Monday, May 29, 2017

A Suicide Berceuse.

This is for you the broken hearted.  This one is for you who can’t get out of bed and for you who may be finding it so damn hard to return the texts, emails and phone calls from anyone. 

This one is dedicated to those who having a hard time showing up because even thinking about showing up is too much energy. 

This one is for you who can’t seem to move on after the loss of a beloved. It’s for the ones whose days gone by are better than the days you’ve been wading through.  This is for all of you who can’t catch a break financially, romantically or dream wise and wonder what it's all for.

The world has an immeasurable void in it. Constant pain inflicted from headlines or bylines is palpable. You’re unsure of your footing on our planet because the ground beneath you is unstable even when the sun shines otherwise. 

This one is for you who have contemplated at least once, perhaps even more than once about pressing the eject button on life. It’s here that you are in good company. It's here that I offer you a story shared in a non-judgmental and safe space. Let my heart sing to you sweetly, I am with you.

Finally, I dedicate these words to anyone who can’t see the beautiful blue in the sky no matter how hard things are at present and I assure you, if you are reading this, there is no such thing as coincidence. But there is also a great power in hope and if you’re here, may the words ahead restore a even a small slice of faith within you and may all the fires that have gone out provide a spark to keep your flame lit.  

It is in the life we live shining so bright that we will inspire others, saving not only ourselves but also the world. From my broken heart to yours…..this is my song.

     Five Suicides.  Five.

I've known an entire handful of people who have taken the opportunity to pull a rip chord out of life.  That’s one for every eight years of my existence.  By the time I’m done writing there'll be more.  Add three additional failed self-immolation attempts under my belt. Those events being so close I called 911 or by begged a third party to intervene after multiple self-murderous threats. I even left home for family who needed an enormous amount of space to heal.

I also danced with the hara-kiri seductress herself all too closely. Twice she did her best at luring me into the vast unknown, once when I was sixteen and again when I was thirty-three.
One out of every three people I've come in contact with in my personal or professional life as a medium has contemplated or lost a loved one to the S word. Since the beginning of 2017 the numbers of those affected seem to be dramatically increasing and suicide seems to be a gross cancer rapidly spreading to men and women who you would have never in a million years thought that they could even....

     The spirit of suicide is a collective shadow energy of low, self destructive thoughts. She incites visions of a most self righteous, self-inflicted demise as the best possible solution to pain in all of it's forms. She has a tendency to roll like a steam train through your head at night so you can't dream your way out.  She nags, boasting all your faults and failures in your face at every turn.
She steals your appetite for food, for breath.
She makes everything hurt.
Happiness becomes a ghost, a semi colorless, quilted patchwork throughout the human experience a distant memory and most hunted vapor. 
I often question God, demons and which of them are responsible for such an unholy, trending epidemic.  Pretty sure I know the answer.

     My childhood was riddled in isolation as a victim of bullying. I’d suffer at the mouths of babes who wanted to keep me pinned in the role of freak well in to my teens.
Kids are forever cruel. Why? I’ll never understand. Perhaps their parents are assholes too. 
     The names I was called stuck to my fragile psyche like static cling. The cacophony of voices that regurgitated them to me often erupted in sadistic symphony when I would encounter rejection or failure years later doing my best to plug along at life.   The shadowy spirit of suicide bookmarked all my shortcomings and wrapped them carefully in a justified escape.  I very much considered her dangerous offer.

     During emotionally turbulent teen years, I found myself hunched over my homework, tears raining from my eyes soaking the notebook in my lap.  Killing myself would mean I’d be out of everyone’s hair. No one would have to waste their energy taunting me. My parents well, no doubt their financial troubles would be solved since the reconstruction of my smile and cost of private school seemed to be the base of their unending fights.  Crashing my car on the way to school seemed reasonable. Palpable. 
But I chickened out.  

     Instead I turned to bulimia as a coping mechanism. When I outgrew that, alcohol and sex kept me a float on the surface quieting suicides midnight calls. In my twenties, I buried myself in work.  But soon enough, her dark thoughts would fill my head and relationships and friendships felt frivolous and shallow.
     My loneliness was temporarily forgotten through self- prescribed dance therapy. I turned to this in a last ditch of desperation because the shrink I hired and a short stint on Zoloft didn't do a damn thing but numb all my feelings. Thirty pounds later, dancing like I had no cares seemed like the best answer.

