Past, present, gone?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story summarizing my feelings and the development of my depression.

Submitted: November 28, 2016

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Submitted: November 28, 2016

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I could write a whole story about unbearable pain by now, and I’m only just 18.

I could start another one of those blogs about mental illnesses.

I could kill myself.

 

Barely grown-up and already the scars of a seemingly horrible life on my body.

I could rampage at my school with a gun. Nobody would suspect me, always the one following the main stream of people without much protest. And everybody would think it’s unjustified and horrible of me.

 

How is it possible that somebody can cause so much pain and at the same time get you to laugh your head off with ease once you get talking and simply forget about the past for a moment.

It is horrible, painful, annoying, persistent, nagging and brimming with love.

No longer unconditional, but strong, so strong. Too strong.

I should be able to love myself this way, not somebody who has caused so much panic and turmoil in my life.

 

My best friend of thirteen years, whom I had seen nearly every day for up to eight hours, with hardly any fights or disagreements, decided that she wanted to start a friendship with the other girls of our class.

I couldn’t understand it. I tried, but it just made no sense. All of them she disapproved of and hated spending any more time than necessary with them. Sure, sometimes some of them were okay, but they didn’t like us much and we completely reciprocated those feelings, and so we got along based on that similarity and were okay sharing each-others’ space in the classroom. So that’s why it was completely out of the blue and random for me to hear her say that. So that I could try and understand, because friends try not to judge even if they don’t understand, I tried creating some distance. And she didn’t think that this was hard on me, so she didn’t realise what I was trying to do.

I had my first panic attack in a long time, and the first one where I wanted to rip my lungs out of my body so they could reach the air, the day after she told me.  And then the holidays ended and the school that I dreaded started.

Nothing was different. She didn’t always sit beside me, on purpose, but she also didn’t really seek the attention of the other girls like she had planned. And so my mind relaxed, thinking that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.

And after the first week the thought was almost gone from my immediate mind. But that same Friday was also the day that she “wanted to talk”. I was a bit worried, but I simply couldn’t imagine it.  But it was as bad as I’d worried.

She was “breaking up” with me. And the feeling sunk in, and my brain tried running away, held captive in my head, pounding and vomiting internally.

I was sixteen. I could feel an absolutely wonderful and loyal part of my life, one of the few truly stable pillars, pulling away from me. And so I screamed. And I swore, and I cried and I panicked and I wanted to stop all the feelings yelling at me to do something.

The only thing I could  do was not lurch myself at her, because the pain was already unbearable, and run back into the house. I locked my ex-best friend, her mom and mine out in the garden and tried controlling my feelings. My tears didn’t stop for hours and my anger grew worse. Now, I’m a person who cannot hurt another person. At least not one I truly care about, and even though I tried to deny it, my feelings were still as strong as ever.

And so the anger at her channelled into my own body, gnawing at every fibre of it.

My mother persuaded me to reopen the door to the garden, and then I fled upstairs, listening to their subdued talking as my ex-friend left. Her mother stayed for a while.

I sat down, absolutely and completely exhausted and empty.

Only a few minutes later I heard my mother as angry as never before. She was screaming, at the top of her lungs.

My ex-friend’s mother replied, quieter, maybe feeling guilty. Both were defending their daughters.

That night, I tore apart some clothes. All of them I associated with her, whom I am going to call Jane so the story can continue more easily.

As my mother and her friends, even Jane’s mom, sat in the garden, they had organised a small book club, I opened the kitchen drawers and took out a meat knife. I had no idea what I was really doing, and a mere line across my wrist appeared.

I tried harder, then I tried sawing a bit, but our knives are all hopelessly blunt. I tried another knife, then I gave up.

I don’t think I was trying to kill myself, I hadn’t really thought about that. If I remember correctly, I just wanted pain, to let all the anger out in a way that wouldn’t hurt anyone else.

Unsure of everything and with a heavy heart I finally went upstairs to my room.

Still trying to somehow handle all the anger and hurt, I finally grabbed a razor and cut.

It worked. The blood came out so readily, the surface around the cut painfully sensitive and swollen, that I, in my na about self-harm and suicide, thought that this was it.

I cut again, then I stopped, because maybe I hadn’t thought this through. And what if I would die now? What would my parents do if I just suddenly ceased to exist? What about my brother? It’s a good thing I thought about them or I would have continued cutting.

It was not fatal, nor would it in any way have been possible that continuing would make it fatal, as I found out about ten minutes later, when the pain subsided, the uncomfortable sizzling around the wounds stopped and the blood finally coagulated fully.

I turned on the light again to look at what I’d done.

It felt good to know that I could hurt someone at least.

It meant I could blame someone for all of this.

I also felt sick, because I was now officially one of those sickos who practiced self-harm.

In the future after that eventful night my soul slowly but surely lost all hope. I tried being optimistic and not giving in to urges of self-hate-filled thoughts, but they were gaining on me.

