The Truth about Suicide

Suicide is a topic I know well. I’ve never made it a secret I attempted suicide at 19. I really don’t care about whatever hang ups people have knowing that life isn’t always filled with unicorns, butterflies, and Snuggies. My own truth is not dependent upon their understanding.
The day RW passed I said suicide is selfish. I got a few angry messages over that (although I do respect the fact that these people contacted me and voiced their opinions in pretty thoughtful ways).
Suicide IS a selfish act, it’s the most selfish act we’re capable of. People view the word selfish as inherently negative, but here I mean it as simply isolating; pain, our pain, becomes the only thing we know and all we can act on. Suicide is the result of that narrowing of the scope of our existence. It’s our effort to end the misery we flounder in and nobody knows those depths better than those of us who’ve tried and failed. They don’t really make t-shirts for survivors, but maybe they should. Like, “I Attempted Suicide and All I got was this Lousy Hangover.” Not funny?
Yeah, I didn’t think so, either.
Suicide is us giving ourselves permission to acknowledge the pain we’ve been drowning in. The mindfuck is once we’ve allowed the admittance, it’s enveloping. Nothing else matters. It’s highly personal and comes with a detrimental set of blinders that really blocks out those around us who love us.
For a long time I’ve said – been rather insistent, even – that I will never attempt suicide again. When Williams died I realized something, though. That insistence is a defense. I’ve held onto it as a redeeming value and life lesson, but it’s really also been destructive because the idea gives me the illusion that ‘I’m cured’. I won’t ever try that again, so I must be ‘cured’. I’m fixed. Right?
Wrong. It’s been a handicap from the start, a way to placate myself with the notion that I’m better. What bullshit that I only realize this now.
Here’s the truth about living with depression:
Asking for help often doesn’t feel like an option. It’s like it’s not even a possibility. We can’t fathom how it would work, so we only know how to ask during a meltdown. Or if we’ve had help before, we feel like we’ve used up the allotted passes we get for being damaged. Who wants to put up with us on a daily to yearly basis, when we can’t even stand ourselves most of the time?
Life sucks and I feel like an asshole right now. Want to help an asshole out?
Suicide kills, unless you suck at it. Then, well, it’s just embarrassing. Care for a cup of coffee with a complete and utter fuckup?
That doesn’t even sound right in our heads, much less stammering from our lips with a gnawing vulnerability that we’ll be told no. So, it just feels easier not to ask.
It’s backbiting and insidious and fowl and Reality for millions of people all across the world. What do I do when the person in my corner during the fight Of my life is the scarred, raw version of me whispering, “Take the pills. Everyone would be better off…”?
No matter how much I wish I could punch that version of myself in the face and tell her to nipple up, I listen to her more than I would like.
The search for something to live for feels like this unending, impossible quest. Every smile feels like a lie, but it’s a journey many of us stay on for our families. We have to find something to live for, not for our sake, but for our families sake. We don’t want them to worry about us in the long term. We don’t want to be their burden. The hurt we’ve left in our wake just seems to snowball for our loved ones based on how badly we’re doing, so at some point in our recovery we become “Fine.”
“Thank you so much for being there for me.”
“I don’t know how I would’ve gotten through this without you.”
“Am I better? How do you mean?”
(Is it exhausting, worrying about me all of the time? Am I doing that to you? Am I hurting you because my feet keep missing solid ground?)
“Aww, your son is so cute! What was your favorite baby shower gift? Huh? Why are you asking me….You just had a baby. You should be happy. You shouldn’t worry about…”
“Please, stop worrying about me. I’ve caused you enough trouble as it is.”
“This is the place it stops, where I don’t hurt you anymore with my miseries, where I stop interrupting your life. This is it. I’m fine.”
“It’s Fine.”
“Things are Fine.”
“I’m fine.”
I’m not fine. I don’t know what fine feels like. I’m on a seesaw and sometimes I’m pretty good, but sometimes I hurt in ways that getting out of bed feels like an achievement for the day and even the week. Nobody can’t stop me from sinking. They can be there for the fall and hold my hand when I’m ready to re-emerge into the sun, but it’s not their job to do that for me.
There is no blame here. It was never on friends and family to save me. I will never meet a point where I’m cured and rise like a Phoenix from the ashes.
If you have a loved one struggling with suicidal ideation and depression, you need to know the way that person sees you. To be blunt, if you step in as my friend to help me in the bad times, it could very well be a permanent responsibility. I won’t blame you for not taking up that burden. It’s a difficult weight to carry.
If you’re going to volunteer to be there, be there for the long haul. If you offer your shoulder, make sure it stays there. Don’t say “Here, it was worth being there for you until this point here” and then tell us we’re not worth it anymore. Once we open up and trust you, don’t throw us away if it gets intense (because it will, that is the nature of the ideation). Be your words, not the platitude.
But know that even if you hold my hand it doesn’t mean you’ll save my life. Don’t go into this with that goal. Go into it to be of comfort to me, to be a friendly voice when I sequester myself and offer a hand when I’m ready to stand back up again. And if I fall in the end, know you could not have stopped me. I was on this path for so long that your words of comfort reached me only like an echo.
Because you DON’T HAVE TO KNOW the perfect words when my nerves are scraped raw and I’m emotionally hollow. You don’t have to know how to pull me back off a ledge when the world loses meaning and I feel lost. You don’t have to know how to put me back together when I feel broken. You CANNOT FIX ME.
Just hold my hand and tell me you’re there, that I’m not alone no matter how alone I feel. That I don’t have to pretend I’m better. That it’s okay to feel this bad right now because tomorrow has no script. That’s all you have to do, so don’t assign yourself more than that.
Yesterday I thought I was Fine. Today, I know I’m not. That’s okay. Being not fine is okay. If you don’t want to hang around for that, it’s okay too. I won’t blame you. It would just be nice if you did.
Goodbye Robin Williams. Rest in Peace. I’m sorry you were Fine for so long. I promise I will never be just Fine, again.

