Sunday, June 21, 2015

Just do it .....

Although I thought, and wrote, multiple times about suicide, I never actually attempted it.  However, I did attempt to attempt it once.

I'm not sure the exact date, but it was prior to the wedding of my uncle's daughter, because she was temporarily living at home.  She wed in June, 1971, so I was 13 years old -- 14 at most.  What precipitated the attempt is lost to me now, as is why this one night was so much worse than any that preceded it.

What I do know is that on that one night, I was lying in bed and crying so hard that I was unable to sleep.  I was tired of crying ... tired of being miserable ... tired of everything.  I got out of bed and went to the bathroom. Years later, my uncle's daughter would tell me that she always knew where her mother's pills were kept, in case she ever decided to make an attempt herself, but I wasn't that savvy.  All I knew was that in the bathroom, I'd find the key that would let me escape my unhappiness.

The key

That key was the single blade shaver that belonged to my uncle's daughter.  Recall that I wasn't allowed to have a shaver of my own, other than the constantly malfunctioning one that had been my grandmother's.  However, I'd played with this shaver many times, and had probably used it a few times as well (without asking her permission).  The blade was easy to remove, and that's what I intended to do.

Sill crying, I knelt in front of the tub, removed the blade from the shaver, and held it to my wrists.

I continued to feel miserable, continued to cry, and continued to hold the blade.  Much as I wanted, really wanted, to take the final step, I just couldn't do it.  I was, I suppose, too scared.  After 15 minutes or so, I replaced the blade in the shaver and went back to bed, feeling myself even more of a failure than usual.

As I learned later, I probably would have survived even if I had managed to use the blade -- the cuts I'd hoped to make were in the wrong direction.

I've often wondered what would have happened if I'd been successful.  Would anyone have missed me? Would anyone have cared? I'd like to think so, but have my doubts. My attempt certainly would have been kept as hush-hush as possible. After all, it was important to keep the family reputation intact.  Had I survived, no doubt my uncle would have managed to commit me to a psychiatric facility, similar to where my younger brother had spent so many years.

I still regret that I didn't complete the attempt, especially given the events in my life since then.  It would have been so much better ... so much less painful for so many people ... if I'd had the courage to try.

A couple years ago, a question was asked on a forum where I was a member:  "Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your teenage self?"

My response?

"Just do it"