Serendipity

Was I born a masochist or did society make me this way?

Tag: suicide

250

I always thought no matter what happened I’d always have you. This belief was like an anchor that kept me grounded through every storm. Friends could let me down, boys would come and go, but you’d always be my person.

I don’t know what to think anymore.

I have never felt so loved yet so alone. Life has never been better but I don’t know how to be happy. Everything feels meaningless now. I don’t know what is the point of it all. I don’t know how to love the way I used to. You said it was stupid, the way I allowed myself to be vulnerable. I have tried your version of love, careful calculated passion, turns out I am no good at it. I’ve always been bad at math.

Do you ever wonder how many steps back you’d have to take for life to be the way it should? What if you never went to that party? What if you never kissed that stranger? What if he never crawled into your bed? What if? What if? What if I can’t fix anything? What if I’ve fucked it all up and it’s broken forever? What if? What if?

What if I miss you so much it feels like I’m dying?

I wish we could skip to the ending so I could stop reliving the past, replaying the events of that night over and over in my head, trying to work out where I went wrong. I wish you had called and said happy birthday, and we could pretend for one day that everything was normal again. Then maybe we’d keep pretending. But it’s too late, it’s all worthless now, and I wish I was dead.

213

‘Do you not like me sober’?

She wanted to ask but the words were glued to the back of her throat and she couldn’t cough it out. So she lit another cigarette instead and watched the smoke swirl around them, filling the air with toxic fumes.

It takes precision to kill yourself slowly. It takes discipline to commit to socially acceptable suicide. It’s like a traditional sort of depression, the mild kind that people can ignore without feeling guilty. Common and predictable, easily manipulated with medication, and doesn’t end with a noose or a gun shot. No one will ever discover her corpse and say it was a tragedy. They will have seen it coming. They will say she deserved it.

When her body is laid out in the coffin and her legs don’t quite fill it out, they will say that it’s a shame she didn’t try harder to stick around. When the scars on her skin become conspicuous under the fluorescent light they will mutter that she was weak, that she succumbed to the worst type of regression. Self harm is selfish. Self mutilation, a childish renegade form of indulgence. Her inability to cope with reality, her distorted view of the world, her disillusion, her mistakes, her failure to be.

No one will discuss the drunk boy that raped her when she was 19 and too scared to say no. No one will mention the boy who told her he loved her only to cheat with her best friend. No one will understand why it was easier to hurt herself than to hurt them back. No one will question the absence of her family, their anger, their disappointment in her unnecessary existence. Their bitterness will be justified. No one will make excuses for her.

But her smile. They will remember her smile. The way her eyes would light up, the faint lines around her mouth, her charming grin, her girlish giggle. They will remember the way she could brighten the room with her laughter, the sound of pure joy. It’s hard to imagine how someone clearly filled with such happiness could possibly contain such grief. Maybe that was the problem. Every experience was so exaggerated, every emotion so raw, so incompatible. The pain had nowhere to go, so it consumed her.

He will remember the way she used to look at him, like he was her whole world, and he was. She didn’t know how to love only a little. All the ways she understood him that no one else ever could, all the words they never said, but felt. It was true, he didn’t like her sober. He loved.

158

You never leave a note. You don’t dial his number and leave one last missed call. You don’t administer that sort of guilt, because you know it would eat him alive.

You don’t say goodbyes, you don’t cry silently in public, you don’t show any signs of weakness that will allow your loved ones to blame themselves.

You don’t smell the roses, you don’t watch the sunrise, you don’t search for the silver lining that was never there in the first place.

You don’t apologise for the past, you don’t fear for the future, and you no longer trace your mistakes until hell is the darkness inside your own mind.

You will always be afraid, but there’s no denying the fundamental differences between a coward and a coward who pulls the trigger. The latter can be admired for taking control, however twisted that may be, but at least they were brave enough to conclude their own fate. 

This is about control, precision, and patience.

This is not about the pain, this is not to end the suffering; all of that can be endured, and they have been.

It’s the emptiness, the hollowness in my chest that’s taking over, this incurable disease called loneliness, it makes me want to die.

