Thursday, April 27, 2006

Impractical Jokes for the Mentally Ill

So...yesterday. Yesterday I posted soemthing about my mom, and she decided that it would be in her best interests (because it certainly wasn't in mine) to call 911 in Albuquerque and tell them I was suicidal. It was news to me, when seven or so cops, EMTs, and firemen assembled in front of my house to say hello.

I heard them knocking and thought it was a friend of mine - as a general rule, I rarely answer the door without knowing who's there, because I'm always a little afraid it might be the police, but I thought it was my friend, so I said, "Hold on a sec," and headed to the door before I realized that it was actually the fucking cops.

I walked away from the door. I knew it was too late, but I was interested to see what would happen next. My door was unlocked and they just opened it and I stepped towards the door - no need to create any additional unpleasantness by being uncooperative. Maybe if I was nice they'd just go away....

Did you know that *anyone* *anywhere* can call the police and tell them you're suicidal and then you have the burden of proof to show that you're not? I suppose it didn't help any that there was a broken cup on the floor that I'd thrown last night to attempt to alleviate some of my anger at my mom involving herself in my shit. The really ironic thing was that I was planning to tell her that I'd sign her stupid document if she agreed to go to therapy to talk about some of her control issues. The thought must have terrified her so much that she figured another Grand Controlling Gesture was really the best way to go.

Now I'll probably never sign it. She'll never sell her house. Or maybe she'll up the ante and move deeper into a Grand Controlling Strategy, you know, like tried to get me declared incompetent or some such shit. All I know is - don't ever do this to someone.

To begin with, it's embarrassing. In the mid-term, between the ride in the ambulance to the time you get around to discussing release, it's boring. I read old issues of the New Yorker in my hospital gown and called my Dad, my step-father, my girlfriend, my best friends including Gentry, Erik, and Danny Solis, to let them know what was happening. I fended off calls from a couple of clients, telling them I couldn't get to their projects at the moment, but that I'd (hopefully) call them in the morning.

Going to the hospital rarely means any greater help than a few milligrams of Adivan, which I took, finally, when the indignity of the situation was really leading me towards the "Crazy Man" outcome they were looking for. I actually hit myself in front of a psych-tech - a bad move, of course, and a behaviour that I had all but trained myself out of years ago - but the deal at the moment was that in order to release me, they said they wanted to talk to some people in my life who could vouch for my "sanity" (such as it is) and that would include the person who made the call, and That Just Irritated Me. I am, after all, 36 years old - why anyone should have to call My Crazy Mother for a psych evaluation struck me as the ultimate in absurdist medicine.

I have BEEN suicidal in the past, like, for real and shit. I had a girlfriend who'd just dial Suicide hotline and hand me the phone - within about ten minutes of crying and telling jokes to the volunteer on the other line, I'd remember some crazy project I was working on and go play with it, my dreams of shuffling off this mortal coil but a memory. But it's been *THREE* fucking years since I've been actively suicidal, and despite everything that's been pissing me off lately, suicide hasn't been an option. Sleeping too much because I can't deal with the theft of my items and the subsequent emotional aftermath - that's been an option. But not killing myself - and anyone, I think, who would make such a call about me or anyone else, should be subject to some kind of nuisance lawsuit - because claiming someone else is suicidal is no laughing matter.

One of the techs told me to get a lawyer. I'm thinking restraining order at this point - I bet some of you reading this might think, "She was only trying to help." Uh-huh. Sure. Wasting someone's afternoon and evening in a hospital is NOT helpful. Particularly when the only real problem situates itself in the person making the call.

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