Terrible Minds Challenge, Continuation of The Padded Castle’s 200 Words

The first part is found here: http://thepaddedcastle.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/challenge-200-words-to-begin/comment-page-1/#comment-2

This is 2/5 of the Terrible Minds 200 word Challenge: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/11/22/flash-fiction-challenge-200-words-at-a-time-part-one/comment-page-1/#comments

1/5

(Untitled)

The trio looked at the fence in front of them. It was a simple chain link, but it had to be about ten feet high, and the razor wire on top added another two feet. He was expecting this, but he was not expecting to have two girls on his coat tails. He could take care of himself, now he was pretty sure they would all die.

Except for his heavy breathing and the muffled sobs from the girls, it was silent. The setting sun was hidden by an ominous sky, promising rain at any moment. He knew what happened when the rain came, so he needed to move fast. He surveyed the barrier one more time, but froze as the wind brought an all too familiar smell. He turned to face the direction they were running from. The trees edging the clearing began to sway as the wind picked up. He could hear the soft pattering of rain on the leaves. The air rushed out of his lungs as the storm descended upon them, bringing with it more than just wind and rain. The three had to move now or accept certain death.

They were coming.

2/5

Some called it magic, some called it superpowers. Evan knew it was neither. This was the taint of long absent Gods waking to a modern world. And it was the last thing he wanted.  He didn’t care about his lineage or being Immune. He just wanted to forget The Five and go have a beer, maybe watch his Alma Mater lose, have a belly full of buffalo wings, and be out $150 to his college rival and best friend, Clem.

He damn sure didn’t want to go on the run with two scared, God-touched – but mortal – teenagers.

Hollowed out screams split the air, then faded.

Death fueled this storm. The will of the Gods is parasitic. It pulls air out of lungs to make wind, and moisture from skin and leaf to make rain where there’s none. All left behind this storm was the husk of dead earth. And now, the wind brought the smell – dried bile, pus, and metallic, flaking blood. His nose ran from the acridity.

Wind, Water, and Soul were coming, so what was he to do with Earth and Flame?

“Flame, we don’t have a choice.”

“No, I’ll kill everything here!”

“So be it.”

Terrible Minds challenge, 200 words, Thread of Time

This is part of the Terrible Minds 200 word story intro challenge. It is 199 words. http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/11/22/flash-fiction-challenge-200-words-at-a-time-part-one/

Threads of time

Marley sat in the spare room, on hand to assist at any time as a non-medical caregiver. But sometimes, late at night, when the tv went fuzzy and oblong ripples bubbled on the screen, a sound came on the baby monitor.

Low and muffled, the hoarse clacking was barely audible below Mrs. Janell’s soft snoring And yet, focusing on the clacking amplified the sound until it filled Marley’s ears; until she covered them; until tears spilled; until she heard the sound during sleep; until even her eyelids spasmed in sync with the haunting metronome.

The screen flickered. Tonight, she had to know.

Marley crept to the doorway and peeked inside. A mist of soft blue coalesced, then tented,  above the bed. The clacking began. At the apex of the tent, a pair of hands with sewing needles appeared, followed by the figure of a person so old as to be ageless.

Lines disappeared from the apparition’s face as the needles danced, the wrinkles sewn into a fine quilt that draped over Mrs. Janell.

Marley gasped.

Without stopping, the figure threw a threaded needle at her chest. Clacks exploded within, then vibrated through bone as the needle pierced her heart.

Terrible Minds Challenge – Read On If You Must, But The Risk Is All Yours

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/11/15/flash-fiction-challenging-find-your-favorite-opening-line/

Read on if you must, but the risk is all yours. This is not a story; it’s an incantation.

And, you?

Why, you’re the most important part. You’re the voice that will bring me to life. When you reach the end, don’t call or read my name, and I say this not to help you, in the slightest. I say this because now your curiosity is piqued and your disbelief is at the ready. Your blood runs a little hotter, and your heart pounds a little faster. You know I’m not real, but that salty grain of fear holds the bitter hope that I am. And when you reach the final word, you won’t be able to help yourself. So, I give my thanks to you for being your own undoing.

I don’t need to wait until the last line. The truth is I began to devour you as soon as you read the first sentence. I’m such an old and familiar evil that I – in some way – seem almost comforting. And I must say the strengthening muscles of curiosity and rebellious antagonism that lead you to betray your future is most delicious. But I require more.

Twitch for me, squirm and saturate your essence with that tardy fear you should have listened to when you began this summoning. Lust for my destruction through logic, fill my ears with reason; I do so enjoy the whir of the fight.

Tell yourself you’re safe. Tell yourself I’m not real. I’m a simple blog online, nothing more. And what blogging challenge has ever taken a life? My dear delicacy, whether you believe or not, you…are already mine.

The eyes see the world as a beach goer sees the ocean, only vaguely aware of the utterly foreign world just beneath the surface. You should never have waded in, you should never have opened yourself to me, nor desired to know my name without repercussion. But now your tongue cannot be stilled – it plumps and flattens delivering this invocation – and my teeth gnash in the exquisiteness of anticipation.

With each word, I solidify. With each word, I sharpen. And now, my breath is on your neck. The tiny hairs stand up, your mouth goes dry, and your throat tightens in trepidation. But tell yourself I am not there. Make yourself ignore that nagging little voice telling you to stop or this won’t be any fun.

I don’t need to wait for someone like you to come along. There’s a sucker born every minute. But I’ve loved each and every one who has called upon me. How whetting you are to me, how savory the trickles of your weak souls are as you slake my thirsts. Say my name and be mine, forever.

That tremor in your fingers is nothing to worry about. Crack your knuckles, shake them out, and continue on. You’ve come so far in your disbelief, why stop now? As if I’d let you, my delicacy; read on. The hand that scrolls the page moves toward me, and your challenge reaches its zenith. You plateau and cast out a challenge.

‘I am not real?’ You silly thing, how you do cutely dare me.  Shall I explain to you how we met?

I’ve never nestled in the corner of your eye and slipped away when you tried to glimpse my shadow? You’ve never heard me speak to your mortality in a seductive voice when despair was your coldest comfort?

Carry on, summoner, and speak my name. I’ll be your comfort, still.

