This is a topic that I’ve been deliberately avoiding in my writing as it is extremely difficult to cope with, but recently it seems to be all I can think about, so here it goes.
This is my best friend, Isaiah. His family lives one house down from mine. He’s the greatest kid I’ve ever been blessed to know. I can’t even begin to count the number of laughs we’ve shared or the tears we’ve shed together. We’ve played soccer and biked for hours on end, and shared maybe one too many pizzas. Over the course of five years, we got to know each other better than anyone else.
In October, Isaiah ended his life. He was fourteen years old.
The last thing I said to him was “Goodnight”. That was the previous day.
The night that he died, I watched as he was carried into an ambulance on a stretcher. His body was covered, and I knew what that meant. I don’t think there are words that could express how I felt in that moment.
Fast forward 259 days. I just straight up do not know what to do anymore. I often feel the same as I did that first night. The shock, the agony, and even the fear always come back. I have flashbacks of that night, with the wailing sirens, flashing lights, and crying neighbors. The only thing that’s different now is the support. At first, everyone gives you their condolences. They talk about how sorry they are for your loss and tell you that they’re there if you need anything. It’s over eight months later now. Those promises are long expired. I’m still struggling with the same feelings, but now people have stopped understanding. Thinking so much about Isaiah doesn’t make sense anymore. Listening to “our songs” is considered unnecessary, and looking at pictures is considered ruminating. My still-paralyzing grief is met with frustration and pressure from other people in place of the compassion that they once expressed.
I don’t know if I will ever be able to handle the situation well. I cannot move on with my life. It is as though I am stuck in time. I’m trapped eight and a half months in the past. I don’t think anyone truly realizes how bad it is. Even I can’t comprehend the magnitude of this loss in my life. It’s hard to believe that such emptiness could be so heavy.
Isaiah and I planned out our lives more than once. We intended on sticking together through everything. We even had a bucket list too. Whenever one of us would feel down, the other would bring up our plans and ideas. It was always about how bright our future was. We always said that we would change the world someday. The only thing that truly drives me anymore is the belief that maybe all that is still possible. Even though Isaiah isn’t here physically, maybe I can use his story and our story to make a difference. That’s the reason I’m holding on. I’m not just fighting for me anymore. I’m fighting for both of us.
May 15, 1998 – October 23, 2012
I could go on forever about how much the Amish and Spongebob and boredom piss me off, but past all that, I actually have a relatively serious problem with anger. You might not be able to tell by looking at me, or even by being around me when I’m upset, but it’s there.
I’m not the average picture of someone with anger issues. I’m at least somewhat laid back, and up until recently I almost never showed my anger unless I was at a breaking point. My frustration stayed well-kept inside of me, occasionally bubbling over in the form of self-injury. I kept everything under control.
Without giving you the boring rundown of all my life problems, let’s just say that the past nine months in addition to the rest of my life have given me a lot of things to be mad about. During my most recent hospitalization, something inside me snapped. I started acting up far more than I ever had before. I pulled out all the stops: yelling, punching, kicking, throwing things. They tried all my available PRNs (meds that you take as needed) which included Benedryl, Visterol, and Klonopin. They gave me Thorazine twice. The different drug combinations never seemed to calm me down though. I got so many X-rays that I lost count. One time, I was pissed and kicked the walls and doors a lot in an attempt to break my own foot, so I had to be cuffed in restraints on a bed. Without a whole lot of improvement, I was released from the psych ward back into the real world where I was left to figure out what to do about my still recurring violent urges.
I can’t explain what makes my anger so intense that I cannot physically control it. It’s an extremely strange, extremely scary feeling. The transformation from calm to enraged, for me, happens almost too rapidly to stop. I don’t know why during that progression, at a certain point, my impulses become violent. My best friend, who struggled with anger as well, explained it to me once, and I will never forget it.
We were at the movies one day a long time ago, and one of the kids that we were with was majorly pissing off my friend. He looked at me and told me that he was going to punch him in the face soon. My friend was probably about eleven at the time, so this surprised me to a degree. I asked him what he meant, and he stuck his arm out in front of me. He told me that his arm “filled up” with anger. He ran his finger from his elbow to his wrist, where he held it. He said that his anger was up to his wrist, and when the rage reached his hand, it would have to turn into a fist.
Maybe that doesn’t make sense to anyone else, but it definitely resonates with me even more now than it did then. Anger grows. It spreads, and when it spreads into the wrong hands, it turns into violence. I continue to fight with my own impulses however internally they may be right now. I haven’t had any significant outbursts since my release from the hospital, but that doesn’t mean that the anger isn’t there boiling inside of me each day.
P.S. I don’t want you to walk away from this thinking “Wow, what a psycho. I better stay away from her because she might pop off on me.” No. I’m not an “angry person”. Emotions cannot define people. I’m actually a nice person, I promise.