(click the picture above for the high definition video - but also click YouTube for me!)
7:28 PM, Friday, April 11th, 2008:
I did a good 3 hours of talk one night at WTVN on what makes us joke about tragedies. Some kid had gotten shot for his "Jegs" stereo and my first inclination was to think of the tagline in a hyper-radio voice: "JEGS...our products will blow you away". I never made a spoof of it, I knew that was over the line, and not even particularly funny, but I did admit that it's what I thought and we all talked about it. Most just said it's human nature, a few said I was sick and needed help - and it was an interesting night.
So with that open, I throw this at you completely matter of fact, and on the surface it is rather funny. Donna is going to spend 2 months at a buddhist temple with no outside contact. My wife is joining a monastary. Well, not joining per se, but a super-retreat allowing her to find herself. To say it out loud is funny. To write it makes me smile. To think that this almost happened a few weeks ago and would've been yet another classic april fools day TRUTH that would've gotten you all is even more humorous. What isn't funny however is what has lead to this, what it really means, and how incredibly painful the last month has been for both of us.
The details remained locked from last month but simply, Donna had a breakdown and ended up in the hospital for 72 hours. This is when the idea of the buddhist temple first came up, but after a therapy session on a Monday after 36 hours in a catatonic state in bed that weekend, the therapists told me I had to take her to the hospital. For the immediate crisis, it was fine - but it's anything but a place to get healthy. In the weeks since she's gotten out things would be great, but inevitably there'd be frightfully bad moments... about absolutely nothing. They would pass, but they occured more frequently. Things with us were fine, our best day had to be April 1st where we laughed and giggled at everyone's reactions, and I didn't seem to be the scapegoat for her issues - but even that changed this week. In a period I literally have to try and black out of my mind she again, went over the edge and the therapists said once again she had to be admitted.
It's a very difficult moment. It's kind of a soul searching moment for someone in my shoes because you have to make a decision for a loved one who cannot think straight, and you're dealing with someone's life. 19 months of knowing this being, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week allowed me to look ahead a few more months. The path we are on is a never-ending cycle that puts Donna further and further away from her soul. Going to a place so loud and chaotic that they give you a sleeping pill at night, then a waking pill in the morning, feed you junk food and don't let you outside is ridiculous... and she's got enough of a survival instinct that she'll act her way out of there in 72 hours and we'll be back where we started. Soon 72 hours turns into weeks, the doses go up - she's lost, I'm lost... or even worse. An attempt becomes a success. This is insanity when the truth of the matter is her body/mind is telling her she's in a toxic situation. An acting class made her realize that it was not what she wanted, so now everything she came here for is gone - she has no friends, no car, no money, no family and I represent guilt to her no matter what I do because she feels so shitty for what she's put me through. It's a never-ending cycle.
So I brought up her initial instinct, which was this buddhist temple, and she lit up. It's a chance to have a "schedule", to be in nature (Ojai, California is absolutely gorgeous), and completely disconnect from everything. It is 2 months. Two months. No outside contact. I have no illusions about what this means for "us". It will help her, it will help me... bt the truth of the matter our ankles are most certainly broken from our jump last June. We jumped to avoid the hurtling train of deportation threatening to seperate us forever and we couldn't look down. It may end up she should've taken that train home, but she didn't want to then and I didn't want her to. What was once unhappy has become dangerous and you can't live like that. I won't live like that. And I think once she finds herself and gets back in touch with that person without any influence - she won't live like that either. Just where she won't live like that is up in the air.
So whereas "Donna is joining a Monastary" is rather amusing given the twists this journey has taken, the reality is anything but. I'm still however in "crisis mode" meaning I haven't really had a chance to take this all in. I've been putting out fires for...christ over 2 months? (sigh) I can only imagine what's going to happen to my body when I can rest. It's that mode you go into if you happen upon an accident and you're trying to help people out of the wreckage. It isn't a real state - it's this "floating" period. It's great that I have that ability as it allows me to think on my feet with little to no emotion but you can only stay in that mode for so long without starting to go out of your mind a bit. In fact, that's exactly what it is. The ability to go outside your mind and look at the situation from a distance. That distance makes it clear that someone is close to losing their life and their safety is all that matters. Tomorrow she regains her life with hairless monks. OK, that's still kinda funny. :-)
Throughout everything in the last month Donna has been working on a video that I thought was quite appropriate for this entry. It speaks for itself and she did an incredible job on it. I showed her the basics of editing, and she knocked it out of the park. She really saw the joy of projects behind the scenes for the first time and it's actually been quite bonding watching her come up with ideas and work them out.
I think you all may know how much I looove Alanis Morisette (you must hear this), but she is a great songwriter and this is a great song. I think Donna made a beautiful piece and so many women can relate to the sentiment.
(sigh) God, watching it now... I just love her. I am heartbroken this is happening - but that sentiment is completely selfish. This situation isn't healthy. As was the case a year ago when we jumped, the choice is clear even if it's difficult.
Difficult. Heh. The definition of that word changes every year of my life...