Have we gotten to the part of the story where I have my existential crisis, yet? No? Oh, okay, fine.
So, I guess I was still pretty sure of myself. I had a new found independence after decidedly ending a blatantly abusive relationship. I was a new woman! Or, well, girl, I guess. I was only 17 years old, but you know what? I had survived a lot.
I was ready to embrace a whole new world that I had been kept away from for far too long. Being a prisoner was never my intention, of course, but, well, I guess things just happened and life got confusing. I lost all sense of who I was because I was giving in to a manipulative monster, who wanted me to make him my main priority.
Now I was free to set my own priorities and boundaries. I gathered all of his belongings that were still in my possession and I threw them out on the front lawn. I told him where he could find them and then never spoke to him again.
I started hanging with a group of kids in my neighborhood, who I was always friends with but my ex hadn’t liked them very much. If he didn’t like them that meant we weren’t going to hang out with them. Now that I was free, I was going to hang out with whoever I chose. I wasn’t a lot of fun to be around since I was so depressed, so it became normal for me to be left out of plans.
I understood. I didn’t really want to go out anyway. I would rather sit inside all day doing nothing. I would sit on the computer, talking to people I pretended to know. They made me feel better about myself, I was feeling a lot of self-loathing. I wasn’t sleeping at night and the hallucinations were worse than they had ever been. I was afraid to tell anyone the truth, because I knew what would happen to me if I did.
I silently considered the sultry solution of suicide, sweeping sweat from my sweltering skin.
The air was thick with condensation. I breathed slowly.
“Why the fuck don’t we have central air?” I wondered as I sat at my computer with the door to the 2nd story porch open next to me. The faint breeze was barely a relief. The brutal heat was making my less-than-stellar mental state even worse. Sleep wasn’t coming easy. I tossed and turned through the night, feeling rather despondent.
I thought a lot about whether it was time to end it or not; my life, of course. I seriously considered what might come as a result of my possible actions. The first place my mind went was to my mother. She never did anything wrong, though, she didn’t do much at all. She ignored my cries for help and often brushed me off when I was being quite serious.
I wanted so badly for someone to recognize my pain. I wanted to show everyone what they had done to me. I wanted everyone to feel horrible, disturbing things, because I felt horrible, disturbing things. I wanted to evoke morose feelings of loss in those who took my presence for granted. I was vindictive and bitter. I felt betrayed and abandoned. I was projecting my negative feelings outward. The way I felt was the fault of those around me and they should pay for what they’ve done. I was delusional, really. But I only say that now, in hindsight. I know what I know now, as a result of this time in my life.
The heat that day felt particularly unbearable and I was feeling particularly irritable. No one was home but this wasn’t unusual. I would lock myself in my room during the earliest hours of the morning, so as not to cross paths with anyone as they woke. By noon they would all be gone, and when they left, I would emerge once again. I hardly spent any time anywhere but the front hallway. I sat there on my computer for hours, talking to the only people who understood me.
The strangers welcomed my stories without judgement or fear. For some reason, when I told someone I knew a story that was particularly uncomfortable, they became afraid of me. I wasn’t sure what to make of this reaction, it was like, if I told the truth about how I felt, I was a monster. I lost a lot of friends this way. Someone would get to know me and based on whatever they had learned, they would decide they didn’t want to be my friend. A few stuck around, but in the end, everyone leaves you; even your best friends, maybe even especially your best friends.
I was feeling quite deserted when I decided I had come far enough in life. I really thought that I had seen all that I needed to see from life. I was convinced of the realities of the world. I was, of course, naive and stupid. I had made a few sad attempts at destroying myself before. I did not think of it in terms of suicide and self-injury. I thought about it in terms of self-destruction; I wanted to be destroyed and all efforts counted. I guess, if I really think about it, I wasn’t so much trying to destroy myself as I was trying to escape.
“Escape what?” you ask? The endless cycle of suffering; of wanting; of feeling incomplete. I wanted to feel whole; to feel right; or maybe, to feel nothing at all. The pills were the only way I knew how. I never sought out creative ways to hurt myself. I did what I came up with on my own. I didn’t know there was a world of people out there, doing the same things. I thought it was just me.
I wanted so badly to sleep at night, like normal people. I wanted to be happy, to feel good feelings. I wanted to have friends; people who cared about me, who checked on me. I wanted people to understand why I was the way that I was. This was, for some reason, of the utmost importance. I needed to explain myself so that people wouldn’t be frightened by my broken exterior, but would see me as a whole person. Once they knew why I was broken, they would see through the cracks, they would see the real me.
I felt like this was my opportunity to redefine myself. I was newly single, shattered in pieces like broken glass. I could glue myself back together with the stitchings of whoever I wish I was. I wanted to be a strong girl, someone who no one messed with. I was going to be indestructible. I was going to be exactly as I am now.
I was always there, hiding in the darkness beneath the surface. I just needed time to find my way out. The dark ages spanned over 5 years of my life. For all I know, they could still be upon me, but as it stands now: I see the light.