Once upon a time…..

Self Harm and Suicide

Self Harm and Suicide

I will tell you something of myself, I may have already told you but not the reasons why. This will probably not go over well and may scare you in some way but I am going to tell you anyway, and I will not be holding anything back. I am willing to accept whatever happens.

In 2011 I tried, apparently unsuccessfully to kill myself. I was feeling of no worth, I was deeply depressed and so full of anger at myself and my lack of not being in control of me, my emotions, not being able to support my family. I was having constant flashbacks of horrible things not only from my recent past but from things that were done to me as a child. PTSD has an uncanny way of bringing forth not only recent fears but fears from years ago. I slept all the time or I didn’t sleep for days. I felt worthless, not needed, unloved and scared all the time. I would wake and hear things that were not there, I would stalk the house as if clearing a building hearing something that wasn’t actually there it was all in my mind. I had serious self doubts, about whether I should still be alive, or that I deserved to be alive. I could do nothing I was just a breathing meat sack that felt worthless. It continued like this for quite some time, how long I don’t know. My body was fully healed but my mind hadn’t even begun to deal with recent years let alone the past. This went on day to day going from huddling in fear to raging at everyone, even raging at myself, out loud. Then the thoughts came, you don’t deserve to live, what do you have to live for, hell even the thought that Dylan could live without me was there. The thought of taking my own life ate at me daily; I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I would sit there holding the knife against my wrist lost to the outside world, never hearing the pleading voices around me. I have had this knife I was holding in my hand for several years I knew it was very sharp and would part both skin and tendons with ease. I knew it would hurt but I knew that at this point in time I hurt more for me to be alive. Voices in my head telling me to do it, voices in my head telling me not to do it. More than one voice, all different all either for it or against it, but the loudest and strongest was for it. I know now I sat there for hours holding that knife at my wrist. But wait I say to myself, you are a combat lifesaver trained soldier you know if you cut at the wrist it will bleed but it will take around 15 minutes for you to lose enough blood to pass out and then never come to again, also even though the knife is sharp you have used a knife on others in self defense you know what kind of exertion it takes to cut deep enough to sever both veins and tendons, then your hand will become useless and you will not be able to cut the other wrist. You know a better way that will have less resistance and will bleed faster and you will not leave yourself unable to cut the other arm. Well this is how I do it place the knife about 2 inches below the elbow with the blade towards my wrist push hard and pull down the arm, making the cut as deep as I can severing the larger veins and arteries as I pull the blade towards my wrist. I can see my hand moving the knife to exactly the right spot I feel the pressure of the blade pushing into my skin. The voices yelling at me in my head, but still one rises above the others, do it now just push and pull then the other arm, by the time they find you, well you will not be here. Where will I be? I don’t know says the voice but anywhere is better than here with all these thoughts and images of being hurt, abused, touched sexually, blown up, shot and shot at, better than laying here useless to everyone including yourself, your body and mind reliving events that should have never happened, should have never had to be hurt so badly by one who should have protected you. He broke your bones, burnt you, hit you, threw you, screamed, yelled and told you what a piece of shit you are. Battle we understand, we understand that you are supposed to be doing a job, but why? Why watch as the bullet travels into a man, a woman and plows through them to embed itself in the wall behind. Why feel the sting, then the searing pain as you look down at your knee and see a tiny hole in the side of your knee pad and the spread of blue red blood pouring down into your boot. Why see the flash, the unimaginable tearing sound of metal followed by the sound of thunder, the unbearable pressure build up inside your truck as the pieces of it fly around you one almost severing your leg at the hip. But we knew, we understood that this is what we were supposed to do. So stop it, stop it all by just pulling on the knife. Enough I scream to no one because no one was listening, no one cared or so I thought, I pushed the knife as hard as I could, it never pierced my skin, I pushed the knife so hard it went between the bones in my forearm it never broke the skin. Crying I sat there with the knife pressed so hard against my skin that it felt like it was touching my leg. I hear a voice different this time, not coming from inside but from the world around me, it was a woman dressed in what I first thought was military dress, but it wasn’t it was a police officer and she looked at me and said stop this is not your time, no matter how hard you push that knife is not going to cut you, please give it to me. I pulled the knife away from my arm only to see that where it had touched was a single drop of blood, and the beginning of a bruise. I collapsed into a ball crying so hard that I could not breathe, and she held me, she understood me and held me till the paramedics arrived. She whispered it is not your time Daniel. I turned and looked at her; it was not her I saw I know now it was someone else, who I don’t know but she was blinding me with care, feeling, almost love. This was and will always be the single most vivid memory I have or will ever have. I was safe for once in my life. Only one person in this life has called me Daniel, she is dead and she was the only other person I ever felt safe with, my Grandmama.

With much love and gratitude,

Dan Kline

2 Responses to “Once upon a time…..”

  1. I did this as well. I broke glass and took the sharp edge and pushed hard dragging it down my arm. I couldn’t believe that it wouldn’t cut my skin, even after several times. I drew my finger over it and it easily cut it. For years I had what appeared to be a 5″ scar from just below my elbow to my wrist. I was embarrassed about it but it heeled at some point, like the rest of me.

    Glad that you are still here Dan. I am still here too Dan. My life got busy and I have been gone a while, but I have been getting your posts in my email. You sound better, stronger. Take care my friend.

  2. Most beautiful, Daniel. Sounds like a bit of infinity came through,
    “I could do nothing I was just a breathing meat sack that felt worthless.”

    Great resonance. Great writing. Great stuff. Genius.

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