My Close Call

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: True Confessions  |  House: Booksie Classic
An adolescent person is admitted into a behavioral health mental hospital for self harming. In the hospital, they attempt suicide.

Submitted: August 03, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 03, 2012




My Close Call








Intro: So many things are making me so upset right now. I was told to use writing as a coping skill, and, apparently, I did it in a way that the staff at UBH didn't like. My journal was taken from me and pages were ripped from it. I had been dumb enough to actually believe it would be a good idea to write everything down in my journal, so I could feel like I wasn't dealing alone. But it blew up in my face. It's done for now. But there are still things I need to let out. So, here it is:


I feel a rising sensation inside me. There is nothing around, and I can't see myself. But it's okay. I'm not worried about what I remember as "reality." At this moment, it's like that other place never even existed. Though this feeling is a simple, every-day feeling, the ecstasy resulting from the situation never fails to wash over me and encoat me in its comfort and providence of pleasure.

The rising sensation gradually transforms into one of tugging, then of a steady pulling. I pass the feeling of one which reminds me of re-surfacing when in water, and my eyes open. I take a moment to realize that I had been asleep. Without moving the rest of my body, I look around. That's when I recognize that I feel a very solid, still surface directly underneath me, pressed against me. Or, more like I'm  pressed against it.

My visual receptors pick up images of the light-colored wood that makes up the floor. Directly in front of my line of vision is a dull, beige-colored wall. I lift my upper body with my arms, and I feel my face change to an expression of mild discomfort. I sit up and look around, letting my upper body go limp, due to soreness, but keeping my lower body firm, creating a supporting base to keep my body upright on.

I stretch my legs out in front of my and use my arms and hands to partially lift myself up and drag the rest of me to the wall, and I lean my back against it. I let my head drop backwards onto the wall as well. I close my eyes and open them again repeatedly, also letting my eyes rapidly move from side to side of the area I'm in, at the same time as my head rolls on the wall, looking like I'd be shaking my head as an answer of "no" to a question.

Up to that moment, I wasn't thinking of anything. I had been allowing myself the peace of emptiness in my mind, temporarily. Now, though, along with that almost instinctively natural movement of my head and eyes come memories of how I ended up asleep on the floor, in the hallway, alone.

The memories race and blend with thoughts and feelings, so I freeze and just breathe. I just stare at the wall in front of me. I clear my head and, for a few minutes, I am worthless. I have no purpose. I am a waste of space. Then my mind starts working again, and I'm at least a functioning soul.

I close my eyes again and keep my head still. I calmly let main memories go through my head like a slide-show of mini movies. I translate them into words.

I was in a partial hospitalization program after getting discharged from a residential treatment center. I cut my arm and left 3 gaping openings. I could've continued to hide it, but I was sick of people thinking things were better than they actually were. I didn't want to be discharged then be accused of not taking the chance of getting the help, when it was right in the palms of my hands. I told my group therapist and the nurse at the University of Behavioral Health (where I was in the PHP) and showed them my cuts. We talked, but my doctor didn't want to risk it. I had already packed my things that morning, but I had left them at home. I was put back in the UBH hospital. People thought I was a male, which is what I shoot for. They accept me. I was able to keep my journal for a while, then the staff and therapists here looked in it without even telling me first. They came to me, accusingly, but I cooperated. They kept my journal. Today I found out that they ripped pages out of my journal and weren't even going to tell me about it. They were pages I didn't even write while I was in here. I cried. A lot. My friends tried to help me feel better, ask me what's wrong, and support me, but I asked them to leave me alone. I had talked enough about this already. I don't want to complain about the same thing repeatedly to the same people. They will become tired of me, and they will pull away if I do so. A nurse came to the hallway, where I was crying. She talked with me, then had to go back to work. It hadn't helped. I laid down on the floor, on my stomach, and let my body and mind just relax.

As my memories finish going through the process which makes them easier to be looked at logically, I open my eyes again. My breathing accelerates, now that my anxiety and pain are brought back to my attention. I pull my right hand onto the left side of my chest, where I feel my heart is. I allow my brain to start consciously processing the impulses my auditory receptors pick up. I hear my peers in the dayroom. I turn my head to my left and see a mental health technician and two nurses behind the desk, which means a tech is also either in the dayroom, or somewhere on or off the unit that I can't see at the moment.

