I’m lying on our couch downstairs. I’ve been there for hours.
It’s late in the evening and there’s a knock at the door. Next thing I know, my business partner is standing in our living room. That is not unusual as we are the closest of friends. My wife and kids are all in there with us.
He proceeds to tell me I have a problem, and I need help. He tells me I’m an addict.
We get into a verbal altercation. Voices are raised and then it turns physical. Chairs overturn, glass breaks, furniture is knocked out of place. No punches are thrown. It’s intense pushing and shoving, but it’s a fight nonetheless.
My younger kids are scared and crying. When it’s over, I have no strength left. My business partner actually helps me to the bed in our guest room downstairs. I stay there until morning. I have no strength to walk up the stairs. Amy stays with me.
I never cease shocking myself with how maniacal I react to the slightest affront. I literally sit in stunned disbelief after each episode confused and baffled at what’s wrong with me. I wholeheartedly believe each incident is the last. No matter how hard I try though, it keeps happening. I don’t even realize what I’m doing until it’s too late.
I plead with my wife for help. I strive to explain to her that nothing I’m doing is intentional. Something is wrong with me. I desperately feel like I need her understanding, compassion, and kindness. My soul craves softness, but all I dish out is harshness and abuse.
Amy is in way over her head.
I think she is the only one who can help me.
She knows I need help, and she knows she can’t give it.
When I look in her eyes, all I see is fear, fear of me. She looks at me like I’m a monster. I actually try to get her to realize that I’m not what I’m acting like.
The only problem I have convincing her is actions speak louder than words. And my actions are screaming that I am capable of hurting her or the kids.
Inside, I am tormented by my behavior. I’m tormented every time I cause my wife and family pain.
My thoughts turn dark and negative toward myself. I’m convinced Amy and the kids would be better without me. I have no doubt she just wants me out of her life. Who wouldn’t?
Neither of us know it at the time, but as soon as my medication was abruptly cut off, I was thrown into protracted amphetamine withdrawal psychosis. My brain has all but stopped producing dopamine on its own. My entire central nervous system is in shock. I’m chemically imbalanced in a big way. I’ve all but lost my ability to self-regulate.
Taking me off the medication cold turkey was the worst thing that could have been done to me. That doctor knew better. I’m convinced he was only thinking of protecting himself. He had me on unusually high doses of amphetamines, and he was only worried about his personal liability for what was happening to me. No doctor in their right mind would do what he did. I should have been slowly weaned off over time.
I have to take accountability for my life and the state I was in, but what that doctor did to me at that time in my life completely destroyed and finished me off.
I can now feel the immense pressure of my entire world collapsing. I have no mental stamina, strength, or wherewithal to do anything other than let it all crash on top of me.
I’m losing my family.
Our financial house is crumbling.
My mind is gravely malfunctioning.
Everyone in my life is scared. Everyone wants to get away from me. I feel like toxic waste.
It’s late one evening and the inevitable happens again. I snap. My wife locks herself in our bathroom to get away from me. I kick a giant hole in the door. She’s stays in there terrified. The next morning, I walk by her and say something accusatory under my breath, but it’s not me or my voice. It’s an evil sounding tone. I don’t believe a word I say to her and don’t know why I say it. I feel like I’m possessed. Amy says nothing in response.
I leave the house to run an errand.
When I return, I notice our Honda Odyssey is gone.
I walk inside, and it’s deathly silent. I scour the house. Nothing. Noone.
Amy and all the kids are gone. I try calling her cell phone many times, but she never answers.
At some point, I’m informed she has driven herself and the kids to Richland, Washington to live with her parents. I’m told she has enrolled our kids in school there.
The day my wife leaves, I drive to my office. My business partner is there, and we have a verbal altercation.
I walk out. He calls the cops.
The cops arrive and interview all parties. I’m told no laws have been broken, and I’m free to go back to my office. No arrests. I end up leaving and going home.
Several hours later, I’m served papers at my front door. My business partner has taken out a restraining order against me. If I show up to my own office now, I’ll be arrested. My pay is abruptly cut off. I now have no income.
I can protest the restraining order, and in my mind, if I do, I would easily win. I never do it. I have to drive too far, and I simply don’t have the strength. I’m beyond overwhelmed with everything that’s hitting all at once. Even with the restraining order, I stupidly try and make several calls to my partner. He never answers or returns them. I would never speak to him again, ever.
