The doctors are releasing some of her work. I will post it as I transcribe it from crayon. Below is the first piece while she is in the hospital.


Sitting here I have but one question. How did it come to this?

I’m not sure and that’s why the question. I fell so fast. Everything is still a blur. I was surfing, I was happy and then I woke up in the hospital. Between then I remember pieces, only bits like a puzzle with most of the pieces lost. I cried, laughed, cried, smiled, and cried more.

Everything is all jumbled up inside of the days between. I have vague memory of a small pool near a water fall. A memory of skinny dipping with Sarah in that pool. Crying in the light of the moon one night. Smiling as we shared some fruit. Crying on the beach even while surfing. Laughing at something TJ said and sadness deep sadness.

I remember feelings of helplessness, emptiness, and profound lose. I don’t know what lose but I remember that feeling. I remember feeling I could conquer the world. I remember feeling joy and pain all smashed into a moment.

My last memory before waking in the hospital was relief; freedom and incredible pain.

I can’t begin to explain how I felt when I woke. Sadness was first. I wasn’t free, I remember thinking I was free and then I opened my eyes and I wasn’t free. The pain was real, horrible pain. My chest hurt so bad and I had tubes in my arms.

I remember asking why was I here but I could not lift my arms and form words. I remember struggling to remember how I got here and the last thing I could remember. It was painfully unclear. I remember the relief I felt as pain came and the freedom as I closed my eyes.

Then I was here. But what caused my pain, my freedom, my relief? Maybe the hole in my chest was it. Was I shot? Did I fall? What happened to me. I remember these feelings very clear. Confused and alone and to weak to lift my arms, incredible pain and so many people here.

How did my parents get here. Was Hawaii just a dream? Sarah’s parents are here to. Josef looking at me relief and horror I could see in his eyes. Why was he looking at me like that? I remember I tried to sit up and doctors quickly pushed me down.

Everyone gasping when I just wanted to grab Josef and hug him. I wanted to take away his horror. The pain screamed in my body when I moved. I remember such intense pain. Why was I here? I struggled a bit to ask and each movement was riddled with intense pain. It seemed to come from someplace deep and ran to head and toe alike.

What was wrong with me? I have such a good memory but I don’t know where I am or how I got here. Everything is a blur and all fuzzy. I can’t put the days before together. How many days am I missing? I remember that question troubling me most. Normally I can close my eyes and think of any day and recall it.

I can still close my eyes and remember when they first put Josef in my arms. I can close my eyes and remember any day in detail like it’s a movie in my mind. But how many days am I missing now? Will my other days fade now too? I remember thinking maybe I hit my head and now I’m losing things.

Like a bad dream. In the hours that past people came and went. Doctors took care of me removing a dressing and I saw this awful wound in my chest. A psychiatrist came and I soon learned I did that to me. I don’t remember it. I still don’t remember it. I can’t close my eyes and see it.

How many days am I missing and why are they gone? Where they too painful perhaps? No I can recall pieces of days like an echo and a shadow. They aren’t vivid but I can count at least 5 days of memories in these fragments. Where are the rest of these days though is what I am looking for.

I can normally close my eyes and relive each day, any day before including things I ate, did, smelled, and saw in great detail. I have holes from time to time maybe this is one of those. I can usually fill in the blanks but not always. I can’t begin to put these days together. I can’t even put the pieces I have in sequence.

Think Chelly think!

A hike, a clear pool, a waterfall, skinny dipping with Sarah. I think these go together in one day. Surfing, that is an all day thing yes it must be another day. Why do I cry at the moon? Was that another day it’s own or does it go with a day surfing and crying? Do all these pieces fit into a single day or are they many days?

I can’t remember what TJ said but I know he made me laugh. Was that yet another day? I now count three maybe four days in time. Shopping I remember shopping. What day is that? Maybe TJ and shopping are a day together. I remember a weight a hug sadness. Like i was smothered, dying with no air.

What lead me here? Maybe the weight of sadness. I don’t recall this. The day I tried to kill myself I remember letting go of the mountain, the climb up, the fall down and the days before and after it. So much missing and pain screaming at me inside my head.

Then I lay there trying to place things together. I struggle even now in the days before and how many there where. I remember surfing and joy and incredible waves. I remember the tube and surfing the tube. The sun so bright that day and the water so warm. Nine runs before lunch and carrots, apples, ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch.

