What is it about crazy people that makes them think that by just saying, “Sorry”, all the bullshit they just pulled is miraculously washed away as though it never freaking happened? Oooh, wait. I know. They’re batshit crazy.
About a month ago, I agreed to allow a woman from my AA Homegroup to stay at my home temporarily. We’ll call her Jane for obvious reasons. For a year I have watched her struggle and cower in the face of addiction and an abusive relationship. Finally, she had had enough and left the shit-for-brains loser and appeared to want to get her shit together. We all thought (it’s a group of us) that it was your usual situation: alcoholic woman, newly sober, dumps the abusive dickhead and needs somewhere to stay for a few weeks while she gets her shit together and goes on with the business of being sober. How naive, we all were. In my 28 years in AA and helping people get sober and stay sober, I’ve seen a lot and I have a pretty proactive and pervasive bullshit detector. But this? This was something to behold. I am humbled by my schooling of the last month.
I knew about the General Anxiety Disorder. I knew about the Bipolar Disorder. What I did not know about (nor did any of us) was the 7 year Ativan addiction prescribed by a doc in the box who cared nothing about her mental health and wellbeing. From all of my research, this is supposed to be a short term drug used only for 6 to 8 weeks to treat severe anxiety due to it’s highly addictive qualities. For those of you not familiar Ativan is a benzodiazepine and if taken too long, it creates the very illness the person taking it is, presumably” seeking relief for. This “doctor” kept her on it for 7 years. How this “doctor” maintains his certification to be an approved mental healthcare provider for Medicare/Medicaid is something that leaves me at a loss and strengthens my belief that the system is terribly, terribly broken. But that is better left for another blog post.
Once detected, it took a week or so to convince her she needed treatment. All FIVE of us drilling down on her almost daily. She fought us at every turn. Once she was in the hospital for detox, she fought them. She was happy with one doctor’s dosage because it sedated her to the point of nodding out. When another doctor saw this and cut the dose in half, she was miserable. All of this made me suspicious.
Now it’s easy here to say, “It’s not her fault. The doc in the box addicted her”. Because the hospital gave her a muscle relaxer to treat her for an anxiety issue and enough of it to zombify her. Yes and no. Read on.
The entire time she has been here, she has been unable to care for herself. She hides in the room she she’s staying in. She sleeps all day, unless you tell her to get up. She does not bathe unless reminded. She does not pick up after herself. She does not turn off lights or appliances despite being asked. She doesn’t feed herself. If she’s hungry, she waits until I am preparing something to eat when there is food in the fridge to eat: salad, turkey and cheese for sandwiches, canned soup. All easy to make foods. She leaves half full glasses of water everywhere despite being reminded she needs to take them to the kitchen and place them in the dishwasher. She does not ask to use my phone to set up rides for meetings and appointments. She is not actively looking for permanent housing. The only thing she does with consistency and clarity is ask for her medication which had to be taken from her because she was abusing it.
We hoped detoxing from Ativan would help. We hoped there would be some small, ever so slight change that would motivate or encourage her to begin taking baby steps to securing some kind of future for herself. Instead there’s an obsessive fixation on medication and how to get what they gave to her in the hospital after she visited her new psychiatrist who prescribed something more appropriate.
Yesterday, we drove her to therapist’s office for her first session in forever and I was asked to join in halfway through. The therapist informed me Jane was feeling suicidal and wanted to know if we would take her to the hospital. BOING. My bullshit detector went off. Clearly, this was a ploy to manipulate me and attempt to get her therapist to co-sign her bullshit.
So we did the dance. I told her we’d be happy to drive her to the same hospital she was just released from 4 days ago and drop her off but that I wasn’t able to stay with her through intake this time. Then suddenly it was determined her suicidal thoughts were thoughts that in reality translated to: her feelings were so overwhelming they made feel like she wanted to die. She told us she needed to be on Thorazine to which I replied, “So you got an MD while you were in the hospital?” Once armed with the knowledge she would have to go back to the same hospital and sit through intake alone, she decided she could wait until later to decide if the hospital was what she needed. Imagine that.
So Jane went to her usual Thursday night church recovery meeting and about 10:05 PM, she called me to say she was going to a different hospital because it was a “Christian” hospital and because she was having suicidal thoughts. I told her that I wanted her to know that I knew what she she was doing, even if the the FOUR kindly, naive people from her church did not. She cannot manipulate me, so she found people she could.
At 10:15 PM, I was on the phone to the ER of the hospital of where she was going, letting them know she was just out of a 10 day stay at a hospital and probably drug seeking. Around 2 AM, Jane called and said they would not admit her nor give her any medications and asked if she could come back. She said she was sorry. She’s spent a week attempting to manipulate and suck people into her drama, creating unnecessary tension and strife by bludgeoning everyone over the head with her “feeling anxious and suicidal” and she’s “Sorry.” Yes. Yes she is.
She is here again but has a two week deadline to get her proverbial shit together and find permanent housing. If she hasn’t found somewhere, she will be taken to a shelter or other viable safe housing by her social worker or us. We have done everything humanly possible for her to move forward. Now it’s up to her. Sink or swim.
So when My Favorite Guy’s batshit crazy ex-wife, asks me this morning about his last medical appointment and I asked her why she was asking and she freaked out at me telling me she cared about him and didn’t she have “that right”? This is the woman who unceremoniously booted her husband of 10 years out the door a week after he’d just had a stroke and told me she wanted nothing to do with his medical care because she didn’t have the time for it. I looked at her, without even thinking and replied “No, you don’t. Not anymore. I’m not discussing this. I’m all stocked up on crazy” and I left her where she stood, as she said “I’m sorry.”