At this point, I’m left all alone in our big home unable to help myself in any way. My family, business, and all income is sealed off to me. I have nowhere to go. Day after day, I lie on the floor for hours at a time. One day, I lie on the floor for 13 straight hours without getting up. It’s as if some force outside of myself has me bound.
I’m convinced Amy is gone for good, never coming back. I have guns all around me. I wouldn’t be honest if I said I didn’t have thoughts of turning one on myself, but regardless of my thoughts, I never allow myself to seriously go there. My will to live is strong. If I go out, it won’t be like that.
My church leaders visit me and are in communication with Amy. They tell me there is hope, and if I’ll listen to them, my marriage can be saved. I simply can’t believe it. I’m convinced the longer Amy is away from me the more she won’t ever want to come back. By the end, I give her nothing to miss.
I experience many psychic breaks as I’m all alone day after day.
Finally, my mother agrees to fly out to stay with me. It helps calm my nerves and soul…to an extent. I can see the same fear in her eyes I saw in Amy’s. Late one night, I collapse on the floor in front of her. I’m lying on my stomach sobbing uncontrollably. I can’t get up, but I try and reassure my mom that I’m OK. I make her promise me she won’t call anyone. She does anyway. Before I know it, my bishop from the church is in the room.
I can only imagine what goes through his mind when he first sees me. I apologize to him for having to see me in this state, but inform him I can’t get up. So I just lie there and try to talk to him the best I can. I don’t think he had any idea what to do with me. I don’t think he had ever seen anything quite like this before in his life. After doing the best he can to calm me down, he leaves. I’m not happy with my mom.
I try to be as normal as I can be with her though. The last thing I want is to scare her off.
She does a lot to help me. She makes sure I’m well fed. She does my laundry and runs any errands that are needed. It’s a comfort having her there.
Then, it happens. My mother does something unintentionally that triggers me. She’s at the bottom of the stairs, and I’m at the top. It escalates, and I snap and do precisely what I’ve committed not to do.
My mom witnesses what Amy experienced, and it scares her so badly she leaves the house and seeks refuge at one of my neighbors.
The police are called.
They spend a lot of time calming me down. One cop pulls me aside and very kindly gives me a lot of good advice. He doesn’t want to see me make a costly mistake.
No arrests tonight.
My mom doesn’t want to see me or be near me. She books a flight home right away and stays somewhere else until her flight time. I don’t see her again. She is scared to even talk to me on the phone. She refuses from this point on to help me in any way.
I’ve scared my wife away and now my mother. My business partner has a restraining order against me. I’m all alone, and in a severe state of psychosis, amphetamine withdrawals, sleep deprivation, and I’m psychologically broken. Everyone is scared of me now and won’t come near me. I don’t feel safe being by myself. I lie on the floor and call one person after another. No one will pick up. Ones that do, won’t come over.
Suffice it to say, that these are the beginning of dark, dark days. I’m in a constant and perpetual state of torment. The psychic blows come one right after another and with unimaginable force.
No matter what though, I never stop fighting to survive. I never stop fighting to try and get the help I think I need. As weak, broken, and disabled as I am, my will to fight back against the forces trying to destroy me and my family is unrelenting. I simply refuse to quit.
I’m going to lose badly every battle I have in the foreseeable future. I’m going to sink to the depths of hell. Even still, I’ll never accept defeat. There is something I know that everyone else doesn’t yet. I know the outcome in the end.
And that is, when all is said and done, regardless of what I have to suffer in the meantime, I will come out on top.
I am and always remain absolutely certain about this fact.
I don’t know what that will look like, but I never once doubt that I will prove myself through this. Not once.
I know I still have access to God’s help and power. I haven’t turned from Him. In fact, the darker it gets the more I turn toward Him. That’s how I know, regardless of what anyone else thinks, the final outcome. I simply refuse to surrender to darkness no matter how badly I’m getting my butt kicked.
I write in my journal at the time that no matter how defeated my entire life appears to be at the moment, I wouldn’t advise anyone to bet against me.
It wouldn’t be a smart bet.
I don’t care what the odds are.