What Not To Dobyenriquespappa©
2002 was a very bad year for me. I had moved up to upstate New York from Florida to be closer to an old flame from my high school days, some 20 years back. It turned out that she thought I had changed and I knew for sure she had too. One day it became to much so I stopped by the drug store on the way home from work and picked up an item that I needed. I sat down and wrote a long letter to my girlfriend, letting her know how hurt she had made me and how sorry I was for not being able to please her. Then I sat down and began taking a bottle of pills, washing them down with swigs of soda. When I was finished I lay down to go to sleep and reverently hoped I'd never wake up.
The spring of 1981 marked the beginning of my senior year of high school. I had planned my classes so I could take it easy this year and I looked forward to getting things over with. My homeroom was in the high school ROTC classroom, a favorite hangout of mine anyway. I was assigned a seat alphabetically and it turned out that a young woman named Michelle was to sit in front of me. She was pretty from what I could see but either she was shy or she was stand-offish and didn't say much to me. I've always been shy myself but something made me be bold so I began picking on her to get her to talk to me. I began hiding her purse until she noticed it was gone sometimes I would grab her books instead. Maybe it was kind of grade school of me but it worked. We formed a pretty close friendship that year and paved the way for what happened after we graduated.
Our first date didn't happen until after we graduated and it was to happen on a Sunday. You see, our first date was to go to church together. I had to keep it quiet because while I was raised in a church going family, we were catholic and she was baptist. My mom had even been a nun for several years before getting out, meeting my dad at some church social and then marrying him. To her you were either catholic and going to Heaven or you were something else and going to hell, so I knew that mom would be the least happiest with me when word got out that I was changing my religion.
Dad was more easy going on me. He accepted my decision to change religions and even pointed out that at least I was going to church regularly and I seemed more happy that I had been before my conversion. Mom on the other hand treated me like I had turned my back on the family and treated me as such.
Michelle and I lived with our parents but saw each other every day. I'd love to tell you that everything was happy-go-lucky but I began noticing things. I lost my job one day because the owner of the family restaurant died. I knew I'd be able to find another job soon but Michelle decided that we should break up until I did. I don't know if this was to try to encourage me to hurry up the process or if she was just wanting someone who could buy her stuff and take her places but it sure hurt.
Sometimes there seemed no logical reasons as to why she wanted to break up. This had happened several times but we always seemed to get back together so I was stunned to find out that she was getting married to someone else. I tried to talk her out of it but I had no luck so I just walked away.
Her parents went to the same church I had been baptized in. they had been supportive of our relationship but cold do nothing to help me. After Michelle got married we would chat some and sometimes they would let me know how she was doing. She seemed happy with her new life so I was shocked to find out that her marriage was over and she was back home, a total of 6 months. It turned out that her hubby, a jerk named Andy had mistreated her in many ways and made her life a living hell. Not only that but when he found out that she was pregnant he decided that she was to go to an unlicensed mid-wife so the baby could be born without a social security number. It also turned out that he had been fooling around on her with both women and men.
I went to see her as soon as I could, after she had moved back home. I let her talk and didn't ask many questions. I tried to be there for her without being pushy, overbearing or even giving her any I-told-you-so feelings. Vanessa was born in 1986 and I was there when mother and daughter came home. I began filling in as dad again without being pushy. If a diaper needed changing I never ran the other way. I enjoyed the feeling of holding Vanessa while giving her a bottle. Michelle and I began talking about a new life together.
One of the things I was sure of was that I could not afford to feed, house and care for a families medical needs with the job I had so I signed up for the Air Force. I didn't mind leaving my family at home since they didn't seem to give a damn about me one way or another. All I had was Michelle, Vanessa and Michelle's family and I was happy. To bad fate wouldn't keep me that way.
1990 saw a failed attempt to get married, orders to South Korea and a final break up with Michelle. One that would last for 11 years. What kept me alive during that year I have no idea.
For the next 10 years I tried to build a new life. Two marriages that ended in divorce added to my depression. It really didn't help that I'd lost my dad in 1997, two days before Christmas. I was far from merry that year. The only good thing during those 10 years was that I went back to school and got a BS degree in Computer Programming.
In 2001 I got a wild idea and looked up Michelle's parents phone number and called to see how everyone was doing. To my amazement and delight Michelle was home from work, unmarried and had been missing me for as long as I had been missing her. We began talking over the phone often and even planned for me to come up for a visit that Christmas. Michelle even found out that the house she had grown up in was for sale so she stopped by to get the information so I could call the realtor.
Fate intervened one more time after Thanksgiving that year. Michelle's dad died while walking from the house to the shed. The family came from everywhere to burry him and stayed for most of December but had to get back to their own lives before Christmas. I came up and stayed at the house through New Years to help out as much as I could. Michelle and her mom seemed happy to see me but by this time I was a total stranger to Vanessa. I tried to get to know her again when I moved up to New in 2002 but things were already starting to go wrong for her mom and I. For almost 4 years I was a dad and because of fate I'd lost her and would never get her back.
Michelle's mom started treating me like an intruder instead of a welcome guest. She and Michelle would argue about me almost nightly I was told. Finally Michelle was given an ultimatum, choose to live at home with the family or choose to marry me and lose her family. I lost. To this day though, I am not really sure how much of what I was being told by Michelle was true or not. More later on that.
