I’ve found myself for the last few weeks drifting into silence. The whole point of this blog was not to do that. The whole point of this blog is to say what it is that I have to say and how I have to say it no matter what. So Friday, March 15th when a really big anniversary hit and I couldn’t work up the nerve to write about it all I could do for the next 24 hours was beat myself up. I purposely left it out of the public eye last year and realized how selfish that was because I’m not the only one with the issues or feelings I’m about to discuss.
But before I get started I should warn whoever reads this that the topic of this will be about childe abuse, depression, and suicide. So if these are triggers for you? Stop reading.
I know I’ve mentioned in past blog posts about my moods and in particular what I allure to as an ‘icky mood’. That icky mood is depression. More specifically: Chronic Depression with Suicidal Tendencies. No, I’m not just pulling this out of my ass either. I had it confirmed by a doctor the last time I saw one. In fact, all of my doctors that I have seen and were able to talk to about this (without bursting into full on tears) have told me the same thing. And they all asked the same thing first: “Are you taking medication for it?” The answer from me is always the same: “My goal is to keep on living so no, I haven’t taken medication for it.” Some doctors would smile and say good because they don’t trust it eitherand others would frown and say I’m being too cynical but then the next question would always follow: “How do you think this started/How long do you think this has been going on?”. At all all I can then do is softly reply with: “My entire life…”
I didn’t have an easy childhood. I’m the oldest of two girls from my father’s second marriage and my mother’s first marriage. My older half brother and I share the same birthday 13 years apart. My grandmother (or Nana which is what I call my grandmother) used to speak horribly about my father’s first wife. Nana told me that his first wife accused him of abuse and that it wasn’t true. Oh Nana, if only you knew…I’ll start off by saying that growing up it might as well have been my mother, sister, and I. My father didn’t really want anything to do with my sister nor myself but when he HAD to deal with us? He preferred dealing with my sister. My first real memory of it getting physical was when I was about 6. I won’t get into full on details but my father (and I totally use the term loosely) was in charge of feeding and taking care of my sister and I. Let’s just say he took care of my sister and didn’t take care of me but lied to my mother and said he did. Long story short? Mom ends up beating me with a telephone cord because I ate something I shouldn’t have only because my father wouldn’t A. Feed me or B. Let me cook because if I had tried to cook he would’ve “beaten me within an inch of my life.”. Later on when my parents were arguing that night my father accidently let it slip that he hadn’t fed me or let me cook. My mother didn’t stop apologizing to me for days after but it was a good two weeks before I really spoke to anyone after that.
The next (and last) really physical thing I can remember was the four of us, mom, father, sister, and myself, watching t.v and I was about 7 at the time. My mom had given me a pen she uses at work that lit up at the top. I kept playing with it off and on. I wasn’t bothering anyone or talking to anyone. My father suddenly snaps at me to stop playing with it. I looked at him and made the mistake of asking “Why?”. He grabs me by my arm, drags me into my bedroom, and throws me against the dresser. I wasn’t scared at this point but was very angry. You see, this was when I still had fight in me. So I told him “I didn’t do anything wrong!” but he slaps me across the face anyway. He pulled down my pants, put me over his knee and started beating me. Not spanking me folks…beating me. He used his fist for a good 10 minutes then went open handed and when he started hitting me too hard I put my right hand in the way of his blows but he just beat me harder. It got to the point where I lost track of time and had stopped sobbing. He then pushed me onto the ground and told me I was grounded for the next two weeks. Now at this point I hadn’t taken a look at the damage done to me but I knew sitting down was a no go. I could barely move my thumb on my right hand though. However, I thought that if I complained about it I’d just get knocked around again so I stayed silent. It was the first and definitely not the last time I would ever stay silent about the pain I recieved. Physically or otherwise.
