Surviving Suicide – Part 18
June 26, 2010
I had a girlfriend over last night that I’ve been friends with for almost 30 years, she too went through much of this with me and she was always supportive. I have a few really good, long term gal pals that I am eternally grateful for. When going through major turmoil like this, you often lose friends and that can be very upsetting, but it also weeds out those you don’t want in your inner circle.
I really wasn’t feeling sociable, but she said it was such an amazing day, let’s just sit outside on your deck and enjoy the great weather, so I got back to her and said okay. We always have great conversations whenever we get together, the kind of deep, intelligent life lessons kinds of talks and that’s something I don’t have with many. She told me she’d read every post that I’ve done on this blog and that meant a lot to me too. We discussed some improvements I can make also. I spent forever trying to figure out double spacing between paragraphs, but finally had to settle for indents, so hope you like it lol!
Went out for a nice dinner on an outdoor patio, she treated and overall when she left, I was very glad I’d made the effort to get together as I’d had a very enjoyable time and my spirits are always lifted. Won’t mention names, but you know who you are and you know I love you!
After the suggestion of breaking up the size of my paragraphs from a few (thank you), I am attempting to do this, so hope it makes it easier to read.
December 2000 cont’d. – Rob’s last month:
I’m continuing on still in the month of December 2000 as so much happened in this last month of Rob’s life. After the attempt with a gun and the police standoff ended with Rob being admitted to the mental health institution, I literally slept like the dead from pure exhaustion. I don’t know how I did, but I got up the next day, got my son ready for school and headed into work. It was only me by this time, December 7th, we had no business so to speak, but did still have that customer’s car pulled apart in the shop. I didn’t have a clue how I was going to get their car back to them, but knew somehow I had to go into work regardless.
I’m pretty good under pressure to come up with solutions, so I called another Firestone shop I’d had dealings with for tire inventory and explained the situation. They sent me one of their mechanics to put the car back together again and he seemed like a really nice guy, I gave him a brief explanation of what had gone on and why I’d needed him and he told me he’d worked for this other franchise for years, but wasn’t particularly happy. I was elated that I could finally give my customer their vehicle back!
Rob called me at the shop, I’ve noted that he told me I hold a grudge a long time and he then told me to go get his Rover which was now in a Police pound. I was still pretty angry at all that had gone down the day before plus the fact he chose to call and threaten me after me trying to help so I told him go get your own damn car when you get out.
Rob told me I had no idea what it was like being in a “loony bin”. I told him hey when you do “loony” things, that’s where you end up. In Canada, when you attempt suicide, by law they can only hold you for 72 hours, so I knew for at least 3 days where Rob was and that he was safe. Rob was not being a cooperative patient that’s for sure, was refusing to attend counselling, was refusing to take medication and overall was just not a happy camper.
I told him that the police had taken all his firearms and other reloading equipment, he was freaked out and furious about that too. He didn’t understand why they’d take those, they also confiscated the gun he had with him when threatening to take his life the day before. He told me he wasn’t really going to follow through with it, that he was just beside himself and was reaching out for help. I told him he had a very funny way of reaching out and that there was no way for me to know whether he was serious or not, so I’d had to make that judgment call and is why I’d called 9-1-1.
Don’t know how, but I did find out that all the while he was calling me the day before, he was also calling the girlfriend WC. Seems he had great need for super high drama, but apparently WC wasn’t very supportive and said she was at work and couldn’t talk. My prediction when I told her earlier that she had no idea who she was dealing with in regard to Rob was certainly proving itself out in this case. I’m sure she realized he was not stable and probably wanted nothing further to do with him.
I mentioned earlier that although I wasn’t in the mindframe for celebrating the Holidays, I had put up my tree. I was also planning a big Christmas party on the 9th that I had to get ready for. Again I’m not sure how I pulled it off, but I was determined to have a nice time and enjoy friends and family regardless of what my life was like, it seemed almost as though I was focused on having as “normal” a time as I could even though my life was total chaos. Rob knew I was having the party and didn’t he just have to go ahead and call me while the party was going on.
Rob was extremely manipulative and I knew this. He could hear the festivities going on and commented on it, this was done to make me feel guilty that I was having a nice time while he was locked up. It didn’t work. I told him now wasn’t a good time to talk, that I had guests to get back to and he said he had something to tell me that wouldn’t take long. I excused myself from my guests, went to my bedroom and closed the door for quiet and asked him what was so important that just couldn’t wait until tomorrow. Then he came out with the Psychiatrist at the ward he was in wanted me to sign something saying I’d be responsible for Rob.
