Biographical Non-Fiction posted March 12, 2009 Chapters:  ...45 46 -47- 48... 


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Valerie loses control

A chapter in the book A Leaf on the Wind

Losing My Mind

by S. Pumpkin



Background
Sexually abused as a child resulting in serious psychological damage, Valerie's adult world begins to fall apart.
In the months following Daddy's death, I slowly slid into a world void of reality. A single day flowed into a week and took on the appearance of a foggy haze leaving me with little memory of events that took place.  Memories of my childhood came back with a cruel vengeance, forcing me to relive every ugly act perpetrated on me by my father.  I drank constantly hoping to drown the horrific memories and when that failed, I locked myself inside my house for days refusing to answer the phone, or respond if someone knocked on the door. 

One day I returned to my desk at work to discover I had been gone more than two hours.  Apparently, I told my boss I had to meet Richard upstairs in the cafeteria but she accused me of lying, saying, “Your husband phoned while you were gone. He said he was at work and wanted you to call him when you returned.” 

Angry, she demanded to know where I was. I had no explanation. 

Unable to deal with her anger and unable to explain my absence, I walked out of the office and never went back. 

The reality of what was happening to me eluded me. The only thing I was aware of was that my life had become a living hell from which there was no escape.  I seldom slept or ate; I drank all the time and refused to go outside.  I spent most of the day in my pajamas. I barely had enough energy to get the girls off to school in the morning and when they returned in the afternoon, I was usually passed out on the couch. 

I seldom had the energy or enthusiasm to make much more than soup and sandwiches for dinner.  Tina became the mother.  She took care of Sarah, made sure she bathed, and went to bed on time. 

When I wasn't passed out on the couch, I was at the local bar drinking until well after midnight. Most of the time I was completely unaware of my children's existence. Sarah and Tina began to spend more and more time with their father. 

The alcohol did little to stop the hallucinations.  Often I woke in the middle of the night to find Daddy literally perched like a vulture at the end of my bed.  Filled with terror at the sight of him looming above me, I froze.  Unable to move, I was forced to wait what seemed an eternity, until the image finally disappeared leaving me unsure if I had seen a ghost or if I had just imagined the whole thing. 

*** 

One evening Teresa and Denise knocked on my door.  I hadn't spoken to them in months and was surprised by their unexpected appearance on my doorstep.  Curious as to why they were there, I invited them in.  They declined my offer to make them a drink but, unsure of what was to come, I fixed myself a double. 

"To what do I owe the honor of your visit?" I queried. 

Teresa reached over and gently took hold of my hand. 

"We are so sorry. We want to be here for you. Just tell me what you want us to do." 

I had no idea what Teresa was talking about. 

"That's nice but why the sudden change of heart?" I said sarcastically. 

Teresa glanced over at Denise then said, "When you called me tonight I was horrified at what you told me." 

I still had no idea what she was talking about. I had no memory of calling her, and no idea what I had said. 

"Refresh my memory." 

"Valerie, you don't have to go through this alone,” Teresa said. 

“Cancer doesn't have to mean a death sentence. Let us help you through this." 

What in God’s name had I done now?  Had I experienced another gap and really done something stupid this time? 

My first instinct was to ask what day it was. 

Clearly thinking it was an odd question, Teresa said, “It’s Sunday.” 

Two days had passed since I had gone to the bar. What had I done during those two days? Fortunately, the girls were spending two weeks at their father’s and were spared the embarrassment of having to watch me try to explain my way out of the giant hole I had dug myself into. 

Hoping to downplay the seriousness of what I had told them, I said, 

"It may not be all that serious. They may be wrong. I am getting a second opinion." 

I could tell by the expression on both Teresa's and Denise's faces, that my attempt to ease their concerns had failed miserably. 

In addition to shame and embarrassment, I also felt anger. Neither Teresa nor Denise had ever shown any interest in my welfare, but now that I supposedly had cancer, Teresa was doing what she did best, playing the role of Florence Nightingale. And, her need to be an expert on everything was second to none. 

Like a machine gun, Teresa began firing rapid questions at me. 

“What type of leukemia do you have? Who is your doctor? Have they started you on any treatment? What are the names of the drugs they want to use?” 

I fixed myself a third drink.  With six shots of vodka flowing through my veins, I mustered up the courage to admit I had lied.  I offered no explanation. 

After calling me a selfish bitch, both Denise and Teresa stomped out of the house slamming the door behind them.  I fixed myself a fourth drink and quickly sank into a familiar black hole and woke the next morning wondering if the previous night had been another bad dream, hallucination, or in fact, had actually happened.


Earned A Seal Of Quality


Until the death of my father, I secretly believed that he would admit what he had done and ask me for forgiveness. Foolish, yes, but desperate for resolution I needed to believe that in the end ths would happen. When it did not, my already confused, chaotic, and insane world began to crumble. With no where to go but down, I began my painful ride to the bottom of a dark pit.
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