Last year, I tried to die.
My husband, whom I had met on IRC eight years before, and waited five years for him to emigrate from Australia to be with me, the man for whom I gave up any semblance of a normal life so that I could be online when he was awake, the man I ran up $450 a month phone bills for for five years, left me.
Not only did he leave me, he left me for one of my best friends, the mother of six of my nine Godchildren.
I was in the middle of a major nervous breakdown. We had been to what was supposed to be the stamp of approval appointment at the INS and been told flat out by the examiner that he believed we were lying, that our marriage was simply for a green card, and he was threatening me with jail time. I was losing it.
I had been spending a lot of time at my "friend" Anna's home while dealing with the INS because I would sink into a fearsome depression when Isaac left for work each day. Anna was sort of babysitting me. After a while, Isaac and I practically moved in with Anna and Frank, because of the two hour commute from his work (close to their home) and our home on the other side of San Francisco Bay.
Any idiot with eyes could see what was happening, but I was so closed to the idea that Isaac or Anna would ever hurt me, that they loved me, that I didn't see until it was too late. I remember the night I saw what was going on. It was a couple of days after Christmas, I was standing in the living room doorway and looking at the three of them on the couch and saying "I am losing my husband." As I crumpled into a heap on the floor, they surrounded me with arms and said "No, no, never." Anna said "He came halfway around the world to be with you. He will never leave you."
A few days after this, feeling suicidal, I checked into the local psychiatric bin, where they dosed me with so much Klonopin so often that my regular doctor was surprised that I hadn't become dangerously ill. After three days, they released me with no take home meds.
When I came out we went to our home where I immediately went into severe withdrawal. Screaming, ranting, doing self injury with steak knives and razors, raging at my husband, who by now was wearing a ring that Anna had given him - between the two wedding bands I had given him. Nice symbology there, eh?
On the second night of me falling apart, Isaac ordered me to return to the hospital. He drove me to the ER, where I told them that he wanted me in there, I didn't think I needed to be. They didn't check me in. On the way home, Isaac drove 75 mph down El Camino Real, not a freeway, just a very long city street, ranting about what a selfish cunt I was all the way down the road. I was shrieking in terror the entire trip home.
We got home and he announced he was going to the bar. Went. An hour later, I called and asked him to please come and walk the dog. Five minutes later he came, got the dog, said "I love you, back soon". Two hours later, I figured out that he wasn't coming back, called an ambulance because I felt suicidal again, and went to the hospital.
While I was in there, I got this sweet message of love: "Tell her that I love her, I will never divorce her, but I can never see her nor speak to her again." Thanks, Isaac. Thank you very much.
I spent nearly a month in there. When I got out, my dearest friend, Renee, drove me home. She wanted me to come to her house, but I wanted to be at home. She made me promise that if I felt like hurting myself, I would call. I promised.
An hour after I got home, I took the scissors to my waist length hair and cut it all to a shabby two or so inches long. I put it into a Tupperware container, stuck it in a box, addressed it to Isaac care of Anna, stamped it, and went to bed.
I woke up in the middle of the night, around four AM, reaching out to spoon with my husband and discovered again that he was not there. At that point, I began howling like some sort of lost and wounded animal, and just knowing that my life was over forever.
Staggering to the living room, I picked up the phone and called somebody who I need to keep anonymous. That person basically told me that they'd spoken to Isaac, that it was all my fault anyways, that I was crazy, had always been crazy, and it was my fault my father had died more than twenty years previously (from cancer, might I add), and that the world would have been better off had I never been born.
I hung up sobbing and promptly swallowed 80+ Wellbutrin. Then, realizing that I had promised Renee, and that if I did die, she would never forgive herself, (much as I have never forgiven myself for my friend Stu's suicide on the day I married Isaac - his suicide note talked about there being no hope, because I was marrying Isaac) I called her. The ambulance came and got me and took me to the county hospital - for which I was glad, the place had the reputation of a butcher shop, and I figured, "Okay, I'll die there".
Now, turns out, Wellbutrin overdoses, in and of themselves, won't kill you. But the effects of them can. Any overdose of Wellbutrin, even a small one, can cause convulsions and hallucinations. Ever taken LSD without knowing you'd been dosed? Almost invariably you end up with a bad trip. I got a three day long bad trip, and three days of convulsions. My heart stopped a couple of times, very briefly.
The hallucinations were hellacious. I don't remember most of them, but some of them just will not leave my memory. I remember the first one vividly. A few moments before I started to fly, I told the nurse that I hadn't actually taken anything at all, that I was a perfectly happy and well adjusted suburban housewife, and I got off of the ER gurney and headed for the door. Last thing I remember hearing, as I lost control of my body and started shaking like crazy was "We've got a live one!"
Then the trip started. All of these nurses and doctors surrounding me, saying that they hated a faker worse than anything, and torturing me physically by bashing my skull into a huge spiked metal cylinder repeatedly. I have no idea how long that one lasted.
There was the "County Hospital cremates the dead ones immediately, but saves their sliced off tongues heaped in a room in the basement" hallucination. That was fun. In that one, I was being processed by being sent down a long conveyor belt and having plastic stretched over my face to cut off my breathing so that they could get my tongue out easier.
The juke box world was a fun one. Everybody lived in an old Wurlitzer juke, one person per record. All communication was through the records on either side of you, pass it down style. And both records on either side of me were broken somehow.
There was the one where I walked up a double helix stairway to Heaven, and met the Creator himself. He gave me a choice, one that He said every person who died got. We all got a chance to be God, He said, and decide the ultimate fate of the universe. Choose love and the universe continues. Choose hate, and the entire universe is destroyed, except the person choosing hate. That person gets to be alone forever, wrapped in their hate, alone.
I contemplated for a few minutes and then screamed "HATE! I CHOOSE FUCKING HATE!" and blam, there went the universe.
But the one that stands out strongest to me was sad, poignant, but not horrifying. I was in some existence where everybody got to find their soul mate and live a cocooned existence forever with that person. I looked around, trying to find Isaac, but I saw him going off with Anna. Then I was sucked into a room, no furniture, but so comfortable. Sensing a presence, I looked up, expecting Isaac to be there. He wasn't. All that was there was a rose, hovering in the air, surrounded by this golden glow. I knew that it was a man, my man, the man for my life, but I also knew that it was not Isaac.
When I came out of the hallucinations and convulsions, I was tied to a hospital bed. They moved me to the psych unit the next morning, where I spent the next two and a bit months.
The aftermath of the episode is that I have sustained permanent brain damage. My IQ, once measured at 200+, now tests around 135. I have massive short term memory problems. I occasionally stutter when I become stressed or frightened. I cry a lot, sometimes for no apparent reason. I am often afraid of things that I can't identify, and I am haunted by those hallucinations and others I did not detail here.
By what I consider to be a true miracle from God, I met Sam, my new husband, a few weeks after I left the hospital. When he came to visit me a month after that, I was waiting for him at the airport and he came down the corridor, literally surrounded by golden light.