Day 157: The Demons at the Door

The Demons at the Door

The phone rang: one old pale orange phone with a curled orange cord that hung on the light blue wall.

A heavyset woman with a short-shaved haircut picked up.  She looked like my mother’s long ago roommate, the heavy-boned woman who taught me how to shower; the one I’d once tried to forget.  The one that reminded me of plums—how they can be split open with bare hands and the insides all sucked out.

“Stew, it’s for you!” The stranger hollered across the lobby.  Her eyes scanned the room like a mother surveying the clutter on a table. She hadn’t wanted to truly look, but she did nonetheless. “Anybody seen Stew?”  She scanned again while yawning, and then spoke.   “Can’t find him. Try again later.”

The rest of this story can be found in the book Everyday Aspergers

© Everyday Aspergers, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. https://aspergersgirls.wordpress.com

Song to go with found here.

Day 151: The Quiet Room

After yesterday’s post I feel like my panties are dangling down around my ankles. Feeling fully exposed here. I’m not embarrassed or ashamed of what I shared. Long past those emotions. I am human and have had hard times, like us all. But I feel a bit naked in my exposure of self, having had shared such a vital part of my life without much explanation.

I think it is important to understand that at the time of my nervous breakdown I had been on a low dose anti-depressant to control my chronic muscle pain. The medication entirely numbed me emotionally for years. I lived very much like a robot. I couldn’t cry even when I was sad. And I couldn’t feel the depths of my experience. I was in less pain, but had no emotions. I was numb in all aspects.

Being numb to myself had major drawbacks. I didn’t have an off button, or anything to balance my actions. Feeling nothing, I had no way of checking in with myself. I no longer knew exhaustion. I gradually became an over-achieving, control freak. Eventually, I started to despise more and more of who I was, and recognized the real me was covered and masked underneath. I decided, without consulting anyone and without being aware of the dangers, to stop my anti-depressant. In my eyes the drug was serving as a painkiller and little more. I didn’t understand that in stopping the prescription that my brain chemistry would go all haywire.

Within days of stopping, my appetite came back so strongly that I couldn’t stop eating. I gained five pounds in two days. And much worse, my serotonin levels plummeted making everything look bleak. And my emotions, they returned in a mad rush. I felt like I was opening a  storm door of emotions that had all been hidden in an expansive closet for half a decade.

After several weeks, I couldn’t stand the intensity of emotions and my huge appetite—I could actually taste life and food again but was out of control—so I started back on the medication. Reintroducing the anti-depressant into my system led to suicidal thoughts. This is when I ended up in the admissions to the psychiatry ward. I’m not saying the medication caused my breakdown but it definitely altered my brain chemistry enough to push me over the edge.

The Quiet Room

After two colored pills, I entered the last room at the end of the hall. Muffled snores, bleach, staleness—each welcomed me.

I found my bed.  I pulled off my sweatshirt and spread it across the pillow.

Darkness.

I stared up at the shadowed ceiling.

There was no sleeping.

As midnight approached, I stepped through the vacant corridor, light and clumsy, like a puppet pulled by a master puppeteer.  “I can’t sleep in there,” I mumbled, looking at the nurse’s wide forehead.  “I can’t sleep with a stranger in my room.”  I lowered my eyes to her white shoes, long laces, scuffed toes.

The nurse looked me over with a cynical smile.  “What are you afraid of?”

I felt a punch to my stomach.  “I just can’t sleep in there,” I answered.

Huffing, the nurse pulled down her glasses. “Fine, come with me, then.”

I padded down the hall, thinking I might fall down, hoping I would wake up, knowing this was surely hell.  The tall nurse stopped.  She edged her eyes around me, trying to see inside.  “You can stay in the Quiet Room for the night.  But it’s not where you are supposed to be.”

Chastised, I didn’t move.  I knew this wasn’t where I was supposed to be.  None of this place was where I was supposed to be.  She didn’t know me…

The rest of this story can be found in the book Everyday Aspergers.

 

Day 150: The Faded Sun

The Faded Sun

“Was it your voice or another voice that told you to kill yourself?” the stranger asked.

“My own voice,” I whispered from a mouth I could no longer feel.

I brought myself forward in a chair, a purposeful push, only to prove to myself I could move, that my brain synapses fired.  I nodded solemnly in the direction of a blank white space.  There was a stain in the high corner.  I was unable to focus, unable for the first time to pretend.  I had always been able to follow someone, to take the cue from the people around me.  Here I could not.  Here, though I was clothed, I was stripped naked, paralyzed with the thought that there were no answers…

 

The rest of this story can be found in the book Everyday Aspergers

 

Maui 2012

 

Day 83: Blister Sister (Part Two)

 

Blister Sister (Part Two)

Ben stood up straight, his ears crimson, his voice hoarse. “Damn it! How dare you say that in front of a child! What are you thinking?  Are you an idiot? What the hell is wrong with you?”

Now, although I was completely mortified and feeling the strong urge, despite my stomach cramping, to crawl under the hospital bed and never come out, I have to say, Ben impressed me.  Not in the way a parent impresses you by throwing you a birthday party and inviting all of your friends over to stay the night, nor in the way a child feels proud when a parent attends the school’s career day and knocks the socks or your classmates.  No, it wasn’t the type of impressive behavior that summons thoughts of coolness and grandiosity.  Ben’s behavior more so brought images of a fearsome bear standing on her hind legs with claws erected to protect her cub.  It was a scary image, quite terrifying actually—though none could deny that somewhere deep inside the man who was set upon a blind-rampage, huffing and puffing away at every hospital staff member within his path, that there was at least somewhere hidden a jewel of compassion.

It didn’t take long for Ben to pack up my things, usher Mother and me out of the building, and drive thirty miles across the state to another hospital.  Sadly for Ben, by then hospital visiting hours had past and the nurses insisted Ben and Mother leave.  And thus I was made to stay in a strange place, miles from home, without a soul I knew, replaying in my head all the horrific ways my death might play out…

This story can be found in the book Everyday Aspergers

 

© Everyday Aspergers, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. https://aspergersgirls.wordpress.com

Day 82: Blister Sister (Part One)

Blister Sister: Part One

On a Monday just past four in the afternoon, Mother, dressed in her secondhand dress and faux-leather heels, drove a little faster than normal—which was still relatively slow.  I was seated in the front seat of Ben’s battered sedan.  Every few minutes a piercing pain drove up my left side causing me to let out a muffled moan, which gave Mother a reason to pat her hand on my shoulder and offer out a sympathetic smile.

This was an unusual ride, given the fact I was headed for the hospital, and Mother’s live in lover, Ben, who was habitually attached to the front seat, was dutifully sulking in the back.  I was so accustomed to seeing Ben’s broad back hunched over in the front that upon spotting him there, behind me, sprawled out in excess of half the seat with his socked feet propped up on Mother’s weather-beaten briefcase, I swore to myself I was dreaming.  But if I was dreaming I thought, then surely when I had shut my eyes and then peered out again, Ben would have vanished…

This story can be found in the book Everyday Aspergers

 

© Everyday Aspergers, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. https://aspergersgirls.wordpress.com