     When I felt low, I’d give my possessions away. Clothing, artwork, CD's, Christmas presents other people gave me all befell the hands of anyone who had happened to be in my space admiring them.  General consensus: the world is a fucked up place and I had no real traction in it.
At the rate I was going clearly, I'd never marry, never have children of my own and I would most certainly not live past thirty-three because my rock and roll lifestyle, for sure, afforded me my pious attitude.

     Fast forward to thirty-two, when I was universally forced to be humbled. Having moved home to the east coast from my beloved San Francisco, I accidentally got pregnant within moments of my plane landing. This would change everything, sort of.
     I had a come to Jesus moment that for sure was cosmic. More importantly, it could also be my only real shot at having a normal adult type life.  A clock, biological or not clock was always ticking. Marriage was nowhere on my agenda but, a mini me now was.
I decided that this baby’s life was a mustard seed of hope growing within me and would change my life for the better. I'd concentrate on unconditional love from this moment forward in order to heal myself to become a mother.
     My spiritual aspirations, visions and learning would aid me in never letting me reach those dark, desperate places so long as I had a tiny human to care for.  I immersed myself in books on mediumship, to understand better what was happening to me the things I was seeing and hearing.
I read every self help book I could get my hands on and sought out a mentor to help with my now on going relationship with life and death.
Nine months after my daughter was born, I learned that my psychotherapist killed herself via social media.  The shock of it ripped me open, almost in half. This woman ‘re-birthed’ me.  I spent so much time with her in my final chapters of San Francisco. So often, she was my rock and taught me how to really hug.
I sobbed. The pedestal I held her on smashed on the floor.
My mentor at the time was afraid this would deepen my postpartum depression.  
She feared I was on the brink of a breakdown.
      It was also at this time a TV pilot I co-wrote for a television series had a little traction.
My co-writer and friend, Frankey and I decided to bring on an actor to the project,
we’ll call him Mr. X.
Mr. X expressed intense interest in the project hearing Frankey’s pitch at a conference in LA. He and I met in New York City biweekly to work the script. We landed a meeting with Comedy Central.

 Hours after discovering my psychotherapists passing, Mr. X called threatening me - that if I didn’t sign the rights of the show over to him, he’d not only cancel the meeting with Comedy Central but also make damn sure I’d never work “in this town or industry ever."

     When I hung up that call I became speechless. I had lost all of my words and my will to speak.
I could not utter a sound for days. Rock bottom had risen from the ground to greet me face to face.  And there she was like desperate hooker waiting to turn a trick at my bedroom door - the spirit of suicide set off a nuclear bomb of shame within my guts.
She scolded me for having a child out of wedlock. She detonated every fear I ever had within me. My father’s voice, like a broken record asking “what about your dreams?” played loudly on repeat while Mr. X's threats and demands made me nauseous.  Every single sad detail of me leaving the love of my life, the city of San Francisco to move home with my parents poured forth from wherever they were hiding.
Ex coworkers viciously berated me as I tried to sleep. A hot lump of regret grew in my throat with every beat of my broken heart. The realization of how emotionally and financially broke I was boiled my guts and suicide rubbed her hands and licked her lips at the thought of feasting on my flesh.

    What good was it that I could talk to dead people anyway?
I had no need to be special with ‘these gifts’ of mine when all I wanted to do was run and hide from everyone and everything including  - me.
     Suicide laid down next to me in my bed and assured me, that I just wanted to be one of them, one of those who were resting in peace, eternally. From what she could promise things were so much better where those who had took the early train out of physical reality now resided.
There was no need for money, for food. Teleportation was the preferred method of transportation on the other side and all seemed - in time - forgiven anyway. 
She whispered so softly “What are you sticking around here for anyway?

     Through mediumship, I found out in deaths eyes colors were brighter and music was more fluid and popular in heaven or ‘home.’  This revealed in readings and it intrigued me. To Suicide, I'd fallen from cool rocker chic to washed-up circus freak. Seeing dead people wasn't a blessing at all but a precursor to my fate.

