Wednesday, June 19, 2013

As promised ...

It's been nearly two weeks since I got a frantic call from my mother, trying to figure out how to be supportive with the knowledge that her daughter had apparently committed adultery, which for a conservative Christian is probably harder than it would be for someone like me to do, so mad props to you, Mom. Of course, the story she'd been told - that my husband had found me in bed with another man and was now wandering aimlessly around the streets of the small town in which we live - was completely false, and the only reason that Three couldn't confirm it was because he'd gone to the grocery store. Thankfully, we live in a time where land lines are becoming obsolete due to an influx of computers that fit in our hands, and I called up the husband, who was also trying to figure out why one of our friends was offering to come pick him up from whatever corner he was on. When we compared stories, it all started to make sense, although it was about to get much, much worse.

I guess this story really begins back when Three was a teenager and was still living in his hometown, where he befriended* a boy several years younger than he that suffered from schizophrenia and Asperger's. We'll call this boy Jay, for anonymity's sake. Jay latched onto Three because, for the first time in his life, someone was being friendly to him and not dismissing him just for being different. At one time, Jay slapped Three across the face in one of his episodes, and instead of clobbering the shit out of him - Three was at that time known for getting into fights and not being able to control his temper - Three sighed and told him to never do that again. Naturally, Jay trusted Three completely. When Three left his hometown, forever leaving it behind him for various reasons, Jay lost the one person that didn't treat him with utter contempt. 

Fast forward a little over ten years and Three finally** sets up a Facebook account, which was primarily used if he couldn't reach me via phone. Well, Jay gets super excited and sends a friend request, which Three contemplates for a few days before being like, "Well ... this may not be the best idea, but he might need a friend." They start talking again, and Jay tells him that he's on medication now and even jokes about how, if he starts acting creepy, Three should just call his social worker. He then friends me, which I approve under the stipulation that he will be blocked if he stops taking his meds for any reason. And all is well for a while. 

The day began pretty normally, except that Jay had somehow gotten Three's phone number (we deduce it was from his father, but it's kind of a moot point) and was blowing it up nearly every fifteen minutes. Then he started messaging me on Facebook about random things like Walt Disney being alive and five-year-olds leading the United States, mixed in with queries about my sort-of-in-hiatus soap business and then finally angry messages about how I was blind or something. After I blocked him, everything seemed to calm down, hahahahah because right, that's how life works. 

It was almost immediately after speaking to my mom and Three that I knew who was behind the account. I recalled a message I'd gotten from Jay about a fake account from which he had claimed to receive a friend request. He had also claimed that he would probably get blamed for it, which made absolutely no fucking sense at the time, but the threads were all coming together. We let everyone know what was going on, without naming names or being too OMG about it, and things then started to get ugly.

Several of my friends received death threats from Jay acting as my husband, and while I didn't necessarily feel scared for my own safety or for people who lived near me, both Three and I were concerned for his own family in his hometown in Florida. We notified the authorities in our current residence and Three's hometown, and well, let's just say that it got noticed by Homeland Security and the FBI. No one was injured, and he is now in the custody of the state, hopefully getting the help he needs. 

And that's kind of my point. I have been teetering on the edge of being so enraged I could spit nails through concrete*** and actually feeling very sorry for a guy who's had no support system when he so direly needed it. He fits the profile for a mass shooter: mentally unstable, prone to violence, thin connection to reality, no access to adequate mental health care. He just didn't understand how and hasn't had to deal with rejection or emotional pain, since nearly everyone in his life would let it slide because, oh, he's just weird. When his mother found out the "hassles" she would have to deal with while he was under 24/7 surveillance, she decided to sign Jay over to the state. I don't entirely blame her and can't even be sure that I wouldn't make the same choice, but I can't imagine what went through his mind when he found out. All I can wish is that this episode, which was actually much more convoluted and scary than I've described it (partially because I'm still processing a lot of it and partially because it could take forever to tell completely, since there are so many layers to what happened), will provide something positive in Jay's life, either by showing him that he has to handle the consequences of his actions even when he's not completely in control or by providing him the infrastructure and stability his illness requires in order for him to function. Granted, we'll probably never know, but a girl can dream. 

* This term is used loosely, since Three was sure to keep the boy at arm's length due to his mental instability.
** He succumbed to my bitching that I didn't have any proof on FB that I was married to a real dude.
*** No matter how much my mother may piss me off, if you upset or frighten her for any reason, I will cut you. 
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