I was starting to believe that I was some sort of monster. I blamed myself for losing my family and now I was losing the only people I had ever really cared for. Even the pastor of the church that Michelle and her family attended got into the act, letting me know that the family would probably feel better if I'd just go away, preferably to another state. Unfortunately for me, I thought I had no where to go and no one else to turn to. All was lost and I wanted out of my misery.
So here I was trying to kill myself with pills. I drifted off to sleep but wound up waking up an hour later. Of all the reactions I was expecting from taking the pills I took, waking up wasn't one of them. Another reaction was the strong urge to vomit. After emptying some of my stomach into the toilet I went back into the bedroom. I had a huge choice to make but since I had woken up I kind of thought that maybe God wasn't ready for me yet so I called 911.
It seemed like I had no sooner hung up the phone when a police officer knocked on my door. I opened it up and was just starting to answer his questions when the ambulance pulled up. It turned out that both responding units happened to be in the neighborhood goofing off. I brought the pill bottle out with me and handed it to the paramedic and let them know that I had taken the whole bottle, a total of 500 pills. They got me into the ambulance and onto the stretcher but I wasn't out of danger yet. In fact I was very near death it turned out.
Even though I had called 911 and voluntarily given myself up for treatment, I still wouldn't have minded if I hadn't survived. I was still feeling like everything was all my fault but when one of the paramedics asked me if there was someone they should call I clammed up. It is a coin toss whether I should have had them call Michelle or not. There was a 75% chance she would have come to the hospital but I wanted to punish myself at the time, not her. Little did I know at the time but Michelle deserved a lot of punishment and has not paid her debt to date.
I don't remember everything that happened after I got to the hospital but I do know that it wasn't pretty. I was stripped and had a hospital gown thrown on me and then the head nurse came over with the charcoal and I was asked if I would drink the mixture or would they have to do things the hard way. I really tried but I just could not swallow the lovely tasting drink. Sure the whole purpose of the charcoal was to empty my stomach of the medications still present, but I just couldn't drink it down so a nasal tube was run up my nose and down into my stomach. I was hooked up to the heart monitor and everyone got to work.
The charcoal made me vomit ugly black stuff. I am like most people who hate to vomit but I had no way of controlling myself since I was in and out. I was out when they did the catheter up my dick, I guess I was lucky there. I remember being semi-lucid when I vomited. I do remember saying "I'm sorry." a few times but then I passed out.
I woke up later that day in a private room of the hospital with a nurse sitting outside my door. I asked for and got a phone so I could try to call the pastor and have him call Michelle. I didn't know it for a few days, but after lecturing me about trying to kill myself he hung up the phone and never called anyone.
I was watched the rest of the day in the room, visited by a social worker who wanted to know what had caused my attempted suicide and poked for blood once an hour, other than that I slept. The next day I was transferred into the mental ward of the hospital, assigned a room and a psychiatrist and went back to bed.
For three days after arriving at the hospital, all I could say was that I was functioning. I ate, attended counseling sessions and I slept. On the forth day I woke up at sunrise and really noticed what it looked like and how I felt. For the first time since I had tried to kill myself, I was actually glad to be alive. I showered and dressed then stepped out to walk the halls. On my first round the social worker joined me and let me know that Michelle was going to come in later that day to see me and to talk with my councilor and I about what happened. I thought it would be good to see her and I thought that maybe we could figure out what the problem was and fix it. I was wrong.
When Michelle came in and sat in the room, she looked apprehensive. She began telling me how she was going to change and that she would be able to spend more time with me. At least once a week I would see her and so on and so forth. When asked about why we were having all of our problems, Michelle would insist that it was all of her mom's fault. Not once did she even hint that she had been lying to me and worst of all, her family as well.
After I was discharged from the hospital, Michelle tried to see me but those visits were few and far between. Not once was I allowed to go to her home or even call there to talk to her. Michelle went so far as to get a cheap cell phone, one of those pay as you go phones and set up a schedule so I could call her and still keep her family in the dark.
Naturally none of these things lasted very long. The cell phone was disconnected and her older brother was told that I was bothering her so he came by and gave me an ultimatum, leave Michelle alone or he'd kick my ass.
Luckily, by this time I was seeing a councilor and psychiatrist for my depression. I was tried on several medications to try to help stabilize my feelings. I also made new friends who helped me see once and for all what a lying bitch Michelle really was. I had put her up on a pedestal and gave her every excuse for treating me the way she did. I blamed myself for not being worthy of her love and in doing so I nearly killed myself.
No one should try what I did. There can be many reasons for feeling as down as you might feel but remember, you are never really alone. There are scores of people who will gladly be there to help you through difficult times. Even though I had family still living they had turned their backs on my. I thought they would never talk to me but when I took the time to contact them and explain what I had been through, my brother began writing me. With his help and others around me I was even able to come off the anti-depressant meds and am living a perfectly normal and happy life.
As for Michelle, I guess she just never grew up and won't be able to leave her mom's side until the day she dies. I sometimes wonder if Michelle thinks she will be able to look me up then and try to go back to normal but she has another think coming.
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