Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Death · #730843
A story about a girl who is depressive. Is there a way out or will she suffer forever?
|We’ve all thought of how our deaths would affect others' lives at one time or another. Not all of us have thought about doing it ourselves, but some of us have. Some of us have wanted to slit our wrists, making the blood seep through our torn skin. Just before you go your pain is gone from the inside and you’re clean. Or tightly tying a rope around one’s neck to cut the breath from your very pain staking life. Or placing a Glock pistol to your temple and taking your last breath knowing that the people who find you will be in shock after they find your splattered brains all over the floor, but that’s what they deserve for not seeing the pain that you were taunted by before then. Yes, I know some people who’ve tried those and different things to remove themselves from this wretched world. Some may think we’re crazy or just crying out for attention. Others may roll their eyes saying to themselves, “what a bunch of bull.” But the very few that can help us, sometimes, are too late.|
I know what it feels like when no one wants you. I know how it feels to be so lonely you puke your guts up. I know what it’s like to be hated. I was one of them.
She dragged the four-inch blade across her already broken skin making the cut wider. Julia turned the knife upside down and forced the cold steel into her bleeding flesh to open up the cut. She paused and a sigh, or more so a whimper, of relief passed through her lips. Then, turning the knife over, she stuck the sharp point into her sore and forced herself to push down harder. The force of her knife pushed through the broken skin and broke the third layer. This relieved her pain, her stress. This was because of them.
She set her precious tool down and inspected her bleeding forearm. Crimson red blood ran down to her inner elbow and was threatening to stain her bleach washed jeans. Julia reached over to grasp the ACE bandage to dab the blood that trickled like a mini stream upon her arm. She wrapped the bandage around her wound to stop the blood from flowing. Julia knew that this was her deepest cut for she could already see the blood through the bandage. She felt relieved and she could feel that that knot of anger and pain had disappeared for the time being. Cutting was always her last choice but when something big happened her whole body surged with a foreign energy that cried “Cut me! Cut me!” Her body screamed with anticipation when something happened that was out of her control. Anticipation that pumped through her blood, like the sensation of when your foot falls asleep and you’re trying to wake it up, all throughout her body. But this sensation was a hot red flame, not that of which was cold and shallow when one’s foot falls asleep. Cutting was a release of negative energy and the hate that flowed through her body so often it was like her second blood. Cutting was a way out.
Julia finally got the bandage situated and rested upon her soft bed. She pulled the big down comforter up to her nose. She was exhausted now that the hate was out of her system. Before she drifted off to sleep, she said to herself, “maybe if I cut enough, that shred of light and hope will shine through. Maybe I’ll have a chance after all.”
Getting out of bed in the morning was always the hardest for Julia. Why would she want to get out of bed to go to a place where everyone hated her? Being called names like “freak, “ugly homo,” and “bi-sexual slut” didn’t really encourage her to get out of bed, into the car, and to school as fast as she could. Vulgar insults and abuse were hard things to overlook and ignore. These were the people she spent fifty percent of her time with. She could remind herself over and over again that what her peers said about her or to her did not matter, but it did indeed start to hurt after constant repetition. In fact it drove her insane and if it didn’t stop soon, she’d be driven over the edge.
Not only did Julia get teased and taunted at school she also had an awful home life. Julia’s mother was re-married to a civil lawyer. Julia had moved more than two thousand miles from her hometown, Williamsport, Pennsylvania to Lake Tahoe, California. She went from a place where farming was regular, to a “cool” state. Her stepfather was always putting her down, calling her names, and telling her that she would be the reason that he and her mother would get a divorce. The relationship with Julia and her stepfather didn’t start out this way, because back then her mother would have said “forget you” to him. But it gradually grew to this and Julia could see that he was jealous of Karen’s love for her daughter. Shawn was a very needy guy. When Karen spent time with Julia, Shawn became frustrated and angry because she wasn’t with him.
Not only did she have to put up with Shawn day after day, but she also had to put up with a feeling of guilt. Guilt that came from her father and brother’s deaths. A guilt that shouldn’t have been in the first place because there was nothing she could have done about their deaths.
