I Am Enough -- A Survivor's Story -- By Paris Scott
When you see the blood dripping from your arm, that slight pain, that minor release from the numb feeling you're stuck living in, gives you pleasure. That pleasure gives you strength and at that moment, you truly feel that you’re enough. You feel that you are worth it like the world is your oyster. That pleasure then fades quickly and you're back in that numb state, where you feel nothing, where the earth doesn’t spin, and everything seems so bleak. That’s when your life fades back to black. And living seems purposeless. “Paris, come down the stairs, it's time to go!” she calls up to you, yelling in the frustration of the morning. You get an attitude and then realize that the “she” is your mother Shavay, and if you give any type of back talk or attitude she will raise hell. You respond with a quick and quiet “Coming,” and rush to clean up the bloody mess you caused in the bathroom. You wet your face just a little so you look more alive than dead. You practice your fake smile, so you can get used to the fact that you have to smile through the numbness. Not only are you numb to the painful memories and emotions but the good ones as well. You aren’t depressed or sad. you're just there. Existing! Not living nor dying but merely surviving. But even then you have no means of survival because you wanted to numb the pain so you’ve numbed your reason for wanting to be alive as well. That’s why you slice your arms with razors so deep that you feel something.
You’ve been numb for so long that you hate it and would give anything just to feel. So you slice and slice and slice until you're bleeding like crazy, just for that moment of release. Another realization pops into your head and you notice that you’re reading a story and that the story isn’t yours but mine. My name is Paris Scott and I am a suicide survivor. No, I didn’t purposely try to commit suicide but I wanted to release myself from the numbness. I then got the help I needed so, let me tell you the story. November of 2020 was the month everything went down. I was numb. Had been for a while. I didn’t feel anything at all. The deep slices to my arm were the only things that gave me a little satisfaction. I felt alone. Lost. Have you ever felt that? The emptiness? Where you could be in a room full of people, a room full of family and friends, and still feel empty and alone? I felt like that all the time until I expelled myself from the feeling. That morning when I rushed to clean the bathroom, I took a little too long doing so. My mom then came upstairs angry and pissed. *Bang *Bang*, she hit the door angrily. “Paris, open this door! What are you doing in that bathroom?” “Mom, I am coming, hold on!” I say a little above a whisper. She messes with the door and gets it opened. I looked up and her face told me everything. She looked terrified and sad at the same time. I didn’t have the courage or energy to explain what she saw and she didn’t have the words or thoughts to form the questions. The silence is what killed me the most. We both sat there in silence. It seemed as if we stared at each other for hours but only two minutes had gone by. Once I registered what was happening. I tried to slowly get back to cleaning the bloody mess and wetting my face as if I was still going to school. As I continued she just stood there. Eyes big like a deer in headlights. I didn’t know her thoughts exactly but I’m pretty sure she thought she knew her daughter and it finally clicked that she didn’t. She began to move her muscles in her arms, then her torso and following were her legs. She took the paper towels and things out of my hands and slowly began to clean the bathroom herself. I took that as a sign to just exit the bathroom. I went to my room and walked in with a slight hesitation. Of course, I knew we were going to talk about what she had seen. Soon, I figured, but how soon? I didn’t know. I plopped on the bed and just stared at the ceiling for a bit. Little did I know I would doze off so soon. Hours went by and the courage to form questions grew in my mom like a harvest. I know so because she woke me up at around 6 o'clock asking them. The questions are pretty much a blur but my answers weren’t. Most of the answers were nonchalant like “yes, no, I’m not sure, and I don’t know.” It’s not like I didn’t know the answers but was too numb to find them or honestly didn’t have the courage to search for them and was too numb anyway. “Let’s go for a ride okay? Just me and you,” she says with a shiver in her voice. I suspected it was a trap but didn’t care. The car had already been started up as we walked outside. We hopped in and the awkward silence started again. The whole car ride was quiet. As silence crept up and around the car, my eyeballs were trying their hardest not to watch my eyelids. Staying alert was difficult but I tried my best. As we pulled into this strange parking lot, there was a bright sign to my right. I attempted to read it but couldn’t make out the words. Before I knew it we were inside a mental hospital and I was being admitted. Saying goodbye was easy for me but for my mom not so much. She cried and cried and kept saying she was sorry but didn’t know what else to do. I, at that moment in time, could care less about anything she was saying. A staff member walked me to the children's part of the hospital where I saw boys and girls but of course, they were separated. The air smelled of feet and peppermints and the walls were painted white and yellow. The staff member showed me to a room where I was patted down like a prisoner and stripped like one as well. This was of course during the time the coronavirus had started so they gave us masks, which no one wore, and took the wires out of them for “safety” reasons. I was then given new clothes and had to sign a whole bunch of papers about my life and nonsense. I was bored. The whole vibe of the place was boring and I felt that I had no reason or a true need to be there but then again my feelings conflicted because I didn’t care. After the whole pat down and paper signing, they placed me in a room full of the younger girls. They welcomed me with open arms and I denied every single one of them. I sat in a corner by myself and went to sleep.