I would randomly burst into tears, and until this year, my final year of high school, I had never skipped so many classes. I felt sick permanently, and when I saw her I would either want to try and strangle her, or hang myself up right there and then.

One of the worst developments was that, once Jane had stopped hanging out with me, the other girls positively fell in love with her.

If you have ever watched your whole social life, because that’s what school was for me, openly be relieved that they don’t have to be in contact with you, you know what I’m talking about. It is horrid, and in the pit of your stomach the pain and hate and the resignation collects until you are overwhelmed.

Now, more than a year later, I am still not over her. The other girls still love her, and still fake-smile at me until I disappear again. And every time I see her my thoughts wander. To what could have been, should have been, might have been.

We have several classes together in which we enjoy each other’s company, and my mind is still so used to her that I don’t really have any say in what I do. I still laugh like crazy, and I notice things that would have made us share a meek look behind the teacher’s back and made us giggle and that I would love to share with her. We still have those looks, they come from both of us without us wanting them when we spend time together.

And every time I stop laughing to catch my breath again and regain posture a bit, the same thought comes to me. “You shouldn’t be laughing. You shouldn’t enjoy her. You should hate her. Hate her with all the force you can muster. She has destroyed you.” And she has.

And she continues to do so every day. I think she must have been the love of my life in a friend. And that is the bittersweet beauty of real friendship. It continues after it is no longer real and you can no longer grasp it and nothing but the most wonderful memories stay with you.

I won’t ever be able to trust her fully, even if we ever reconcile and form a friendship again.

It would be great, and my mind would be ecstatic and fully committed, and know exactly what to do, but looking closer it would become obvious that there is no base. It would be suspended in space, a bottomless pit underneath that is frightening and evil.

And so, this text is not only about me but also a tribute to an amazing friendship that has the power to kill me.

Because at the moment I am very close to death. It is a constant companion in my daily life and he waits for me, the new loyal pillar in my life.

I feel like I’m watching myself write this, wondering why I write about it instead of DOING something, goddammit!

But I fear I am past the point where I try to better my situation.

Even though there are more than 20 raw and pink scars and freshly forming scabs on my lower arms I still fear pain. And I shy away when I feel the need (not the urge, I still do it comparatively rarely, and it is an absolute need if my brain threatens to explode and never let me sleep again) to cut, so I still wait a few days before I cannot stop it anymore and give myself the satisfaction of finally getting over my fear of feeling the searing pain as I cut those hate-filled lines into my skin.

But pain has become one of the new constants in my life.

Along with self-hate.

Along with self-depreciation.

Along with anger.

Hopelessness.

Fear.

Sadness.

Emptiness.

Resignation.

And acceptance of the dire fate that awaits.

One of the only positive things of my not quite unanimously diagnosed condition (I think I’m depressed, because of an obvious correlation of my symptoms with those of a severely depressed person. My therapist says it’s merely school and not a real depression. Do you think I like joking around with detailed plans of my self-inflicted death?) is that I have never seen life like the beautiful thing it well and truly is. Yes, you heard me right. Life is beautiful, and magnificent and wonderful and amazing and full of joy and love and laughter and fabulous things. Music, friends, rain and sunshine and snow, the seasons, good food, pets. Feeling the wind in your hair, not being able to stop smiling because of a little detail that just makes your whole day, cuddling a cat who snuggles closer and gently kneads through your shirt and slowly blinks at you. Everything and anything.

The world blows my mind.

And I am always going to be grateful that I have already lived for 18 years. Because I don’t know if I will always be as strong.

So I enjoy some things to the fullest.

Because for me, this life is also the hardest thing I can imagine.

And if I weren’t such a coward, still fearing pain even though I regularly inflict it upon myself, I would have already put an end to it. Because I have done everything people say helps.

I’m in weekly therapy because of obvious reasons.

Nearly all my close friends know how far my thoughts have gone. Many not so close ones know that I feel like a piece of shit not unfrequently.

My parents picked me up at the children’s psychiatric facility only a few months ago, when I spent an evening there, before going home after all (making the responsible psychiatrist worry about my life. One of my more shameful actions.) and know a lot thanks to that stunt. Sadly, we don’t have the best of relationships, through no known fault of theirs, and so we haven’t really talked since that evening.

Even my class, that I don’t trust or like, knows a little. Partly because when I’m in a bad place I quite readily open up to anyone who asks if something’s the matter.

Also, if someone comes into class every few days with blood all over their arms, you’d notice even if they might be hiding it.

And I don’t hide it, because you know what? I forgot that it might look weird to someone other than me after the first few cuts that were potentially visible.

It took them a long time, though, about a year to the week.

On a trip in Portugal, I came out of the hotel with fresh blood slowly running down my left arm.

So two people asked, but were satisfied with my shrug.

And so, as I write this sitting in my last school camp ever, (because if I pass this year, I will finally be finished with school) I ask myself why I would purposefully pack real razor blades “just in case”.

Challenging destiny.

 


© Copyright 2017 Jellow M. All rights reserved.

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