I Know What I Have To Do

I was getting ready for bed. It was late, probably after eleven. She followed me into the bathroom. She was trying to talk to me about something. God knows what. She was drunk. I hate it when she gets drunk. That’s when she wants to talk. Not when she’s sober. No. And it’s not really talking. It’s all crying and blubbering.

She followed me into my bedroom, still talking. She kept saying, “I know what I have to do. I know what I have to do.” She wasn’t really talking to me. It was more like she was talking to herself.

I got into bed and turned my back towards her. I had bunk beds with Sesame Street sheets. I curled into a ball and pulled the covers up way over my shoulders so no cold air could get in. Again she said, “I know what I have to do. I know what I have to do.” She turned off the light and closed the door. As I tried to settle into the scratchy Big Bird and Cookie Monster sheets, I thought to myself, “It’s so much easier to sleep. I can find her in a pool of blood when I wake up. I’ll deal with it then.”

Of course, I knew I couldn’t possibly get a good night’s rest after bringing the vision of her death into my consciousness. Sigh. I dragged myself out of bed and around the corner to the bathroom. The door was closed. I opened it without knocking. It seemed like the thing to do given the circumstances. She was standing in the bathroom with the drawer pulled out, her left arm out, palm side up, with a razor blade in her right hand. I snatched the blade along with the entire package of razor blades and bolted down the stairs. On my way down the stairs, I practiced unlocking the door in my mind. I’ve practiced this action several times in the event of an emergency. I slammed the chain with my right hand and opened the locks with my left. It worked just like I imagined. I was out the door before she was even off the stairs.

Once outside, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. It was late and cold. I was in my pajamas holding a package of razor blades. I pitched the blades and headed back inside. She was pulling another package of razor blades from a drawer. I wrestled those from her and headed outside again. This was starting to get old. I pitched the blades and headed for the door. She was rummaging around yet another drawer. I thought to myself, “Why are there razor blades in every drawer of this house? Who knew?”

Now I’m starting to get pissy. I tell her, “Fine. If you want to kill yourself. Go ahead.”, and headed out the door. Once outside I wasn’t sure what to do. I felt free. I figured I could just walk away and never look back, but I wasn’t sure where to go. I was only thirteen. I got about a block down the street and decided to turn back.

I could see her through the screen door as I opened it. She was standing in the dining room with both arms bent up towards her head. Blood everywhere. Down her arms, torso, and legs. It covered her feet. There was blood down in the little grooves of the tile. I remember when she installed that tile when we first moved into that house.

I screamed and ran back out the door. When I walked out the door, the police were there. There were neighbors everywhere and sirens. Or at least that’s the way I remember it. I don’t remember where I stayed that night. When I think about that night I think about the suicide attempts before and after it. I don’t recall the days leading up to or the days afterwards. Just the various attempts, as if they all happened every day over the course of a week. An overdose Monday, a slashed wrist on Tuesday, please use the gun on Friday.

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4 Comments

Filed under Childhood memories

4 responses to “I Know What I Have To Do

  1. Holy crap, honey. I didn’t know about this. Jeez, the stuff people put their kids through.

    I love you.

  2. How could you know? I don’t want my identities to collide.

  3. Holey cow. I don’t know what to say. Except that it’s a good idea to put your thoughts into words and get it off your chest. I know how you feel when you say “I don’t want my identities to collide”, you want to tell someone about your experiences, but you know that many people can’t completely understand, and you feel like you don’t want to burden other people too much who have their own baggage from all of this.

    When you tell someone you have no shared life with, it makes it easier to say everything you need to say.

    I think you are wonderful to do this here, and you have a great attitude. Just keep patting yourself on the back and reminding yourself of this.

    You probably doubt your own judgement of yourself sometimes…I know I do, and I only had to deal with manipulative and down-putting family. That’s bad enough. So when you start to doubt yourself, just remind yourself that you are smart, not stupid, and that you just have to keep on doing whatever feels right and makes sense to you.

  4. Rebecca

    Cousin, I Love You.. I wish that we had talked more growing up.. We were close at one time, but when did that go away.. Do you remember when Aunt Tina used to watch us?? Or so many of the great times we had at Great Grandma’s & Great Grandpa’s..
    We were so much alike and so different.. But honestly I always thought you were the closest thing to a Sister that I would ever have… I always thought that this kind of thing would have had happened.. But then again, I bet you really didn’t know about what was going on inside my life with Mom & Fred (dad)…
    I LOVE YOU, NESS.. (please never forget that)

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