Closed Door

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Part 10


Dear Diary, 

We’re going home … well, not home, but out of the hospital.  Feena and I are sorta in protective custody until they find Daniel.  Daniel went from prison to hard lock up at the state mental institute.  As soon as he was on his meds he seemed to come to himself though he professed to not have any memories of what he had done and he was totally remorseful.  They put him in a step down program so he could be observed to see if he was fit for any kind of legal proceedings.  In the middle of being transferred he escaped and is now on the run.  We aren’t sure where he is running to but he is considered dangerous.  The doctors are pretty positive that he’ll hurt someone again and want him committed permanently. 

I’ve talked with his doctors and they seem to think that he is incurable, that something is drastically and chemically wrong with his brain.  They did a cat scan and some other tests while he was locked up.  There are no tumors, it isn’t epilepsy.   It isn’t encephalitis.  There are however some structural abnormalities compared to the cat scan and other tests that were done when he first arrived stateside.  I didn’t understand a quarter of the technical explanations they were giving me. 

One of the doctors – she seemed nice enough in a cold fishy kind of way – told me that some people can use drugs recreationally and they have absolutely no side effects.  No one is sure why this is.  Daniel is not one of those people.  His brain, his physiology, for some unknown reason was exponentially affected by his drug use.  The steroid use in high school unlocked the door.  Daniel made the choice to shove everything and the kitchen sink through that door. 

Not only is Daniel psychologically addicted to drugs but he is physically addicted to them as well.  His dopamine levels are so erratic that it makes it next to impossible to find a level or combination of drugs that allows him any kind of existence approaching his former “normal.”  Most of the time they basically kept him stoned out of his mind to keep him from being violent and extremely hostile. 

In the same way an alcoholic can wind up with a “pickled” frontal lobe of their brain, Daniel’s horrible brain chemistry has created “holes” in his brain tissue where there shouldn’t be holes.  The club drugs that Daniel got into killed off brain cells … literally eating holes in his brain.  It was a vicious cycle, the more damage Daniel did to his brain the more he craved the drugs which furthered the damage which increased the need for the drugs which replaced the neurotransmitters that his brain could no longer produce that regulated brain function and behavior, etc. and so on.   

I hate to feel this way but thank God it isn’t something hereditary.  The damage is all self-inflicted.  The doctors also told me that although there is no reason to believe the addiction itself is hereditary I should still be aware and keep an eye on Feena so that if she is prone to addiction, she can choose a different path than the one her father chose. 

Apparently while he was living with his parents Daniel became addicted to some new designer drug and it finally screwed him up so bad it tipped the scale beyond which his psyche could recover.  He’s a bit like an Alzheimer’s patient in the early stages; forgetful, sometimes paranoid, sometimes violent, his old personality comes and goes, sometimes even disconnected from date and place.  Lily, in her rather blunt way, said that they’ll find him dead under a bridge someplace or he’ll go zombie like that guy down in Miami and they’ll have to shoot him in the midst of eating some guy’s face off. 

She and Cal got into a tiff over that one.  It didn’t look like the first either, like maybe she had said it on purpose to be both honest but to get a dig in at Cal and Daniel’s parents at the same time.  I don’t know what is going on.  I feel so out of the loop. 

And yes, I suppose I’ve forgotten to mention that I asked to see Mr. and Mrs. Lowery.  They are not just Daniel’s parents but they are Feena’s grandparents.  I know the value of family.  The situation is still too stressful for us to really be friends but I wanted them to know that I would not stand in the way of them knowing Feena; that I had no intention of holding them responsible for what Daniel has done.  I am cautious but if I could draw a picture of them and put it here dear diary, you would see how heart sick they are, how truly remorseful; it is etched into their faces by the new pallor and lines that weren’t there before.   

I don’t know if there will ever be anything that can heal what is this broken; but Pastor told me that I had done the right thing to at least make a way for the healing to start.  He said that the old saying about to forgive is divine is more true than what a lot of people understand.  That the end of the story of Job proves that we forgive, not for others, but for ourselves and God because declared it is what He expects of us … and that it is the only way to move forward and down the next part of the path that God has laid out for us.  I suppose that is true.  It was only after Job forgave his friends for being so mean to him during his trials and tribulations that Job got back what had been taken from him by the devil. 

I try to forgive Daniel too.  I have forgiven the boy that Daniel used to be.  He had no idea where his choices were going to lead.  And I really believe that he loved me and that we could have had something beautiful and wonderful forever.  But this … this thing that Daniel is now – I don’t even know whether to call him a man - I’m not sure how to forgive what he is now.  I get almost there and then he does something like run away and I’m scared all over again.  Scared and angry. 

His face is plastered all over the news and so is our story.  I missed the first media circus by being in the hospital but I get to see this one up close and in HD.  If Feena and I didn’t still need to see our doctors Cal said that he had some friends out of state that he would send me to but since we do, there goes that idea.  Lily made a face when he said it and that is just one more thing that is making me uncomfortable.   

Freedom is so close.  I went from four gray walls in the hospital to the four grey walls of this efficiency apartment.  At least I have Feena.  And I’m grateful that people are concerned enough for us that they will go to all this trouble but I want to try and move on and no matter what I do, it is like I am dragging an anchor named Daniel with me and that one of these days I’m going to hit deep water and the anchor chain is going to be too short and I’ll get pulled under and take Feena with me.  God, please let me be strong enough to keep us afloat when that happens.

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