I Am Not A Coward: My Suicide Struggle

I Am Not A Coward: My Suicide Struggle

Status: Finished

Genre: True Confessions

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: True Confessions

Summary

We All Have Secrets. The mistakes within this story were left in on purpose. In life there are no options to go back and make changes. This is how the words flowed to my mind. My fingers shook and missed strokes but I was completely honest. Thanks in advance for your time. 1 (800) 273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week Languages: English, Spanish

Summary

We All Have Secrets.



The mistakes within this story were left in on purpose. In life there are no options to go back and make changes. This is how the words flowed to my mind. My fingers shook and missed strokes but I was completely honest. Thanks in advance for your time.


1 (800) 273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Languages: English, Spanish

Content

Submitted: December 16, 2015

A A A | A A A

Content

Submitted: December 16, 2015

A A A

A A A


I Am Not A Coward: A Suicide Struggle

Over the past eight years I have felt unworthy and a complete waste of space. “They don’t love you ‘til you’re gone, Baby,” my aunt once told me. So many times I have thought about ending my life. The first time it entered my mind I was nine. I had been held back in the third grade. Thinking about it now I know I was too young to make such a decision. I wasn’t upset about being behind a grade or losing my friends, I have always been a loner, it was having questions that even now I can’t answer. You know, like what is the meaning of life? Or if God is all powerful and all knowing how can I please him? He knows about the syringe incident and the attempted poisoning. I made choices knowing full well the repercussions of things at a young age. I wasn’t brought up in a church driven family like most black southerners but even so it is pretty hard to escape.
 All my questions weren’t religion based. I simply did not want to live. No, I didn’t know why but I was ready to go. The issue was I didn’t know how to do it. I watched late night movies for methods but none I was willing to try. Cutting my wrist was too messy and would scare my grandmother. There was no way to get my hands on a gun. Lastly I had no idea how to tie a noose, least of all a place to hang it in my room.  I would draw during class because I was bored out of my mind. My teacher at the time was Mr. Wallace. I remember because when I found out he was my teacher I flipped. He hated me. I would write my feelings down just to get them out and he would try to see them. That was the first time I stopped writing. Still needing an outlet I began to draw. One day when class was over Mr. Wallace stood by the door and took a piece of folded paper from my hand. It was a drawing, come to think of it, it was rather dark. Blood and crosses decorated the notebook paper. That got me two years of seeing a child psychologist and a prescription.  My grandmother was told I needed more attention.
When I finally made it out of the third grade things seemed to go in hyper speed. There was not a moment of my time that wasn’t scheduled by my grandmother. I was kept busy physically and tutored continuously. I learned violin, took chorus and joined the chess team. Yes, you read that correctly. After a while I almost forgot about ending my life. My tastes never changed for the darker side of things. My favorite movies were A Clockwork Orange, The Good Son and Primal Fear. God, I was a strange kid.
Around this time I started to spend time with my birth mother. She was a huge drug abuser but she was my mother. I loved her unconditionally. She was in prison most of my life so I always saw her in a controlled environment. On summer weekend she was given the responsibility of babysitting me. At the age of ten I could have stayed home but I liked spending time with my mother. She always had the latest movies and she was a horrible cook so I got all the Mc Donald’s I could eat. This weekend felt like any other. She would pop in a movie, bring me junk food and go watch whatever she wanted in the living room. I watched the movie, which was a gospel play, until it went off. The moment the credits began to roll my attention was caught by shouting in the next room. My mother and her boyfriend were arguing. Better yet my mother was yelling at him. The door muffled most of the sound but the slamming of the front door was hard to miss. I waited for what felt like hours before checking on my mother. I didn’t want her to think I was eavesdropping on an adult conversation. That got you a good ol’ ass whooping. Eventually I got up the nerve to make sure she was alright. She was sitting on the couch gazing out of the window and appeared completely fine. My excuse for leaving the bedroom was to announce the end of the movie. She grabbed another VHS off a stack without a word. Turning to me she told me how much she loved me and how