sober, she told me a story about how she had been raped in rehab by the psychiatrist who was overseeing her case. As proof she told me what to Google to find the news stories and while she was in the hospital, I did just that. It was all true and she wasn’t the only one, but she was the one with the courage to seek out lawyers and take action against the sick doctor. It happened at this facility and the negative emotions she experienced over this looked to overwhelm her. I quietly asked if she wanted me to go in with her and she snapped at me saying yes, that’s why she came. So when we approached the doors, the doors were locked and you had to call and talk to he receptionist who informed me that if I came in with her, I had to stay until her intake was done or she was denied admittance. I hesitated because that’s a scary proposition, but I had told her when she said she would sober up that I would help and support her through all of it and I try not to lie. When we got in to the lobby, I helped her to a chair and went to the receptionist and got the medical forms they needed to have completed but she couldn’t fill them out since she lacked her glasses which were necessary to read and fill then out. So I asked her questions and wrote down her answers until I got to the In Case Of Emergency section and when I asked, she said to put mine, if it wasn’t too much trouble. I smiled and told her it would be fine. I had her sign the form and returned them to the receptionist just as the nurse in charge came over and began taking her vitals for admission. They gave her a oral intoxication test and began asking her medical questions. I didn’t see her BAC and should have asked to see it because this far, I had indicated she had not had that much to drink. I was wrong. |She was so intoxicated that they called an ambulance and sent her back to the emergency room at the hospital. I exited stage left as the paramedics loaded her in to the ambulance.
I had fully intended to call her in Saturday, but I ran in to.my buddy Jon who.i hadn’t seen in about three months and in the excitement of running in to him, I lost track of everything else and to be honest, I had to decide if I truly wanted to continue to be involved in what had up until this point been a proverbial train wreck. The sting of some of the things she said and or implied on Friday had initially left a sour taste in my mouth and when I woke up on Saturday the taste had switched to bitterness. I also wanted to give her a day or so to get settled in and get to the point she was in her right mind or as close as possible to that state before I called so that when we talked she would be rational and sane. I called the hospital this morning looking for her and was told she was no longer a patient which means she more than likely checked herself out again, which I am not sure how she managed that since the rehab placed a psych hold on her since she said she was trying to drink herself to death. Since I haven’t been hanging out with Leprekon, she wouldn’t be able to find me yesterday or today and I am not sure when I am going to go and hang with him again which means I won’t see her. I had intended to visit her when she was in rehab, as she asked me when we were driving to the facility. Then she asked me again when we got to the facility and had just parked, before we got out of the car and again when I had finished the paperwork. I sort of felt like she was honestly wanting to sober up and detox so that she could manage the addiction with counseling and therapy or Alcoholics Anonymous instead of her current pattern of drinking and hospitalization and release and repeat. During the intake she listed multiple serious health complications that would be exacerbated by the heavy drinking and those combined with the fear that came from her blacking out and being unresponsive from drinking too much or the opposite, detoxing are too much to handle.
It was partially a test, not calling yesterday, to see if she would seek out my phone number since it was in the in case of emergency form and she could have asked the hospital for my number. My friend Mykl reminded me yesterday morning that this kind of communication is a two way street and that if it is one sided, that one should evaluate the benefits and rewards from the relationship and weigh them against the penalties and costs. At this point the potential drama from associating with her and the fact that she seemed to sleep most of the time she wasn’t drinking and the times when she was sober and conscious seemed to revolve around finding the next drink. Sure, it’s the typical behavior of an alcoholic and if she had of contacted me, I probably would have continued to try and support her in rehab. Since she hasn’t tried to, I will cut my losses and move on. Even if she is incredibly attractive and a joy to be around when she isn’t drinking and isn’t being consumed by the demons that drive her to drink.
See, at one point while all this was going on, I went through the Captain Save-a-ho fantasy where it was like Pretty Woman and I would help her through rehab and somewhere in the future we would tell the story of how we met and I helped her through her alcoholism and she helped me through my depression. I stopped trudging through life wishing it would end and she stopped staggering through hoping to end it. There’s a little sadness that the fantasy has been shattered by the reality of the situation and it makes me wonder if she didn’t know when she told me to take her to rehab that she had drank too much to get admitted and expected to get rejected without realizing hey vitals would be so wonky that the rehab would send her to the emergency room to ensure that she didn’t have complications that would ultimately kill her. I realize how pathetic this entire scenario makes me look, I’m not proud that I am so desperate for an honest and legitimate relationship of some sort. It frustrates me seeing others that have them while I am so lonely and it’s been an incredibly long time since I had that physical and mental connection to another human and the emptiness from the lack of that kind of relationship aches like a freshly extracted wisdom tooth and when I think about it the void I feel in my soul just makes me feel worthless. Suddenly, I question why I trudge on because the loneliness acts like an accelerant making the pain from the reality of my current situation explode in pain and despair. What makes it even worse is that I know couples who seem to stick together even though one is abusive and the other a cheater and they still stick together and it makes me wonder when or if I will ever find that. Not the abuse or cheating, rather when I will find the commitment where the loyalty to me and the resilience of the relationship binds us together so that it is like us against the world. When we parted company on Friday, I figured I would do exactly what I did in some warped version of the whimsical addage that if you love something, set it free and if it comes back to you, then it’s yours and if it doesn’t it never was. The only problem is there is another version that says if it doesn’t then hunt it down and kill it but that isn’t how I think and operate. I’m a romantic not a psychopath or sociopath and while I may have a lot of shit going on in my life and days like today where the skeletons beating on the closet door seem to be on the verge of breaking free, I know that things can change at anytime for the better and my current emotional state is directly related to being hungry, lost sleep and dwelling on my own situation. Thus is life with anxiety, depression and chronic pain. Sometimes it is a very real struggle and there is no shame in desiring a partner, someone to travel through the ups and downs with you.