I’ll be honest, I was at breaking point last night…and by this morning simply just wanted to give up. I also don’t really know why. So okay, I had a horrendous day…and Monday wasn’t fab either, but once upon a time I was having bad days daily… how can two in a week push me so close to the edge?
I wondered if it was just simply energy. I haven’t got the same amount of mental stamina I once had; it was all used up and I’m now running on precious reserves (which are *low*). It wasn’t a depressed sense as to why I wanted to give up, but rather a “I just can’t keep doing this. I can’t keep hurting. I’m not strong enough to carry on anymore.” It was a resigned defeat. “I don’t care if giving up means the abusers have won, at least I won’t hurt anymore…and I won’t have to keep fighting…I’m too tired…”
And I think that’s basically it. I have no stamina left. I’m like a car with no petrol, it doesn’t matter how much you will the car to move…it just ain’t going anywhere. I have all the will power and wish…but no fuel to keep me going. I’m dangerously low on mental energy reserves, as my feelings last night and this morning alerted me. I’m now on amber light flashing “running out…keep going like this and you’ll be empty soon.”
Urgh. How to re-fuel? I have no idea…I’m yet to discover this vital piece of information…
I lay in bed at some point in the night thinking, “If I’m going to do it, I don’t want this suicide to hurt. I’m not trying to punish myself, I’m trying to escape.” So I lay there. Thought about the possibilities, with a frightening calmness. Absent-mindedly I fiddled with my phone charger wire, but decided strangling myself wouldn’t work. I looked at the plastic bags, knowing that this had come extremely close to working in the past, and thought… “hmm. Not exactly flattering though, is it? Dying with a bag on my head.”
At that point I think I jolted into HELLO JADE land. What state was my head in if the most distressing part of a suicide was WHETHER THE GODDAM BAG WOULD LOOK FLATTERING ON ME ONCE I WAS DEAD.
I think I slapped myself. I think that if and when my friends read this, they’ll slap and shake me too. It would almost be kinder if it had been depression speaking, but it wasn’t. It was just someone who’s burnt out after 20 years of fighting far too hard, in far too horrific circumstances, and for some reason the somewhat minor fights this week (when compared to my past) had pushed me over the edge, and I was simply out of energy. I remember thinking I’d rather kill myself and have control over it, than turn into vegetable and comatised psychologically…that’s a worse kind of death. I wanted control over how I was finished…
It was raining. I sat up in my bed, sighing at the state of my head, and looked out of the window. I wondered if this had anything to do with it; me and rain haven’t the best relationship. It reminds me of being locked in the cellar, tied to the stupid pipes, wearing next to nothing and with bad injuries. I can hear the other children snivelling, and can see a younger one slumped over with starvation. The rain in some ways was our saviour; through the holes it gave us water. Desperately we’d strain against the ties or chains and stick our tongues out, reaching for even one drop of water. I can remember the strain in my neck and intense pain in my wrists from stretching so hard. I guess the image was something like fish out of water, gasping for their water. We strained, opened and closed our mouths desperately, searching for any tiny drop of water.
But past this, rain was our enemy. I would watch in horror during the torrential rain, once the floods started. The cellar would start to fill. It was never high enough to probably cause rational fear to an outsider, but we never knew when the rain would stop. And if a child was keeled over, unconscious, then he stood no chance…and there was nothing we could do. The rain might drown us, and because the abusers used drowning as a form of torture, it terrified us. Once the floods started, we’d suddenly scream as a huge amount of water came from nowhere. In hindsight I have to wonder if they’d deliberately made a hole so that so much water came in.
Sometimes we’d be in there for days, with no food or water. Summer was always the hardest, although winter bought bitter cold that could be dangerous. I remember once I wriggled my wrists against the ties, deliberately hard, and gritted my teeth against the pain. When I was quite sure my wrists were streaming with blood, I twisted around and tried to get as near to the children as possible. Pain = extreme. But it worked, the children sucked on my wrists. It sounds horrific, like something out of a horror movie now. At the time it felt the most normal and sensible thing to do. We had no water and the children were exceptionally weak; I had no water, so this was all I could offer them. And it saved them. For that, I refuse to feel horrible for resorting to such hideous measures. We were in a desperate situation, so the only solution was to be desperate correctly.
Anyway, it was raining last night whilst I was calmly contemplating suicide, and it made me think of memories like this. I thought, jesus Jade. You were a fighter then, and look at you now. Two bad days and you’re finished. I suddenly felt very sad and weak, even though I knew it wasn’t because I was any less strong…I just don’t have the same amount of mental energy that I had at the age of 9. I watched the rain and felt safe knowing it couldn’t get to me, and couldn’t drown me. I thought of the children, of the promise we’d made to each other to keep fighting no matter what happened and no matter how lonely we felt…
It hit me then. Lonely. That was a reason for this too. Yes I’m surrounded by the most incredible friends, who show a huge amount of courage and strength in themselves. But I miss the children. I miss the ability to have a bad day, and to have them cuddle up and go “it’s okay. It happened to us too and we’re still here. So we gotta be okay.” That degree of empathy…which was terribly bittersweet; no child should understand another child in that situation…I miss that. I miss the children. I’m so massively grateful that nobody here can empathise with me, because I know that means they were spared.
But I miss them.
I looked at the rain and suddenly wanted to be closer to them, and to feel alive again…and to remind myself the rain can’t drown me and I hopefully will never have to cut my wrists to shreds in order to save some children.
I went outside, in just my night clothes. I stood at the end of the drive and let the heavy rain pour over me. I stood facing the sky, with my eyes closed, and cried with the rain. Maybe the rain was the tears from those who were lost, and from my babies…sending down healing tears to clean me and soothe me. My skin had felt angry and hot, and full of stress and fear. The cold rain washed that off me, cleansing me of the deep pain I felt, and relieving my muscles from their tiredness. Each splash of rain kept me in the real world; I felt grounded and alive.
Soon, I fell slowly to the floor so I was on my knees, and I bent my head….and sobbed. Grief. Grief was the answer. It was grief sucking all the energy out of me. I sat there and cried, heavily but silently, allowing the rain to cry with me…and some of the grief came out.
I don’t know how long I was out there, and woke this morning with a pounding head and sniffly nose. But it didn’t matter; the rain rescued me somehow – showed me where my pain was, why I was so incredibly exhausted…reminded me I was safe, whilst letting me be as close as possible to the children.
This morning the bracelet (photo attached) arrived in the post. It wasn’t supposed to arrive for another week, and I think it was a sign. I like to think the children and babies up there, who held me last night whilst I cried my eyes out…and cried with me… I like to think they made this bracelet arrive sooner. It says “SURVIVOR.” I looked at it and cried softly again, and put it on the same wrist as my tattoo which is in memory of them – a daisy with the word “promise.”
I am a survivor and I made a promise. Grief is crushing me and I hadn’t properly realised, but now I can start doing something about it. Now I understand more so why the flashbacks last night largely contained memories of severe grief and trauma.
So I’m away from the brink. I’m too close to it for comfort, and may well need a little bit more of having my hand-held by friends for the next few days… but I’ve recognised why I felt so bitterly tired (not just two bad days, they were just the bit to send me over the edge). I didn’t give up, I found a way of being incredibly close to them all again…feeling the rain that they once felt with me, and letting it soothe me…and believing it was them holding me, and we cried together.