Once you are traumatized, you are vulnerable to triggers. And triggers are everywhere.
Jane Birkin’s daughter, Kate Barry, jumped from her fourth story window last week. I couldn’t stop thinking about her despair, and how fame and talent don’t protect families from depression or suicide.
Then, on Homeland, they executed the poor hero, making us watch as the life drained out of his face.
When I’m triggered enough, my mind reverts to familiar paths that lead nowhere. Often, it settles on Tarzana Treatment Center, a lucrative rehab business whose $45 million budget is largely funded via contracts with Los Angeles County.
I took my son to TTC when he relapsed during a period of hard-earned sobriety. They made a big fuss about payment and made a copy of my credit card. They refused to let the family inside the building. After a few days, I started receiving calls from a guy named Del, in the financial department. He said they needed more money, even though they were a Blue Cross provider and had accepted our son’s insurance.
Del’s harassing phone-calls brought me to tears but he persisted. He threatened to kick Max out instead of keeping him for the agreed 30 days. I came up with $1,000 and then another $1,100. Del kept calling and demanding money. He said the rehab cost $500 a day. Meanwhile, Max called me, sounding panicky; he shared his room with a bunch of convicts who played cards all night, depriving him of sleep. He was cold but I wan’t allowed to bring him a blanket.
After around 12 days, a woman called me and said she was a therapist at TTC. She told me that my son was being discharged for lack of sufficient funds, but that she had convinced them to let him stay until morning.
In the morning, Max’s dad picked him up from TTC. He was still in withdrawal from klonopin. At dawn the next morning, he jumped off a cliff.
So I think about Del. I sometimes call his extension at TTC but I always get his recorded message. A couple of days ago, I called and he answered.
I told him who I was, and told him what happened after he kicked out my son. He stammered that he was sorry for my loss but quickly regrouped. He denied calling me to demand money and I laughed maniacally. WHAT?!, I said, Are you serious? You called me a million times! You made me cry!
No, he said firmly, this never happened and couldn’t have happened. They never discharge anyone for lack of money. Never. He has worked there for 18 years and it has never happened. Furthermore, it wasn’t his call. It was someone else’s.
I asked whose call it was and after some arguing, he gave me a fake name with a fake extension number.
Now, if you are still reading this, you can understand my distress. I’m going to call it distress because rage doesn’t cover it. Why didn’t that cunt just apologize and say it was a terrible unforeseen consequence, one that he regretted?
I don’t want to hear “Just let it go.” I want to hear useful ideas about how to proceed.