Everyone gives me advice about how to live my life but no one notices I’m not really alive.

It will always be easier to break things than to mend them. It will always be easier to lie than to face the truth. It will always be easier to hurt someone than to love them. I have always understood this, but somewhere in between forgiving the unforgivable, I found myself an outsider again. It is exhausting to be kind.

It’s the smiling, the constant smiling that makes my face ache. A pathetic defence mechanism that is weak at best, and masochistic in reality.

I have been torn into pieces and my blood is on the hands of a hero. Even when I’m gone, he will try to deny it. He will say it was not his fault. He never meant to hurt me.

I have been torn into pieces by lovers and friends. I feel so tired, I could sleep for an eternity.

I am waiting to return to the nothingness I was before consciousness took away the bliss of ignorance. Maybe my leaving will mean something, to some people, for some time. But they will follow me one by one and we will all return to stardust and rust. We will be forever apart, but together always.

I have faced my demons and I have lost. But this does not mean I am weak, only that my demons are stronger than yours.

142

It scares me that everything I write is for you. Even the truths I stole from other people, the ones that don’t recognise their own stories, every word was meant for your eyes only. I envision how you’d read them, your harsh yet accurate pronunciation, and what you might learn. I am still trying to tell you about us, even when you don’t want to listen anymore. I am still trying to reach you from this side of the river, because I forgot how to swim. I thought holding onto you would stop me from drowning, but you cut me loose when we began to sink faster. I am stuck here on this side of the river, trying to build bridges with a severed tongue and scattered words. I have disappeared from your thoughts completely and now the memories are fading too, taking the best bits of me with them, the bits that no one knew.

I can’t stop watching stand up comedy, filling up every second with empty laughs to pretend I still know how to be happy. I smile at every line, every lie, over and over, like none of it matters, none of it hurts. I keep the sharpest knife in the top drawer, and it talks to me sometimes, like an old friend. Sometimes it whispers, like it knows a secret. Sometimes it’s more tempting than taking another drink, but the scars mock me when history repeats itself, and there’s no escaping.

I keep waiting to be hit by a bus or maybe something will fall from the sky and put me out of my misery. I stopped looking when I cross the road in case I cheat death by accident and win more time to waste. I fell over in the shower when I closed my eyes and saw your face, your hands were wrapped around my throat, choking the last breath out of my lungs so I could find peace.

I threw your favourite mug at our kitchen floor and watched it crumble to pieces like our lives, lives that we were no longer sharing. I couldn’t break your heart as well as your broke mine so I peeled off your mask and laughed at the voices you had been hiding. I hated her with more passion than hot summer nights, rolling around on the grass with a stranger and kissing them on the mouth. I wanted you to see the damage so I left all the remains as they were, bloody and untidy, I’m not sure which is worse. It’s been four months but I think our ghosts still linger in that apartment, speaking softly of forgotten promises and a better life you had promised. I left you one last message, telling you to come and find me before all you discover is a corpse.

140

I had lied about the way you loved me to everyone who might have cared, because the lies you told me carefully were so much better than the truth in your eyes, waiting to spill.

I had reached inside and stolen a corner of your mind, I have kept it with me all this time, waiting for you to call me and ask for sanity to be returned, waiting for the chance to deny you something you want.

I had told him the truth that I wasn’t ready, I was not ready to kiss another stranger, or someone close enough to know the full story. I wanted the past back, but not all of it, only the bits that made me smile, and with you that was most of it.

I caught myself thinking “24 would be a reasonable age to die”, and every year it appears more of a rational choice than a rash decision. I have surrounded myself with broken people in an attempt to learn how they survived.

I am no longer sure if it was a dream of my sick creation, perhaps I had made it all up in my imagination, and I should be lying in a hospital bed, counting the stars in the ceiling, calling the lights pretty.

I wanted to hear your voice again, call it a weakness, call it the holiday spirit. I wanted forgiveness, for so many sins I’ve stopped counting. I heard it from another that you were happy now, just as well, I’ve lost everything.

