- a unique take on world suicide prevention day *
Who is this lady? She is elderly, yes.
A grandma,a mother a sister, an aunt, a great grandmother.
I don’t know. I have forgotten. Hang on a minute…
Aaah yes there was this one time that I was sat in her house -plush, ‘propre’ , stylish and I couldn’t sleep.
I kept on getting up to go to the cupboard on the far right of la cuisine that housed all the gigantic Cadbury’s chocolate.
I ate and I ate and I ate some more. I always seemed to be able to eat more.
I didn’t it like it when she bought the dark kind. So bitter. So classy, so not me.
But back to la cuisine.
Footsteps pander lightly behind me. I turn and look around and I look into the eyes of a lady with pure class-sans maquillage. This seems to counter my non- class evolved youthfulness. The lady asks me a question ‘Ca Va?
I’m expected to answer with the same ‘ca va.’ but it is something like 3 am in the morning. Obviously ‘ca va’ is not appropriate for this setting.
I don’t know why I can’t sleep, I confess. I’ve shoved a load of pills down my throat in an effort to be like the one whom I shall refer to as the Manic depressive. The lady sits me down and makes me a Sleepytime tisane – . Good herbal shit. We sit at the kitchen table with our ‘Sleepytime’ tea, I can’t remember what we talked about.
I have a habit of forgetting things, you see. It is so frustrating. I go back to bed feeling cared about. Why didn’t I feel grateful then?
No regrets. Have no regrets. Okay. I try not too. I wish I had paid more attention, then maybe I wouldn’t forget so much.
I can hear her laughter in that loud roomy part of my brain, it’s threatened me it will become a real auditory sound that knocks me sideways with fright turning me into a paranoid wreck.
I have to remember that laugh. She used to laugh at my jokes. She loved me. She told me she loved me all the time.
She also loved another – another woman-my mom. Angelic looking, graceful, naive and I don’t know – wonderful?
This lady helped me out with the angelic-looking lady. Yes, I remember, one poignant night, the angelic-looking manic depressive and I had a vicious fight. I took a braai fork to her neck.
I was fucking going out to drink and get strung out on drugs and Miss Manic Depressive could mope in her stupid illness and fuck right off.
Well, she took that big FU literally. We had this stock of prescription pills that could take our local pharmacy out of business – bad joke- that’s why I rely on comedians for such amusements (Omid Djalili and Gabriel Iglesias being two of my favourites ). Nothing like a next-day hangover and a shrill ringing phone to make me grab a handful of downers.
I’m not ready for the sunshine just yet- maybe not ever. The lady on the other end of the phone wants to know if the manic depressive is okay. Of course, she is ok……
I turn over
…but she isn’t.
She is one tunnel turn away from death. I need some Rohypnol and valium and I need t
hat lady on the end of the phone.
She says she is going to get the next one hour flight from JHB airport to Durban and I need to get the manic depressive to a hospital. I don’t have health insurance. I’m 15 years old.
A cocky shit who obviously knows it all but nevertheless in my narked upstate I somehow manage to get the angelic Manic Depressive a space in a run-down public hospital in Africa – in a- I kid you not – broom closet. Sick people were lying on the floors, covered in congealed blood, in the corridors of this hospital. So I count my blessings that we had some type of room and a bed.
The lady meets me at the hospital. It’s touch and go. We are rooting for survival on this one. Black tar leaks down out through a tube from some part of the manic depressive’s body.
She is okay- stable.
She is in a coma.
The Lady transfers her to a more upmarket private hospital. She has the master card. We spend the night next few days at the Oyster Box hotel – in a chalet. She takes on me and my two cats. Lilac and Mocha- and we all sleep in the same bed united by our love for the angelic manic depressive one.
We don’t know if she is ever going to walk again. I mean it was an overdose with powerful intent. No, pithy cry for help as some believes a suicide attempt is. The angelic manic depressive has a new name angelic, rapid cycler Bipolar.lady in The other lady is my grandma- as you probably have figured out. We go and see her every week. She broke her hip back in Feb 2015 and can’t walk anymore.
Okay… so that happens with a lot of old people. Yeah, but this lady, my grandma has been stripped of her dignity, identity, memories, and she can’t remember she can’t walk. She is stuck on a loop – every few moments she tries to get up and screams in frustration when she can’t. This lady sitting in the middle is my relationship with someone I love who has Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
I know I’m not writing something fucking profound but she means something to me and her family. She is living a world with no faces, no colour and the world speaks another language to her. How is she meant to interpret all this shit?! People talking.
