This next post is very personal in nature. I am writing it because recently events from almost three years ago, that I had put behind me and thought were water under a bridge, have been brought up again. This is a cautionary tale of how a few minutes can change everything in the most negative and, likewise, positive manner. This is also to set the record straight for anyone who has heard what is going on and doesn’t believe it.
To really understand the significance these 5 minutes in the bathroom had on me, you need some background about my life at the time. 2013, I was at the height of my depression. I had been dumped by someone I had every intention of marrying, my family life was laughable at best, and completely destroyed by psych wards, arrests, screaming and physical assaults at worst, I was working at a diner most of the year that had me working myself to death, with little support, I was in debt, I was robbed at gunpoint and I was raped at my place of work by someone I trusted. Working at this diner got me in the habit of doing whatever drugs I could get my hands on– molly, adderall, vyvanse, focalin, methalone (not to be confused with methadone) and eventually cocaine. On top of one to three of these drugs a day, I was drinking heavily and smoking massive amounts of pot to smooth out the inevitable crashes. I was a full-blown drug addict. I wasn’t shooting up heroin in a crack house, but I was riding a train that was derailing fast. But I had to do it, it was the only thing that distracted me from the burning desire-no, NEED- to kill myself and end all of the pain I had been dealing with for years. I was numb. All of the things you read and hear, all of the songs, testimonials, poems and videos about what life is like with an addiction are true. It is the most hopeless, desolate place. Your body can’t stop no matter how much your mind wants to.
I tried to hide how bad it was from my friends, but as things got worse, it became harder to hide. I started treating everyone around me with utter disrespect. I used them. I used them for food, companionship, distraction and as a way to get more free drugs and booze. I threw party after party, looking for people to be in the same state as me, to lessen the feeling of being all alone. My roommate payed essentially all of my bills because every single dollar I made was spent on gas, eating out and getting high. I burned through every single dollar I had in stocks and bonds, a total of around $7500 in less than 6 months. All of it- clothes, booze and drugs and the occasional missed bill that my roommate just refused to pay for me because she didn’t want to help anymore. I was a hollow shell. ruining my life slowly but surely. Eventually, even the drugs and alcohol, all of the nights spent in bed with guys I didn’t care about, all of the reassurance from friends and family that I would get better couldn’t drown out the voice in my head telling me that I finally was ready to go. Just go and stop ruining everyone’s life. End the pain and end their’s as well.
This brings me to that one night in September. But before I tell you, I would like you to meet Katherine. My Kitty Kat, My ROD (Ride or Die), my BEST fucking friend. Two peas in a pod since childhood. We had that made-up language, communicate through looks, always know what to say and do kind of friendship. This is Katherine
We went to high school dances together, snuck out to get drunk and talk to boys, in high school, suffered through the same religion-drenched family life, had the same friends, liked the same music, had all of the inside jokes. I’ve only ever experienced one bond so close in my life with a non-family member and that is with Kimberly. Katherine had had epilepsy from a young age. She decided to stop drinking after high school because she didn’t like the decisions she made under the influence. She stopped smoking pot way before that because the last time she did, she ended up in the hospital having had multiple seizures. Safe to say she never touched it again…until the night in question.
