Highway Ahead

Once we get on the highway we will start to make some headway. But I’ll be driving faster, and we’ll talk about different things. I just want to make sure you remember everything about me. That I suffered an acute form of postpartum depression. I know I almost left you, but you have been a great passenger, always letting me change my tune. You were a real trooper in the motel, and we agreed on the itinerary at once. You listened so well to how it happened, too. What really happened, what happened the night before, and what happened next. What happened in the hospital surprised you, too, and I haven’t even explained all of that.

I spent nine days in the hospital in total. Those nine days were full of more “tests” and delusional thoughts. They made me eat, but, like I explained to them, I would not eat without my children. Other patients and the nurses made sure I complied, however, and though it was like jail I did receive medical attention that I was needing. I haven’t heard from the hospital since discharge (except for calls from the billing department) and finding a psychiatrist has been difficult. We all know that healthcare in America is lacking. Well, I could write a book. But I’m not writing an expose on mental healthcare in America. I’m just cruising through my emotions, stories, and experiences. And you’ve just happened to come along for the ride. Thanks for your company so far.

What Happened Next

After they took my children, ripping them away from me as if I were truly an alligator wrapped around them in the backseat of the cop car, they got us into the hospital. I was put in a bed, probably a triage unit, and asked questions. All I wanted was water and to see my babies. I got up twice to search for them, hearing their cries coming from the other room.

I was sent back to my room, treated as a danger to my children. I would ask for water and they would ask me another question, like how long had we been in the field? Four hours? I said. Who knew? I didn’t for sure. I only received water after a woman told me she was taking them. I was still delusional and agreed. They gave me water and no water has ever tasted that good. I wish I had refused it though. I wish I had fought harder to see my children.

Change of Tune

I gotta stop talking about my “near-death”. Seriously, talking about that day gets me all panicky. But I can tell you something about Bella. And then we can go back to talking about the kids.

You want to stop for the night? We can. As soon as we find a town.

As for Bella. I’ve gotta tell you this one. I tell it to everyone ‘cuz I think it’s kind of important. I got her when I was like thirteen but I was like 16 when we decided to go for a walk one day. A walk that turned into more of a struggle to get back to society.

I don’t remember why, but I was pissed off about something and decided to take Bella for a walk one day. My car wasn’t working, there was no way to get it started right that second, and I was sick of being in the house! So I strapped her leash on and we set out.

We were gonna go far. Fuck it. I was pissed about something I can’t remember now. Bella was ready – a strong, agile, cheerful, and energetic dog. Fuck ’em, she seemed to agree with me as we strode down our street.

Northern Illinois towns are all surrounded by fields. Fields of soybeans, of corn, of junk. We reached a “small” field soon enough, one that we would cut through to make it to another road faster.

Were we prepared? Not a bit. I think I had tennis shoes on but that’s it when it came to preparedness that day. The field was dry nearest the road and we easily made it down into the rows of older, dry corn that nobody was caring for. The sun shone hot on us. It was fun.

Soon we reached a creek. Not a real creek but one of those arroyos that appear in fields – most likely full of run off. It was low so we crossed it easily. We were doin’ it – strikin’ off on our own, I mean.

During none of this time was I delusional. Just a dumb kid walking with her dog. But “outside” is still much more difficult to traverse than many realize. We soon found that out.

After the arroyo we reached the end of the drier field and the grass became much taller. I couldn’t see the road we were trying to reach anymore. All we could see was grass. Mud was suddenly deep and sucking us in. I had to choose – struggle on or turn back.

We turned back. And turning back was the hardest part. The grass was so tall, the mud so thick and everwhere. And what direction were we going? Finally we came back to drier soil, but we were in a different area and the arroyo was running full right in front of us.

Arroyos can be deceiving – they look shallow but their currents are strong. I, not having crossed many arroyos before, took two steps in, almost lost my balance, and jumped to the other side. Bella had waited, watching me cross, and thought she could do it then.

She had been more tired than I had realized and as soon as she set down a paw into the creek the water picked her up and started to carry her. Thinking fast, I pulled her to me with the leash still connected to her collar. We sat down on the ground after that. Soon enough we picked up and went home, mud-covered, wet, hot, and scared.

As a leader, I sometimes fuck up. I sometimes misjudge currents that I haven’t seen before. But I know an arroyo now. Bella and I never did that shit again – walking around where we don’t know the ground.

The point? I don’t know. I’ll give you a minute to think of one. I see neon up ahead.

Like a Komondor

I was guarding my house like a komondor the night before it happened. The night before they tried to kill me. I was up all night, pacing the perimeter (this part is literal) and watching for someone I thought I had seen. The babies were sleeping in their beds. But were they?

I checked three times before I was sure they were there. I was terrified. So I went back outside and did my rounds again. No one showed their face so I retreated inside and made sure all doors were locked.

Smoke bothering you? Well roll your window down. And the road’s gettin’ bumpy here so I’m gonna slow down even more. Ok. Anyway.

The two babes were there. We slept. The next day, though, I thought I had to run for it. If not, they’d be back to slip inside my house at night and take the little ones. They knew how to trick me and send me off on the wrong trail – I’d seen that already.

So I decided we would run. But I was tired from watchdog-ing all night and my delusional train of thought told me to wait another day. Just go to the store, I decided. But take both children! Don’t let them out of your sight!

So I loaded my precious ones into the Chevy and we left. Calm down, I kept telling myself. I was fighting it- the delusions, I mean.

Then, we ended up at the place where it happened. I don’t know how we got there – the turns I took (I was trying to lose “them”), but suddenly, a red train caboose parked on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere was calling the excited attention of my three year old.

