Chapter 1. A memoir. Trigger warning: Trauma
I’m in the bathroom corner crouched like a scared rabbit between the toilet and the bathtub. No….this can’t be good. Should I be here? Do people actually crouch, quiver, and hide when they’re feeling this awful inside?
And are they rocking and crying while they are crouching? No---no, no, no, no this isn’t fitting. This picture doesn’t mesh with what I view normal people doing on a daily basis. It’s so insidiously damned dark and ominous here where I live inside myself; dark and lonely as hell. Nothing but me—but not me, and a repulsive place to reside. I’m not what the mirror says I am.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
I hear the knocking, but continue to ignore the pleas to open the stark white, freshly painted bathroom door. Fuck this shit---I’m too paralyzed to move and I just want to be invisible right now.
Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock.
That incessant fucking knocking! SHUT THE FUCK UP BEFORE I RIP A FUCKING HOLE IN THE DOOR AND DRAG YOU THROUGH IT!!!!!
“WHAT!” I chokingly scream through my tears.
“Just talk to the doctor. He wants you to talk to him for just a minute so he can tell you something.”
“Tell him to go to hell. I’m not talking to ANY doctor and that includes HIM.”
There’s nothing wrong with me. I stay icy still and hear the mumbling outside of the door. She’s telling them what I’m doing in here. I know she is. She’s telling them I’ve completely lost every microscopic scrap of sanity I had left.
Crawling to the sink I turn on the faucet and splash the initial tepid water onto my face and let it trickle down the front of my clothes.
Stay on knees.
Now the water is frigid, my clothes are soaked and I look even more disheveled than before. Turning the water off I take a deep breath and for the first time, and am aware that I have become nothing but a nightmarish zombie, moving through the day and night in an eternal trance. The frigid water was just enough to give me that last semblance of reality.
"Yes." I answer meekly.
‘Do you want to go to the hospital?’
I try to think. Try to come up with a plan, but my mind is mush. '
There are no options left for me.
The car, the ride, the walk to the hospital, the waiting room, the questions, the incoherent answers. Everything is numb and bleak. Who is the President? Wait..I know, but who was before him? I finally get a question right on their mini oral psych test and I smile manically.
The robotic movement through a process that is cold, menacing, and meaningless to me. I am a ‘widget’ on the manufacturing line being forced through each step without so much as a whimper or any human emotion. I don’t care what you do to me. I’m just here. I’m just existing, nothing else.
I want my girlfriend to go away. Ugh...I can't even stand to look at her right now. Go home and I'll be home shortly....going to my own room, locking the door, and not answering your pleadings.
Where am I? Oh yeah...MCV...emergency room. What is the emergency?
The team of doctors who have been prodding me to talk have finally come back into the cubby hole of the hospital room.
They are smiling and the attending puts a hand on my shoulder. He leaves it there.
‘How about a relaxing stay?’
‘Wha….a stay? Why?’
‘Well, I think you could use some rest.’
‘Good!’ He claps his hands together. ‘Then we’ll be taking you up to your room shortly okay?’ Big smile.
There’s a muscular black guy pushing me from behind and the hallway seems as if it could go forever and ever with no ending in sight.
I look down and realize I’m in a wheelchair. What the hell you dumb asses, I can WALK still. This hallway is strangely long; a greenish tunnel of tiles and crevices of darkness. What was that medicine they gave me? They didn't say and I didn't care to ask then. My body feels heavy and I can barely lift a finger; I tried.
He's too quiet. Something is wrong. After many twists and turns, I felt that this shadow who was pushing me forward was just that; a figment of my mind. Is he really there? Or am I being transported by this ominous, black cloud? Where are all the lights and people?
I am complacent as we come to a a sterile, but looming steel door when "the shadow", as I shall call him, reaches his dark tentacles out forward and punches some numbers into a keypad.
Only one way in; and one way out.
This door sits alone and I've been watching it get larger for what feels like an hour or more.
Exit stage right Josh.