TRAUMA – part 1
“Fucking bitch!” I barely even heard this slurred, disrespectful statement that he screamed at me, while glaring in my direction. It was only words, right? I had trained myself to tune out the insults that he hurled at me, almost nightly, like snowballs on a cold winter’s day. It had not taken me long to figure out that the less I acknowledged this drunken, drug fueled craziness, the faster it would go away, leaving behind a lesser version of the man I loved. But he was never quite himself, not anymore. Alcohol and drugs had seen to that.
I did not know it yet, but this was to be my worst night ever.
I had cuddled up in my bed early that evening with one of my favorite Nora Roberts books, Northern Lights. I will never be able to forget that book; because, like me, by the end of the night it would be bright red, soaked in his blood. I apologize for getting ahead of myself.
My trick that week had been pretending to read, until he passed out, usually in a pool of his own vomit, and always on the floor. He always caught on to my little tricks. Always. Usually it took him about a week to realize what I was up to.
On this particular night he was going on and on about me, my flaws, my family, my family’s money, my weight, blah, blah, blah. And, its almost funny to me now, but I can’t, for the life of me remember what he said, or even about who. All I know, is that whatever it was, it made me furious. Out of nowhere I suddenly jerked myself up into a seated position, my slit eyes cutting daggers into his. My breath hissed out, as I said very softly, so only he would hear me, ‘get. out.‘ Then I was silent. My eyes said all the things I could not say aloud. Feeling worn out from the usual drama, I plopped back down onto the pillows that I had been nesting in, all the while drawing the white goose down comforter up to my chin. I was shaking from head to toe, but he did not need to know that. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him get something out of the bottom drawer of his nightstand, but I didn’t award this gesture much significance at that moment.
Just as I had settled back into a comfy reading position, I suddenly felt the full weight of his body land on mine. His rancid beer breath was hot and close by my ear. I remember he fought a small war with our down comforter, as he tried to straighten and extend his arm out, over my shoulder and diagonal to my chin. Everything happened quickly from this point on.
Teeth clenched, he slurred hotly into my ear, ‘You want me gone? I’m gone.’ In one swift motion I saw the blade clenched in his hand, and realized immediately that is what he had grabbed from his bottom drawer. The light glinted brightly off the fresh blade, then quickly disappeared as he plunged the full length of the blade into his wrist. He then sliced himself diagonally from wrist to elbow. He did this with a surgeon’s precision, never once letting up on the pressure. I will never forget the almost zipper like sound his skin made as it parted, almost like a scream. I was hot and wet immediately, as both of his arteries emptied. I glanced down in shock, my eyes glazed over with fear, wondering why I was so red, so very red. Our white down comforter was fast turning crimson as his blood continued to pump out, in tune with his fast fading heartbeat.
I screamed as I scrambled out from under his now slippery, crushing, weight. “Baby!!! What did you do?!?!” I tried to run then, slipping once in the mess. My mind would not work.
I remember grabbing the portable phone in the kitchen, and I swear, for a minute I forgot the number. I then carefully pressed 9. 1. 1. It RANG!!! Didn’t they know I needed their help?!?! Finally, after what seemed like hours, a man’s voice filled the earpiece. I have no clue what words came spewing out of my mouth when I heard that voice. While he was asking me all sorts of questions, I looked up to see Mike, draped in our down comforter. He fell into the middle of the kitchen floor. His cut arm trapped under him, and the red was spreading-fast.
I had been a paramedic, once upon a time, but that means squat when the victim is someone close to you. I dug into my brain for something, anything. Ah ha! I grabbed the blue bandanna that had been in the kitchen corner for days. I remembered that I had been meaning to pick it up. Thankfully, I had never got around to it.
‘Where is the ambulance?!’ I asked out loud to myself.
As I tugged his arm out from under him I saw that his color had gone from pink, to blue, to gray, and now he was a non-color that I hope to never have to see again.
I remembered then that a tourniquit should never be used, except as a last resort. I had only to look at his gaping, spewing, foot long gash, to know that it was my only option. I may not know much, but I knew this was the very definition of ‘last resort’. I pulled the blue bandanna as tight as I could and tied it in a knot. A very tight knot. The bleeding slowed, but my kitchen and bedroom looked like a fresh murder scene.
I saw the blue, flashing lights of the police bouncing off my walls then. ‘Finally’, I breathed, looking him in the eyes for the first time in hours. A big mistake. His once life filled eyes seemed dull and flat. Cold. I scrambled up and slipped and slid my way to the front door to let the professionals in…
THIS IS THE FIRST PART OF TRAUMA. i REMEMBER EVERYTHING SO CLEARLY. I HAVE SINCE HAD LOTS OF TRAUMA THERAPY TO EVEN BE ABLE TO SHARE THIS WITH YOU. IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE HAS A PROBLEM WITH ALCOHOL OR DRUGS, GET HELP NOW! DO NOT IGNORE IT- IT WILL NOT GO AWAY ON ITS OWN.
THE PICTURE ABOVE IS ME, BEFORE THAT NIGHT. I NEVER REALLY LOOKED THE SAME AGAIN, NOT IF YOU LOOKED INTO MY EYES. A PIECE OF ME DIED THAT DAY, A SMALL PIECE OF MY HEART.
STAY TUNED FOR TRAUMA PART 2- COMING SOON.