Understanding the “There”
As much as the ability to understand people and their situations is a blessing, there are some things I wish I didn’t understand.
Yesterday my dad asked me about group therapy, and how it works. He was trying to understand why I “need this”, while earlier at group I was in group thinking about Susannah and trying understand her decision to down thirty pills. Turns out, when I eliminated her from the situation, and thought of myself back in June it wasn’t so hard to understand her decision at all.
And that’s what group is for. No one else in our lives is able to look into our eyes and understand what it is like to be on the brink of ending your own life. And thank goodness for that, because they can make us want to be better for them. But they can also give you more reasons that you are on the brink in the first place. “All I’m doing is worrying Mom….” “I’ve pulled away from all my friends and hurt their feelings…” “How would Grandpa and Grandma feel if they knew I was like this?”
Guilt eats us away, even if we have therapists at our side. “They’re only listening to get my money.” “They don’t want to hear about this shit.” “They’re just watching for me to look away so they can sneak a peek at their watch.” But group, those other people around our age who voluntarily come here, they’ve been on your side of things. They aren’t there to judge you, or be worried about you. They are there to look you in the eyes and honestly say, “I’ve been there.”
“There” is a scary place to be. I remember the evenings I would be driving to work and thinking of what I had ahead of me: exhaustion, tears, sweat, and stress. Then I would see the lane next to me, full of the blinding lights that came with incoming traffic. And all of a sudden I would feel very calm. Just a few seconds of a decision and my hand could jerk and be smashed into nothing. And it’s all my decision. No one could stop me, not my parents or friends or teachers. They would all just have to deal with the fact I’m dead and cold and finally numb. Because I was tired of dealing with all the pressure inside my head.
“There” also means that “everything will get better eventually” is bullshit. Things haven’t gotten better, they’ve gotten me here, and it’s just been getting worse and worse. “There” means you have come to the point where advice is meaningless words, and love is a constant source of disappointment. Basically, no one but yourself can help you, and you are so weak and tired…feeling utterly helpless.
So that’s why I enjoy group and continue to go to it, though I’m feeling stable right now. Because I wish someone had said they understood when it was me. Being alone “there” is one of the scariest things I understand.