I’ve been suicidal most of my life. I suppose it started when I was 7, when I first had to talk my own mother out of killing herself, a job I repeated several times a year for the next 14 years until I resigned (she’s still alive, by the way).
When I was 7, I had volcano dreams. I’d read All About Volcanoes which left me terrified of all the mountains that surrounded me. It would have helped a great deal if someone had bothered to explain metamorphic, sedimentary, and igneous rocks to me. Then I wouldn’t have envisioned a metamorphic oil shale mountain erupting and sending seething streams of lava onto my town. I’d read about Paricutin, the volcano that erupted in a farmer’s field in Mexico in the 1940s. Hence, I also had nightmares about a volcano erupting in our back yard.
While there may have been other stressors in my life that led me to have these colorful nightmares, I would think that the worst thing would be the new role I took on, those sessions where I cried, begged, and cajoled my mother to stop threatening suicide and come back in the house *please.* I hate that bitch to this day. After all, she may suffer from mild depression, but she is far from suicidal. One of my therapists thought it was an act. Maybe.
That’s her main legacy for me though–along with this disintegrating house, the ability to iron clothing, an affinity for crafts, and an interest in genealogy–she gave me the belief that suicidal ideation was the way to cope with stress. The house is a mess? Kill yourself. The dishwasher broke down? Kill yourself. Your sons are selfish bastards and your daughter is an unemployed slob? Kill yourself. The thoughts come, but there’s that three-year countdown until I can leave. My son is a freshman in high school. I refuse to accept a life sentence, but I do accept that I should stick around until he graduates from high school, even if he primarily feels disdain for me.