suicide attempts


If he were Britney Spears, he would still be in the hospital but because he is a 42 year old man without decent insurance (or paparazzi coverage to keep those who are supposed to be looking out for his welfare on their toes) he is wandering free tonight. Which is a lesson to us all to not allow our mentally unhealthy friends and family have a breakdown in Marin County California. The General Hospital there doesn’t feel obligated to keep suicide attempt patients for the full 72 hours if they can figure out any way to release them sooner.

Despite multiple attempts to speak with doctors, DNOS mainly got stone walled, and when she finally did get the admitting doctor on the phone he wouldn’t give her his name. The psychiatrist decided that CB was not a danger to others (which I only sorta agree with as he regularly threatened to kill us when he was a teen and his ex is terrified of him when he is having one of his “episodes”) and that he is not a threat to himself. So I guess swallowing a bottle of anti-anxiety meds and a twelve pack is not a hazardous activity on the West Coast like it is everywhere else.

CB repeatedly told DNOS that he was going to get himself released and he would try to kill himself again, but to the doctors he was cooperation incarnate. He is a masterful manipulator. I will give him that. However he is so incredibly deluded I can’t imagine that he really fooled anyone.

The truth is he is very ill and treating him after all these years will take time. Time is money in the medical community in the United States and if you don’t have it, or the insurance equivalent, you will not get the attention and treatment that you need to get better.

My parents have accepted the fact that the next phone call from California could be about CB’s death. According to DNOS, they spent supper Saturday evening planning how they would have his body shipped back home for burial. They decided cremation would be best.

DNOS is very angry with CB. At one point in a conversation with him she told him she would have to call him back when she was calmer because she couldn’t deal with his shit him. This was when he was telling her his plans to extricate himself so he could be free to try again. CB retaliated by refusing to take her calls after that and finally told the hospital not to release any more information to his family. Typical. Deliberately drawing us into his drama and then pushing us out when we don’t respond as he wants us to.

But how were we supposed to respond? Only he knows and he wasn’t forthcoming with what he wanted from us. Whatever we were supposed to have done, we didn’t.

Knowing CB as I do he could very well be attempting to kill himself right now. Or he could be fuming and foaming at the mouth about how all his problems are our parents’ fault and that none of us really cares about him at all. To whom? Good question. But CB can always find an audience when he needs one.

I hope he chooses the latter. I don’t feel like carrying any regrets that I didn’t try and figure out how to get in touch with his doctor last week when he first threatened to harm himself. Of course, the doctors at Marin General never bothered to contact CB’s doctor either, so I guess I am not the only one with marks against me.

The United States of America is no place to lose one’s mind.


I hesitate to call him CrazyBrother now in light of my sister’s, DNOS, call to me this morning.

CB called our mother at about 3A.M. their time and told her he was heading to hell. He’d taken nearly all of his pills and just wanted to let her know. Mom is not usually good in a crisis but this time she called the local police for the number of emergency services in San Francisco.

By the time she got through to 911 there, he was already on his way to the hospital. It seems he had called 911 before he called her.

DNOS was in tears when she called me and I was/am my usual calm and stoic in the face of “death”. Useful? Perhaps. But not cathartic and sometimes you need the latter more.

Rob reminds me that CB wants help or he wouldn’t have called 911 or mom. Because he is mentally ill, it’s really hard to assess just how much “choice” he has. My days on the widow board with those widowed by suicide inclines me to the politically correct answer of “he can’t help himself”, but I wonder.

Regardless, he is safe and on 72hour hold and maybe he will finally be properly evaluated and get help for his long standing problems.

Somedays I wonder who I would have been had I been an only child.