I had to have been 11 or 12, maybe younger. I don’t really recall. I was in a weird place in my world. Hormonal, young but getting old enough to understand life a little clearer, discovering boys and my body and people. I do remember being sad a lot. And angry. So angry. Angsty girl anger, but real nonetheless. Looking back I suppose it’s just what girls on the brink of becoming women experience, but at the time I felt very alone and sad.
I had a diary. I can still see it and feel it under my fingertips. It was small and simple. Dark green velour cloth with a small gold lock. I wrote in that diary a lot. I drew pictures. I exhausted my ever-expanding vocabulary into those pages. I was mad at my parents, my brother, my friends. Everyone had a page or two in that little green book. Some of the words are still fresh in my mind- I’m stupid. I’m fat. I’m ugly. I’m different. No one understands.
There is no one singular thing that made me feel like giving up. I just…did. I wanted to not feel so lost. It was never something I was actually going to do, understand this. Never. But I had those fleeting moments of what if I did. What would happen to the people around me if I was gone? Would their lives be better? Worse? The same? Would I be missed? It was more of a wanting to know how the world would exist without me rather than actually wanting to depart it. I know this now.
I remember eyeing my razor blades in the bathtub and thinking what if I did. Who would find me? Would it hurt? Would it be fast or slow? A million questions. A million possibilities. A million hurts. I knew I wouldn’t do it. But I always wondered. There are days I still wonder.
Life is hard. And it’s harder for me now than ever before in my short life. It’s almost laughable to me that at such a tender age I could even contemplate such atrocity. The things then that I felt were hard and worthy of ending my life then are paltry and meaningless compared to the things I face each day at 35. I didn’t know. I didn’t know then how life is cruel at times, unexpected always, and sometimes, just sometimes, it’s amazing. Back then it was just me feeling out of place in a big world.
Today I read about kids committing suicide because of their sexuality, because of being bullied, because of how hard that age is and I get it. And I cry for their hurt because I have felt some of it before. I know that feeling of being so in your own head that there is no escape. It’s terrifying and raw. I wish I could tell them all that those moments aren’t forever. They do fade and the hurt eases with time. You adjust to this life. It’s not always good. It’s certainly not always fair. But it’s yours and you have to run with it because it’s all we’re given in this fucked up place. So yeah, I’ve thought about giving up. We all think about giving up. It’s human to consider the alternative to that which we know. But I won’t go back. That green diary disappeared the summer after I was so broken, and I honestly don’t know where it went. And I don’t care. The universe can have that one back.