When Julia was five and a half, her cherished father and beloved brother passed away in a car accident. Her father, being forty-four, and her brother, being eleven, were hit by recklessly driving teenagers and were killed instantly. Julia always thought that if she was in the car with her father and brother or somehow stalled them longer from wherever they were headed, that they might still be alive today. These thoughts drove her crazy, just like the name calling at school. She could hear in her head the voices mocking her, telling her that she could have warned them or saved them from this strange accident. Julia’s brother, Todd, was not Karen’s “birth” son, but her stepson, Steven’s son from a previous marriage. Karen loved Todd with all her heart and treated him like her son, as he was. It also crushed Karen to have her husband, Steve, die so soon in their relationship. So this guilt, of not saving her father and only brother and causing all the suffering her mother went through, haunted Julia.
So over the edge she went. Tumbling over all her ethical values and pride, falling into a deep black forbidden hole. The scariest thing about tumbling over was that Julia did it in front of her mother. And finally someone saw just how close Julia was to death.
The edge… how close she came that day. It was the morning of February 20 after getting home from clothes shopping. This was for Julia’s new school attire. She attend year round school, and she would return on March 7th. Karen picked out nice sweaters and straight-legged jeans, while Julia picked oversized shirts and baggy guy jeans. When Karen told Julia she couldn’t buy boy's clothing Julia tried to compromise to the best of her ability by finding black or red flares, the flare style being the “in thing” at the time, but Karen again disagreed. She stated that Julia looked like a “freak” in such clothing and she would not have her daughter wearing such outrageous outfits. So after bickering back and forth for hours Julia finally threw the Tommy sweaters all over the ground and stormed out of the store. They had taken different cars because Karen and Julia could never agree on music and not having music on led to conversation. That was, to say the least, a bad idea.
Julia walked out of the store and into the parking lot when she heard words that made her wince. It was her mother’s high voice, her “angry” tone, shouting “Julia! Get back here this instant!” Julia kept on walking knowing that if she turned around everyone would see a wonderful mother daughter escapade and Julia’s explosion. As she walked on further, she heard her mother's footsteps. Then a violent hand yanked on her arm.
“Don’t you walk away from me, Julia Ann! Get back in that store right now!” her mother commanded. Julia pulled harshly away, said nothing and proceeded to walk to her car. She heard a distinguishable word shouted by her mother not often said, especially in public. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Karen making her own way to her car.
When she got home all hell broke loose. Before she entered the door she could hear her stepfather screaming about God knows what, but it would certainly be traced back to her. Julia wanted to disappear forever. She wanted someone's arms wrapped around her, to fall asleep, and never come back. She desperately wanted to be happy.
As she opened the door, she felt that today wasn’t a good day at all. She could already feel the overwhelming tension in her house and she didn’t want to be the reason everyone popped. She stepped inside and her mother turned to her, “Don’t you do that to me in public ever again! Do you hear me? Ever!”
“What did she do now?” asked Shawn bitterly.
“Don’t worry yourself about it. You have other things to worry about,” answered Karen.
“Don’t talk to me like that! She’s your screwed up daughter! And to the looks of it you have more problems than me.”
“You know you have your money issu-”
“Listen! You’re the one who came home yelling for Julia, getting all pissed off…”
Julia realized she didn’t have to listen to this useless whining so she started up the stairs.
“I’m not through talking to you young lady! Stay here!”
“You never started,” Julia muttered under her breath. “I’ll be upstairs when you need me,” she said louder.
“I said stay here!”
Julia walked up the stairs, into her room, and collapsed on her bed. Not even one minute afterwards Karen came bombarding into Julia’s room.
“When I tell you to do something you do it! I’m sick and tired of you not respecting me! I am your mother for crying out loud! I deserve a little more than what you give me! What happened to that little girl that I used to know? Why don’t you talk to me anymore?” Karen cried.
“Why don’t you listen?” Julia quizzed quietly.
“Why don’t I listen? Because you never begin! All you do is mope around feeling sorry for yourself! The world does not revolve around you Julia Ann! Get over it!”
Julia got off her bed, passed her mother and went into her bathroom shutting the door behind her. She turned the sink on and drenched her face with cold water. The door flung open and hit the wall with a loud thud.
