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Lydia has never known love.
Born to a mother who didn’t care, she has only ever known pain. Bullied in school her whole life, if it wasn’t for her best friend she might not be alive.
Her life is finally looking up as she goes off to college. Starting a new chapter, with her bestie by her side.
Until tragedy strikes. She should have known her life would never be good.
Primed to end it all, she is shocked to learn, she is not the only one living in the darkness.
Perhaps together, they can find the light.
I originally wrote this story as part of a Suicide Prevention Anthology last year. I jumped at the chance to do this because like so many, depression is a part of my life and I wanted a chance to inspire others. I used to be ashamed of my illness, until I learned there is no shame. Instead of condemning those in need, reach out. Lend an ear. Sometimes, having someone listen and genuinely care is enough. Sometimes it’s not. Either way, we all deserve a chance to overcome. This story was part of my journey.
Lydia is based loosely off myself, but also others I know. I know this not my usual, but it was done with love all the same.
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The End in the Beginning
‘Wow’. I think as I am looking at myself in the mirror. If someone would have told me six months ago I would be here, I would have looked them in the face and laughed. There is no way I should be here right now. I should be six feet under. The way my life was going, up until the very moment everything changed, I should be a corpse. I mean hell, I was already one.
For months I was a walking, living, breathing body. Maybe living is taking it a step too far. I wasn’t living. I was only existing. But barely.
When someone lives with the emotional and psychological abuse I have had to deal with, you learn not to expect too much out of life. You learn to fly under the radar and pray for invisibility.
That is what I was doing the day he found me. I was standing on the edge of never, praying for invisibility. But in truth, I was praying for the end and fully intended to see it through. Then he happened to me.
I didn’t know him from one person to the next on the street, nor he me. But for some reason, he says something led him to the place I was at that night. Led him to me, so he could save me. Well, whatever it was it worked.
Here I am six months later, not fully healed psychologically or emotionally, but I am alive and learning to deal with these foreign feelings of happiness.
I am standing in front of a mirror with my best friend, him. Turning from one side to another as I look from different angles, while trying not to let the past intrude on my present.
After all. It is my wedding day and I am supposed to be feeling elated and euphoric. Don’t get me wrong, I do feel all those things. But, the overwhelming feeling I cannot seem to shake is, ‘It should have been me.
Six Months Earlier
“Lydia. Lydiaaaaaa.” Oomph. I shift the blankets off my face as I feel something smack me in the back of the head. Looking out from the covers while still half asleep, I am not surprised to find my mom standing over me with a look of disgust. The same look of disgust I have seen my whole life. At least since my father left when I was five years old.
“Lydia, get your fucking lazy ass up and get ready. Today is the day. The day I finally get rid of you. We don’t want to be late for that, do we?” She asks as she walks away.
I am scheduled to leave for college today. Even though the campus is only an hour drive away, I know I will not be coming back. My mom has always made it clear, the only reason she kept me around is because she was able to get welfare for keeping me. But, if that was to ever change she would leave me on the doorstep of a church. At least it would be somewhere safe. When it came close to the time for me to graduate, she let me know in no uncertain terms I wouldn’t be one of those kids who lived at home and went to college.
I found it a bit humorous she felt I would consider it as an option for myself. The thought never crossed my mind. I was always going to leave. Scholarship or not. Luckily my therapist found someone on campus I can talk to.
“Hurry up. We leave in an hour, fat-ass.” She yells from downstairs. This was why I needed a therapist. Among other things. Graduating high school was akin to shedding a massive amount of baggage.
I have been the victim of bullying that started at middle school. When I turned 13, I woke up one morning with the biggest boobs I had ever seen. They seriously grew overnight. And, let’s not talk about my ass. I went from having an average middle school ass to getting something out of a porno, and for what? What the hell was I going to do with all of that? My best friend Macy, who is going to be my roommate, told me that I was lucky. When I got into high school all the guys would want to date me. On the reverse side, she said all the girls would hate me. Well, she got half of it right. The girls never stopped hating me and because I am so weird and awkward, none of the guys wanted anything to do with me. Which was just fine.
With all the new weight I was carrying around, it made me a target for extra bullying. In one day, I went from being invisible to hearing, “Fatty-watty ate a catty.” Apparently, they couldn’t come up with anything better or more original than that. Things quickly escalated into tripping me in the halls, pouring food on me at lunch, and spray-painting my locker with obscene names. Seeing as how my mother didn’t care what happened to me, there was no one to fight for me. I endured the humiliation the best I could.