One of the issues that I seem to have when being taken serious about my desire to seek Medical Assistance in Dying for mental health issues is that I don’t look “sad”, or “depressed”, or “unhappy”.
I appear smart and intelligent.
Piercings and tattoos are the only form of “self harm” that I engage in. And no, I don’t consider my tattoos or my piercings to be “self harm” or a “cry for help”.
Surely if I was depressed and wanting to die I’d be on drugs, or living on skid row, or a frequent flyer in the local psychiatric wards.
But that’s my problem.
I’ve always been on my own.
I’ve never had anyone to fall back on in times of trouble.
I’ve had to navigate life so fucking carefully that I didn’t end up an drug junkie or an alcoholic on skid row where people could say that I was the captain of my own misfortune.
If I had followed through on any of my previous suicide attempts and not succeeded there would have been absolutely no help from my father. In fact there only would have been shame and ridicule.
I’ve struggled with the fact that if I make one misstep that I’d have a very long fall down the ladder of society.
And believe me, the number of people that attempt suicide and fail far outnumber the number of people that attempt suicide and succeed.
My first attempt was way back on Canadian Forces Base Griesbach when I was about 9. I honestly don’t remember what I thought I was doing. I put the bag over my head and I held the bag around my neck. I kept breathing in and out, but as my lungs started to burn I couldn’t hold the bag any more and I let go of the bag.
The next time I tried was again on Canadian Forces Base Griesbach. This time I taped the bag around my neck thinking that would work better. It didn’t. Again I couldn’t get past the burning in my lungs and I ripped the bag off my face.
I had no idea that killing myself was actually going to be this painful.
The next time I tried suicide was in Toronto when I was living on Canadian Forces Base Downsview. This was before my bedroom had been moved downstairs into the basement in 1986. I had done a “practice run” at the Bloor-Yonge station. I actually did two practice runs. Both times I would wait on the Yonge platform until the trains had left. Then I’d take a little run and jump down on to the tracks. This was just to see if I could work up the nerve to jump down. I would then vault across the 3rd rails and climb up on the other platform and then out of the station.
However, when it came time to do it, I just couldn’t work up the nerve to jump in front of the train.
I don’t mean to sound cliche, but I did try the Bloor Street Vaiduct. Just couldn’t get the nerve to get over the railing.
There were a lot of things that kept me from following through.
Pain. I think my fear of pain has always ranked up there as the #1 reason why I haven’t succumbed to suicide. I really don’t want to spend my last 5, 1o, or 15 minutes on Earth in severe pain, gasping for breath and feeling the pain of broken bones.
Even worse, I always had visions of Andy Anderson with tubes in his skull as the doctors did everything to save his life after he slipped and fell in the bathtub in our PMQ on Canadian Forces Base Namao. Andy honestly had no life after that. They should have just let him die after his first series of blood clots and strokes. He spent the subsequent 5 years “living” in the Mewburn nursing home. He had been warehoused with other people who could no longer function on their own. And that’s another fear that I had. That I would do just enough damage to myself and that some asshole would “save me” and that I’d spend the rest of my “life” living in a facility being fed with a feeding tube.
Yet another reason that I couldn’t ever work up the courage to kill myself is my fear of Richard. I knew that if I had succeeded in killing myself that I would never have to be afraid of Richard again. But what I was afraid of the most is what Richard would do after I was dead. I knew that after I was dead that Richard would be free to blame my suicide on my insanity, that I committed suicide to weasel my way out of accepting responsibility for what I had allowed P.S. to do to my younger brother.
Richard had also impressed upon me from my time with the psychologists and social workers in Edmonton that “I was just acting up to get attention”. And as Richard had really impressed upon me that I was a worthless piece of shit that had fucked with his military career, the last thing I wanted to be seen as was an “attention seeker”.
I had so many reasons to kill myself back in the days of CFB Namao, CFB Griesbach, and CFB Downsview, but yet I couldn’t “man up” and do the deed because I was worried about what my father would say and do. Pretty fucking lame dontcha think?
My next attempt at suicide came in 1994.
