, , , , , ,

Inside me deeply part 2

By my own hand my life faded but not extinguished.

In Part 1 we covered cutting and my need for control. But I took more drastic measures in an attempt to play god and determine the day and manner I exited this life. It’s a low point I hope no one ever has to endure. This post has proven difficult to write. Perhaps it’s because I haven’t talked about this openly before like I have my cutting or perhaps it’s shame for my own hands inflicted this upon me.

This is the story of a day that began dark and I tried to clear my head. The day would alter my life in ways I wasn’t prepared for and decisions made would affect me for a life time. I’d been climbing a lot to clear my head in those days.

It was a perfect day for climbing warm sun, almost no wind and dry. Climbing is the way I would often clear my mind. When I have no ocean I love climbing especially free hand. One with nature, just you against the mountain. Alone to pit yourself against yourself as you climb hand over hand. The joy as you reach the top and the sense of accomplishment. I was good at it and often went out alone though alone I took very few chances.

As I climbed I thought and as I thought I became darker. My attempt to clear my mind was failing. Sunshine, fresh air and the mountain and yet I slipped farther into darkened mind. Onward hand over hand as I scaled the mountain side. My darkness came.

It had been a little more than a year since the brutal rape that destroyed me. This is the event in my young life which challenged everything I believed, everything I knew. I couldn’t see it of course but at the time I was godless and depressed. At just fourteen I was raped and a Mother shortly before I turned fifteen. My belief in mankind and goodness shattered. My belief in a loving god challenged in ways I can’t yet explain. Back to the day.

I got to about two hundred feet and stopped. I froze on the mountain; memories raced as images of that day filled my vision and pain relived my hands clutching the rocks. I questioned myself, my god, my purpose and even my own existence. I decided then and there I was leaving this world and no one could stop me. My mind was set the ultimate control, the control of life and death!

I remember rationalizing to myself how god doesn’t deserve to choose my end since he abandoned me to those men. How could such a cruel god deserve to choose my life? It’s mine not his! Mine to do with as I wish. I wasn’t his play thing anymore!

I remember a peace as I pushed away from the wall of the mountain. I remember thinking “I did it! I did it!”.

They say your life flashes before your eyes in the moments before you die but I remember very little of the fall and other than a bounce or two none of the sudden stop at the end. I remember darkness, nothing; then waking to my family gathered around me. I’d been out for a week though to me it seemed mere moments. When I opened my eyes I remember asking myself why my parents were dead too.

I couldn’t feel my legs, I couldn’t lift my left arm and my head screamed with pain. I remember the doctors rushing in, the lights in my eyes.

I’d fractured my skull, shattered my wrist and broken my arm in several places. I’d broken several ribs, fractured my hip and had several breaks in my leg as well as other injuries and breaks. But somehow I was alive. I was denied my measure of control.

I spent the next few months watching and waiting. I would try and see what the doctors were saying about me. Four months I lay in that bed before they let me up.

The day arrived that the doctors removed the casts and braces. My brother Martin was there with me holding my hand. The first time my brother Martin saw me without the casts and trying to sit on my own I could tell he was horrified. I’d lost a lot of weight and was skin and bone weighing just 73 lbs at 5’6” tall.

I’ve always been close to Martin as he’s only 23 months my senior. My brother, my friend and my strongest supporter. We were close and in ways I know he blamed himself for not walking me home that day. For not going climbing with me as he had many times before. He was as lost as I in all this. But it wasn’t his fault, it never was.

I remember months of therapy and being unable to stand, being unable to dress myself, sit up or even feed myself. How much work it was regaining the muscle and weight. The work involved in the simplest things, brushing my teeth, washing my hair was exhausting.

I remember the struggle and with a keen eye now looking back perhaps the very hand of god slowed my fall and an angel guided my recovery. Perhaps I was just lucky. Either way I had what I needed, a strong family and a new goal to walk again.

I remember Sarah brought me my homework, helped me study, brought my homework back to school. I remember she slept in my bed to keep me warm and kissed me to remind me I was loved. My parents didn’t know but we became lovers and this was the such a special bond it survives today. She has always been there for me and I for her and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I remember all the days Martin stayed in with me; working with me to stand, walk and struggle to get stronger. He was with me rather than hanging out with his buddies or playing football. He loved football and was/is extremely good, he’s fast and agile. I remember the times he’d come home and find me on the floor struggling to stand, to move because I was pushing myself to walk.

Ultimately my attempt to die was stifled and I was made to promise my father (though Sarah and Martin also made me promise) I’d never try again to end my mortal existence. In my family your word is all you have, your honor, your bond. So my promise was my word and my father knew it was my bond. My father always taught us our word was our bond and without our words known as truth we measure nothing in this or the next life.

My life lesson? I learned we don’t get to decide when and where we leave this existence. If your creator has plans for you still then your attempt will fail. Mine left me in a hospital bed for four months and unable to walk, sit and feed myself. Emaciated and weakened beyond imagination my road back wasn’t easy. I had Martin, Sarah, a strong family and it was enough.

One more lesson I’m not in control. The lesson that playing god and being god aren’t the same. I’ve had what I needed and no one has ever blamed me for my attempt after what I’d suffered. But I blame me, my hands committed this sin against me and my will though weakened is solely to blame. This is one of my life’s regrets and if I had the power to change it I would. I’d climb back down and go home to where I was loved.

If you ever consider suicide I’d beg you to reconsider. It could fail and you could be left far worse off than you believe yourself to be. Talk to someone now! Seek help from everywhere, anywhere you can find it. Whatever you do leave playing god to the professional. After all he is the only one qualified to play god. Consider your friends, family, that someone who likes you but is too afraid to ask you, all the people who might miss you. Consider your guilt when it fails and the burden you will carry for eternity because your own hands commit this crime against you.

Suicide is a burden and the one you don’t need to carry. Trust me this burden is not easy to swallow. If you make the attempt there is never a way back to who you where. There is never a way to reclaim your innocence lost and the life now blackened by the stain of your own hand. There is no shame in being a victim, there is shame in attempting suicide.

Cowards choose the easy option while true strength chooses to live. True strength makes the choose to change the things that are broken and to seek higher ground in moral conflict. Suicide is the cowards way and you’re not a coward. Neither am I!

Part 3 Stripping

~Michelle Styles – November 26, 2013