this is a story about my suicide attempt. i wrote it about a year ago.
My battle with depression is not a beautiful string of words or black and white photos. It holds no value other than my own fragile but definite existence. Depression is not dark dressed girls cracking at the wrists every so often, it does not create beauty in soft spoken words from the thorn crowns pressed around their pale, luminescent bodies. It is loud, it stirs insomnia, it does not sleep, it is violent.
My story does not have a beginning or and end- other than the obvious and the inevitable, only a long and seemingly everlasting middle, so I’ll start on one of the worst days to ever plague my 10th grade existence.
It wasn’t raining, but it could have been. It wasn’t warm or cold. The air was neutral and shallow like the voices that seemed to echo in his head. His breath did not carry words, and his body and skin were a silent numbing static that blended him again the white walls of his room. But he was a beautiful kid, even in his violent isolation. He didn’t exist when he was hiding in the warm embrace of his covers. He could not feel the way his body carried the weight of emptiness; which is much heavier than nothing.
His mother yelled “Get out of bed, girl, it’s time to go!” Her voice was cold like wet sand stuck in your shoe, or your towel after a swimming pool visit.
He fell out of bed, letting his feet hit the floor, letting the world pull his weight close to it and he swore that he felt his heart drop 2 feet down into his painfully temperamental stomach. “We have to get ready to go! Come on! Get dressed!” He started at the dress his mother bought him the night before. It looked like a torture device waiting for him as it laid across the floor. He slipped it over his soft torn shoulders, his feminine hips, his obvious, but hidden, thighs. He painted his eyelids dark fantastic colors, and caressed his lips a dark vicious red. He pulled a sweater over his thin arms to hide the truth from his grandmother, even in death, he knew she could see.
But when they arrived at the church, he saw things he hadn’t seen since he was more alive. He kissed him in this church. He sang Creep by Radiohead in this church and the memory ached in his chest and threatened to crack it, no matter how softly he prayed for the memories to stop haunting him. He sat in the back of the church during the service, completely alone and uncomfortable, he watched as his mother cried and his father stroked her back somberly, he kissed her forehead and the boy could not help but think that that was once him. He was once loved.
As the prayers and silence and grief ended, the pity filled buffet started and he made his way towards the table, as members of a family he didn’t quite belong to touched his shoulders and told him how he was growing up to be such a beautiful woman. He didn’t correct them, or even respond in the slightest, he had stopped caring. He was silent and simple, not quite rude, but not quite polite either. He sat down next to a rather intoxicated relative of sorts and picked at a fruit salad. “Oh Kalie, I haven’t seen you since you were very little!” An old voice said to him. “Do you remember me? Your great uncle Mac?” The man smiled and the boy just thought No, I don’t remember you, what kind of question is that? So he shook his head and Mac said “Oh, of course you don’t, you were so little, now look at you! A grown woman!” The boy gave a weak smile and a nod of thank you before he excused himself from Mac’s presence. Leaving the fruit salad he wandered to the church library to find solitude until dinner.
Dinner was at an olive garden about a block away from the church. His mother did not sit next to him. He sat next to an aunt of unknown relation, and an uncle, whom tended to offend him in the most oppressive and unsurprising ways. Across from him was an exuberant and lively uncle who used to love him, but forgot about him for an unknown but likely simple reason.
“How’s school?” The happy uncle asked. “Where do you even go?” The offensive uncle asked. “What grade are you in?” The Aunt asked.
His voice shook from exhaustion or anxiety or both. “I’m in 10th grade, Nathan Hale, and it’s fine.” He stuffed bread in his mouth to avoid talking more. “Actually, she’s not in school, she was doing drugs! She’s an unwilling drop out.” The boy’s father yelled from down the table, He cringed and avoided eye contact for the rest of the dinner.
“Oh yeah, I forgot.” The offensive uncle shrugged.
“It will get better,” The happy uncle let the lie float up from his guts.
“Do you have a job?” The aunt asked. He liked the aunt.