     With my head and heart heavy, I set out in the middle of a severe thunderstorm with my daughter in our super shitty almost twenty-year-old Mercury Tracer. The car itself, an addition to my post baby depression. The undercarriage was completely rusted out. It was unsafe to drive anyone in.
     Rain spewed from above. Lightning reached across the heavens like the skeletal hand of an ancestor. Thunder shook the seats of the decrepit automobile. Visibility was minimal.
This was it.
I was just going to close my eyes, accelerate the gas pedal and drive into a tree. It would all be over soon. If my daughter survived the crash, she’d be a miracle.
I’d be a loving ghost watching over her.

     The harder the rain fell the faster the my tears came.  The car hit a deep puddle and stopped.  We sat there, in the dark of the storm. I begged God to forgive me. If the car started again, I would immediately drive it off the road. The storm to blame for our sudden, tragic departure. Those left behind in the living would chalk it up to a horrific accident.  That was it then. It was settled until my almost ten-month old daughter spoke up from the back seat in an authoritative tone.
 “Just drive mommy. Mommy just drive.” 
Sophia repeated this phrase until my hand shut the car off then turn over the key again. It started. A massive truck suddenly headed right for us. Hitting the gas pedal I swerved into the correct lane.  The truck shook the entire car. I looked at it’s tail lights and my daughters eyes in the rear view mirror.
My heart raced. Her little feet kicked.

How could I ever want to hurt her?
How could I ever want to leave her? 

     Moments later, I pulled into my parents drive. I turned to reach for my little girl’s hand.  I promised I’d never leave her, on purpose. My child saved our lives.

I experienced my first suicide at fourteen.  His name was Marty. He sat behind me in homeroom and somehow always smelled like stale beer at eight in the morning.  He passed me notes on occasion. I didn’t pay them any mind until one said he was going to kill himself.
I was confused. Why would he give this to me? Why me?
I told my parents. They insisted I give the evidence to the guidance counselor. The guidance counselor was unmoved. “Don’t worry about it. He always does this for attention.”

Days later, I transferred schools. I couldn’t walk the halls without worry I was going to be slammed up against the lockers.
One morning, driving to the bust stop, my father broke the news. “Hun, remember Marty?”
“Sure. Why? Did you arrest him?”
“He shot himself last night. His mother found pieces of him all over their trailer.”  That was the first time the gross reality of it grabbed me by the throat. I think my father didn't skip the details in an effort to scare me to not want to choose that path. He was good at doing that.

   My entire spring break on in my first year of college was spent with my stomach and heart in knots in wake of my younger siblings suicide attempt.  Growing up, Sam was a bad ass. From an early age, she took no ones shit - no one.  The discipline hammer from my parents fell on my shoulder and missed hers. I was in a way, so jealous of her freedom, boldness and life adventures. Thank God she outgrew Suicides temptation. I pray she does everyday regardless.
     Years later, when I moved to San Francisco, a coworker, murdered his wife, her mother and after leading police on a five hour chase turned the gun on himself.  The news was broken to staff in the conference room. There were other details like having to talk to the police about a brown paper bag that I accepted from a strange man who dropped it off for the murdering coworker the last day he showed up for work. I retrieved the crumpled bag and fitted bed sheet inside of it under his desk and gave it to the authorities.  The strange deliveryman of this bag sat two rows in front of me at the funeral held in a Baptist church in Oakland.  The man dressed in the camel trench coat made eye contact with me, the kind felt like he was trying to seal my lips shut for life.

     Moments later a friend who moved across country to live with me self-destructed at a rapid pace. She threatened to take her life by shoving her head in our oven. I employed the aid of a friend to mediate, as I no longer knew how to talk to my friend who was in such a dark place, the one I myself was desperately trying to avoid. I did however muster the courage to tell her that I didn’t want her to leave the city or break our lease because I cared.  We hardly spoke for the remainder of our allowed contract. I tiptoed around her escapades, mood swings and parade of lovers in our shared space.  It was maddening, but she was my friend and I felt obligated.

     New Years eve, two years later I found myself sitting in a hospital holding the hand of another roommate determined to end her time on the planet.  Her ex lover called my cell while I was contemplating future life plans and reminiscing about the shitty mistakes I’d made in year gone by. Hours earlier my flat mate and her girlfriend ended things with her girlfriend leaving the country.  I swallowed hard at the fact that this woman lying in pain was beyond shitty to me from day one. This asshole wasn't just an asshole to me, she was an asshole to most people that she encountered and I tried to bury that fact to remain calm as possible during her plight.
     When I arrived home later that evening, I had a supernatural experience that still haunts me.  I heard children laughing coming from the direction of Lara’s room. No one was in our home. No one lived below or above us at the time. I opened her bedroom door, turned on the light to see a giant, thick, black cloud containing faces, small lightening bolts and what appeared to be body parts floating above Lara’s bed.  I pointed to the window screaming, “Get the fuck out!”