Julia couldn’t even get one word out before her mom started in on her. She didn’t even hear everything her mother said. Something about how Julia needed to try harder, how she needed to stop being conceited, how she was ruining Karen’s life with all her lies, and how she needed some good friends with good family backgrounds (which meant “why can’t you just be a cheerleader like I was?”). How the reason all her old friends left her was because she was a freak and how she needed to stop being so egotistical.
This wasn’t even half of what Karen yelled at Julia, inches from her face. Julia didn’t listen to it all because listening to her mother say these things was like having a knife stabbed into her heart. It was like listening to a prefixed robot of Shawn. At last Julia snapped back into reality.
“…don’t know what your problem is, but you need to shape up! We give you everything you want, everything you could possibly need. What more do you want? Everyone in life is not going to cater to you Julia Ann Garmen! Everyone is not going to put up with you like we do.”
Julia tensed. That’s right. I’m just a pain in the ass for everyone, she thought. Then it happened. She did something that she had never done before. She exploded.
Julia’s arm flew up and rammed into the wall leaving a dent about the size of a quarter. “We do! We do? How in the hell does Shawn put up with me? All he does is bitch and complain! I’m not going to be your popular little doll! I’m not like you! I’m not like anyone!” she cried. As she looked at her mother she could see the flash of anger in her eyes. She could see that flame that happened to be there when she slapped Julia across the face when she was little for being naughty. “Hit me!” she screamed, “you know you want to! I’m just a worthless piece of shit! Hit me!”
Her mother stood there too stunned to do anything, then shaking her head slowly she said in a low voice, “I’m not going to hit you.”
“Hit me! Hit me! Hit me!” Julia raised her hands and started to slap herself. She kept screaming, “hit me” while tears streamed down her face. Before long her hands turned into fists and instead of merely slapping herself like her mother used to do, she was punching herself in the face.
“Hit me!” she shrieked while pummeling her pretty face. Her hands didn’t hurt and neither did her face. All she could think of was how she was just a big fat failure in her mother’s eyes. So she was punishing herself for it. Her fists flew again and again against her eyes and cheekbones. No pain entered her body. No physical pain that is. All the mental pain in the entire world came crashing down on her, which caused her to punch herself even harder.
When Karen’s surprise finally disappeared, she grabbed Julia’s arms and spun her around. Julia crumpled underneath Karen’s weight and fell weeping to the floor.
“Why do you think I get teased at school? Why do you think I don’t have any friends? Why does everyone hate me? I’m different and everyone can see that! But why does it matter?” she stuttered through coughs and heaves. “No one understands.”
Julia put her head to the ground and closed her eyes. Karen still on top of Julia stayed there trying to somewhat comfort her long lost daughter. In that time Julia grew closer to her mother again like the relationship they had had before. She wanted to sulk back into her mother’s arms and curl up into a ball. Remembering the days where their relationship was all that she needed to get through everything. But now that was gone and it would never be the same.
The next events were extremely blurred to Julia. Her mother told her to get in the car and with long cries of “I’m sorry,” Julia finally did what she was told, after being threatened with the police. She was brought to the hospital, asked many questions and finally admitted into a Teen Unit, which resembled a psychiatric ward. She stayed there for the next four days.
Upon going into the Teen Unit Julia met some nurses that were very eager to listen and give solutions to her problems. But, all in all, Julia didn’t know if she wanted their help. Not from people who didn’t know her background or from others who had no idea how she was treated at school. Definitely not from someone who just got a “report” on her behavior from her mother.
The Teen Unit was located in one of Tahoe’s finest hospitals. It was on the fourth floor and when Julia got off the elevator she saw there was a doorway to her left and a doorway to her right. Her escorts lead her through the right entrance. They punched the code into the keypad making the door unlock and directed her to her home for how many more days she did not know.
Directly in front of Julia there was a hallway around fifty feet long. To her right there were doors. As she walked further along she glanced into the first room. This room she would soon learn to be as the “Group Room.” This room had a television, an old computer, and lots of chairs. The next four doorways were rooms for patients. Beyond sat a table crowded by four chairs and two more patient rooms. The fifth door Julia found to be her room, room 222, which was right across from the nurse’s counter. Beyond the nurse’s counter there was the Rec. Room, where games and a Ping-Pong table were held.
