Have you ever contemplated ending your own life? I suppose the number of individuals to answer “yes” to that question far outweighs those who would actually admit it. There have been two times in my life when I have contemplated just ending it all, once in high school and once just a few year ago.
It’s a scary thought, that a person would take their own life. There are a lot of people out there who would never even dream of such a thing, and for many of them, it is unfathomable that someone would ever get to that point of finality, the point at which they would say, “It’s not worth it; I’m outta here.” It’s so difficult to comprehend that a life could ever be so bad that the individual living it would rather not. Is it them? Is it the world? Is it another person providing some wonderful torment? Why? Why would they do that?
For me it has always been a sense of feeling unloved, unwanted. I am an adopted child, and while, generally, this does not affect me, it is who I am. I am an unwanted child, given away not for money but for expedience. Some woman out there decided she did not want to have a child, and given that Roe vs. Wade would not come into play for three more years, she had little choice but to give birth and place the child for adoption. I suppose she could have gone the illegal route, but that wasn’t exactly the safest thing to do. I suppose I get that from her… that desire to avoid unpleasantness as much as possible.
I was born on October 21 and taken to my new family on December 3. I have two birthdays that are acknowledged each year. On December 3 every year my dad posts the wonderful account of my adoption:
“Once again it’s the day to thank a young lady in Indiana, that I shall never know, who chose adoption over abortion. I thank God for her choice, because today is the anniversary of the day 2 caseworkers brought a six weeks and 1 day old bundle of joy to our home. She was wearing a red & white dress for the holiday season and had a beautiful smile and double dimples. She still has the smile and dimples, and we still have the dress. She is my Punkin and her daddy’s girl. We named her Lori Clark.”
Occasionally, throughout the year, he’ll post another account leading people to believe that they found me abandoned in a Kroger grocery cart. That one always gets a lot of laughs. In any event, someone out there wanted me, and I got a family.
It’s no secret to those that know me well that my mother and I have had a lot of issues. We butt heads on a variety of topics, and things can get quite heated. My mother doesn’t approve of a number of my life choices, and my insecurities make it difficult for me to accept that it’s my life, not hers. I lived most of my life in a co-dependent fugue state, trying to please her (and everyone else), to no avail.
Growing up I was one of those children who tried everything: cheerleading, sports, music, you name it. I tried all sorts of things to get my mother’s attention. It rarely worked. While in high school, my depression reached epic proportions, and started down a destructive road of sex and booze. I did so many idiotic things just to feel. Yes, I know alcohol is a depressant and helps you not to feel, but it made me a part of a group. I belonged, so, I drank.
Either my sophomore or junior year (I can’t remember which), one of my best friends tried to kill herself and ended up in the psych ward at the local hospital. Her parents flipped out. I suppose we all flipped out. Our other friend decided she would try it, too, but I don’t think she did. Nothing ever came of it. During this time, I got deep, down, and dirty with the contemplation of my own situation, at least as much as a teenager can. There are entirely too many hormones raging for anyone at that age to think clearly and logically. I eventually decided not to go along with the group mainly because I didn’t want to go through whatever pain might be subjected upon my body depending on which method I decided to use. Fear of pain has been a driving force for me for much of my life.
After my divorce in 1993 I saw a psychologist that worked out of First Baptist Church of Orlando. He helped me with some of my issues, but the issue of my mother was one we didn’t quite fix. I was in the process of moving out of my parents’ (for the second time), and Mom was not happy with the situation. She agreed to meet me at the doctor’s office, and he could help us through the issue at hand. I was going to pay, all she had to do was show. She stood me up.
At the time I was living about an hour and a half from home during the week, staying with a friend, and coming home on weekends. Our failed appointment was in the middle of the week, but still, I drove all the way down to my parents’ and had it out with my mom. It didn’t help much. I still moved out, and our relationship remained tempestuous.
In the late 1990’s I saw another psychologist as things had heated up again with my mother. He was helpful to a degree, but I didn’t see him long enough to really fix my head. It would not be until February of 2009 that I would finally go into therapy knowing that I would either come out with my head fixed or die trying. I was broken, and I couldn’t deal with it anymore. Only two things stopped me from just signing out: the fear of pain and my greyhound, Mary Lou. If I’d had any money to speak of, I definitely would have run away. I was thirty-eight years old and wanted to run away from home. Was I ever going to grow up?
I would eventually grow up, but it would take a couple of years of therapy and some seriously harsh conversations with my mother. It’s difficult still. I know she doesn’t quite get me as a human being. I can be weird, I suppose, and flaky. I take medication to keep me somewhat sane. It’s just difficult sometimes to see the light at the end of whatever tunnel I end up in. I just want to run, leave, avoid, forget. It never happens. I’m stuck, feeling miserable and alone.