133

I had fallen a long way
To tell you not to come after me
Softly slowly silently you stole what you never intended to keep
Left it on the kitchen counter
I have looked under all the knives
Trying to find old demons to hunt you down with
But all I found were petty mistakes
Our first kiss
My only pleasant memory
He accused me of smiling too much
With such sincerity you should have been a witness so you could learn
It’s impolite to put out cigarettes on fresh wounds
Still bleeding, I told my therapist and he called you selfish
I called your mother and she told me she loves you no matter what you did
I have not been able to lie in bed without feeling my bones ache and kicking invisible enemies
I have been seeing death in every mirror, every window
Telling me it’s time to leave

131

If getting over you is the hardest thing I ever have to do, I promise this is the last time. No more excuses, no more tears. No more looking through old messages, hunting for clues. I scrolled for hours, searching for evidence of how we fell in love to begin with, but without the veil of your affection, all your clever words revealed an ugly truth – you never loved me. You must have been truly sorry for all the unintended hurt, you allowed the ambiguity to survive, so I could be responsible for the misunderstanding. All those times I said those three dangerous words and you replied “I know”, I thought you really did. But you had no idea how much I loved you really, you wouldn’t have let me if you did.

If falling in love is the stupidest thing in the world, I must be a certified idiot. I started to count our forevers the first time I came home to hug you and you kissed me like it was the most natural thing in the world. I began to hate the times that you had to be away and resent all those who stole your attention. I had never been a jealous person before, so when I called you for the 23rd time and reached your voice mail again I didn’t know what else to do but cry. When she picked up at last and you pretended not to know why I was angry, it was already too late for me to say a dignified goodbye.

If I could make myself not like you, I would do it this instant. I would forget all the cheesy moments and childish things we said that seemed romantic at the time. I would throw away all your presents and delete every photo, dye my hair purple and cut it in a way you would never approve of. I dug out all the pieces of clothing you hid from my wardrobe, and laughed at how I never noticed how controlling you were until it was over. I can count all the times you said “I love you” to me on one hand, and to be honest I still don’t quite understand why that should haunt me when I know you never meant it.

If that boy hadn’t kissed me good night, I don’t know how I could have survived. If he hadn’t put his arms around me, I might have faded away and you would never get to read my thoughts again. If he had talked too much and asked difficult questions, I would have run away like I always did, and he wouldn’t have had the chance to make me want to stay. I thought maybe if I kissed him enough I would forget you, so we kissed all night and never said a word. If every time I take my clothes off in front of another stranger, I hate myself a little more, maybe that makes you right. If the way I conduct my life is terrible, maybe I’ve always been terrible and it doesn’t matter now that you’re no longer here to judge me.

If I could kill myself tonight and no one would miss me, I think I would. If only I was a little more selfish, a little more brave, and a little more sure of which method would cause the least pain. It would be a temporary solution to a permanent problem, because even in death, I would still miss you. You might not believe me when I say this, but I’m still glad to have been in your life, to have loved you so much it was almost a crime. So even if I’m buried ten feet underground, you’ll still hear my ghost cry out your name. I just won’t be able to call you anymore, and you won’t have to suffer seeing my name on your screen again.

 

130

If you are reading this and find that you do not like me very much, I completely understand. I don’t like me very much either these days. I feel like a zombie, walking dead, chasing every high so I don’t have to feel low again.

If you are reading this, I may have already stopped breathing. If you never got to see my face before the last drop of life left me, maybe now is the time to pay attention.

If you are reading this, if I’ve given in to temptation, then the blade struck true and it didn’t hurt as much as I expected. If everything stopped mattering to me, maybe you will taste the regret in my previous warnings.

If you are reading this, if my parents are still crying, if yours are perplexed as to why you’re not alright, maybe you will tell them I was different. Please don’t cry, that was never my intention.

If you are reading this on a day that you weren’t planning on being important, if my blood has been spilt and the needles won’t stick because there’s nothing left, you won’t have to whisper anymore. Attend my funeral and tell me what you’re learning. 

