The morning had a rocky start. The husband was in a bad mood that morning and was aggressively unpleasant when he took me to work.
When I got to work I felt stressed and disoriented. Things at work required focus and problem solving. I wasn’t up for it. My anxiety levels were so high I went to my supervisor and let him know that I was having a bad brain day and needed to go home. He agreed that I should leave. I closed up my department and was preparing to leave when I realized I was not in the right frame of mind to see the husband and cope with his issues on top of my issues. I chose to walk home.
Home was 30 miles away. I began with a long walk down a highway heading west. While I walked the events of the day continued to spin in my brain. It was all too much, things would be much simpler and easier if I were dead. Then the debate started – would it really be easier? How would I do it. I certainly didn’t want the husband to find me dead by suicide. He would never survive it. I could do it at work. There are places I could go there where I wouldn’t be found for days. The question of where was solved. How would I do it? Do I really want to do this? I do know that I don’t want to live this any longer. Remembering things better left unremembered. The stress over the lack of support by my sister and brother. Why does it matter if they believe me? Work stress – trying to work with all these parts and The One Who Rages pushing the agenda of suicide. The husband’s mental health issues crashing into my mental health issues. Life would be much simpler if we could just stay home. The husband, my therapist and I had been discussing my taking social security disability. How would we live? Would being at home all the time co-existing with an angry resentful husband who opposed taking social security disability and retirement be any different from my current situation?
I had been walking for half an hour when an SUV pulled over. The woman driving it offered me a ride home. After a little bit of thought, I decided that she seemed safe enough. Turns out she was part of a community service group. I still didn’t want to go home, I’m was not ready to deal with the husband. I decided to go to a nearby town and see my therapist without knowing if she could fit me in. The good Samaritan who picked me up dropped me off the bus stop.
I was fortunate, the therapist had a small opening to see me. We talked about the events of the day, about how the husband is opposed to my taking social security disability retirement and evaluated if I should commit myself to a community mental health center. Nothing was resolved and the therapist and I went our separate ways. While eating lunch I decided to commit myself to the mental health center. Doing nothing about all the aspects of my stress was not going to unplug the suicide debate I was having (and loosing) with the One Who Rages.
I rode the bus to the mental health hospital of my choice – a place that knows and works with dissociative disorders. It was around 4 pm. They were full, no beds available. They called a local hospital who sent an ambulance for me. I waited at the local hospital until they found a mental health facility that could take me. I was checked in at the mental hospital at around 2 in the morning.
The mental hospital I was placed in was not one that I would have chosen – at a point in my stay there I was told that dissociative disorder diagnoses were a contested diagnoses and that their protocols would label me as psychotic. I was encouraged to see a psychiatrist of their choosing and retake the diagnostic tests after I was released. The mental hospital followed a behavioral protocol known as DBT, Dialectical Behavioral therapy. Ironically, the principles of DBT are very similar to what I learned in the 90’s as part of what I worked with that led to integration.
Although I did not find DBT to be helpful, admitting myself to a mental health facility did create the change I was seeking. The first couple of days I was there I was kept in a ward for suicide watch with very little freedom. I was able to use the quiet time in this ward to begin to work with my different parts that were up in chaos. It was noted fairly early that part of what had been happening to me was due to a medicine imbalance. In late 2019 my psychiatrist had changed my medicine. The gradual affects of improper medicine laid the foundation for my current crisis. The doctors changed my medicine and experimented with dosage. When my mental health stabilized I was moved to a less controlled ward.
I was in the mental health facility for a total of 8 days. The worst, and best, repercussion was that it created the opportunity for the husband to ground himself in his mental health issues and allow himself to be there for me. We had several hard conversations about what led me to commit myself, suicidal ideation. He had no idea the direction things were going for me. Since February we and the husband have developed a skill set for cooperation and communication. The One Who Rages has been silent. Life isn’t perfect, but it is better.