All I Ever Wanted
I’m fifteen years, five months, twenty-four days, five hours and twenty-seven minutes old, and every bit matters. Each minute that goes by I wonder why I’m still alive.
I was never as brave as I wanted to be. I always wanted to be the courageous one; the one who stood up against all odds and emerged the hero. I wanted to reach out to others and tell them about what I went through, and how it gets better. All I ever wanted; all I ever imagined; was the outcome. After the pain and the sorrows, I would be happy, and strong… that’s all I cared about.
Maybe it could have happened, if the pain and sorrows weren’t pain and sorrows. Maybe if I was like everyone else, it would be OK. If my stories were about how my boyfriend broke up with me but I found a way to carry on. If I talked about failing a grade, but then I graduated valedictorian in college, or something like that. I could handle that, you know? I could move on.
Too bad things didn’t turn out that way.
I think I started being depressed in the sixth grade. My best friend and I both felt increasingly stressed and burdened, but neither of us knew exactly why. We labelled the sadness ‘the It’. The It was a mass of awful things that had happened to us in the past few years that made us sad. For her, it was her nasty old bitch of a grandma, some things with school, and missing an old friend. For me, it was the feeling of having to be ‘perfect’, the almost-rape that happened when I was ten that nobody knew about, and… something else that I wasn’t telling anybody.
They found out, anyway.
Seventh grade was a little better; my best friend and I forgot all about the It. We started making plans to run away. RAP, we called it, for Running Away Plans. We were going to do RAP on the 14th of February. We had it all mapped out. We would sneak out of our houses, meet at a predetermined spot, and ride our bikes down to my church. (It’s a big old monster; plenty of hiding places, plenty of food because there was always some function, and we could blend in.) I’m actually going to do it this time, I promised myself, after wimping out on running away before.
I didn’t. I freaked out as the day grew nearer and told the school counsellor what we were planning to do. Nothing came of it, really, except that we didn’t.
Eighth grade was the worst year. It started out crappy, with one of my favourite teachers moving to a different school. My best friend and I were working in the library in the afternoons, where I met the girl I ‘adopted’ as my little sister. The library was my safety. There was never a teacher in there, so my best friend and I would grab the key and sneak down whenever things got too hard. There we’d sit, and cry and talk until everything was better. Eventually, though, even that couldn’t make the pain go away.
I can’t even remember the month, now, but I remember that it was a Thursday. My best friend came to school and asked me about the newspaper article that had been in the paper the day before. ‘Did you read that thing about cutting?’
‘Yeah… did you do it?’
‘Not like that…’ and we were at school, and she disappeared. I cornered her, and pulled up her sleeve, and saw ten or so paper-thin cuts marching up her arm.
That was my first experience with cutting. I’ll skip the details, but soon she was doing it whenever things were really bad. I tried it, once, just to see… but the next morning, when there were little scrapes, I freaked out and promised I’d never do it again.
Once again, skipping the details, in March of 2004 I was in the psych ward because I was hearing voices telling me to kill myself. Needless to say, everyone there cut… bad. There was one girl in particular, she was two years and two days older than me, and so sweet and nice. I wanted to be just like her. She cut almost every day.
When I got out of the psych ward, that’s when I really started cutting. It got so I was doing it every day for about three months. My best friend started getting worried, because sometimes I cut worse than her. She told my school counsellor some times, who called my mom. One time my mom took away the scissors I had used to cut my legs, but that was it.
I turned fourteen four days after I got out of the psych ward. Now I’m fifteen years, five months, fourteen days, five hours and forty-nine minutes old, and I’m stuck. I cut a little deeper every time, and I know one of these days it will be too far. I’m past caring. This is my life, now. Where did I leave my razor? When can I cut? Where can I do it so no one will see? I’m going to keep going down, until I slip into eternity in a hell no worse than my life right now.
And imagine, to be brave was all I ever wanted.