I was unemployed. I was collecting E.I. as it was known back then. I had just returned from a disastrous trip out to Toronto to take a job that fell through. My E.I. got cut off because my E.I. cards were still being sent to my Toronto address so I ended up collecting welfare in B.C.
At this point in my life I had been on welfare in three different provinces. Alberta, Ontario, and British Columbia at different points in time between the summer of 1991 and the spring of 1994. I had slept in various Salvation Army houses, as well as different charity dorms.
And no, there was no fucking way on Earth that I was going to endure the humiliation of calling Richard and asking him for assistance that I know wouldn’t be coming anyways.
I know the exact date of the 1994 attempt.
It was the very early morning of Sunday June 12th, sometime after midnight.
I had scoped out the Lions Gate Bridge for around a week prior. And I knew that after midnight car traffic dwindled to almost nothing. I wasn’t planning to jump of the bridge in the typical manner. I didn’t want anyone to see me. I didn’t want anyone to stop me. Earlier in the day on June 11th I had gone to a BC Liquor store and purchased a 6 pack of whatever. I didn’t drink very often, so I knew that a 6 pack would take away my chickenshit fear and would allow me to jump.
When I got to the bridge I waited for a break in traffic, then I headed onto the bridge and got to where the maintenance gondola was parked. The bridge had a gondola underneath that allowed maintenance crews to service and paint the bridge from underneath. There really wasn’t any type of security on this gondola which was amazing when you think about it. So over the railing I went and I climbed down the ladder and onto the gondola.
I don’t knowhow long I was under there. I didn’t have a watch, and this was years before I owned a cellphone. But eventually I drank the last of the six beers. The gondola was parked perfectly over the footing for the south side pylon. If I just sat on the rail of the gondola and leaned back I could hit the footing without bouncing off of any of the ironwork for the pylon. It should be quick and I was so pissed that I probably wouldn’t feel anything. But now I was fucking hallucinating. There was P.S. and my father holding hands and laughing at me. Both of them were calling me a cocksucker, a faggot, a homo. I passed out. I woke up a little while later with no shirt on and both shoes missing.
So I managed to climb back up the ladder, back over the railing and walked back to the Sally Anne on Dunsmuir. Being drunk and without footwear I nearly killed myself in the process of climbing the Gondola ladder. I was screaming my lungs off as I walked through Stanley Park. I couldn’t believe how much of a fucking loser I was. I had the perfect opportunity to kill myself and my childish fears of what Richard would say after my death stopped me.
To this day I still don’t know why I feared Richard as much as I did. It made absolutely no sense. I should have hated him. But I didn’t. I feared him.
Anyways, the reason I know the exact date is that on Monday June 13th, 1994 I ended up at St. Paul’s Hospital. I could barely breath. I was coughing up blood and thick brown / green phlegm. The diagnoses was that I had come down with a bad case of community acquired pneumonia. The doctors had asked me if I had done anything out of the ordinary over the last week, if I had been anywhere unusual. Nope was my answer.
I felt like a fucking idiot.
In between 1994 and 2006 there were a few more attempts with the Skytrain, still couldn’t fucking do it.
The next time I would try to kill myself was in 2006. In August of 2006 I had called Richard and left some blistering messages on his cellphone. The next day he called me. I expected him to be angry. He wasn’t. He was quite shaken. I hadn’t really seen Richard since I moved away from Edmonton in February of 1992. Sure, I stopped in Edmonton in 2003 with my then girlfriend, but Richard barely had the time to speak to me. In my messages I had told him that I was sick and fucking tired of being blamed for what P.S. had done, I was tired of being blamed for having fucked with his military career, I was sick of everything. He knew that I was working at the hospital since the year previous as I had called him for his birthdate and my mother’s birthdate so that I could get my birth certificate replaced as the hospital needed to have a copy for my personnel file. He knew my phone number. He knew my address. But not fucking once did he ever call to see how I was making out.
So out of frustration I called him and vented into his voicemail. I was surprised when he called. I was even more surprised when it sounded like he was scared, like he had been wounded. He told me that yes, he had probably over reacted to what P.S. did ( yes, he used P.S.’s name). He didn’t mean to blame me, but that things were hectic back then. I was the older brother. I was supposed to look out for Scott. He pleaded with me to understand that he didn’t hire P.S.. He told me that he told his mother that he didn’t want P.S. around the house but that grandma kept hiring P.S.. And if I was to be angry at anyone for what P.S. had done, I should be angry at my grandmother for hiring P.S..
