I have struggled lately with what I guess could be called "racing or obsessive thoughts". It's a product of stress and of my bipolar illness. It's been driving me crazy and I've taken to, most afternoons, going to bed and trying to slow my brain down by taking a nap. Yesterday, however, I crawled into bed and was tormented by thoughts that wouldn't go away no matter how much I breathed deeply and prayed for them to go away. Finally, I rolled over and in a frustrated effort to make them stop, I took 3mg of Ativan (an anti-anxiety medication) and tried to fall asleep. Within 20 minutes, nothing had changed so I took 2 more milligrams. I know, I know that for those of you who know what a "normal" dose of Ativan is, you know I took more than I should have. Even I know that. But I was desperate. After some time, I think I got 15 minutes of peace and then I woke up again to the racing thoughts only now I was thinking about how stupid I had been to take so much of it and I began to think about my life lately, how stressed I've been, how much I've needed a break to the point of actually considering running away for a while. I thought about how I could land myself in the psych hospital if it went much further. Along with that, I started to think about the fact that I had taken more of the Ativan than is prescribed and I thought that I could (but not likely) die from it.
I wasn't going to but I thought about it.
That prompted me to think about the fact that Dan doesn't have a single phone number for my friends and my doctors and Thomas's doctors to call in case of any emergency where I might be unable to make the calls myself. So, I got up and went and sat in the living room and began to program his phone with the numbers of the most important people in my life: my doctors, Thomas's doctors, my sister and my best friends. Then I went on to message everyone and let them know that I had given Dan their numbers "in case something happened to me." This, of course, was met with return texts to me from my family and friends asking me if I was okay. They all know I've been struggling lately and they were worried. I explained to them the situation and they reluctantly accepted my plan.
It was my sister, though, that was most concerned. I told her exactly what I had done. I told her about the racing thoughts, the over medicating, and I told her that I wasn't going to lie, that I was completely overwhelmed right now and feeling very tired and very alone in the world. She, of course, was scared to death--understandably so. She told me that she had just taken a class on suicide and that she was worried for me. I texted back, half laughing, that it probably didn't help my case that I had spent last weekend cleaning out most of my things and sending them off to Goodwill. My state of mind at the time of ridding myself of my possessions was that I have so many things I haven't touched in over a year and I felt they had to go. FAST.
Then it happened. The whole point of why I'm writing this blog and giving you the backstory.
Thomas came into the living room with a scared look on his face and he said,
"Nate said I should come see you because you are struggling (or something--not an exact quote)"
Nate is Thomas's biological dad (my ex-husband) who is married to my sister and who doesn't play much of a part in Thomas's life but because I had been having this conversation with my sister, he had taken it upon himself to alert Thomas that I was somehow in danger. I sat there dumbfounded and trying to figure out what exactly was going on in that moment and I told Thomas not to worry and that everything was fine.
No sooner did he return to his room and he was back out in the living room scared to death looking at me and asking me what was going on. "Why was Nate saying this stuff?"
I got up and went in to Thomas's room to check the Facebook chat and just as I looked down, another message came up from Nate saying,
"Your mom's been giving everything away!" (not an exact quote--again)
But I stood there staring at the words he'd written to Thomas thus far and I tried like hell to figure out why he was doing this to Thomas. Why tell a young man with schizophrenia that he needs to worry about his mom when, really, HE DOESN'T? He just needs to be left alone to watch YouTube videos and be as happy as possible.
Then it happened. Thomas turned to me and he said with fear in his voice,
"Mom? Are you suicidal?"
Dear Almighty God. WHY?!?!?!?
Why did my ex have to say anything to Thomas about my conversation with my sister. I was venting to my sister, something I do all the time, and I was only expecting my sister to support me. Now, suddenly, here I was with my boy with schizophrenia who worries like crazy about his mom on a good day, with him asking me if I was suicidal!!!
Naturally, I gave him a hug, told him I was fine, spared him the content of the conversation with my sister (which was not suicide talk), and I told him everything was fine and that he just needed to tell his bio-dad that he had checked on me and everything was fine.
We so did not need this. Thomas, in many ways, is a child. Thomas worries about me constantly. Why on earth would someone throw on his plate that his mom is suicidal when the whole thing was supposed to be a private conversation between two sisters?!? And furthermore,
HIS MOM IS NOT SUICIDAL!!!!
So, needless to say, my evening was filled with trying to reassure Thomas that everything was okay, that I was okay.
Here's the thing. I will give my ex the benefit of the doubt. I believe he was trying to help. I believe he thought what he was doing was helpful. I also believe that he doesn't have a clue that Thomas does not have the capacity to handle things like this. Had something actually happened to me, I would have appreciated him reaching out to Thomas and COMFORTING him through a tough time, but this?
Not helpful. Not at all.
Now I'm kind of at a loss as to what to do about this whole thing with Thomas. Is he going to file this away somewhere and worry that his mom is on the brink of death? Is he going to carry this around with him and not want to leave my side? I don't know. All I do know is that despite his best intentions,
I really wish my ex had kept his mouth shut.