In my last post, A Change in Perspective, I commented that a small part of me wanted to go hide in inpatient. That has become a very large part of me. The hypomania from Monday-Wednesday started to fade on Thursday. I still had energy, but wasn’t bouncing off the walls, and I would almost say I felt normal. Then I went to the final night of the haunted cornfield.
The past two years I was out in the cornfield scaring people, but last year the medication I was taking at the time made me very anxious about standing out there in the costume and mask and waiting all that time, never knowing when a group would come through. This year I’m not on that medication anymore but still didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of being out in the cornfield so I worked in the shop, selling tickets and souvenirs. I had a coworker in the shop, Roberta, who is sort of kind of dating the owner’s son.
Roberta and I had some disagreements on how things should be done, and I also shook my head in amazement at things she didn’t know about running a cash register. In previous weeks I brushed these thoughts off, but on this final night everything was on my nerves. I particularly got angry with her when she was judgmental about a complaint some customers had – that one of the actors had grabbed his daughter’s arm. After they were gone she kept ranting about how stupid it was that they were complaining and I wanted to be brave enough to chew her out over it. We told customers there would be no touching. An accidental bump in the dark is one thing, but actually grabbing the customer is a big no-no and they had every right to be upset. If that happened to me, I’d probably have an anxiety attack and have to be escorted out.
The really upsetting moment though was when a customer asked if we got paid to scare people. Roberta said, “Donna’s an employee, but I’m a friend of the family.” I thought I was a friend of the family. Maybe I’m not. Maybe that explains why I always feel so excluded, because I’m actually that employee who doesn’t catch on that she’s hanging around too much. There was a party after the closing and I went inside for it, but wasn’t there 5 minutes before I slipped out to my car and drove off crying. I felt out of place and in the way, and was way too fragile to be handling a big crowd.
I got home and mom was surprised to see me so early. I told her I didn’t want to talk about it, but as we sat there on the couch the story gradually started spilling out. I wanted to go out somewhere, which leaves three choices at that time of the night, and hinted to mom that she should go with me. I thought she was planning to go but then she started watching House Hunters. I curled up on my bed and cried, and thought maybe she’d go after the show ended. Instead she headed to her bedroom. I went in there and ended up saying that I guessed I’d go alone, and that’s when she said, “Oh, you wanted me to go?”
Mom got dressed and we went to Steak ‘n Shake. I was trying to work up the nerve to talk to her about some serious topics, and finally managed to start blurting things out in the car. In some order, I explained to her the mood shifts of the past few weeks and told her that I had e-mailed my therapist Friday saying that I was seriously considering inpatient. I didn’t think I could hold out nearly a week to see Brent, and then longer to adjust to whatever medication change he might make.
Sadie knows I am trying my hardest to avoid inpatient, so the fact that I was considering going should have set off some alarm bells. She gets off work early on Fridays but I thought I might get a quick response from her before she left the office. When I didn’t, I started worrying that she had instead called the cops to come get me. I spent the rest of the day looking over my shoulder for men in uniform.
Throughout yesterday and today I’ve tried repeatedly to hold conversations with mom about this subject, but everything I say gets a brief response that in no way furthers the conversation. I began getting more depressed over that, and tried reaching out to some friends via text message. Then mom went out for her choir rehearsal and I finally changed out of my pajamas and started driving to White Castle. I’d been desperate to talk to someone and couldn’t bring myself to call the on-call therapist, but on my drive I had nearly decided to text Deputy Wayne and beg him to please call me. Tell him I really needed help and was too scared to call anyone.
My best friend, who I had texted, called at that moment. I couldn’t answer while driving, but called her back as soon as I arrived at White Castle, and ended up sitting in the parking lot talking to her for about 45 minutes. For a while it felt really unhelpful, with the conversation focusing on something that seemed like the biggest concern but really wasn’t. It did eventually shift to what was really upsetting me, and by the time we got done talking I felt better enough that I didn’t think I needed to talk to anyone else at this point.
However, I came to a conclusion, which she supported. When I finally see Brent on Thursday, I am going to tell him that he has to change something, and that if he doesn’t I’ll be going to the ER and trying to check myself into inpatient. He has to know how serious the situation is.