Triggers: Transgender dysphoria/suicide.
She goes deathly calm. Then, in a almost imperceptible monotone she speaks. " I'll take a
rope from the cupboard..."
She uses the phrase "it hurts" and " I can't go on." so many times I lose track. Her eyes beg me to tell her it's OK to die. I can't bring myself to accept that, but I feel cruel and selfish for it.
"All I can do is keep going, fueled by the desperation of ending this pain. It's like a sharp ache...that never dulls."
She looks at me for minutes on end, never breaking eye contact. Tears roll silently down her face, too dignified for snot or puffy eyes they just leak out. I hold her hands and she crushes them but says "Don't touch me" when I try to hug her. I take my chances and rest an arm over her anyway. I wipe the tears from her face with slow precise exacting gentleness.
"I have to go on. I take care of you because I must. I work when I can find a breath in the agony on only those things that might save me.
But we both know nothing can save me. We can't get surgery. Nobody will pay for it. "
Her face forms shapes I've never seen. I hold myself in stasis, gently smiling and holding her eye contact as my eyes brim. I hold this space for her, even though my mind is losing it's shit with horror and fear.
Her eyes are dull. Vacant. She is everywhere in the eyes of torture victims I've seen in photographs - the ones who lived.
We've had a quarter bottle of jack just to get her defenses down this far.
She's been alone so long, before I came, with nobody to care how she feels, that she has no idea how to tell me what she's feeling. I say "It's like a story".
At the end,both of us fading into sleep, we just stare at each other, filled with quiet desperation, like lovers in a car crash saying goodbye because you already know one of you might not make it to morning if the other can't stay awake and find help. I must find help. But where? She is a nameless face in a crowd. The surplus people.
I'm scared to sleep. If I hide the rope...who am I kidding. She built hydrogen gas bombs as a kid in the well on their farm. How can I stop her. I must live with what she lives with.
Is today the end of my willpower?
Is today my last moment?
There is no help. We've been through therapy and drugs. Now it is surgery or death.
I have always known this
I've known this for two years - she was dying.
Every moment was cherished
I may only have so few.
I have always accepted she may not make it. 45% suicide rate.
That statistic haunts me like a taunting spectre when we make plans to go to South America one day, or climb a mountain when I've mastered my physio.
She will not be alone when this suffering is all she knows.
She will not be alone at the end after a life like like hers