First of all, I want you to know that I love you so very much. You’re such a good mom and such a good person. I wish I could be half the person you are.
Remember when you asked me the other day if I’m suicidal? You were fighting with my baby sister and in a fit of anger, she blurted something out about how I want to kill myself. When you asked, I said of course not.
I’m really sorry I lied to you.
I know you don’t want to hear this. I don’t think this is something that parenting handbooks and years of being an excellent parent really prepare you for. But this is the reality of the matter, and I don’t know how much longer I can put off talking about it.
I think about killing myself every single day. Admittedly, some days are better than others. Some days, the thought doesn’t come up until the very end of the day, right before bed. But it’s there, all the time. It scratches at my skull like an awful tick. Sometimes, the thought is so nagging that I can’t sleep. I just sit in bed and cry. And I think about how much better off everyone else would be without me.
I can’t explain why I feel this way. I know that’s probably one of your biggest questions. I’m going to be honest here, even though it’s probably going to sound like a terrible thing to say. But here it is: it’s not entirely your fault. I say this because as my parent, you’ve taught me what to value, what determines worth, what is good and bad, etc. And for whatever reason, I’ve learned from you (along with the environment I grew up in: society, the media, friends, teachers, all that jazz) that I’m not valuable, that I’m not worth much, that I’m not good. I couldn’t pinpoint for you exactly when and where these statements became facts in my mind. But they’re there. I’ve developed a strong hatred and disgust for myself that is almost unbearable.
I know that everyone wants me to say that the way I feel about myself has nothing to do with what you’ve done as a parent. That’s the answer you want to hear. But as you and Dad have always said, wouldn’t you rather hear it from me than from someone else? I want to be honest with you. I hate lying to you; it burns me up inside. But you and Dad haven’t exactly created an environment that promotes talking frankly about how I feel, especially when how I feel disagrees with something you believe to be true.
You probably want to know more about why I want to kill myself. Well, a lot of it has to with the fact that I don’t feel like I’ve ever lived up to the expectations I had for my life as a kid. When I was younger, I had these grand ideas about how my life was going to go. I’d be successful, smart, rich, and beautiful. I’d be constantly surrounded by friends. I’d be loved by everyone I meet. I’d be everything my parents always said I would be.
Well, I don’t feel successful. At least not to the extent 12-year-old me would have wanted. I’m not nearly as smart as I once thought myself to be (my grades are a good indication of that). I’m definitely not rich, since I don’t have a job that pays above minimum wage. I haven’t felt beautiful since I was a kid. Beautiful and me just don’t go in the same sentence in my book. Not even on the same page. I don’t really have many friends. Not like I used to. I’ve always blamed my terrible personality and all-around unfriendliness for that. And of the people I’ve met, I think more people dislike me than like me.
I feel like I’m constantly disappointing people. You, Dad, my sister, my boyfriend, myself. I just keep letting people down. I keep getting things wrong. It feels like the proportion of things I do right is exponentially smaller than the proportion of things I do wrong. And there’s always someone mad at me. There’s always someone waiting for me to screw up. There’s always someone saying that I’m just going to keep making a mess. And so far, I keep proving them right.
It just hurts to look in the mirror and not like the person I’m seeing. I want more than anything to be happy with myself. But I’m not. And I haven’t been for a long time. There are so many great things about my life. Basically everything about my life is great, except me. And I like to think that I’m the most important part.
I’m really hurting, Mom. I really wish I could tell you that. I wish you knew how much I’m suffering, so you could help me. Because you’re my mom, and I know that you would want to help. But I’m not brave enough to tell you. I’m not brave enough to break your heart like that. I don’t know what to do, Mom. I’m so lost.
I love you. And I miss talking to you. I hope one day we can talk. I could really use it right now.