- Mental Health
Brushes With Death #3
First I want to state my motives, that a teenage girl is who I'm speaking to here, on the possibility she's going through what I went through.
Maybe I can save a life. If so, I want her to know, suicide is not the answer and every trial in your life, it has an ending point. It's like I used to say, "this too shall pass."
Nowadays I am a very happy camper if only my little stories can change one child's life for the better. Also I'd like to say life is really short. Especially when you're as old as I am, you suddenly want to go to all the parties you missed when younger. Maybe it's called 2nd childhood?
I'm going to call her Rose, as once upon a time people used to call me by that name. Rose awoke in the morning and checked to see if she was still paralyzed. She had tried to get out of bed in the early evening of the day before and had not been able to move a single muscle after taking a bunch of aspirin and half a bottle of sleeping pills.
She wondered if there was enough sleeping pills to do the job. Then she went to an open field to lay down and die. She grew groggy in the tall grass and suddenly thought, no, not here, I should lie on the bed dead so that he will find me when he comes home from work.
True, he will never know why I did it, but if he thinks about it long enough, surely he'll get the point she thought idly, pacified somehow by the thought he would be sorry and perhaps shed a tear for her. He was not her real father and Rose had always felt that he could not be her father. She just knew, her real father would actually not talk so much as this guy did.
Her real father of course, would be interested in whatever she had to say, so he would be a good listener in that case.
What had prompted the deed that might end her life? From the day she was born she began to suffer a very low self esteem. She was tom-boyish and spent many hours in the Sacramento River competing in a diving contest with the local boys from a long rope slung out over the swift moving currents. She never actually gained a boyfriend as she'd hoped, but she did get praise from them now and again. All the boys seemed to go for the feminine type in the end.
The rest of her time spent, when not in school, and when she wasn't ditching school to go to the river, she read True Confessions magazines. It was all about love, and broken hearts, and jealousy, but a few of the stories had happy endings and she looked for that.
While he picked on her for reading True Confessions, for wanting to read rather than listen to him talk, she couldn't help but criticize his True Detective Stories choice of reading material, although she knew better than to say anything out loud about it.
She had leafed through his mags and been appalled and shocked at all the blood and gore of the actual photographs of true crimes she had seen.
She only had 3 to 4 years to go to graduate high school, then she would be out on her own so she was stoically awaiting her flight to freedom. What she wanted most was to live on her own.
They reached some kind of truce whereby they hardly saw each other; they just lived in the same tiny house. To him, she was his daughter whom he had rescued from his ex-wife's abuse, for mother had broken across her legs a broom stick, leaving awful purple welts, all for the crime that when mother had called her a sonofa-b Rose had been cheeky and replied if I be the son, what does that make you?
Ah, so much for teenage rebellion and these brilliant thoughts of the half grown wit. Once, in a rather sentimental moment, it might have been he asked her if she would be attending to him in old age, for he wanted one of his kids to provide for him, rather than go to a rest home.
She had been thinking, yea, right, fat chance. You molested me when I was younger, now you want me to take care of you? She had called him on his deeds once already. He had not recalled. Totally blocked it out of his mind. Still, now, she lied and said sure. Whatever. She had to be careful not to get his temper aroused. He had punched mother out a few times.
This day when I wanted to end my life, I felt I couldn't take it anymore. My brother and his best friend had come for a visit for a week or so. The boys were around 18. To me, my brother's father seemed around the emotional age of 12, although he had a man's body and in earth years he was 50 or so.
They were visiting at the kitchen table, talking in boisterous manner, most likely about women folk. Dad, as Rose called him then, was quite a lady's man, or thought he was.
Suddenly as I walked by I received what they called a "goose." which is a hard thrust of the finger from behind. Then they all laughed at my outrage. My already flagging self esteem must have shot down to like a zero to be treated this way. I had erroneously considered that dad and I were developing a somewhat normal father/daughter relationship painstakingly albeit, when the advent of the 2 testosterone filled boys ended my speculations.
It had now become impossible to walk by these 3 without getting goosed again. Since the days wore on, and I didn't know when the boys would depart, I thought they were just moving in with us, into this tiny 1 bedroom cottage, where I slept on the living room couch.
As I said, one can only take so much grief in a lifetime without bailing out. So the pills were my solution. They didn't work to end my life, and curiously the very day I was ending my life, the boys were leaving town, and life would get back to normal, bearable events.
Rose had awoken to the sound of Dad's GET UP! I'm cooking dinner. Come eat! Then she could feel him staring at her and asking her why she did not get up. Finally he just said oh to hell with it and sat down to eat alone and watch TV I suppose. He never knew to this day, I could have been dying. I was so out of it, I could not speak or move a muscle when I tried to arise.
I slept all that night and found I could rise in the morning and thought I would go to school. At school I became nauseated and went to the nurse's station in a most depressed state of mind. When she spoke kindly to me and asked me what I thought was the matter with me, I knew I could not tell her about the pills. She was so sympathetic that tears welled up.
I'd never met anyone who was so kind to me. She didn't ask another single question, just gave me a cot for the rest of the day to sleep in and told me if I ever wanted to talk, she was there for me. I arose at 3pm, said goodbye and silently thanked her for not prying, although I'd wished there was someone I could talk to.
Fathers and mothers need to realize it's difficult for teenagers, both the boys and the girls, as they don't know who they are yet. They are building their character, slowly but surely. They may say cruel things to their parents. Parents need extreme patience with teenagers. In my case, dad had a low opinion of the female portion of our population in general.
I'm sure this kind of man is on his way out, but there are a few around like him and they are called perverts because they are perverted. They sometimes go unconscious when committing a crime against a child. They can be rehabilitated if they receive counseling. If they are made to be aware of their crimes, they sometimes break down in tears and often, this may be what it takes to make them make new decisions about their behavior.
It would be the same as talking to a child then, when you counsel these type of men. In Road Sign Two of my book I speak about this extensively, of what happened later between me and this man, how a miracle happened, when Spirit came upon the scene and changed his heart, and how he became with dignity as he had seen the light.
And I was the one who brought the light so that he could see the light. I am so proud of myself because, you know what? There's one less pervert walking the face of the Earth. Because of me, another child is safe. And now dear teenager, whoever you are, God is with you too. You just ask God, and God will respond in your life. Just pretend God hears. Then one day you will understand, you don't have to pretend anymore. You'll just know that it's true. That you are not alone in your journey.