Part 2--a continuation of yesterday's story
I kept in touch with my new friend from yesterday's story. Less than a week after her husband had been arrested, she came online talking about suicide. I know it sounds odd. Hadn't she been freed from her torture? But usually, we don't have just one problem in isolation; rather, when they come, troubles come tied up with other issues. I guess the issues had become so great, even with her husband out of the picture, she saw no room for hope.
It's a scary thing to be told by someone that they're planning to take their life, especially if that person has a plan and she did. She'd already asked her dad to come to get her kids. It was midnight! Wouldn't he wonder? No. She'd told him she was sick.
I know that one thing police do when someone is threatening suicide is to keep the person talking, so that was my goal. I would keep her online, talking, until she could promise me she'd be alive in the morning but she wouldn't make that promise. She kept wanting to leave the computer. I kept insisting that she stay and talk to me: What about the little one you're pregnant with? Can't you call the crisis line What will happen to your other two kids? Who will raise them? Do you really want your husband training your kids to be like him? No, I am not leaving; I'll stay as long as I need to. Your life is more valuable than my sleep. Do you have a plan? I want to hear you talking. I want to know how serious you are about this.
And then her dad came and took the kids. Now she would feel free to go ahead with her plan but I couldn't let her. After consulting with another friend online, I decided to see what I could do to get the local police checking her. But how? I didn't know what city she lived in, though I did have her cell phone number and her full name. Not knowing what else to do, I called my local police and asked their advice. They sent me to the operator. The operator gave me directory assistance for the area code of the cell phone. Directory Assistance was so helpful. They too me very seriously (with everyone I would say, "I'm in Canada, I'm talking to a girl on the Internet who wants to kill herself). He found the police number to call, called it for me and when we got the "press this button and that button" he navigated it all for me and put me through to a real person. The policewoman didn't think that the info I had was enough to go on and then I remembered. They had her husband in custody and I knew his name. They'd have her address that way.
All this time I was continuing to talk to her: There are people who care about you. There are two people who don't even know you who are praying for you right now. (I'd sent an SOS to a couple of friends.) Because they care. Your dad cares. Your kids would miss you. Your mom would miss you. Tell me about your horses! Have you any names for the little one yet to be born?
She thought I wasn't taking her seriously and I was thinking, "Honey, if you only knew how seriously I'm taking you!" Not only did I have two friends praying, but when a third friend came online to chat, I got her to not only pray, but to tell me stories about the trip she'd just returned from. Bless her heart, she told me all the funny stories she could find so that through my tears for my hurting friend, I was laughing at this other friend's adventures.
My friend kept threatening to leave but I held onto her for dear life, intending to stay up all night if I had to. As I waited and prayed for the police to arrive at her door, I continued to engage her in conversation. We even talked on the phone for a while. While on the phone, she told me she had to hang up, someone was banging on her door. "The cops are here!" she exclaimed.
I was so relieved! I thanked God and then hung around my computer to see if she'd come back.
"Did you call the cops?"
"Thanks. What did you tell them?"
"That you were threatening suicide and I was worried. I gave them your name and phone number so they could find you."
"Why didn't you tell me you called?"
"I didn't want you to run from them."
"So is that why you kept me talking?"
"Partly, but I also knew that so long as you were talking to me, you weren't likely to do anything bad to yourself."
I was so drained and exhausted. It was 3:30 a.m. and I'd been ready to sleep at midnight. But I would have stayed up till noon if I'd had to. I was determined that if I had anything to do with it, she would live. Thankfully, she had calmed down and was finally willing to promise to be alive in the morning. She even gave a short, weak little laugh and because she had refused to make the promise before, I chose to believe her.