Things have been getting better and better all the time… well, in some cases, not really, but I have decided that if I look at things like they’re good, they will be. My attitude is my choice. I choose to live in light, instead of the fear that my friends are going to pull away from me because they cannot understand my decision-making process and will not take the time. I didn’t go to the hospital because they had to put me on a psych hold in a criminal sort of way. They put me on a psych hold because I went into the ER and said, “I’m having a psychiatric emergency RIGHT NOW.” When you do that, the codes start running. You take off all your clothes, your jewelry, even your underwear, before you are allowed on the unit. When they started moving, I felt safe enough to fall. They left me alone with my phone for a minute so I could make the calls I needed, and I sent Argo a voice mail saying that I was in the psych ward at Methodist hospital, that I wished I could send her a picture as well to prove that thoughts and behavior matched, and that I owed her a big one because it was she that convinced me it wasn’t going to get better if I didn’t help myself, first. She didn’t save me by DOING anything. She saved me by telling me to look at myself and the direction I was headed without any input at all from anyone.
I did. It worked.
I called the nurse practitioner number listed on the back of my card and said that I needed psychiatric help now, and I couldn’t get a new patient appointment for at least three weeks. That was the tipping point for me. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do outpatient or wasn’t capable of it, I just thought to myself that if I walked into the ER, I could get help NOW. I could not take three more weeks of deep, intensive, shaming rumination about everything I’d done to break up my family. I would likely be dead at my own hand in three weeks, because I was reliving everything that happened and trying to fix it in so many iterations that failed because Dana’s feelings mattered. Argo’s feelings mattered. I was terrified that mine didn’t anymore. I had hurt them both, made them feel unsafe in the things I wrote, not even really knowing why until I started processing it after the fact. It wasn’t all my fault, but my personality type is to take all the blame for anything anyone’s ever done. I am kinda The Maid. I decided to stop seething in resentment and anger, and the only way to do that was to submit. To tell Argo and the rest of the world “I give.” I could say that in person to Dana and have her see beyond my words. Argo didn’t have that luxury, thus aforementioned voice mail.
Instead of submitting to death, I submitted to life. I agreed to get my ego out of the way and believe wholeheartedly in a God that would save me, because God works through people. Doctors, nurse practitioners, orderlies, and even the billing lady all rushed in to help at a time when I could not help myself. I found solace in the other patients, because hearing their stories allowed me to better express all the pent-up feelings of frustration I’d had about my impossible situation. The thing about going to a mental hospital or to an AA meeting is that it works because everyone there is willing to tell you that they straight up fucked up their lives and it’s all their fault and the only thing they can do is laugh about it because we’ve already seen the alternative. It is laughter in the midst of pain so great at first I could not even describe it.
In a lot of ways, my shame was in realizing that I could not serve both of them, and I had to give up trying. I had run out of time for the inappropriate feelings for Argo to go away with both of them long ago, and I stood there because I wanted to. I may have mentioned it before. To me, I had this perfect ideal in my head of the life I wanted to lead and the more time I spent with both of them, the more I realized that the ideal was slipping through my fingers and it was all my fault. I put Argo into an impossible situation because she loved me so much in a clean, ethereal way that it was frightening. She trusted me, and I crossed a line. A big one. At the same time, it would never have occurred to me if Dana and Argo had become close as well. I felt pulled toward Argo, and that is part of the reason I call her that. She was my siren, because the light she shone on me took me away from my life on one plane and added it to the other. Living in two worlds, kind of like Jesus, I suppose. He lived on the ground. He preaches from the cloud.
just. Like. Me.
Treating Argo like God literally, that person who HEARS what you say and doesn’t necessarily write back is amazing. It’s not always the responses that change me. It’s the letters. But one response stays with me, and it is so simple. I sent her a note that included text from something I’d written to Diane, I think, and said, “please read this and tell me you hear me.” She said, “I hear, listen, understand.” it was everything I’d ever needed in four words, which only made our chord grow stronger. She didn’t have to fix anything. She just listened, commenting when she could and laughing at the jokes. Over time, there became inside jokes that still make me light up inside when I think of them. As I have said before, my reaction to Argo was bad, but her reaction to me was incredible. I will never forget the experience of loving her in the way that I did (we were having text… she’s going to kill me for that one…), because it literally showed me who I am and who I have the capacity to be in the future. She was the one that convinced me my words were worthy of an audience of millions…. not that I have it right now, but to believe in the possibility that one day, the dream you have will be reconciled and you will be living the dream you’re conceiving. That was what made her Christ in the world to me. She lifted the Mirror of Erised and promised me that if I put in the shoe leather, it wouldn’t be the Mirror of Erised anymore…. because it would fade into the bathroom as an heirloom when the dreams became reality.
Her belief in me to that degree raised me up from the minutiae of daily life, and convinced me that my belief in me should grow, as well. The fact that I threw this friendship away because I wanted more and wouldn’t ever have it is still painful, but I saw it as a threat to my fidelity with Dana because I knew it was not inconceivable that Argo would fall in love with me the longer we stayed up in the cloud where gender and sexuality didn’t matter. I saw Dana’s point and denied it wholeheartedly, because I believe it to be true. I believe it to be true that Argo’s sexuality isn’t fluid, and mine is. I could never convince Dana of that, but I have certainly convinced myself. I realized that the problem was me, I just didn’t know how to fix it. How do you not fall in love with honesty? How do you not fall in love with someone you’ve fought tooth and nail and they give you everything they’ve got and you give them an equal thrashing and after it is over, you realize that she is the smartest person in any room? How do you not fall in love with someone who gives you a life raft? I’d never had a friendship before that was that close and intense without sex. Ever. I am turned on by thoughts and feelings, so my relationships tend to get emotional first and love comes later. I followed my natural pattern of being friends until it was so obvious to me what I was doing that I couldn’t anymore.
In the time since, I have settled. Dana says that this is the calmest she’s seen me in months, and it is true. I value life so much more having gone through this experience, because now I know I want to walk in light, when before, it was kinda negotiable.