Things were great for about two months after this. Richard would call me on a daily basis. He even mailed me a $100 gift certificate to the Old Spaghetti Factory for my birthday. For him to tell the CFNIS in 2011 that he didn’t know how to get hold of me was a fucking crock of shit.
Anyways, just after my birthday the calls started to drop off.
By November he wasn’t calling or returning my calls.
Not a word at Christmas.
So I had decided to jump in front of a Skytrain.
Again I chickened the fuck out.
This was the last time I had ever been in a hospital.
But this hasn’t been the end of my desire to die.
As I’ve said in other posts, in the early 2000’s I had become aware of what was then called “assisted suicide” in Europe. Towards the late ’00s I had heard that in some European countries that depression was an acceptable reason to seek “medical suicide”. I knew that I would never have the money to make it over to Europe. And then the unthinkable started to happen. Jurisdictions across North America started to warm up to the idea of assisted suicide.
Medical Assistance in Dying for Mental Health reasons is so close that I can almost taste the propofol in my tongue. March 2023 to be exact.
Whether or not I have what it takes to pass the “test” to be allowed to die peacefully in my bed without any violence inflected upon my body remains to be seen.
North America has a puritanical streak in which it is believed that everyone must suffer right to the end for a death to be righteous.
I haven’t enjoyed a single fucking day in my life since Canadian Forces Base Namao. Society tells me that I am a fucking loser for wanting to die. Society tells me that I am selfish and only hurting others with my desire to die.
Society tells me that I don’t value the special and unique life that I have been “given”.
I sure as fuck didn’t ask for this. I didn’t tell Richard to fuck Marie so that I could be born.
I didn’t ask for my father to be a rage prone alcoholic in the Canadian Armed Forces.
I didn’t ask for my mother to leave.
I didn’t ask for my grandmother to hire P.S.
I didn’t ask to be molested by P.S. and Captain McRae.
I didn’t ask for my brain to be fucked with by Captain Terry Totzke.
I didn’t ask for my father to be a spineless wimp that followed along with the desires of the Canadian Armed Forces.
I have no interests.
I have no hobbies.
I have no friends.
I have absolutely nothing.
People tell me that I have to live, that I simply have to find the reasons to live, that I’m not trying hard enough.
People tell me that I’m only trying to get attention, that I’m weak, that I’m ungrateful.
People tell me to “forget the past and move on”.
How the fuck does one simply forget what I’ve been through?
Why do I have to keep suffering so that others can feel like they’ve fixed me or cured me?
Trust me, I am angry about a lot of things, but I’m not angry about dying.
My death won’t be some unusual event that no other human being has experienced.
Four simple drugs administered via a PICC catheter into the superior vena cava of my heart and I can be freed of all of this dysfunctional shit that is my life.
All that I want is to die a little earlier than what the cosmos has planned for me so that I don’t have to live with CFB Namao playing on an endless loop inside my skull. Richard may be dead and gone, and yes it was very cathartic when I found out that he was dead, but his ridicule, his hatred, his loathing, and his depression live inside my skull. P.S. lives in my skull. The knowledge of what Captain McRae did to me after the wine lives inside of my skull. Going to “special school” is inside my skull. Being a grade 8 dropout who missed out on a multitude of opportunities lives in my skull.
Let me go.
Let me be at peace.
Let me be free of the things that I had no control over.
One thought on “How is a depressed person supposed to look?”
B&B. For all the times that were not remembered. Happy Birthday. Your postings lead me to believe I’m not the only one who has insurmountable obstacles to deal with. As painful as it is I’m developing an intricate plan and using my horrific story as a means to right the wrongdoings that has happened to so many of us children and it is my hope that you will know how I have utilized a positive approach to shake the very foundations of this country. I’m hoping that the fruits of my labour brought from the pain so many of us have suffered will reach your ears before it’s too late. Happy Easter.