When Julia finally settled in it was eight thirty at night. She thought back to earlier in the day, at ten o’clock she had been shopping and then all those long hours in the hospital and still she had things to do. She had to go to her first group meeting.
She slunk into the Group Room and took a seat on the couch besides the television. This way, she thought, she could watch TV our of the corner of her eye. As Julia sat quietly she saw there was another person in the room as well. This boy looked around thirteen, a bit chunky, and around five inches shorter than herself. Then one of the nurses entered and sat directly across from Julia.
“Welcome,” she said in a soft tone. “Julia, you being a newcomer, can just listen for now, but I would like to hear from you before Group comes to an end,” the nurse, Raine, said to her. “Justin,” she said turning to the plump boy sitting by Julia, “I heard that you had a family meeting?”
“Yeah,” was Justin’s reply.
“How did it go?”
“Could of been better.”
Julia wasn’t at all interested in this boy’s problems. She was currently thinking of what Shawn was going to do when he found out what had happened. What would her family think of her? Would they think she was some psycho mental case who couldn’t take care of her problems? Would all her respect that she had as a 4.0 student, up until she moved to California, vanish because of this? Would anyone wonder what drove her to this?
The nurse’s soft but harsh voice interrupted her thoughts.
“Julia,” Raine said again,
“Hmmm?” Julia replied looking up. Julia could tell this nurse had worked here quite awhile, for there was absolutely no surprise or questioning look on her face whatsoever when she looked upon Julia’s face. Julia’s eyes were black and swollen so badly that she could barely see through them.
“What happened to your face?” Raine questioned quietly.
“I hit myself,” Julia replied matter-of-factly.
“And why is that?”
“I was mad.”
“Do you usually hit yourself when you’re frustrated?”
“No,” Julia said quietly bowing her head.
“Do you ever do anything else to harm yourself?”
“I cut,” Julia said openly.
“May I see?”
Julia lifted her sleeve and showed Raine her forearm. About six puffy scars were visible and the others were aged and healed.
“Why did you hit yourself?” asked Raine.
“Why do you ask so many questions?” Julia threw back.
“To find out why you’re abusing yourself. To learn why you are here,” replied Raine.
“I hit myself because I hate myself, because no organism on this Earth could possibly be more pathetic than me. Because, no one...” Julia trailed off.
“No one what?”
“Just no one! Alright?” Julia yelled.
This first group meeting was like all the others. Julia, like a clam, seized up when the nurses prodded and pried at her, trying to get her to open up. When the next day came, Julia ate breakfast, took a shower, went to Group, and watched Justin lose miserably at Ping-Pong against the various nurses, and then went to Group again and after that she had some time to herself. So she went to her quiet room and wrote a poem.
FEAR TAKES OVER
HUNGER IN MY BODY
IT’S NOT GONE
NOT LEAVING WITHOUT
SOMETIMES I THINK
YOU’RE GONNA TAKE MY HEART
IT HURTS ME SO
THIS HUNGER IN MY BODY
NO ONE IS TO KNOW
BUT IT HURTS, OH DOES IT
BEATING ME DOWN
THIS FEAR TAKING OVER
BEATING ME BEATING ME
HURTING ME TOO
THE FEAR THE FEAR
THE PAIN THE PAIN
BEATING ME BEATING ME
UNTIL I’M AWAY
LEAVE ME ALONE
I SULK AND DIE
HURTING ME BEATING ME
I AM AWAY
BEATING ME DOWN
THIS FEAR TAKING OVER
BEATING ME BEATING ME
HURTING ME TOO
HURTING ME TOO
After that, the day slowly droned on and finally came to an end. The next day followed with the same events. Julia opened up a little more, telling the nurses about her family life, but still very short on her answers. That day she had a family meeting, which she down right dreaded. It would be the fist time Julia was to see Shawn since her episode.
This meeting took place with a social worker named Shannon, in a big conference room. Shannon sat at the head of the table, Julia sat down at her right and Karen and Shawn sat opposite of Julia. It was like Julia was on trial, Shannon, being the judge, and her mother and Shawn being the prosecutors.
“Let’s start out on how you are doing, Julia,” Shannon began. “You’re quiet, but you have opened up more as the days go on, which is good. You seem to get along well with our other patients-”
“But this is an enclosed environment. Let’s not forget she has to live in the real world also,” Shawn rudely interrupted.
