Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Suicide Is Painless

I was actually planning on talking about something entirely different than what I am about to talk about but even the best laid plans, etc, etc. Earlier this evening my foster daughter, Katie, and I were sitting in the living room having a bit of a chit chat. I was sitting on one of the couches while she was at the computer half heartedly surfing the net. We were'nt really talking about anything particularly heavy, just swapping humorous antidotes to pass the time. As Katie is a fairly social and popular girl, the phone pretty much rang endlessly while we talked. She's got call display so she pretty much ignored most of the calls. I had been dying for a washroom break for a bit so finally I made the move to head towards one of our bathrooms. One of the calls she had been ignoring was from one of the girls oldest male friends.

We're going to call him Charley. He's now 21, but I've known him since he was 15 and the girls were 13. He's always been a very sensitive and somewhat troubled young man. I never really knew how much until the past couple of years. Both my girls have been very protective of him often to there own detriment at times. By what Sara has told me as well as my own conversations with him, I suspect that he may very well be schizophrenic, and if not, then certainly mentally disturbed. He hears voices and often has black outs where he remembers nothing. Often these blackouts can cover many, many hours. He's also done some scary and violent things while blacked out or after voices have finished talking to him. While he was still a minor my daughter begged and pleaded with his parents to get him help of any kind. So far, they've done nothing although I would like to think that after what is actually still occurring this evening, that they do something now.

Once I discovered the entire truth about Charley and everything that was going on around him, I was forced to limit my daughters interaction with him. It was for their own safety. Any time that they've been allowed to socialize with him, they've had to do it under our roof. Yes, I am all too aware that they now are both adults and most likely going to interact with him whether or not they've got my permission or not. Thank goodness though, they are both pretty mature and level headed and recognize that right now he is not a positive factor in their lives. He has just recently finished serving five weekends in jail because of what he did last year to his ex-girlfriend. During one of his blackouts, he beat her to within an inch of her life at the busiest and major downtown intersection at 10pm on a Friday evening. Finding witnesses to this beating apparently was not an issue.

Not going into the immediate fallout from this attack, but there was a lot and it still appears to be happening a year and a half later. When Katie finally did answer his call this evening, he said that he was calling to apologize for what he was about to do. He said that he couldn't deal with the police anymore, nor could he return to jail. He couldn't go on anymore and was ending it now. She obviously started going hysterical. I didn't even get into the bathroom before I was back in the living room to find out what had gotten her so upset so quickly. Pretty much able to piece together what was going on from her end. He hung up as he needed to call two more people. She was convinced he was serious so we instructed her to call the police, etc. Finally after calling 911, she got him back on the phone. He was barely coherent by this point and understandably abusive on finding out what she had done - one of the others he called did exactly the same thing. I've never been so glad that when they were younger I had demanded the address and phone number as well as being allowed to talk to the parent's whenever they went to a friend's house for the first time. It made it easier providing accurate info to Emergency Services.

For about an hour and a half after she made the call she heard nothing. This was particularly distressing as during the course of their second call she had overheard him gasping for air, possibly vomiting and finally drifting away until she got no response from his end. Eventually, she reached someone at his house - one of the officers called to his residence. Currently Charley has managed to barricade himself in the garage with some sort of weapon, and most of his very residential street has been evacuated while SWAT or this city's equivalent deals with the situation. The officer was exceptionally gentle with my daughter. They actually asked me if they could go over just in case they could help. I said absolutely, as soon as the police spoke to me with their permission. Hello? OK, I get it. They were pretty much told that they would be turned away because they couldn't guarantee their safety, etc. The officer assured Katie that he would be looked after, and as long as the situation doesn't escalate into anything macabre or violent, he would be taken to the hospital and placed under 72 hour observation by order of the police.


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