This post includes some mentioning of suicide and depression. If you’re wanting to hurt yourself or someone else, or you know someone who may be suicidal, please call 1-800-273-8255 (in the US), any number listed here, or contact someone in your area who can help you.
A few weeks ago, my parents signed up for the program through Christmas Charities Year Round to get appliances. The program wouldn’t let them sign up for a dishwasher or a hot water heater, but they were allowed to sign up for a washing machine and oven. On Tuesday, they called and said that a washer had been donated for the program. We were told that we had to come get it by the end of the day Tuesday, which meant we had to secure transportation and help for getting in the house in a little less than five hours.
My former Sunday School teacher’s husband was at home with pneumonia and saw my plea on Facebook for help from anyone in the area who might have a truck. He said my dad could borrow his truck, but he couldn’t provide any help. Well, my dad thought he could do it on his own, so he got the directions to the guy’s house and headed out for our washer.
Dad got up to the charity at around 4:30, which happened to be after the charity’s 4:00 closing time. Luckily, my mom had called up there to tell them that he was coming so there was still someone there. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get the washer because it was locked up somewhere that the other guy couldn’t get to. So the person from the charity said that he would leave a message and make sure that they saved the washer until today so that my dad could come get it.
Dad was able to secure some help to get it today, and he was able to borrow the truck again. So, late this morning/early afternoon, we got a new washer. So far it seems to work pretty well. My mom made some comments about it being noisy, but I pointed out that it isn’t nearly as noisy as the old one, which had become quite the dancing machine late in its life. (Pushing the washer back into its corner or having to hold it in place while doing laundry had become the norm for us.)
The guy who helped today was also able to take an item that we’d found back when the house was being cleaned while it was condemned. It was a Derringer that belonged to Dadada or Mamama one. It had been hidden after one of Dadada’s threats to hurt/kill my mom that had been made toward the end of his life. It was found a day or two after my dad went into the hospital in July, when he had some intent to hurt himself. It sat in the same spot on the table in our kitchen from July until November, when my dad missed his court appearance. When that happened, I started sensing how depressed my dad was (and how the depression was worsening) and I asked my mom if I should hide the gun somewhere so that he couldn’t use it. She said yeah and suggested that I put it in like the bathroom or something. I decided that I needed to put it somewhere that I knew he wouldn’t look, so I stashed it in a drawer under my bed in my room. I didn’t talk to him about the gun until later, because I didn’t want him to ask where it was or start looking for it. Eventually, he said something about this one person (the one who helped today) expressing an interest in it, so we handed it over to him and explained the whole story. He said that even if he couldn’t find a place for it, he would make sure not to bring it back to our house because he knew that it didn’t need to be here.
Oddly, some of my intense anxiety that I’ve had since we moved back in the house disappeared when that gun left my house. I get that some people feel safer with a gun near them, but I’m not like that. I spent 7 of the first 8 years of my life in a pretty high crime neighborhood (gang fights on the street that went by my bedroom) and I felt safer in that neighborhood than I felt at any point in my life (meaning most of the other 20 that have been spent in an extremely safe neighborhood) when I was aware that there was a gun nearby. So, I am grateful that that gun is no longer under my roof. I just wish it had actually left the house years ago when I thought my mom had originally gotten rid of all of Dadada’s weapons.
I know that the gun being gone won’t keep my dad from hurting himself if he ever decides to do that. I know that people who are intent on hurting themselves will find a way, but I’m glad that it’s created more of an obstacle for him. I’m glad that I have one less thing to worry about tonight, instead of one more.
Actually, counting the new washer, I can strike two things off my worry-about-this list.