If you are reading this my darling, tell me you would have stayed. Look back to our mistakes and promise you wouldn’t have forced me to learn how to be lonely, and I would have survived because you noticed.

If you are reading this, you must really hate me now. I kept all the pictures I forced you to erase, it was the most selfish thing I’d ever wanted, and a hollow gesture to replace all the emptiness you granted by leaving.

If you are reading this, you may not recognise me. I spent the last part of my life trying to kill the part that still loved you. I smoked enough cigarettes to forget how to eat, and now my clothes fit too loosely and I never sleep.

If you are reading this, it’s too late to tell you I’m sorry. With every sip, every breath, every lie, I nodded away the rest of my sanity on cold rainy days. I hope you remember the last time I smiled at you, I hope that’s what you remember me by.

If you are reading this, I am beyond hope. Heaven won’t accept lost souls, I’ve been trapped at the gates because I still think of you as home. If you could only let me go without taking all the air with you.

If you are reading this, I’ve tried to write you crappy poetry but the words just don’t seem to mix and the picture I painted is not quite what I expected. Please promise me you’ll rewrite the ending to our story.

If you are reading this, know that you have lost the power to wound. I am forever out of your grasp and the pain will subside, the hurt will disappear entirely, and I can finally rest without hearing your voice in every dark corner.

If you are reading this, I hope you’ve met someone stronger than me. I hope she reminds you of daisies and smiles more brightly than the sun. I hope she leaves you breathless in the morning and you learn to love her better than you loved me. If you are reading this, believe me, I’m fine.

117

Go back to the beginning.

Before you broke her heart, before you begged her to leave so you wouldn’t have to see her destroy herself in front of you. The guilt was tearing you apart and you thought if she left you’d be able to think clearly again, you’d be able to fix your mistakes. Before you kicked her when she was down and she drew more scars to remind you she was too weak for your games.

Remember who she used to be.

Before it all got too messy, before you stopped loving her and telling her she was lovely. She had an infectious smile that made life look easy, and every moment with her was bliss. Every word she spoke had meant something then because you weren’t too distracted to listen. Before you walked away and left her in your shadows, with nothing to remember you by but fear and hate.

Rewrite the ending.

Before you tell your stories, before you blame her for all that’s broken, before she believes it all meant nothing. Before her smile fades completely and she disappears from this world. Before you tell others she’s cursed and let her die alone with bitter memories. Save her for all that she was worth and tell those who judge that it doesn’t matter, she’s the one for keeping.

Read the signs.

Before you forget you will miss her, she needs you to remember why. She wants you to know all the times she thought of calling you but didn’t, because you were the trigger to the gun. So she demands forgiveness when she knocks on heaven’s door. When she dies of suspicious circumstances she wants you to look the other way and pretend you never knew it was coming. She wants you to be fine.

114

He scanned the contents of her desk out of curiosity, quietly assessing what her life had been like in his absence. There was only a notebook, a pen, and a mildly abused ashtray. He pondered what genius came up with the idea of crafting such an aesthetically pleasing object to contain the remains of cancer inducing dust.

She sat with her legs crossed, knees close to her chest, her mismatched socks stood out brightly against her otherwise plain dress. With a book in one hand and a cigarette in the other, she was attractive in a damaged goods kind of way. Lips you’d like to kiss but only infrequently. The sort of girl you’d allow to spend the night, but couldn’t wait for her to leave in the morning.

He wished he could say they sat there in a comfortable silence like the old days, but things had changed. She’d asked for her stuff back, and when he handed it over she wouldn’t look at him. How he yearned for her to glance his way and see the sorrow in his eyes, but she looked everywhere except his direction. She stared at the book now with such intensity, he doubted she even knew what she was pretending to read.

The silence continued to expand till he felt compelled to make his exit. He stood up and studied her one last time for any signs of affection, any excuse to give her a kiss, a hug, even a handshake. He remembered her laugh, and wished she would laugh now, how effortlessly she could have made the tension melt away. He searched her face for traces of a smile but all he found was indifference.

