After a short stay in ‘hospital’ K was sent home, pending a date for his trial. He went to his parents’ home and we spoke regularly. I know this sounds weird, but I kept in touch because on top of everything that had happened we were friends, and I felt he needed a friend. And I’m sure I didn’t want to just walk away either.
After a month or so, he called to ask if he could come and stay at mine, in the spare room. His parents were being too overbearing and he needed some space, needed to live like an adult. I said yes. I didn’t know what else to say.
K came back to live at mine and did indeed move his things into the spare room. He would sometimes sleep there, sometimes sleep with me.
During his time in hospital and the month afterwards K had been diagnosed as suffering from a form of psychosis. He was taking tablets to send him to sleep and others to wake him up. Seroxat became his best friend.
His mood wasn’t what you’d call stable. He would become enraged quickly, never violent, but angry. He was a totally different person to the K that I had known ‘before’. Sex brought on awful nightmares for him, but his libido hadn’t disappeared. Ultimately, the seroxat put paid to any hopes of a sex life for him and he became frustrated.
Socially, he was a nightmare – I never knew what to expect and I ended up rarely going out. It was too hard to mix him with friends and family, and leaving him behind led to arguments and awfulness.
His day in court finally came and he was acquitted. He never gave me the details. He wouldn’t allow me to go to court with him. He told me afterwards that he had planned to kill himself on his first day in prison had he been found guilty. He had hidden heroin in a condom in his backside for this very purpose. This is what he told me. He showed me the heroin.
As his talk turned more and more to suicide I started to get scared. I was way out of my depth here. I would talk to him about his future and he would say that the big difference between us was that I wanted a future and that he just wanted to disappear, to end it all.
But then some days I’d come home from work and he’d have cooked dinner, rented a DVD, put flowers in the kitchen. We’d sit together on the sofa like an old married couple and watch the movie, his head on my shoulder. These days would upset me more than the angry days.
And then my Dad died.
I wasn’t able to grieve for myself, look after my mother, deal with my brother’s strange behaviour and handle K all at the same time. He wanted to be my number one priority and I couldn’t do it.
At the same time he stopped taking his pills. He had decided that he was well and that he could stop the medication. I understand now that this is part of the rollercoaster of depression, but it was so new to me. Put this together with all of the other pressure, and I was pushed to the edge.
I was grieving. In the last two years, I had buried three grandparents and, but a week earlier, had seen my father into the ground. I had a psychotic lodger/boyfriend, a newly widowed mother and a brother who couldn’t see past his own grief to think about anyone else. I had closed my doors to friends as K got worse. And my family just weren’t interested.
All I wanted was to be at the top of someone’s list, but there was no one.
One night, I tried to explain this to K. He told me that I had no idea what it was like for him. That I was selfish and that I didn’t care. That he was going to kill himself. That his death would be my fault. That he’d stage it so that I was the one that found him and that it would be ugly.
That was it. I went upstairs, packed his bags and phoned his father. His son was no longer my responsiblity. I took my keys off his keyring and I told him to leave.
Getting him out of the house wasn’t easy and I was afraid. I’ve never been so scared in my life. I’m no weakling, but he was a very strong guy and the situation was tense. This sounds incredibly dramatic, but if he wanted to kill me, he could have done so. Very easily. Nothing would have surprised me.
With K out of the house, I left by the back door. I locked the house behind me and quickly, quietly went to a local hotel.
I presume he waited for his father, but I don’t know.
Today, it’s six years later, and the hard part for me is not knowing what happened next.
He fell off the edge of my earth and I never saw or heard from him again. His parents wouldn’t take my calls and the single letter that I wrote was sent back unopened.
I hope he is alive. I hope he is well. But really, I can no longer bring myself to care.