This blog is not FDA approved
I think I was about 18 the first time I thought about ending my life. I had just received my driver’s license, and I was clutching to the steering wheel of my car. In my memory I am angry and sad and possibly crying. It’s the feeling that I have at times to this day that something is clenching my chest, and I can do nothing but stare ahead with blurry eyes.
I have never been in therapy, but I think a lot about the Why.
As a child, I never felt like I was on top of the priority list, number one if you will, and looking back I’m certain that I wasn’t. My mother used to say “You know how he is” (swallow it), “Apologize” (make it so it’s calm again); he used to say “I can leave if you want me to” (stop having an opinion), “be quiet when adults are talking” (go away); I hear their voices ring in my ears to this day, one suppressed in my childhood room, the other outspoken, often at the door.
I repeated seventh grade, because I didn’t want to be where I was, I wanted to be elsewhere, just elsewhere. I skipped school as soon as I was a little older. A good third of the time I was absent. My mother didn’t know until I told her years after I had graduated from high school. Nobody had bothered to tell her, she hadn’t bothered to ask.
I am an unbalanced top.
I’m scared. I’m scared that nobody will pick me up, when I tilt and fall. Whenever I fall, I gather all my strength to pick myself up and make myself spin again. I was scared she didn’t care. I know now, today, that she cares about me, but I am still not and never was on top of her list.
Your words are nothing to me. I am an unbalanced top, and picking myself up to spin is getting harder by the day.
It was our honeymoon the second time I thought about ending my life. I was thinking about throwing myself in front of a car. I don’t know what it is about cars. Maybe it’s because they have steering wheels.
He could say all he wants, but I don’t feel like he loves me, cares about me. I think he does, but it’s not enough. I can’t feel it. Maybe because I don’t feel a thing. And I pick myself up and I spin, because I’m scared that if I don’t, nobody will, and I will be laying there, pathetically.
My father stabbed himself in the chest, when I was two, successfully ending his life. My mother’s father always threatened to hang himself, but never did. He died of alcoholism and tobacco. When the doctor slapped the second morphine patch on his back and he finally gave in to the water in his lungs, he had been clutching to life as if he were the noose.
I didn’t cry. Everybody else around me cried, the men, the women. I told myself that I wouldn’t cry, so they could, I would be their shoulder. But that’s not why I didn’t cry. I couldn’t. He had been coercing us into showing him that we care, because he was scared, scared that nobody would pick him up if he falls, and I made his worst nightmare come true. He had been threatening and abusing us into feelings and displays of affection that didn’t seem as urgent to us as they seemed to him. He was desperate and nothing and nobody could have given him what he needed.
I am the same, I think, though I am not. I have his despair, his needs, but refuse to use his means. I make myself numb and strong until I am the one who doesn’t care, because I’m scared, and whenever I fall, I realize that my means, too, are unsuccessful. I seem to be unable not to fall, I seem to be unable to just lay there and have trust, to wait, and picking myself up gets harder by the day.
I can see people who do a similar thing. They spin and spin and smile, when they actually want to cry. I have not a clue if they think about these things or if it has become second nature to them. If I asked them, I would blow the cover, I’d look when I’m not supposed to be looking, and trap them in their still moment.
And here I am an unbalanced top, trapping herself. I refuse to spin and pretend, I am good with standing still, with at least trying to find a balance, to find movement and words that are more my own than what you’d expect.
I am an unbalanced top. Are you looking at me?