Suicide is selfish. Truer words have never been spoken. Okay, truer words have been spoken. But on the topic of suicide, there is no other way to really describe it. I can say that I have been truly selfish once in my life.
It was a hot day in the middle of July 1996. A whole host of events had led up to that day. I was upset; disgusted. I really felt there was no other option. How could I go on? What shot did I have at a decent life? I felt hopeless and weak.
I stood above the sink with a bottle of prescription muscle relaxers. The tap flowed as I put my plastic cup under the cold water. With a pile of pills in my hand and tears streaming my artificially tanned cheeks, I begged for a sign that I didn’t need to do this; that it would all be okay. The telephone didn’t ring. My cat didn’t meow. There was just the steady sound of running water.
I took the pills and chugged from the plastic cup. There. It was done. I didn’t have to suffer anymore. As I walked crying into the other room it hit me like a bolt of lightning. My life; others lives flashed before my eyes. What the fuck was I doing?
I ran to the kitchen to take it back. I put my head over the sink and rammed my fingers down my throat. The harder I tried to make myself throw up the weaker I became. It was in that moment that I begged God to forgive my sins. I stumbled into the living room and collapsed on the floor. That was the last thing I remembered.
I woke up in the hospital days later with no recollection of what I had done. My mother was by my bedside and I asked her where I was. She told me I had suffered a stroke and that my oldest daughter had found me dead. Rescue was called that day I collapsed on the floor and they had worked on me for roughly twenty minutes before getting a pulse.
That day was July 19, 1996. My mom would call on the nineteenth of July every year for the next eight to remind me of the progress I had made since I fell apart.
The stress of being a young mother of four children with a dead beat husband would make anyone fall apart. My family was masterful at the cover up.
At about year six, I started to remember pieces of things. Events that seemed almost dream like flooded my mind. As I remembered them, they overlapped each other like a poorly dubbed cassette tape. I would mention these thoughts, these pieces of a movie almost, to my mother. She would side step my notions quite gracefully.
At year seven I had called my mother. I was excited. I had a dream. A violent dream, but nonetheless, a dream. Now, you might think, so what? We all dream. And I know that I had dreamed every night since that hot day in July, but when I awoke from my sleep every morning, I had nothing. A glimpse of anything that had run through my subconscious mind during the night never resurfaced in my head.
That dream meant so much to me. It meant normalcy. To dream meant that I was going to be okay.
I wish I could say that my life and the lives of my children returned to normal after that night in July. I wish I could pretend that a glass of water and a bottle of muscle relaxers coupled with a dark state of mind didn’t alter so many paths.
The lives of my children would never be the same after that day. My life warped into what seemed a strip of bad scene selections from a sub-par movie.