Day 5: A time you thought about ending your own life
My official party line for this is: I would never actually try to kill myself because I’m afraid of pain too much.
In reality, I have tried once and I wasn’t in my right mind, so I know it’s possible to feel that completely unafraid of anything. It was in the Fall of 2009, the first semester of my sophomore year. I was devastated because I had finally broken up with Villainous Ex that summer, and it actually hurt me a great deal to do that. He was the worst of the worst of the monsters, but I loved him very much.
I was dating a guy named Alex, who was actually a pretty awesome guy. We still talk from time to time. I projected all of these amazing things that Villainous Ex wasn’t onto Alex. Thought I loved him romantically, but looking back, I know it was a rebound thing. He was just a really good friend, that’s all.
The worst part was that I missed Villainous Ex terribly. This boy sexually abused me for almost the whole duration of our 2.5-year relationship, and I missed him. How could I miss him? When you date someone for that long, imagining your life without them becomes a giant challenge. Our families celebrated Christmas together. I had accumulated dozens of gifts and tokens of what we used to have. Pictures. Letters. I still have them and I don’t know how to burn them.
He moved on pretty quickly, but we still talked on Skype every now and then. Sometimes he’d even bring up the topic - that we missed each other, and that the people we were dating just weren’t the same. It drove me mad because it felt like proof that he never actually cared about me. Clearly, if he was able to abuse me and then move on so quickly when I left, surely he could have never cared much.
Even when I was thinking rationally, all I felt was injustice at having been pinned to his basement floor, dragged up his stairs, tackled to the ground, thrown on his bed, and all the other things he did. He told me that if I didn’t want to sleep with him, it must have meant I didn’t care. In reality, I wanted very badly to sleep with him, but wanted to wait until we had adequate birth control, privacy, and time in which to do it. He didn’t want to wait. In fact, he was willing to trash an otherwise lovely relationship not to have to wait.
I was angry all the time, unless I was sad. Or sleeping.
Plus, I had stopped going to class in favour of sleep - and slaughtered my GPA. I did all the readings and assignments, but my attendance grades really sucked. Sitting in class gave me small panic attacks. Being around people made me upset. Being awake totally blew. But then the stress of knowing that I was doing worse in college than the less intelligent assholes around me started to bug me and it became one more thing to freak out about.
Basically all of this was going through my head at all hours of the day. Pretty much the only time I wasn’t sad was the first five minutes after waking up - before my life registered in my brain and I remembered who I was. I dropped ten pounds. I never masturbated. I slept more than I was awake. I was sadder than I’ve ever been.
So one day I walked in front of a bus. It managed to brake in time, and I pretended to have accidentally stepped into the street, to make sure no one thought I did it on purpose. I waved a sincere apology to the driver and left. Probably, though, if I had really wanted to die, I would have timed it better, so that the bus couldn’t have stopped in time.
Anyway, I guess I’m alright now. I still feel wronged, but I have no idea what to do about it. I can’t prove he assaulted me, so I can’t get legal revenge. My friends from back home still adore him, so I can’t run to them. I’ve nearly cut that town out of my life.
I still feel inexplicably miserable sometimes, but I hope I’m never that sad ever again.
I am an atheist, but I was raised by devout Catholics. They made me go to church every Sunday until I was seventeen. I was even confirmed (I chose Joan of Arc to be my patron saint, because she was kind of kickass even without the religious part).
When I told my parents I didn’t believe in god, my mum literally tried to strangle me. She still tries to push god on me, but my dad has gotten over it. I think he’s upset, but he knows better than to bring it up. I think he cares that we get along more than whether or not I believe in god. That’s good of him, I guess.
My best friend is a staunch Catholic, but even though we fight about it quite a bit, we still manage to get along pretty well. Actually, most of my friends from back home are at least Christians, so to all of their parents I’ve always been the wayward sheep.
I think organized religion harms the world. Period. It’s just a way to legitimize things like war and misogyny. I think people should want to be good just because it makes the world better, rather than seeking a reward.
When people have spiritual beliefs other than organized religion, but that are still based on unproven concepts like “souls” and “the afterlife,” I tend to roll my eyes but be less annoyed than when faced with a Christian or something.
One misconception about atheists that really annoys me is that we believe there is “nothing.” There’s a whole, physical world full of people to love and help, and that is worth so much more than a big house of gold in the sky, lorded over by some omnipotent, “perfect” being who would cast us into fire if we don’t love him.
If I have a child, I will raise her to trust science and reason, rather than faith.
I’m in college, so…you can see where this is going.
I’m glad I didn’t do either of these things in high school, but I’m very glad that I DO use them now.
I drink on the weekends only, and I haven’t smoked in awhile. I enjoy being drunk. I am probably severely unattractive when I’m drunk, but I feel hot as all hell.
I enjoy rapid thoughts. I don’t enjoy panic attacks. So I’ll probably stick to drinking for awhile.
I would NEVER smoke a plain cigarette. I don’t get the point. (Although I will admit that some people look really sexy when they smoke. In that trashy I’m-Wearing-Sunglasses-At-Night-And-I-Would-Be-A-Velvet-Undergound-Groupie-Also-Take-A-Picture-of-Me-For-My-Lookbook-Account kind of way. Which is a great way to be, if you can pull it off. I mean, to hell with lungs, right? Lungs are so mainstream.)
The heroin addict is one of my favourite archetypes, but I would never do it myself. I’d rather stay away from most drugs that aren’t marijuana.
I don’t have an opinion on the legal drinking age. If you want to drink, you’ll find a way. Similarly, people who want to do drugs are going to do drugs because they aren’t hard to find. So…legalize them. Then you can tax the hell out of it, take the drug market away from thugs and mobs, and propose safety measures other than “don’t do drugs.”
And you bet your ass I plan to be shitfaced tonight. Even though I should probably be doing more homework. But whatever because oh yeah, I can tooootally wake up early tomorrow and finish it.
I’d really like to be a professor of anything pertaining to cinema by the time I’m thirty, but I have had pretty much no professors under the age of 35. So. I’m a little distraught by that. It’d be cool to teach cinema history, film criticism, film production, screenwriting, or cinematography. I wouldn’t mind teaching acting for camera or set design either, honestly.
Realistically, I feel like I might still be accumulating a portfolio by the time I’m 30, and trying to convince a university to let me have a teaching position.
I just really hope I don’t wind up teaching high school. No offense to high school teachers who wanted to be high school teachers, but if your aim was higher education, it’d be a slap in the face.
Hopefully I’ll have written something, or even a few things, worth publishing.
Well, he’s just finished Moby Dick and he’s been making a lot of “lol, I’m a whaler now” jokes. So I’m pretty sure I’m going to dump him soon.
In all honesty, though, Aidan's great. We've only been together for about ten months, but they've been happy, stable months (drunken brawls notwithstanding).
In the first few days that we knew each other, we stayed out all night talking. Or walking. I made him sit through a Holocaust documentary and another of my favourite films, even though it was pretty much just an excuse to hang out. We played with glow sticks in the dark of my room. We drank shitty Mad Dog and talked about our quirks. We basically always made up a reason to be around each other. That hasn’t stopped. We’re still around each other pretty much all of the time that isn’t school-related. I don’t feel like I need more space than that, because he’s my friend.
I get bored with people dangerously easily, but I’m not bored of him. I don’t even see it on the radar right now.
And, as I once drunkenly stammered to a group of eagerly-listening buddies, I would rate his bits an 8 out of 10. ("That’s actually a good album on Pitchfork.") I’m not sure why there’s a 2-point reduction. I have no complaints. Cheers to your bits, Aidan.