I was feeling poetic the other day and started writing stream of consciousness style. I did not write a poem. I wrote two paragraphs, the beginning of something that could maybe, potentially, turn into a short story or book somewhere down the road. Check it out and let me know what you think of it. I wrote this in second-person POV, which is new for me, as I’ve always tried to write in third-person, but that’s what writing is about: exploring new things, getting out of your comfort zone, deleting everything and starting all over again… One disclaimer: I AM NOT SUICIDAL; I’M JUST A WRITER. Sorry. Didn’t mean to yell at you guys but it needed to be said. Anyway, let me know in the comments, or email me, what you think of it. Happy reading!
The Guilt of Being
Sometimes, there’s no answer to the question “Why do you want to die?” in the midst of flashbacks that act like your own personal time machine, whisking you away, back to the place of horror, fear, abuse, and panic attacks in a church bathroom that leave you wondering if it’s actually possible for your heart to beat out of your chest cavity and onto the cold marble floor, or if your stomach could vomit up the nothingness you feel inside. You are plagued by guilt of various degrees. First, the guilt, and fear that always accompanies it, of sitting on the hard floor of a megachurch bathroom stall, leaving a semi-silent memoir of pain as you sit sniffling and, with your hands covering your mouth in a weak attempt of muffling your weeping, so as not to be detected by others trying to relieve themselves, lest they ask what troubles you. Second, the guilt that rises in your inner being because you feel like a spiritual failure. Here you are, in a bathroom stall, instead of out there being part of a congregation worshipping and praising the God who saved you from the pit and redeemed your soul for His name sake. You feel like an anomaly, a broken unworthy mess, for succumbing to your trauma-induced anxiety and having a panic attack instead of having faith in God to save you. Are you even a Christian if you have mental health problems? You’re weak. You should be ashamed of your lack of faith. You don’t belong here. You know they’re lies but they sound like truth, so you bury your face in your hands and scream a muffled, painful woe. When you think you’re all cried out, you venture out of hiding and head towards the sink to wash your face… and a stranger’s kindness forces you back into the bathroom stall to sit and weep again. You don’t belong here.
Out of desperation, or maybe a need to connect and get out of your own head, you text a friend in a different part of church, knowing she’s focused and listening to some young dude teach about God, and your chest tightens up, as you are the cause of momentary distraction, though she’ll say otherwise. You venture out of the stall—for real this time—and head to where your friend is. You step onto the elevator, mentally admonishing yourself for being so weak and when the doors open, you turn ever so slightly and see the kitchen down below, a whole two floors beneath you. A passive thought of death brushes pass but you pay it no mind, too engrossed in your current pain to contemplate future plans. Once you find your friend, she assesses the situation, asking therapist-like questions that make you squirm but it’s okay because she cares. You know she cares. She assures you that you’re not a burden and for the first time, you believe her. All is well, until later.
Because of different stressors you are currently facing—the hardest of all being Complex PTSD—you fantasize about death and suicide a lot. Like way more than you should. As you and your friend are moments away from boarding the elevator to join the mass of hungry, loquacious, and contemplative congregations down on the first floor, you look over the rail and the thought comes into your head: Jump! but you don’t, not yet. There are too many people in the room and someone might stop you. No, this must wait for the opportune moment. This needs to be foolproof, perfect.