Last week I was working in Port Angeles, which is about a 3 hour commute from Seattle. We stayed at a hotel during the week and drove back on Friday. Working out of town is somewhat weird because you don't go home at night, and you spend most of your time with your coworkers. That is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you like your coworkers or they are interesting to be around. Besides eating and sleeping, you're mostly just working anyway. There is no time to think about much.
When I got in my car last Friday, I got a sinking feeling that is all too familiar. I am looking forward to 3 hours with only myself to keep me company. I kind of like the time alone to sing along to my music as loud as I can, but my mind wanders. I immediately started thinking about my brother, and by the time I was on the ferry, I was staring longingly at the black water over the side, thinking it was probably cold enough to kill me quick.
Even though I think of ways to commit suicide, I am not going to do it. It just feels good to think that I could, if I really wanted to. When I was in junior high, I planned to murder my dad. I picked some plants that he told me were highly poisonous (oh, the irony), and I was planning to put enough in his food to take him down. He was destroying me- my sanity, my life, my respect for myself, my ability to function. I hated the idea of being a victim my whole life. However, I ran into a bit of a problem. I was an animal activist at the time. I was a vegetarian because I thought it was wrong to kill animals. Regardless of whether I thought he deserved it or not, I thought it was wrong to kill my dad. I kept the plants for 4 years, in case I changed my mind, but I didn't.
I thought about killing myself instead. I kept thinking about it. My biggest shock when my brother committed suicide is that he did it instead of me. It makes me mad- I've spent so much time and energy planning to die, and yet I have never done it. He just went ahead and ended it all. I don't want to die, though. I think it would be wrong for me to kill myself. I think that if I were meant to die, a bus would hit me or something like that. Same for my dad. There must be another way.
Still I have destruction in me. I discovered drinking and smoking in high school. Drinking took away the discomfort I felt around other people, and smoking was my love affair with slowly killing myself. It felt so good to breath in the blackness- the blackness that surrounded my organs and pulled on my brain. The blackness that told me, you will never be good enough, not even your parents love you. When it enveloped me, I pretended I liked it and I didn't care anymore; I am not afraid of a future of depression and loneliness.
When my brother died, I spent my time alone with my agony. I cried on the bus to school, cried in the bathroom stall in between classes, cried at work in the storage room. My boyfriend at the time went to the funeral with me, but after he left me on my own to pursue his alcoholism. We didn't even break up in person because he insisted he was too busy to see me, even though we were living together. I felt like a fire had burned through me, and I was charred, black, and empty inside. I felt like I had died. I saw my brother in people on the bus and at school. I stared at the sky and wondered where he had gone. How can someone you love more than anything suddenly be gone forever? How is it possible for the little boy who used to come to you for comfort, pick up hunting rifle and put it in his mouth? How did he pull the trigger, knowing that he was saying goodbye to everything he cared about, his friends, his family, all his aspirations, and his future? I can't answer any of these questions, I can't even answer questions about myself.
Yet I think my brother and I really were the same in many ways. We thought so much alike that we called ourselves twins that were born at different times. The only difference is that I can't pull the trigger on myself. Even now that I'm recognizing how screwed up I really am, and not knowing how this will turn out and if I can make it better for myself and stop being a victim and a drama junkie and whatever else I am, dying is not an appealing escape to me. I wish my brother was here, and I would like to think he is in the Beautiful West at peace with himself, but I am not ready to join him yet.