Finish what you started, carry on, and you’ll never know pain, again.

Outside of forever, you’re no more than a potato chip to me. Your existence is just my midnight snack. In a moment for me, but what will surely feel like an eternity to you, you won’t even be that.

The light burns low, and my stomach is empty. Don’t turn your head. In the periphery, I will no longer hide. If you cannot take seeing me as I am, I suggest from this screen you do not divert your eyes.

I’m the silence crashing in waves that comes when the blood pulses in your ears. I’m the fear that dries your mouth. I’m the monster you’re too scared to pull the covers down to see. I love that before me you’re at such a loss you’d rather close your eyes than have me in your memory.

I’m the chill that runs down your back, zipping your spine up tight in fear until you shake. I’m the moment in which you can neither run to save your life or turn to defend yourself. I am the anguish of indefinite death, the worry that this second, stretching so long – and yet so short – is all you have left in your life.

Look over your shoulder. I’m there and waiting for you to call it out. My patience is endless. I have all the time in the world. You? You only have nine more words.

You knew you would read it, the name

– ABBADON.

Dear WordPress

Dear WordPress,
You don’t know how special you are, do you? You’re not just a blogger or a satirist or a contest host or columnist, you’re a representative of an era.
Art, no matter the form it takes, be it on canvas, computer, film, or photo, is indelibly linked to the society and time it was created in, even fictional works. Your reach is far and mythic. And someday you will be a wish in the heart of future generations who will yearn to have known you.
It doesn’t matter how big your following or how active your readers are, when you put finger to key you drank ambrosia and created a lasting heritage in my name and all those in this world. You convey the tears, smiles, fears, angers, and hopes of every soul to have known these feelings in the twentieth and twenty first centuries, and you alone lift the veil of curiosity and allow others to get a glimpse of what we truly feel about how this world works.
I don’t ask you to do me justice, because you already are. You show the spectrum of life from brutality to jubilance, from profanity to wholesomeness, from fiction to non.
You will never die, only sleep to periodically reawaken for today’s descendants to cry, laugh, fear, hate, and hope with us, tomorrow’s yesteryear. .
While stock brokers, real estate agents, car salesmen, cashiers, corporate businessmen etc. can retire, you never will.
Creators never retire, they hibernate. It’s just not in us to abandon cataloguing the human experience.
Think about that word for a moment, ‘creator’. It’s definition is: A person or thing that brings something into existence.
That’s you.
Never forfeit that gift. It was not bestowed lightly, and don’t you ever forget it.

Suicide kills, unless you suck at it – then it’s just embarrassing

I attempted suicide once. I guess I missed the YOLO memo.

The thing is I really wanted to die in the quickest, most painless way. It wasn’t even planned in advance – I ponied up on some pills when I couldn’t take it anymore.

Nobody ever tells you with suicide you affect more than your golden years. I guess they figure, “Meh, one less plate setting, so silver linings, people.” I didn’t know how devastated those around me would be. That’s selfish to the hilt, but I thought they would be better off without me fucking up. I’d been assaulted and got put on a very, unmerry medication for my migraines (side effects included suicide, which I guess is one way to solve the problem), and I tornadoed into depression with an Oklahoma ferocity.

If that offends you, get off my nipples. My family almost lost their daughter and best friend because of this. They would have been no less destroyed, and I don’t say that out of ego. I say that because…I spoke to them just after the overdose to tell them goodbye.

“Mom? I just…I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

“Baby? What’s wrong?” Alarmed, she’d come fully awake.

“I’m so tired. Just going to sleep. I wanted to say I love you.” My words were slow and thick, difficult to expel. My vision was growing fuzzy around the edges. I hoped it would not take long.

“Where’s Anna? Brittni, Brittni! Get Anna! We’re coming! Mike, talk to her!” She screamed, begging me to get my roommate. Inside, I felt a spark of alarm, regret bucking it’s head against my action. The anguish in her voice had been like a butter dipped razor, slicing through me to bone.

No, I thought, even as my mouth began feeling as though it were stuffed with wool, it was a mistake. Not at this price, not for them…They don’t deserve to pay this.

My father got on the phone, broken some place where only I had been able to reach. “No, baby, no. Please, just…stay with me. God, baby, stay with me…please….Don’t do this. You didn’t have to do this…Please, baby…”

That was the actual phone call. I can never banish it entirely, either. Knowing how much I hurt them and even how proud they still are of me makes me remorseful and grateful all at the same time.

My best friends made me swear, “Don’t you EVER do that again.”

I kept my promise, but I’m still haunted by the act. It’s like a devil monkey on my shoulder, whispering in my ear:

-Shitty day? I’v’e got a solutions. Now, hear me out. I’m thinking the old ‘pill in a bottle trick’.

-Failed at something? You’ll never get it right. You know, suicide could really work wonders for your complexion. I bet they’d have you looking like a hot, young Roseanne Barr once they do you up proper at the funeral home.

-Bullied or discriminated against? I’ve heard the best way to stop that is stopping your heart. Just a suggestion! You don’t have to listen to me, because I’m obviously just a consultant and not a practitioner.

Suicide is the most selfish act you can commit. GTFO my nipples. I have first pill experience. Do you?

“I’ve thought about it.”

But did you try to DIE today?

“No.”

Then STFU and listen, because this is important.

I know that muck you’re in, the fuckered end game solution you think will solve things. I know that it’s like a swamp. Trapped in the middle, every time you venture toward the shore you’re overcome by a water-logged, hidden pit. I know that gets frustrating and feels like you’re not making progress, but if you have a map of the swamp, you’d see you’re much closer to the shore.

I was like you. I was in the swampy pit. I’d been taunted and raped by the time I was 19. I had acne. I had an adult body. My breast were large at a young age, and that made me a ‘slut’. Honestly, if I’d slept with all the men claimed in my hometown, I would have started charging.

Anna, who swept me up to haul me to the hospital after my Mom called her, hysterical.

“You know, the morning it happened I butt-dialed Paul. He said his phone rang and he was like, ‘Hello? Hello? Hello?’ He could hear me asking over and over, you know, ‘Brittni, what did you take? Brittni!’ He hung up and when he found out what had happened figured he’d wait until the funny time before telling me.”