“Yes, I help out in a kindergarten class. I like it, working with kids... makes me happy.” He smiled and the aunt nodded, but didn’t pay any attention to him from then on. The Happy uncle rambled on and on about how life gets better, and how he had a hard time in school too, but he turned out fine, and how he has 4 beautiful girls and a great relationship with god. Blah blah blah. The boy didn’t believe that a loving god would ever take so much from someone, that a loving god would ever hate an entire race enough to allow someone to kill off that many people. The boy tuned the happy uncle out and tired to think about kissing in churches and the art his favorite teacher talked about in history class before he was always too high to feel it the right way.
The dinner could have been hours, or just minutes, time was passing so quickly, but then again not at all. Eventually the boy was sitting in the back of the car, his brothers and sister yelling and laughing, his mother sobbing in the front seat as his father drove. The boy was holding a vase of flowers from the table of the church. He hated those flowers. They were fake and plastic and happy and pointless. They were plastic. Why did they need to be in a vase of water? The flowers were pointless, and when he got home he watched the glass crash over the cement stairs. For a second he thought it looked like blood, the way the water ran down the steps, but it was only water and shards of glass and pink pink pink plastic flowers. He threw them away, and washed the paint from his face, and fell on his bed as he waited for the time to pass.
He listened, but didn’t listen to the same songs over and over as the night grew old, he let the harmonies melt together and drown out the static whispers that often lulled him to sleep. He wasn’t going to chicken out this time. He wasn’t going to sleep until he knew for a fact he wouldn’t have to deal with waking up ever again.
The guitar solos swam together underneath his skin and he waited under the covers for the silence of the house to set in.Finally, he moved each ruined limb from the comfort of the covers, he set his soft feet against the floor, he kissed his sleeping sister’s forehead and smelled her hair. She was young and happy. He hoped she’d forget him, he loved that little girl, but she was asleep and dreaming of sweet and happy things.
He went to the kitchen and his body shook as it tried to fight off the shadow of impending doom, but he accepted his own defeat, his loneliness, and he was tired of fighting against himself.
He counted them in his hands. More than 30? How much would even do it? Violent images shook his brain, and he counted the pills, over and over and over again Do it do it do it he chanted to himself. Do it.
5, his face showed no emotion. 10, 15, his hands shook violently and he watched out the window and the pills fell out of his hands. 20, 30, 40, 50, they tasted like sugar in his throat. He wanted to cry, he wanted to throw up, he wanted to die, he wanted to feel something. He stood silent. 60, 70, 80, is that enough? 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95. Empty.
He was filled with candy pills, with sugary painkillers, and he felt empty, and he wanted someone to hold his hand. He was afraid, he laid still on the floor and felt the cold tiles against his face. “Please...” He started coughing as he tried to unstick the pills at the back of his throat. “Please...” he felt like stone and he imagined the one who likely forgot him stroking his hair and telling him it would be okay. “I don’t want to be alone anymore. I don’t want to be alone anymore.” He kept whispering on the floor to his hallucination. Imagination? The room got colder and the ghost of the other starts to fade. “Don’t go don’t go don’t go.” He squeezed his eyes shut and tried to dream the other back into reality,
The next hour happened in a blur of screaming and profanity.
The boys brother yelled “Throw it up throw it up I’ll call an ambulance, I’ll tell mom.”
His mother screeched “This is fucking bullshit, what the fuck?”
The boy sobbed “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”
He wished his brother didn’t find him.
The medic asked how he was feeling, the boy said blurry and sick.
“Does it hurt?”
“Everything, everywhere, it won’t stop.” Someone held his hand, but it wasn’t his mother. She wasn’t there. “I don’t want to be alone anymore, I don’t want to be alone anymore.”
The rest of the night tasted like charcoal and vomit and disappointment. He wished his brother never found him.
The boy laid on the stiff hospital sheets, and his mother watched from outside the room. Her eyes were as harsh as the fluorescent lights. He didn’t speak, not even when the attendant asked what was wrong. He didn’t tell the attendant he wanted to be a boy. He didn’t tell the attendant he had no friends and was alone. He didn’t tell the attendant his parents hated him. He didn’t tell the attendant he hadn’t slept for weeks.
“Are you okay to go home?” The attendant said
“I’m throwing up art products.” He replied.
“Why did you take so much ibuprofen?”
“I had a headache.”
“Destin, you have to tell me.” And then he broke down. He told the man everything and the man just said , “I’m so sorry, that sounds really hard.” He sounded sincere, and for the boy, in that moment, that was enough for him.