Other elderly people not moving- crying, shouting, fondling themselves to remember that they too can feel.
My Chronic Anorexia 10 stone self could envy my grandma’s current weight. 5 stone if that. She forgets how to eat. Imagine that?
What type of existence is this?
This is where I get political. Let people die with dignity.
I signed up for the campaign years ago. Who is this lady? She is so much more than she looks. She has had a life people probably can’t even dream up and a life where people would also be horrified how she survived such heartache, ( love is the answer here, folks) but for today we can’t go back into the past too much without forgetting. I don’t want to forget, not today. Those two memories I can hang and frame in the gallery of my mind.
They are mine. No one can take them away from me but Alzheimer’s can. Dementia too.
You know what really makes me sick about all this? When a person with these illnesses die, Alzheimer’s and Dementia don’t take the credit. The diagnosis of death is usually a secondary symptom. How twisted and messed up is that?
Does she remember her husband? Where does she go?
I should have been a Neuroscientist or something. I want to know what is going on in her head and fix it. All clichés but they are my clichés for today. Can you believe people are being diagnosed with these maladies at as young as 25 years of age?
I would rather choose to die than have everything taken from me. Would my Grandma say the same? I wish I had asked her.
Me: ‘So Gran, let’s talk about something so morbid as to how you would like to die.. ‘
I’m putting it out there. Me? I don’t want to suffer and I don’t want to feel pain and I don’t want to not be understood. That is not living that is stuck between two perverse worlds. I want my family to pay the ferryman and for him to take the money and take me along the river Styx to E
lysium and let me die with dignity.
Information on the dying dignity campaign http://www.dignityindying.org.uk
Time stands still
Waiting for my child
To pick her up from her school.
I’m no fool
Schools not meant to be cool.
Just another institution
Similar to a prison.
My constitution was made to rebel
For a cause
Waiting around on top.
Never thought I’d glimpse a shadow of my former self -over the hill.
Curse these minutes.
Frozen into a state of blissful ignorance.
Wrapped up into a stationary kit.
Sudden bowel movements
I feel ill.
lost to a
Simmer into another ghetto outfit
Sparse Sunshine shimmer flecks
Until my skin unravels into motion.
For this moment
I’m not a suicide kid.
Instead, I’m knocked out
By a dead dong ringer
Them there eyes
Catch sight of her eyes.
How they glimmer!
I’ve always been skeptical about accessing services such as Samaratins however since I’ve been actively trying to help myself become mentally well again, I reached out via email to find uot more about Samaratins.org and what services they can offer me – I thought I had to be suicidal to get in touch with them.
I’m currently building up a post crisis plan and contingency plan with the Mental health team – my psychiatrist, my Psychiatrist community nurse and support worker and other services in my community to get back on track. I thought I would share my experience on my website blog. This is how it went.
I emailed Jo ( all volunteers are trained and called Jo) to ask for further information. Jo got back to me to ask me for a bit more background and gave me a link to the samaratins.org website.This is what I had to say.
It sounds like you and your CPN are doing great work together.
Samaritans is a 24/7 listening service. We are currently available on the phone, email and by letter. Can I suggest for a more detailed definition of our service you visit our website www.samaritans.org.
Is there anything you would like to talk about tonight, is there anything worrying you or is there something you would like to share with us about how you are feeling?
Erm… well, I have been a long time service user with lengthy inpatient and outpatient stays in the hospital for bipolar, EUPD and chronic anorexia.
I tend to go in a cycle with how I escape from my thoughts and emotions instead of regulating them.
I’m in that place where I’m highly
Motivated to get to the place I was in from 2013- 2017
I achieved more in those few years than in my entire lifetime,
Apart from my career in travel.
I have a lot I want to do with my life and pass on what I’ve found out to help others.
I’ve volunteered my heart out up until 2016 because I was studying my BA at the time. I fought social services, my family and my 9-year-old daughter’s paternal father in court for 16 months. On the 05 may 2015 I addressed the judge myself and she was and is discharged into my care with full parental responsibility & she is a phenomenal child. I can’t believe she is my child.
I was never going to get married nor have children until I hit my 30′ s. Both just seemed ” to happen”. Many traumas and bad relationships, abortion and boom! By the age of 36 married and one 6-year-old.