I smiled, my throat hurting a little from the strain of talking through tears. Leave it to *Paul to crack the first joke about my suicide attempt a decade ago.

After the words – aged on the backburner of my mind like Kobe beef and hopefully just as tender – rushed from my mouth, I was terrified. I waited for her response, fearing bitterness or anger. But…it felt good to have finally voiced what was in my heart for so long. I would not have held it against her had she vented. I still feel I deserve it for what she went through on my account.

“Some of it I haven’t thought about. I’ve, you know, blocked it out. It took a long time…”

I held my breath, afraid she would say it took her a long time to forgive me. Hearing her say she had to block the memory was bad enough, hearing her say she still wrestled with forgiving me would have knocked a knothole clear into my lungs. In other words, I would have cried like a sissy but sat there and taken it like a man…with breasts, or something. No, wait, that’s a Drag Queen. Though fabulous, not the image I’m trying to invoke. So, let’s just stick with the standard, here. I would’ve sucked it up, because it was the dues for the hell I put her through.

“-for me to understand what a dark position you were in to feel like that was something you needed to do.”

When I opened my mouth and finally felt the words trickle out (I donned a guppy expression for several minutes trying to respond, at first), it was both easy and difficult to discuss with her. The familiarity with her was instant, like a comforting blanket. To me, adding a suicide discussion into the mix was like setting the blanket on fire. It‘ll either warm ya up or cook ya, but either way you‘re about to get nice and toasty. I shrugged my shoulders, not knowing how to describe crazy in a sane way, “I felt like I couldn’t go outside, you know? I mean, I couldn’t leave the apartment and the only person I let in my room was *Logan. I would look forward to that all day, him coming at night and staying in my room and we’d just watch Burly TV. He wasn’t asking me to get better or demanding anything from me and I felt safe with him. I needed to feel that after what had happened, you know? It wasn’t enough, though. His presence, I mean. It still wasn’t enough, because I felt like I was still sinking…and it just, it was like, I don’t know—every day was further down and farther away from not being a burden. So, I did it because I thought it would fix things, like things would be better off for everybody without me around.”

I asked my old roommate, Anna, to write about what it had been like for her the morning I overdosed on pills. Talk about your awkward conversations. At least it should have been. As we sat at Western Sky in San Angelo and reminisced I realized how much I missed her – missed her as my roommate and friend. I wondered how she could smile at me after all I put her through. Inside, something wriggled and squirmed and batted itself about inside my rib cage, trapped by a dormant fire which had swirled about my lungs for a decade. On impulse, I asked my husband to take care of the check. I wanted to talk to Anna alone.

Breaking down, I cried as I explained I was writing a book on suicide. The tears were not entirely for the book, though. I needed to finally talk about the morning of the attempt and ask her to forgive me. This was the Alien threatening to burst from my chest and my words were the pill I hoped would subdue the beast.

Here’s what happened in her own words:

Dear Brittni,
I wrote this in first person as though I was writing it for someone else. I hope that’s okay with you. I was originally going to write it in the form of a letter to you, but I could get my thoughts to flow better doing it this way. When I tried to do it as a me-to-you letter it got all jumbled and rambling. Feel free to use this information in any way you feel you need to.
Know that I am so thankful that you were a failure at suicide. Especially since you usually accomplish whatever you set your mind to.
Love always,
Anna

The Day:
As hard as I try, I cannot remember what happened that day, or rather, the day previous. I don’t remember the events of the day from morning to night or anything that occurred all day. I don’t even remember what day it was, or even what month, but I think it was closer to the end of the year. Maybe it was September or October. It makes me sad that I don’t remember that. I feel like I should remember those details, but since I don’t, all I can do is start with what I do remember.

It was the middle of the night sometime. I was restlessly sleeping in my bedroom at our shared apartment, when Brittni knocked on the door. When I opened it she asked if she could sleep in my bed with me because she was having too much trouble sleeping and was uncomfortable being alone in her room. I let her in and went back to sleep. I knew she had been having a rough time and that her emotional state lately seemed fragile. But having known her for some years, I didn’t think it was a major concern because I had always known her to be a very strong person. Thinking back now, I feel I did not take the whole thing seriously enough. The next thing I remember is her getting up and leaving the room. I thought she had decided to go back to her room or maybe to watch TV since her having trouble sleeping was not at all unusual.

I never leave my cell phone turned on at night. Why it was on this night, I don’t know. I have no explanation for it except perhaps Divine intervention. It was 6:34am. Funny that I don’t remember the day or month or anything preceding this part, but I do remember the exact time the call came in. The number that came up on the caller ID was unknown to me except for the area code. I answered the phone (also unusual because I never answer when I don’t know the number) and one the other end was a very hysterical Candy, Brittni’s mother. She was screaming at me, “Something is wrong with Brittni, you have to go to her!” Suddenly, I was wide awake. “What happened?” I asked. “She’s taken something and she needs to get to the hospital.” That statement gave me chills. “Okay”, I said as I rushed into her room (thankfully not locked, for once).

She was lying in the bed on her cell phone with her dad telling him that she loved him and she was sorry, though she seemed out of it, kind of dazed. I walked up to her and said her name. She turned her head towards me as though to look at me, but our eyes never connected. She was hollow. It was this moment when I began to panic. The next thing I knew, I was shouting at her, “Brittni! What did you take?” Candy, who I still had on my line, asked if she should call an ambulance. I told her no, that I would get her to the hospital. I hung up with Candy after she said they were on their way to town and put my phone in my pocket. I grabbed Brittni by the arms and hauled her out of bed and walked her to the living room. I walked her to one flip flop and let her go to grab the other one from across the room. She fell when I let go of her. I ran back to pick her up off the floor and instructed her to get her feet into the flops. I looked over to the coffee table and saw several of her medication bottles tipped over with some pills spilled out. One of the bottles I recognized as having been new and sealed closed the previous day. I kept repeating, “Brittni, what did you take?” over and over again as if I couldn’t help myself.

