A year ago, the person I loved did some terrible things. He had been doing terrible things for sometime, but I digress.
A couple of days before Jan 1 2015, S quit his job, again. The day after he quit his job he told me that he was going to be going with some people from AA to a cabin at Bear Lake for a “sober weekend.” The situation seemed off, because one, as far as I knew he hadn’t been to AA in months and two, S is quite antisocial (as much as he seems social) and he would not go some place that far without a way out.
I asked him about it, but he didn’t have many answers, so I started looking on Facebook and the AA website to see about this event. Later in that day, after finding no information, I started questioning him further until he tells me that there is no event. He lied and he is really going up to a cabin with a girl. A girl who he continued to tell me was “just a friend,” a girl I had explicitly asked him to stop speaking to, and the same girl he had already been accused of having an affair with (not by me). A person I found out he had been seeing behind my back.
He told me again “we are just friends” and “we will be sleeping in separate rooms,” and my personal favorite that he used often when acting selfishly “I always come home to you.”
There is a very stupid part of me that wants to believe all this. The part of me that is in complete denial. I wanted to believe those things, because who would want to believe that their partner is going to spend a weekend alone in a cozy cabin with another woman? So I asked him, “Can I go?” and he replied in a rushed and panicked “NO.” This gives me my answer.
I asked him, “If you’re just friends, how come I can’t go?”
His response, “Don’t ask questions you don’t really want to know the answer to.”
I begged him (pathetically) not to go. I cried. I was hysterical and then I was numb and he told me he was going regardless of how I felt or what I said. So he left and I was alone in our giant, cold apartment, and in a really bad place emotionally. I felt very confused.
I spent New Year’s Eve on the floor of my bathroom crying my eyes out, hyperventilating, shaking, rocking back and forth and generally feeling completely insane. I was so sickened, I was gagging. I became self destructive and I took a razor blade to my legs. I dragged it across my skin over and over again on top of where I had already cut. This continued all evening and all through the night. I can try to tell you how I felt with words the best I can; I had a gaping hole in my chest. I felt worthless, ugly, humiliated. I felt crazy…So fucking crazy. Confused. How could this person do this to me, after everything we had been through?
I tend to easily bend to self destruction and I got to the point, after about 15 or so hours of feeling this way, that I genuinely really wanted to die.
Now I have felt suicidal many times before this night. It is something I continue to struggle with. This time was different, I really wanted to die. Or at least, I really wanted the pain to end. In this moment my thinking was quite clear. I had a feeling of peace. It seemed completely logical to kill myself. I thought about how to make it happen.
There were no guns in our house anymore (a good thing because I likely wouldn’t be here now). Cutting open an artery was too messy. Pills are not a guarantee, I figured I would probably just puke my guts out. The answer of hanging or suffocation, seemed the best and easiest route available.
I went to my closet and grabbed the bar with both hands. I pulled down. I lifted up my legs. It held up so far. So I began looking for something to tie around my neck. While rummaging through things I thought about what would happen to my family and friends. I went down the list of people and justified my actions to each of them. I thought, they will understand. They will know how much pain I am in finally. They will eventually move on. I also thought that I really didn’t care what they thought either, I was done. It was nothing personal.
I’m not having any luck finding something for a noose. I can’t find either of my 2 belts. I can’t find one of S’s belts. No rope. No paracoard. Now I am frustrated. I start screaming at the top of my lungs. I am angry. I finally am ready to do this, and I can’t find the stupid stuff to do it with!
I went back to the closet and started looking for things I could tie together. This is when I remembered someone I hadn’t thought of yet. I thought of a friend of mine whose sister had committed suicide several years ago. She had hung herself. I thought about her. I thought about losing a sister. I thought I couldn’t do this to her. I looked around me and I saw how crazy I looked and I just collapsed. I cried hard. I cried until I passed out, still on the closet floor.
Luckily, shortly after this, a friend came to check on me. I had sent her some concerning texts. I told her what happened and until now the only people I had told about what S did was her, another friend and my mom. Though I never told anyone the extent to which I suffered because of it. That I had come that close to ending my life.