There is no greater enemy to our better judgment than pride. He felt a wicked anger slowly rising in retaliation to her disdain, and forced himself to walk away without looking back. If he hadn’t been so blinded by his contempt, he would have seen her shoulders drop with the air of one completely defeated by life. He might have seen the tears roll down her cheek and heard the sound of her heart break. He would have fallen to his knees if he saw the anguish on her face, the signs of a soul so broken that one glance would make you cry. He would have felt the emptiness she carried inside, and understood her suffering. He would have known it was the last time.

When he found her, it was too late. The horror of seeing her cold, lifeless body on the bathroom floor will never leave him. Her once glowing skin was a sickening tinge of blue, there was no longer a heaviness about her, only serenity. He opened his mouth to scream but felt sick and only a faint wail escaped. She’d slashed her arms wide open from wrist to end. Two deep, meticulous lines to satisfy his cruel intentions; she wished to leave nothing behind. There was so much blood he was certain she would have drowned even if she was still breathing.

He couldn’t move, couldn’t look away. When he came to his senses he noticed the ashtray had been emptied and rested on a ripped page. He rushed over to see what she had written. He expected an apology, an explanation, anything to distract him from the frightful memory of her asking to be saved. He couldn’t believe his eyes that it was blank. No forgiveness, no redemption, just a savage reminder that he had failed to say goodbye and spite had won. She had killed herself to prove a point.

How little it takes to save a life. How harrowing to know you never tried.

108

Monday morning I woke up and felt like screaming. Another week of what ought to be the ‘best time of my life’  lied ahead of me in mockery. It occurs to me that I am young and healthy, that a sickly, more unfortunate person would give anything to trade lives with me, yet the thought offers me no peace. I sit alone with quiet contempt at the world, suffocating under the weight of my own guilt and invented misery.

Tuesday I gambled away daylight in the library. Searching for the perfect book so I could connect with someone else’s imaginary friends because mine were too scary. I sat in the softest chair I could find and let my thoughts wander through the pages of fictitious agony. I hid my face behind the cover so no one could see that I was lonely. I wanted someone who understood, not a stranger’s pity.

Wednesday afternoon I tried to seek comfort in sleep. I put on some soothing music because the silence is too awful when I miss you breathing next to me.  I looked at my phone again and decided not to delete your number because it wouldn’t fix anything. Some time in between loving you and hating you my brain had committed those digits to memory.

Thursday night I went to the beach with a man who wanted me. He was charming and polite, or at least well adjusted enough to pretend to be, and I was tired enough to believe. We held hands and I wondered what you were doing with your evening. He gave me his jacket when I started to shiver, unaware that it was his touch that froze me. He kissed me and I felt nothing.

Friday I said no when he asked to see me again. I knew I had no feelings left and you had taken the last part of me worth keeping. I was exhausted from not thinking about you, and convinced that faking another smile would kill me. I didn’t need to kiss him twice to know I would never love him, and I’ve lived enough to know that men who fall for damaged goods are full of cruelty.

Saturday I was invited to go drinking. A chance to drown my sorrows or at least numb the pain, and of course, dance with the devil. Clever men claim they drink to make others more interesting. Maybe I’m not clever enough, or perhaps it’s because I’m not a man, but I never thought ten shots of tequila made anyone less boring. Alcohol only ever made me dumb enough to tolerate the idiocy.

Sunday I went to the grocery store to pick up dinner. I walked down the cleaning aisle and waited for the voices. A bottle of clear liquid with large letters that read AMMONIA caught my eye, and I pictured myself chasing it with a bottle of Jack. One to destroy the body; one to mend the soul. I looked at the price tag and realised for $7.99 I’d never have to face Monday again.

100

The church bells ring, each chime tugging at your heartstrings, bringing you back to the present, waking you from a bad dream only to confront your worst nightmare. There’s nowhere to run this time.

A familiar song is playing in the background, a soft voice singing a beautiful melody. You recognise the tune, something she would hum absentmindedly, when she was still with you.