By the time bathtime rolled around (my sister and I still took baths together at this point) my sis was already in the tub and I went in to undress and climb in. When I turned to put my clothing on the toilet seat my sister screamed for my mom to come in. She looked at us both in a panic and all I could do was look at her in a daze as my sister kept pointing at me. My mom slowly turned me around so my back was facing her and started unleashing a string of words I had never heard her say before. She stormed out of the bathroom and started screaming at my father. I remember hearing the words “If you ever lay a hand on that girl again? I’ll kill you.” I was so confused. Why would she say something like that…then I walked over to the bathroom door mirror and looked at the back of me. I fell out into tears because all I could see from my lower back to the top of the back of my knees were bruises. Horrible, ugly purple bruises. I then tried to see if I could move my thumb but my hand was puffy and it still hurt to move it. It took two weeks before I could move my thumb properly again and to this day my thumb will indent funny when I hold a pen or a pencil.
I can say that as I got older he didn’t lay another finger on me. He just decided to use his words and bullying instead. I can count on one hand all the moments he would actually say something nice to me. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t standing there waiting for the other shoe to drop though…wasn’t standing there waiting for it to turn into a snide remark about my clothing, hair, how fat I was, how much I wasn’t like my sister, etc. School at this point was no longer a safe haven for me from home. I had hit puberty at a young age which means becoming a “woman” and all the things with it. If I wasn’t getting tormented by my father at home? I was getting picked on at a school. A lot. My grades fell, which is something that never happened before, and I couldn’t find myself caring. I couldn’t find myself caring about much at all including whether I lived or died. I tried talking to my mother about it (won’t be the last time you hear this, folks) but anything I said just went right back to my father. At one point he came to me and said “If you stopped stuffing your fucking face you wouldn’t be so upset!” Now, keep in mind at this point I was a size 11/12 and I only ate twice a day if that and not full meals either. I developed nervous ticks and habits I still do to this day such as constantly looking at my watch when I’m supposed to be out enjoying myself. (I’ll hear my father’s voice in my head “You better be back at such and such or else!” every time I’m out.)
So at age 15 on March 15th early, early in the morning I decided I would do something about it. I took 1/3 of my father’s Jack Daniels (and to this day I still won’t touch the fucking stuff.) and 14 extra strength Tylenol gel capsules (because I wanted it to happen quickly) and I downed each capsule back to back. I could feel myself fading fast and all I could think to myself was “I hope my mother forgives me one day.” I woke up the next morning, just in time to get ready for school no less, and immediately started bawling. Here I was trying to stop being a failure in life and fade away and it turns out I was a failure in death too! I just couldn’t stop crying and made myself get ready. What I failed to realize at the time? Everything was still in my system. So as I’m trying to move, think, and focus all I’m really doing is going very very slowly because I’m practically drugged off my ass. I had three people ask me if I was ok and I lied. I lied to all of them and said I was fine. I wasn’t fine. I wasn’t anywhere near fine and little did I know it was the start of a serious cycle that would continue for over a decade.
I graduated high school, graduated college twice, and I still find myself staring at this huge black hole where my soul should be. The first time I graduated college I slipped and fell into this hole….took me almost 7 years to dig myself out but I did it. I went back to college and when the hole threatened to swallow me up again I bitch slapped it back. I made myself do something about it and I have never been happier but there’s a problem. You see, the feeling always lingers and it probably always will. There is no quick fix, or any fix in my opinion, for what ails me. I have to constantly beat it back and constantly work on it. I don’t get a day off, folks. I don’t ever get a day to rest. So now I have to take a different approach and it’s time for me to take it to the next level. I need to find a therapist and go to therapy weekly. I don’t expect this to make me ‘normal’ but I can’t fight the good fight on my own anymore. I just don’t have the strength. I feel so weak for saying it but it’s the truth.
For anyone out there who has had thoughts similar to mine or has been through what I have or worse and you just want to end it all? Please don’t. Hypocritical of me, I know, but please don’t. I tried walking down that path and while I think of that path every. single. day. I also stop to think about who I’d be leaving behind. Someone out there loves you. I don’t care what you say. Someone out there does and if you truly have no one then please know you have someone in me. You have someone in me that cares about you and doesn’t want you to go before your time. It’s painful I know and it hurts I know that too. I know better than probably anyone else you’ll talk to. But you have to keep going…WE have to keep going. Just put one foot in front of the other and take it one step at a time. I know you can do it. I believe in you and I’m proud of you. And even though I don’t know you?
I love you for being you.