There are a million and one ways to die. To do so by your own hand is often seen as cowardly and selfish. Unless you have been in that frame of mind. The one where you sometimes have a painful static in your brain, an aching hole in the place your heart should be, a swarm of bees fighting one another in your stomach, every hour of every day. Then you understand why someone would think about it or do it.
What I described is just the psychological component. If you have a chronic illness that comes with it then you have physical ones too. Joint pain, back pain (like you’re being kicked in the back by a horse all day), muscle weakness, headaches, blurred vision, pelvic pain, bladder weakness, UTIs, nausea, dizziness, vertigo, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, a compromised immune system, etc. You will never be who you once were and the people you once knew will slowly start to disappear.
You will feel alone, unwanted, forgotten, and slowly go outside less and less.
This was my mother’s case.
My father has done the opposite.
Like I said, there are a million and one ways to die.
I have always wanted to leave this Earth in the hope that I would go somewhere better. I wanted to go somewhere where the sun would shine everyday, where wolves would walk up to me, a magical place, a place where later on I would see my mom and we would play Scrabble.
I never could get it right. I only attempted while drunk, slit my wrists 2 times the wrong way, 4 times I was sent to the hospital to either have the lovely charcoal or my stomach pumped and 1 time for a concussion, I thought I had further to fall but miscalculated.
When I figured out that I was lousy at trying to do it myself I started hanging out with worse people. I know, how much worse could they have really gotten? So I was put in some dangerous situations. Sitting alone in a van outside of a crackhouse in an all African American neighborhood at 2:00 a.m. surrounded by a group of men I didn’t know and completely drunk. Another time I let 2 of the guys, (Paul with the tear drop tattoos and R. who had also done about 6 years at the ACI) take me to a bar in downtown Arctic. This place is like going to the white slums. A guy offered to buy me off of Paul for $10 which he was considering. R. was pissed and threw a dart in the guys foot because R. was a gentleman. lol Then a guy showed up with a gun and so did the police.
I would pick fights with Paul on purpose to see if he cared and to get rid of the pain. I punched him in the jaw once and his tooth fell out. To be honest they don’t have great dental in prison. I don’t think it was completely my fault. He never hit me. He threw me in a dumpster and made elephant noises at me, but never hit me. So I drank more, had more sex with different people, and tried to provoke more violent men.
What my point is, was that I was in pain and I was trying to find ways out of it that didn’t involve my doing it to myself. Sex, alcohol, violent men.
My mom chose food. She had a lung removed and had fluid around her heart. Her mother had passed from Congestive Heart Failure and she was at risk. My mom was on oxygen and couldn’t do anything she used to. She had always had depression but this was way more than that. She was spending all of her time in her room only coming out to get food. She would make 4 or 5 Bologna sandwiches with Mayo and bring them to her room. Liverwurst was also a favorite of hers. She was Diabetic and had to take shots of insulin but had stashes of candy everywhere. I watched as she became bigger and bigger. Her breathing got worse and worse. She had given up.
I don’t know who brought the food in for her. I never bought that crap for her. I know she was good at playing my dad. All she had to do was make those big blue eyes tear up and he would do what she asked. That was a big part of the problem. What Anna wanted, Anna got. Whether it was good for her or not. Towards the end of her life she had somehow broken a bone in her back. The Doctors wanted to operate. I told her not to do the surgery, it was way too risky in her condition. She could barely breathe and she was having trouble with her heart rate. She had the surgery anyway. A week later she was dead.
I should also explain that my sister was pregnant with her first child at this time. I do not blame my sister. She is who she is. My mother is someone who was always involved in her children’s lives. Bridal showers (my sister and ex-sister in law), baby showers (my ex-sister in law, cousins, friends), she loved feeling useful and part of something.
This time around she couldn’t be involved. She was too ill. My sister went to her mother in law for everything and rarely called my mom. This hurt my mom. You’ll see a picture of her in the Hospital when my sister has her first child. My mother was already there they let her come down a floor for the birth of her grandchild. My sister’s mother in law is in the picture also.
My father was ready to die right after my mom did. He had lost his best friend. He didn’t die because he loves his pigeons and his kids. He also sees it as cowardly. When they told him his kidneys were shot and he would have to go on dialysis for the rest of his life he thought about it a lot. He wanted to give up. He didn’t because he loves his pigeons and his kids. He’s reached a point now where subconsciously he’s slowly killing himself. He will lift twenty 75 pound bags of grain and carry them down 10 steps into his bird area. When you have mesh graft on an aortic aneurysm and a fistula these are things you shouldn’t be doing.
I watched him scrubbing our brick walkway on his hands and knees for hours yesterday. It had just rained!! He’s making changes to his Prednisone dosage on his own. Lucky me. Living with a roid raged 73 year old who admitted to me last night that he punches himself in the head when he is too frustrated and angry. He doesn’t want to take it out on a person. I said ” Remember the stories we would see in the news about Wrestling Stars killing themselves and/or their families? That is because of the steroids. You are on a steroid. I do not want to be on the news. Get your shit together. Tell the Doctor tomorrow.” Did he mention anything to the Doctor today? Nope.
He wants to suffer. He thinks he deserves to suffer. This is the same man who doesn’t see his Grandchildren because his deceased wife can’t see them. He thinks it isn’t fair to her.
Lately my thoughts have taken a turn for the worse. I wouldn’t do anything but it’s almost comforting to think about staying under anesthesia tomorrow. What would I miss? My sister only wants to text me on her terms, my best friend doesn’t want to talk to me, my father is outside with the birds or doing something with his clocks, I have no other friends or family to talk to, retail store employees are starting to run when they see me, I may not be able to do stents and have to have tubes come out of my back, all I do is reminisce about sad things over and over. I try to color or do something else and my brain will flash to my mom holding my face in her hands, or her in her hospital bed with bloody foam that won’t stop coming out of her mouth. I flash to my sister and her husband removing me from my Uncle’s wake because they thought I was “acting weird” and everyone noticed. It was the first time I had been out of the house in a long time. There were very bright lights and for some reason a motorcycle gang showed up. Excuse me for being curious and looking around. I was fidgety. My dad didn’t notice a thing and neither did the rest of his family. I’m still angry about that. I found out later that they were supposed to meet friends at a certain time and that’s why they threw me under the bus so they could leave. It was my dad who pointed this out not me. I keep thinking I want to go home. The problem is I’m already here.