September 12, 2011
— #abused, #addictions, #childhood, #depression, #shamefull, #suicide
I remember spending a lot of my spare time (almost all of it) lying in my bed reading books. They were my only friends. Keeping me entertained. Engrossed with the characters and plots contained within their pages, I found a release from reality. I would allow my mind to wander as imagination took over. It was the only venue of escape I had from the drudgery that was my life.
I would often stare at the sky and imagine I was someone else, somewhere else, doing something else. Someone important, someone more than what I perceived myself as, doing something that was more meaningful than the mundane chores that my life revolved around. My aspirations lifted me for days, sometimes weeks and I would pursue that aspiration with every fiber of my being, until the inevitable would happen and I would have my dream ground into the dirt, smashed into a thousand pieces and I would leave it by the wayside and go about my dreary life until another aspiration took over.
Whether by choice or by force, I rarely followed anything through to fruition. I was afraid. I believed (or was taught) that to try and fail was worse than never trying at all. When I did try something I would be ridiculed, ostracized and demeaned if I didn’t do it absolutely perfect. Eventually I gave up on trying.
When I gave up on trying to turn my dreams into reality was when I quit reading. Why would I read? Reading gave me dreams and aspirations that I didn’t believe I was worthy of imagining. I would not allow myself to daydream about the impossible anymore. I forced myself to face the facts.
If I couldn’t keep my own parents and siblings happy and take care of them what right did I have to imagine myself having my own family?
If I couldn’t run the farm by myself and get my schooling then what business did I have thinking I could hold a job and support someone?
If I couldn’t find a good paying job and start my career before the end of grade 10 then what right did I have to think I would ever retire and spend my days at the side of a lake fishing?
If I couldn’t stand up to the people that were abusing me then why would I ever imagine that I could take care of myself without my abusers help?
They say that hindsight is 20/20 and they are right. If I had only known when I was younger what I have learned and allowed myself to see in the last 2 years then things would have been different. I don’t know if I was afraid of the truth or if I had just turned a blind eye to it, if I permitted myself to stay where I was or if I was too young to discern that I had options. I knew it wasn’t a healthy environment. Although I tried numerous
times to escape they always found me or something would happen that stopped me from leaving. (But I digress, that is another story for another day)
I remember as vividly as if it just happened, I was standing at the kitchen counter peeling potatoes for supper. I was still sore from the beating I had received the day before and I knew that chances were I would get another one that night. I couldn’t take it no more. I could no longer enjoy my books. Everything I did was critisized, stolen or taken away from me. I was tired of being in pain all the time. Not only physically but mentally and emotionally as well. I was tired. My day was just one long, never ending routine. I was alone in the kitchen and I could hear my younger brother and sisters playing in the back room. I felt like I was stuck. I was at the end of my rope and I just wanted to be allowed to be myself. To join my siblings and play without having to be the adult, or responsible one, all the time. I remember I started to shed tears. It was okay though because no one was around to see them so I let them flow. All the emotions inside me bubbled up to the surface at once. I was confused, lost at that moment in time to a torrent of feelings that I couldn’t control. I threw a potatoe violently across the kitchen into the sink and it bounced out and broke a glass. The tears quickly dried up and fear took over me.
(You have to understand that at this point in my life I was convinced that my stepfather was trying to kill me. Whether this is true or not is inconsequential at this moment).
So I am standing back at the counter, I had picked up all the glass and hidden it in the bottom of the garbage bag outside so that my parents wouldn’t find it. The fear was overpowering, driving my low sense of self-worth even lower. I started peeling another potatoe. I felt worthless. I remember the faucet for the kitchen sink had a slow drip and it was really getting on my nerves. My siblings were yelling to me from the back room to bring them something to drink. I looked down at the knife in my hands. I turned it towards myself and placed it against my chest. I had read enough books to know that the quickest way to commit suicide with a knife is to pierce your heart. I closed my eyes and took a deep breathe. I was ready to go. I was eager to leave my life behind me and just end it all. I opened my eyes. There standing in front of me was my
brother. He just looked at me, smiled and said, “I love you”, then walked out of the kitchen and went back to playing with the rest of our siblings.
At that point I put the knife down. As I wiped off my hands I resolved that I would never commit suicide. No matter how bad life would get from that point on I would never allow myself to even think about committing the most selfish act that any person could commit. To this day I keep that memory alive in my mind. A constant reminder. A reason to smile because at that point in my life I realized that I was needed. I may not be able to see worth in myself but that is not to say that someone else didn’t. As long as one person in this world see’s worth in me then I guess that is reason enough for me to see worth in myself.
Oh ya, I was 10 years old, this happened shortly after my 10th birthday. What a fucked up life to want to kill myself at that age but what a lesson I learned.