Editor’s note: This post contains graphic descriptions of violence and child abuse.
“Lorie’s gonna want to talk to you when you get back.”
What? Why is this guy “Joe” from one of my online support groups telling me this? How does he know anything of the sort?
“Dude … how the fuck do you know anything about what Lorie wants, is going to do, or anything?” Text messages flew in tight abbreviation from the parking lot on the north-side of Lake Ponchartrain … some state-university campus.
“Rob … Lorie and I have been having some really intense conversations lately.” “ABOUT WHAT?” I shouted in all caps. “You … she’s having a very hard time with your recovery from the childhood sex abuse stuff … she needs a break.”
My heart sank, then stopped. “She’s leaving me” I typed. “I’m losing my family!” Joe jumped right back with “NO … it’s just a break away from you for a while…time to put things in perspective and see where her life is going.”
All I saw was “she’s leaving, lose your kids, lose your kids, lose your family, die without them, never see them again … you were right … you should never have disclosed you fucking FOOL!!!”
Joe urgently typed back “See … this is why I did not want to tell you this, because you would be like … .”
By that time, I already had the airbag ripped from the steering wheel of the rented Impala SS. I always rented high-performance cars for the thrill of breaking cross-country business-speed records. When I was acting like a real human, I frequently chose the role of “Kowalski” (Barry Newman) of the 70s movie ‘Vanishing Point.” The car was in motion while I cleared wires and crap out of the way. I was bug-eyed-blind with utter horrified shock. I knew I had already died. I just needed to make sure the body didn’t get up again.
A hundred and forty miles per hour would have to do. One-forty would have to be enough to get me air-born—enough to splat this piece of dung that my filthy soul occupied. The payday I had always feared had arrived. I knew her tolerance for my childhood would never last. I knew I was too broken, too gross with stories of beatings and butt-rape, too foul with weakness and far too decayed with unnatural, inhuman childhood experience.
I did not want to hit a bridge abutment or tree to leave this world, but rather to punish the freak-wad I was, and give it a properly grotesque ending; preferably with amplified pain and physical trauma to match my self-loathing. I wanted the cops and ambulance teams to puke and shudder when they saw me and shriek when they realized “it’s still alive.” “Shoot it, Pete … end its suffering, quickly!!!” But what would they shoot? My brains on the tree-branch, or my heart punched through my spinal column by the radiator?
The cell phone would not stop ringing. Who in hell is calling me when I’m doing a buck-forty down I-55? Thank God this car will maintain 140, because the tires never will. If I can’t find a good solid target, the tires will trigger the bloody drama for me. “Stop fucking calling me!!”
Caller ID said it was Lorie. Then she texted: “You have children to think of.”
Apparently, no one wanted to see me in a New Orleans mental ward, because the next thing I knew was the sound of steel doors slamming inside a private mental hospital back in New Hampshire.
I faced a few weeks of life so closely monitored that I learned how to identify each guard, nurse, and counselor by their smell. I learned how to shower, pee or crap while being watched from three feet away. I slept in a wheel-bed at the nurses station … I mean right at it … the bed rails touching it! I also learned that saving people like me commanded huge fees, and that I wanted to open a nut-house biz ASAP.
And sadly, I learned that even in a well-staffed funny-farm with guards who kindly kept their shower-eyes locked in an upward position, my childhood was too taboo to discuss in group. “You have to let it go, Rob … you have to forgive and forget.” That was the best this crew of profit-factors could offer? My most vicious demonic voice would retort: “Tell that to the little boy with the dick up his ass and his face crushed against the wall.” I even made one guy faint.
Hospitalization isn’t a reason to avoid suicide. It only hits the “Pause” button for a few weeks. The real reasons for staying above the sod have to come from within, because no one is ever going to give anyone a magic formula for staying here. Right now, the biggest reason I’m staying alive is that I believe suicide to be an express-ticket to hell. Second in my mind are my children, who would be affected more than I am capable of understanding in my current state of mind.
It sounds cold, doesn’t it. It is cold! Living with a head full of “those” memories requires some really fucking cold blood! I’ve read of war veterans who won’t ever look in a mirror for fear of seeing the features of violence. I know exactly what they fear.
I’ve been back in the bin only once more since my Lake Ponchartrain whiz. I’m not even sure I care if the white-coat-team catches my next fall.
The Impala SS remains one very quick car. Each day in this new, “disclosed” life seems like it will carry a question mark. But fast Chevys will always be certain.
In Canada and the U.S., the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Read more on Suicide.
Traffic sign depicting falling off a ledge courtesy of Shutterstock