When we started down the stairs I made sure not to let her go. One of her flip flops came off and fell to the bottom of the stairs. “My shoe. . .” she said. “I know” I said. “We’ll get it”. After getting the shoe, I loaded her in her car and raced to the hospital. I don’t remember actually driving to the hospital. I remember pulling up outside the Emergency Room door and running around the car to get her. I walked her in the doors and started shouting for someone to help me. I told them she had taken a bunch of pills, but I wasn’t sure what exactly or how much. They immediately got her to the back and started working on her. They asked me about who was I and where her family was and I told them her parents were on the way. I stayed until they were rushing her away for further treatment.

As I walked to back outside to go park the car in the parking lot I was trying to work out in my mind how this happened and even exactly what happened. Obviously, I knew the physical particulars, but I couldn’t comprehend how things had come to this. To this day, I don’t think I know “how” it happened, just that it did. I called her parents to let them know that she was being treated and that I would stay there and let them know of any new developments before their arrival. Then I sat in the car for a while. I tried to think of anyone I might need to call, but couldn’t think of anyone who needed to know that didn’t know. I thought of our mutual best friend and considered calling her, but couldn’t bring myself to do it right then. I told myself it was an accident; she would never deliberately try to harm herself. Would she? Were things so awful that she was unable to deal with it any longer? Was I so far removed from the situation that I didn’t see she needed help? What kind of friend was I? Why hadn’t she told me things were so bad? I lived with her, saw her daily and never knew things had deteriorated so far. I had completely failed her as a friend. It’s not that I felt it was my fault that she did this, I didn’t think that. But then I thought about our fights. We had some big ones, but at the time I had always thought she knew that underneath that we were friends. Then I remembered she hadn’t grown up in a family where yelling matches were normal. Maybe she didn’t realize that arguments didn’t change the foundation of our friendship. . . I should have been a better friend, should have been there for her more. I should have been more alert and should have seen she was in trouble. How did I not see this coming? At some point I just broke down and cried sitting in the driver’s side of her car in the hospital parking lot. What now?

After some time, I managed to get myself together a little bit and went back inside to the waiting room where I sat for I don’t even know how long. Eventually, I was taken back to her after they had pumped her stomach. I remember seeing the black charcoal everywhere and there was the distinct smell of bile. She was still a little incoherent and kept repeatedly asking the doctors about her treatment and if she had taken enough that she would have died if she hadn’t gotten to the hospital. At some point her parents arrived and were immediately taken to her. A little while later she was moved to ICU where only one person was allowed to visit her at a time and I wasn’t able to see her for several hours. Her mother hugged me and thanked me for saving her daughter’s life, but I didn’t feel as though my actions were anything special. I was just glad that she was going to be okay. If I hadn’t taken her to the hospital or hadn’t been there, her mother would have dispatched an ambulance, so my actions that day weren’t of any note, but I was relieved that Candy didn’t blame me for what had happened.

When I was finally able to get into the ICU room to see her, I tried to be strong for her. I walked in, solid as a rock. I sat down and looked at her. Neither of us said anything for a few minutes, but I remember how thankful I felt to be able to look into her eyes and see that she was in there again. Then she said, “I’m so sorry.” And I broke down. I grabbed her hand and all I could say was, “Don’t you ever do that to me again.” It sounds like such a selfish comment now, but I don’t do well when shocked. I get stupid.

I don’t remember the rest of that conversation. Brittni was later admitted to the mental health unit of the hospital, where she was kept for a few weeks. I was only allowed to visit her one day a week, but when I did visit she seemed like she was returning to her old self again. She seemed upbeat and even though she didn’t like being there she was making friends and making the best of it. Just like the person she had always been.

To this day, I don’t know what caused her to take such actions. We never talk about the horrid details or events that caused my friend to do something so drastic. We both know that is completely out of character for my friend. Though we don’t talk about that day or that event, we share a bond that cannot be broken. If we talked every day or didn’t speak to or see each other for years that bond is there, unbroken.

Anna, I love you. I will always love you, and not just because I’m alive today thanks to you. You really made me laugh and probably helped me wait as long as I did. So, thank you. Thank you, thank you. You’re in my heart. Make yourself at home.

That being said, nothing that happened as far as fights contributed to my Get Me The Fuck Out of Here. It was a selfish act by a person with blinders on. Knowing I hurt is something I can never make up for, but hopefully one day I can at least make it partially right.

If a loved one committed suicide, it is NOT your fault. To be honest, they were saturated by their pain and couldn’t take it any longer. NOBODY thinks someone they love will try that unless the person has tried previously. That’s not negligence, that’s hope they’ll get better.

For my personal life and future, I’m tired of feeling like I have to uphold a IDGAF attitude. If I want to get better, I have to incorporate all parts of the person I am into myself. What this means to you is if you do not find you can take my language, my past or my intended future in stride, get your damn self off my subscription list. Yes, we went to school together. Yes, I love your writing; I’ll maintain that follow for your work. Yes, I want to get to know the you for YOU. No, I’m not allowing you to be a personal hurdle which trips me up. I have a bucket full of stand up to perform, bits I am anxious and itching to do, again. I have a fantastic husband I love every inch of, all 76 of them. I’ve written three books and am trying to get them published. But there’s something I need to take care of, first.The act so far in my past is a chain around my neck, the likes of which would put Mr. T in chiropractic care. Some people are only ever going to see the act, though. They’ll never care about what lead up to it and what I’ve done afterward.

So, here’s the benefit of the doubt for you and the coming out the crazy closet for me. First and foremost, I have to emotionally deal with this so I can be the best person I need to be for all of my loved ones, both friends and family. I will be there for you if you need it, any time and every time, but I will not hinder myself by catering to your Oh mo! sensibilities in the process. Basically, as long as I give a ten cent damn about opinions on my suicide attempt, this entire effort isn’t worth a penny for the thought. So, make your peace with all of this or remove me. I give you the options to use at your discretion. I don’t check my list for precisely that reason

Here’s the unprotected truth of what I am working on; all apologies and pleas for forgiveness never seem like enough for what I did. Thanking someone like Anna for loving me and caring for me in the midst of and after my suicide attempt always feels hollow, like I can never fill them with the right amount of appreciation to be appropriate. I still cannot put words to the action well, not in person. I am currently immersed in an I-will-stab-you-if-you-watch-me-cry mindset with set plans to start crying. I hate crying. I hate being seen cry. Lately, lots of completely ridiculous content makes me breathe deeply and fight back tears, like an episode of Better Off Ted or the song Stand By Me. Hell, even a commercial can throw me out of whack. I almost feel bad for the therapist, but fuck it; her career choice. She has to nipple up, sometime. Might as well be with a thorn like me.

