I do believe that everyone goes through very rough times in their lives that they recover from but that recovery comes with a lot of support from the people around you. What happens though when you don’t have that support? What happens if the people around you, your family just tells you to suck it up and man up!
You try to convey the importance of what you are trying to do… which is get help. That help never came so I started doing what I do to get attention and that was causing problems for my mother and father. If they are yelling at me at least they are hanging out with me, I have their attention and it is great.
I would miss behave on purpose and after about a year of that, around the age of eight, they gave up and stopped reprimanding me and I had a life with no rules. Which was cool but I wanted love. So my attention seeking got worse. I really didn’t care. If they didn’t care why should I care about me?
I remember I wanted to get yelled at for attention and bought myself a pack of cigarettes and walked out onto the front porch and lit one up in front of the bay window behind the television my parents were watching. This will get their attention, I got them good now. My dad sees me, walks outside and sits down next to me and lights up a cigarette and said nothing. He then walked back inside after he was done. I was fourteen then.
If cigarettes aren’t getting me the attention I did the same thing with a joint a year later. They were watching television and I went outside in front of that bay window and lit up a joint. Again my dad walks outside, sits down next to me and has a cigarette, nothing. I offered him a hit and he said that my cigarette smelt funny so no thank you. Not even a word again. I was fifteen.
At this time I decided to run away from home. I lived in the woods for almost three days and skipped school all of those days. Certainly this would get a reaction. I came home after those three days and eventually saw both of my parents and neither of them knew I was even away. I was missing so much school that they ignored those calls from the school. You don’t know the feeling when you are fifteen and you run away for three days and your parents don’t even realize it.
I wasn’t running away for good, I knew I was coming back but I wanted to wake my parents up to my existence. They still stayed asleep. The thoughts of “I am going to kill myself, which will show them I need their attention” started to pop into my head. At first it was how will I make this look like I actually tried to kill myself because I really didn’t want to?
I started self-hurting myself to get the attention and the only attention I got was from the nurses at the hospital. I remember wishing I could stay there forever because every half hour or so one of the nurses would come in to give me a shot or check on me and I never got that at home. I just wanted to feel like I exist. Since I was self-hurting I was forced into hospitals and started doing therapy. That is when it went from trying to get attention to true realization that I am messed up in the head.
That realization hit me hard. I was completely shattered. Not only could I not depend on people around me I couldn’t trust myself anymore. I was at the lowest part of my life. Then the only attention I ever got when I was home from the hospital was from the guy down the street that was molesting me every day. Even though I was being molested I looked forward to going over there because I got the attention I craved.
This guy was legally blind, he could see but was in the considered blind on the scale He was older and wanted a gun which he wasn’t able to get because of his eyesight. Since I was a bad kid I knew the right people to get him the illegal gun, still around fifteen years old. So he gave me $700 and I got him the gun.
Initially, I was like finally I have a sure proof way to kill myself. Then he told me that he felt really bad for doing what he did to me for seven years and that he was going to use the gun on himself. He was horrified by his actions towards me and felt really bad.
I thought to myself wait… he is going to stop molesting me, I need the attention I can’t have him leave me, I love him. Actually, what I loved was the attention he gave me. When he was sexually assaulting me I was able to escape into a corner of my brain and just wait it out until he was done. Then we would hang out and watch movies and feed me. I didn’t want that to stop.
I told him to meet me at a bridge in town over a river so I could give him the gun. He came and I gave it to him and he did his best Clint Eastwood impressions and was really happy with it. I asked if he was happy he got it and he was. I asked for the gun from him and said, ‘I know you are going to kill yourself with this and I am not going to let this happen because I can’t live without you in my life,’ or something along those lines and then I threw the gun into the river and ran away.
I never had another conversation with him again and it’s been thirty years. Even though I lost my friend, who happened to like molesting me, I felt good with my decision to throw the gun away and save him from a possible suicide attempt. That may be the first time I felt good about helping someone.
Now without that person out of my life and my family just still going through their narcissistic motions the depression really hit hard. I was truly suicidal. I was caught with my Dad’s old style lead bullet musket type guns from the Civil War era trying to load it so I could kill myself. It was a short Kentucky rifle about a foot long.
That actually got his attention not because I was trying to kill myself but how dare I touch one of his antique Civil War era gun replicas. He asked me what I was going to do with it and I said I was going blow my head off in the attic. He ripped the gun from me and said ‘stop lying to me; you don’t have the guts to kill yourself! Grow up, life is hard and is unfair and the faster you learn to accept that you will never be happy the better.’ I took those words to heart and tried to continue to live expecting nastiness and non-pleasantries. At least I won’t be surprised by negativities.
I started to get heavily into harder drugs. I realized I can just overdose on heroin anytime I wanted to take my life. I’ve overdosed on purpose a couple of times and each time when I woke up in the hospital I was pissed. I was locked up and treated like an animal in a cage. Let me tell you this, if you are under suicide watch in jail it isn’t too pleasant. It was the lowest point in my life. Not only have I failed overdosing a few times I also now have to live in a cell under suicide watch. It is my life, let me take it PLEASE!
During this period of my life I moved and got myself a job with ‘normal’ people and then all of a sudden I realized that these people enjoyed my time with them. I am not a lunatic outcast that was accidently born into this world. I learned to find positives in negatives. I found out what friendship really meant and that people actually do care for me.
I soon decided if I can’t live for myself, I will live for those around me because I want everyone happy around me and if I killed myself that would make them sad. It was like a connection in my brain that went ‘d’uh you idiot, that is how it has been your whole life. Not only do you kill yourself but you make a mess for friends to have to clean up both physically and emotionally and I don’t want my friends to feel bad.’
Yes, I deal with depression every day but I am pretty certain that I am not going to kill myself. I still have to watch for those words in my head and if I get triggered nothing will stop me. It’s been twenty – five years since I tried to kill myself but even then it can sneak up to you without thinking.
I was with my wife and we were having a full on argument. She wasn’t listening to me and it gave me those same feelings of being unloved from my parents I had. The argument escalated and I broke. I thought that I will show her so I went into the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of Xanax and went back to her and put the whole bottle in my mouth. It had about fifty pills. No reaction from my loved one so I grabbed her drink and swallowed.
This was after twenty five years of not having these thoughts at all and an argument put me over the top. It wasn’t the argument itself but the lack of interest that she was showing in my argument that triggered me from dealing with my parents all those years ago. This was about a year ago.
I ended up under suicide watch again. That was the most depressing thing that could happen to me. I thought I had cured my suicidal tendencies but even after two and a half decades it showed its weary head.
It’s a lifelong struggle and one that needs to be worked on every day. That is why I like to share my stories. I thought I was the only who felt like this but had I known I wasn’t the only person who felt helpless and hopeless with no meaning in their lives I would have probably gone down a more positive track. That is why I surround myself with people now who understand how exhausting mental illness is and how terrible it can make you feel. The thought that if I am having trouble I have hundreds of people online that I can reach out to and those people also keep a close eye on me.
If this helps just one person I will be eternally grateful and if you need someone there for you please connect with me. Helping other people smile is the greatest reason for me to smile. I need to catch up on my smiling.