‘Get rid of them. If you want to get out of here, don’t even mention them.’ she said.
*Genna was referring to my letters. The letters I wrote before I attempted suicide. She was advising I not mention it to the appointed psychiatrist because it may delay my being released from the psych ward I was sent to. At 18 she seemed like a bit of a pro, a fact that worried my taking her advise. Don’t do this or that. Don’t say this nor that. And one sure thing was to not say I wrote out goodbyes.
I left a letter for my mother reading ‘I’m sorry.’. Although I doubt that would’ve changed a thing about where she believed I was headed.. H-E-double hockey sticks. YEP! Straight to the underworld for having taken my life. I actually struggled with that.. it almost made me change my mind, but it didn’t.
I wrote letters to my cousins, my friends, my mentor, anyone I believed I would owe an explanation because I would never want them to ask why. Even dare for a second believe they could’ve done anything to save me because they couldn’t.
I remembered an episode of some show about ‘sisters’ and there was this one sister struggling with that same decision and her answer was ‘having something to look forward to’ but that didn’t work for me. I remembered scenes from ‘’night mother’ with Sissy Spacek and Anne Bancroft and their fight to choose to live but that didn’t work either. I searched within me and the pain was so great that my answer was to just end it all, but I didn’t want to leave without saying why and goodbye to those I loved but there was one letter that was different, the letter for my father.
I accused him of adding to my pain, of not being around when he was needed. For the beginning of our story be he not wanting me, because I found out he didn’t. And many experiences thereafter were and still are testaments to that fact.
That was 26 years ago, I was only 3 years older than *Genna and the same age as my mother when she passed away.. I never really paid attention to numbers or years yet after I overcame that adversity I began to take note of almost everything, as simple and insignificant as it may have seemed… ‘God is in the details‘
I remember going back to my place, where it all happened and cleaning up the mess I left behind and there they were, the letters. *Genna’s voice still rung in my head ‘just get rid of them’. And I didn’t, instead I read them and kept them even after I moved out of that apartment. I wanted to always remember where I once was mentally. I wanted to remember the depths of my pain and how far I went to end it and how far I was promised I would go if I gave myself another chance at life. Some may not understand nor be accepting of this, but my faith did save me.
Looking back on all of the shit that stained my life, it was always there and it didn’t fail me then.
My truth today? Nothing will ever be as bad as that moment in my life. Any obstacle that can come my way, any challenge I believe I can’t meet, any pain anyone thinks to inflict on me will never compare to that night and I survived.
Years have passed and I have accomplished so much, more than I ever thought possible. And every time I reopen that box where the undelivered letters were, I have torn one up at a time. The person or persons that was suppose to read that letter never received them because that message is no longer relevant.. I made it my mission to let that person know how I feel about them and of how important they are to me in the days after that time in the psych ward. And I do it in my way, with words, with actions, with food.
Although I believe there is one left, and I don’t know if the little girl in me will ever be ready to tear that one up.
*Name was changed to protect identity.