Apparently putting him in a dream-like state was the idea of a good psychiatrist. The doctors that administered the medications to Daniel while I was with him would give him strong medicinal cocktails that made Daniel sleep a good 18 hours a day, nod in and out for the rest of the 6 hours and dribble from the corners of his mouth while he was seemingly awake. I now believe the idea behind this was to keep a psychopath down. It was a good idea and they knew it.
Why was it a good idea? Because these doctors knew what Daniel was about. They had heard his stories. They had heard my stories. They knew I was trapped in a situation that I was unable to escape from at that time. As unbelievable as it may sound, these doctors knew I was trapped in a home because I was temporarily disabled and feverishly watched over by a woman who was just as seriously ill as her son. Even if I had left the home to go to a shelter, I would not have been accepted because of my then current medical condition. It was a no-win situation for me.
In retrospect, I see that psychiatrists and psychologists were attempting to aid me by heavily dosing Daniel. It all makes sense now. I truly believe they were protecting me. Just as some of the psychiatrists wanted to commit him to a State Hospital, others aided me in obtaining PFA’s (Protection From Abuse Order’s), others kept him locked in the psychiatric units of the local hospitals when he would commit suicide for as long as they could hope to be able to obtain orders to further commit him for longer durations.
I would imagine having Daniel as a patient was a challenge. He probably was viewed as the patient that a doctor could write abstracts on. A patient that a doctor could talk about at seminars. Daniel was the ideal delusional patient complete with a dysfunctional childhood and a psychiatrically ill overbearing mother that was very much an overbearing presence in his everyday life. What more could a doctor ask for? Paint the picture more with a woman who somehow became involved, now disabled, constantly being rushed to the ER for sometimes unknown reasons, later suspected poisonings, and perhaps, just perhaps this woman was suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.
Someone needed to be helped, and doctors were looking for answers. They knew conclusively that Daniel was a diagnosed psychopath. That was a given. He had been diagnosed by a psychiatrist when he attempted to murder me and had been arrested and placed in jail. He had a background of breaking the law since the age of 18, there were police reports of prior domestic violence in a former relationship and he had been in drug-rehabilitation centers.
When I first met Daniel, I was unaware of his background. His mother kept all of it hidden from me, as he did. Slowly, his past was revealed to me, but not in everyday conversation. I became aware of his past during the times he was arrested because of his suicide attempts and the murder attempt. He would also reveal parts of his past during conversations with psychologists and psychiatrists. Since I would always be present during sessions to keep him on track, I would learn of his past digressions and of his current thoughts.
Listening to Daniel tell the doctors his stories would make me cringe inwardly. Other times, I would be astounded at his descriptions of his childhood abuses. I never knew what would pour forth from Daniel’s mouth, but I knew it would always surprise me.
When I tell you at times I wanted to run as far as I could and never look back, that is my earnest truth. If only I could back then. I believed I had no other choice. Living in a wheelchair at first from the original accident, then graduating to a walker, eventually to Canadian crutches took a total of over 6 years. In the beginning, I had seizures up to 15 times a day. I couldn’t verbalize, but my mind could think. I was trapped in a hell that I couldn’t talk about to anyone. I was attending physical therapy and crying through it because the pain was intense, but determined.
Daniel would take me to the physical therapy hospital and wait for me. He would then drive me home, dutifully help me out of the car with my wheelchair, and help me up the stairs to the porch and into the house. As I said earlier, I would be in tears from the pain. When I first began physical therapy, because it was too painful for my body after the accident, a tens unit was used instead for relief before any attempt at using my limbs was started.
Daniel, in his twisted thinking, asked the doctor for a tens unit to use at home. He explained to the doctor that it would be beneficial to ease my pain. One was acquired for home use. However, easing my pain wasn’t Daniel’s intention. There are other uses for tens units, I found out. They aren’t what the machines are intended to be used for but Daniel used them in a sadistic manner on my body instead. I still shudder at the sight or mention of these machines and they turn my stomach.
I know he was solicitous in helping me in front of the neighbors. Very often a neighbor would come over when they would see me getting out of the car to offer their sympathy. They would tell me how amazed they were at what I was attempting to accomplish. It had taken me months just to walk the length of my porch, that is, when I finally was able to get out of my wheelchair and use my walker. Of course, they would then turn to Daniel and sympathize with him. What they didn’t know is that he was responsible for the accident that had put me in the wheelchair that they were looking at.
But the psychiatrists did. They were the ones that wanted to get Daniel away from me. They knew how seriously ill he was and the damage he was causing to me. The problem is they couldn’t physically remove me from my home and put me somewhere else. They could temporarily remove Daniel and advise me to leave the state, but in reality, with no one to aid me, I didn’t know how to do this. I felt very helpless in the physical condition I was in.
I had a home. I had pets. My adult children were in college. I felt very alone. I was being “watched” by Sandra. All I could do was plan to physically repair myself to the best of my ability and then work on rewiring my brain to create new neural pathways. I didn’t tell anyone about my plan. I knew if I did, it wouldn’t succeed.
The only person that knew was Doc Holly. She encouraged me to continue on. It is because of her that I am here today writing this story. Walking, talking, driving, doing everything I could do before the accident. It took me over 6 years to put down the Canadian crutches and walk without any aids. It took 4 years before I was able to rewire my brain and be successful in creating new pathways. Daniel and his mother had no idea I was working feverishly behind their backs, while they were constantly aiming to destroy me.
Four years later, my day of recognition was August 26, 2006 when I went to a judge and told him my story and asked for a PFA against Daniel again, for the second time. The judge approved it, and evicted Daniel from the home immediately. Although I had the PFA, it only served to antagonize the Smiths further. Now I should have been free of them, but they were concocting more troubles than I ever believed possible for me.
Now that Daniel was out of the house and under his mother’s roof, he was no longer medicated. He was in full bloom of his illness and now using drugs. And his mother was still protecting him from the police when I would report him for violating the PFA. Now Sandra felt she had to fight back because a judge had her son evicted from the home through a domestic violence PFA and she would stop at nothing to get her way.
Although before I was a prisoner in my home and held captive by these people, and now I was free, this time I was being held captive by what her money bought through lies. Gone were the pharmaceutical cocktails that the doctors had prescribed for her son the psychopath that would keep him down and out. Sandra didn’t have the mental strength and capabilities to force Daniel to take his medicines, thus encouraging her little boy to come out and play with her once more.
And together, fueled by obsessive furies, these two now started to play an even more dangerous near-deadly game in their compulsive preoccupations with me. Forced to leave the Chelsea home, Daniel’s last words to me were “I won’t stop until you’re crying on the curb, without a roof over your head, without any food to eat, and penniless.”
- Lots of rehab (mycerebellarstrokerecovery.com)
- New Clues on Rewiring Your Brain (my.psychologytoday.com)
- Rewiring the Brain! (usfhonorsforwoundedvets.wordpress.com)
- BBC Future column: Does the internet rewire your brain? (mindhacks.com)
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