He’d been there before, I was sure. I parked the truck, which had been acting weird anyway. The house was charming and the owners had multiple buildings, grain bins, and silos on the property.

“Gigi!” Sergio cried with excitement. What? He must have known that this was not Gigi’s house. So who’s house was it? I would find out.

Being a sunny, hot day, I unloaded the kids and placed Marisol’s carseat on the ground near a picnic table in front of the house. The front door was pink. Music, or a TV, could be heard mumbling inside. Sergio and I, holding the baby in one arm, knocked on the seemingly inviting door.

No one answered. So, being like a komondor, I took my pups on a tour of the perimeter of the suspicious house. A sudden crunch of gravel announced the arrival of someone and I knew I was in danger.

Lifting my three year old into my other arm I ran (like Bambi and his mother) into the weeds on the backside of one of the outbuildings.

Immediately the children were screaming and I fell once. I calmed them – talking calmly, quietly, in fear for our lives. For a few moments we laid in the tall grass while I caught a breath and slowed my heart. Then I picked us up and ventured further into the field of wild weeds.

Someone was trying to kill us. Kill me so they could take my children. Well, I wouldn’t let that happen. Let me tell you how we escaped.

This post is part true but contains delusions. It is a way for me to digest my own post partum psychosis. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any symptoms of post partum psychosis or other delusional mental health disorders. If you fear that you will harm yourself, your baby, or others, call 911 or go to your nearest ER.

Riding in the Passenger’s Seat

Shit, did you see that? It was like, the biggest eagle I’ve ever seen! But I should probably watch the road anyway. You didn’t see it? Man, you should keep an eye out.

I know. You’re nervous now. You have that right. I come off as a little loca sometimes. Really, I’m just stalling on that story. We barely know each other and I’m basically telling you everything. But, whatever. Talk is what one does on a road trip.

Remember where we were going? Me neither. But we are not turning back now.

Ok. The story. Light me a cigarette and I will begin to set the scene.

I Know…The Road Trip…

Sit back dear. I’m sorry I left you on the roadside back there. But I came back for you, didn’t I? I threw you out and all but I’ve calmed down now, I swear. Forgive me.

It’s just that, suddenly, you reminded me of something. A delusion I once had. I will drive a bit slower now. And I know some good back roads. So we have time to talk.

I will tell you about the time that someone once tried to kill us. Me and my two children, I mean. We made it. But it’s just you and I now, unfortunately. On this ride, at least. Hold on. I’ll tell you.

This is meant to be a cathartic way for me to digest my post partum delusions. It is mostly fictional and contains delusional episodes. It is not intended for any purpose other than my own healing.

A Scientist is a Sinner. Or Is It?

Can you be so full of yourself? To believe in science? Can you be so arrogant? Sure, anyone can. Who owns the trademark on a moral? A value? An idea? A word? I don’t. But my thoughts are copyrighted because they’re original. Yep – there’s that arrogance again. But I never said I was a scientist. I said I invented things.

An inventor uses the scientific process: what profession doesn’t? Do you know the process well?

But is this an experiment? Are you my test subjects? Absolutely not. I’m not even doing anything. Life wrote this shit. She can spit words better than any rapper, singer, writer. She can dance, as well. Something that she and I are still struggling to learn to do together.

And other people are doing most of the work, too. I said I listened didn’t I? A fog has rolled into my mind, and I’m freaked out by ideals. I don’t like them. I like dirt.

This is not an experiment in expressing my beliefs about atheism. But it is a huge part of me. I have to be upfront. And did you come here for blessings? Or pictures of flowers and silly, rhyming words? Don’t we all like the same things? Laughing children, a blooming garden, jokes that are (hopefully) for all?

Listen, wild out. This is all for you in the end. Contrary to popular belief, an atheist is always quieted and my vision is full of red flags. People show them to me because I belong to the most hated group. Is it? I don’t think that it is – I have a lot of privilege. That’s how these words are borne – the privilege to sit around and think, write big words, dream about philosophy. But is it a privilege? Do you want to think all this dumb shit? Probably not. I’d rather be a bank teller.

Honestly, I’m just pushing the envelope (what all atheists do) and you can toss the junk mail if you so choose. And be a troll if you wish. What do you think I am?

Crickets

El grillo is an annoying bug. But one of the better known. Here, they sneak into my house, and chirp to me from some corner. Where is it? I don’t take the time to search. For, how would I catch it? Would it matter if I put it back outside?

I’m not afraid of bugs, unless they burrow beneath skin to sip blood – ticks I’m lookin’ at you. A favorite memory is standing in the doorway, a beer in one hand. My sister was with me. Of what were we laughing? The alcohol steals that part.

But suddenly, a cicada, or June bug wants to come in. They fly right towards your face, right inside for your light. I smacked it down from the air, knocking it back into the darkness. It scared my sister, who never sees fliers quite so large in Minnesota. The beer can’t erase how hard we laughed after that.

It’s just a bug! Anyone could do that! Yes, you could. But is it just a bug? Or does it have a deeper meaning? Does that creature wish to bring you a venom, or simply need some warmth?

Damnit, there’s that cricket again, mocking and yelling at me from outside of my vision. I would not slap him away. Because, really, maybe he’s just lost.

I don’t mind the crickets. In fact, I think, they just may have something more important to say. And when there’s no one else in the kitchen, the cry of a bug can be quite reassuring.

P.S. I told y’all it would be a trip. But I think some of you aren’t quite buckled in.