Do you feel like you want to die, or do you just want to not be where you are right now?
Do you have thoughts of hurting yourself?
Do you have a plan?
Have you attempted suicide before?
Did you know that in certain situations, ideation, or thoughts of dying, thoughts of not wanting to be here anymore, thoughts of wanting to just fucking feel anything else... as awful and terrible as it sounds... those thoughts are coping skills.
I know it doesn't sound like it would be, but sometimes our brain wants to protect us when we are vulnerable, afraid, or in lingering chronic pain.
Depression is a liar- I assure you. If that were not true, you would not be here looking for truth- truth that things can, will, and do get better. You would not be here to desire to read this.
You sit reading this having gotten through 100% of your worst days so far; so there is comfort in knowing no matter how deep the rabbit hole of your depression, your anxiety; no matter what your brain unleashed when it over-powered even your very personality... you are still here.
Do not take your pain or your experiences for granted. I tried to kill myself, and I mean I really tried. At the time, yes oh my gosh I wanted so much to just not feel- anything. Looking back, I still remember every second of that pain that led to such a blank and seemingly somehow frantic panic that I could not do it fast enough.
That was six summers ago. After about 400 days I stopped counting. I would be lying if I told you I made my life better, or that I never think about it or have ideation anymore. I also can in solid truth tell you... those years between then and now have been some of the worst and hardest in my life- but even in those times, I would not let myself entertain the thought, at least for not too long.
Suicide is perminate. Emotional pain, physical pain- treatable, as is anxiety and depression. I chose to be bigger than the thing that almost broke me. I chose to be stronger than myself, and I have made that choice everyday since then.
So... can you help me help you?
I know you enjoy repairing and building things... making good use of the hands that dangle between episodes of strength and hardship- one nail or qwerty at a time. Tap into that and let's see what you can do?
Steak & Orange Juice
Steak. So bland.
It had been five years since I had last tasted a person. Five years since that satisfying dinner in my apartment. I had only been able to get through half of the child’s meat when the police had burst in with their dogs.
The dogs...they had a hard time controlling the dogs that night.
Well, that had been the end of living vicariously for me.
And now, for my final meal, I had to eat this insipid dry mass. Didn’t I deserve at least one leg piece today?
Just a tender, freshly cut chunk off a youngling...
Kids tasted the best- unadulterated and juicy. I had even given the guard a set of instructions on how to cook it when I noticed the disgusted look on his face. I guess not even years of being a model prisoner could make them look at me any differently.
Differently? Rather the same way they looked at all the other nondescript killers.
I often wondered if they’d ever understand. If they’d see that I wasn’t a monster. I didn’t kill for money. I didn’t kill out of jealousy. I didn’t kill because I enjoyed it. I killed simply to feed myself. And wasn’t that something they all did? How was it any different from them butchering pigs and lambs, and fishing every weekend at the lake? Didn’t I, in fact, deserve better treatment than the rest of the hooligans? Didn’t I deserve a lesser Hell?
Yet, here I was, in isolation, while the others got to share bunks.
I finished up the last few pieces of my steak, and washed it down with orange juice. Steak and OJ- the standard meal given to anyone about to be offed, if their actual wishes cannot be fulfilled.
Standard? Ah! The irony.
Perhaps my wish did get fulfilled. The wish to be treated like any other, normal, standard, fellow. I couldn’t help but smile. The steak didn’t feel so horrid anymore.
The steps of the guards rang through the hall as they made their way to my cell. I shivered in the cold, wrapping myself up in a thin blanket one of them gave me out of sheer kindness. Their voices echoed.
“Man, this seems so wrong. She’s younger than my daughter. And in deathrow!”
“I know, but it’s our job. She confessed to the murders and so, she is punished for it. Sentenced to death.”
“You really think a ten-year-old girl killed seventy-two people?”
“No, but she confessed and all evidence found leads to her.”