But piggy Michelle was still hungry so I bought two bananas and an ice cream sandwich and a cranberry juice. We had to hike to the store it wasn’t to far. $4.09 was the total for my snack. After lunch I lay on the beach a little with Sarah she was reading some ewwie romance novel.

Then into the surf for eight more waves. It was busy that afternoon and the line for waves grew wit each wave. Dinner at the hotel what a spread. Ham, roast beef, BBQ chicken, everything you can imagine for a salad, mixed vegetables and pudding and watermelon for desert.

Some time on the beach with Sarah. An evening splash in the pool and some making out in the hot tub at the resort. A night spent in her arms of love and then nothing but pieces. How many days are missing? Every day before is so clear I can remember each moment, each touch, each taste, and smell. Then nothing.

Why did I stab myself? Why did I feel so heavy and sad. Even while surfing I can remember sadness. Was that the same day surfing from other fragments or another? What did TJ say? Why can’t I remember our hike more? I remember only pieces and the days get worse and fewer pieces after.

That must be the first day. The day with Sarah but I can’t recall it. Maybe there are days before it. Maybe there are none. Did I fall and hit my head? I can’t tell you but my head doesn’t hurt outside only inside. A concussion perhaps?

Why did I try so hard to die and why do I still feel dead? I remember thinking I’d be better off dead. I am losing my mind, I am in horrible pain in my head and in my chest. My chest doesn’t hurt if I remain still but my head won’t stop hurting. I can’t shake the look on Josef’s face. The horror in his eyes and the pain.

I’d have been better off dead. Everyone crying, concerned and I had no idea I had tried to kill myself. I remember wishing when I found out that I had succeeded. I wouldn’t have to face my father then. He must be so ashamed I thought. His daughter broke her promise.

I remember thinking I don’t even have my word now. My life has nothing now, no honor because your word is all you have of value. I failed my oath to the only man who it mattered to. He must be so ashamed to have an honor-less daughter.

I remember thinking all these things. The struggle and I still struggle to put the pieces of those missing days together maybe there is a clue to why. I have that as the worst question now. Why? Why did I do it? What could drive me to it? Maybe the deep sadness but I can’t recall anyone dying or any event to cause it.

But I remember the heavy sadness. It was deep and dark. I remember it clearly but not the cause nor reason. If there was reason at all. I remember the sadness and being alone, trapped with it. It felt endless, it felt all powerful and it wanted me to know it.

I can’t recall how long I felt it but I remember it as clearly as skinny dipping with Sarah. How the water licked her body and how beautiful she is. The water droplets glistened as they streamed down her body. I can recall that moment in perfect detail and holes before and after.

I can recall how her hair fell as she rose from beneath the water for the first time. Every droplet as she emerged and the ripples on the surface as water fell from her rising form. What did I have for lunch? Where was this pool? I don’t recall. Only empty space between memories.

Only flashes of color amid days for darkness. How many is something I seek answers to. They won’t let me read my own journal and insist I keep this one. Maybe they don’t expect me to write so much. I want to capture all I remember now so I don’t lose more.

I don’t know if I am losing them or if they failed to record. The space between is emotion but no pictures, no color. Inside these spaces is happiness, emptiness, sadness, joy, pain, laughter, lose, freedom, relief, darkness, tears, suffering and life.

It’s hard to define the space between it’s more jumbled than the fragments of memory. Like it’s a memory or a cluster of memories but nothing to anchor them to reality or events. Like they exist and don’t in the same moment. Like they are a time and space alone and separated but mixed together and blended as one inconsistent memory.

This isn’t how my brain works. I recall everything or nothing. I have had periods of missing memory and can often with thought fill in the blanks. But this is different in so many ways. Memories are emotional and not substantive. It’s surreal in a way to me because I’m not sure they are memories at all.

I remember dying inside of embarrassment that I had done this to myself. Pinching myself to wake up and in the end unable to wake. I told myself it’s not a dream you’re really here, this really happened. I cried myself to sleep that night embarrassed, afraid, alone.

These were my feelings that day I awoke into the nightmare of my own hands. Awoke from days unable to recall and a time that seems unreal. So much pain in the darkened spots between memory and twisted emotion that makes less sense today and less with each day that passes.

Helpless to change them, unable to retrieve them, alone in the tornado of thought and all the while asking why?

~Michelle Styles
Five days and four nights since awakening