Back to school I went, with the same problems, the same cruel bullying, and every other thing that is too lengthy to share now. I don’t know how many days or weeks passed, but my desire to no longer be a part of this merry-go-round called life had not faded.
One day I came home from school in a similar frame of mind. Again, the minutae elude me, but I remember rummaging in the medicine cabinet and grabbing a bottle of Bayer aspirin. The bottle was the largest size on the market back then, but it was only 3/4 full. I thought that would be enough… I must have gone to the kitchen to retrieve a large glass of water and downed every single pill. That should do it, thinks my naive adolescent self.
I threw the empty bottle in the trash can in the bathroom. I waited to die, but nothing happened. My mother arrived home from work. I don’t think she said a word to me. She sat in her rocking chair and read the newspaper. I began to feel incredibly ill, went to the bathroom, and retched my guts into the toilet, knees on hard tile floor.
My mother still said not a single word, just continued reading her newspaper. I wasn’t dying it didn’t seem, but I felt sicker that I ever felt before. So I sat at her feet and laid my head on her lap. My mother didn’t move a muscle except to turn the pages of the newspaper. Back and forth I went to the bathroom, returning to sit with my head on her lap between each trek. This went on throughout the evening. My mother never asked me what was wrong or wondered why I was puking so violently.
Eventually, it got late and bedtime was at hand. By then, I’d vomited so much I was having the dry heaves. I crept to my bedroom without a “good night,” exhausted. As I pulled my blanket around me, I thought to myself, “This hasn’t killed me so far, but maybe it will. If I don’t wake up in the morning, everything will be okay….”
But of course, I did wake up the next morning because I’m typing this. Back to school I went, with the same miseries. Once again, I was clueless as to what would work and what wouldn’t work. My mother never asked me why I was ill, or noticed (to me anyway) that the Bayer aspirin were gone, and that the empty bottle was in the trash can in the bathroom. Nor did I ever, to her dying day, tell her what I’d done…
I notice I keep mentioning that my mother never said or did anything… She didn’t know I’d taken all those aspirin or that I was in so much emotional pain that I wanted to die. She’d apparently been convinced that my first suicide attempt, with the razor blade, was the accident I described. I had tried to tell her how fearful and depressed I was, but she would not listen. What puzzles me most is how the ignored an entire evening of vomiting without asking me what was wrong, or thinking that I might need to go to see a doctor. The vomiting was something that could only be willfully ignored.