My thoughts this morning as I lay crumpled in tears next to my sleepy girlfriend: (not for the faint of heart. suicide, drugs, self mutilation)
1. I wonder what was going through my father’s mind as he injected himself one last time with his lethal opiate cocktail. I wonder what he was thinking when he wrote his last letter, his farewell memo. Did he see my face, my brother’s, or sister’s? Did he really think the world would shine brighter without him in it? I wish I could remember what he smelled like, how his arm muscles felt when he picked me up, or how his face wrinkled when he smiled. I wish I could remember his voice. Remember, Dad, when you wrote me my first birthday card? How you said you’d always be there for me and I was your little sweetheart?
2. My grandfather. His Alzheimer’s took over. He had always been my dad; taught me how to ride a bike, how to build with nails and wood, how to weld metal, how to dance Cumbia and Salsa. He taught me about music like Glenn Miller, Arite Shaw, Frank Sinatra. He showed me my culture, the language, the passion. When the family first found out that I had been cutting and had become suicidal, he looked at me with a heavy heart and said, “What happened to my little girl? You used to follow me around like a puppy. Now, you barely even say goodnight to me.” I had hit that teen angst, and I was sucked into solitude. It had hurt him that I had become apathetic and unresponsive. Fast forward a few years when his memory was being eaten alive. I called my grandparents house. He answered with a shaky voice, “Mija, when are you coming back?” I had moved out of the house at that point. I was impatient on the phone… “Soon, Tata, soon…” The regrets I bare now are unbearable.
3. Am I a selfish person? Like my father? My grandfather, in his own and old way was begging to see me before he forgot my face. I was so wrapped up in my own selfish little world. Why couldn’t I have looked past my irrelevant bubble to see his human desperation?
4. I must have felt what my dad felt the moment he boiled his tar. Years ago, I too sat in my bedroom, saturated with benzos. I relived it this morning whilst thinking of it. I had clutched these bottles of pills in my hands, thoroughly weighing the pros and cons of my suicide. In the past, it had hurt to realize there were more pros. This time, however, something terrible had shifted within me and I felt peace. Everything would be okay. I hope to never lose myself again to the irreparable ideation. What a terrifying place to be… no longer able to feel emotion, ready to pull the trigger, to jump, to inject, to inhale, to swallow and hang.
5. I want drugs. Anything I can snort. I want to sift through all the drawers here and find as many hydrocodones and I can. Crush, snort, repeat.
6. Will I ever meet my mom? Do I even care anymore? I’m embarrassed to admit to anyone that nearly every time I call her, she sounds high. Sometimes it doesn’t even register to her that she’s talking to me. I call her on my way home from work, she blames it on her exhaustion. Until I hear her husband in the background, “Come back baby, one more hit.” I stay on the phone, pushing back tears. I just want her to talk to me. I just want to tell her about my day. Mom, I’m having a hard time, please for fucks sakes, can you please just listen to my problems for once? Even if you don’t care? I hang the phone up, left to my own thoughts, feelings, fear. I go home, panicked because I’m home alone. I’m drawn to the bathroom cabinet like a moth to a flame. I fill the bathroom sink up with water, take out a razor blade, and hold my wrist under the faucet. This is not the answer…. put the blade away. I crawl under my sheets, text my girlfriend and cry.
7. How much more of this can I hold on to? I’ve lived my entire life with the magnificent ability to control my emotions, to eat them like air. Down they go to lie. I am beginning to feel sick and one by one, they come bellowing out from my stomach. I feel too humiliated to ask for help. “It’s always something, isn’t it? You should be better by now. Come on, we’re all going through something.” I’m just sad. I’m sad about Father’s Day, I’m sad that my mom can’t even hold a sober conversation with me, I’m sad that I’m sad.
8. Okay, Lazarus, that’s enough emotion for you now. Suck it back down