Thursday, July 06, 2006

I Know What Momma Said, But . . .

I think I just need to get this off my chest; it's just eating at me, for some reason. Grrr. First of all, most of my aggravation (today) is because of our alarm system. The fact that we HAVE to have an alarm system aggravates me to no end. If I hadn't been kind hearted and taken in a friend who was in need, we wouldn't even need an alarm system. Every time I think about it, it just gets me so angry. Spittin' angry (and I don't spit).

Why You Don't Open Your House to a Mentally Ill Friend:
To make a long story short(er) (which is not really possible), my childhood friend was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and I invited her down from Virginia several times last year. She gladly came down--staying once with her grown son here for two weeks, then came on our vacation with us in Florida, brought her son back down and both stayed at our house for over a month and a half while he looked for a house here; and then when he finally did find a house, she became manic at which time I invited her back to "get away from it all." (The FOOL that I am.) It exhausts me just thinking about it. Her family agreed to her staying here (I think in order to get rid of her) which is just beyond belief to me. No one ever said she was dangerous. Not one peep about her past.

I made sure she ate right, I gave her her medicines twice a day, I kept her from drinking as much as I could and basically I (WE) endured her illness for over three weeks. (My family was so understanding, and I apologize to them for putting them through all of this.) During all this time, I tried to get her into see a psychiatrist. Since she had no insurance, so no one would take her. I took her to my internist who practices holistic medicines and she tried reike--to no avail. I got her to go to group therapy (once). You see, I tried everything I could to help this poor woman. The entire time, she needed to be institutionalized, her husband refused to it--instead putting her off on me. The final straw came when she began spitting her meds out (or cheeking them, as her husband later told me). She began drinking any liquor she could find and began getting mad at me about things. The last night she was here, I had called her son--who now lived only a couple of miles away yet never visited the entire time she was here "getting well." I told him he needed to come and get her. She was getting aggravated with me at my telling her that she couldn't drink, asking her if she took her meds, etc. She was aggravating my mom (who gets upset easily in her ripe old age of 82) by telling her things like she was going to suffocate downstairs because she didn't have any ventilation (not true). She was aggravating me by taking items from my house and mailing them to various unknown places (mostly to her family in VA). I couldn't take any more.

Well, as she was waiting for her son to arrive, she became more irritated with me because I had pulled her bag inside because it was raining. She suspected I was doing something odd--Lord knows what was going on in her head. As she stood on our back porch, she pulled a hunting knife out of her bag and lunged at me and told me to leave her stuff alone or she would kill me or have her "son" come over and blow my "f)**&ing" brains out." The way she did it, it had to be planned. She didn't even take her eyes off me when she reached for it. She knew exactly where this knife was. I have never been attacked by anyone before and I just kind of lost it. Of course, I slammed the door on her; and sadly the kid was coming down the stairs when this was happening. She then threatened him! I called 911; but before they arrived, her son came. The "nice" (idiot) person I am, I told him to take her away before the police got there. I begged him to take her to the hospital (which is the only way you can get someone in without their consent--if they try and harm themselves or someone else). Of course, he didn't. And of course, I didn't want to press charges after they arrived and I didn't tell them where she was, blah blah blah. The husband came down the next day. He never did take her to the hospital.

This was back in November. There has not been one day or night that I don't think about her coming back here in some manic state. Therefore, I must have the alarm system activated.

I Love My Alarm System (NOT):
Now, this is why I'm aggravated today. We have an alarm system. It's never been monitored. I've never felt the need, obviously, until now. I've called the builder to see who to have come out and get it in working order. Joe Blow comes out and can't figure it out. (These are the same people who installed it only 5 years ago!) Okay. So I call the No. 1 alarm company in the United States. They come out, work on it for over an hour and then say, they can't do it. Of course, if we buy their system for over $700, everything would be fine. I don't think so, Scooter. Ok, so I call alarm company No. 2. They assure me over the phone that they can use our current system and monitor it. Then they ask if my husband will be home to in order to go over everything with him also. Wrong question! Don't even go there Mista.

So, today when the guy walks in the door and says he's never seen our system before, I just about blow a gasket. The poor guy. He knew right away he wasn't dealing with a little Miss Haus Frau from Nashville. I told him I wasn't going to spend 8 million dollars on a new system when this one was just fine. After I calmed down and he walked me through everything, he talked me into spending a little over $200 to get the whole system changed over to "their" premium system. I have to agree, our old system was very difficult to do anything with. I had never even had it on--only had the chimes for the doors on so I could hear the teenager sneaking out at night. I could never figure out any of the other stuff! Ok, so I spend a little for some peace of mind. It has three panic buttons on the keypad: 1 for the police (crazy x-friend), 1 for the fire department (teenager and his incense) and 1 for medical (hopefully just a pretty button that will never be used). So, in the end, I guess I shouldn't be so yucky today. It will make me feel better at night (and during the day) just knowing it's there.

But, still, I have that knot in my stomach. It really is a sad day when we have to have alarms on our homes to keep us safe from people we know. Very very sad.

I just want to move next door to Mrs. Staggs in Merryville where there is only good in the world. (If only it were ever that easy right, Mrs. Staggs?)

16 comments:

Mrs. Staggs said...