My eating disorder has always been a big problem for me.. I’ve been starving myself or self-medicating for most of my life.
In 2017 my body nor my mind could take on everything I set out to do. I was volunteering 5 days a week 9- 5 pm. I was asked to do my WRAP co-facilitator course to do workshops; I had completed the first year of my MA 60 credits and a post-graduate in the humanities with high merit. I had been married for a year. My gran died a horrible, drawn-out death over 3 days in March 2017. I had to decide to take my aunt off life support because my Mom didn’t know what to do. My aunt died in our arms( at hospital snowed under morphine a few months later). I had to support my mom who is ill at times and be “there” for her.
My weight was getting low and it gave me a huge buzz. It’s the best high ever. No drug compares in my opinion to feel my bones protrude or the scales getting lower or that power I feel.
Unfortunately, I started self-medicating with illicit substances and I ended up doing one of my worst suicide attempts in March 2018. I insisted on carrying on with the final year of my MA. I had split up with my husband ( we are back together), My daughter was more or less living at my mom’s place more than she was in her own home. Most of the time I didn’t want her to see me out of my head, or out of control.
I was a single mom & My mom reported me to social services in 2018 within two weeks and then went to Miami for 5 weeks for a break! I received my lowest mark to date and I decided to end it. My mom had a hunch because that night I didn’t want my daughter at home with me.
Anyway, 9 hours in ICU and my Mom ( who was once part of my daughter’s care support package that I discovered and used as to persuade the judge I could look after my daughter with the help I had my daughter to look after and I carried on self-medicating and I had to go through a core assessment with a social worker’s (alone this time and I reached out my child’s school for support stop my child from being thrown into a highly flawed social care system. Twice in that year. Mom rang them again when my daughter was at her home.
I made an appointment with the doctor and I walked to the surgery. My mom was complaining about taxi fare etc.. I was hyper however the doctor ” made” my mom ring social services again. Back to 2018
My psychiatrist said I was in psychosis and I think the only reason he didn’t section me is that… I don’t know. He has known me for 15 years! I had my child to look after… I’m still not sure why he didn’t section. I think my then C.P.N. stuck up for me and I was put onto fortnightly injections to show compliance. The side effects were terrible. My mom took me to the hospital to take another medication to counteract the side effects before leaving to go abroad.
It was a rough couple of years from March up until 2019.
I was self-medicating daily I’ve (never been on heroin, or crack or ketamine.
I was in toxic relationships.
I didn’t care about my weight then. My nose was falling apart and I was losing my daughter to my mom at a fast rate.
I still wasn’t dead!
I took a really big overdose in Feb 2020. My former care co-coordinator didn’t think my cries for help were serious. My friend kept me awake on the phone. He wanted to call the ambulance. I begged him not to because of my daughter.
I got back with my husband in early 2019.
We had to get an injunction on a guy I allowed into my life. We weren’t good for one another. I seem to attract men who need me for finances or something…
I need them to be assholes to me to make sure that I can never trust my husband. The one man who has never disrespected me in 9 years and I’ve done a lot of shitty things to him
In May 2020 I had had enough.
I had been studying suicide manuals I found on the internet and decided to follow the overdose step by step guide. I ended up in a coma for 5 days and wired to tubes for a further 5 days in ICU.
For 2 months I was on a high. I was self-medicating on my Eating Disorder again. My mom and I have always clashed I was living with her trying to get away from a home with bad energy.
It didn’t work out with my mom and my daughter and my cat and my husband living at our current home. She threw me out in front of my daughter and as an excuse, I don’t know
I became stuck in my old habits. It was that or my eating disorder. My choice. My mom threatened to take me to court over my daughter numerous times for my drug use. I lost a lot of time with her my daughter.
I lost confidence in my mom Abilities again.
I was spending crazy amounts and stopped caring again. I have reached out to every service in my area and say I’m too complicated. My issues are too ” complex”.
I asked for a new care coordinator ( June 2020) and she saw me in crisis mode for 2 months. In Sept 2020
I put on 1 kilo ( in my head or physically. I was self-medicating so I had stopped bothering about scales.
That day I did something I haven’t done since I wad 17 years old.
I’m 39 in November. I stabbed my right-hand breast repeatedly and my inner thighs. Then bought 2 scales.
I then tried to jump off a well-known bridge for suicide attempts the same night.