September 2013, I don’t remember the date, but it was my roommate’s 21st birthday and my other (temporary) roommate was moving to Arizona so it was a p a r t y. Our 3rd story, two-bedroom apartment was FULL of people. Katherine hadn’t showed up yet, but I was on my front balcony that overlooked the Boulevard, smoking a cigarette with a bunch of acquaintances. I had just smoked a GB, drank a few shots and earlier in the evening I had snorted a bunch of molly. Needless to say, I was gone. I was on the balcony when Katherine showed up. She sat down next to me, obviously irritated. She told me her boyfriend was driving her up the wall and she wanted a drink. I told her I would gladly pour her a drink. She even bummed a smoke off of me, something she also gave up a while back. She then proceeded to tell me that she was gonna get high with me. I asked her if she was sure she wanted to do that and reminded her what happened the last time. I told her not to do that. She said she didn’t care. I told her that if she insisted, then to please make sure I was there with her so I could look out for her. She agreed. I told my friend, in my bedroom that I was going to use the bathroom, and that when I came out, my friend wanted to smoke. I went into the bathroom, did the deed and opened the door to come out. To clearly paint this picture, my room was MAYBE 10×13 and had a queen size bed and a long dresser in it. Inside of my room at the time there were already close to 10-15 people crowded in there to smoke, as my room was the designated spot. When I opened the door, I saw Katherine, in the middle of the “crowd” coughing her lungs out. She got pale and looked at me like she was scared. She ran towards me and shoved her way into the bathroom. I quickly closed the door and said “what were you thinking? I told you to wait for me!” All I heard come out of her mouth was “I’m sorry, I think I’m dying” I crouched down in front of her and asked her what was wrong, what did she need? “Seizure. Ambulance.” was all she said. I asked her if she was sure she wanted an ambulance–she had managed fine without one many times before. But before she could answer her eyes rolled back into her head and she fell off of the toilet, convulsing. I just barely caught her head from hitting the bathtub. I opened the door and asked for my friend, Jed, a fellow epileptic. I asked him to get water asap. He ran. I picked Katherine up, and she came to. She started crying. Panic set in for me. There were so many people at my house. We were all so fucked up. This situation was fucked up. She asked about the ambulance, I told her I hadn’t called yet, I was waiting for her to drink some water, so Jed and I could get her down the stairs. She started screaming at the top of her lungs “Help! They’re trying to kill me.” I told her to stop.
Jed got back with the water while she was screaming. She started drinking. Someone, I couldn’t tell you who, tried to get into the bathroom, I pushed them out and told them to hold it because my friend was sick. I turned around and Katherine was on the phone with 911, telling them she was dying. There were too many people in my room to get Katherine through in her state, so we tried to go through my roommate’s room. Unfortunately she had locked the door.So Jed and I went back through the bathroom, lifting Katherine up to her feet. We pushed through the crowd in my room and as we came out and towards the front door, a group of friends had just come in to my apartment, with almost 10 other people trailing behind them. Katherine slipped out of our grip and made her way through the new group of people. When I made it through I saw her almost falling down the stairs trying to get outside, she had dialed 911 again. I caught up to her and grabbed the phone form her because she wasn’t making any sense on the phone. We made it outside and she fell into some bushes, seizing again. I put the phone to my ear and begged for help. I said my friend was having a seizure, she is epileptic, this was the second one in 5 minutes. They asked me if she had taken any drugs. I told them she smoked for the first time in years and that’s why this was happening. Sirens sounded close by and I knew help was on the way. I looked up and saw a ton of people on my balcony staring down, screaming, laughing, freaking out, everything. She started convulsing again, the third time. I stayed on the phone until the ambulance pulled up. My older sister was at the party with my younger, underage sister, and came out to tell me she had to leave with Ellie in case the cops came too. My sister was probably the only sober person at the party. And she was leaving.
I spoke on site with the paramedics while they strapped Katherine on to the stretcher and got her stabalized. She looked at me and cried some more and said she was just really sorry this was happening. I told her to shut up and not apologize for that. We kissed and hugged. I asked the paramedic I had been speaking with if I could come with her. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but the way he said it told me that I was not allowed to go at all because I wasn’t family. Sober, and looking back on it, I know now he thought I was asking to ride in the ambulance and he was telling Me no to that. Not that I couldn’t come at all. I apologized to Katherine and said I couldn’t come. Kimberly came sprinting past me shouting about driving behind. Next thing I know, she is in her car behind the ambulance. She says she will keep me updated. I made a conscious decision not to ride along with Kimberly, because it dawned on me that my roommate was piss drunk, celebrating her 21st birthday in our apartment, and that of all of the forty some odd people inside, we probably only knew half of them. My sister left and I couldn’t leave my roommate in a situation like that. Kimberly was already in the car, the ambulance about to leave and I made a very conscious decision to stay. For over a year I felt guilty about not going to the hospital with her. It plagued my conscious. I checked in with Kimberly a few times and she assured me that Katherine was fine. So I assumed everything was. The next day, I spoke with Katherine on the phone and she said she couldn’t remember any of what happened. I told her everything, including the parts about her shouting that I was trying to kill her. She said she felt so bad about saying that, she knew I would never try to hurt her. I apologized for not coming to the hospital, but explained why. The conversation ended on a positive note. So I assumed everything was okay. That was the last time Katherine and I spoke as actual friends. She stopped answering my calls and texts. I confronted her outright about if she was still mad at me. Silence. Always silence. I got my “boyfriend” to drive over to her place to get all of my things from her apartment and to give her back hers. Kimberly said that Katherine had confessed to her that she was still mad.
