Following right along with the depressing as fuck theme, I’ll continue with a near-death experience. Because naturally I only remember the tragedies in my life. Yet I don’t consider it a tragedy, but rather a missed opportunity. I often regret how this day turned out, and wished their was an alternative ending. When people play games with each other, a question often asked is, “If you could go back in time and change anything, what would it be?” Well. Here’s my answer.
I was eight or nine. The exact age makes no difference in this instance, as I was just a young pup. I was with my sperm donor (the name I gave my birth father), his girlfriend, her children, and my oldest “brother.” He was an abuser too, so I don’t look at him with a glimmer in my eye. We were at Laguna Beach where the sperm donor lived, and we were down at the ocean. We had gone to the beach in front of my Uncle’s house because it was private, and there were way less people. My dad was roasting himself in the sun like a freaking pig over a fire, and all the little kids were playing in the sand. I however wanted the water. I was terrified of it, but something about the danger intrigued me. I was an excellent swimmer, courtesy of my mother throwing me into a pool of water when I was two with no floaties and telling me to swim for it. Thanks for my first memory mom. To my tiny child self, the waves were gigantic. We were next to rock formations, and I had no business going out by myself. Since daddy dearest was too busy sunning himself, I inched myself closer and closer to the water. I guess I always had a habit of self-harm in that respect. Though to be fair, there was a lifeguard present. He was just busy looking at the hot beach bunnies in skimpy bikinis. Ah hormones.
If I believed in mythical creatures, I would swear I heard a siren’s call. Something was begging me to get in that water. It was freezing, the waves crashed before my feet, and I was shivering. But still I inched closer. Part of me wanted to turn around and go back to the beach, but 99% of me knew that I had nothing to go back to. Something in the water was waiting for me, and I wanted to find it. Maybe I could play with some fish. Maybe it was a shark! Who knows, let’s go explore.
Before I knew it, I was knee deep in the water. I kept turning back to check to see if anyone was watching me. As per usual, they weren’t. When I was an only child, or it was just me and the older sib, I was the spotlight. When the others came along, I was shit. I was shit for a long, long time. So further into the water I went. Children were laughing and playing behind me, but their voices were growing farther and farther away. It reminded me of how I felt at school. Everyone was near me, but I was far away. So I kept going until I could only hear the waves crashing. Then the voices popped up. “Keep going.” “Don’t stop.” “It won’t hurt.” “They won’t miss you.” “We will take care of you.” I believed every word, so further down the rabbit hole I went. And then? Holy fucking shit. But in eight year old speak of course.
My legs were swept from under me, and I went flailing. The second the wave had me, I was underwater. I stayed there for several minutes. I knew immediately I had messed up, and I panicked. Ironically, my panic lasted all of five seconds. I opened my eyes (which I had never done underwater before) and all I saw was the current and sand. It stung, but I insisted on keeping them open. I wanted to find my creature. I wanted to find those voices. Surely they would come for me and take me away. But they stayed in my head, reassuring me. “Stop fighting.” “It’ll hurt more if you fight.” I’m a stubborn bastard, so I fought. I surfaced once or twice, but not long enough to catch a breath. And then? Mia was there. And she told me to let go. So I did. I went limp, and just floated. I took one last big gulp of water, and sank. The voices were gone, which I imagine was due to a lack of oxygen. My entire body was sore and weak, and I was just sinking. It didn’t hurt, and I was ready for my creature to take me away. I remember my last thought. It simple and direct. “Finally.” And then that goddamn motherfucker ruined everything.
My oldest abuser, I mean brother, was the only one that was paying attention. Probably because he was a fucking creep and never took his eyes off me, but hey. So what did he do? He swam in after me. He fought the current, he found my damn near lifeless body, and he literally dragged me out of the ocean. No one helped him, no one came to our rescue, it was just him and me. I just lay in a heap while waves continuously beat me into the sand. He was screaming at me to get up and out of the water, and for some reason I did. I had a bad habit of doing what I was told back then. Back then, I didn’t know what he had done to me all those years ago. I had blocked it out. I got my ass up and out of the water. I was absolutely covered in sand, exhausted, and half-dead. I limped over to where my “parents” were, and all they did was laugh at the site of me. “What happened to you?” Just fell in the water, I said. I didn’t tell them what really happened. They took me to my Uncle’s house where I got clean, and I just stood in the shower and thought of the water. For the rest of the day, I just bit my nails and the skin around them until they bled.
Dying young and cute would have been newsworthy then. Sad parents, confused children, and an ignorant lifeguard would have been interviewed right there on the beach. They could have said kind words like, “She loved life, she loved every minute of it.” That would have been a lie, but I wouldn’t have been there to argue. Besides, I wasn’t that defiant then. There might have even been a follow-up article about my favorite things to do. Reading, writing, beating up my brothers, and skating. They would’ve said I was a shy child, not yet having cracked the code to social interaction. My mother would have lied and said I was a mommy’s girl, inseparable since birth. I would’ve spit in my tiny coffin. My dad would have had no idea what to have said. He didn’t know me at all. My step-dad, well we weren’t on exactly on the best terms back then. Besides, they wouldn’t let him talk anyways. Nana would have spilled elephant tears, or at least what she could muster on the amount of Prozac she was popping on the daily. The newscaster would have put on their best somber attitude, playing it up for the audience. I would have been remembered for a week, and then I would have been dust. Just the way it should have been.
If I could go back in time and change anything? I wouldn’t have changed the abuse when I was four. I wouldn’t have changed the family I was born into. Hell, I wouldn’t have even changed the fact that I was born. It’s too obvious of an answer. I wouldn’t change the first horrific relationship. I wouldn’t change the multiple sexual assaults. I wouldn’t even change meeting Mimsy. No, these are too obvious. I would’ve changed the ending of that day. I would have died that day. I would’ve sank to the bottom of the ocean, and I would’ve been swept away by the current. My creature would have found me, and I could have been with my new family. It would have been beautiful. I would have been remembered in a nice way. She was just a kid, taken too soon. How could God be so cruel? No one ever asks how God could have been so fucking cruel when an alcoholic takes their own life, or a mentally ill adult commits suicide. Oh no, they chose that. But as a community let’s ignore the fact that it was God that made them, and chose the family, and put the abusers in their lives, and let them meet the people that would ultimately break them in two. It was God that put them in situations that He knew they couldn’t handle. But no. We don’t ask why God was so cruel when they are adults. It just isn’t as tragic.
Sometimes people ask others, what’s your deepest, darkest secret? Well. That’s mine. When I was eight or nine, I already knew I wasn’t supposed to be here. I knew I wasn’t alone, and that there were voices in my head that wanted me dead. I think they knew what was going to happen in my future. They knew I was sick, and that surrendering that day would have been a mercy killing. No one would ever believe that an eight year old was suicidal. I didn’t plan it. I never thought about ways to end it. But every time I was presented with a way out, I took it. Despite not fully understanding what death meant, I gladly chose the path to the end. And it never worked out.
What’s really sick and twisted? I have two tattoos that commemorate this day. “Washed along the shore,” for obvious reasons. And then I got a mermaid and an octopus tattoo. There are many reasons behind this one, but this event is the main one. It reminds me of that day, and I picture my mermaid as the creature that was calling me. It was the mermaid that I was supposed to be with that day, and I missed my chance. Goddamn you brother. Goddamn you to hell.