Thoughts of Suicide Post Suicidal Depression
This is going to be a different kind of post, as it's not really going to be a happy one. This is a story about me when I was younger, and while I have opened up about the topic to very few people in the past, in the twelve years since it happened, I've never sat down and confronted my demons. I recognize that I need to finally get some closure on the issue by just working through and writing it all out. I'm honestly not even sure if this will make logical sense because it's one in the morning and I am just going to word vomit and hit publish. I'll start from the beginning.
It was February 2005, I was 18, and I had no idea what I was doing with girls. I had been finished with school for 2 years, but since I was 11 I had been homeschooled. Puberty was.......let's just say it was a bit more awkward for me than most. Most kids going into middle school figured out the social norms and how to interact with the opposite sex much earlier than myself. I didn't start dating until I was 17, and being a late bloomer was not doing me any justice. When I finally did find a place that I could fit in and find myself comfortable at, the Boise Venue, I found girls beginning to pay attention to me, and that was something new and fun. I would make out with random people at shows, mostly girls, a few guys but nothing I ever found myself gravitating towards. I didn't think to make out with random people was a big deal, but I had one clear rule for myself in regards to my newfound interests, no sex until I was married. I was very active in church at the time, and this was a black and white conviction. 18 and still a virgin doesn't sound like anything exciting to write about nowadays, but there was one girl who changed that for me. She has a name, and I remember that name as clearly as the moment she introduced herself to me. I remember the day I took her to get a tattoo at the tattoo shop I had been going to and how the artist said he would need to cut the wristband from the prior night's show off because it wouldn't be sanitary for her healing wrist. I remember the drive in Nampa leading up to what happened, and I remember my drive home. 12 years later I can remember that night, so of course, I remember her name.
I remember her name, but here she is nothing more than a letter. "D"
I met D in front of the Venue on 5th and Broad. She was in town visiting her aunt for the week because her parents were considering selling their house in California and buying property out in Nampa, so they were getting a feel for the city. I had a few days off so I offered to show her around to some of my favorite places. I took her to Flying M for coffee, I almost killed us on Shaw Mountain Rd when I took her up to see the city lights at night and hit sheet ice that caused my Pontiac Sunfire to slide sideways down a one lane dirt road at 11 at night, leading to quite the adventure trying to get back into town. She got tattooed at the shop I had been getting work from, we had fun and none of it involved the things that horny teenagers typically do for fun. I actually wanted to get to know this girl and show her that Idaho was a place she could find a reason to come back to.
It was the night before her family was leaving to go back to California, and she wanted to hang out one last time. I picked her up from her aunt's house, and we made a quick stop out of town because she told me she needed to pick something up from a friend's house, so we swung by and I met someone I wasn't comfortable around. Fortunately, it was a short interaction and we left as quickly as we pulled up. After an evening of driving around, we went back to her aunt's house to watch a movie. It was late and everyone was asleep upstairs, so she asked if I wanted to cuddle on the couch and watch The Notebook. I wasn't in the mood for Nicholas Sparks, but I wanted to spend more time with her. She made the first move fifteen minutes into the movie and started kissing me and I quickly realized, "this is clearly better than the notebook" and the movie became little more than white noise. Eventually, she seemed disinterested in keeping it PG. She tried going further and I pulled back saying that I didn't really want to. She said, "You're just being shy" as she undid my belt. I froze in a panic. No girl had ever done this before, I didn't want to be in this situation, and yet I didn't know how to get myself out of it.
I tried shying away again, and her grip on my body said that she was controlling the situation. I wasn't getting away from her. I found my hands over my head, and her right hand kept them bound there as her left hand went for her own belt. IHow did I get here? Then, all of a sudden, there was a new sensation as I was staring up at the ceiling. I didn't know if it was panic, fear, or if this was simply what it was to lose your virginity, but I didn't like any moment of it. The fortunate thing about the male anatomy is it can shut itself down, so it was short lived.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
"I was saving myself for marriage."
"Oh shit....well, just pretend it didn't happen."
But it did happen, and I had no idea how to respond to that statement. So I drove home, alone. 45 minutes in my Pontiac Sunfire alone with my thoughts and a complete inability to process what had just happened. I called my cousin and told her that I had just had sex for the first time. She asked me what I thought, and I didn't know. I had failed to leave out the details involving consent, but I didn't lie to her. I really didn't know what to think about any of it.
The next day, D texted me and asked how I was. I lied and said I was fine, but I wasn't really in the mood to talk. She asked me to look around for her credit card because she thought she misplaced it and thought it might have been in my car. That was the last I spoke to D before she went back to California, but not the last time she would have an impact in my life. We would remain "friends" on MySpace to keep up on each other's updates, but we really didn't talk much after that.
