[PSA: This post talks about suicide, so if you are uncomfortable with that… then I will forgive you for not reading. Promise. <3]
So let me start by saying: I AM DYING RIGHT NOW.
… not really, but I got a new tattoo. [see, parents? IT COULD BE WORSE.]
So I know it might be confusing, but let me explain. So let me start with this: Project Semicolon. I’ve mentioned it in a previous post and how I really wanted to get my own semicolon as a suicide survivor.
My suicide attempt has always been something I’m very open about. If anyone was to walk up and ask me off the street, I’d offer up my info pretty easy. Why? Because I truly believe that someday my openness will change someone’s life. It may have already, I really don’t know, but I’m hoping that it does. I’m praying that I make some kind of difference for someone. I pray that I can make at least one person not feel so alone. So if it scares you or makes you uncomfortable to hear my suicide attempt, maybe skip the next paragraph or so.
Lately my suicide story has been heavy on my mind… for many reasons. Maybe it’s because lately I’ve said the words, “I want to just be done and kill myself” out loud to my husband on multiple occasions. And not in the dramatic way, in the real way with tears falling down my face. [there is no need to worry, I promise]
It didn’t all start with a straight up attempt when I was 17. No, I actually I called out for help long before that and it was ignored. [Let me start this part with, my mom did the best she mentally could with what she was given. I was a teenager full of attitude, I talked back, I was exactly like her. Our tempers were the same and so when we would fight…we would FIGHT. Things would get hateful and things would get bad. I’ve done a lot of work on this after her death. A lot of forgiving and moving on. Realizing she was human, just like me.] So there was a lot going on in my life. I was living in a house with my mother, my alcoholic step-father, and three younger siblings. At 16, I had a lot of responsibilities. I had high school, I had a full-time job (I’d get out of school at 4, be at work at 4:30, and work til midnight), I had failing grades for the first time in my life, and I had a mother who needed more from me than I wanted to give her. Along with my very adored therapist that had just died from cancer and stopping my dance “career” after 14 years… things weren’t going well for me.
My threats came in the form of me screaming “I’M GOING TO KILL MYSELF” to my mother’s face, putting half-hearted marks on my arms so she’d see, and writing my mother a letter telling her I wanted to take a bottle of pills and overdose. All to be received with eye rolls and being told to “grow up”. And I get it, I really do. I didn’t use to, but I do now. I had to be so damn exhausting to be around. She had bigger problems than me threatening to kill myself every 10 minutes. She probably did what I do, I shut down and pretend like real life isn’t happening. I laugh off the hard stuff and just pray everything works out for the best in the end. I know now that my mom was scared. I know now how much she needed me. I know now. But I wish she would have verbalized that. I’m working on forgiving her for this part. I’m working on it.
Looking back, my attempt at suicide was so stupid and so selfish. I was driving home, from where I can’t remember. Prior to this day, I would always drive home and be like, “God, if I’m meant to kill myself… then put a blue car in front of me.” Isn’t that weird? Like, I wanted permission from Him to kill myself. I wanted Him to tell me that that was His plan for me. I know, I know.
So my mom and I had a fight, I remember that much. I remember that I was driving home from being with a friend(?) or school event(?) to come help her with something at home. I remember tears falling down my face and me screaming into the closed car, “I JUST WANT TO BE A TEENAGER. I JUST WANT TO BE DONE. I JUST WANT TO BE DONE.” I remember that. I remember shaking, I remember cars racing past me. I remember the road being PACKED. I remember looking next to me at a steady stream of cars and just jerking my wheel to slam into a car next to me. I wanted to be in a wreck. I wanted it to hurt me. I wanted to feel pain. I wanted to be done and I wanted everyone around me to care.
Did I wreck? Nope. No I didn’t. In fact… the road was suddenly clear of cars. And no, I’m not kidding. I KNOW there were cars there. I KNOW IT. I remember opening my eyes with my car still moving and me still untouched and thinking…. what…the…#$%*? I went into a trance and I don’t remember the drive home from there. I remember walking into my front door with a blank look on my face and my mom freaking out saying, “WHAT??!” And me simply saying, “I need you to get me help. I just tried to kill myself and you need to get me help.”
My mom never hugged us, never kissed us, never told us she loved us on the regular. But we knew she loved us. People ask me how? Because at that moment, she dropped everything. She called a neighbor to watch the kids and she took me to a mental health facility. But here’s the part no one realizes, I checked myself in. My mom through tears asked me time and time again to not go. She was shaking and scared. She held my hand. She hugged me. She told me she loved me and she asked me not to go. But I did. I said I had to. I had to go or I wouldn’t live through this life. People always said, “I can’t believe your mother put you there.” She didn’t. I did. I put myself there. I was 17.
My mom started listening to me after that. My mom saw how hard life was on me. She worked on it. Did we go back to our same old routine after a while? Sure. And things between us would still get bad. But she listened when I would tell her I was feeling suicidal again. She noticed when I couldn’t get out of bed, she’d make sure I’d go to the therapist.
Maybe I’m feeling this way because it was just Mother’s Day. A day where I’m working on remembering the good times with my mom and not all the bad times, because we had a lot of them. This isn’t a post to bash my mother. I love my mother. Oh how I love her. We are all human and my mom was doing the best she could with what she was given. And for all the bad we had, her life as a Nana made up for all of it. Oh how she loved Kiddo. I saw her so differently in those moments and I thank God every day that she got to be around for me to see that. That I got to have those kinds of memories with her, because I need them. I needed a different relationship with her and He gave it to me.
SO, all that to say – that’s where there is a semicolon inside the word on my arm.
So why the word? Riddikulus! It’s a Harry Potter spell, duh. And if you don’t know that *cough*Brittany*cough* then I hate you and never want to talk to you again.
… just kidding…
Anyways, [source: http://harrypotter.wikia.com/]
The Boggart-Banishing Spell (Riddikulus) is a charm that is used in defense against a Boggart. It causes the creature to assume a form that is humorous to the caster, along with a whip-crack noise, thereby counteracting the Boggart’s ability to terrorize.
Boggarts are defeated by laughter, so forcing them to assume an amusing form is the first step to defeating them…
So I chose to have this on my arm because what a beautiful representation of my power over anxiety and depression. What a beautiful reminder that I am the one that holds the power to look at all that scares me and change it, make it better. How do I currently handle it? I laugh.
So there you have it, folks. That’s my new tattoo.
Feel free to share. Please share. Not because of my lifelong dream to be adored by my peers, but because maybe, just maybe, someone needs to see this.