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The Suicide Chronicles

March 26th, 2010 · 9 Comments · Book Writing

I started the second chapter of my book the other day and it’s a doozy!  In this chapter I give a brief history of just how I came to marry Ed and end up in the hospital while pregnant with Darren.  It’s impossible to talk about, even briefly, the events leading up to that point without mentioning my brother’s suicide.  You know, you think you’ve dealt with something and come to terms with it then you just get a big slap on the face. 

My brother and I had a horrible relationship and, in fact, the last words I ever said to him were, “I hope I never see you again.”  I didn’t.   Holy crap, there’s about ten tons of guilt to live with eh? 

I was angry when he killed himself.  Angry he wimped out of life, angry he did something so incredibly selfish, angry at how this was going to affect my mother, and just plain angry at him.  What kind of person doesn’t cry at their brother’s funeral but instead sits there seething with anger?  Me, that’s who.  A narcissistic witch who still wanted an opportunity to have the last word and really give him hell for doing something so stupid and getting more pissed off by the minute because I’d never have that opportunity.  Everyone else was grieving and dealing with his death in a mostly normal manner.  Not me.  It seems I never do anything without leaving the claw marks of disfunction forever embedded in every piece and this was no exception.  I somehow have the ability to make every single situation more difficult and after analyzing the proper choice, the healthy choice, the normal choice, and the absolutely insane choice of difficulty, pain, and sheer wrong-ness – well that’s the one I choose.  Every time.  My brother’s death was no exception and I walked blissfully down the path of self-induced pain without looking back.  I walked it alone, refusing to share or allow anyone to assist with my chosen hell.  Ever the control freak, this pain would be mine, mine, mine, all mine.

I was one messed up freak.

You might be feeling sympathy for me now, even pity.  You might feel judgement.  Go ahead.  You may feel I should forever burn in the depths of hell for my cruelty towards my brother and the part I played in his decision to end his life.  I say to that, “Bring it.”  When you chain me to the blazing fires of hell you’ll see my face looking back at you with a determined grin of insanity because I’ve already done that to myself.  When you think I can’t possibly suffer more for my transgressions, go a step further.  Push just a little more.  I already have.  I’ve done that and so much more to myself.

It was years, and I do mean years, before I grieved but I finally did.  I did it alone and made it so much harder on myself than it needed to be.  But I did it.  I visit his grave at least once a year no matter where I’m living and I have long conversations with him.  I’ve learned to accept the stupid choices and hurtful words I said back then.  I do everything humanly possible to not go down the path of “if only…..” because that only brings self-inflicted pain.  I’ve brought this subject up during therapy and conversations with friends who helped me through the long delayed grieving process.  I’ve managed  it.  It’s been cleaned up and put away neatly.  I can speak about it without crying but with a normal sense of pain, even laughing during the stories I tell my kids about him.

Then last night I screwed up the whole thing.  Like a delicate glass vase, it all shattered around my feet.

I sat at the dining room table to start the more uplifting chapter of telling how I ended up in the hospital and began the brief description of losing Darren.  Oh my God, I saw his face.  I closed my eyes to search out the memories because I need to feel them as I was writing and I swear, I saw his face in my mind.  I heard his voice.  I felt his arms around me hugging me.  I saw him playing with his Tonka truck, swimming in the pool, playing soccer, eating dinner, running down the street, laughing and giggling as we did something we weren’t supposed to, and then the look on his face while packing his things to leave feeling so unwanted and unloved because of me.   I saw the pain and hurt when I said those last words to him then smuggly turned my back and walked away, leaving him with tears in his eyes and confusion why his older sister would hurt him so cruely.   And for the first time ever I envisioned his last act.

I saw this fresh faced newly-turned-18 year old young man start the car, hook up the hose, walk into the shed, and close the door.  I saw him sit at the bench and write his last note.  I saw him wonder if this was the right thing.  I saw his hands shake with doubt.  I saw him cry as the fumes overtook him.  I saw him close his eyes, drop his head, and die.

I lost it.  Totally, completely, lost it.

The boys were upstairs, thank God, and Ed was already dozing on the couch emitting loud snores.  I broke down into a hysterical mess and had to leave the house so I didn’t drag anyone else along with me so I went into the garage and let it happen.  Alone.

My emotions overtook me and I shook uncontrolably down deep to my core.  I cried and cried for what seem like an eternity.  I let shame and guilt overtake me again.  I was a horrible sister to him.  I said and did the most awful things and I can’t go back in time to fix them.  I’m the perfect Al-Anon because I live  to fix things, fix people.  But I can’t fix this.  We named our firstborn after him, I’ve worked suicide hotlines, I share my experience with others so they’ll know the reality of suicide, I’ve done what little I can to heal but I can’t change it, can’t fix it.

I have to live with that.  Every.  Single.  Minute.

I live with it while I’m making dinner for my children and they look at me with smiling faces to tell me I’m the best mom in the world because it’s their favorite.  I live with it while riding a horse down a long country road.  I live with it while laughing with friends during a cookout.  I live with it while nestled in the comfort of my husband’s arms.   I live with it right there  at all times.  It’s damn sure mine.  All mine.

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