Contemplating Death at Age: Thirteen

During the past week, Dave and I have been openly discussing some of the weird things that plague us now and in the past.  We were driving along a two-lane highway, around dusk, when we began discussing suicide after a local radio host began to wax philosophically with a caller about why female teenage suicide rates have increased.  It struck a chord with me, in a way, so I told Dave why.

From twelve to fourteen, I experienced a dark age, if you will.  I found myself depressed for a very long time and it is hard to pinpoint the exact reason.  My mother moved us.  My mother married…for the third time.  I disliked my stepfather…a lot.  I had few friends.  I could list reasons for eternity, but could pinpoint none.  However remote and distant I felt to the world, I never took my life.  I only imagined how it would be taken from me and when.

My prediction was that I would die in my early twenties in a car accident or through some freak occurrence that would never make the news.  I thought I would die of a disease or some unique virus.  Too cowardly to pick up a knife and cut my wrists or swallow a bottle of pills, I knew it would never be me that finally ended my life.  I just figured someone else would rip my breath away in some imaginable, disturbing way.

Around the time I began high school, I stopped having such a hard time dealing with my emotions because I had distractions.  I made friends, joined clubs, and eventually simply forgot what had made everything hurt.  It was not until I was about twenty-two or twenty-three that I realized I was still alive.  This was no epiphany, it was simply the recognition that I had not met an untimely death as I had thought I would.  I was even driving a car full of people when it had occurred to me that my predictions had not come true.

And now, as I knock on wood, I hope those predictions never reach fruition until I am too old to remember them.

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