Here’s My Story, Sad But True…

October 7th, 2011by skizziks

One summer night when I was sixteen I was walking home from my job at a pizza place a couple blocks from my house. It was real late, probably around one or two in the morning, and there was no one around. As I was crossing the street I heard this car coming toward me. It was a good four or five blocks away, but it must’ve been doing 100 because it was closing the distance between me and it pretty rapidly. It was so quiet out all I could hear was the car’s engine, getting louder and louder. I kept walking, thinking: “Surely they see someone’s crossing the street here. They’re gonna slow down.”

But they didn’t. They might’ve even accelerated. It was the damndest thing. So at the last instant I stopped and the car shot past me, couldn’t have missed by more than five feet.  I watched it go, flying down the street as fast as it had come, and thought to myself: “Holy shit, I just had a fucking near-death experience.” I was shaken. If I’d taken just taken two or three steps more I would’ve been knocked into the next zip code, dead before my body hit the ground. It was crazy, that car didn’t slow down one bit, even at that very last instant when I might’ve walked directly into its path. What kind of maniac was behind that wheel? My heart was still pounding after I got home. I guess I felt lucky to be alive.

That was a long time ago. I turned 40 in January. But I think about that incident a lot these days. I think about how, if I’d had a premonition on that long ago summer night of what the future held in store, I would’ve kept walking. At least I like to think I would’ve. Because I can’t think of a whole lot I would’ve missed out on. If I’d even been able to see into the immediate future: A few months after that night my father would abandon me, never to return, leaving me in the sole care of my alcoholic, neurotic, and quite likely psychotic mother. A year later I would get into a sexual relationship with a middle-aged chicken hawk that lived down the street from me, a real smoothie who knew how to play a confused kid with abandonment issues. A year and a half later I would lose (or give away, really) the best friend I had ever had or would have. And before I knew it, intense feelings of rage and regret and despair and loneliness would become the norm.

I would try everything: Therapy, drugs (both prescription and illicit), meditation, positive self-affirmation, exercise, health food, vitamins, you name it. Nothing would work. Maybe it would be because I’d never have good health insurance and would never be able to get the kind of intense, comprehensive treatment I’d need. Or maybe I just wouldn’t try hard enough—maybe I’d just be so broken inside that I wouldn’t be able to summon the will to commit to any course of treatment. Probably it would be a combination of the two.

I was reading a post on this site from a 19 year-old kid who’d lost his two best friends and was feeling terribly isolated and alone, and from the sound of it sliding into a long, grueling bout of mental illness. An optimistic commenter promised the kid that things WILL GET BETTER!!! and that this was only a temporary bump in the road. Now, I don’t know this kid, and maybe Little Miss Sunshine is right. Sounds like a nice kid, I hope he does get better. But I’m living proof that sometimes you don’t. Sorry to piss on anyone’s parade, but I’ve been listening for years to people telling me how much I have going for me, and how with the right this and the right that I’ll be right as rain. I’m sure they meant well, but they obviously didn’t know what the fuck they were talking about. And now I wish I hadn’t listened to them. I could’ve saved myself a lot of hassle.

I don’t subscribe to the notion of the big bad world beating up on poor little me. My childhood was a nightmare to be sure, but once I turned 18 my choices were my own, and I own every bad decision I made. Not that I can justify them very well, except to say that I’ve been committing passive-aggressive suicide for most of my life, bleeding myself out with a million tiny (metaphorical) cuts. Maybe this is what I wanted all along, to make things so bad for myself that I’d eventually have no choice but to take decisive action. I always was a procrastinator. And I could still keep putting it off, but I have no doubt that things will get worse. I’ll see to it.

So is there a moral to all this? Let’s see…how ‘bout: “Know thyself”? Or: “Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today”? Better yet, I’ll just quote another, particularly apt post I found on this site: “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”

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