1997-Thurs, April 28 (Night)
Here I am, just back from 5 days on 3 East after overdosing on Mon. night (last week). Nobody found me until Wed night (Don’t tell me I don’t mean a lot to my family) Anyway, 911 got called. I got taken to Penrose Main ER (don’t remember this) I do remember drinking 2 glasses of activated charcoal. Then I was at 3 East (don’t remember that, either) Got fired Thurs. morning (I guess it wouldn’t do too much good to tell an unconscious person you were firing them..
There are a few more entries, 1 in 1997 and 3 in 1998, but not many. An undated slip of paper, from sometime in 1997, is printed with hot-air balloons. She says she needs to blow off some hot air. At the end of the entry, she says her therapist wanted her to promise her (the therapist) and me that she’d never try to kill herself again. She promised her therapist, but couldn’t promise me.
At least two more times my mother went into the hospital. I know there were more attempts; she told me about them when she was compromised, perhaps confession-prone, before she died.
And when I came home from work that day, to her white and gray and cool (too fast, far too fast, like she had been dying before she actually died), I told myself she did not kill herself.
She did not kill herself.
She wasn’t taking her pain meds (I had them, anyway). She was making plans for the future. She was eating and drinking OK. Maybe she skipped her insulin or shot up with too much.
It was a possibility.
And all of the years and years—almost 20—from the first time she tried to kill herself and now, I waited and waited –and always received—the call that she had tried again, or had gone into the hospital for trying. In fact, the Monday before she passed, I had to “rescue” her from conditions eerily similar to the ones in this entry: she was in bed for days.
Back then, I was so angry with her that even though I knew she was in bed for days, I went to work Wednesday anyway after school. Mom’s friend called me at work and told me she had called 911 because of the smell in Mom’s room and because the door was locked. I made arrangements to stay with a friend.
That was when DSS wanted to take me away from her, and send me with my abusive father.
I told them I’d run and they backed off. I had my own car, a job, a place to live. I was OK.
But I was never OK.
I was always waiting for that call.
For three months after she died, I waited for the call. The call from the Coroner saying she had killed herself.
But she didn’t. Her death was natural.
You didn’t kill yourself.
I can’t tell you how much of a relief it is. I can’t describe what it was like, first knowing you couldn’t hold your suicide over us anymore. I was—and continue to be—devastated by losing you. You were my friend as well as my Mom. Someone I could always talk to, once we got through the emotional fallout of your suicide career. But I am relieved to be out of one kind of pain.
I am glad you didn’t kill yourself, that you went out on a high note. That you were finally planning things you wanted to do in the future. That you had killed the woman in this journal by confronting some of your fears. I remember the day I visited you, and you came out of your bedroom crying. “Was I bad mother?” you asked me, and my heart broke.
I can’t answer that. Only you can answer that. I know I love my Mom, even now. I know she had real problems. We all do. I spent so many years angry at her. But everything I love about myself comes from her.
My creativity, humor, intelligence, kindness. Even some of my weaknesses and strengths, they all come from her.
And her battles prevented some of my battles.
I’m ready to let it go, Mom. Your family does care about you, and you do mean a lot. You did then, you do now, you did in between. I have always loved you, like you always loved me, even when you thought I was a burden, even when you were too sick and selfish to see how much pain I was in, or what your actions did to me. If you would have been able to see me, you would have cared. If I had been able to see some of this back then, I might have been at least a companion in your darkness. I could have said, “Hey, Mom, you sure sound like a molestation survivor like me.”
Our secrets are our pain. I think you knew this, and that’s why you were so adamant I read these journals when you died.
No more secrets. No more waiting for life to start. I hear you.
I love you.