Friday the 13th, a date that will and already does live in infamy. That’s also when my divorce was final.
It started as a typical day, but turned into something very dark, something I might pay a heavy price for.
My now ex wife (which I didn’t know at the time) had spent the day moving most of her things into the garage to prepare to move out the next day. Her sister came down from Indianapolis to help. I was under the assumption that she would not be there when I got back home from work.
I wanted everything she was taking to be put either downstairs or in the garage, as I didn’t want a bunch of people I don’t know walking through my house, potentially ransacking what they please. I was going to do the good thing and take Amelia with me and we were going to have a fun day together, see a movie and go to the Wonderlab.
So I started moving what was left, heavy furniture. There was a chest of drawers, a cedar chest, the dining room table and chairs and a hutch to be moved. I figured it could be done that night, and I assumed that I could do it on my own (as she was supposed to leave that night and take Amelia to a birthday party).
I started with the hutch. Rachel provided some assistance, but was not happy about it. She kept saying that I wanted to break her things, I didn’t. I just didn’t want them where they were. We had problems getting it down the stairs, and that’s when she told me the divorce was final, and in a very snarky tone.
I don’t know why, but between that and the situation which was escalated by her sister, my anxieties got the best of me and I lost control. I had to end the feelings within my body by any means possible. I felt like I was going to literally explode. My heart was racing so fast it felt like it was going to burst out of my body at that moment.
So I did something I greatly regret. I pushed her. I then got my handgun, loaded it and was going to end my life. I never pointed it, but held it at my side. Then I saw the tattoo I had put on my arm of my dad’s handwriting. It reads “Try to do me proud. This is ol’ Dad signing off. Love, Dad.” It stopped me in my tracks. I knew he would not be proud of my actions, I knew he wouldn’t want my life to end like this.
So I put the gun away, unloaded it and sat on my couch. I knew the police were on their way. I just wasn’t sure what was going to happen. Was I going to jail? Am I now a violent person who just did a cruel and harmful thing to my family?
Sure enough, the police did call. They asked me to come out of the house. I didn’t want to escalate the situation, so I did. They had me put my hands on my head and kneel. I was then cuffed and the handgun was confiscated under Laird’s Law. The sheriff’s deputy said that he will try to have my lifetime concealed carry permit stripped from me as well.
They asked me what happened, and I told them much like I’m telling everyone here and now. I’m fully aware this is publicly viewable, and that’s okay. This is what happened. They were obviously checking to see what the truth and what the facts were. The police (and I can only assume my ex wife) took mercy on me. No charges were filed. Instead I was taken to the hospital on a 72 hour law enforcement hold because of my suicidal action.
The law enforcement officers were kind to me, and I understand what they did and why they did it. I thanked them for their efforts and their jobs. On the way to the hospital, I had a good and genuine conversation with the Sheriff’s deputy.
I was then placed into the detention center of the ER, a place I had never been before. It was as interesting as it was frightening. I had to remove all of my clothes and wear a gown. A nurse graciously let me keep my cell phone until I was moved to the “crisis” unit. I was then sold/pressured to sign myself into the hospital voluntarily as it would let me get out in 24 hours or less. I came to find out later that was a complete lie.
That unit was what I like to refer to as “jail-lite.” My room was very much like a jail cell in my opinion. There was a jail like bed, a single chair and a camera pointed straight at the bed. The room had 2 doors to it and it was cold, so very cold. I was strip searched and they attempted to do a metals scan on me, but did not due to my VNS implant. It was a small unit, and I was allowed to move freely around it. There was a single bathroom for the entire unit. There was a phone that I was told I could use freely. I called my ex girlfriend and told her what had happened. I was not able to use that phone again.
That night, nurses checked on me and I sobbed at times uncontrollably in that room. I was scared, I was frightened and I was regretting the events that had taken place. It was the closest thing to jail that I had ever experienced in my life. I tried to sleep but couldn’t due to how cold I was.
The next day, I saw the psychiatrist and a counselor. He obviously didn’t care, and the counselor took my statements and was consoling. Within 3 hours I was moved to the “stress care” unit. I was told how much better it would be there, and indeed it was better.
I had space, and I wasn’t as cold. I was given a room with a room mate. He told me that he was “hearing voices” which creeped me out a bit, but he stayed primarily in the room – so I stayed away. I spent much of my time walking the unit, which is a U shape. Walking 12 complete legs is a mile. I can only assume I got in at least 10 miles or more in. They had “day rooms” with TV and such, but I couldn’t access a newspaper. That made me sad.
The nurses and staff were much more helpful than in the crisis unit, even though they were the same people. One in particular was especially kind, giving me information that I wouldn’t have found out for hours had she not told me. I went to a couple of group therapy sessions, one of which was very helpful for my anxiety. Something called HeartMath, which is a way of meditation to control your heart and in turn control your brain. It has helped me, and I’m currently on a regimen of exercises 3 times a day. I was told that once I can notice the control, I can back it off. But I don’t have that control yet.
Not an hour after that session, I was dismissed from the hospital. My ex girlfriend picked me up and took me home. It was a sad sight. All of the things we discussed, all the things we agreed upon, she threw out the window. All of Amelia’s things were gone, things she wanted to stay at daddy’s house. The only things left are her toiletries and the coloring books she wanted to keep. No clothes, no toys. Her car seat was taken from my car and her bike was even taken, when she had previously said that it should stay there “because daddy is going to show me how to ride it.”
I couldn’t stop the tears, so I left.
On and off throughout my stay, I tried to contact Rachel but never got a response. She then blocked me on facebook. That let me know, and so I sent her a final email message. I won’t contact her again.
I’m left with puzzling questions. Questions that I probably will never get an answer to. I was supposed to pick her up from school all week, and take her to her soccer lesson this week. This weekend, I was supposed to have her as my first official weekend. To poke and prod would just make things worse than they already are.
I’ve discovered that she’s requested a hearing to change custody and visitation. This saddens me, but I understand the concern after the acts I did do. I’ve said from the beginning, I must pay the price for whatever I have done, and that I will.