I cautiously stand up, using the wall for support I clumsily make my way to the end of the hallway, to a doorway which leads to an area in which is the bathroom and the "quiet room." I slip into the quiet room, not minding if anyone saw; I'm being cautious to avoid getting dizzy, not to avoid people seeing me.

I let my body fall, seemingly lifeless, onto the bed. I stay laying on my back, my face turned to the wall, away from the door. I hear things going on in the dayroom. I lay there, not thinking again, for a while. I don't know how long, though; I don't care enough to count.

I hear my Darkness speak to me, though only in my head.

It's time.

Then, as if those two words were a command, I stand and walk to the door. I close it, slowly, and trace a vertical line on it with my index and middle fingers. Darkness tries to give me instructions, but I simply tell it: "Look, Darkness... Like they always tell me: it's my life, and it's my decision. If I do this, it's to be done from my own desire, and in my own way." I hear Darkness continue to try to talk to me, but I do a power motion with my hands, close my eyes tightly, take a very quick, deep breath, and hold it. My mind goes silent, and I let the breath out, slowly. I continue to think in my own thoughts, images, and words.

I sit behind the bed, in between the bed and the wall. I take my razor blade out of the place in the bed where I had hidden it. I remove the toilet paper I had wrapped around my razor, the toilet paper which I used in hopes that it would keep the blade more sanitary.

I take a moment to appreciate the blade with my fingers. I close my eyes and bring the flat side up to my mouth and lean it a bit so the part of the sharp edge is also touching my lips. I open my mouth a little bit and touch my tongue to the blade.

Then my eyes fly open and my left hand bolts to my left pocket. I feel something there, and I quickly take it out and look at in, in my hand. It's a paper, folded up. I unfold it. It's a piece of printer paper. It has a picture printed on it, in color.

I put my razor down on the ground and hold the picture with both hands. There are  people in the picture... For smiling faces. Four bodies, close together, holding each other. I identify each person, slowly.

The middle-aged man at one edge, who has short dark and silver hair, a muscular body build-up, a beer belly, and a quality of leadership in his eyes, I call "Daddy."

The one-year-older woman on the other edge, who has light-colored, short, wavy hair, skin patterns of tiredness and stress on her face, and a look of determination in her eyes, I call "Mommy."

On the inside, next to the woman, is a young boy who has natural brown, messy hair, thick glasses, a beautiful smile, and a look of child innocence in his eyes, and I call him "my little brother, Frankie" and "my baby."

The fourth person in the picture sits in between the man and the young boy. She has short, dark brown hair, styled like that of a male, scars on her arms, male clothing, and a look of pain and hope in her eyes.

And, in each one of them is obvious love for each other, shown in their over-all expressions.


At first, I feel nothing. I allow the image to be processed by the analysis section of my brain, but not anywhere else. All I know is that my family is important to me, and an image of myself with my family is on this piece of paper. I sit with my back against the side of the bed, my front facing the wall. I sit with my knees raised and both of my feet flat on the ground.

I pull a sticky tack out of my pocket and use it to hang up my picture on the wall, directly in front of my face. I pick my razor back up and cut my right arm. My left arm has a lot of scars on it, and I want a nice, clean slate for this, since, at this point, I feel like that's the only thing in which I can even have a clean slate anymore. My right arm has been scratched to the point of bleeding and now has the appearance of being bruised. But it's just scratched.

After that first cut on my right arm, I look back up at the photo. Just seeing the atmosphere in it makes my eyes water. Then my deeper pain makes its way to my surface. I begin to cry, silently letting tears stream down my face, some of them so close together that they mimic what I imagine would be the feeling of uninterrupted curtains covering my face- covering part of what I use to connect with this world, yet openly showing what it is I am feeling inside. But there is no-one here to see it. There is no-one here to receive the opposite end of the connection I'm shooting out there right now. I am alone.