This was the straw that broke the camel’s back from me. I lost the person I loved most. Anyone who was around me knows that my heart broke. at the same time that this happened, my family life got worse and the situation at my own home was getting more tense. I decided to get clean. I stopped, cold turkey all of the drugs I was on, with the exception of smoking pot. I basically quit drinking for a time as well. I knew that I needed to think about the lives of those around me and how my judgement and actions were affecting them. I also thought that if I got clean, Katherine would forgive me. She didn’t.
May, 2014 I relapsed for one day. I snorted a bunch of focalin while getting drunk one night. My family situation wasn’t getting any better, my boyfriend lived 400 miles away and I felt alone. The next day I texted Katherine crying. I wanted to kill myself. I felt so bad still. I apologized over and over. She told me it was in the past. I had messed up but she was proud of me for getting clean and bettering myself. She said she would always love me. I was her ROD-always. This wasn’t the first time we had spoken since the incident but the last time had been very brief. I invited her to my 21st birthday party. She agreed to come. She came but only stayed for about an hour. she left without saying goodbye. When I got pregnant she spoke to me about it and even came to see me again at my house. It was awkward. Probably my fault. I was pregnant and stressed and nervous about seeing her. We spoke again a couple of months ago about some seizures I was experiencing. The conversation was, again, amicable. But that was the last contact we had.
So why is this relevant, aside from me being sober now as a result? Well, yesterday, I received a text from a friend with a screen shot from Katherine’s new best friend’s twitter. It was tweet that basically said “Fuck Katie Thomas. I would clap that bitch up any day”. I tweeted back at her asking if we had ever met and she said I “could still get it”. I told her she sounded like a 12 year old and that I didn’t know her or what her problem was. I told Kimberly about this and she sent me these-
I was shocked. Kimberly went on to tell me that while having lunch with Katherine about two weeks after the incident, Katherine recited a very different version of events. She said that I locked her in the bathroom. I told her to call her own ambulance and that I left her there because I didn’t care. She said I told her I didn’t want to ruin the party.
Let’s pretend for a second that there weren’t witnesses to back up my version of events. Let’s pretend I hadn’t helped her through the entire 5 minutes in the bathroom, talked to the paramedics on the phone and in person, hadn’t held her hand and kissed her goodbye. Let’s pretend I didn’t do any of that for a minute. Who the fuck would let such a liability happen in their home? Who would leave a person, locked in a bathroom, to fend for themselves in such a vulnerable state? who would do that to a stranger, let alone their BEST FUCKING FRIEND. That doesn’t even sound like me. I was floored when I heard Katherine had been telling people this, and now as a result someone wanted to fight me. I am a mother now, but I’ve always been one in a sense. When someone is having a panic attack, I’m the first to try and calm them down and help them breathe through it. Someone needs a shoulder to dry on? Cry on mine. Sick and throwing up..here, let me hold your hair. All of the times I was fucked up and beyond under the influence, I still would suck it up and help someone out who needed it. Especially if they were my friends or family. That’s just who I am. Obviously this story was about more than 5 minutes in a bathroom. It was about a little bit after and events that followed. I tried asking Katherine about it, yesterday, politely. She just ended up blocking my number. I thought this whole time I was forgiven and we had just parted ways. But I guess I was wrong and she feels very strongly another way. So this is a cautionary tale of how just a few minutes can really change EVERYTHING.
This part, this is for Katherine.
Thank you for the years of friendship. Thank you for putting up with me when I was tough and stubborn and rude. Thank you for letting me use you as a security blanket and always providing me with laughs. Thank you for knowing exactly what was on my mind even when I couldn’t say it.
Thank you for leaving me. I literally would not have gotten clean. I probably would have killed myself that month if I hadn’t had this wake up call. Thank you for putting yourself first and making me learn the hard way.
But, also, fuck you. Fuck you fuck you fuck you. Fuck you for not believing me. Fuck you for not believing IN me. For not trusting me. For lying. Fuck you for thinking I would ever do that to anyone let alone you of all people. Fuck you for not setting the record straight when people are threatening me. Fuck you for being a coward and not answering me all the times I tried to apologize and yesterday when I needed answers. And just fuck you.