I sit here unsure of what I should say. Should I, for instance, give a history of me. The things that brought me to this point. I'm the son of divorce, my parents split when I was a year old. My father spent most of my childhood in prison, I got to see him on the weekends, if I was lucky and if my mom wasn't mad that week, whether at me or him.
My mom had a hard life and was a drinker for most of my life. I had no reference for alcoholism, but I knew something was wrong.
I had a very slanted view of sex, my first sexual experience was when I was five years old. No, I wasn't molested, the female in question was actually a year younger than me. She had seen her parents and wanted to try it. As a consequence of this experience I still have a hard time deriving my self worth from something other than sexual proficiency.
These are all things that shaped my life, but they aren't really what I am writing about today. I'm writing to share my story, a story that I hope can help at least one other person. This isn't a story I have shared, even my wife of eight years doesn't know the details. I'm a very personal person, and I have a very hard time sharing my personal experiences. There seems to be a block inside of me that I can't seem to get out of the way.
This story takes place in my junior year of high school.
We just broke up again, it felt as if my life was ending. How could I go on. She was the world to me. I was living with my father in my grandmothers house, she had taken me in when my mom kicked me out. My father was in prison when I moved there, but he had been home for a couple of years at this point. He was heavily involved with drugs and alcohol, and to say the least I felt neglected, which was a much better feeling than the abuse that I was used to.
I had been dating the "love of my life" for a year at this point, even though we "broke up" at least six time in that year. The sadness overwhelmed me and I was ill-equipped to deal with it. There was love there from my family, but I was too blind to see it.
I came home from school that day and decided that I was done. The struggle with my emotions and scarred past was just to much to deal with. I had a Remington twelve gauge shotgun on the rack in my room, we lived in the COUNTRY and everyone has a weapon. It's just a way of life.
I remember very vividly taking the gun down, loading it from a fresh box of shells that I had finally talked my dad into getting me. I sat on my bed in my grandmothers house and looked at the shotgun in my hands.
Would I be able to do it? Courage seems like the wrong word to use for what I had planned, but courage is what it takes to do it. I took the gun and placed it in my mouth, with trembling hands I set the butt of the gun on the floor, and then I did it. I pulled the trigger.
My heart stopped when I heard the click. Did I forget to chamber a round, seriously? I picked the gun up and pumped it, and a shell ejected as a fresh one was loaded. I looked at the shell. On the percussion cap was the mark from the firing pin. What are the odds that I would try to kill myself with a dud shell.
I set the gun down again, and when the second click happened it was almost as if I was in a bad dream. How big of a screw up was I. I couldn't even end my own life.
The third click happened just as the first two, and now I was more curious than I was despondent. So I took the three shells that had refused to fire and went outside. There was a pond behind the house and that was my destination.
I reloaded the three rounds into the gun, taking careful aim at a stump that grew in the pond. I slowly squeezed the trigger. BOOM the round exploded, sending the buckshot into the stump with enough force that it loses pieces in the surrounding water.
Twice more I squeeze the trigger and twice more the gun functions as it is supposed to.
Now here I sit, telling this story to a potential audience of millions. Where I have only shared what happened with three people, I know and have relationships with.
You may ask the question why, and you would be right to. I'm now a believer in god, where I used to pay lip service only. It didn't happen right away, even with these three suicide attempts. I wasn't finished with trying to end my own life. I tried to overdose, but that is a story for another day. I was a practicing pagan, an evangelical athiest, and am still seeking the truth of the god I serve. I really don't know what my purpose is for writing this, it just feels right in my soul.
My message to take from this, is god has a plan for your life. Even if you don't see the plan, don't give up hope. I'm now a happily married man and father of two. The cycles of abuse; chemical, emotional and physical, end with me.
My children know that they are loved.
My wife knows that I love her.
My relationship with my mother, while strained still, is getting better.
I can only assume that there was a reason for those rounds to not go off. I do know that I have given god permission to do what he wants with me, and he led me to share this. I know that there will be hateful people, like I used to be, who will try to tear down what I'm saying here. I'm not blaming anyone. I am thanking my GOD for the life he has given me, the life that without his divine intervention, I would have given away.