1994

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I’m alone and it’s late and I still have a paper to write tonight before I collapse from exhaustion…  All of these reasons not to answer the line cross my mental reader board in bright red flashing letters, but I pick up the phone anyway.  Its persistent ringing will only grate my nerves further than they already are, after all.  And my roommate and I do not have the funds – individually or combined – to afford such frivolities as an answering machine.

My voice is tentative.  This can’t be someone for me, after all.  Nobody *I* know would call me at this hour.

“Hello…?”

There is a catch of breath on the other end that I recognize instantly.

“Mom?”

Another breath.

Shit.

I set my backpack next to my desk and sit down heavily.  I know it’s going to be bad, what with all the breathing, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to take this standing up.

“I’m here, Mom.  What’s wrong?”

Her audible exhale tugs the corners of my mouth momentarily upward; the exhale is a habit of hers I’ve long since adopted, and I know what it means.  This is gonna be tough.  But so are we.

When she’s steadied herself, she shares seven words.

“Your brother tried to kill himself today.”

My brother.

There is no question of which brother she means.  Legally, I have three brothers.  But families are not defined by legalities, and she’s only given birth to one.  So I know exactly who she means.  My brother.  My full brother.  The only one I truly have.  He’s 15.  And he’s dangerous.

And he tried to kill himself today.

It is my turn to exhale.

She recites the details of The Day’s Events in a hard monotone and I catalog them as she goes, but for all intents and purposes I am not part of this conversation anymore.  I am far away, in another place, another time…  Another time, when he couldn’t shake off the fantasy world of our playscape or the character he adopted and came after me with crazed eyes and sharpened stick to do true bodily harm…  The time when his entire features changed into an unrecognizable person and he started speaking in a way that made no sense…  The time when I stood in front of him and stopped his fist so he couldn’t hurt my baby sister, an action which he didn’t remember taking five minutes later…

“. . . and they couldn’t get him to stabilize as ‘one person’ long enough to even get him calmed down . . .”

One person?  Shit.

Shit.

I’ve known for years that he has a problem.  One that everyone surrounding us wanted to deny.  I’ve also known for years how to keep my mouth shut about what happens inside my family.  But Oh, his imagination just gets carried away was always a ridiculously benign description, and He just has a temper doesn’t quite cut it when the law gets involved.

“. . . police were called . . .”

And this time the law is involved.

Eventually her voice trails off, and I ask one question.

“Is he in lockdown?”

Another long exhale.

“You could say that, honey.  In a manner of speaking.”

*

Over the course of the next four years ‘lockdown’ and ‘lockup’ will come to mean the same thing.

As do APD and MPD.

0 thoughts on “1994

  1. The Suburban Domme

    Knot in my gut and my heart hurts for you…..it all rings all to familiar.

    Some days, it all feels like it happened 10 minutes ago…no matter how much time passes. Leaving a hug here and sending you as much positive energy as I can thru the universe.

    Reply
    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      These portions of my past are, if not dead, at least buried. Most of the time.

      But right now I am standing on the sidelines, watching history repeat itself. So I need to process. And this is a safe place to do so.

      (((Hugs))) back to you, my friend.

      Reply
      1. The Suburban Domme

        watching history repeat itself

        That elicited a sad chuckle that had Monssieurnotasub looking over at me. Involuntary, I didn’t even realize I’d made any noise.

        What came to mind when I read the above quoted piece of your writings:
        Those who do not know their history are destined to repeat it.

        Just the utter irony in those words always make me shake my head when this part of my own history comes out of no where to gut punch me. Maybe you have to live with this type of history to see the twisted irony in knowing your history…..isn’t a free pass to escape the destiny.
        Reading your follow up replies to all the other comments makes me wonder…if you wonder what I do….as I star into the darkness on nights this history repeats….and that is:
        Why them and not me…and will it be me some day….. who loses touch with reality?
        The processing can at times make me feel like I am losing grip on my own sanity. My heart is with you. I hope the processing is helping.

        Reply
        1. Mrs Fever Post author

          . . . and will it be me someday . . .

