When I was in school, one of my brothers tried to kill himself. My parents hid this from everyone; the most I can remember from seeing my brother around that time is that he wore some of those little wrist sweatband things.
The disturbing thing about this story is twofold: first, that my mother thought his suicide attempts were my fault, because I had loyal friends, fulfilling hobbies, and a charming personality. Because, you know, I wanted those things, and so I worked to have them.
Then, my dad told me a long time later about the suicide attempts. This is the second disturbing part: that my parents hid the holes in my brother’s wrists because they didn’t want anyone to know that they had raised a boy who was so miserable that he wanted to die.
Mind altering drugs? Yes.
I still have nightmares about this perceived responsibility that my parents laid at my door.
After all, if I had done as this brother did, and stayed at home, dwindling my soul into an increasingly myopic hole of drivel and self-hate, maybe he would have…felt better?
I used to feel really sorry for this brother, until he revealed, inadvertently, that he was doing this to himself on purpose. He had figured out that other people would jump up and run all about in circles if he maintained enough sadness.
I don’t feel sorry for him anymore.
I also don’t hate my parents as much as I probably will when I finish undoing their nefarious work.