Water Hoses And Sad Times

I want to tell you what happened the other day. I generally choose one day every few weeks to do laundry. As you know, my LG model both washes and dries. 

Well, it sort of dries. I have things layered all over to finish drying and hope the towels don't get hard as sand paper in the process. 

Anyway, I got this funny feeling, back here on the bed (oh, and the medicine is helping. But not enough that I want to sit on it!) and got up to go check on things. 

Since the washer is not plumbed, I have to hook it up to my kitchen sink, and then run the tubing to the sink so the water washes down the drain as it spins. 

Well, the tubing looked like a serpent suddenly come to life and WATER WAS EVERYWHERE! I started trying to sop it up. I always have something heavy against the tubing so it stays put. But it had other ideas that day I guess. 

It drenched my basket of cookbooks, what was in the kitchen drawers below, and just about everything within a six foot radius. 

For some reason, all this reminds me (don't ask me why) of what a late dear friend of mine used to say. She was my daughters' paternal grandmother, and a professor at the college where I got my journalism degree. 

She would tell me (I was a young wife and mother back then) what to do should I suddenly be accosted by a strange man. And it looked like I was about to be raped. 

She said (and I laugh every time I recall it, because she was dead serious): "Fall to the ground. Then start herky-jerking your body like you're having fits. Roll your eyes back in your head and drool at the mouth." 

She insisted that no sane person (are rapists insane or just plain vile?) would be able to keep an erection in order to rape you with all that loony stuff going on. And that he most likely would turn and run, erection no longer erected.

She's been gone nine years now. How could it be that long? And I miss her all the time. She was more a mother to me, I suppose, than anyone. 

In 2000 I had a terrible bout with depression. I wasn't getting along with my third husband. All kinds of things I won't go into were going on, and I was beginning to feel trapped. 

He would get mad and go off for hours and hours (course now I pretty much know where he went), and it would throw me into the pits of despair because I felt abandoned.

I didn't know it at the time, but I'd experienced what they call anti depressant "poop out." Which means that for whatever reason, it just stops working for you.

That was the day I made the suicide attempt. 

I remember going into one of my trance-like dissociative states. I suddenly felt disconnected from myself and everything around me.

I stopped crying and suddenly became very calm. Everything slowed down. 

I picked out one of the quilts I'd hand-sewn and quilted. One that meant a lot to me.

I was a balloon set free. And I floated up and up, light as a feather, into the puffy white clouds. The emotional pain I felt faded away as I looked down at the world below. Everything was minuscule, and it didn't seem of any consequence any more.

I got into the upstairs bath tub with my quilt, some bottles of pills, and some of his liquor. Oh, how I hated the taste. But I figured between the two, I'd get the job done. I locked the door.

I wrapped myself in the quilt and started taking all that and just laid down. It was kind of like being back in the womb. I told myself to just go to sleep.

How many times before I started taking medication, when my kids were young, had I rocked away the hours in the middle of the night in a tub of water, crying and rocking? Rocking and crying. I didn't know why. 

I'd passed out. He came in the door and picked me up and threw me onto the bed, and started yelling at me. I guess it's safe to say I didn't get enough in my system to finish the deed.

Dear God, it was Mother's Day, a day that's always been hard for me. But I was in such a bad state, I didn't have the presence of mind to realize what it would do to my grown girls. 

I shall carry that guilt always. But I was just too far gone to care about much of anything.

He made sure to call them up 90 miles away and tell them. I don't think I'll ever forgive him that. The words he used when he told them. He meant it to hurt.

In the weeks after this, our friend Chuck, a psychiatric social worker, would come over and talk to me oftentimes in the afternoon. Checking on me, I guess. We'd just talk about this and that. But it was comforting to have him there.

My ex-MIL, the one with the story I told you above, was living in another town an hour and a half away. But oh, she was a dear. She called me every damned day to see if I was still alive. She talked to me until I began to make some sense, I guess. Till she knew I was out of the woods and the new meds began to take effect.

So I have her and Chuck to thank for pulling me through that desperate dark time. 

Then, and how could this be so? Two years to the very month, Chuck killed himself with a gun to the head. 

It seemed inconceivable to me that he had talked and talked to me about how I really wanted to live life and go on. But somehow, for whatever reason, he just couldn't convince himself in whatever dark place he'd fallen. 

I miss him. He was 48, very handsome, very smart, and about to be married to a pretty architect. He was active in the community. His family was from "old oil" and well-known in town. 

We had moved to another city by then. So I don't know what caused him to plummet so low that he'd do the very thing he convinced me not to do. Sometimes I feel guilty that I wasn't around. Maybe he would have talked to me. 

But I doubt it. Men aren't like women when it comes to these things. They get to that point and they mean business.  

All this to say, I miss you, Chuck and Charlyce. You both were there for me when no one else was. I'm thankful for the time I had you both in my life, and I miss you both so very much.


  1. Brenda, while every post that you publish is heartfelt, this one especially so. It's quite a story, and I'm so very sorry you lost two people who meant so much to you. In a world that is sometimes so full of darkness and pain, when people care, truly care, it means so much.

