Getting Better All The Time
Lately I've felt the need to just share all this with someone, write it all down, anonymously. Hopefully, someone can take something from my story. So here it is:
It all started, I suppose, when my parents got divorced back in 2000. I was just 3. And nowadays, I would be happy if that were the worst of my problems. But a few years ago, my life changed. My father got engaged.
He “fell in love” with my best friend’s mother. Even now, I wonder if it was our friendship that brought them together. In short: I don’t like her. It was her and my father’s relationship that triggered me to fall out of my easy world into a much darker place. You see, I suffer from depression. These days, many people say that. It’s easy to say. You can call yourself emo, fine. You can dye your hair black and wear shirts with screamo bands on them, I don’t care. You can live your life easily that way. But it’s not so easy to truly feel that way; like your life doesn’t even matter.
The first time I felt like I wanted to jump in front of a car I told my dad. I said that sometimes I felt like my life isn’t worth anything, partly because of his “fiancé.” (I have trouble saying that word, even today). His first reaction was to yell: “ARE YOU SAYING IF I STAY WITH THE WOMAN I LOVE YOU’LL KILL YOURSELF?” I cried and told him no, I’m doing what people say I’m supposed to do when you feel this way. He gave me sympathy then, and began to cry. But since that first reaction, I haven’t been able to tell him anything else. Even though I’m tempted to scream “Are you so blind you can’t see that I wish I was dead?”
That’s how I felt, a lot of the time, even how I still feel. About a year ago, things got serious. I began scratching myself with small sticks. Just whenever my dad and his girlfriend annoyed me, which was a lot of the time. This didn’t go on for very long, but it would have been better if it did. Because after this began, I found my old Swiss Army knife. When she came over, I would go to my room and cry, and slice my arm. Just above that blue vein in your wrist. I would often wonder what would happen if I died.
My grandfather killed himself. My mom suffered from depression as a teen. My aunt killed herself. And my uncle tried to kill himself. So I wondered: if I did, would he stay with her? Even though she was the cause of my suicide? Or even if I just nearly did it, and I woke up in a hospital bed?
So the first few times I did it, I hid the cuts under jackets. Then I got a little more sense: I have one arm with many bracelets. I would take off the bracelets, then cut and put them on again. In one department I was lucky, because with my Irish skin the scars aren’t visible.
It was never for fun. It’s always hurt. I was just taking my pain and making it into something more, I don’t know, real. I am certainly not masochistic, quite the contrary. I don’t like the pain and I never did. But it was something to relieve the stress. I don’t think I can ever explain it.
I hadn’t cut for a long while until pretty recently. That night, I don’t know what the breaking point was. My dad saying I couldn’t sleep over at my friend’s house unless he stayed with her and her mother too, the drama of it all being cancelled. I truly don’t know, maybe that’s a part of my “mental illness.” But I just felt so awful and wanted to scream. So I said to my father: “I’m just gonna go change, it’ll be awhile,” and I went to my room and cut my arm. It was almost a sense of relief, like, I knew I would do it again sometime, glad it’s over with. So I called one of my best friends (who is also my neighbor) and told her I needed to go on a walk. She understood. So I went to her house and we walked into the streetlight and I said (tears running down my face): “I did it again. I did something bad.”
She knew immediately. ”Oh, no.” I had told her before and she had said: Never do this to yourself again. That’s what my second real friend said, too. But on our walk, we talked. For hours. And we decided it wasn’t healthy for me to be home with my dad who was causing me so much pain, but to go home with her and bandage my arm one last time.
And I made the best decision I have in a very long while. I went to my drawer and took out my pocketknife. Handing it to her, I said: “Hide this in your room. If I call you asking for it, don’t give it to me.”
And I’ve been much healthier since. Of course, I’ve thought about cutting and death and suicide and hopelessness and worthlessness, but the important thing is—I haven’t cut myself.
It’s been about a month since that. I’ll probably relapse. I still haven’t told anyone but my two closest friends about my problems. But I’m trying now. Today, I care.