I put my right hand n the picture, bow my head, let my shoulders droop, and sob, quietly. When I pull my head back up, I cut my arm again. I draw a red cross on the picture of my family, using a finger on my left hand and exposed blood from my right arm.

I cut my right forearm many times, slowly, while saying "I'm sorry, Mom. I'm sorry, Dad. I am sorry, Frankie. I'm sorry for all the wrong I have done you three. I'm so sorry I was never good enough. Thank you for seeing me as a good daughter, sister, and person. But I'm sorry I wasn't able to do the simplest things for you all. I'm sorry for not trying hard enough. I don't want you three to continue to suffer from seeing me this way, or from thinking I'm okay then finding out the truth. I'm sorry you three sacrificed and gave so much for me, you did everything in your power to try to help me, and it's wasted by me. I'm so sorry I failed you. Thank you... But I know I don't deserve it. I never did. I am sorry for not being the daughter/sister you deserve. But thank you for everything. You are the best mom, dad, and brother anybody could possibly ever want or imagine- you're even better than that. You never deserved this bullshit from me. I'm sorry for everything... and thank you for everything- everything. But I think you'd be better off without me. I love you guys. I always will. And I won't blame you if you will or already do hate me. But I love you. I love you, Mom. I love you, Dad. I love you, Frankie. And I'm sorry."

Then I remember something that is in my right pocket. I cautiously pull it out, careful not to let my blood ruin it. I open it up. My suicide note. Everything I just said out loud, it turns out, I wrote down for them already... because they can't hear me right now.

I turn back to the picture of my family with the faint red cross.

"Lord, please watch over my family. Amen."

I bring out another sticky tack and stick the note next to the picture. I take my shirt off, but keep my sports bra on. I lay down on my back. I use my razor to deeply carve a large heart shape on my abdomen. I attempt to carve two more heart shapes, one on my cheek, the other on my neck. Three hearts, for the three people I love most. The size of the symbols don't matter. I wouldn't compare "how much" I love each of them to each other. I love them all most.

I sit up, straight and sharp, holding my razor in my left hand again. I bend my upper body over a bit. I do a cut in a more intense way. I just did the press-and-drag movement to make this cut. It caused a gaping scar. I do it two more times. When using this method, I hesitate some during the movement, being careful not to cut too deep.

After I've got those three gaping cuts on my right forearm, I freeze, and stare at my wrist, my right wrist. Suddenly, the light in this room feels too bright. It feels like the lights are burning me. I breathe sort of fast, and I feel that I'm sweating.

I take a deep breath, raise my left hand, holding the razor, corner pointed toward my right wrist, and wait. By now, I've stopped crying... though, I look back at the picture for a moment, and start crying quietly again. I take in a pained deep breath and start ripping at my wrist, stabbing the blade corner in the right area of my wrist and angrily tearing it through to the left area of my wrist. I do this repeatedly, not stopping, not hesitating. I just do it over and over and over again. I'm moving so fast and feel so aggressive that it takes a while for my brain to process the severity of the physical pain.

When the pain becomes excruciating, I put my forehead on the picture and keep going, screaming in pain and anger now. I stop only when I feel faint and sick and too dizzy to keep going. I slide down the wall after leaving a bloody kiss mark on each the picture and the note, and land on my side.

I feel the deep, burning pain for a few seconds, then it blends into a feeling of confusion. I hear myself moaning.

Once I go to sleep, I think, everything will be okay again.

I press the back of my right forearm against the wall and have my body close to the wall, creating a warm, non-threatening feeling for my open wounds. It feels like a very long time, laying there. My body starts feeling indescribably good. I feel like I'm floating- just floating in my world. Everything starts feeling okay again.

I close my eyes and see whiteness instead of darkness. I feel my mother holding me, though I know this isn't taking place in the "reality" world... but it still feels nice. I hear my dad singing softly to me, and I feel my little brother cuddling to me, in my arms. I can't clearly see any of them, though. My vision is blurred, like there's a light shining on each of them from behind. So, theoretically, they can see me, but I can barely see them.