Days went by when I did the same routine. I woke up at 6, did group therapy, saw a psychiatrist, took meds, and slept. I chose not to eat. I was truly never really hungry. On a Friday night, my routine changed. That night I didn’t sleep. That night I lay awake staring into the hallway of the rooms. I wanted to feel something. I wanted my moment of release. I got up and looked around for anything that was or that I could make sharp. At that point, it was like needing heroin. It was like needing a high that first high you received. I needed that release from emptiness but I couldn’t find anything. So I cried. I cried myself to sleep that night wishing to be normal and the next day is when the routine changed just a little more. I ate something and actually listened to the leader of group therapy.
“Paris,” she called out. I looked sharply. “Why are you here?” she asked. As if I knew the answer. I responded with a quick I don’t know and went back to looking elsewhere. “Paris! Why are you here?” she asked again. I chose not to respond. She asked the question once more and I then broke. “What do you want from me? You want to know why I’m here. I'll tell you why I’m here. I’m here because I’m alone and have been crying out for help for months and no one hears me. I drown in my own tears every day and night and I'm suffocated by my own thoughts with no one to grab the pillow off me. My disease kills me each and every day and not one person wants to reach out and grab my hand as I continue to hang from the cliff I'm on. As I take my last gulp of air and the current pulls me down. Instead of discussing it I chose to numb it and I chose to not feel the pain not realizing it would numb the best parts of me as well. Not realizing I would lose who I was as a person to the numbness taking over me and now I want to feel any emotion possible. Even if the pain is the emotion I feel it’s better than nothing.” After all that said it felt like a weight had been lifted off of my chest and the room looked at me crooked. I assumed it was because I hadn’t spoken over two words since I had been there and this itty bitty teacher pushed me enough and got me to tell my whole life summary. I felt something at that moment. Though it was slight, I did feel something and it was anger. I stormed out of the group session and just went to my room. I stayed in the room for the rest of the day and broke down. I was completely consumed with all different types of emotions that I truly didn’t know what to do with them.
Maybe that’s why I truly went numb in the beginning. I didn’t know how to handle all the emotions that took over me. The emotions consumed me that night and I didn’t know what to do. All I knew was that I was feeling something. The next morning I asked to talk to the therapist. I asked her why she called me out of everyone in that session. I demanded answers. “I chose you because there’s more to you than you think. I just really need you to know that you are enough.”When she said that my chest felt heavy and all the answers to all the questions I had been avoiding were just there. It was as if they were always there too. I knew why I went numb because I was tired of feeling like I wasn’t enough for anyone to help. Like I was always on a higher pedal stool and I couldn’t just be in pain and in need of help when needed. I knew it was somewhat my fault though. But I just needed to fix it.
Months after I recovered. I got the help I needed and stopped slicing my arm. I am now doing okay. It just took one woman to show me that I was enough.No, the recovery road was not easy and I am still recovering til this day but now I have the tools and help that I was missing.