My psychiatrist sent two psychiatrists to assess me to under the mental health act section 2 1981. .I think.
Earlier that day,
I walked out of his office screaming at my psychiatrist to discharge me from the enhanced team for people with severe Mental health input.
What was the point in taking prescribed tablets alone when I have been knocking on every door for DBT and therapy?
I spoke frankly with the assessment team and I wasn’t detained
I had a massive blow out 6weeks ago..
My mom had taken my girl away 1 day after we had discussed a plan and strategy and the boundaries and goalposts were moved according to my mom’s mood and demands. I decided f *** it. I was in a bad way and then I fought my mom for my daughter. I got her CPN involved, school. I told her secrets to my family. I betrayed her because I wanted my baby girl back.
She’s been home with me for just over 2 weeks &our bond is good. She is back into a good routine. I’m loving our bond, her age, her interests and her love.
I’ve thrown me into various therapy apps to get better, recovery apps, happy apps, registered to do volunteering again. I’m writing on my website again.
I’ve added a music blog to my website -it focuses on music artists I find and interview them on their career, creativity and thoughts on Mental health and their own experiences. My next feature is ready to publish by early Nov.
I’ve signed up to do loads of volunteering skill courses – peers mentoring etc…
I’m redoing my WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan
Learning DBT on my own.
. I haven’t used illicit substances for 8 weeks and I am higher than I have ever felt.
I’m starving myself again. I don’t like it, hunger, the dedication it takes. I do like the highs and my BMI is down to 17.1. I was living at a 19 – 20 BMI from 2018 until now…
. I’m happy because I’m investing my time in my family and buying us things. It feels good.
I’m mindful of how much I drink because of calories and I can’t drink like I did when I was using. I become ill. I have a protein shake usually 2times a day.
. A few microwaved mushrooms, cucumber( not microwaved) and microwaved onions. And celery and herbal tea to snack on.
I’m very active. I love to keep busy.
Mentally and psychically.
That’s a bit about me.
I don’t know what else to say.
I’ve managed to find a charity who let me have 10 zoom conference counselling sessions for survivors of rape, trauma and sexual abuse. My last session ends next Tues I have rescheduled 3 times!
I don’t feel suicidal and haven’t in 3 weeks.
I don’t have time to ruminate or think about self-medicating in an illegal way. People don’t leave me alone for too long and at this point, I don’t feel suicidal. I feel insanely high on my Eating disorder I’m on a high because I am making positive changes & I have had to cut out my family to be the mother that she deserves and I deserve to be.
I received a lengthy reply with positive feedback back at 3 a.m. this morning. It was an email that served as a soundboard to affirm what has happened and what I am doing with my life. I found it a positive experience I would urge people to use this service even if they don’t feel suicidal .
She’s dying not wanton for living in nebulant world
caught up in a shimmer
She is my cognitive dissonance a prisoner or
the one who keeps me safe form all harm
She takes me to a blissful cave hung with roses
sunshine smiles challenge my retreat
If her love snuffs out
Flames of regret will burn until cinders remain
didn’t show her the true love she deserved when she was even ill
Ignorant to what is in plain sight
Words tempted to expel her ignatius existence.
* This Borderline poem was written a week before I attempted to take my life (again).I ended up in Critical Care in a coma for 5 days & in ICU for a further 6 days. I was discharged from hospital on the 21st of May 2020 *
Please, make sense of reality.
Use a stream of consciousness
words to vent,
A discovery in recovery
Fathom out sense because words are only as good as the interpreter.
Could add literary success to a Gravatar profile in an ebook
Add few drafts poured into that fulminate crunched up chaos.
This doesn’t invoke a feeling of literary success.
Struggling to convey all words .
Reciprocated words are often misinterpreted
Another attempt to convey these words
Perhaps one person will see this array of affray spread its torment defecating the inner spiral case of the
It swirls descends these steps in every way.
The moment to call it a day
This draws an outline forever have to have the last say.
Hear me proclaim
Don’t want to carry on living this way
It overstays — the bailiff texts for rent arrears
What is laid down?
I’m not done yet.
Hanging by a thread it’s tethered
Seen many days to identify as weathered
Hanging by a thread
This is my life purpose!
Final chance to meet my fate
Waited for this all my life
A mystery date with a severed soul mate.
Taught & tethered & weathered is this rope
I’m no tight rope walker.
I’ve become my own word stalker
Shoulda, coulda, woulda arrested these rants before my digress
Wait in this hidden corner.
