[Trigger Warning: Discussion of Self-Harm and Suicide]
When I was 11, I wished I hadn’t been born. On a tear soaked page of my Hello Kitty notepad, I wrote a list of all the money my family could have saved, all the troubles that never would have needed to be undone, and all the things my mother could have done with herself if I hadn’t been born all those years ago. I can still hear the way my grandmother’s voice cracked when she found my list, and said, “Mira, Eddie. Look at how la niña wishes she wasn’t born.” I had never heard my grandmother’s voice so soft.
When I was 14, I realized I had been packing away all of my feelings and decided to sort through my baggage. I was never good at unpacking.
When I was 15, I was drowning in boxes and bins with mismatching labels storing things I wasn’t even sure I wanted anymore. I couldn’t afford public storage for my emotions.
When I was 16, I felt nothing and everything at the same time. I would run through my tornado of emotion and lay on my back within the eye of the storm. Everything was quiet and unsettling, and I knew the storm would pass over me again soon. I began to drag the broken glass around me across my skin to distract myself from the scattered objects soon to fly over me again.
When I was 17, I remembered what Catholic school taught me about free will. William James once used his free will to rid himself of depression. I used my free will to try to get out of here.