I was sitting alone in a rundown trailer in the woods, surrounded by five acres of trees that crowded the blue sky. I had 60 aminophylline pills in my hand, hoping they would end my life. As an asthmatic, I believed that this was the best way to escape my problems, and no one would ever find me in this remote location.
My husband and I had moved to this place to get away from the city, to live off the land and pretend to be hippies. I was young and naive, and I thought I had found my magic man. However, his love, gaslighting, and incredible charm turned out to be a bunch of red flags. I had grown up being told by my parents that I was fat, ugly, and stupid, so when he threw breadcrumbs of love my way, I grabbed them because I had never experienced anything better.
For four years, I thought we were living in bliss. He would gaze into my eyes and profess his love for me, and I believed every word. I was halfway through nursing school and almost there, but he started to distance himself from me. He would come home late from work, sleep on the couch, and go on business trips with another woman. He claimed it was all business, but the truth was revealed after four years of marriage. My husband was having an affair with his colleague, and our marriage was just a farce.
The day I found out, he left me and went to live with his brother in Texas. He packed his bags and said he needed to take care of himself, and I realized that’s all he had ever done. Her husband, a deer hunter, even grabbed his gun and was going to come after my husband, which felt like something straight out of a country song.
I held the 60 pills in my hand, staring at the Bible and praying while Pink Floyd’s “Shine on you crazy diamond” played on the record player. I felt crazy but knew I was a diamond. I chose not to ingest the pills and decided to finish nursing school. An older nurse advised me to wrap my troubles in a blanket and send them up to God.
My husband was like a continuation of my parents, and I had poor survival skills. I was afraid to go out but also afraid to stay in. However, I chose not to take my life. Eventually, we tried to repair our marriage, and three children later brought me great joy. Although my husband returned to me with a litany of forever apologies, he never changed his ways and remained unfaithful to the end. After he passed away from cancer in multiple organs, we scattered his ashes into the winds on a mountaintop.
Although I had a tormented soul, I must have had a guardian angel watching over me. When I look into my little granddaughter’s eyes, I see their innocence, brilliance, magic, and beauty, and there is nothing more in life that I want or need than my children, grandchildren, and puppies by my side.
My message to anyone who may be struggling is to not give up and call for help. Help is available, and the little light inside you shines through. You can get through anything. Call #988 if you need immediate help.
Debbie Moore-Black is a nurse who blogs at Do Not Resuscitate.