3 months later, I found myself working in the same call center as D's aunt. I was in one of my 12 weeks of training, and I had been constantly bored to tears on my lunch break without any friends at work to hang out with, so I usually would go on walks around the building or listen to music by myself in my car. On this day, I decided that I could be productive and clean up the disaster that was my passenger's side and back seat. As I was on my knees grabbing straw wrappers from under the seat, I saw a credit card. It was D's, she must have dropped it in my car at some point. Next to the card were some other things you would typically find in a girl's bag, as well as something I didn't immediately recognize. I went inside and used the work computer to verify my suspicion. Not only did she leave her credit card in my car, she left her crystal meth. It quickly came back to me. When we had stopped by her friend's house, she had put her clutch under my seat, and it all must have fallen out when she grabbed for it again. Not only did she take my virginity, she used me as a cab to pick up her meth?!?
I was sick to my stomach and I had no idea what to do with this bag of meth I had just come across, so I did two things. I called the police to surrender the drugs and then I went looking for D's aunt. An hour later, I get a phone call from D.
"WHAT IN THE FUCK DID YOU TELL THEM?!?"
"The real question here is why did you leave meth in my car?"
"My aunt called my mom, my mom called my boss while I was at work, and now I'm about to get fired for failing a UA! HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?!?!"
She played the victim, and I played the part of not giving two shits about the person on the other end of the phone as I hung up on her.
Eventually, life moved on, but I had never gotten around to removing her off my MySpace account because I was hoping to, at some point, see her life get worse off. I was obsessing with this person in another state because I hoped that, voyeuristically, I could watch her fail from afar. Instead, one day I saw her take one of those stupid online quizzes where you tell things about yourself. How old you were when you had your first kiss, how many tattoos you had, stupid things like that. But one of the things she wrote was blatantly directed at me, and I knew it. "What's the shortest amount of time you've spent having sex? - Like 5 seconds, virgins suck."
I couldn't win, and I couldn't talk to anyone about it. My only sexual experience was a nightmare that kept getting worse. I stopped hanging out with girls for a little while and figured I should start focusing on my career.
Fast forward almost 7 years. I was now working with Human Resources in a department that I helped develop to reduce absenteeism. We had successfully driven a 20% daily average down to a far more manageable 9%. I had been given access to all employee records to build them into the back end of a tool we used, and as new employees came on board part of my role was to process them into the system. I was going through that one day when D's name showed up on the list. My heart sank. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. Please.....just no. It had to be someone else, it couldn't be her. That cold heartless bitch is in California somewhere not making problems for me anymore, she cannot be in my pile of paperwork. But I looked at the record again and there was no mistaking it, it was her. My job required me to play a role that involved relatively high visibility throughout the call center, so it was inevitable that I would run into her, it was only a matter of time. And it eventually did, and she recognized me. I hadn't changed much other than a few more tattoos. At first, it was a double-take in the same way I had when I saw her name show up in my daily tasks, but then she laughed and scoffed with her co-worker as I walked away. As I built up some distance, the all too familiar story that she began narrating drifted into the white noise of my office. I pulled up her employee record, and just sat there staring at it for the majority of the next hour until I finally went into my boss' office.
"I don't know how to say this, but if there is someone who just recently got hired on, and I have a history with them that makes me entirely uncomfortable of being in this building with them, what are my options?"
"Well I guess that depends on a few things, what are the details of your history that it's negative, does it interfere with your ability to do your jobs, is there a restraining order, is it something you want to talk about?"
At the time I didn't. The funny thing is, now that I no longer work there, the man who was once my boss is now one of my clients, and he has since heard more context to the story as I started getting more comfortable with the reality that was my story. But not then, I didn't want to talk about it at that time. I wasn't ready for him to hear that part of my history. I still didn't really know how to confront the issue, and I had only told one other person the details, so I didn't feel like my boss needed to be person number 2.
"If there's nothing you can say about the issue, my hands are kind of tied. We can't just fire someone because of bad blood if they're doing their job properly." He was right, and fortunately, she didn't do a great job at doing her job properly, so she eventually got fired, but for close to 6 months I would actively watch to see where she was so I could avoid her.
So where does this leave me? An initial story of tragedy, and a follow-up of ridicule a few years later. I wish that was the case, if only it had been left there.
2014. I haven't thought about this in years, in fact, I had started joking about the situation as my way of coping. I figured if I was laughing about it, then I wouldn't be crying about it, right? I was going to visit Hailie on her lunch break, and I found myself stopped at the light on Overland & Roosevelt. I hear someone yelling in the car next to me. It seems like he was trying to get my attention.
