The Nightmare Before Christmas.

I lied. THIS shall be my last post of 2011!
But only because I need to leave this in 2011 and not take it along in 2012.

So brace yourself.
We went to Ann Arbor for Christmas this year, and one of the nights we were
there we had a Christmas gathering with our best friends. We invited Marty’s brother,
Andrew and his girlfriend Jess (who also happens to be one of my close friends) to come along.
It was a perfect night.
It had been so long since we’d all been together (minus Susie, who had to go and mess up this plan!)
and it was just great. Eating, drinking & presents. Great, right?

We went back to Marty’s parents house later that night and continued the drinking and fun…
Well, this is what happens when you have booze + brothers mixed together.

They thought it would be a great idea to put each other in sleeper holds.
I’m looking (and yelling!) at them that I’ve seen this on 20/20.
That we are going to be the next episode of fun turned tragic.
But of course, no one listens to me and everyone just laughs and goes along
with this. I can feel something changing in me, but I had no idea what it was
until I look over and I see Marty’s face turning purple and a spit/foam substance coming
out of his mouth while his brother’s arms are wrapped around his neck.

I instantly saw red. And I mean that in the most literal sense.
I was in full blown fight or flight mode. I didn’t see Andrew as Marty’s
brother any longer, I saw him as a person who was harming the love
of my life. I didn’t feel human. I felt like lightning bolts were running
through my arms. I had no conscious control over my body. I started
hitting Andrew as hard as I could, and only when I punched him in the
face and pushed his head backwards did he let go enough for me to move his
arms away from Marty’s neck. The only reason I was able to stop hitting
him was because Marty popped up barely conscious. I felt completely capable
of doing some serious bodily harm to Andrew. That feeling did not subside until
the next evening. How their parents didn’t wake up to me screaming at the top
of my lungs, I’ll never know. I was screaming bloody murder.

Immediately following this, I am shaking and crying hysterically.
Marty & Andrew think the best thing to do to calm me down is to tell me
that this was a horrible prank they just played on me and how sorry they were.
News Flash: I’m not an idiot.
If that was a prank, well then they both deserve an Emmy Award for their
impeccable acting skills. But as my gut suspected, this was miscalculated
brotherly rough-housing gone awry.

They stuck to their story until the following evening which ultimately
left me feeling like a crazy person. What did I really see? Did I imagine it all?
Hell no.
I have my gullible moments, and many jokes go right over my head, but this
was not the case. Very seldom are my instincts incorrect.
So if you’re ever with me, and I say that something isn’t a good idea,
it’s in your best interest to listen to me.

I didn’t sleep a single second all night. I couldn’t get the image
of Marty’s purple face out of my head. It was a living nightmare.
I couldn’t shake it off. And I it was so late that I couldn’t call anyone.
I couldn’t leave. I was scared to leave Marty. While this may have been
fun for everyone else, I was worried that him being unconscious mixed
with booze could have some negative effect. I couldn’t take my eyes
off him all night.

Morning came, and my heart rate must have been doubled.
I could feel my heart beating all over my body. I couldn’t stop
shaking. I was literally in shock. I called Brooke first, I had to know if
I was going crazy. I then called my Dad. Oh, my poor Dad…I could only
get “…and then he was purple and foaming at the mouth” out before I
completely lost it. I could hear the terror in his voice when he said “talk to me, talk to me.”
and only then did I realize that my physical reaction that morning was shock and possibly
the side effects of an adrenaline rush.

I packed a bag and left.
I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be able to come back.
This landed on the day of Smorgasbord.
For those of you who don’t know, this is THE Hueter gathering of
the year. I love it more than Christmas and my birthday, and I
didn’t think I was actually going to be able to go.

I could barely drive because I was shaking so badly.
I went to Brooke’s to sort through everything.
I felt horribly guilty for the feelings that I had for Andrew.
I love him. It’s already as if we’re family, how could I possibly be
able to harm him? Worse, how could I want to harm him?
How could I feel as though I’d have done ANYTHING to stop him?
I was horrified and guilt stricken. It took Brooke & my Dad to make
realize that I did what I had to do to protect Marty by any means, even
in a situation that started innocently and went completely wrong.

Today, I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t stopped it.
That’s the nightmare I live with. The thing that wakes me up
multiple times a night since it happened.

I’ve always known that Marty was the person I’d spend the rest of my life with,
but that situation made me realize just how deep that feeling really goes.
Sure, I can think of a million other ways that I’d like to have that affirmation,
but this is what I was given.

ADRENALINE is one crazy substance that we produce.
It can be extracted and used for anaphylactic shock.
It’s clinical name is Epinephrine. It’s no joke people.
I used to think that I got adrenaline rushes from photographing
weddings or riding rollercoasters. Wrong.
Maybe on some level you can feel this, but trust me when I tell you
that adrenaline is no joke. The example used often is a mother who
picked up a car by herself to save her child that was trapped.
The YOU that you know, is quickly replaced by The Hulk version of you.
For about 30 seconds I was a weapon of mass destruction.
And that feeling in a life/death situation doesn’t go away once the
initial trauma has passed. Two days later, I had this feeling in my body…
The only way I could describe it was to say that I didn’t feel like my feet
were on Earth. I felt as though I was defying gravity on a physical level.
I couldn’t get my feet planted back on the ground.
6 days later, I can still feel my heart beat in my body.
I’m pretty sure that my heart rate will never be the same.

The morals of this story are this:

1.) Save rough-housing for a sober time, or not at all.
People get hurt, people die. Is it really worth the risk?
It’s not. We were lucky that humans produce such an amazing substance,
or we would have been dealing with two tragedies…one for Marty, and one for
whatever I would done to Andrew. So the next time you think it would be
a good idea to put your friend in a sleeper hold or do something dangerous,
think about what COULD happen. Please.

2.) If you ever think it would be a good idea to mess with anyone that I love,
think again. Even though I felt guilty for hitting Andrew, I would do it again
in a heartbeat if ever put in a situation like that. Don’t mess with this
Mama Bear/Hulk version of myself.

Andrew- I apologize for hitting you, and I love you very much.
If you ever had any doubts about how much I love your brother,
or ever wondered what I’d do for him, I hope this answers those questions.


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