I said are you kidding me? Me … be responsible for you? Not a chance! No one could take that on and I figured the facility just wanted Rob out of their hair and become my problem. Never did know if this was just Rob’s way of trying to get himself out earlier, or whether in fact the Psychiatrist had even ever asked this, but my answer was still the same – a big fat NO! I told him to ask WC and leave me alone! He told me she had been in to see him, but wanted no part of it. I told Rob, good! guess she’s not so dumb afterall and then I hung up. I calmed myself down for a moment, took a few deep breaths and then joined my guests and managed to have a nice evening afterall.
Earlier in the day prior to the party, I had asked my sister-in-law to drive me to the Police Pound to pick up Rob’s Rover as it was incurring about $100 per day in charges. I really hadn’t wanted to do this, to clean up Rob’s mess he’d gotten himself into, but we were short of money at the time and I felt it was necessary. My sis-in-law did drive me, I paid the fines for towing and storage, drove the Rover back to our shop, locked it inside and then headed home to get things ready for the party. I had told Rob that I’d picked up his vehicle, can’t even remember whether he thanked me or not, but he knew his car was out of there and safely at our shop.
Looking back now at what was happening at such an alarming rate, I surprise even myself that I was as composed as I was. Even though I knew where Rob was, what he’d attempted, the fact I’d had to pick up his car the day of my party, didn’t stop me from carrying on and having my party and enjoying the wonderful people I had in my life. I believe I compartmentalized everything, boxed it all up in separate little packages, put them away in my mind so that I could cope, function and carry on.
The institution actually kept Rob longer than the 72 hours as they felt he was high risk to attempt again. I’ve noted that on Dec. 11th, a social worker from the insitution called me to discuss what was happening with Rob. She told me that the girlfriend WC had shown up, but that she felt she was very cold hearted, showed little to no emotion, certainly wasn’t supportive or expressive toward Rob at all and that Rob had probably met his match :(.
The social worker was probably the easiest and most down to earth, straight forward person that I’d spoken to. She told me she should not really be making that assessement of WC, but that in all her years of experience, she knew what she was seeing. She also told me that Rob was a spoiled, misbehaved, irresponsible child – I had to agree with her assessment. She felt he was pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes at the institution just so he could get released, I agreed with her on that too as I knew that Rob was very good at getting what he wanted.
I did have occasion to speak to the Psychiatrist and asked him whether he thought Rob was serious about killing himself, or whether it was all a ploy to get attention and sympathy. Part of me still couldn’t believe that the man I’d known who was so damned arrogant could actually do this. I also mentioned that those who talk about it probably don’t follow through. The Psychiatrist told me that is one of the biggest myths going! That in fact when someone is talking about it, they very much are considering it and intend to carry it out, so at that point, I realized I had to reassess and listen.
I asked the Psychiatrist what could trigger another episode. He told me any one of the things Rob was worried about happening could contribute or cause it. He mentioned that Rob had told him how stressed out he was that the business was failing and therefore income was not available and that if the business folded, he’d lose everything, the house, the boat, the cars, the lifestyle.
He also said Rob had told him how torn he was about the girlfriend not working out, that he was still hopeful it would work out but that he’d ruined his chances by being out of control. Rob told him that he’d asked me to take him back and that I wouldn’t and that concerned him too because he just didn’t know what to do anymore and didn’t want to be alone.
The Psychiatrist confirmed that Rob was in fact bi-polar, that he’d probably always been bi-polar and just not diagnosed until now. He said he needed medication to balance his brain chemicals, and that it would take a while to play around with different meds, dosages and combinations before achieving results, but that it could be done. He mentioned it would take about 2 weeks for the meds to kick in and make an appreciable difference, but that Rob wasn’t cooperative about taking them, so he didn’t hold out a lot of hope of Rob taking them once out of there.
All was food for thought for me. I realized that by not taking Rob back and telling him so that I may well contribute to his decision to kill himself. I also knew I could not take him back no matter what and that I would not lie about it. All the other things Rob was so terrified of happening were already in fact transpiring. It was a very strange place to be :(.