i have thought of suicide, but never attempted it. i read an article prior to reading nina's post I read this article that said the rate of suicide is higher in african american youths than any other racial group. are we really feeling like there's nothing to live for? is this life this hard to live up to? are we as a people failing to teach our young people the ability to "cope"? i thought that's what we did, i thought black people survived reached out of the mud and held on to anything we possibly could to pull our selves up out of this damn rut that we're in! we made it across the atlantic, through slavery, through beign 4/5ths human, through being beaten and water hosed, being sent to war to defend a country that doesn't love us, through pain and agony and now you're telling me that we can't cope with the age of bling bling? are we serious? wtf?
well here's my experience with suicide:
i was 15 and 1/2 years old. it was the day before i had planned to re-take my driver's license test. i had taken the test before and failed. i still believe the examiner was simply biased of my age; she said i was "driving too slow and tailgating"; how can you do both? anyways, i could feel the determination in me building. i was ready.
i went to sleep early. laid my clothes out. set my alarm clock. called the bank to make sure the $750 i had saved, to go towards half of the cost of my own car, was still there. i inhaled deep covered in fresh pajamas and clean sheets and exhaled into a deep sleep filled with excitement.
i was awaken about four hours later by mother. she was nose to nose to me. she'd waken me up so many times in my life this way that this time didn't even startle me."Jane get up!"
my eyes hazed with the happiness of the freedom a driver's license would give me. "Wake up Jane." What does she want now? I thought, knowing she was good for waking me up to tell me about her "awful" dream or a "preminition" she had or to make a get-a-away or make me wash dishes or whatever.
Doesn't she know I have things to do in the morning? I had paid for the driving instructor to meet me at the DMV at 7am so that I could use thier car to test. Just so that I didn't have to depend on anyone.
"Yes." I hissed with an intentional attitude.
"What?" I gave her the wtf-look.
She grabbed my arm and brought me into her room. I sat down on the bed. eyes still closed.
"V- just called. You need to call 911" She seemed nervous, but who knew how true it was. V- was the name of my sister's bestfriend. My sister had just broken up with her first son's father. the two of them had been childhood sweethearts. my sister and i weren't really close then so i had no idea of what she was going through. "Bigsis tried to commit suicide. You got to call 911" the trembling woman continued.
"why me?" I frowned. my belly begin to bubble. i leaned over and frowned from the pain, my usual sign of impending stress.
"Just CALL!" she yelled handing me the phone. my hands whobbled partly from the pain partly from the the fact that this frantic woman could be telling the truth, my older sister could have commited suicide.
I dialed the numbers. 9-1-1. "911, what's your emergency?"
"Um, I want to report that someone mayhave commited suicide."
"Oh, you mean Bigsis? I've been on the phone with her for awhile." How amazing that this operator was the sameone that my sister had been pouring her soul out on the phone to for the last two hours...how odd i found it... how many operators were there working? I mean this is Los Angeles and this is the middle of the night!
I say "really?"
She replies "yes, would you like the information on where we're sending her?"
15 year old me " sending her?"
The frantic woman that had been pacing the room while I had this overly adult conversation with a 911 operator, snatched the phone from me "yes, we'd like to know where you're taking her.'
My mother dressed and pulled her hair back into a ponytail. She begged me to come with her. I stubbornly and selfishly refused. I rewrapped my hair got back into my bed and decided to block the event from my intentional focus 'getting my license so i could get the hell away from here'.
That morning, my mother wasn't home, when I woke up. I didn't call my sister's cellphone. I caught the bus to the DMV. I passed the test. Feel in teenagelove with the instructor who gave me my test...he was fine.... hummph.
I was excited! I jumped up and down. There was no one there to celebrate with me. That was usual, so I wasn't upset. I went back in, to take my photo and thumbprint. When I came back out my aunt was there to pick me up, just as I'd planned. She took me to breakfast and explained that my sister had taken a bottle of exedrin. Her stomach had to be pumped. but she was fine.
I've never told anyone. I've never talked to my sister about. I don't even feel sad about it. I don't really know how to feel....