It did.

Two years after Sophia intervention snapped me back to the land of the living, A young man who I’d cared for deeply found himself in a bad way and ended things.  My father and his father had a dramatic story that transpired between them almost twenty years prior to our friendship. My dad was the officer on the call to his fathers suicide attempt. He father survived.
 In the short time I knew him, I watched Dane mature with handfuls of beautiful young women. He was charming and had his whole life ahead of him.  Super Bowl weekend, a call came into the bar where I worked as I was closing down. My heart exploded. I locked myself in my manager’s small office until I could breathe normally again. I'd just spoken to Dane about some stuff he was working through. His funeral was two days of non-stop people. His death brought his sister and I to a beautiful place of friendship. It would be a point in conversation getting to know new friends a few years down the road that just so happened to also attend Dane’s massive funeral.

      Bobby, who knew Dane’s family, moved in a few doors from me. Over dinner and a bottle of wine we discussed all the mutual people we knew and revealed our sadness over Dane’s suicide.  
Two years and multiple family dinners later Bobby also ended his life.
I found out on social media.
I hugged Bobby on the street four days prior asking him when I could cook for him and the family.
Suicide shattered my heart one more time this round for me, for my family who loved him but most of all for his family, who we love so much.
I could nod my head say that it made no sense, but you and I both know that after reading this entire story, that would be an utter lie.
I get it.
Suicide's sales pitch is a slick and slippery one a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
But in it's purchase there is a transference of pain like a high interest credit card debt that is a bitch of a balance to chip away at.

In this space, you and I agree that life is hard.
It is riddled in a complex mixture of pain and pleasure
with the sting of pain leaving us more tortured and less shiny, happy people.
Joyous moments can seem minimal and fleeting like a butterflies existence. But they do exist.
Knowing that alone on some days is all the difference between sadness and happy that I can muster.

Yes the world is filled with chaos and shitty things out of our control.
But it’s in the simplest things, now that I have placed my hope in– a good cup of coffee, a child’s laughter, a walk by the river counting dogs on leashes and strangers riding bikes or even a good hair day.

In the past week, millions of fans have lost a rock God who hung himself, this morning a friend posted her heart ache over a beloved who ended his life the night before and just two days ago I sat with two different women hoping to hear from their father’s who both did a self check out when they were just babies.

What I am certain of is that death is inevitable.
I’ve made peace no - hell; I’ve made a business partnership with it.
We’re all going at some point. Life being a temporary thing.
But as I sign off in these last few words of this writing, I promise you just as I promised Sophia the night of Bobby’s funeral this
- that I am fighting for life. 

I want to live.

I want to taste all of life’s flavors, hear all of its music, feel more pleasure
see as many of its wonders and movies and read as many books that I possibly can.
I want take more pictures, dream more dreams and color more pages with my kid.
I want more road trips and stupid jokes to shake my head at.
I hope to share meals with friends, toast everyone I loves birthdays and smile at strangers because that feels like a good place to start. 

I choose life.

And not for nothing, fuck suicide.
If she ever comes at me again like she did a few weeks after Bobby's death trying to convince me that this is all for not I’ll punch her square in the throat. I'm not leaving my loved ones behind no matter how many circumstances are weighing me down.

I choose life.
I choose to seek out happiness even glimpses of it in the space between the ups and the downs to intentionally fill them with music and art and laughter and above all hope
even on the days it hurts.

I choose life when life is so confusing and less than awesome because fuck 2017 has been a shit show and we yeah you - you and me - we can't give up.

Can you, will you choose to make the best of the space between birth and death with me even when the going gets tough and you feel stranded all alone on this planet earth? Can you choose a mere mustard seed of hope that may lead to the miracle you need to let your heart sing or hear/feel music again? 

Finally, what would your fullest expression of life feel like?
A spark of that positive thought can fuel you for days.
I promise.

This one is for you.  Sending my love in all it's broken pieces -

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