          This is the million dollar question, and a very real fear of mine. Along with, Will I recognize it for what it is, if it manifests in ME someday?

          I am writing in little installments, so the jumping off point of this mental trip I embarked on yesterday will become a bit more clear in time. I know it’s not fun to read, but it’s not fun to (re)experience either, and this process is helpful. And I know I’m not alone in what I’ve experienced; I hope others who read this will realize they are not alone either.

          And I totally agree about the irony of reliving history. Especially when genetics are a loaded gun.

          Thanks for being so supportive, Serendipity. Hugs to you and Monsieur.

          Reply
  2. Jayne

    what is APD and MPD? Now that my logical brain has spoken. My heart says, It doesn’t matter what those letters mean because you know by experience and all you need to know is I care and I will see you surrounded in strength and nurtured with love, as I normally do. xo, Jayne

    Reply
    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      I appreciate both your heart and your mind, dearest. And I’m okay; I know these past couple blog entries have been a bit disconcerting for readers, but I’m having some family issues right now that are causing some old memories to resurface. So these purgings are my way of processing. Thank you for being supportive of my scribblings. 🙂

      To answer your APD/MPD question: Under the current DSM (which has been – for all intents and purposes – ditched by the American Psychiatric Association), it is called Dissociative Identity Disorder, and it’s sort of like schizophrenia deluxe… With a side of manic depression and extra mayo. At the time my brother was diagnosed, there was much discussion about whether Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) was really a “thing”, as specific ‘personalities’ were associated with specific triggers. Meaning, the ‘personalities’ were considered associative. Associative Personality Disorder = APD.

      Reply
      1. Jayne

        This sounds like we need George Carlin in on this discussion. I guess it matters in understanding how to treat the brain but this makes me wish we had good solid hospitals for mental health. What a scary position it must be to #1 – be the person in need and #2 be the family of the person in need. I understand the purging here. It’s a nice thing to do to get your head in another place and hopefully it’s a clearer place. xo, Jayne

        Reply
        1. Mrs Fever Post author

          Brain Science is still very much in its infancy, and Psychiatry is still largely based on theory… Which makes it all the scarier for both #1 and #2.

          I have flashes of clarity that take place sort of behind-the-scenes. I find that writing about one thing often puts new perspective on another thing(s) entirely.

          Thanks, Jayne.

          xoxo

          Reply
          1. Jayne

            I can see how that would work. I guess it puts many little things in life into perspective too. You must appreciate things more at times, knowing what you do.

  3. Fatal

    My “like” is more an unspoken way of saying: I’m reading, my heart is with you, I grok.

    I spoke it, in case you didnt know.

    Xoxo

    Reply
  4. wildoats1962

    Lots of things come to mind. Literally. There are numerous issues I have with various psychological theories. One thing the shrinks really don’t like is, would the person’s behavior be understandable if their delusion were true. In other words, are you paranoid if people really are out to get you. I did ask a psychiatrist that once. They were evasive. If you doubt the diagnosis then you are in denial. I’m no where near Egypt and I deny the things that strike me as implausible. Good luck with the issues, sometimes I have had a full subscription.

    Wild

    Reply
    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      My job takes me to some interesting places. Once, while working, I heard a psychologist say basically the same thing. So what if you’re delusional? If it’s plausible, why shouldn’t you be?

      She always made a point of making it an issue of functionality. We all have our issues, but if *this* issue is impeding your ability to function, then it needs to be addressed. I appreciated her approach. And her philosophies on medicating ran to the physician’s creed of First, do no harm. Sometimes meds do more harm than good.

      Unfortunately, people who are mentally ill sometimes do more harm than good as well. To themselves and to others. My brother decided he “didn’t need treatment” (which was centered around behavioral therapy, not on meds) when he was about 22. And that’s when I decided I “didn’t need to be in the damage path.” I’ve only seen him twice in the past 12 years.

      Reply
    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      So true. I am glad to see there are more resources available for both patients and families than there once was.

      Thank you for the comment, and the hugs. 🙂

      Reply

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