Trigger warning: suicide
On Monday, January 30th, fourteen days ago, I tried to kill myself.
Obviously, I failed.
I had never attempted suicide before then. In 2009 I contemplated it, in 2010 I planned for it but got cold feet, and now in 2012 I finally went through with it; or rather, I attempted to do so. All three of these incidents have been caused by troubles at school; specifically, by me buckling under pressure and attempting to run and hide from all of my problems.
This time, however, I have a blog. And this time I’m going to describe the why and the how of this attempted suicide in close detail. If this might make you uncomfortable, I recommend that you vacate the premises (i.e. read something else instead).
The how will be in part 2. Here’s the why.
So, as I said awhile ago, this semester I made my second attempt to go to college. My first semester was in the fall of 2010, when I moved away from home, went to school full-time, majored in mathematics, and then crashed from stress, isolation and loneliness. We assumed the problem was that I dove into the deep end without quite knowing how to swim yet (so to speak), so this time around I was going to a community college and only taking two courses (C++ Fundamentals and English). They both conveniently take place on Monday and Wednesday.
I go to my C++ class. The professor hands out the syllabi and explains some stuff about the basics of C++. Very, very basic stuff that even I, someone who knows absolutely nothing about programming, can mostly wrap my head around.
I’m not paying too close attention, because today is also the day of the big SOPA/PIPA blackout protest. I’m reading about the protests and turning on the blackout for my own gaming blog, Ninja Game Den. But I pay enough attention to get the important bits, and today’s assignment is incredibly simple: he gives us a paper with several lines of code written on it, and he tells us we need to copy the code onto MS Visual Studio, compile and execute the file, and email it to him. Easy.
Anyway, onto English. The teacher explains what the class is about, and talks about reading and writing. She tells us about the books we need, and gives us syllabi and a few handouts. The assignment for today is explained on the syllabus. She assures us that this assignment is quick, simple, and on the whole an easy A.
Since both assignments are exceedingly easy, I decide to wait until the weekend to do them.
As it turns out, while I was able to do the C++ assignment in just a few minutes with minimal fuss, the english assignment involves answering the questions on the handout — a handout that I apparently didn’t get. I looked through all the papers I received on Wednesday and I couldn’t find anything with questions, or anything resembling an assignment.
The teacher won’t be available on the weekend. Damn. Well the syllabus does say that she accepts late work. I’ll ask her about the assignment on Monday and she’ll surely tell me what I need to know.
I go to my car and find that one of the front wheels is completely flat. Well, shit.
I ask my neighbor to help me replace it and he kindly obliges. While we’re working on it, he looks at my other tires and tells me that they all need to be replaced, and that a few of them are actually overdue. He also says the alignment needs to be fixed. Holy shit, really?
So after exhaustively replacing the dead tire with my spare, I drive over to the tire store. I’m aware that spare tires aren’t exactly designed for long distance, so I probably wouldn’t even make it to class, much less make it back from class. I’ll just take care of the tire business first.
Turns out replacing all four tires and adjusting the alignment is going to take roughly three hours. Okay then. No class today; at least not for me.
I can already see myself sinking into a hole again. I’m now behind one session in C++ and essentially two sessions in English. I’m not sure what to do at this point, so I send an email to each of my professors asking them what I missed and what I need to do to catch up.
Neither professor responded to my emails.
So, C++. Today the teacher explains to us something about integers, and implementing something on a thing about… something. Apparently missing one class has left me so far behind that I can’t even see the others in the distance. At this point the professor might as well be speaking in Greek, because I can’t possibly understand what he’s prattling on about.
I explain to my professor after class that I got a flat tire and missed Monday. He says that I can catch up by reading the textbook, and that the assignment for last class was posted on a school assignment website that I was thus far completely unaware of.
I thought I knew about all the school website business. There’s one for the public, and one for students to sign in, register for classes, make payments, look at their schedule, etc. You’re honestly telling me that there’sanother one?!
Whatever. I guess I have a lot of catching up to do. Onto English.
The teacher tells us to take out our books that we read from last class and get in groups to cooperatively answer the questions she presents about them.
Thing is, this is a book I didn’t have. Oh, shit. There were two books I needed. I thought I only needed one. And I got the one that we didn’t need to read last class.
The teacher walks around the room and sees how the groups and individuals are doing. When she asks where my book is, I explain that I missed class due to a flat tire and I don’t have the book.
She orders me to leave class immediately and buy a book at the bookstore.
I ordered my other books online. I don’t know where the school bookstore is; I didn’t even know we had a bookstore. So after a moment’s hesitation, I ask: “Where’s the bookstore?”
She squints at me and replies, “Are you serious?”
I shrug. I hear other students giggle.
“You know the area in the front with the fountain?”
I nod. Of course I do; that’s where the entrance to the building is.
“Well the bookstore is right there in that area. There’s a big sign that says BOOKSTORE. How can you miss it?”
I get up to go get the book. In an attempt to be funny, I say “I’m the most absent-minded person you will ever have to teach.”
She replies, “I don’t have to teach you. You chose to be here.”
I hesitate for a moment and stutter. “I know, but… Well, I mean, I want to be here-”
“Then go buy the book.”
I give up and leave. I hear laughter behind me when the door closes.
Thoughts of death and self-harm reawaken in my head as I walk through the halls to the courtyard in the center of the building. I look around at all the walls, as I did when I entered for the first time. I see a cafe, a library, and an office. No bookstore. Have I entered the Twilight Zone, or am I just critically failing my spot check?
Eventually I go to the front desk. The lady smiles and says, “How may I help you?”
“Okay, apparently this is a really stupid question, but… Where’s the bookstore?”
She laughs and says “It’s over there, right next to the back door.” She points to the back door, across from the front entrance.
I nod and turn to walk that way. She adds, “I get the question 50 times a day.”
I smile back. That’s slightly comforting, I suppose.
So I walk down and eventually see it. Yes, there’s BOOKSTORE in big letters on the wall. The letters are also the exact same color as the wall, and positioned right below and above huge windows that allow for bright sunlight to attack your eyes. I don’t see how this can’t be considered hard to spot if you don’t already know where it is, but whatever.
I enter the bookstore and walk to where the English books are. Then I facepalm as I run into yet another dilemma: I don’t actually know which book I’m supposed to get. There are multiple books just for the specific class I’m taking, and none of them are the book I already own. I genuinely have no clue which of these is the one I’m supposed to buy, and they’re not cheap.
The most logical solution is to go back to class, ask the teacher which book I need and then go back to the bookstore. But, good lord, I do not want to do that again. I know she’s going to call me out and mock my cluelessness and stupidity again, and I know people are going to laugh at me again. I don’t want to be humiliated anymore. I don’t want to be here anymore. I don’t want to live anymore.
So instead I sit in the cafe and watch the clock until my English class ends. I go back after the room is (mostly) empty. Once the teacher is free I ask her what book I need and what the assignment is. She explains that if I simply tell the guys at the bookstore which class and which teacher I have, they can tell me which book I need.
I thank her, pack up my stuff and leave.
I don’t want to be at that stupid school anymore. I don’t want to think about it, or really anything, anymore. But still, I haven’t completely given up hope. I decide to go to the bookstore on Friday to buy the book so I can do the assignment for next Monday.
I show up on Friday at around 2 PM. The store is closed. Turns out that on Friday, it closes at 1. It’s not open on weekends.
That’s it. This is all my fault. Everything that’s happened has been my fault. I’ve fucked up far too many times. I’m not just going to fail again and have my family be disappointed at me again. I’ve put it off for too long. It’s time to kill myself.