Cint and I talk everyday. I mean everyday. Even if we don’t have anything to talk about, which is rare, we are still talking everyday. The fact that she had not answered her phone all day, not returned texts or emails, had me on alert. I knew her schedule just like she knew mine’s. It was my understanding that she was going to work and had a boring ass training to go to. Cint didn’t like Tampa, but she didn’t have a choice when she lost her job and ended up going to Tampa. She felt guilty about having moved Chic to Virginia versus Atlanta. I kept telling her that it was all good and not to put any pressure on herself.
This is what I didn’t know if Chico quite understood about Cint, she can go off the wire. She has a ton of panic attacks, she is a people pleaser and an extreme giver. When things are not going the way that she expects them to go, she punishes herself. I asked Cint if she had told Chic about her mental illness prior to them getting married. She said that it was hard, but Chic was ok with it and just wanted them to be together. Not sure if he understood what all of that meant, but he would soon find out.
Jacinta didn’t like her job. She thought it was her dream job when she accepted it, but it turned out to be hell for her. After 15 years of being a marketing executive, it gets hard to be placed beneath where you were in rank and having someone barking orders at you. Cint managed down well. Her managing skills going up was a problem. She can’t take sudden noises and most of all she can’t manage a man barking orders at her. She just can’t function. It is a true trigger to her anxiety. Even when we were in school, if a professor got on her case about something, Cint went missing. I would typically find her on the abandoned steps to the fourth floor of our dorm. Cint and I talked about how she absolutely hated her boss. He made her work in his office everyday. It wasn’t a training or a collaboration. He just wanted her in his office. She once tried to excuse herself to go to the restroom and he told her to wait and hold it. I get a phone call from Cint telling me that she is scared and that she is in the trunk of her own car. Lucky for her and anybody else that would be able to help her, her trunk wouldn’t close all the way with her having the keys in the trunk with her.
When this type of situation happens, there are a few things that she is trying to figure out. She is trying to see if she should fright, fight, or flight. Depending on what space she is in, you might get all three. Jacinta is silent with her mental illness. She has no problem telling you that she has a mental illness, you just don’t know when it is happening. She could be looking at you in the face and you wouldn’t know that she was spiraling out of control. Because of a situation that happened to her as a child, Cint looks for small dark spaces to take cover. It has been my experience that she is either in her closet under her clothes (her favorite go to), a bathroom, under a desk, her car, or by the ocean. I can usually talk her out of the first few. When she is at the ocean, that is different kind of battle. Most people would think that the ocean is probably majestic or calming for Cint. Not. Cint sees the ocean as a way to escape from it all. Once, we had a conversation and she told me that sometimes she just wanted to jump off a bridge. I was caught off guard and asked if she was trying to commit suicide. Like it wasn’t nothing, she said she like the idea of diving and swimming away.
So with me having 20 odd years of back and forth with helping her through her toughest moments, my nerves are bad. I get to the airport and I get the ticketing agent to get me a skycap to take me through security and to my gate faster. I don’t know what Chico meant by hospital and/ or the word “taken”, but I was about to find out. If her boss put her in this way, I am going to see him. If Chico or anybody else for that matter put her in this way, I am going to see them. I don’t know if Cint has had a breakdown or if the results from her tests came back bad. I just don’t know. What I do know is that I will be landing shortly. Too bad I can’t have a scotch. The baby boy in my stomach starts kicking and it is like he knows something is wrong too. “Don’t worry boo, Mommy got this.”
I leave the doctor’s office and I am greeted with screams from a young girl. They actually have her in a straight jacket. The paramedics that have brought her in, look relieved that this was out of their hands. The rest of the “Doom Room” crew was sitting in Group when she came in and all eyes were on her except for Lieutenant . Lieutenant is about 6’2″. He has a scruffy white beard and mustache. He chocolate complexion has aged well. I am thinking that he might of been fine back in the day. He keeps a robe on as if it is freezing in here. I just don’t get it. I am hot as hell up in here and with all of these odors, we don’t need hot. There are a few empty chairs in Group, one next to Felonious and the other is next to Lieutenant. I am trying to decide if I want to get shanked or if I want to take a magical visit into Vietnam. I will take my chances and go to Vietnam. Hell, maybe Lieutenant will let me have one of his “imaginary rifles” so that I can handle Felonious at lunch.
As a few of the orderlies take care of the straight jacket, Deborah is going forward with explaining what should happen after you are released from the psyche ward. Again, everyone has the facial expression of “yeah right”. This continues to bother me. Deborah is asking everyone to go around and tell them what they plan to do when they are released. John says “pass”. Daniel says that he and his girlfriend are going to get back together and he is going to ask her to marry him this time. Interesting. Carol (my Mickey Mouse) is nodding and drool is coming from her mouth (wtf). Maria is sitting, but when Deborah calls her name, she starts floating again. I mean I swear she is floating, like a ghost. She looks like she doesn’t know how to blink and her long silver hair is just blowing as she walks. However, everyone seems to think that is normal so I play it off too. They get to Susan (sour smell) and she looks up as if she is surprised anyone wants to talk to her. She starts to get excited and says, “Can you repeat the question?” Ok. Aaron gets his turn and he says “I am never coming back to this piece of shit again!” Now in the “Doom Room” no words are off limits. As he is saying all of this Gross is steady scanning our hospital bands. Deborah asks Aaron does he have any other plans. Aaron repeats himself and says, “After I don’t come back to this piece of shit again, I plan on never coming to this piece of shit again!” Ok. I will take that and I would like to wear that statement on a t-shirt. Felonious is next. She is thinking that she will try not to break into people’s houses or cars. She is going to stop throwing things at people and she wants to quit smoking. She laughs and says, “Nah, I ain’t gone ever quit smoking” Some of the others give a chuckle. They get to me and typically I am Chatty Kathy, but I am stuck. I have never been at a lost for words in my life and now I am stuck. I look around and I am trying to see if I have anything in common with anyone in this room. I tell myself that I do not. I have a mental illness but not to this extreme. I think. Deborah asks me the question again as she can see that I have zoned out. I tell her “I will pass”. They finally get to Lieutenant. He says that he would like to explain in a few languages so that everyone in the circle and behind him can understand. There is nothing or anyone behind him, but I am thinking he thinks Via Kong is right around the corner plotting. He goes through a few tongues, he doesn’t really know any languages, he just says a lot of “words” that sound different from English. Once he gets to English, he looks at Deborah and says, “I want to go home to my Momma”. No one really says anything because they aren’t paying him any attention. I look and say to myself, “At least you got that to look forward too, I don’t.”
Catch me tomorrow family! Nicole’s flight is just about to land!