The Last Word

Today’s blog challenge has me writing about a time when I thought about committing suicide. I wish I could say that the thought had never crossed my mind but it’d be a lie. Sadly, this is the case for many of us. Life has a tendency of beating us down to a point where we just can’t see a way to get up and keep going. Some of us have mental disorders, chemical imbalances, or life experiences that eat away at any semblance of joy or purpose. Some of us don’t even know what it’s like to be happy or content. Depression is very real and it covers us with a blanket that smothers hope and happiness the way CO2 smothers flames.

I was twelve when I contemplated killing myself. I had an abusive childhood and a parent that had been abused herself. There were days when the tension was so thick that you could feel it pressing against your skin and the only thing that would release it was violence. I had become an expert in judging just how much tension could build up before my parent let loose and unleashed it all on me. The rages were epic and by today’s standards my parent would have been brought up on charges. Thankfully, I never had to take a trip to the emergency room because of it but there were a couple of times where I was afraid for my life. I share this not to garner sympathy or for you to vilify my parent, but so that you may be able to understand why a young girl who had a roof over her head, food on the table and a solid middle class upbringing could have been so despairing that she’d think about ending it.

I had just gotten a progress report and it was bad. Well, bad by my parent’s standards and I just knew that when six o’clock came my ass would be grass. It had been at least two weeks since the last time I’d had a beating so the tension had been building and the apartment felt like a damn pressure cooker. I was sitting at the dining room table and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t do it. Not the curses, the screaming, the slaps, the punches or the choking. I just couldn’t do it. I got up and took the bottle of my parent’s high blood pressure pills and I emptied them into my hand. I poured a glass of water and I sat back down and just stared at those tiny pink pills. I thought about how my body would be found and how sorry my family would be. It would all come out then and everyone would see that I wasn’t the problem. There’d be weeping and wailing and my parent would be so overcome with guilt that soon there’d be another funeral. And the fantasy was so good to me that I had the pills on the way to my mouth when I realized that I wouldn’t be around to see any of it. I would be dead and gone and in all likelihood no one would ever know just exactly what drove me to it. I’d be just another sad, misguided youth who took the easy way out. My parent would receive nothing but sympathy and I would have finally been truly beaten.

I wish I could say that I had a sense of peace come over me and that I heard an angelic voice speak to me of love and grace but that’s not what moved through me. What did, was an almost frightening level of rage. I hurled those pills across the room and let loose a string of curses that had spittle flying and would’ve earned me a backhand. I’d be damned before I gave anyone the satisfaction of breaking me! I had already done 12 years and all I had were six more to go. I’d do my time and be done, but I would not, WOULD NOT allow anyone to kill my spirit. So, I picked up all the pills I could find, put the bottle back where I got it from and worked on fighting back the only way I had left; with my words.

Obviously, I made it through and I can say that I’m the better for it. I’ve been to therapy and I’ve built one hell of a solid support network of friends and family that helped me through. I’m glad I didn’t give in but to be honest, it was so damn hard. It’s hard to persevere when the foundation that should have been provided for you was made of substandard materials. How does a soul continue to shine when those responsible for its nurturing are the ones trying to snuff it out? I’m simply amazed that more of us don’t give in.

I’m glad that I hung on. It can get better and it does but you have to be here for the truth of that statement to be proven. Hold tight and fight. Fight for your life because it’s worth it. If you think you aren’t worth the effort today, well damn it wait for tomorrow and the opportunity to make it worth the effort! You only get one you and if you won’t fight for yourself how do you expect anyone else to?