I had just returned to my old school after a year and a half in another state, and the clique dynamic had completely changed. Not that we hadn't had cliques before. That would never change. What did change, however, were my friends. People who I had left being close friends had separated and people I had never expected to like each other were best friends.
Suddenly I found myself torn between two groups of old friends- the populars and the goths. And, slowly, realizing I had nothing in common with the populars (I didn't care about my hair or about the newest trend or about Danny Davis sitting there looking as gorgeous as a twelve year old boy could possibly look) I deviated towards the three goth girls. They accepted me and my loud, annoying awkwardness and taught me about metal music, video games, art, and about the darker side of life. They embraced what the school put down as 'first-step temptations of the devil'- though they were still wary at the time about drugs, alcohol, and sex, the ‘second-step temptations.’
I wasn’t the most observant person in the world. We went to a Christian school. Everybody should be happy and taken care of, right? Everybody is protected by the One True God when they’re under His divine watch, right? So I never worried or wondered or even suspected that anything was going wrong in their homes, that there was a reason they were the goths, the emos, besides their dark clothes and weirdo reputation. But the things they spoke about, and the way they spoke about them, while seemingly innocent enough, started to weigh me down. I started to see my own life in a very negative light, and everything around me started to seem like some horrible plot against life itself. I was under a lot of pressure to succeed at home, and often ended up in my room screaming into my pillow, unable to tell my parents what I really thought about their attitudes towards me, their expectation that I should try my hardest and become some billionaire lawyer or scientist. Why should I try to succeed where obviously I never would? I wasn’t made for mansions and glitzy clothes; I was built for helping people, poor people, bringing them food and water and a better way of life- and I couldn’t even help myself.
I scared myself thinking about how much I wanted to die. Sometimes I came into contact with knives while putting the dishes away, and suddenly would wonder if it was possible for a hand to take on a life of its own, for a devil to possess me and stab me, so that it wouldn’t be my fault for flinging my life back in God’s face. Usually I’d quickly put the knives away at that point, though on my more morbid days I would hold it to some part of me- my stomach, my throat, my wrists- and dare the devil to make me do it, beg him to end it.
By the end of middle school, *Marie had started to cut, *Becca had started having unprotected sex with her boyfriend, *Annie had at least three panic attacks per day, and I had considered suicide more times than I care to admit. Marie and Becca had also started doing drugs, though Becca stopped when she got pregnant at the age of fourteen. Marie kept doing it until she wound up in the hospital for overdosing on drugs. Nobody knows if it was a suicide attempt or not.
Now I know that the only thing that kept me alive at that time was God’s insistence that I was made to help people. Always, in my heart of hearts, I could hear a voice. “You aren’t ready yet, it isn’t your time, there are so many people who have it worse than you, wouldn’t you like to help them one day? Why would you want to die with so much potential in your future?”
What if you can save a life with this story you are living out right now?
Wouldn’t you like to tell them you’re a survivor?
"Don't give up because you're losing, you haven't lost" - Sleeping With Sirens