Shannon ignored him and went on, “You haven’t gotten to speak with Dr. Fadari yet, but I expect him to be in today or tomorrow. Dr. Fadari is one of the finest psychiatrists Tahoe has to offer.” Shannon could tell that Shawn was itching to interrupt. She turned to Karen and asked, “How have you been coping with this, Mom?”
“Not very well but I just want Julia to get help. That’s all,” Karen answered..
“But she also needs your help and support, not your belittling,” Shannon replied.
Julia had opened up quite a lot before this meeting and told Shannon what had happened on the day that caused her to come to the unit.
“I understand,” was Karen’s sole reply.
“But the cutting and hitting does bother me,” Shannon went on.
“Bother you? I’m glad she didn’t go after Karen! What are we suppose to do when she comes back home?” Shawn exclaimed.
“Mr. Litoz we are trying to help Julia, not provoke her!”
“I would never hit Mom,” Julia said in a barely audible voice.
“I don’t know about that! You went after yourself for Christ sakes, why not someone else? What would your father think of this outlandish behavior?” Shawn spat.
“You have no right to bring up Daddy! You didn’t know him!”
This was Shawn’s dirtiest trick. He knew it tore Julia to pieces every time he mentioned something about her father. The truth was, he enjoyed the look of distress that showed upon her face.
“Shawn, I’m going to have to ask you to leave, if you cannot control yourself,” Shannon said with a stern look. Then turning to Julia, “Why are you so enraged that Shawn brought up your father?”
Julia sat as silent as white snow falling on a winter day.
“Julia’s father was killed in an accident, quite a few years back,” Karen replied.
“Ah. Well I can see why you would take offense to this.”
“I...” Shawn stuttered.
Shannon put her hand up signaling Shawn to be quiet. “I would shut down too if something like that was said to me,” Shannon said softly to Julia.
Julia did not talk for the rest of the meeting.
Later that day she met with Dr. Fadari and was prescribed ten milligrams of Celexa (an antidepressant) per day. He also questioned the fact that Julia had hit herself. He said it made absolutely no sense that her face was badly bruised but her hands had no traces of injuries or marks. Julia then lost the morsel of respect she did have for Dr. Fadari right then and there.
The next day in Group, Julia talked more. She was open to her family life now, but not her past. She still did not say anything of her guilt caused by the deaths of her loved ones. But she did get a lot more out in the open. They were even talking about letting her go the next day.
That following day Julia was packed. She had Group in the morning and then her mother came to pick her up. They talked awhile in the car, but not about anything of importance.
When Julia entered her house, she saw that Shawn was already brooding over something in the kitchen. She headed up the stairs to unpack and soon enough heard her mother and Shawn arguing. Will it ever stop? Julia thought to herself. After awhile someone came upstairs and there was a knock on her door.
“It’s open,” Julia called over her shoulder while she unzipped her bag to put her clothes away.
To her surprise Shawn came storming into her room. “Do you know how much you cost me?” he yelled.
“Please get out,” Julia said putting her head down.
“You wasted three thousand dollars on your stupid little trip! Not to mention Dr. Fadari’s damages!” Julia could here her mother making her way up the stairs.
“Shawn... Shawn! Leave her alone!” Karen called coming into Julia’s room.
“Next time, why don’t you try killing yourself?” Shawn smirked as Karen pulled him out of the room. Julia could hear once again the shouting of her mother and the man who claimed to be her stepfather.
She sat upon her bed and sobbed. Crumpling up into a little ball, Julia cried harder than she ever had before. She had tried. She really had tried and still no one saw. She opened her drawer and took out her knife.
Later on that night Karen found Julia on the floor of her room with a pool of blood surrounding her. Her wrists had been severely cut, several times upon her thickest veins. Beside Julia lay a note, that the blood had already soaked, which read:
“I have failed. Mama, I’m so sorry I could never make you happy.”
Karen upon reading this fell to her knees. Her screams of pain and cries of anger could be heard throughout the neighborhood. She took Julia up in her arms and held Julia close to her heart. Karen rocked Julia back and forth saying to her softly, “baby, you have always made me happy.”
But it was too late.