December 5, 2013
Pete took me to the hospital ER for a psych eval right away. We waited for about three hours for a crisis counselor. In the meantime, I got a gurney and Pete sat in a chair. We were tired and both trying to sleep. I felt bad that Pete was sitting in a chair and I wanted him to go home, but I didn’t tell him to go for two reasons.
1. If Pete left, I might have left too. His presence was the only thing keeping me there. It was a long wait.
2. I couldn’t speak. Pete tried to talk during the drive. At the hospital registration they asked me questions that Pete had to answer for me. Every time I wanted to say something, it felt like every word would slice razor blades across my tongue on their way out. It felt like every word would be expressing every pain I have ever felt in my entire life, 10-fold. Words seemed too potent and torturous to speak. And there was this wall which was my mouth which I couldn’t penetrate. I couldn’t speak. And whatever it was I wanted to communicate was too trivial to suffer the agony of fighting to release those words. I couldn’t speak so I couldn’t tell Pete to go home.
So we waited and I began to drift off to sleep. I found myself in this strange place where it was almost like I was floating. I wasn’t really there with the other people. I was present but not there. They spoke of me but not to me. They were aware I was there but behaved like I was absent. I was in this sphere of air that throbbed around me and I was the only one in it. And as I moved it felt like my feet weren’t touching the ground. Sometimes I hovered above and wandered. I never saw anyone else that way, I only saw myself. There were distorted colors and smells. People seemed gratuitously happy like they were suffering from psychoses and my sanity was mistaken for a disorder. Since everyone had the same psychoses, I was out of place. But then while I was in this realm where I was isolated completely from everyone around me, something intruded into my sphere. It was a monstrous creature. It had enormous hands that began to grab at me and molest me. It had many hands. The hands were all over me touching every part of my body as I tried to fight it off. I woke myself up by shouting “no!” over and over again. I woke up and there was hospital staff all around me trying to contain me. I was on the floor and I had no idea what was going on. Finally I felt a needle and they put me back on the hospital gurney. My wrists and ankles were bound with leather straps. They covered me with a blanket, then strapped me across my chest and my legs. This would have freaked me out if the drug they gave me wasn’t already subduing me.
After they left Pete stood over me and said he was sorry, he didn’t think it should have happened like that. But his voice was vibrating in the distance. He moved the chair and sat closer to the gurney. I tried to sleep again, but every time I closed my eyes I saw either one of two images that I couldn’t bear to see. Then I tried not to sleep, but my eyelids were so heavy they were closing against my will, and in effect flashing these images before me making it seem like every time I closed my eyes it was like I was being stabbed in the heart. I’d drift off and instantly get startled awake. I heard Pete say, “relax Grimm, go to sleep, I’m here, nothing’s going to happen to you.”
When I finally fell asleep, the crisis counselor arrived. As I woke up a little, I began to pull at the straps. Pete asked her if they could be removed, I didn’t need to be bound, I was only having a bad dream. She went out to talk to the doctor I think, then other staff came in and talked to me like I was a five year old telling me they’d strap me down if I acted up again. Then they unbound me, but they didn’t take out the intravenous with the drug to sedate me. That’s ok that was the best part of the whole ordeal.
Before the counselor started talking to me, I got my cigarettes from my coat to indicate I needed a smoke, so they got a wheelchair and took me outside. I smoked 2 cigarettes. When we returned, I still couldn’t speak. Pete answered whatever questions he could. But he told her that if I asked to go to the hospital then I must need to and that it’s strange that I’m not talking. They have my records so they must know I tried to kill myself before. I think with all the evidence at hand, including my inability to talk, the counselor determined that I should be hospitalized. She spent time on the phone but the institution didn’t have a bed available yet so I had to go stay at the crisis center for a few days until a bed would be available.
Eventually it was time to be checked out of the ER and I showed Pete that I was almost out of cigarettes. So we left for the crisis center and stopped for cigarettes on the way, Pete went in and bought them. I rode with Pete and the counselor rode in her own car.
When we got there, Pete walked me to the bottom of the stairs to say goodbye. Half way up the stairs as Pete was walking to his car, I called out “Pete!” and I went down to him. I said, “Gary Oldman.” He said not to worry about her, she’d be ok, he’d take care of her. I said, “but she needs me, she needs me.” But I don’t know, maybe I just needed her, I didn’t want to be without her. The counselor said since she was a service animal maybe I could have her, but she wasn’t sure. I felt so desperate to have her and Pete was telling me not to worry. Then I realized that Pete must be sad too. He loved Valentina too and she was also a part of his life. He must be sad, but he’s keeping it in for me and Sweetheart. I felt sad for Pete but I also felt grateful. I wanted to burst out crying, but I held it in. I held in the sadness and suddenly I wanted sex. I realized that sex is like filling a need, kind of like drugs or alcohol. When you have sex, you’re only in that moment thinking of nothing else. I wanted that and I wanted to feel good. It’s also an intimacy and I felt like I needed intimacy because I was sad.
I looked at Pete and I was so grateful to him. It felt like a long time I just stared at him. He didn’t say anything, I think he was waiting to see if I would speak again. The counselor was in the middle of the stairs waiting quietly. Finally I leaned in and kissed Pete. I mean I really kissed him, passionately like he was a woman. He seemed kind of taken aback at first but settled into it. It was a long, passionate kiss. Not because I have gay feelings towards him, because I don’t, and I’m sure he knows that. It didn’t have anything to do with sex or gender. I just couldn’t speak again. I couldn’t speak. It was the only thing I could think to do that made any sense at that moment. The only way I could think to communicate.
I kissed him and then I looked at him, hoping he’d see in my eyes what I was thinking, then I turned and went up the stairs. As I was going in the door with the counselor, I turned to look at Pete, still at the bottom of the stairs. He gave an awkward wave and I went inside.