I Know How To Get Out
TRIGGER WARNING: SUICIDE ATTEMPT
|A SOLDIER WITH PTSD FELL IN A HOLE and couldn’t get out. A recovering Soldier with PTSD happened to be passing by. The Soldier with PTSD cried out, “Hey, help me. I’m stuck in this hole!” Right away the recovering Soldier with PTSD jumped down in the hole with him. |
She laid on her bed, curled up in a ball, memories of what happened almost a month ago plaguing her, making her feel in such a way that she didn’t think she could hang on any longer. She started feeling better the week before, hanging out with her friends, mutual friends of her past lover. But then she found out what he was trying to say to one of the mutual friends.
She didn’t think she could handle hearing about him telling a friend that knew her that she was the problem with their relationship. She already blamed herself for what happen and not a week before he told her to her face when she went to go pick up her things that he didn’t blame her. So why is the song and dance changing? Thoughts like this swirled around her head and each one sent a physical wave of pain from her body as tears fell from her eyes and soaked her pillow.
She wondered how he was able to just turn off how he felt towards her after almost two years of being in love with each other. Was it some kind of potion? Memory erase machine? She wanted to know so that maybe she could start feeling okay again. What would it be like to turn everything off? Would she even feel better?
Her phone buzzed again with another frantic text from a friend of her that had been there through all of it, stood by her side. It was probably the 20th since she said anything to him. She couldn’t really blame him for being scared since what she said was scary, but she also couldn’t be bothered to text him back and pretend like she was okay, because honestly, she really wasn’t okay.
She took a deep shaky breath and tried closing her eyes. Even though the room was dark except from the light of her phone which was now receiving a call from Seven, her eyes were still hurting a lot. Now that she thought of it, everything hurt. Her heart, her arms, breathing was becoming difficult, her head hurt. She couldn’t seem to get her arms and legs to move. She couldn’t even force herself out of bed either.
Memories kept swirling around in her head and all she wanted to do was to turn them off. She wanted it all to stop. She wanted everything to stop. She wanted to stop feeling the way she was. She didn’t want to be miserable. She wanted to be happy and healthy and with someone who wouldn’t leave her just because she had a panic attack and didn’t know what to do with herself and couldn’t turn to the one person who promised to be there for her, who promised to help her.
Everyone was saying that she shouldn’t care about him because he didn’t treat her right and the way that he’s treating her now is inexcusable that it’s a blessing he’s gone because he wasn’t treating her right. But she felt like Humpty Dumpty after he fell off the wall and not all the pieces were there. The only pieces that she could find was the piece that still loved him more than anything and would forgive him for what he was doing now regardless of how completely he is destroying her and the piece that was afraid to forgive him because of the possibility that if she did something like this would happen again and if it did she was sure that he would be the death of her.
That’s when she started feeling the energy to get up. It was almost automatic, but she stood up. She got up and walked out of her bedroom and found herself walking into the bathroom. She closed the door and locked it behind her, the logic behind why she was doing lost on her fractured mind. Her arm reached up and opened the medicine cabinet and she just started pulling out bottles of prescriptions and over the counter drugs. She thought that she heard the front door open, but she couldn’t find herself to care.
When she closed the cabinet she looked at herself in the mirror. Her normally bright (e/c) eyes were now muted and dead looking. There were large circles under her eyes and her hair was unwashed and laying limply on her head. She pushed it out of her face and rubbed her eyes before looking at the medicines on the ground. Just as she reached out to grab the first bottle, she heard frantic pounding on the bathroom door.
“_____! WHATEVER YOU ARE ABOUT TO DO, STOP IT!”
She nearly dropped the bottle and looked up at the door. That was Seven’s voice. “Wh-what are you doing here?” she said.
“Open the door, right now,” he said, ignoring what she asked.
She was too shocked that he was here to do anything other then what he was saying. She unlocked the door and the second after the small click signaling that it was unlocked, Seven threw the door open and looked at her. His eyes flicked momentarily from her face to her sink and widened when he saw the amount of medicines on the porcelain. When he looked back at her, he saw the orange ten dram in her hand half filled with Tylenol with codeine from when she had gotten a cystectomy.
_____ could see tears start to well up in his eyes and she found herself wondering why he was crying but before she could open her mouth to ask, she was being pulled against Seven’s chest. His arms crushed her into him as if he was trying to glue the pieces of her back together with the force of his hug. _____ found her arms wrap around her, her hand still clutching the bottle of medicine.
“Please, don’t do this,” he said as he held her. “There would be a lot of people who would be very sad if you just disappeared.”
_____ struggled to find words to counter what he said. Should she give in? Should she ask for proof? She settled on flat out denial, but even as she spoke, she buried her head into his shoulder, hanging onto him as tightly as he held her, the medicine bottle falling to the floor.