Evidently I’ve learned that survival is innate.
It ain’t easy to digest the days I’m not blessed to eat from a plate.
keep rising up despite a life times worth of trip-ups.
Until I die
One fine day
I’ll face the final exit of my mortality
I’ll know the truth
Either way it’s gonna end up with a body
Subconsciously know why I feel
It’s called humanity
What do I know about that damp dark corner entertaining souls I’ve yet to meEt?
Going to have to wait for a future promising chance we haven’t dreamt of taking yet.
If I lose all memory
Forget those words
soggy, wet, lost to another realm of the bereft
Lest I forget.
I write to recover.
Be happy or die trying.
Simultaneously a resilient species & inconveniently inept
Do you know how hard it is to successfully take your own life?
I have been doing it all wrong.
Like most people, I have down it on impulse. Not thinking through the logistics.
If someone is going to take or think about taking their lives here is something to think about:
Drug interactions- do you want death to painful?
This is what I’ve realised I need to take in to account if I want to end my own life.
It needs to be planned
only 1 in 40 planned suicides is successful by overdosing.
Most people when they find the pain of living unbearable, usually try & take their lives on impulse.
And fail. Ive been in that club.
So say I decided to end my own life, how would I want it to go?
- I want a painless death -Nembutal is the safest way to a pain-free death. There ar3 many methods
- Pick your drug interactions wisely
- Consider your Mid lethal dose & tolerance levels to certain medications & drugs, your gender etc..
- Check the expiry dates.
- Consider drinking alcohol with it – not on an empty stomach -as there is always the chance overdosing on large quantities of tablets can induce vomiting.
- Crush all tablets together and aim to drink/consume it all in one small dose
- Be in a place where no one can find you.
So it is final.
What I would want from death is no more pain.
There is a website I found in my quest to find purpose and meaning in my life & also to find a way to end it
I’ve delved into courses about the Humanistic approach to life.
The arguments for being pro-euthanasia & how a society can decide that a person’s mental psyche and anguish is not on a par with a terminal illness like cancer or progressive like dementia
We can’t see the inner workings of the mind or the pain a person goes through.
I’m trying to be rational & think of the positives.
I have a daughter and I don’t want her to be like me.
I have always struggled to live in my head, my body.
I’ve forgotten 3 quarters the events I’ve experienced.
I’m angry at the abuse I’ve allowed men to do to me.
I’m angry at the loss of power I gave to others and to things.
My standards have fallen & I am clinging on to an idea of self-respect cos I am worth it yet I don’t present myself that way & how can anyone respect me when I haven’t the ability to come across as eloquent.
I have had talking therapies, hospitalizations, epiphanies & moments where I’ve thrown myself into studies, work etc until I become unwell again.
Why do we have a problem with people who are mentally “incurable”, have no hope, have tried numerous ways to live and the pain is chronic or terminal?
Why can’t we accept that most people who genuinely have thought and planned things through – the pros & cons, belong in a hospital?
It’s easy to want humans to live but not want to take on their problems. It’s far easier to lock people with long-standing illnesses in a hospital.
The problem is that some people will respond to certain treatments & others don’t.
That is the way it is. Only we get to decide if we want to end up dead. Addictions, slow suicide etc.
Some days I feel like I merely exist.
If a person is hell-bent on ending their lives they will find away.
Society needs to get their head around the idea of mental torture and the quality of life for a person who can’t find peace or meaning in it due to pain.
Just a thought.
Here we all are, sitting around the circular dining room table- flecked with bits of gold.
Ma sits under a hanging portrait of this Christmas just gone. Three weeks ago. We are all smiling in it including Poppy. Poppy sits playing with her Annabelle doll, on my husband’s lap. Sat opposite from Ma, closest to the electric fire hearth is Gran.
I find myself sitting across from Gran. An iciness breathes mist over us. It separates me from them, cloaks me in a fog.
I try to swallow. The air is so thick it chokes me, I’m forced to put my hands to my throat. Nobody notices me. Nobody notices me the way they used to. I tune into the conversation-taking place.
‘Of course I’m not suggesting this is your fault. I should have known. Done more…’ Nan bursts into tears.
A cry out for:
I need attention I’m suffering the most.
My skin bristles. Nan pulls her scarf tighter around her neck, and then throws out a familiar comment about it being draughty.
