My Story and Somebody Should Have Taught Him

My Story and Somebody Should Have Taught Him

From Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul

My Story

The journey in between what you once were and who you are now becoming is where the dance of life really takes place.

Barbara De Angelis

I never thought about killing myself; it just became a condition. Kind of like catching a cold. One minute you are fine, and the next minute you are sick. Whenever people would talk about suicide, I would think to myself, “I would never do that.” Why would someone want to do something so final, so stupid?

For me, I just wanted the pain to stop. And it got to the point where I was willing to do whatever it took to make that happen. It started with the usual stuff . . .

I am 16. I spend the summer with my mom and during the school year I live with my dad. I feel like an inconvenience to both of them. At my mom’s I have no room. My mom isn’t there for me when I need her because she always has something more important to do. At least, that is how it feels.

I was having trouble with my friends. The ones I had not lost already to “different lifestyles” were unable to help me. In their own words, my problems were “too much” for them. The intensity of my pain scared them, like it did me.

Oh, yeah . . . did I mention my boyfriend, John, had dumped me that day? My first boyfriend had left me, too. He said I had become impossible to love and now John was gone, too. And it wasn’t that I would be without him that mattered . . . it was me. What was wrong with me? Why is it so hard to love me and why is it that when it gets hard, everyone bails?

I was alone. All I had were the voices in my head telling me I blew it, I was too needy, I was never going to be loved once someone really got to know me. I felt that I wasn’t even good enough to be loved by my own parents.

You know how, when you are really hurting, you feel like you can just call the person (the boyfriend, the friend) and tell him or her how much it hurts and they’ll say, “Oh, I am so sorry; I didn’t mean to hurt you; hang on, I will be right there”? Well, I called and I was crying, and I said it hurts too much, please come talk to me. He said he couldn’t help me . . . and he hung up.

I went into my mom’s bathroom and took a bottle of Tylenol PM, some tranquilizers and a couple pain pills I had left from an injury. Soon the pain would be over.

I will spare you the gruesome details of what followed. It was a whole new kind of pain. Physically, I puked until I couldn’t move. Emotionally, I was more scared than I have ever been. I did not want to die. (Statistics show that immediately after “attempting” suicide, the person desperately wants to live . . . not die, which makes it even sadder to think about those who do succeed.) Luckily for me, I did not die. But I hurt my body (my stomach still aches). And I scared and hurt a lot of people. I scared myself, but I didn’t die and I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am about that.

I cringe every time someone else finds out. I did not want to write this story, but I did want to help anyone else who might be thinking about it or who is in a lot of pain.

It has been a month since that night. I have laughed at least 500 times, many of those real “pee your pants” kind of laughing. I have a therapist who really cares about me, and we are making real progress in building up my confidence. She is also helping my mom and dad be “better parents.” I have realized that they really do care and that they are doing the best that they can. I have a new friend who has gone through some hard stuff herself. My intense feelings do not scare her, and we know what it means to “be there” for someone you care about. I have worked things out with some of my old friends and we are closer than ever. I have earned $500 and spent it all on myself . . . without guilt (well, maybe a little). And I am starting to forgive myself.

Oh, yeah . . . Imet a guy.He is really sweet and he knows “my story.” We have agreed to take things really slow.

These are only a few of the things I would have missed. Life gets really hard sometimes and really painful. For me, I couldn’t feel everyone else’s love because I had forgotten how to love myself. I’m learning now—learning how to accept, forgive and love myself. And I’m learning that things change. Pain does go away, and happiness is the other side. Although the pain comes back, so does the happiness. It is like waves in the ocean coming and going . . . coming and going . . . breathing in and breathing out.

Lia Gay, age 16

Somebody Should Have Taught Him

I went to a birthday party but I remembered what you said.

You told me not to drink at all, so I had a Sprite instead.

I felt proud of myself, the way you said I would, that I didn’t choose to drink and drive, though some friends said I should.

I knew I made a healthy choice and your advice to me was right as the party finally ended and the kids drove out of sight.

I got into my own car, sure to get home in one piece, never knowing what was coming, something I expected least.

Now I’m lying on the pavement.

I can hear the policeman say, “The kid that caused this wreck was drunk.”

His voice seems far away.

My own blood is all around me,

as I try hard not to cry.

I can hear the paramedic say, “This girl is going to die.”

I’m sure the guy had no idea, while he was flying high, because he chose to drink and drive that I would have to die.

So why do people do it, knowing that it ruins lives?

But now the pain is cutting me like a hundred stabbing knives.

Tell my sister not to be afraid, tell Daddy to be brave, and when I go to heaven to put “Daddy’s Girl” on my grave.

Someone should have taught him that it’s wrong to drink and drive.

Maybe if his mom and dad had, I’d still be alive.

My breath is getting shorter, I’m getting really scared.

These are my final moments, and I’m so unprepared.

I wish that you could hold me, Mom, as I lie here and die.

I wish that I could say I love you and good-bye.

Retold by Jane Watkins

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