This post is coming more from a better place. I feel a lot better this evening. It’s not rooted in sadness or anything like that. It’s just reflection. I don’t think I’ve ever written this out fully, but I am aware that I have touched on parts of it on my old blog and probably a little bit on this one. This is me sorting my thoughts and reaching the conclusion that I probably should have with my earlier post.
My first suicidal thoughts came in at around age 4. They came from two sources. The first was the outside world. I had no tools to cope with the outside world being wantonly cruel. I clearly remember playing in my friend’s neighborhood when some kids who were about 5 years older than us decided to call me nigger and made faces at me making fun of my slanted eyes. I had already been accustomed to this sort of event happening. It never made it easier. My friend, who was a year and a half older than me stood up to them… and got his ass kicked. We had to run while being chased by kids on bikes swinging sticks and throwing rocks. Life wasn’t fair. It never was and was not going to be. When the world crushed me too badly I wanted to die.
The other was my guilt and shame. Shame became a regular occurrence. I felt fucked up because my penis was uncircumcised and I got teased about that. I felt fucked up for the countless humiliations I had endured over the years. I had also started building up anger, another emotion that I wasn’t equipped to deal with. While at a friend’s 5th birthday party I was getting bullied by a gang of 8-10 kids and I started blindly swinging. I ended up punching my friend who was trying to help me in the eye, giving him a black eye on his birthday. That event still haunts me. I apologized. I was never able to forgive myself. My memory is too sharp. While I was able to bury some memories, I remember every person I have ever wronged and every even that occurred where someone made me feel fucked up about myself. Add in the depression that set in at an early age and there where so many times when the guilt made me want to die.
I held it together for years. I kept them as just impulses in my head. I grew meaner and meaner, angrier and angrier. The self-hatred seemed to balloon without end. I got chubby. Things started changing. I was uncool. I was late to puberty. I started despising my peers. My parents marriage was deteriorating. My dad started really wailing on me, badly, over progressively smaller things. I didn’t want to exist like that. I didn’t want to live like that. I just wanted to die. I remember the day at age 13 when I finally lost it. By this time I had the added shame of knowing that I could only get aroused to the submissive fantasies in my head and standard methods didn’t work. I started punching and kicking through doors, walls, and windows of the house. My mom freaked out. I locked myself in the bathroom and started emptying bottles full of pills into my mouth. I didn’t care what they were, I just did as many as I could. I downed about ~100 aspirin, ~100 tylonol, ~100 advil, a bottle of nyquil, a bottle of robitussin, a bottle of prozac, a bottle of sleeping pills, half a bottle of mouthwash, a bottle of diet pills, and whatever I could find. My mother was having a meltdown about it. The only one around was a family friend who was the handy-man and he broke down the door to the bathroom. I ran. I don’t know where I was running to. He caught me and tackled me and held me down on the ground while I started to vomit. Over and over again. I was unable to keep it down.
My stomach was already ravaged by ulcers and being forced to drink milk for years, which regularly made me vomit. I probably vomited for at least 5 minutes. I know that I blew out all the blood vessels in my face and eyes. Everything got hazy after that. The next thing I really remember is being in some form of doctor’s office or clinic having to talk to someone and assure them that I wasn’t going to do that again. I agreed.
Two things became clear that day. The first is that I could end it whenever I wanted, I just needed to be more low key about it. I had the conviction to see it through. The second was that I needed something to live for or I was going to die.
My old life ended at age 15 when my ankle was destroyed in a football game. Complete dislocation, 3rd degree sprain. The joint was gone. The ligaments in my foot and ankle were gone. There was no surgery available at that time. The doctors treated it wrong and didn’t put my ankle back into the socket and I don’t know why, they just twisted my foot until it was facing forwards again instead of backwards. When I couldn’t move it after 4 weeks they put it in a cast. Instead of putting it back in the socket they just bent it to 90 degrees and immobilized it. It healed wrong. I could only move my foot down and in. I couldn’t pull it up or move it out. I had a limp for the next 9 years.
This changed the trajectory of my life. It decimated my already shitty relationship with my father. I quit all four sports that I played seriously. I lost my peer group, but that wasn’t a bad thing, I didn’t like being around them anyways and they weren’t my friends. The biggest problem was that I didn’t know who I was and I no longer had no purpose. I could no longer please anyone or meet their expectations. It wasn’t even an option after that.
It was at that point that I made my first real friends. It wasn’t just the left-over elementary school buddies who played the same sports. These were people that I barely knew. They introduced me to drugs. They just wanted to chill. They welcomed me to chill. I was accepted for no reason other than I was willing and desired it.
My body hurt all the time after the injury. My heart hurt because I knew I had become a failure in the eyes of my parents. The drugs felt good. They helped me let go of my over-active mind and I coasted by in a state of “don’t give a fuck.” Well, almost. I did just enough school work to keep my 4.0 GPA but was regularly fucked up in school, during lunch, after school, you name it. It was with that group that I met A. She had been in various classes of mine since 1st grade. She was cute. She had these amazingly bad front teeth that gave her face character. She was beautiful. She was kind to me. I fell for her. Hard. I didn’t make a move. No one had wanted me so far, why would she. I made up excuses in my head to talk myself out of trying. I valued our friendship too much to fuck it up, blah blah blah. It was all a pack of lies to justify being too scared to show myself. I kept my love silent. She ended up with my best friend.
That group barely stayed intact after that. My best friend soon became an ex-best friend. The whole of the group spiraled down, getting into harder, heavier, more serious drugs. I was completely dependent upon certain recreational drugs to function. It took a serious flu for me to actually clear my head for the first time in a year and a half. When I realized that my body wasn’t shaking and I wasn’t running a fever when sober like usual, I quit everything. The problem is when your friends are into drugs is that once you stop, they stop thinking about you. It wasn’t long before I was being excluded. It wasn’t long before they were getting arrested, expelled, and sent to rehab.
The thing was, that those feelings I had with A were so strong. They were so powerful. They were so consuming and capable of driving me mad. I knew how much I just lived to just be near her and to talk with her. I realized something then. That if she had felt about me how I had felt about her… that life would be truly amazing. Through the darkness of the journey I had finally found my reason. Love.
I put all of my stock in love. I put all of my faith in love. I put all of my belief in love. Life is a cruel, heartless, uncaring machine that grinds people into dust. Why do people live it? It had to be love. It was the one thing that I could picture being worthwhile enough to go through the suffering. Of course I didn’t know this for certain. It was my best guess. I decided to live based upon the possibility that something I had never experienced was the magical fucking cure-all that made life worth living.
It took me 8 years to find it. Over that period I nearly killed myself 3 more times but something beautiful always stopped me. I relapsed with booze and drugs and nearly killed myself with those over a dozen times with alcohol poisonings and over-doses. The depression would continue to haunt me. I barely made it through. I did manage to sober up at 18 and knew enough about the game to keep my paper trail intact (grades, etc.).
When I finally got my taste of love, it was immaculate. It exceeded what I imagined it would be. It was the greatest thing in the world. It made me happy that I was alive. It made me happy that I suffered through all the shit of my past to feel it. It validated my blind faith and hope in something worthwhile.
Unfortunately this also meant the most painful thing in the world was losing the one that I loved. It took blind faith that I could love again to keep going through that. That was a dark time and I was no longer relying on booze or drugs to get me through it. Faith proved true again, it just took more time, more pain, and more suffering to get there.
I place so much stock in love and loving with my all because at the core of my being, it is the only reason that I’m alive. It is the only thing I believed in. It is still the only thing that I believe in. It is something that I will not hold back. It is something that I give freely. I love with all of myself because that’s the only way I can be.