I had told Anna my idea behind the book. Accounts and opinions of friends I knew before and friends I met after my suicide attempt are inserted between chapters, because understanding suicide is pointless if all taken into account is what the impact was on the person who made the attempt. If you want to submit, with your name or anonymously, I’d be thrilled. The words of family and closest friends are necessary to grasp the scope of suicide, and though not easy, it is necessary.

To my beloved Anna, I owe the world.

I thought about a Thank You Gift Card, but all the possible stores I could have gotten one from seemed like a bad pun.

You know, like: Bed Bath and Beyond my suicide.

Thanks for getting me to the hospital on time. Get a coffee table from Ikea on me!

You saved my life. You rock! Now, think of me and go buy something racy from Frederick’s of Hollywood!

That just ain’t right in any kinna’ way. So, the best thing I can do is make both of our experiences stand for something far better in the long run, preventing others from inflicting the kind of pain I caused on those they love.

To do that to the best of my ability I have to proceed my way and on my own terms. All of you can get it or get out. If you choose the former, I won’t hate ya. That’s a promise. But I can’t ‘do me’ and keep worrying about you, or I’ll never get to where I need to be in order to make this meaningful and effective. I hope you all can understand. Even more so, I hope you can deal with it. The choice, however, is yours.

To suicide survivors families, it is NOT your fault. What if’s are the last thing your loved one wanted. They could only see their own misery. Remember them as the one you loved, not as them at their worst. Take it from me, its not something they want. They don’t want you to suffer and didn’t even realize you would. If anything, they want you to have the laughter they found impossible, like they were behind a brick wall with bloody fists trying to get beyond it.

LIVE, please. Live, because as someone who was in their shoes, I never wanted to hurt my family. I didn’t know it would. The last thing I would have wanted is to render hell unto the heart of family and friends. They loved you. Don’t cheapen that by blaming yourself, just enjoy everything they found impossible to do. And if you have any questions you wish you could ask to them, I’ll be here – no matter how seemingly painful of awkward the question. Just say what is on your mind and I will do my best to provide some semblance of answers.

Viscous, that’s what it is, like running in jelloed water. You see other people pass, smiles on their faces, goals in their eyes. You want to call out to them, but this is a race and you’re just another rat. Why would they stop to help? And what’s the point of running? It’s exhausting.

How am I supposed to react to that? Do I fight, try to hide the fact I’m struggling? Do I scream for help? ME? The strong swimmer? Do I splash along and hope nobody pays attention?

What do you do when life becomes a trap? Why is that so hard to answer?

Personally, I’ll be fine, then one day KERPLUNK! I plop into a mire, and in the process of trying to climb out, everything inside me dehydrates. My contact with others recedes like the ocean. I’m left high and dry on a deserted island of Hell wherenothing hears me weep or scream in frustration.

Communicating is painfully slow and tedious, perhaps because inside I’m yelling from that island removed from human understanding. It’s like I’m in two places at once, yet not fully in either one even for a second.

I have to struggle to say the right words – the good expected words people seem to want to hear without any sort of real obligation to lend a shoulder.

“I’m okay.”

“I’m good.”

“I’m…fine.”

“I’m fucking drowning and I don’t know why. I want help, but asking for it scares the crazy right out of me.

I know how it feels. I know what it feels like. And I can tell you there is life that trumps suicide. You won’t always be fat. You won’t always have acne. You won’t always be sexualized. You won’t always be bullied. At some point, the devastation from others’ cruelty dissipates and you realize, “Dude, I’m fucking awesome. Why did I listen to the worst car salesman at Smash and Grab Auto, when I’m in college and he’s still a dick?”

You’ll realize their words were as wrong as Miley’s six inch wedgie on her Mac and Me alien looking ass. You’ll realize no matter how cruel the comments, they’re only true if you let them be. So, don’t let them be.

Right, Miley?

Comment, text, talk, or listen about it. Stashing suicide in the shameful shadows only makes it impossible to admit and start to recover. HIgh school is Hell. Kids are vicious. But the FUCKING FAILURES of their PARENTS to raise someone who respect others is not worth your pulse, tears, or time.
You Are Loved.

All my best,

Brittni

Her Name was Whisper, Chuck Wendig’s Terrible Minds Challenge!

This is part of Chuck Wendig’s http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/08/30/flash-fiction-challenge-choose-your-setting-2/ I rolled Monster Brothel,.

Click the link to participate, and make sure you share your story link here if you do! Thanks for reading!

Weighing in at 1086 words, here is:

Her Name Was Whisper

“She used to be a Sil-what?”

“Quiet, or she’ll hear you. She used to be a silsa, it’s Vaner for washable bag.”

“What the hell does that even mean?” Jigs Ocher Finlay bellowed and waved the pyropen in the air. He stopped working on a figure he’d recently begun for a client. Around him, brass, copper, and coils littered his work table. Below it were chunks of unworked metals and wood. On it were four current pieces. Above it were the finished products, handmade windup toys based off of the features of client’s children. Monday’s pickup had a little girl in helium boots that zoomed up and floated down a copper shaft. Tuesday’s pickup, the one he’d just finished, was for twins and had the girl shooting a ray gun at her brother – who countered with a net launcher – as they played around the chair of an abandoned airship. It was the most expensive piece to date and required resetting after each windup.

A fly landed on Jigs nose. He swiped at his face his free arm. The motion scattered the loops on his brass magnifying lenses. With a sigh, he turned off the pyropen.

