by Opal Jay
"Happy" actually means by chance; a perfect explanation for why I felt like that at all.
I just couldn't deal with the stress of my life... and, in a way, it sort of helped for me to not be able to remember what I even looked like.
Apparently, I just got addicted to the thrills of hating myself... Or should I say PAINS of hating myself? I guess there's a little of both. Trust me, I know what it's like to be hated.
Not by my parents. My grandparents. My counselor. My friends.
Not even my enemies.
It was myself.
I couldn't stand how it was to live with myself; it was practically torture just being me. Living every day was pure pain and nothing else. I couldn't escape it... I could never even begin to get away, no matter how hard I tried.
Of course, sometimes I would get distracted from it by the genuine fun parts of life. I would get into a temporarily happy relationship with a friend or family member one day... which then came crashing down in hatred and disappointment the next... just like always... ending with nothing but heartache. I would start smiling when I heard a happy upbeat song that just made me want to dance... and then cry at the next one in my playlist which reminded me of the complete and utter failure that was, in fact, my life. I would laugh at a stupidly hilarious joke my big brother would crack on a painfully boring 10 hour road trip... and then forget about it, and go back to letting my own thoughts consume me alive. I would breathe in the hot dry air of nature on a late night in Arizona one moment... and then breathe in the rain which came down the next. But then it would always stop, and I would inevitably fall asleep.
I would be happy because of the fun distractions of life. But the word "happy" actually means "by chance." And that is the perfect explanation for why I felt like that at all.
The reason I started getting angry in the first place was because everything I did. Yes. It was my fault. ALL my fault. Everything was my fault. Nothing good ever came from anything I ever did.
Even if, in my own stupid mind, something I did seemed like it might turn out to be right... it never did. I would end up hurting somebody by it, or miss out on an excellent opportunity that might have been meaningful.
Listen. Whoever is reading this now, I need you to know something.
I CAN think. So NEVER, EVER say to me that I should think before I act, because the truth is that I DO. In fact, I do it too much. And I can't shut it off. About 99% of the time, I am not a spontaneous person. I think about my actions for hours, days... weeks; but no matter what I do, it always turns out to be the wrong thing. I don't know if anyone has named an illness about bad decision making; but if they have, take me to them right now.
The people never cease their talking. They never stop telling me to "think before I act." They will never understand that for me, it does NOTHING. It probably just makes it worse. I think as hard as I can, and eventually fully convince myself that it is the right decision for me to make. But then I realize it was actually the worst.
And because of this exact thing, inevitably it happened. Little by little... I grew apart from my family. But of course, being the incredible people they are... they kept on loving me, despite the things I said and did to them. And instead of making me feel better, it made me even more depressed. Because I could never stop convincing myself that there was no way their love could be genuine. How could it be real? There was no possible way, in my mind, that they could still love me after all the things I did, even though I tried to stop, but couldn't. I simply continued ruining their lives more and more, day by day. But they kept on. And they never stopped. No matter what.
To this day... I am still in shock. Maybe it was because loving your family is the right thing to do. Or maybe there was a message I just didn't pick up on. Whatever it was, it hurt me even more. Because I knew, deep down in my heart of hearts, that I didn't deserve it. I was the last person on earth that ever deserved the tiniest bit of love. I didn't even deserve life... or at least, that's what I believed with all of my blood, sweat, and tears. I was fully convinced there was no purpose for me. I prayed to God to show me why I was here, what my purpose was. But at that point, it just felt like my purpose here was to hurt people.
Trust me. I didn't WANT this to be my purpose... or... maybe I did. Long story short, I was completely torn. My heart was splitting in half, and I couldn't stop it. I couldn't decide whether I was evil or good...even though the good side of me always ended up being just a little bit more powerful. It was the side that made me cry after I had intentionally told someone how I felt. The one section of me that made me sit there in silence as I was yelled at about how I needed to change. Eventually my guilt became dominant, and I felt guilty about anything I did. Anything and everything. Even just forgetting to smile at someone when I passed them on the street. And still, to this day... I overthink everything; the steps I take, the words I say... even the faces I make, or the clothes I wear.
And on that fateful night, as I sat there on my bedroom floor with tears streaming down my face, I was done.
I couldn't do it. I needed to change something.
I ran through my bedroom, into my bathroom, lifted a hammer above my head and smashed my mirror. It was final... I officially hated myself more than anything else. I didn't even want to stay alive, much less look at my stupid reflection for one more second.
However, if I didn't stay alive, there was no turning back... and I knew this. It was the one part of me that kept me from trying to kill myself. I kept thinking that maybe, if I kept trying, as hard as I possible could... things might get better. Maybe for once I would make a real friend; maybe I would be able to prove all those psychiatric diagnoses wrong.
But I knew one thing... I needed to start over. I didn't know how or even WHY yet, but it was going to happen. And the best thing I could spontaneously think of right then was to get rid of the pain of having to look at my disgusting reflection. And no, before you ask; it wasn't spontaneous. That is the best imitation of sarcasm I can do right now... so let's just get back on track.
My mirror was smashed to pieces, and I was sitting there on my floor, looking into the faded scars on my wrists and thighs. I fingered the one on my lower neck that had once spelled the words "I'm done." I had carved that into my flesh about a year ago, right before my first suicide attempt.
My eyes burned, and my mind screamed. I didn't even bother to hold back the tears. I didn't want to cry; it never did any good... but in a way, it feels good to lose a minuscule part of me through my eyes. Just something else I would never get back.