    Your story gave insight into what is going on in the minds of those that take their own life. It's almost, as you described, a dissociative state. I suppose that's why so many people describe the last days of someone who has committed suicide as appearing 'normal'.

    Thank you as always for revealing yet another sad chapter in your life.

  2. Isn't it odd that sometimes we can clearly see the way to help another person get through their problems but cannot find the path to get through our own...Bless poor Chuck..I hope he found peace on the other side..They both sound like they were good people who really cared about you Brenda...

  3. Hi Brenda...I am so glad you are in a better place today~a friend of mine committed suicide and I never knew she was on pills for depression...the dr changed her meds and it sunk her into a deeper depression...went outside in the woods behind her home with a gun and shot her self in the head..it hit me hard~we were looking forward to the summer coming as her daughter played softball with my granddaughter~she worked at TARGET and the last time we spoke she was so happy!! still cannot believe she is gone...depression is such a sad disease~my sisters sister in law also killed herself...took her boy friends insulin and died...so sad! Take care Brenda! xoxo Carol

  4. Brenda, your honesty is pure. The happiest of folks can sometimes be the most depressed of folks and only
    disguise their true feelings by having a "normal" outward appearance. So suicide is confusing. Only the person who commits it knows their suffering. Some people can't live with the hurt inside. It makes me so sad. Chuck probably was one of those people who are walking angels - always reaching out to help others before helping themself. Only those who understand depression can give good advice. They have walked the walk. Big hugs, Becky

  5. PS: The hose spinning out of control is a bit of an analogy to how reality and disparaging feelings can make us spiral down.

  6. You have many stories to tell. I know that there are many who will connect and perhaps learn from your experiences.

    Love to you during these harder times...

    Jane x

  7. So sorry to hear of your wet and sad times! I do hope that you put your cookbooks in the nearest freezer so that they could be freeze-dried. I also hope that you have gotten that washing machine plumbed up by now. Best wishes for dryer and happier times.

    1. I can't get it plumbed. Against the apartment rules.

  8. not a the happiest stories to read first thing in the morning...... you should have warned me .:) You never really know what's going on in the inside, do you?

  9. So hard as we age to loose those we love and have bonded with. I miss my folks like crazy and it has been 14 years. It never goes away but it has gotten easier. I guess some would say I am too busy to think about it much but I do. They were such a huge part of my life for so long.

  10. Brenda, thank you for allowing us to read something so personal to you and that so many can relate to. Those dark moments are so hard to defeat aren't they. Take care my lovely xx

  11. I'm truly sorry for your loss and your own struggles with depression, which caused your hopelessness. Been there - done that, so I know exactly where you're coming from. But as a victim of rape, I must assume that neither you nor your friend has ever been raped, or you wouldn't find her suggestion amusing to this day. You must know and understand that contrary to popular belief, rape is not about sex, so it's not about the "erection." It's about power. Therefore, I don't find your friend's suggestion amusing at all, and I find it hard to believe that you would think of it as amusing being you're such an "advocate for women."

  12. right after we put wood floors down in our home, I decided to hose down the windows from outside. Our windows are a pain to wash. Long story but when I did his, I flooded the new floors. I felt so stupid. I cleaned it up and never told my husband. He gets all upset if you put any water on the floor. It didn't any damage, so I was lucky, Two of my sons' friends took their lives. Two of my father's friends took their lives. I still can't believe that they did this. They were older 60's 70's. owing both of them so well, it was a shock. Mental illness s hard to see sometimes. Glad you weren't successful......hugs

  13. Sounds like a very rough time, Brenda...I'm glad you made it through to share your story. Sorry about the water problems today, and your cookbooks...xo

  14. Georgia, I learned from your story, I read Brenda's MIL's suggestion and thought it was an idea...Wouldn't it stop a rapist ? Wouldn't their disgust stop the rage or need for control? Now I have more to consider...Thus we learn.

  15. I don't know, Gayle. Perhaps that idea would work in a theatrical play, but I don't think it would work in real life. In my experience, the thought of getting down on the floor and acting the fool just never occurred to me. All that kept running through my mind was to survive it the best way I knew how. But God forbid, if you're ever in that situation, you try it out and let me know how it goes, okay? For goodness sake!

  16. Such sadness.....we had a 19 year-old that we knew take her life last Monday. Jumped off a bridge. I'm glad you had someone to talk to that made a difference in your life.

  17. This post means so much to me for so many personal reasons. Thank-you.

  18. Thank you for honoring and loving yourself enough to share the sad and painful stuff with us. I feel honored to be a reader. You've helped someone today. I just know it. May new days of happiness pile into each other in your life so that they become one big happy time of life!

  19. Dear Brenda...I fell way behind reading your blog and was just catching up...I fell way behind because I have been fighting depression since I lost my brother and sister and my job of 32 years. I struggle every day trying to find meaning in my life now and try to find a reason to remain...life is hard.


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