Well sweetie, no it's not so easy...that's why I created Merryville. To give us a place to go and remember all the good things that exist in the world. Just seems like life hands us things for reasons we don't always understand...including your friend. I hope she will eventually get the help she needs to control her disorder.
I grew up in a world filled with violence at times. I know how angry and afraid you feel, but I've learned that you have a choice you know, you can let it control you, or you can choose to learn from the things that happened, do some things to protect yourself and choose to make the best of each day...'cause honey life is too short to live it feeling angry and fearful...and it doesn't change a thing.
You know, Lauren suggested that I write a 2nd blog and call it Grumpyville! Maybe that's not such a bad idea, what da ya think?
We could write it together!
UH OH!!!

Vintage Wine said...

I can understand how you feel, even though I`ve never been threatened by someone I know...
It`s scary and it makes me angry to think about these things, but like Mrs Staggs says - we can`t let fear and anger controlls us.
And there`s so much love around us too, not only from friends and family :-)

Take care!

Margaret said...

Oh dear! It's sad when simple kindness backfires on us, like this.

I know our UK mental health system isn't perfect (it's under-resourced, for one thing) but have a feeling that something like this would be easier to manage over here. No worries about insurance, for one thing.

Years ago, I and a group of friends cared for a friend who had a schizophrenic breakdown. He was eventually admitted to hospital when we realised we were out of our depth and the neighbours were alarmed by his bizarre behaviour, though he was never violent. He made a full recovery and still keeps in touch. With hindsight, I don't think I'd do something like that again.

Other friends have family members who are bi-polar, and I know it can be exhausting. Managing medication helps, of course. All I can do is be at the end of a phone line when needed.

I hope everything settles down for you Rosa, and the alarm system isn't needed - even if it works!

Margaret said...

Oh, and there's a Grumpyville over here, on my blog, and getting grumpier by the day!

weirdbunny said...

Oh Rosa, what a total nightmare!!!!! Her family were so irresponsible in their actions. Unfortunately with bi polar you have to be very disciplined with your life. No alchol, ever, always take your medication, and try and live a little stress free life without complications to send you off the edge.
You were so kind to her though, and maybe one day she'll thank you for it, however not in person!!!!

Kali said...

My heart goes out to you...what a terrible and sad situation...
We should all have the right to feel safe in our own homes/nests.

Kristy said...

I know this must be on your mind all the time but just imagine if you had never tried.You would constantly feel guilty for not doing anything.As atrocious as her acts were she is very sick and desperately in need.Well done to you.Feel proud and and try to let go of the fear.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I can understand the state you are in! No, it is not funny to experience such things. Unfortunately, she needs treatment, but obviously nobody (apart from you) wants to help her. You've done what you could and I think that you were very brave as I might not have been able to make such sacrifices (especially when it is a situation without issue)...

It's over now, relax and think about better things! You deserve to feel safe and well in your own home...

clarice said...

Dear Rosa, well no wonder your stomach is in knots. Life can be very yucky. I had a crazy childhood and have worked really hard to get over it. But there are still days that are hard. Some day you just tread water and hang on till it gets better. But I promise you will have sunnier days (and some yucky ones too) Hang in there. I am so sorry about your friend to. Clarice

Rosa said...

Thank you everyone for your caring comments. I feel better today--although bitter sweet. The alarm is being installed as we speak. :-( Blessings to you all!

paris parfait said...

Rosemary, so sorry to hear about these incidents with your friend. I've seen what mental illness can do (a friend's daughter is bipolar) and it's not pretty, if medication isn't utilised. As for the alarm, it's annoying, but probably a good thing. In France we are FORCED to have a burglar alarm system; otherwise the insurance companies will not support claims for lost or stolen antiques, etc. It is a pain in the neck, but we have no choice. Good luck w/ yours!

Beth said...

Whew,,can't blame you for wanting the alarm system working properly. But you are a good friend and tried to help her. I have worked with children and teen-agers with bi-polar and it can be quite scary at times.
I hope your feel safer now that you have the alarms system up and running.

Linda said...

Scary times. When my husband met me, I had a gun. It was the only way I could get to sleep after my divorce as I was sure someone was going to break in my house. He couldn't believe it but, hey, I lived in TX--everybody has a gun there. I finally sold it. I had an alarm system too and still got robbed by, I think, the relative of my daughter in law. It's always something.

Connie and Rob said...

You are such a sweet person and it is so unfortunate that it turned out you were dealing with such a strange family. I would be a little concerned about that woman wanting to return...You have to take care of yourself.

I have an alarm system. It will be a good thing when you get used to it.

You have been under some stress you poor girl. Take some time for yourself and relax.

Hugs,
Connie

slap me happy said...

glad to know your safe, always nice to have back up just in case. It's rough when you try to help people out and your the one that gets dumped on so to speak. Makes you a good bit more reluctant or choosy to who you may next help huh.
Take care and try not to stress on it.

PEA said...

I read your post twice...can't believe what you've had to go through, you poor girl!! You did everything you could to help that woman but what a shame that her family couldn't even try to help her in any way at all except to dump her on you!! I would have been petrified too when she pulled out that knife...scary to think people like that are walking amongst us. I know you don't care for your alarm system but right now it's something you need to have...stay safe and know that I'm thinking of you!!

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