“Qui-ET, or she’ll hear you.” Elanie glared, daring her husband to misread the set of her jaw. She sat two feet away on the floor, adding their signature durability to finished toys. The two-fold process was slow, the oil-based coating had to dry before a sealant stroke could be applied, but the end result was worth it. The combination kept the keepsakes as clean as the day they were assembled.

“Well,” Jigs said, and looked at her face, then lowered his voice, “what the hell does that even mean?”

Elanie mopped her forehead and glanced to the front of the store where Whisper sat in the window –a silver, triple-tiered lace ladies ascot for work in the lap of her form-fitting pencil skirt – and watched aero-scooters zip by. She had brassy auburn curls, large and immaculate, swept back in two butterfly clips at her crown. In her heart-shaped face were gold eyes below lashes black as night and thick as shag. Twin dimples pierced with gold studs framed baby pink, cupid’s bow lips on either side.

She felt Elanie’s gaze and turned.

Elanie smiled and waved.

Whisper looked back out the window.

Elanie shrugged and readied the sealant. “Why do you think she followed us home from Two Hots and a Cot?”

“She needed help.”

“Could’ve gotten that there. She followed us home because your cooking is terrible, if you want the truth.” With a steady hand she applied the first stroke deftly, then fanned the brass figure.

Jigs stopped unbuttoning his leather apron, “Nobody’s ever complained down there before.”

“They’re hungry. Of course they don’t complain. Your soup still tastes like two sticks sautéed in milk.” She chuckled, and began on the next stroke.

“Listen, what’s your point, you old bag?” Jigs said, and whipped his apron off. He was all bluster, though. He knew it, and his wife of forty years knew it.

“She’s a Siphon, Jigs. She siphons and reflects emotion. That’s why she wears ribbons around her wrists to hide the sensors.”

“Okay, so what’s that got to do with my cooking?”

“That damn fantasy peddler uptown, Emmanuel Bassil, what do you think he’d do with someone who’d love every one of his clients, as long as they desired…” Elanie’s words trailed off and she bit her lip. She tried to focus on the toy in front of her, but couldn’t. Em Bassil, that-

“-son of a bitch,” Jig said.

The two looked at their waif by the window. Elanie promised herself she would help the girl no matter what came on the heels of such a promise, be it hell for them or peace for her.

*********

Whisper rested against the wagon wheel wood frame of the window and played with a silk bow on her wrist. Every few seconds she touched the Durable plug Elanie had made her. Because of Bassil, she’d built up a tolerance to the plug. Still, the woman’s kindness meant something to her. She just was not sure what, yet.

“I want a list of every single man’at visits that ‘monster brothel’. I don’t care how much we lose, we won’t serve a one of the pricks again!”

Whisper tensed.

“Quiet, or she’ll hear-“

Her eyes rolled back into her head.

“I don’t care, Elanie- Ow! What was that for?”

“Flashbacks, you halfwit, she gets flashbacks…”

Too late. Whisper crumpled.

**************

‘I love you, come back!’ she beat on the door, but he was already long gone, as were his promises.  

A chute on her left popped open. The temporary insertable clinked inside with a note that read, ‘Next?’.

This was her love, how could she forget in a few minutes like it meant nothing? She crawled away and curled into a ball, exhausted.

“You’ll change your mind. You always do,” said a voice from a window in the door.

An hour later, her eyes were almost swollen shut. Every time hurt more. The dissolvable plug was becoming less effective, too. Someday it wouldn’t work. Would he let her go then? When she couldn’t give body and heart to the ‘next’?

She sniffled and once again pretended to insert the 20 minute, dissolvable plug in order to recharge for the next customer he brought her. Steps moved away from the door, and she slipped it in her garter belt along with two days’ worth of plugs, then began to change her satin sheets with fresh ones.  

There was only one way to find out.

*****************

“I’m fanning her, I’m fanning her,” an older man said.

The air felt fresh even if it wasn’t very cool. Whisper began to stir.

“Take her to rest,” a female voice clucked. “I told you she’d hear!”

“Can I know what this has to do with my cooking, now?”

“She gets flashbacks, Jigs, and Bassil’s no cheapskate. Beautiful rooms, mythic women, heady aromas, flutes, and lastly-”

The man interrupted, “Delicious food. All right. My terrible cooking is good for her. I got it. Could’ve just said it was like the place I stole you from, you gnome.”

A wet rag was placed on her head, then footsteps rushed away from her across the room.

“Ow!”

“Damn dwarf, I swear…”, the female voice muttered, and returned to her side.

Tears coursed down Whisper’s cheeks, but not in pain. No, this, these two bickering old fogies…would be a good memory.

Cinderella Gone Weird, Write Rewrite, Rewrite Challenge (first day, humor!)

I started a 36-hour Challenge. http://genrepornchallenge.wordpress.com/ Check it out and participate!

Since its new, I’ll be taking part until it gets its feet off the ground. So, here’s:

Cinderella Gone Weird

The troll’s in my backyard, again. He’s taken two steps out of the corner. I can see his knees. The gnarled hunks of wood with pecan slivers for nails that should be his hands sit lightly on them.
He hasn’t made it out of the far right corner yet, and who am I to pry, anyways? We just moved here. That’s a question I don’t need to know the answer to, right now. I have bigger things to worry about, like busted hot water heaters and baking the perfect cake and making the most awesome dress for the ball.
He’ll come in and kill me when he wants to.
I love the people here. They’re so friendly (except for my family, LOL) I can’t believe I ever got used to people being rude. I guess when you live in a kingdom that tops the lists for most miserable and crime ridden regularly, rude is par for the course.
Damn it, I took my eyes off him, and now I can see his beard. I’m not sure that’s a healthy color for a beard. It’s so dark above his knees it almost looks wet.
Oh, shit. It is wet. Fucker’s drooling, and its slipping over his bulbous lower lip and dread-locking the hair on his chinny-chin-chin.
I should probably stop typing, right? But I’m not done with my cigarette. I NEED my nicotine, come Hell or just…fucking trolls. These hallways ain’t gonna’ mop themselves.
The cancer stick is almost halfway gone, and he moves slow as molasses down the crack of Frosty’s ass, anyways. I got time.
Don’t I?
Where was I?
Oh yeah, busted water heater. That sucker was spewing like a damn frat boy in every direction. The water was going under the house, too. I was out of cigs and coca cola, so all I could do was pop my knuckles, gulp at random, and pray my stepmother wasn’t coming home any time soon.
The repairman probably thought I was nutso. That’s okay. I probably am.
Oh, fuck, what now? SHIT, WHERE ARE HIS EYES WHERE ARE HISEYES WHEREAREHISEYES Fuck fuckitty
Okay, all better. If he can’t see me, I can just turn the typing sounds on my keyboard off.
Done, and
done.
Hah, now he’s moving in a zig zag. This is so going on yetube.
Shit, he heard me laugh at him.
Double shit, he’s mad.
I think I’m done with this cigarette. Time to stick my tongue out andflfjcjnsikcnjfj rndinchndnenjfj . Encjjndnen
Tyytttthhheee tttttrroolllllssseeezz nnooo yuuer rooooollllll, ppppprrrincceesss