I looked down at my full ribs and legs. I never stopped eating, which was probably the only reason I hadn't died of natural causes yet, but I did still have my childhood metabolism and managed to stay thin. I didn't exercise, except for when I thrashed around in my bed at night, ran across the street to get the mail, or paced my room any time of day, or an unknown hour of the night... simply trying to finally start to straighten out my thoughts and think clearly.
But now that I didn't own a wall mirror, I reached into my nearest drawer, and got my handheld mirror. I didn't look at my face, but I did use it to look at the scars on the back of my legs. Those ones I hadn't caused myself, though. They were actually caused from when I fell off of a horse about a year ago. The reigns had dug in and caused a deep blister straight across both thighs.
So yeah, I was sort of covered in scars. I didn't even have a reason to have them, but I still did. The only thing left unscarred was my mouth. Perfectly full and healthy pale pink lips were always there sitting on my face, like two red roses in the midst of a snowy garden. My skin had also always been pale; but even more so now because of the scars on it. My hair was naturally a light grey blonde, and my chewed down fingernails were a dingy grey as well; almost with a tint of blue if you looked close enough.
Veronika was the name of all of this... this mess of a human who wholeheartedly believed that she had no purpose in live, no point to even try to add up to anything. It was the only name my parents could agree on when I was born, all those years ago. I was the youngest child, so I had always had a ton of attention as a kid, but now... I pushed it away as much as possible. After all, if I didn't deserve love, I didn't really want it at all.
I remember after that I licked my cold lips, tasting the saltiness of the tears that were falling from my light brown eyes. I looked up, into the ugly popcorn ceiling, and stopped. I held my breath, closed my eyes, and sat there completely motionless... as still another tear fall down, hitting my bare legs.
After what felt like forever, I finally drew in a sharp, cold breath, inevitably letting my mind race.
I thought back to the first friend I had had, the first person I had actually trusted with all of my soul. I had given them all of me; all that was left of my shattered heart. And what did they do with it? They had to go and betray it. It hurt, but I managed to gather it up and put it back into my bruised chest. It was beat up, but I gave it a second chance, thinking maybe, in time, I'd learn to trust someone again.
I looked back 11 years, back to the time I was 5 years old in kindergarten... without the faintest idea where any of those classmates and teachers were now. I thought back to the first time I felt ugly and fat, and then scrawny and sickly. Since then, I still wrap my chest up in bandages so it appears I'm even skinnier and not so curvy. I still wear flats to make myself look shorter. I still cut my hair short so people don't notice me. I still love the color black. I love it because it makes you look small, sort of, and in a way, apart from the world... dark and mysterious. It makes you look like a walking secret... and it feels good.
Just to name ONE of the many times I tried to do the right thing but DIDN'T... I remember thinking about the time I had saved up so much money to go to band camp with my friends, just to find out there was only one person who didn't have a guitar. They were talking about how they couldn't decide between the electric bass and guitar as their final dedication. So, I felt generous for once, and I spent the rest of my money on a guitar, generously giving it to her. Then, when we got there, we found out there were too many guitarists... and anybody else who wanted to play the guitar would be kicked out if they didn't switch over and play anything else. But thanks to me, she couldn't play anything else. She was kicked out.
I had also tried countless times to find my own talent, but of course, it turned out I didn't have one.
Little things like these may seem like extra stupid, non-important things to be dramatic about; and trust me, I know that... and you're right, they are. It looks that way to most people, but in reality, it's actually not these little things that make me flip out. It's the piles of them, as they just keep happening over and over and over again, stacking one by one on top of each other... until eventually, the tower of them tips over, bringing me with it. As this happens time after time, I get more on edge, reacting worse and worse as they happen, hating myself more for it, every time.
And now we're back... to me, sitting on my bedroom floor with my face to the ceiling, crying my eyes out and hugging my scarred knees. At that point, I started rocking back and forth, around the time this heaving motion started bringing my chest in and out in an extremely fast and unpredictable way. Yes, it started to hurt, but my mind hurt worse than any physical pain ever could. My brain was sending miscommunicated and unfinished signals at a million miles per hour, although one in particular thought stood out above all the rest: "You're done. It's over. You have no purpose in life."
"But what about your parents? Your mother and father love you so-"
"Do they? Is it just because they have to-"
"Why can't you just try again? You don't want to stop after all-"
"Don't you think I've tried? Everything-"
"There's nothing left-"
"Everything's gonna be-"
"Don't you dare try and-"
"Why not, there's no other-"
"You can't do this any-"
"Yes of course you can. Just think-"
"But remember what happened to-"
"You still have time-"
"I've come too far to turn back now."
I stood up, my hands trembling as I unlatched the window. I looked out into the cool night sky, and took one last long gazing look upon the stars. They would always lead me where I wanted to go.
Still shaking, I climbed out onto the street, my feet hitting the cold, rough pavement, which sent a chill up my spine. And then I ran.
I ran as hard as I could, my chest still heaving. The pain in my head got worse and worse as the miscommunicated and unfinished thoughts kept racing back and forth like an old and unstable cable connection. Then I skidded to a halt. There it was. The river.
I walked out onto the bridge, even though I very well knew it was strictly for cars. I ignored the wind messing up my wispy blonde hair. I stood there staring into the raging water, fixing my eyes on one large and jagged rock. I stood up, and then took a breath. As my mind screamed- I chose my side...