Was. It feels like forever ago since she sat beside you and rested her head on your shoulders, knowing full well it was a burden you couldn’t carry, but dreaming of the day you would become dependable. She breathed love and survived on wishful thinking.

She kept her promises. She would set you free, deliver you serenity at the cost of her own sanity. She didn’t even say goodbye, how cruel, to deny you even that. Remember to hate her for that too.

A closed casket, to hide the shame. She had been punished for her sincerity for far too long, and she had the scars to show for it. The final scar delivered by a lonely rose, thorns so sharp they bit deep, blood converting the red to crimson, it was the prettiest thing. She wanted you to have it. Another memento.

They think you heartless, or stoic, but you alone know the truth. Tears serve no justice to true sorrow, and what you feel is more than grief. Grief has a beginning and an end, but regret stays with you forever. You should have listened to the words she didn’t say. The casket is lowered, the evidence buried, and nothing will ever bring her back. Her smile, her warmth, her soul, lost forever, along with the memories she assured you she would forget.

The world is a cold hard place, and you turned your back on the sun. You will never hold her again, never brush her hair, never kiss her lips, never hold her hand, never feel the softness of her skin. Sometimes fools think dying for love shows sincerity. She was foolish till the end. Tell me, what did you think she meant by never?

99

When I was deep in my depression, I thought about suicide constantly. 

Wake up; should I kill myself today?

Eat breakfast; why am I still alive?

Go to class; why am I here?

Cross the road; hope the bus hits me.

Go home; grab a knife.

Sleep; hope it lasts forever. 

It was a battle every day, reminding myself what I had left to live for. When I looked around, there wasn’t very much. So I asked her, almost selfishly, to give me some hope. “What do you live for?”

She replied in her stunning accent, something I could never forget: 

As individuals we each have our own unique aura, and if you are close enough, compatible enough, and care enough to allow yourself to open up, you can feel the energy that flows around you, fusing together as our thoughts intertwine. Right now, being connected to you, is why I’m here. I’m here for you. I live for you. 

I didn’t understand her at the time, so I cried more and pretended I knew. But I finally understand now. It doesn’t matter how much people hurt you, how much pain they inflict, how many scars they leave, how many hearts they break. You could hate almost everyone, you could despise a few, they could deserve it, they probably do. But beyond all that, a simple gesture can remind us that human connection remains the most important thing to our existence. No matter how comfortable we are with ourselves, how happy we may be alone, we all crave someone to share that connection with. We all live for each other whether we like it or not. We are only human.

So if you’re reading this, I live for you. 

89

Laugh at her. Isn’t she funny?

Doesn’t it feel good to kick her when she’s down? Pure sadistic pleasure, don’t worry, it’s human nature.

Oh look, a butterfly tattoo, must be daddy issues!
Oh hey, is that a scar I see? Well that’s just not good enough for me.

She’s cold to the others. She’s numb to the world. She picked you, lit a fire to warm your heart, and you watched it burn her dreams into dust. She’ll learn to carry the weight of your curse. The pain is no longer a burden; it sets her free.

Don’t look into her eyes. Don’t bother. She’s hidden it so well, you won’t see it. You battered a battered woman but behind the veiled vacancy there’s still a star that shines, a light that refuses to go out. But you won’t see it again.

She won’t accept your pity. She doesn’t want to be saved. You begin to shift the blame – it’s her fault, for not grasping the hands that reached out. You’re just like the others now, so blinded by your own arrogance that you can’t see the truth. You don’t understand how many times she fell. How many have promised to catch her. How their lies have filled her life. How they disappeared so conveniently when she hit the ground and broke for the last time. Does this make you feel better? Do you feel less guilty now? Because you didn’t break her. Because you can’t break a broken heart.

You saw the scars, witnessed the tears. You tried to look away; it wasn’t a pretty sight. You heard the whispers, suffered the screams; so now you think you know her. But can you feel her despair, can you predict her verdict? Can you change her fate, or will you watch her drown? Will you hold her head down, so it won’t take long?

Her breathing turns shallow, time slows down. You’ll only love her when she’s gone.