Saturday, August 3, 2013

Why I Haven't Killed Myself

It's hard to start writing about a suicide attempt, because every time I put metaphorical pen to paper, I'm reminded of all the wonderful things in my life, and all the ways I have it easier than other people. That doesn't help the depression, indeed, the guilt at feeling depressed in spite of those things only deepens the depression and the sense of worthlessness.

It's only years later that I've been able to contextualize what happened and recognize that's precisely what it was, a suacide attempt.

A bit of background. I've always been hyperaware of the legal situation that young people are in, and this dates from my time resenting it from well on the other side of the age line. My parents were and are wonderful people, but that didn't change the fact that they wielded arbitrary power against which I had no legal recourse. They weren't perfect, obviously, but if they had been less wonderful people... well, the stories are in the news all the time. Teachers were where I got a taste of what it feels like when someone with that kind of arbitrary power wants to use it against you. Again, it was never as bad for me as some, but it did happen, and the psychological pain was quite real.

Meanwhile, I was also quite isolated from my peers. I'm a natural introvert. To this day, after spending time among friends who's company I genuinely enjoy, I need to take time alone to decompress, unwind, and recover from the social activity.

When I was bullied, I was never able to view it as a temporary condition. The old "tell an adult" advice was tried, then rejected when the best outcome was the immediate cessation of hostilities, followed by a worse and more persistent campaign the instant the adult's back was turned, and the worst outcome was the adult disbelieving my words and heaping additional scorn on me, followed by a ramping up of hostilities from the initial bullies in retribution for trying to tell on them. I saw no value in the "fight back" school of thought, because I knew that if I hurt them, all that would mean was added motivation for them to hurt me even worse.

I decided fairly early on, as a result, that the only way anything would actually change would be if I fought back hard enough and vicious enough that whether they were willing to come back later and resume and redouble their torments would be irrelevant, because they would be physically unable to do so. Basically, the only way to ensure any permanent change to the status quo would be to kill one of them. I didn't have it in me to do that, which I spent considerable time berating myself over. Whether by nature or nurture, I couldn't bring myself to try to kill someone in cold blood, no matter how airtight the logic I presented myself with.

I considered just killing myself. I was quite capable of self-harming, even if I couldn't direct those destructive impulses outward. But suicide was something I realized I'd have to get right. The idea of suicide as a "cry for help" made zero sense to me. Everyone who actually gave a shit about me was presumably doing what they could already, and everyone else wouldn't care anyway, so who was going to listen to a "cry for help" suicide attempt? The only two outcomes in my mind were that I would successfully die, or that I would fuck it up, the normal bullying would continue as before, only now I'd have to deal with whatever potentially crippling injuries I'd inflicted on myself during the botched attempt.

I can easily see why people going on antidepressants are at higher risk for suicide. I didn't kill myself during that period because I was convinced I'd fuck it up and only make things worse for myself. If I had enough hope that I could do it right, or maybe that something would change after the attempt if I did botch the job, it's easy to see myself moving forward with it.

Things did eventually change for me after what I now recognize probably qualified as a suicide attempt. I was attacked in the school hallway, and I snapped. The only coherent thought in my mind through the red haze of anger was that one of us was going to die there, and I didn't care who. Either I'd end his life and thus make sure he at least, could never hurt me again, or I'd make him kill me to stop me. I was well aware that the later outcome was far more likely, as evidenced by my inability to land a single punch, even as most of the bones in my face were shattered by repeated blows to the head.

Of course, the fact that I'm able to write this should be proof enough that I failed. Some of the staff pulled us apart, and that was when things got interesting. The school attempted to downplay the incident, even as I was hospitalized, requiring reconstructive surgery. My parents pushed and the courts were eventually involved. I don't know for sure what happened to the bully who attacked me, only that he wasn't in the school after that.

After that object lesson in how vulnerable I was, and how little the school could or would do to protect me, my parents got me involved with martial arts, which helped both my actual safety, and my sense of security. I've never had to use it since I began studying nearly two decades ago.

This incident happened before I'd worked out my orientation, so this incident was there in the background as I was coming to terms with the prejudice I was going to have to deal with for the rest of my life. Since then, tons of people have tried to goad me into suicide and self-destructive behavior. I can't imagine why they think I'd even consider it knowing they'd count it as a win.

2 comments:

  1. If justice has won, you would have been caught and thrown in prison for your crimes. However if you are still free molesting, raping or even killing girls (you had pretty violent fantasies including murdering little girls) here is more evidence that you are evil and dangerous.

    https://np.reddit.com/r/offmychest/comments/4jtb0b/i_was_in_child_porn/?sort=new

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