“Evidence! There was pictures and her confession! There were never witnesses to testify against her! It’s wrong! She needs to be let free!”
But death will be freedom.
One of the guards, the one who gave me the blanket came into view and smiled at me.
“Hello sweetpea. How are you?
“I’m scared.” I murmur.
He nods and the other guard watches. “I know. What do you want to eat today?”
That’s when I realize, today is the day they kill me. Just like the other inmates warned. They only asked what we wanted to eat before they killed us. Shivers travel throughout my body.
“Crawfish.” I answer finally.
“It’s not crawfish season.”
“Oh.” I think long and hard. I want my last meal to be decent, even though there’s no point in having one. “shrimp alfredo, like a professional one... And those tiny french cookies from thayt American Girl movie... Where she’s in France.”
The other guard walks off to go put in my order.
He stares at me, sorrow in his eyes. “Why did you confess to those murders? I know it wasn’t you.”
“It was me.”
“Those people I killed... They ruined me. Death would be freedom.”
“You are ten! You didn’t kill anyone!”
He doesn’t believe me and I understand why.
“I did. I can tell you exactly how I did. I can tell you what they had in common and who they were.” All were pedophiles. All were elitists. And many, were the reason why I didn’t care whether I lived or died, because I’d once been their victim.
“Then tell me, why did you?” He asked.
“Because, someone needed to avenge the children they harmed, such as myself... But no one else would be their avenging angel. So I was.”
~A few hours later~
They had finally brought me my food. It was warm still... Most likely courtesy of the guards who’d grown fond of me over the past several months.
I began eating, thinking of all my victims. They’d only ever found seventy-two but there were many more than that. Lesser known people who no one would notice if they disappeared.
If reincarnation is real, I hope to come back as a child again, and be the avenging angel again. Kill more; save more. I’d go through deathrow a billion times, just to save my brethren who need me.
“Sir,” I ask, “I want you to know, I don’t regret the murders... I’d do it all over again if I could.”
He nods and says, “I know, little avenging angel, I know.”
And somehow, I know, he’ll find a way to carry out my work, one way, or another.
Likely a pretty common choice for a last meal. Decadent, dripping in butter, and not so exotic that it would be denied. The guard sets the plate down in front of me, sending splashes of oil in all directions. He rolls his eyes.
"Another one wants lobster, huh?" The guard sneers at me before sending a glob of spit in my direction. "Fuckin' boring."
I don't reply. I learned not to speak to these men early on, it only makes their sadism worse. Obviously I'm no saint, but these people... well I'm not sure I should even call them 'people,' they're monsters. At least I had a reason, even just a small one. These guys, they just get off on the violence. Their sick smiles when they reign down the make that clear enough. They're all in on it, too, judging by the cameras convienently switching off whenever they decide it's time for some torture. System's fucked, and I know it because they're so much worse than I could ever be, and I'm the one being put down.
"I'm going to enjoy pullin' that switch," the guard cackles at me while I take my first bites, "They say it's not supposed to be painful, but I can tell it is. I know bad it hurts when the volts fry your brain. I love it.
I can feel the shellfish passing down my throat as I scarf it down. I'm not even using the butter at this point, just trying to eat as much as I can.
"And I especially love turnin' down the voltage so it takes longer to kill you." His perverse giggle rises to a hearty, repugnant laugh. "There ain't nothin' you can do about it! You eat as much as you want. In the end, I'll still get to kill you."
As my last bite passes down my narrow throat, I look up to him. "Will you?"
His face scruntches in anger. Were the circumstances different, I'm sure I'd be in for a hell of a beating. Soon, though, I can see on his face that he understands what's happening. He rushes over just as my blood pressure drops and my body starts going into shock.
"You little shit, what the fuck are you doing? You're mine to kill!" He belows.
I lift my swollen face to him, opening my eyes as much as I can. When he gets close to try and save me, I spit directly in his hateful, beady eyes.