I remember sitting on the edge of my parents double bed upstairs. I had a little pearl handled gun in my lap. I was sobbing my heart out. I truly felt worthless, unwanted, damaged and broken. I was sad that I would miss all of my family and hurt them but I didn’t want to pretend that I was happy to be having my 13th birthday – that I was a teenager, all grown up. I didn’t want to grow up. I wanted to stay the way I was from a week ago. And I knew I could never go back and it would never be put right or changed. It couldn’t be.
That pain of hopelessness that clung to me like an overly small wet-suit strangling the life out of me, that was overbearing and I was being crushed beneath it. I held the gun up to my head, sobbing. My finger wasn’t on the trigger just yet – I knew it was loaded. It always was – it weighed differently when it was empty. I held that gun in my mouth and I thought about how awful it would be for my Mum and Dad to find me like that – in their bedroom, on their bed or floor – depending on how I collapsed when the bullet plowed through my brain. I tried holding it in my mouth. The metal barrel rattled loudly against my teeth I was shaking so much. And the messy result would be the same. I changed my mind and decided to do something a little less messy and dramatic. I didn’t contemplate leaving a suicide note. I was ashamed that I had been raped, ashamed, embarrassed and feeling guilt, overwhelming guilt. I didn’t know what it was in my head or my heart, I just felt incredible guilt at what had happened to me. What would I say in my note other than I was sorry? That I loved them and it wasn’t their fault? Wow – I think about that now and wonder if I had actually pulled the trigger that day, knowing what I know now, how devastating that would be in itself – but to not have a note that could free them from the constant wonder and doubt…
Anyway my next plan was to climb in the bath with a whole lot of Panadol and a razor blade. Razor blades were easy to come by back then. My dad had one of those twist on and off razors and you slipped the double sided Wilkinson blade in very carefully as it is mighty sharp! So I ran the bath, I felt very determined that I wanted to be out of here. I felt I had no future to look forward to. I swallowed the 18 pills I found and carefully undressed and climbed into the bath. It felt like the right thing to do. I felt elated at the thought of freedom from this constant hurt. I dragged the blade at an angle across my left wrist. It started to bleed – it was like a deep paper cut – very thin. I drew another one next to it. Nothing hurt. I swapped hands and held the blade in a rather slippery left hand. The water was turning pink. I placed the blade at the beginning of my right wrist. My fingers were getting sliced as the blade slipped awkwardly but I managed to drag it vertically up my arm. I just lay back, waiting. I felt excited, as I say, at being able to escape all of this.
But my girlfriend from next door helped me to live. She found me. Poked her fingers down my throat and made me vomit up all of the pills in a chalky, semi formed mass with the milk she forced me to drink. I hate milk on its own to this day. She plastered and bandaged me up. I begged her not to tell anyone and she never has.