I Don’t Want To Talk About Suicide. But We Need To.

by Briton Underwood
Louis Blythe / Unsplash

Trigger warning: This post includes a description of suicide.

I don’t want to write about suicide.

My sister blew her brains out.

I picture the night in my head. I see her drinking the strong stuff. Eyes watery and bloodshot from all the crying and booze. Open pill bottles and bullets strewn across a table. I don’t know the specifics of the scene. No one told me any details behind her shooting herself that night. I haven’t asked either. It’s a moment I prefer to leave to my imagination. It eats me up inside. I wonder if she had handwritten letters around her body.

Her daughter walked in and found her.

Decades earlier, a young girl was dragged, kicking and screaming, onto the front lawn of the house she lived in with her abusive parents. Her drunkard father’s behavior, while terrifying, wasn’t surprising. As Lance traded the shotgun aim between himself and his daughter, his last and, maybe only, redeeming moment was when he aimed the barrel at himself, pulling the trigger and ending his act in the madness plaguing a family name.

That young girl would grow up. Raise a family. Drink a little too much here and there, but ultimately devote herself to not putting her children through the type of things she endured in her childhood. No middle of the night wake-ups being dragged from the bed and screamed at to choose whom to live with. No dressing Mommy and Daddy’s knife wounds and black eyes after a night of being drunk and high. No self-hatred boiling over into violence across the living room.

When the young girl’s childhood dream of a family filled with love and devotion ultimately crumbled, I can only imagine the sound of Daddy’s shotgun reverberating through her head as she turned the barrel on herself, ending her part in this play.

I don’t want to talk about suicide.

Mama didn’t kill herself. Her brother did after being outed as a child predator. No, Mama died of a broken heart. She spent more time than anyone trying to numb the burden of bringing children into an ugly world with an even uglier genetic disposition to self-loathing. When Mama’s heart finally gave out, a mere four months after losing her estranged daughter, her act ended.

Two sons remained, desperately trying to do everything in their power to wall away the family curse. The words left unsaid eating them alive.

I don’t want to talk about suicide.

I stared into the bottle of whiskey, face contorted in disgust as the liquid burned down my throat. Pill after pill, shot after shot. I took my mother’s route trying to kill myself from the inside. When it didn’t work, I decided to wall away the past and people with it.

I took the right pills. The ones supposed to balance you inside. I spent hours scrubbing my house of the invisible stain I have come to know is attached to my family name.

I don’t want to talk about suicide.

But I will.

We kill ourselves in this family. Maybe not always physically, but in some way we destroy ourselves on the inside.

My sister. Her father. My mother. Her brother. My brother. Me. We’ve all spent every second of every moment fighting demons. A lifetime battling a war that’s plagued this family.

My kids run around me, and I can’t help but remember nobody wins this battle.

I don’t want to talk about suicide.

Because I am terrified of it rearing it’s head eventually. After the antidepressants and anxiety meds are gone. When the endorphins from working out wear thin. When hugs and cuddles just aren’t enough. I’ve watched my entire family destroy themselves in some way or another. The clock is ticking.

I don’t want to talk about suicide.

I sit up in the early hours of morning gripping a butcher knife, wondering the best way to die. The anxiety pills haven’t calmed me down. Threats of the cops coming haven’t calmed me down. I sit gripping the hilt, pressing the blade into my thigh enough to remind myself of physical pain.

I’ve never been this close to the edge. I close my eyes and imagine the blood splatter and spray. I see my sister blowing her skull apart. I can’t help but laugh. Because I don’t feel like I can escape this moment.

I laugh and think, I am going to fucking die.

But my act in this painful story didn’t end that night. I wonder how many nights my sister lived to see another day. I wonder if my clock is ticking toward self-inflicted doomsday.

My kids sing and encircle me.

Ashes, ashes

We all fall down

I don’t want to talk about suicide.

But I will.

If you, or someone you know, is having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. For additional mental health resources, click here.

This post originally appeared on Sunshine Spoils Milk.