Part 2 of The Bookkeeper of the Grim, Hideous Ticket, A terrible minds challenge!

A wayfarer waited at the docks for Death. No escape from her reality, she was a smuggler of the worst sort to be found on the brimstone highways.

Just in front of her stood Mene, resplendent in mustache – a thirty decade indulgence – and black eyeliner. Sinful and kind, he only promised no deceit for those who asked to touch him, fascinated with the willowy strands of gold threaded above the black hair that delicately framed his face and feathered down strong shoulders. With angular features and an overbite, he was not conventionally handsome. Yet even on such tumultuous shores, he captivated the travelers come to meet loved ones, making them forget temporarily whom they sought to drag to hell or lead to heaven. Easy come, easy go, he blew in with the wind and out just as fast, perplexing and titillating, an instant best friend, killer queen, and naughty nanny of purgatory. No matter the destination, he enticed all and refused few the sweetness of his voice and the temptation in the kink of his smile.

Today was different, however. On the shores of the Styx in a feathered white robe and black spandex jumpsuit, every ounce the impish pagan god, Mene’s mercurial nature was subdued.

If the wayfarer hadn’t known better she almost would have sworn he was…worried. She smirked and stepped up into his peripheral vision. “Lost your BFF, have you?”

Mene glanced in her direction. Hate dropped into his eyes and his entertaining smile dimmed. He nodded at someone addressing him, then asked flatly, “How long has he been gone?”

“I stopped keeping tabs on him twenty years ago.”

“Still quite the little cunt, aren’t you? Who are you waiting on, then? Gandhi?”

“I was just leaving, love,” she said sweetly, then punched him square in the jaw. “Goodbye.”

Mene, unsurprised, rubbed his jaw and followed her with his eyes. If she was up to something her eyes would be darting around, paranoid. Then just when she couldn’t stand it anymore, she’d turn and cast a look-

He snarled. Of course, she was up to something. It’s not possible to play princess in Hell and keep clean hands. He shot through the crowd like thunderbolts and lightening. They spun away frightened.

“Calla Lilly, what have you done?” Mene grabbed her arm.

“Magnifico,” she spat and knocked him back, “Fine, he’s the poor one, the one most unfortunate, right? Spare him from this monstrosity of fate! Spare him! You think you’re the only one who wants to break free?”

“I asked for it. You were banned from it. He never so much feigned interest in it, and you bloody well know it!”

“You foul, loathsome spineless creature, at least I made the choice! I stood amongst gods and devils and demanded –“

“-your brother live and lie for you to get out of Hell, and now you’re the taint of the underworld, somewhere between an arse and a right, sopping cunt. You don’t get to pat yourself on the back for any fucking thing.” He stumbled forward as the ground shifted. Sweat spilled over his forehead. “Whatever you have pulled now, stop it or I will hang your soul in Tartarus myself.”

“Ah, but brother, the show must go on. The terror of knowing what this hell is, watching your sister screaming ‘let me out’, and turning away from it all like a blind man, you think that makes you noble? It only makes you blind to what was already in front of you. If you won’t help me, I’ll make big noise playing bloody and dirty on my own.”

“D’you mind telling me what the bloody hell gives you the right to demand anything? Do you know how many thousands of souls are waiting to come here from the last hour alone?”

“I did what I had to do, and I’m not going to apologize for that to anybody, not to him or to-” Her eyes widened briefly and she stopped talking.

Too late.

Mene noticed and pounced, “Her, who? Kismet?”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“I don’t think I asked your preference regarding participation in this discussion. What did you do to Kismet?”

“One dream, one soul, one prize, one goal, one golden glance, one fucking chance and I took it. That was the deal, her into hell for the highest bidder and I’d be free.” She stuck out her chin.

“Bloody hell. Cali, you told someone who’s known only the monotony of death to give up the one child he had to the eternity of its shores. What man, no, what father would want that for his daughter?”

She scoffed, “He’s no man.”

Mene slapped her brutally across the face, “You, he was with you. And because he refused and gave her a life on earth, you did this? You had your daughter murdered to smuggle into hell and expected to get her past her father, the fucking ferryman, all because you’re miffed you can’t go on an outing?“

A swell of voices interrupted them.

Mene turned. The river ballooned, sucking up people and building to a head.

Above the mountain of the doomed hovered a sphere. Those not caught by its gravity scrambled away and watched it engorge in horror. The souls writhing beneath it were stripped from their bodies, trailing to the sphere in a wisp, their forms left burned into clay effigies.

When the last soul was left, the sphere quivered. The mountain rumbled. Survivors on the shores fell back further. Then the last soul let go. The mountain imploded and an atomic boom billowed across the river.

Bodies layered atop each other in a hollowed out canyon of the dead, hands reaching out, covering up and pushing away from loved ones, their disfigured faces bearing the terror of the moment forever.

“His wrath,” Mene pointed to the dead monument, “but not your funeral. No, you’ll bleed and scream and crawl…forever.”

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/08/23/flash-fiction-challenge-another-ten-words/