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*WARNING – this chapter deals with thoughts and acts of suicide that may be difficult for some readers. Please use your discretion*

“I know the exact moment I broke.

When Finn and Alistair were so nice to me after I embarrassed myself drinking – the moment they touched me I wanted to recoil physically. Emotionally I ran screaming. I can’t do it again. Every single person I have ever loved has betrayed me or turned their back on me – or fucking both. Every single person. I can’t do it again. I won’t survive it, I know it. And it is going to end that way, no matter which one of them I dated because it has ended that way with everyone else – why the fuck would it be any different now?

It wouldn’t.

No. I can’t do it. I won’t do it. That’s all I could think as I got myself home… I don’t even remember the ride. I locked the door behind me and walked straight to the bathroom, dropping my clothes as I went. I felt like I was watching myself as a third person, a viewer wondering what is going to happen next.

Except I knew what was going to happen next.

I had decided to skip a step and go straight to the end. All that remained was the execution and I already had everything worked out in my mind. Months ago I had ordered toenail clippers online hoping they would work better on my weird-ass tiny toenails. They don’t – which is super annoying but they’re oddly sharper than motherfucking swords. It doesn’t take much strength to pull the two halves apart.

I refuse to be found naked – how embarrassing. My bathing suit will work perfectly – covers everything yet good in the tub. I’ve seen simulations of this in movies and crime shows, so I know I’m going to leave behind a mess. That’s where the tub comes in – easier cleanup. No matter who finds me, I have no doubt it is going to be fucking awful so if I can make it… better in any way I need to try. Better? Fucking unlikely. Odds are the person will be fucking scarred for life. My pain will be over but the wreckage I leave behind… that shit show is just getting started.

I’m really sorry for that, but it doesn’t change my plans.

Because after awhile everyone else’s pain will lessen and for some, pass altogether. Mine won’t. Even if I manage to put Brent and Eliza in my past, I don’t know how to cut my own fucking mother from my life! My mind tells me I need to, for my own good but my heart says, ‘she’s my mom’. Guilt on top of zero self-esteem is the two-for-one combo nobody wants and yet it is far more common than most of us will admit. Thank God most people handle it better than I am. Thank Christ some people have someone in their lives who recognize the signs and get them help when they need it. Offer support. Love.

I wonder what that feels like?

Far too many of us don’t see another way out – I’m rationalizing these fucking arguments with myself as I fill the bathtub. Far too many of us are either alone or feel so isolated they can’t see the proffered hands of help. Personally, I’m alone – my own mother siding with my fucking cheating ex. Because I’m overweight. Am unlovable… I’m not entirely sure what’s wrong but clearly something is because I’m unlovable. I have to be.

My own mom doesn’t like me.

She’ll miss me when I’m gone. Who else is she going to nag and be cruel to? I wonder if Brent and Eliza will feel any guilt when they hear? Probably… they aren’t monsters – just fucking assholes. Maybe they’ll name their first kid after me – more likely it’ll be the dog.

Thoughts of Finn and Alistair do appear, but I push them away. I have to. They’ll only make me prolong the inevitable and while I’ll likely have a lot of fun in the meantime, I’m still going to end up here eventually. Nope. Fuck it. Just the thought of either one of them turning their back on me… if I weren’t already in the tub my knees would collapse under me.

There is only so much cushion on a person’s soul and my cushion is fucking destroyed. Every time you take an emotional hit, your ‘cushion’ absorbs that hit allowing you to keep functioning. But each and every hit takes its toll on the cushion – it can only last for so long. And mine is done. Flattened. Destroyed. I’m going to end up here one way or another – the next hit would likely fucking kill me anyways because I just can’t take any more.

The pain is sharp and burning and doesn’t lessen for a long fucking time. A really long time… At first it is so pretty how the red mixes into the clear water like slithering snakes and I’m amused that I can find beauty even at a time like this. It doesn’t seem to take long for the clear water to become murky, but it may also be my eyes… it is hard to keep them open… I think I’m falling asleep… No…

I’m dying.

The last thoughts before the darkness overtakes me is that I wish everything had been different. I wish Brent and Eliza had been honest with me about their feelings instead of having a fucking affair… I wish my mom were a different fucking person entirely… but if none of that had happened, I wouldn’t have come to Texas and I did like it here. I think it could have been home if everything had been different… yet it wasn’t. I want none of the fucking emotional baggage but still want the new friends and life I almost had here… Too. Much. To. Fucking. Ask. For.

I wish everything had been different. I wish I weren’t dying.”

I had never said anything in group therapy before and now I finally open my mouth and I tell them everything. Fucking everything. My therapist said I would when I felt I was ready and only then would I be ready to share. And shit, I do feel fucking better talking about it. There’s no judgment here, only acceptance and understanding. I was amazed and also saddened to see how many people were feeling like me, or not coping like me – when I first checked in.

That was five months ago.

I was in the hospital for four days when I checked myself into this place and it has literally saved my fucking life. Well – the hospital did first after I lost a third of my blood so that required a transfusion but once I was physically well enough – I came here. Mentally and emotionally this place has saved me. I just made another huge step in my recovery – other than my therapist I’ve never been able to talk to anyone about what brought me here in the first place. I’ve felt nothing but shame and embarrassment about my role in what has happened and that ends now. I am starting to realize I am a victim goddamnit, regardless of my behaviour – but I do have to take ownership of that too. Fuck that part has been hard but I get it now – I reacted with emotion and not logic. While any of us might – my actions did cause Brent and Eliza public embarrassment and ridicule, and I could have handled it better. They can both still kiss my ass, but I get it.

My mother is a work in progress.

I’m also starting to realize that I have worth. I mean something to people and to the world around me but at the end of the day the only one I need to impress is myself. I forgot that somewhere along the way in my eagerness to put first Brent as my priority, and then my mom. Fuck. That. Shit. It ends now. I now know that I’m no good to anyone if I’m not first good to myself and that I need to put myself first. Even more surprising – it is fucking okay to do so!

As a person with value, I have needs, wants and desires. I have denied myself so many things for so long – I’m not going to do that anymore. Life is too short – I know that from experience. I always wanted to paint – I’m terrible at it but I enjoy it, so I’m going to start. Being in here I have time to read and I forgot how much I used to love it, which turned into me writing my first short story. I have a hundred ideas floating in my head for future stories. No one will ever read them and that’s okay – the important thing is I’ll take the time to write them down.

I’ll take the time for me.

I also have a desire I’ve never experienced before, and I’ve decided to take a chance. The problem is I’m not looking for something simple, but the whole big fucking deal. I’m ready to reach out, so I guess I’ll lay some tentative groundwork. Test the waters I think is the expression. I sound so technical – Finn and Alistair would be enormously proud of me.

Finn and Alistair… wonder if they think about me?

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