How I Survived.

Not many of you know that I tried to commit suicide two weeks ago but I didn’t. In the instant I tried to breathe in water, I was reminded of everything I loved, of every person I loved. It was their voices, faces, the memory of their hugs and words encouragement against my depression that really pulled my head above water. They have always been the ones that have kept me going no matter how low on fuel I am.

“You are my best friend.”

“You are amazing. You are incredible. You are worth a bazillion everything.”

“I’ve heard of you and I don’t know who Norman Reedus is so in my imaginary world you’re way more famous than he is.”

“It’ll be okay.”

“You are intelligent and talented and beautiful. In short, you are amazing. Never forget that.”

These people believe I am amazing but the truth is, they are more amazing than I will every be. They have been my wings when I needed them the most. They have never feared my depression, self-hatred, or my lack of belief in their words. However, from this point onward I will believe, like you do, that I am worth bazillion everything, I am amazing, I am intelligent, and that it will be okay and that I am loved.   

Later, I decided I would share my story last November with  My friend, Dese’Rae L. Stage. During this interview for Live Through This, I was having trouble remembering things I wanted to say and she said, “You’ll remember it when we’re done.” She was right, I remembered more what of what I wished I had said. I remembered what I was afraid to say because it might be triggering for some. I remembered the feelings I had the night I tried to kill myself.

I have always thought that depression felt like ice wrapping itself around my shoulders and knife in my chest. Except the  knife would never reach my heart nor would the ice fully cover me even though I wanted them to.
I didn’t want to be alive. I didn’t want to have other people’s thoughts and wishes in my head anymore. I didn’t want to think of the hundreds of ways that I failed. I didn’t want to let people know just how badly my rape had hurt me. I had felt that way for a while but that night was the final straw.
Everything ached and I was having trouble breathing. I was convincing myself out of hurting myself, like I had promised my family. I promised I wouldn’t cut. What I decided to do was far worse: I began to fill my bathtub with only one motive.  I was going to drown myself in the one place I often sought comfort. What was ironic was that as I watch the bathtub fill, I tried talking myself out of doing it but I was failing because of memories. Memories of bad test scores, disappointment from my parents and teachers, my embarrassment, and being raped by someone I thought loved me thus making me unworthy of love of that kind. All of them at once like a very ugly movie. It was enough. I was done. I pulled myself above the water and here I am.

I wish I had remembered to say that.

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Meet Buttons.

I have never owned a cat. Well, a living cat but four months ago my sister found a feral mother and her kittens. With some of my help, we took them in and one of them just so happened to look like a toy I have had since I was one. So we named this little kitten Buttons.

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My sister was determined that I should have this kitten because of the rough time I was going through. She knew that this sweet little tomcat would help me just as the toy Buttons helped me as a child.
At first we thought Buttons was a girl and at around four months…. we found out she was a he.

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It makes sense because the toy Buttons was a boy as well. I like to joke that the toy was incarnated because of the rough time I was going through, like the toy needed to take action. It’s working. Day by day I feel a little bit better when I spend time with him. It helps that he snuggles like a dog and loves to sleep near me. He isn’t just a snugglebug, though. Buttons is very playful and will attack my arm when he wants to play. His favorite conquest is my St. Michael’s medal I wear on my scapular.

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Buttons is my sweet, playful snugglebug.

Victim to Survivor

Last Valentine’s Day I was raped by a person I thought loved me. Most rape survivors are stronger than I am and what I mean by that is that they didn’t let it, the trauma or loss, practically consume them. I kind of have. I hear loving words from those around me but I feel as if they are wrong because everyday I paint a smile on my face. I haven’t spoken of the nightmares that are more reliving the memory and every night more and more resurfaces. Every night I have to deal with a new wave of horror, misery and self-hatred because I lost my memory. My brain shut off the second he rolled me over and the image that comes to mind everyday and night is the window that I was facing. The memory of that damn window taunts me in the fact that it is a twisted metaphor for escape.

I do not see myself as strong because I failed to escape. The thing I haven’t told people is that I let the abuse continue. The abuse started on Valentine’s Day but didn’t stop until April.  I remember that. remember being afraid to say no and I let him do what he wanted then after he left I would ask myself what was wrong with me. Where did my strength go? I have buried that because the guilt and pain has been too much

However. a year later, I start the harder process which is believing in myself and believing that I am as strong as other believe. This process I know will be one of the hardest things I will ever do for myself but it is something I need to do. I have let it interfere with potential relationships, with schoolwork and my family life. I am done being a victim. I am ready to be a survivor.