I let my body shape itself to fit the way my mom is holding me. I hold my Frankie tightly with my right arm, rubbing his back. I use my left hand to pull my dad's hand onto my chest, and I hug it tightly to me, while he continues to sing.



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I hear a beeping sound, and it starts to pull me toward it, and away from the three copies, from which I was finding comfort. The three figures just sit there, looking blankly in my direction. I don't struggle. I don't try to fight the beeping. I don't try to stay. All I do is keep one arm outstretched in their direction.

I don't know where I'm going. But I do know that my real family isn't here, and any closure I could get from these copies would be near meaningless.


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I struggle to open my eyes as I suddenly feel things. Real things. Physical weight, exhaustion, weakness, and, most of all, pain.

I feel myself make a groaning sound as my vision regulates. A familiar scent invades my nostrils. I wiggle my nose and try to look around.

"Mom?" I choke out.

A white medical coat is at my current eye level. I look upward too quickly and strain the nerves behind my eyes. I cover my eyes with my left hand and groan again. I hear shifting next to me.

I calmly open my eyes again and slowly look up. I see a dark-haired man wearing traditional doctor clothing and a pair of glasses.

"Oh... Where am I?" I say, looking around, mainly for any signs of my family.

"You're in the hospital." He walks closer to my face.

"What happened?" I ask, feeling anxiety swell up in my chest.

"Maybe you should tell me," he says, raising his eyebrows, "or maybe you could tell me why it happened, instead?"

I just look down at my right arm. It's bandaged up.

"What did you do to my arm?" I asked, also feeling the bandages on my cheek and neck with my left hand, and also touching the bandage on my abdomen.

He holds my right arm. "Simple way to put it: stitches. Sanitation. Bandages. You lost a lot of blood."

I turn my head away from him. I know he had to do more than just that, and I know I did more damage than just causing a lot of blood loss.

He puts my arm down and stands in silence with me.

"Where's my family?"

"They're here. The whole time you've been here, either your mom or your dad has been here. They never left your side."

"Well, where are they now?" I ask, looking at him again.

"They said this was your first attempt. They're worried they might do something to trigger you again. They're really scared. I told them you were going to wake up soon, so they went outside of the room to wait."

I sigh and look around more.

"Here, drink some water," the doctor said, handing me an unopened bottle of water. I take hold of the bottle and look at him. He hasn't let go of the bottle yet. He's looking down at me and, for the first time, we make eye contact. "And I'm Doctor Elijah, by the way, Venus."

I just keep the eye contact, and he eventually, gently lets go of the bottle.

"The last thing I remember is blacking out after all of the cutting. How did I end up here?"

"Your peers and the staff at UBH heard you screaming. They were literally right next door from you on that unit."

I don't say anything, so he continues.

"Someone stayed with you, putting pressure on your wounds while someone else called an emergency vehicle. You're lucky to be alive. You were found early in the process you were trying to complete."

There's a long silence. I don't know what to think. I don't know how I feel. There's just so many things bouncing around inside me. I start breathing a bit faster.

"Are my parents angry with me?" I ask, hearing my voice level express my quivering lips and jaw.

"No. They're worried. They were freaking out. Their daughter just attempted suicide in a behavioral health mental hospital."

I quickly turn my head away again and bite my lip. Doctors can be so cold and blunt sometimes. And I'm not sure if I can handle that right now.

"Can you please ask my parents to come in here? Please? I want to let them know I'm sorry," I say, trying to sound calm.

"That you're sorry about those things you mentioned in your note?"

I swallow hard. "No." I turn my head and look in his eyes. "That I'm sorry for almost leaving them.


Epilogue: This story started out as a daydream of suicide that I was having. I was feeling suicidal when I started the story, but I didn't want to act on it, so I started writing about it. I didn't want to act on it, because that night, on the phone, I promised my mom I wouldn't harm myself. At some point while I was translating my daydream into literature, I decided I wanted a different ending, and I went with it, because I know that when I write, I'm in control. When I write, I create my own world.

Side Note: I have no plans to attempt to harm or kill myself; I just needed to express the feelings in a healthy way. This helped my calm down.



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