Tuesday, November 17, 2015

25 since Attempt

On November 1, 2015, I passed a milestone.  Is it one worth celebrating?  I'm not sure.

It was the 25th anniversary of a defining moment in my life.

Twenty five years ago on that date, I should've died.  I wanted to die.  I tried to die.

I didn't die.

In the early morning hours of November 1, 1990, all of the Fear, Anger, Self Hatred and Frustration reached a peak.  Earlier in the night, I learned that the girl I loved, the one I was going to marry, loved someone else.  We had already broken it off, but I thought we could eventually reconcile.  I was so angry at her that I punched a solid wall, and broke my hand.

I'd planned my suicide for weeks.  I knew the where and how.  Just in case, I had stopped wearing a seat belt while driving, hoping that I'd get into an accident that would kill me.

On November 1, 1990, I was still working at TGI Fridays.  The prospects of finding another job seemed so remote.  There I was with a college degree, and I was working the tables and occasionally bartending.  I still had a very hard time getting dates.  Back in December 1989, I met this person, whom I shall call F in this blog.  She was everything I wanted.  She was cute, funny, and a total geek.  We had similar senses of humor.  I met her when I waited on her and her mother one day.  She came back a couple of times on her own, eventually letting me know where she worked.  I visited her, and set up a date.  And from then on, we were inseparable.

In Fridays uniform, 1991.

She was a student, studying Education at Villanova.  I won't go in to our entire history.  Suffice it to say that she cheated, and it ended in September 1990, right after my birthday.  We briefly got back together in early October, but that didn't last.

There were many things against us, primarily our ages.  She was 20 and I was 24.  We were far too young to marry but I didn't care.  And when she declared her Love for the other guy, I was crushed.  I thought she was my best hope to ever be in a relationship, and that without her, I'd never find anyone else.  Yes, that's distorted thinking- a symptom of suicidal ideation.

So, just after midnight on November 1, 1990, my right hand aching and swollen, I drove to Valley Forge Park.  In the lot not far from the Grand Parade, the only one that the Rangers allowed for overnight parking, I parked.  In the car with me were Rat Poison and Southern Comfort, 100 proof.  I was crying my eyes out as I mixed a LOT of rat poison into the bottle of Southern Comfort (which was maybe 2/3 full at that point.)  On the tape deck was a mix tape I'd made of the Grateful Dead.

At Penn State, I was known for my ability to chug large amounts of liquor, specifically Southern Comfort.  I had hoped that ability would serve me well at this point.  I hoped that the Southern Comfort would mask the Poison long enough to keep it all down until it killed me.  And I'd be drunk enough not to care.

I lifted the bottle to my lips, threw my head back and chugged.  However, my plan had flaws.  I selected 100 proof as it wasn't as sweet.  However it WAS stronger.  I managed to get a good amount down, but my body revolted.  I opened the car door and vomited it all back up violently.  I ended up on my hands and knees out of the car, crying into a pool of vomit.

I don't know how long I was there.

Then I had a thought.  I'd try again.  But as I hadn't left a note, I'd do that first.  I wanted the world to know why.  I wanted to Punish F for what she did.  Not that she'd really care, I thought, but I'd try.  So I went back to my parents' house in Spring City where I lived, sat at the kitchen table, and tried to write a letter with my broken hand.

I still don't know where my Mum had been.  She was a home health care nurse, and I guess she'd worked very late.  In any case, the next thing I knew, she was behind me, asking what was wrong.  I have no doubt she read the letter over my shoulder.  I cried and told her that my hand was broken, and that I wanted to die.  She drove me to Phoenixville Hospital to "have then look at that hand."

I've told this part of the story before.  About her telling the doctors about my wish.  About the paramedics blocking the exit.  About being strapped tightly into a gurney and taken to Paoli Medical Center Psych ward "voluntarily."  I stayed there for the mandatory 72 hours, and missed a good friend's wedding.  Afterwards, I saw a therapist briefly, but stopped... until many years later.

Twenty five years later, I am still Alive.  I haven't attempted again, but I've come close.  My life is completely different.  Months after the attempt, I met my Wife in late April 1991.  We were engaged at Valley Forge Park in 1992.  We married in April of 1993.  We had a daughter in 2007.  We are still married, but separated, due to, well due to my Truth.  Wife is still my biggest supporter, but doesn't want to be married to a woman.

Which I am.

How did I mark the anniversary of what by all rights should've been my death?

Well, I slept.  And the next morning I went to work.  I didn't mark it whatsoever.  In fact, I had completely forgotten about the timing.  Not about the attempt, mind you, just the timing.  I realized it a few days later.  And I reflected on where I am today.  Who I am today.

Is my life perfect?  Hell no.  But now I know who and what I am.  I have dear friends and those that love me.  I have a daughter who is my World.  And, I like to think that I make a small difference in my little corner of reality.

I thought about all I would've missed if the poison had done its work.  I don't know if I would've been buried or cremated, but, if buried, my remains would be skeletal by now.  Instead, I'm a a living, breathing woman, still in the process of transition.  My Wife would've married someone else.  My Daughter wouldn't exist.  How many lives have I touched in those 25 years?

There is no answer.

November 7, 2015

Twenty Five years later, I am Alive.  And Happy of it.


  1. Life...it's SO worth living! So glad you are here! So glad you are my friend. <3

  2. I so agree with what Ally said...Sis. Hugs <3