"Hey Man! Hey! DUDE!" I didn't recognize the passenger that was yelling at me, but I roll my window down to find out what he wants. "This girl says she fucked you and it was the worst." The car burst into laughter as I see the driver's face. It was D. I gave them the finger and peeled out onto Overland. Hailie was five minutes away, but my face was red hot and my cheeks were burning from tears. It had been close to a decade, why couldn't this just be over with? Why will I never escape this? Why does this wretched cunt hold any power over me? I got to Hailie's office, avoiding eye contact with every person I passed in the hall so they wouldn't see how bloodshot and flushed I was. "Can we be not here for lunch?" was all I could choke out to Hailie as we left and I broke down.
Men don't get raped. Men are too strong for that. How many time have you heard someone else say this? How many times have you said this yourself in jest? I stopped counting how many times I casually corrected people by saying, "Yes they do" with a heavy sigh.
I don't know how every component of my history shaped me, but I know that there are many events in my past that have made me decide that not living has clear benefits over living, and this was an event that made it to my top 5 best reasons to die. It wasn't the event that made me drink the bottle of bathroom cleaner, that happened when I was 16. D was, however, one of the events that crossed my mind when I was 19, driving 115 mph down Meridian road on a rainy night, contemplating the impact of pulling hard to the right on my steering wheel after I had already unbuckled my seat belt. I have known depression and the desire to cease life for more time than I haven't, and because of that, there is one conversation with my therapist that I remember more vividly than any other.
It was my first appointment. I walked up the spiral stairwell to the corner office that he shared with another professional in his field. The office's waiting area was nothing more than a small, dimly lit room with two chairs, an end table with kleenex, a water cooler, and a white noise generator that I had learned covered the soft conversation in the adjacent room. The wall opposite of the front door held the door leading into the main office. Entering the room, his desk was to my left, there was a small library of books, his entire organized professional life, a picture of his ferret, and an iTunes library that contained more music than the hours of my waking existence. The right side of the room had a black leather non-reclining loveseat that I would spend my time in. A coffee table was all that divided the room into two halves of a conversation. I had been connected with this therapist after having a full blown anxiety attack at work and called the Employee Assistance Program saying that I wanted to talk to someone about how bad my depression was getting. It was February 2015 and it was a month after I had taken myself off of my bi-polar medication. I got to know the inside of that room over the following months as our conversations ranged from my depression to the transition into a new career, but one of the first conversations went like this.
"Chris, do you think about suicide?"
"All the time," I said without any hesitation in my voice. "Not as much as I used to, but that concept simply lives in my world. I don't think It's anything you need to call health and welfare over, though. I just think about it, and then I think about it more, and then I keep thinking about it and how much I'd love to do it, and then I realize it's a bad idea and I move on with my day."
"I'm not going to call anyone, I won't even try and tell you not to kill yourself. Me telling you not to kill yourself is, in essence, me trying to take control of part of your life while you are going through a period that oftentimes won't have a perceivable 'after'. Whether that visibility is self-imposed or a product of circumstance, you are trying to grasp at anything you can, and who am I to take any of that away from you, even if it's your ability to end your own life?"
I'm still here 12 years later, and for the most part, I can get on with my day without any issue on the outside. I'm still a miserable wreck on the inside, but I mitigate my anxiety well enough that I can function, but the fact is this. That shit doesn't go away. Ever. I still remember the color of the couch and the carpet in the living room of a house that became my reason for not driving in the city limits of Nampa. At 30 years old, I can't watch The Notebook without having a panic attack. My desire to cease life is much like cancer in remission. I'm optimistic that it doesn't come back, but I know that it's always there, lurking in my memories. The only change I've made is the perspective I take on life. The time that I occupy right now is nothing more than a season of my life's complete history, and the person I am today dictates the person I will be in the future. I want to be a better person at 30 because it means the person I am at 40 will have a better opportunity of not being a complete douchebag like I was at 20. This does not leave me disillusioned about my depression, though. I think the person I am at 40 will still think about suicide as much as the person I am at 60, I think that the having the capabilities of choosing when my complete life history becomes a history completed will always be on the forefront of my mind, but my hope is that in making changes and persevering through the days that are low, my highs become more valuable because it's the memories of life that, That's what I took away from therapy almost two years ago. I still live in the world where I think about suicide on a daily basis, but it doesn't have the lustful appeal that it once did. For now, I'm waiting for this world to kill me before I do it myself.