much I meant to her before returning to the living room. Her words didn’t sit well with me but I didn’t know why. My mother has always told me she loved me. After a few minutes of debating myself I went to check on her. She was in the bathroom. The door was open so I stood there until she looked at me. Her eyes were puffy but that was normal when a person hadn’t slept much, wasn’t it? I followed her back to the bedroom and watched as she opened a small jewelry box. I knew what was in it because I was a curious kid. The weekend before, I had looked through every unopened item in the room. I knew my mother was a bad addict and if she was using again I did not want to be in the room with the stuff that had robbed me of my parents. The jewelry box held a tiny drawer. In the drawer were pills of all sizes, shapes and colors. More than fifteen had been in there but when my mother left there were none. I followed her again to the restroom and watched as she took three mismatched meds before my eyes. I looked around to see where the other pills had gone. When she walked passed me without so much as a blink I checked the toilet, the medicine cabinet, the tub drain and sink for the other pills. I found none. Panic made me run to find her. Punishment be damned. I was going to ask her where those pills went. I found her in the bedroom lying on the bed with her arms folded across her body. Her eyes were shut.
“Momma?” I called. Silence. “Momma?” I said touching her shoulder. More silence. “Momma?!!” I screamed shaking her as hard as I could. She looked at me then. It was like she was seeing me for the first time. Her face twisted in an expression of terror. She raced to the bathroom sticking her fingers in her mouth. At the time I did not know doing so induced vomiting. I didn’t know she was trying to purge the pills from her stomach. She was hunched over the toilet for about three minutes when her boyfriend came back.
“What’s wrong?” He asked me.
“She took a bunch of pills and now she's sick.”
“What?” He said moving me out of the way. He lifted my mother’s head and saw how sleepy she had gotten. He tossed me his cell and told me to go outside and tell my grandma what happened. Once I was outside I heard my mother throwing up again. Deep down I knew. I knew what she had done. I didn’t get to see her for a few months after the incident. No one ever spoke of it.
Over the years I have known others who attempted to take their life or succeed. I only broached the conversation once to my grandma.
“People don’t attempt suicide. They either do it or they don’t. Either way they are weak. If they succeed they are cowards. If they don’t they did it for attention. People feel like no one loves them until they are gone so they will put themselves in a position for others to pity them.” She said this not knowing about my own plan.
I thought about what she said for the next month. I never wanted anyone to notice me least of all pity me. I felt that everyone who went to a person’s bedside was faking with their sympathies. If you really cared I would not have to almost fucking die for you to realize that. My grandmother’s words have saved me many times. I knew I was not going to attempt. I would be successful at ending my life. I was not a coward. Years passed and the thought of ending my life occurred monthly. When my grandma died the thoughts turned daily. Yes I have come close a few times. More than anyone can imagine but each time I heard her voice in my head.
As I got older I did a bit of research into suicide.  Did you know many people who attempt suicide are paralyzed, disfigured or even permanently brain damaged? About 60% of all suicides in the U.S are gunshots because a gunshot has an 80% chance of mortality. Throughout the world, about 2,000 people kill themselves a day. That is 75 million people a year.  I think it sad I know these things.
As a person who has witness their fair share of these events I know the most difficult part of handling the suicide is the stigma it carries. Many think it is a mark of disgrace associated with the particular circumstances. Ignorance or insensitivities are spouted by those that are judgmental in their beliefs because they feel they know what is right.
I have heard people whisper bullshit of how someone should have seen the signs. There are no signs if the person doesn’t want you to see them. Myths like people who talk about it won’t do it or the person is/was crazy, only help the people left to have a clean conscience. Usually the victim is very clear minded in their choice, sometimes thinking about doing it years before hand. The reasons or methods many varied but the intention is the same for all.
Today I see myself as a fighter and a survivor. Every day I breathe is a victory. My story will continue until Atropos cuts my thread of life with her shears. I will not be checking out earlier.
I AM NOT A COWARD!


© Copyright 2017 Shay Able. All rights reserved.

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