he'd been living a fantasy life, you see, and such was the power of his delusion that i half-believed it, and I Knew that he was going into danger that summer, and i was at home, and he was a thousand miles away, and i could not could not save him, and he was so far away, and he was my Responsibility; I was charged to keep him safe.
and then he didn't call. for the first month, i didn't know if he was dead or alive, but that i would have Known if he'd died. and my health went toilet.
and then he called. and there was something Wrong, and i didn't know what to believe: his beautiful cryptic story, or abuse, or what, but he was in danger and i couldn't stop it.
and it got worse that July. worse and worse and worse.
and i had a summer job and it hated me as much as i did it. babysitting, nanny on a bad case of swimmer's ear and sleep dep and depression.
and then he went incommunicado for a week. religious camp, his stepmom said. a week. and he called sunday night and he was hell warmed over.
and he called monday and everything was all right.
and he called tuesday and he was on that knifeblade of energy that means you know you're going to die.
and then he called me back and he was od-ing and he was trying to die and say goodbye and i was here and he was there and i could do nothing. only he painted it his delusion, so all i had was that to go on, and i didn't know, but i knew he was in danger, he was about to die, and it was my responsibility to keep him alive, and i couldn't. i was going to fail.
and he hung up, and i sent him all the energy i could, and i was almost sick, i couldn't eat because of my ears, it was oatmeal with blue cheese dressing and lemonade (i insisted on the bleu cheese dressing as a bujold joke) my ears were so bad i couldn't chew, barely swallow.
and then an hour later he called back. calm, peaceful, very scared and alone, like a four year old in the er without his mommy or teddybear. and i couldn't hold him. i just told him i was there, he'd be ok, it was all going to be ok now.
i didn't know until the following may that he'd tried to kill himself. all i'd heard was the delusion, that pretty shiny delusion.
my engagement broke. she'd gotten wrapped up in it too, and it freaked her the hell out, and she wanted no more to do with him, and since i was wrapped up in him, we were over too. it took a while, but that's how it happened.
darkside held me on the phone while i cried. i've been telling this story, telling and telling to get it all out, but it stays inside, somewhere, and that part isn't wanting to leave.
from here, shadesong's post about PTSD.