“No there aren’t. Everyone is telling me to get over it, that he isn’t worth all of this sadness or pain that I’m feeling. Everyone is telling me that I’m not acting like myself, but honestly, I don’t even know who I am any more. My reason to live, the person who helped me, just threw me out like yesterday’s garbage and is trying to tell everyone that I know that I was the problem,” she sobbed, her tears soaking into Seven’s jacket. He just stood there, holding her and listened as she talked, smoothing out her hair. “I feel like everything that made me me is gone and I don’t know where all the pieces went. I feel empty, hallow, worthless. He’s making me feel empty, hallow, and worthless.”
_____ stopped talking and Seven said nothing for a long time, just holding her as she cried and clung to him. After what felt like almost an hour later; though it was probably only mere seconds or minutes; he spoke.
“Are you done?”
She only nodded.
“Then I want you to listen to me, hear me,” he said, his voice gentle but also forceful. “I’ve been where you are now, honestly, I guess you could stay that I’m still there. I know exactly how you feel. I’m not going to tell you to get over it, move on. I never once even thought about saying that to you because I know that isn’t what you need. What you need is time, friendship, someone to be there for you. I’m going to be that someone, okay? I care about you more then you know. It hurts me to see someone I care about in so much pain. I’ll miss you so much if you disappear so please, please, don’t leave. Stay here, hang on. Let me help you. I’ll help you see that you aren’t worthless, I’ll help you get your sense of self back, I’ll help you feel whole again,” he said and pulled back to look into her eyes, but didn’t let go, still afraid that if he did, she would fade away. “So please, stay here.”
_____ looked into his golden eyes for a long while before she finally nodded, her own tears slowing. “O-okay…” she said slowly.
Seven smiled softly and reached up and dried away her tears. “Will you do me a favor?” he asked.
_____ tilted her head to the side in question.
“Take a shower. I’m not saying this because you smell or anything. But standing under running water can help sometimes. And then I want you to come out for a walk with me. Is that okay?” he asked gently.
_____ nodded and wiped her eyes again. “All right. I will.”
He gave her another hug and kissed her head affectionately. He knew better than to make any moves on her now, but he also knew that she could use just a little bit of friendly affection and care and that’s what he would provide for her. “Go get clothes and a towel. I’ll clean up this mess,” he said.
She nodded again and slowly made her way out of the bathroom. She walked into her room and pulled out a pair of black jeans and her new favorite sweater. It was early October and the one bright side was she could wear comfy sweaters. When she walked back into the bathroom, Seven was gone and so were all the meds. She knew better then to check the medicine cabinet. She knew that he knew better then to leave them with her the way she was now and a small part of her was thankful to him.
She stayed in the shower for a long time. Seven had a point. The running water did help a little bit. It was more physical help rather than mental help, but the shower subsided the pain in her eyes and arms. It unclogged her nose and even though she was deign to admit it, having clean hair also made her feel better. When she stepped out of the shower, she dried off and dressed before she walked out of the bathroom. She found herself looking around the apartment for Seven only to find him in the kitchen. There was a plate of lightly toasted bread on the island. When she walked through the threshold, Seven turned to look at her.
“I know you probably feel like food would make you sick, but please, try to eat, just a little bit,” he said.
She looked at the toast before sitting down on one of the stools. She picked up the toast and nibbled on the corner before looking up at Seven. “What are you doing here?” she asked, repeating the question she asked him when he banged on the bathroom door.
Seven raised an eyebrow at her. “What do you mean? I’m helping a dear friend.”
“That’s not what I mean and you know it,” she said. “Why do you care what happens to me?”
He was silent for a moment before he smiled sadly at her. “If you have to ask, then you’re not ready for the answer. Just listen to me. I’m going to help you. I don’t want anything bad to happen to someone I care about. You’re a part of the RFA, same as the others, and that makes you a part of my family. If I lost you, it would be like losing a piece of something that I hold very close to my heart. So I’m not going to let that happen.”
_____ sat there for a moment and mulled over what he said. She knew there was something else, because he said that she wasn’t ready for the answer. She decided to take it at face value because a part of her agreed with him and the other part was actually afraid of the implications.
“Oh, by the way, I’m living on the couch until further notice,” Seven said and smirked. “I hope you don’t mind.”
“H-huh?!” she said. “What? Why?!”
“You don’t have a spare room and I’m not leaving you alone. I don’t want to have another heart attack because you randomly text me Goodbye and then don’t answer me,” he said. “You have no idea how afraid I was when you sent that. I thought I was go—”
“I’m sorry…” she said and bowed her head, placing the barely touched piece of toast back on the plate.
Seven walked up next to her and put a hand on her back while the other went under her chin and lifted her head so she would look at him. “I’m not looking for an apology,” he said and smiled at her. “I just… I don’t want to be that scared again. Seriously, I broke, like, all speed laws just to get here when you didn’t pick up my call,” he said and smiled at her. “I would do anything to make sure that you’re safe and okay. So you never ever need to apologize to me.”
_____ nodded. “Thank you… so much, Seven,” she said.
He gave her a rather awkward hug. “You don’t need to thank me either,” he said before he let go. “Come on, why don’t we go for that walk, now?”
|The Soldier with PTSD said, “What are you doing? Now we’re both stuck here!!” But the recovering Soldier with PTSD said, “Calm down. It’s okay. I’ve been here before. I know how to get out.” |