After stopping count to over thirteen attempted suicides, my mind went on a continuous numb ride. Each day I never knew what to expect. Would Daniel down a few bottles of pills again? Would he jump in his Jeep truck and spin out of control down the street without caring what he hit? Or would I get a call from him telling me he was on a local bridge? I never knew and I was beginning not to care anymore.
I cared in the sense that this man needed help. Early on in his hospitalizations, one psychiatrist that I didn’t know wanted Daniel sent for a full year to a psychiatric Hospital/Sanitarium. I would have had to sign his papers and agree to this. Looking back now, of course I wish I had signed those papers in triplicate and had them notorized. But, unfortunately, I didn’t.
The doctor didn’t convince me enough. He didn’t lay out his plans for Daniel strongly. He didn’t explain to me what Daniel was all about. I was just learning myself about him. This psychiatrist could not understand why I wouldn’t sign Daniel into the psychiatric hospital for a full year. To me, it was comparable to locking the door and throwing the key away. After one visit with him, this doctor felt he knew him.
Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. Maybe he guessed well. Maybe he had a premonition. Whatever his reasoning was, however he came up with his prognosis and decision, it was right back then. But his people skills were nil. He had absolutely no idea how to present a case to a family reasonably without presenting himself as a god figure first. He didn’t like to answer questions. He didn’t like to explain his answers. His word was exemplary of the future, but how could I know this if he wouldn’t answer any questions I had?
I did the next best thing I knew to do. I called another psychiatrist in that I was familiar with. This doctor was known in the Valley as the King of Bi-Polar. My guess was that if he also felt Daniel needed to be put away for a year in that institution, then fine, I would sign the papers. I trusted the second psychiatrist. I would go with his opinion.
Dr. S, a revered psychiatrist in the Valley, but also one that was to be reckoned with, called me at work to tell me he would take Daniel’s case. He told me he had but one question for me. I asked him what. He said, “What in God’s name did you say to the other psychiatrist? He told me not to go near you with a 20′ pole!”
Now remember, I had known this psychiatrist. He knew I was a rather humourous person with a very sarcastic wit. He also knew I was a tough character. I told Dr. S that I simply said he was off the case in a stern way and I didn’t feel he was worth my time. There were more words than that said between us, but he started laughing so hysterically on the phone that I couldn’t get any more in. That’s when he said he would take the case. He was known for enjoying working with specialty disorders of bi-polar. If anyone was a specialty, it would be Daniel.
He tested Daniel, he spoke to Daniel, he spoke to me. I believe he knew Daniel was what he was all along. After all, Dr. S was the psychiatrist that had set up Daniel to explode in the room with me while a nurse waited outside listening to protect me. See “Survivor Of A Psychopath…(With borderline Tendencies)…the psychiatric ward.” short link=http://wp.me/p10n4F-J .
His conclusions varied. Yes, Daniel was bi-polar. He changed his medications to more of a cocktail that was rather strong. The new meds that Daniel was on kept him weak and sleepy most of the time. There was no more fear of him. For all I knew, that was the plan of the doctor. He also wanted Daniel to go to therapy. Daniel had been going to therapy anyway, so that wasn’t a problem for him. The only difference was ensuring that I would attend to keep Daniel on track with his answers. Otherwise he would continue to manipulate and con other doctors and therapists.
This psychiatrist’s other thought was to use mental stimulation on Daniel. Electroconvulsive-therapy, shock therapy,ECT,electroshock,vagus nerve stimulation,transcranial magnetic stimulation, paddles-whatever you would like to reference it as or know it as. Daniel was all for it. He was excited that this might work for him. I went to visit him one evening and he brought me to the library to watch a movie about ECT.
Daniel acted as if he really wanted to get better. He told me that if he had these treatments, he knew there was a better chance for us and our relationship. He figured that if he did these ECT’s, his being normal would impress me and I would stay with him. I’m sure he also felt that his mind would be rid of all its demons. He would finally be free of all the evil thoughts he would often talk about. He wouldn’t be taken over by the racing thoughts or the turntable in his head that wouldn’t stop, as he would often say.
Frankly, I was impressed. This man was going to lay himself down on a table for at least 6 sessions and have his doctor zap his head. All I could think of was the old horror movies like Frankenstein. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! Terrible how images come to mind when they shouldn’t at all. I’m listening to him talk so passionately about trying to get better, knowing the downsides, and wondering what to say to him.
It didn’t matter what I had to say to him. He didn’t care and couldn’t be convinced. He was going to do it. He had made up his mind. Daniel was going for the electroconvulsive-therapy regardless of anyone’s thought. It was to start immediately. I wished him luck. I told him he was a lot braver than I. I told him I was proud of him. These were emotions I would have for many people going through this type of treatment. I was telling him how I truly felt for anyone about to inflict this upon themselves.
Daniels response? “Baby, I’m doing this for you.” I replied, “No Daniel. You’re not. The only person that you are doing this for is yourself. It’s your decision, not mine.” He needed to be accountable for his acts. He needed to be responsible for his decisions. Should anything go wrong, I was not
going to be blamed for the decision made for the ECT. Daniel made that decision purely on his own.
All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License