An Open Letter to the Curious…
and those who asked, “What’s going on?” when the SWAT team pulled in front of my house last night.
No, my husband is not the local sniper that the police have been looking for. No, he did not beat me or kill me. No, there were no hostages in the house. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but the truth probably isn’t the juicy headline you were hoping for. And although our home and our life was turned upside down last night, there was not a bloody scene for a forensics team to clean up. However, since you were so hell bent on knowing what was going on, I’m going to give you a bit of a blow by blow, let you in on our private world you so desperately want to peer into, and tell you the real truth about what was going on.
You see while you were eager and pleased to surmise that the previously mentioned scenarios were playing out, it was actually a disturbingly common yet taboo and hush-hush occurrence we were experiencing. I’m going to tell you all about it now, and the least you owe me…and more importantly him, is to read every single word I am about to write.
My husband was SUICIDAL and negotiators had to talk him out of the house to keep him from ending his life. I know many of you were inconvenienced by the fact that the police had the neighborhood on a bit of a lock-down. The SWAT team was there for everyone’s protection, but mostly for that of my husband. Yes, they were even there to protect you, my neighbor with the long black hair. While you were snapping that picture that you quickly posted on the Bargain Mom’s Facebook page and started a conversation with other mindless sheep who have nothing better to do than discuss what tantalizing event might be happening in my house, I was waiting for word that my husband was still alive. Yes you, the sensation seeking one who is welcome to come over anytime and view our daily struggle with his nightmares and severe anxiety. If you were really so concerned about your safety and that of the neighborhood, what were you doing outside snapping pictures of my house? In case you didn’t get a good shot, here’s one for you to frame and hang on your fireplace mantel. These are the bottles of worthless, overprescribed, “bandaiding” pills the VA sends to our house in the mail. As you can see they are sure to give us an ample supply of whatever he might need to end it all.
To the woman who pulled her car over, parked in the area that was waiting to become the “command center” for the nightmare I was standing in, got out with her cigarette, sunglasses and giggly school girl grin and laughingly asked, “What’s going on?” I find it despicable that you were headed home and admittedly lived nowhere near our neighborhood, yet still found it necessary to walk down the block to me and ask what was happening. What a sad, boring, pathetic life you must lead. I’m glad I could provide you with the vital details that my husband was suicidal. Having to take a moment to explain that to you and ask you to please GO HOME was just the welcoming distraction my Mother-In-Law and I needed at that moment.
To the countless neighbors and looky-loo’s who actually pulled out their lawn chairs and sat to watch the scene unfold for over two hours, it would have been nice if you could have signed the guest book so I could send you a thank you for attending the unraveling of my husband.
Finally, for those of you who were dying to know who was in the house and what was going on, here is a closer look. He is a husband, dad, son, brother, uncle and friend. He is an Air Force Veteran who has been struggling lately with his PTSD. He has been suicidal and fighting an urge to end his life for a very.long.time. He is the guy who went to work every day and gave his best, the guy who recently had surgery and was distraught over the medical bills and a raise that was promised and then never delivered. He is the guy who carries a note in his wallet with my favorite tea order so he can surprise me with it, and the man I can’t seem to save from drowning in depression. He is the one who text me earlier in the day joking that everything tasted better with bacon, and later just found it too overwhelming to go one more day feeling as though he has nothing to offer me or anyone else in this life.
(A sincere thanks to the number of police officers, medical professionals and family and friends who truly care about us. We will need many of you as we journey on from here.)