The first time I considered suicide was when I was ten years old. I saw the butcher knife in the kitchen and thought: what would happen if I ended it all?
Would my mother feel bad for abusing me? Would my dad feel guilty for being an absentee father, leaving me to the mentally unstable parent? Would my grandfather be forced to reckon with his refusal to interfere in a meaningful way? Would my older sisters finally feel safe enough to come forward and tell the truth about our childhood?
But I didn’t do it. I can’t remember why. I just didn’t.
Fast forward to about two years later and my mother was involved in yet another volatile situation but at least she had largely stop abusing me. In fact, the tables had turned and I was caring for her as she was suffering from Lupus (her liver was failing her). I just didn’t want to imagine losing my mother. Don’t get me wrong–I had been always been aware of death. My first memories are me as a three-year old climbing into bed with my mom and reminding her to take her medicine. I never knew a completely healthy mother. Since Lupus is a chronic disease there are good moments, sometimes even great moments. Yet, I always lived with the feeling that she would die when I was young.
No matter what she had done to me. No matter what troubled man she brought into our lives. I didn’t know what I would do without her. I didn’t get along with my older sister, T who is four years older than me. At the time, my oldest sister, K (whom I am very close to) is eight years older and had just escaped to college.. so I was lost. Who would take care of me if she passed?
Fast forward to my early teenage years and my mother had remarried. “Again?” you might say. Yes, again. My sisters and I believe that she was never single longer than a TOTAL of a week of her life since she was fourteen. This is no exaggeration. Anyways, this guy was similar to the others in that he was an alcoholic, unmotivated, moved in quickly, drove her car around like it was his own, disrespected people while constantly demanding respect, and had children that he wasn’t raising but constantly took issue with my mother’s parenting. Yet he was different in the sense that he was abusive to EVERYONE without remorse. What’s worse is he claimed to be a Christian–a Jehovah’s Witness to be exact. In fact he introduced my mother to this religion. All of these things would lead to situations that would shake my family to the core leaving me as the broken mess that I am today.
Look out for part 2 later this week…