Not sure if it is the loss of Blake, or the session, but I am way out of sorts today. Keep finding myself standing still and looking off into space. It isn’t that I am thinking deep and profound thoughts, I’m not. I am not even sure where I’m at. though clearly not on this planet.
I know the session was tough. The task seems monumental to me. I am finally seeing my defense for what it is, and understanding how important it is to try to work on it. But like I told Beatrice, I don’t trust myself anywhere near it. We talked quite a bit about it today. Honestly it is the most talking I have done in a session in a long time. I know the importance. I so keenly wish to change myself. I feel this is so critical to moving past a life filled with suffering. All these intense, brutal emotions just sit there. Year after year. I can’t bring myself to go anywhere near them. I know they are there, and I know when the opportunity is there to look at them in the context of a session. I won’t. It has been almost 20 years since those family sessions unleashed a true demon. I trusted that therapist, least as much as I am capable. I let her take me places I should never have gone. I had no coping mechanisms in place, no understanding of what was about to happen. In the hours of back to back family sessions I had the rug pulled out from under me. I could not cope. I morphed into a person I did not know or recognize. I met the me I can become when my ability to cope is eclipsed by an unending tide of intense emotions. Sadly, I did not understand it. I thought it would be forever. I didn’t know it would subside. I fell into a desperate spiral of impulse after impulse. Lethal and endless in the pursuit of ending my suffering. I could not pull back, and I didn’t stop. If I remember correctly, what ensued was 5 suicide attempts in a week. Much of it spent strapped down in restraints. I was relentless and driven. There was no stopping, and so I acted on every impulse. If I wasn’t acting on them I was planning and watching the staff. I would bide my time. Let them feel lulled into confidence thinking the sedation was strong enough. There was no sedation in the world that was going to buffer my deranged mind. The meds didn’t work. The restraints didn’t hold. The staff had had enough. I was the worst nightmare come true. I was my own worst nightmare (looking back). I will never forget that week. I don’t think any amount of ECT could erase it. To be basically dead, more than once and have them bring you back never leaves you. It can’t. It is so seared into the grey matter. It is a strange feeling taking your first breath when the CPR stops. The world is hazy, and new. I would blink and take it in. Thinking I had done it. It had stopped the pain. But the high would wear off and the pain would crash back over me more vicious than before. For it wasn’t alone it was now hitched in tandem to the guilt of what I had just done. I wanted nothing more than to escape it. I had to find a way to be free. so the cycle would start anew. It became harder and harder since the staff grew more vigilant initially. I grew enraged and desperate. I became someone I have not seen since, even in my darkest hours. She was a wild thing. A raging, spitting, hissing creature willing to manipulate, lie and deceive in the pursuit of death. She had one purpose. One agenda. She would see it through. She did. I’m not a flexible person, not remotely. There are no tricks, or crazy bendable joints. I could not begin to tell you how I managed to free myself from the numerous restraints. It was like watching a caged wild animal seeking the weakest spot in the perpetual hunt to free itself. Their drugs could not calm me, so they added more restraints. I grew still and watched. The hissing flailing and cursing stopped while I watched for the weakest link. That wild creature they strapped to their bed was looking for a way out. Too bad they took that as surrender. I was not to be defeated. That wild driven soul was not done for I was still breathing. They left me there with my demon. Alone, terrified, and determined to not feel another second of pain. I worked at it. I calculated, and maneuvered. I heard my ragged breath in the exhaustive search for the weakest restraint point. I pulled and yanked. Cursed and cried. I was going to give up. I was exhausted, sleep deprived, and feeling the hard closing ativan, they had injected, circling my skull. I was running out of time, and energy. I went around the points again, the felt cuffs biting hard at my pale skin. My wrists rubbed raw from fighting. But I felt the millimeter of give. My heart bounded. The wild animal had just sensed a way out. Beneath those stiff leather restraints were a set of soft temporary ones. I had that small amount of space I needed. It was seconds before I had my left wrist free. Still very much pinned to that bed, and unable to get any of the other points free I formulated a plan. That soft nylon strapping was all I needed. I knew the end game was in play. It would not take long. I looked toward the window. Blind was drawn tight. I was alone in that small bare room, just me and this demon that had come from somewhere deep within me. As exhausted and afraid as I was, I blindly followed the impulse. I slide the nylon up over the head end of the gurney. It was tilted up, I was not laying flat, but rather propped up semi-sitting. It was secured somewhere to the frame, leaving me with one free end and all the deadly intent in the world. It grew tight. I slid my head underneath and felt the nylon come to rest under my chin. There was no hesitation. No worry, or wonder. Nothing. Soon as I felt that strap it was as if someone unleashed the most heinous desperate creature. I slid hard down that gurney, bucking against the other points. So hard I broke a bone in my neck. It took mere seconds before the world went black and my pain receded.
There was but one problem, a full medical response team just beyond that psych unit. Rather than my life ending that day, it was prolonged. The CPR saved me, the ICU stabilized me and the xrays showed what at driven tortured soul could do to itself given a chance. I met the worst of me that week. That was no demon. Just years of undisturbed pain sprung free at the hands of a caregiver that told me I could trust her. Told me she would make me better. I learned the bitter truth. I am my own worst enemy. I hold within me the ability to decompensate so completely that nothing in this world can stop me from killing myself in the shadow of the pain that comes along with it. It is the glimmers of this person I see that leaves me shutting down and backing up fast. The one who fights hard the desire to dissociate and disappear to be anywhere but within striking distance of that desperate core. I told Beatrice it was my holocaust, my natural disaster, my worst place where nothing good comes. There is only horror and pain. I do not trust myself, and I do not trust neither Virgil, nor Beatrice, anyone for that matter, to contain what is within. That Pandora’s box is my soul. I do not know how to be free of it without risking losing my life in the process. I saw that week so many years ago what I am capable of when I stand in the shadow of my grief, anger and pain. It just sets there, untouched building size and scope. It is greater now, if anything. So much has happened to me in the 20 years since that fateful week. I know each time I give my history, or retell a moment of trauma with not an iota of emotion that I am adding to that fire. I lack the ability to process in real-time. Instead I lose the emotions to my core and am left only with my intellect to recount. I know those feelings are there, all of them. I see flashes of their brilliance and massive scope, often in moments of rage. It is an emotion I sometimes can’t stop, springing forth before I can check it. It is splendid in its power, awe-inspiring to me. I know how people kill others, I can feel that disconnect when that rage come forward. It is so powerful and frightening even as I marvel at my actions, whether it be throwing an object, beating the shit out of something, or saying the cruelest of words. It is that same core that spawns my most self-destructive impulses. That rage interweaves with all the pain, sorrow, fear and grief. It is the thread that hold all the others together, and it is what enabled me to break my own neck, just as it enables others to kill their spouses, or families. It is ravaging and fierce beyond measure. It is what scares me, and what makes me wonder if this is a defense I want to change, or examine. Maybe miserable, and chronically depressed year after year is preferable to the savagery of that beast.