Do you remember several years ago the role you played in pulling me safely through my suicide attempt? Not exactly something you forget, especially the ordeal I put you through, and I can only imagine the relief you felt when you learned I made it safely into the squad car and was escorted to a mental health clinic. I failed to kill myself, but you succeeded in keeping me alive.
What if I were to tell you that I actually succeeded, and you, in turn, fell short?
I conceded my life was forfeit a long time ago. Conglomeration of events and poor mental health space was the perfect recipe to take action on bringing this pointless existence to an end. Yet, I’ve wallowed that failure for years now, wondering why I must continue to suffer just so those around me don’t have to. Even lately, over the past year and a half, I’ve considered a follow up attempt. One you would not save me from thanks to the destruction I’ve wrought.
As I look back on past and current events, however, I’ve come to accept that maybe my suicide was successful after all, and that I did indeed die in that mountain cabin. I’ve been caught in a hybrid of purgatory and hell, an invisible slave to those around me. Most of all my own family. I’ve gotten married since. Had kids. Been employed and bounced around. But I’ve been nothing but an empty shell, welded shut with a painted smile, living to please my spouse and rear my kids despite my crippling mental disabilities.
Truthfully, none of that matters as judgment has come early for me, and I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear that. I am unseen and unheard. The depth of the well within me, which once I prided myself in having, has been sucked dry. I no longer read. I no longer write. I no longer am able to engage in meaningful and stimulating discussion and debate. My soul has withered away into nothing as I’ve pushed away the only people capable of nurturing mental and personal growth. My opinion has become irrelevant unless, of course, it is agreeable to my spouse. My emotions, although occasionally acknowledged, are brushed over and forgotten about. If they have a bad day, I must put aside how I am feeling to help turn it around. If I have a bad day, it causes them to have a bad day, and so I must put mine aside to help turn theirs around. I no longer have anyone who genuinely cares about how I am doing and who is capable and willing to help pull me through my own booby-trapped mind.
I basically just live to make them happy. I’ve tried igniting that spark of passion within me, but all attempts have been futile. It’s just cold and dark at my center, like the rest of the universe. My own faith had dwindled from an inferno to a fragile flicker, which finally went out a few months ago. Yet I find myself in church week after week, façade firmly in place, as I’m not allowed to be anything else. I’m pretty sure my spouse already knows or at least suspects, as I only put forth a minimal effort, but as long as their bubble remains intact and they can live in their own fantasy world, who cares, right? I am no longer my own.
Besides, I’m dead already, living out my judgment on this physical earth before being sent to the hellfire beneath it. It is no less than I deserve for the POS I’ve become. And truly, the knowledge of my earthly purgatory is the only thing keeping me from trying to make a second attempt on my life, because I know I’m already dead. There’s naught else for me to do except continue pretending to be who I am not and to fit into the mold I’m told to. Apathy has taken over and there’s no way out, now.
I’m sorry, A, that you were not able to save me. And I’m sorry that I punished you for it. But really, I suppose, I was just saving you from myself by letting you catch a glimpse of the demon inside me. I didn’t mean the words I spoke that night when I was drunk and you were right to be upset, but I cannot control the beast that has taken up residence inside my core. I’ve been consumed, and the me you knew no longer exists.
I do hope all is well with you and your family. Stay strong and live well.