This is how my 2015 started and it only seemed to get worse from there. A couple months before this, I had a falling out with one of my best friends. And in the following months I had some issues with my family. I know a lot of people close to me may have been confused by my actions, and by my words. I know that I appeared to be acting selfishly. But I had no fight left in me. It wasn’t personal. I was giving everything I had left in me, I was being slowly pulled along and it was all I could do to get up in the morning. I have had hard years upon hard years. The last decade of my life has literally been insane. If you are close to me, you know, except you don’t really, very few people know the private details.
Why am I writing this? What is the point?
The point is that I am tired of pretending these things didn’t happen. I am writing this because it is exactly what happened. I deserve to tell my story. This is my peace of mind. This is me saying goodbye to all of it. So often, when we experience trauma, we close ourselves off. I know that I have. We hide it from the world. We are afraid of looking weak or defeated or being ridiculed for our actions or lack of action. I spent most of 2015 feeling embarrassed, confused, unlovable, ugly and stupid. I beat myself up continuously and now I am done with it. I’ve done my mourning.
I spent 6 years with a person that I truly loved. I gave him my heart, my loyalty, my body, my family, everything, I literally gave him everything I had. There were amazing things about S. He is funny, intelligent and could be very sweet and loving. We could be silly with each other and we had a lot of fun. I could fully be myself around him without pretense or masks. On the other side of things, he is an addict. An alcoholic. When things weren’t so good, it was days on end of binge drinking. Morning til morning. Drinking until not a drop was left or until he passed out. I was watching the person I loved kill himself daily. Then there was the mania and days without sleeping and walking miles until exhaustion set in. It was all go go and more and more, until there was nothing left. I was willing to live with the insanity, the cycle of ups and downs. At times I even embraced it. In the end it was the lies that killed me and the betrayals that broke me.
Perhaps he didn’t deserve my love or my loyalty and I know now that I deserve to be treated better. But I stayed because I am loving, because I am loyal and I believe in hope and forgiveness. These are not negative traits. These are my strengths and I have decided I am no longer going to hate myself because of my capacity to love. I am not going to feel guilty about who I am any longer. What these years have taught me is that I do need to be careful about who I give my heart to. Not everyone deserves my loyalty and unfortunately people will try to take advantage of me because of who I am. This is what I have learned.
But I am still Jayla. I am still here through all the heartache and after all the bullshit. A year ago I was living a completelty different life. I couldn’t see more than a day out. Sometimes I lived hour by hour because I just didn’t think I could make it through the day. Things changed even more after the sudden passing of my grandfather in August. Everything that had happened seemed so pointless and life felt so short and fighting futile. I can see more clearly how precious life is. I can see how mere moments become last memories and how petty so many things are. I can see the things I took for granted and I think that is something everyone struggles with. It’s best to enjoy life today. Make it a good day. Laugh, smile, wave at strangers, hug your friends, tell your family you love them, because truly it could all be gone tomorrow.
I still feel broken. I still struggle with feelings of worthlessness and I wonder if I can ever really be in an intimate relationship again. I wonder if I can ever have trust again. I wonder, if someone knew all these things about me, if they would run. Is there someone that could love me after all of this? These are things I am currently working on and will probably have to for many years.
Now I am living for me. I am doing what I want to do. I am making goals to reach my other goals. I am pursuing my dreams and I am going to keep doing these things because I have nothing else. It’s the one thing that keeps me going and if people want to be a part of that, it’s okay and if they don’t want to be a part of things that is okay too. I am going to keep on keeping on.
I hope if you read this, you take something positive from it, because I certainly didn’t write it to make any person feel negative or guilty, I didn’t write it to make S look like a monster (because he isn’t) and I sure as hell do not want any sympathy for it. This is me. This is a chapter of my life and as I write this I am closing it. There was everything that happened before this and everything that will happen after this. I leave 2015 with a middle finger in the air and I am walking with my head held high into 2016.
Here’s to the New Year!