Finding Fault

It would take days to sit here and outline what led to that day, October 9, 1999. Was there one penultimate thing? Yes, it was the final deafening note in a cacophony. Something I’m not ready to address either. But on that Saturday all I wanted was to forever silence that cacophony. I just wanted to finally be able to sleep. I didn’t want to ever get up again because I knew that cacophony would return. I had to make it go away for good. That morning I wrote a letter where I apologized for having been a failure, for having been a disappointment, for having been a burden, and for taking up space. In my letter I said the world would be a better place without me taking up air from those who deserved to breathe and that I wanted to finally be at peace, for the noise to stop. I ended my letter by asking that they please not forget about me. Then I put my letter in an envelope and I started taking sleeping pills & pain medicine. I don’t know how many I took. I had collected bottles over time. When I saw that I was still conscious, I took some more and I repeated that process. I don’t know how many times I repeated that or when I lost consciousness. The next thing I remember is regaining consciousness in the hospital and crying because I was still alive. I had failed at something yet again. I found out that I was at Jamaica Hospital & had gotten there by ambulance. I don’t even know what they did when I was at the hospital like if my stomach was pumped or anything. The only thing I remember is the doctor telling me that I should thank my neighbor who found me because had he gotten there five minutes later, I would not be alive. I later on found out that my younger sister was the one who found me and then ran next door to get my neighbor who was in school to become a nurse & he came to our house where I was and performed first aid techniques to keep me alive while the ambulance arrived. To be honest for a long time I was mad at my sister & neighbor for having saved my life. I now see them as angels walking on Earth. But anyway, I don’t really remember much about my hospital stay outside of that as I was really out of it. I don’t even know how long I was in the hospital. What I do know is I was eventually transferred to a mental hospital not far away & I had to be there for two weeks. That in itself was an experience but one I will get into at another point. We were allowed to make calls to people at certain times at this mental hospital. So the first person I called was my best friend. He’d been my best friend for a little over two years and is actually still my best friend all these years later. I told him where I was and what had happened and he was kind of upset with me because I had never reached out and said I was struggling. He said he was so glad I survived and that he would be there when I get out and that I could call him anytime. That kind of support came right on time. We were also allowed to have visitors during visiting hours. So my parents were the first people to visit me. They also brought me clothing so that I would be able to at least change outfits. I expected to get compassion from them & support. I expected them to treat me like a daughter. Instead what I got from my father was I wouldn’t be where I’m at now if I had just listened to him & done what he said to do, and if I had just followed his directions and his orders. So that’s what I got in that moment. More of the same. He found fault with me. He blamed me for where I was and for my attempt. That’s what it was. So my two weeks in the mental hospital went by and I was discharged and I returned home with my parents. One condition of my release was I had to meet with my psychiatrist regularly & I had to stay on Klonopin & Ambien. There’s a whole story with those two medications but I’ll explain that another time. And my psychiatrist seemed to be more out there than me. Again something else I’ll explain another time. So I’m back home & you would think something would change or there would be some sort of compassion coming from my parents. I mean their daughter had almost died, had been in a mental hospital & was just now getting back home & it was obvious she was struggling. If I want to be honest, I remember my thoughts being riddled with why am I still alive. Why did God let me live? See, I proved I’m a failure because I didn’t succeed at dying. Those were the kind of thoughts going through my head. So in the midst of that a part of me expected that my parents would be able to take one look at their daughter and give me that hug & envelop me & let me know it would be ok & they would help & support me & carry my weight. That was not what I got. Once again they ended up proving that they saw me as nothing more than shit. I don’t know how many days I’d been home. But my dad told me that I had to return to school. I was attending College at the City College of NY although that hadn’t been going well at all. But in that moment, my dad said that the condition of me being allowed to remain in their house was I had to go back to school. If I did not I would have to leave & find somewhere else to live. Those were his words. Who does that? My dad. So yes, I was such a mess, still not in a good headspace, but I found myself going back to school despite that because I did not want to be homeless. My attempt at returning to school didn’t go well at all. That was connected to the medication that I was taking, something I can explain at a later point. I did last a few weeks but I ultimately ended up getting a medical leave of absence so I wouldn’t fail out of that semester. Remember I’d already missed weeks when I was hospitalized. My GPA was already in the tubes outside of that semester. You would think that at that point, seeing where I was mentally and that I was in bad shape would have changed something in my parents but no. That would take having a heart and giving a flying fuck about your daughter. I was threatened again. This time the threat was just because you are out of school does not mean you can stay home doing nothing. If you want to still live here, you have to get a full time job and you are expected to return to school next semester. Otherwise you will need to go elsewhere. So I found myself looking for a job. And after two interviews at this one place I got a full time job and started March 12, 2000 less than five months after I had survived my suicide attempt. I also returned to school. I was still such a mess. I no longer was going to therapy & was also off my medication. But I had to suppress all of that & act like everything was normal despite me falling completely apart on the inside. I was broken & empty. I still couldn’t understand why & I was so mad at God for having saved my life. But the important thing to some outside of me was that for that moment in time I listened, obeyed, & followed orders to a tee all to not end up homeless. Never mind what it was like for me. At the end of the day, in their eyes, I was at fault for it all.

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