‘You know I could catch pneumonia with my Asthma.’ She coughs. Ma gets up to put on the electric fire.
‘I didn’t take her seriously. You know what Angie was like?’
Ma’s eyes are red as the rosary beads she is thumbing; she looks over to an unusually quiet Poppy.
‘Did she just do it to spite me?’ How could she just leave her own…?’
My husband throws a warning look at Ma,
‘Marie, for Poppies sake. Our Angie suffered more than she let on.’ Ma sits back down. ‘Let’s put on a cartoon, luv?’
Poppy shakes her head.
She doesn’t look at us.
I look straight at her, willing her to leave this table. Leave this conversation. She lifts her head and looks me dead on in the eyes. I instinctively smile. Eddie and me always stood together when it came to Poppy.
Her face is pale, her eyes sunken, her skin is drawn in so tight I can see cheek bones protrude. Beneath her eyes veiled shadows betray her youthful face.
She clings onto Annabelle, still looking me dead on in the eyes.
‘When’s Mummy coming home?’
Silence. Her words enmesh with the silence. Her question disarms me. Marks me. The arrow leaves its bow splintering my heart.
I open my mouth to scream out as many words as I can. Condensation steams the air distilling me into silence. I reach my hand across the table to grab hers.
She doesn’t see me. I glare at my family sitting at the round table. They say nothing. Smothering themselves in sorrow, they witheringly curl inwards. I urge to shake them, uproot them from winters glaze.
-Answer her. Answer my daughter!
Instead, Gran succumbs to a puddle of wrinkled tears, mechanically Ma gets off her chair, attempts to console Gran and naturally it’s up to Eddie to mediate.
My calm, rational Eddie. His eyes read as vacant –his beard is wild and unkempt. It’s impossible to read his face.
He clears his throat,
‘We’re gonna see Mummy when we give her… say a proper goodbye.’
Gran flounders in her anglers net of remorse. Great splotchy splashes of grief escape. She wails,
‘She’s with the angels –looking down at you, darling!’
I roll my eyes. Of course I love her! Lately, she grates my skin more frequently with her, melodramatics.
– Confess how you truly feel. Relieved!
I’m so fixated on evoking a response from Gran; unnoticed, a light flickers with an intensity to match my own. Eddie carries Poppy over to the sofa, sits her down to watch a cartoon. He covers her with a blanket then kisses her forehead.
‘We’ll see mummy soon? To say goodbye?’
Eddie nods his head, his voice cracks.
‘When will mummy come back from saying goodbye? In spring? My teacher says it’s winter – everything goes to sleep like her?’ Poppy points to ‘Sleeping Beauty’ on the television.
Eddie focuses on the image. The Prince is just about to kiss Aurora on the lips. He turns his head away from the television before he can see Aurora wake up to her true loves kiss. He grinds down on his teeth. Poppy’s eyes remain transfixed on the television. Eddie gets up, crosses the dining room table; I’m compelled to follow him, I have to stop him. Tell him I’m still here. I haven’t gone anywhere. I’ve so much to tell him.
-There is no God! We were right all along. Religion is for people who can’t think for themselves. We were right to take the piss.
Eddie flinches, puts his hands in his jean pockets. I follow him down Ma’s hallway and into the bathroom. He closes the door on me. It doesn’t ever close fully. I slip through the crack of the door that is always ajar.
Head down. Still. He sits on the toilet seat. I kneel down before him; go to lay my head on his knee. He flinches again. Hits himself in the head. Bangs his fist on the wall screams out:
‘Why? We could’ve figured it out, you fucking stubborn mare’ I bring out the best and worst in Eddie. Till death do us part. What are the chances?
He still refuses to let me go. Stubborn.
My symptoms intensify in the days leading up to the funeral. Everything‘s heightened especially emotions that seemingly walk precariously on stilts. I can’t walk through walls or levitate. Nothing like any of the horrors Eddie and me used to watch together, on the sofa.
Unheard, I bellow continuously,
-Just let me go!
Every time I hear my name called reflections of nostalgia flash and beam over and around me. Prompted, I gravitate towards the source. Someone needs me. These past three weeks, I’ve been teleported from one conversation to another. I find myself in a room; familiar or not familiar, with people I know and people I don’t know.
Today I’m summoned to the usual bickering between Ma and Gran. The familiar sound of Gran’s kettle boils in the background.
‘I want that picture of her on her graduation day and flowers- blown up .With azaleas. And roses – she loved roses- pink.’
