The other day I needed to get out of the house. The kid has been reluctant to leave and I was too tired to try and push. Joe told me I could take some time, so I found a movie I wanted to see and headed out.
I didn’t know a lot about The Perks of Being a Wallflower except that I had seen the trailer and it looked good. I had no idea the story was going to affect me the way it did. Sitting in the theatre alone I felt like I was 18 again all of a sudden and feeling all the dread of growing up again. The story’s main character is in his first year of high school, he has no friends, he’s been in a mental hospital, and he wants to be a writer.
I sat in that theatre feeling inspired and sad and reminded of things I didn’t want to remember. I cried. And when the movie was over I went out to buy the book.
I felt emotionally wrecked and raw. It hit close to home.
When I was in my mid-teens I thought about killing myself, and then again in my early twenties when things seemed to be crowding in on me, and then again about a month and a half ago.
When it happens there is a conversation in my head, the one egging me on and the one that knows more about reality. The one fighting me and telling me that my daughter needs me and I need to watch her grow up and then one telling me she’d be better off without me.
This time I was almost totally unprepared for the battle, but I also told someone sooner than I ever had before. That night my husband knew – though I didn’t tell him any specifics until after I saw this movie. It’s been a long time since a movie has brought out something so fierce in me and I have a feeling the book will be something I go to in the future.
I don’t know what my mental state is right now. I know that my new prescription seems better, but that I’ve been very irritable and tired a lot lately. I know that I’m pushing through something all over again – something I kind of thought would be over by now. And I know what changes have to come to get me up that mountain.
Last night my daughter was refusing to go to sleep. Finally I went in to see her and she looked and me and started weeping and saying she needed me and she loves me so much and there, in that little face, I saw myself and the pain I’ve been driving through. I’m so, so scared that she’s going to struggle too, and I’m so, so very scared that she’s going to lose like I have almost lost.
If ever I questioned why I’m alive today, it’s because she was meant to be in the world. Without her I would crumble.