$700 Ambulance Ride from Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
I was so scared of what he might do. This night, I didn’t particularly feel that he would actually murder me, but aside from that, I knew anything was possible.
Would he steal my car again to go “lord knows where” and do “lord knows what?” Would he steal my phone or break it, or start breaking other things of mine? Would he try stealing my wallet or credit card again? Would he hit me or flatten my tires or start a fist fight with the neighbors? He was so “out of it” that there was no telling what he might do and I had to be prepared for anything.
I worked hard to protect myself and my belongings, but when you are dealing with someone who doesn’t give a crap about anyone except himself, nothing is off limits. So, despite my attempts to hide my keys and phone and wallet, he found the keys. Of course, in his mind, I had “something” to hide from him. In his mind, it wasn’t possible that I was only trying to prevent him from STEALING my vehicle and money, or leaving me stranded without a phone…AGAIN. So, you see, me trying to protect my things only made things worse. It worsened his INTENTIONAL ploy to accuse me of cheating, and so the projection and mind-games and threats became even worse. I knew I had to get away, but how? He had my car keys.
I took my phone and wallet and sat in the driver’s seat of my car. Luckily, we lived in an apartment complex, so the only way he would be able to steal my car now, or get my phone/wallet away from me, now would be by force. And I knew he wouldn’t do that in the parking lot with onlooking neighbors.
My anxiety was rising and all I could think was THANK GOD my children were safe with there Dad that weekend. But what was I going to do? Sleep in my car? What if he started tearing up all of my things in the apartment? What if he did come out and force his way in my car and berated me all night? I had to work the next day, how was I going to function if he kept me up all night...AGAIN? What if he wasn't able to "sleep off" this crazed state-of-mind? Was there ANY way I could convince him to go to a mental hospital to get the help he clearly needed?
So many questions and worries flooded my brain and I began shaking so hard that I could hardly catch my breath.
I thought about calling the cops. To tell them the truth: that a deranged man was holding my keys hostage and threatening to do me harm. But then, I KNEW he would get locked up and would DEFINITELY hurt me whenever he got out. So instead, I called an ambulance. I thought: I could get help for my panic attack, possibly stay in the hospital for the night (safely away from him even knowing this would cost me close to $1000), and I thought for sure the paramedics would be able to help me get my keys from the lunatic.
The ambulance came, but they were of no help in getting my keys. He lied and said he didn’t have them, and of course, the paramedics had no authority to do anything further about that. So, in order to keep MYSELF safe, I went to the hospital and risked him stealing my car again or doing “lord knows what” to my property while I was gone. I decided my safety was more important than my stuff in that moment.
But as I laid on the stretcher in the ER, I kept thinking about the pending hospital bill if I let them admit me; a bill that would be on top of the $700 3-mile ambulance ride I just took. I thought about just walking out and getting a hotel, but then I also thought about being barely able to pay my bills as it was, and I HATED the idea of ruining my credit that I built FOR YEARS, just because this guy was going psycho.
And then, a call. His voice was completely different. It was like a light switch had been turned off. He asked questions about how I was doing and spoke as if he was genuinely concerned about my well-being. A complete shift to the threats he was making to my well-being just hours before. Without specifics, he apologized and poured on the “I love you’s.” He was talking almost as if NOTHING in the previous hours had even happened, except for me having a panic attack and going to the hospital. He offered to come pick me up and promised “everything will be okay” and talked so sweetly and positively of plans for the next day to go for a walk together and watch the sunset, etc.
He sounded as if he literally had snapped out of his psychotic state. So, weighing my options, I agreed for him to come get me. I thought, "okay, maybe me going to the hospital literally did snap him out of some sort of psychosis." In the most surreal feeling of defeat mixed with giving-up and slight hope, I let him come pick me up (using my keys that he “didn’t have” by the way). The first two minutes in the car with him felt like a twilight zone – he was being so gentle and kind that I remember contemplating if he had split-personalities. His eyes were different, his face even seemed like a completely different person. I remember thinking, "I guess it doesn’t matter WHY he is being 'good' now, at least the storm seems to have passed and the insanity of him accusing me of cheating and threatening to kill me over it was finally done." I didn’t know WHAT made him come out of his evil state of mind, but I was just relieved, thinking that I could make it through the night safely, get some rest, and figure things out more clearly the next day.
But then, as he turned the final corner back to the apartment and with his hand placed “comfortingly” on my thigh, he said, “I guess you just don’t have the truth in you if you won’t admit to what you did; but I love you, so I will look past it.”
You see, the sweetness he portrayed was just to get me back home; it was all an act. In his mind, he still had every intention of continuing his ridiculous GAME of accusing me of things that he could then threaten me for “doing.” I was in complete shock realizing that he either WAS still delusional, or was PURPOSEFULLY creating these accusations – and that either way, he was completely able to control the Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde that he employed to manipulate me.
I made it through the night. He literally seemed to be relishing in the fact that he drove me to have a full-on panic attack and he continued to play Mr. Nice Guy throughout the next day. But, this was just the tip of the iceberg of several more nights to come, filled with similar events.
And months and months later, he would admit to me that he wasn't delusional about the things he was accusing me of. No, he actually PURPOSEFULLY made it up just to be able to abuse me in these ways.
So, for any of you out there who may be thinking that your abuser may be an "innocent victim to mental illness" himself, think again. Although psychosis and delusional episodes are a real thing, INTENTIONAL gaslighting and mental/emotional abuse is also a real thing. And to be honest, it matters NOT whether your abuser is 100% conscious of his behaviours or 1% conscious of his behaviors: abuse is abuse, and you are not obligated under ANY circumstances to tolerate it.