‘She hates that picture! And she loves- loved yellow roses…’ Ma’s wobbly voice mirrors her jelly struck legs propping her up in her work shoes. She staggers backwards. Like the black dog with a bone, Gran won’t give in,
‘No, she’s my eldest grand daughter and I know her – it is… was pink!’
Ma sits down, doesn’t speak. I go over to her to put my arms around her then she dissolves into tears. Gran bulldozes her way over to us. Intimidated, I move out of her way. Gran holds Ma and Ma lets Gran hug her. Ma calms down, mentions something about pink and yellow roses
Vexed, I shriek
– don’t back down Ma, I love yellow. Yellow roses. The kettle whistles for attention. My voice is lost to an object.
‘I’ll go make that cup of tea’ Nan retreats to her kitchen.
Another opportunity to get close to Ma again. I need to hug her, give her some of my energy. As if on cue, Mum’s tear-stained face crumples just like my heart. A poking hot iron burns a hole right through it. Gran re-enters the room I scarper.
‘Here you go, love. Lost three of my own …, as you know, mind, they never got to Angie’s age. Yellow’s more of a quirky colour like our Angie… was.’ They smile at each other. I move back, the distance seems to illuminate their smiles.
Tonight, I beg for there to be a heaven. This has to be hell. The familiar, incongruous, gravitational pull lures me out of my cavernous abyss. I blink my eyes several times to focus: orientate myself. Hung up around the wall are vintage Disney posters. My eyes settle on Poppies bed. Eddie bends over Poppy and kisses her goodnight,
‘Mummy loves you just as much as I do.’ He tucks her in.
He switches off the light before walking out. I stand and watch my worn out daughter in her bed. She sings herself to sleep just as she does every night. She sings our song: twinkle twinkle little star. With each inflection of her sweet singing voice, the words serve as a needle. Each word stipulates smelting hot ink into my flesh. My neck is ablaze. Before closing her eyes, she whispers,
‘I love you mummy.’
When I reply, scorching chains wrap and lasso me around my neck. My skin swells up in blisters. The familiar sound of her breathing evaporates the pain. I need to be close to her, I need to smell her, kiss her. Carelessly, I run over to her bed to touch her sleeping head. Startled I lunge backward as Poppy instantly wakes up screaming.
– I’m powerless
. Eddie barges into the room, throws on the light and takes Poppy into his arms. I watch her body stiffen; then relax. I watch him settle my daughter back to sleep. My hands ball into tight fists.
-She must know I’m here.
Before I can touch her face, she wakes up screaming like – like she has seen a- ghost.
-I’m that Ghost! I put my hands to my mouth in horror.
Envy bubbles inside me as I witness Eddie consoling Poppy again. I’m half hoping he won’t succeed.
What kind of a mother am I?
I’ve been telling everyone to let me go.
Where will I go?
I can’t drive, no one can see me. There are no other lost souls wondering about telling me to join the dead community!
I won’t give up on my daughter. She needs me. I have to be here.
The stroke of our clock announces its time; a primitive realisation slithers down my very core. Nausea spirals up into my throat. I run into our bathroom, heave over the toilet, nothing comes out. I catch sight of my reflection in the mirror; I see vicious V-shaped welts where the noose of the rope has cut into my neck. This is what Eddie came home to.
The cloying black dog of depression haunted me. Its delivered dose of pain was exquisite- nothing took it away. Not drinking, overdosing, drugging myself, talking-nothing. Eventually, I told it to sit down. I told Eddie repeatedly,
– I just want to disappear.
– How can I help you? His eyes pleaded for an answer. I would always lash out,
-Unless you help me disappear, you can’t!
I remained imprisoned in our bed and he would go back to work and look after Poppy and the house. He could walk away from me. I couldn’t. I resent him for that. I can see myself now, googling the various ways people commit suicide. One article struck my eye ‘Men are more successful at committing suicide’.
-They don’t mess about with poisoning themselves –they resort to more violent means.
That is the moment I reached out to the wrong Alpha.
The black dog and I began sleeping together. It became my obsession. Up-close, I could analyse it, experiment with it. As a couple, it didn’t take much to find that Alpha rage. One phone call from Ma,
-Just snap out of it. If you’re going to do it, get on with it.
-Fine, I will! I hung up on her before she could hang up on me.
