Friday, November 16, 2018

Tell it to someone who can help!

I talked to Henry for more than an hour last night. It wasn't pleasant. Being home, surrounded by his own belongings and his dogs, hasn't improved his outlook on life.

He began by telling me he's considered killing himself by jumping out the bedroom window. (It's only the third floor; he could hurt himself, but he wouldn't die.) Or maybe run away and live with the homeless under the bridge. (Hard to do in a wheelchair.) I let him rail, and then I asked him what brought him to this point.

He feels that everyone is trying to control him, and no one is explaining the why behind their actions.

He is worried that he will go to jail for being drunk at the moment of the accident, even though he insists he hadn't been drinking at all that night. I told him he won't go to jail without a trial -- he knows that -- and if he's innocent, his medical records will back that up. I reminded him that if he really, really wants to divorce Reg, he needs a lawyer, anyway.

I pointed out to him that he's not as his best right now. He just went through a cataclysmic experience.  Maybe he should concentrate on healing and getting past it, then worry about divorce and public intoxication.

He responded by saying this is not the biggest thing he's dealt with, and made repeated references to a sexual assault when he was 5. He acts as though we have talked about his before. We haven't. I think it's important that this brain injury has made this recollection so vivid for him again, after all these years.

I told him he needs help, and way more than I give. I told him he needs a psychologist right there in Key West -- not three hours away in Miami -- someone he can see regularly and confide in. Someone who can take the time to explain the whys to him in a way he can grasp.

I know he is in pain. I know I am not equipped to help.

Yet I am who he calls.

I am shocked by his lack of empathy for Reg, for his mother, even for his dogs. I am smart enough to know this is significant, but not smart enough to know what it means.

I am overwhelmed.