My impulsiveness finds me trapped within this mirror. It’s cold. Everything I read is back to front. Everything I do is back to front. It doesn’t reflect my true intentions. When I reach out, in fact, the more I reach out the more pain I inflict. I back away from the mirror until I’m pressed up, with my back against the bathroom wall.
What have I done?
What right do I have trying to tell my family how to deal with their loss?
Eddie will never know that I was messing about; I didn’t know if I could actually go through with it. From a great height in a corner of the bathroom my body feels cut loose from itself. I can see it happen in front of my eyes. Like a rerun episode, I can’t pause. The noose around my neck, in the shower. Steam shrouds the mirror, with slippery feet, I accidently knock myself off that chair and in that moment I realise,
– I don’t want to die.
I can’t scream and tell anyone. I made the decision when I decided to sleep with my enemy. I’ve interrupted the natural course of life. A lost soul in life: a lost soul in death. There are no bright lights to come with this epiphany. I exit the bathroom, stumble down the staircase, out the front door, and walk aimlessly down the street. I sense a familiar pair of eyes examining me; I look up and see the black dog in its true form. It waits for me to catch up. We walk side by side. I don’t look back. I am the one preventing people from moving on. I have to let go.
*TMA Submition for Open University- Year one MA -Creative writing- fiction genre
When I say I want to disappear
By God, I truly want to conjure dark sorcery
never come back to this planet.
I’ve tried to take my breathe many times
This might sound like Self -pity ( perhaps it is).
But I’m not here to get into it.
These are about my feelings.
I’m not a poet. I’m a person who has feelings & thoughts I need to express.
I’m not trying to hurt anybody.
I’m trying to live the best way I can,
I’ve tried to take my life many times (and) yet, here I am.
I do the best I can.
Deep pan Pizza, Fried Chicken,Sushi, Prosecco.
Get my fringe trimmed,
My daughter, a mermaid’s tail.
Yes, I have sinned!
But I’m still here.
And all I want to do is disappear because I know that
Everyone I love,
Everyone I know is going to be gone.
And I wouldn’t have made the bonds with who I brought into this Life
Mor the people I’ve met or come across.
I won’t have secured any bonds.
I am lost
I am always forlorn.
I wear my
heart on my sleeve and
I cry. I
pace this kitchen over & over
And no I don’t have an excuse for relapsing
And I don’t have an excuse for what I have done.
If there’s one thing I am certain of my heart was invested in it all.I’m trying to do the best I can!
I wish I wasn’t here. I have plans- is this a death threat?
I don’t know.
All I know is there is pizza cooking, and I’m on my last tether
Overdoses don’t do it.
Maybe hang myself?
I’m (just) so far gone. This is not even a poem.
I thought I’d succeed this time .
I’d die reciting poetry under my favourite duvet ..
Perhaps listening to music.
Nearly ended up sectioned .
Making the most of a new day.
No serious damage except to my ego.
I’ve never felt so ashamed at failing to take my own life as this attempt.
Why ? Cos I’m still fucking here.
Apologising to people for not wanting to be here.
Time to keep going.
Moving to a new home is a priority..
This house is a poltergeist.
It feeds my need to keep bleeding.
I love my husband
My mommy & daughter.
3 good reasons to state that I’m
I’m feeling suicidal
I can’t deny the concoction of escapism acts help keep me in denial.
Too many people looking out for me
I haven’t had enough time or privacy to actively find a sure way to make sure I’m undisturbed absolute in my effort to be free
My daughter deserves better
I can’t connect with her
I’m not blaming anyone else for my failure to join the dots.
A girl succeeded in jumping off suicide bridge in 2019
I wonder if this morning will have an impact on my odds of survival – washed up in the river. The law doesn’t get I don’t want to be saved.
My calculations are all wrong.
I’m not doing this because of an income
9 months later after an ESA inquest assessment
And I’m safe till 2022
thanks for letting me know
Government Orange agent.
It doesn’t make me happy to know that I don’t have to show up & prove I’m ill
Everyone else has a hard time at proving they are beyond over the mental /psychical capacity hill
They are sick
Why can’t I CAN’T KEEP MY MIND STILL?
The odds of taking an overdose tonight getting it right are slim.
I need to run a warm bath and make sure I hit an artery
let the blood bad
bad blood leave me
Circulate not from within
I should have this right.
I’m in support of the assisted dying law for those whose aguish is terminal
a mental psyche destroyed with life’s poison.