A few days ago a friend of mine (and reader of HumanMe) posed this question to me (summarized):

It’s been said that people fear death more than anything, I’d fear suffering more, personally. What were you most afraid of at the time you committed your offense?

I feared neither suffering nor death. I’ve been tortured my entire life. It was life I was most afraid of…living. Death, I accepted. Suffering I knew. It was life I was most afraid of.

I couldn’t understand a world, and still struggle with it, that is accepting. I was never shown that. There was these rare glimpses of hope that I would see, flashes of light that I could see from the corner of my eye but never knew if they were real or not. I would always be returned to a state of unrest and was told it was listlessness, childishness, or I was too emotional. As a child I feared emotions the most. I suppose as an adult I was just as subjected to that fear. But as a child emotions were this viscous material that clung to my face marking me with a scarlet letter. Emotions meant no more safety.

This produced a great deal of suffering. A great deal of not talking about what was really going on with me. Uncertainty and no comprehension that I could live. Living was for others and their dreams. Living was a fairy tale I read about and never quite understood. Living was what I feared most.

It was like standing on the edge of the tallest building on earth and looking straight down and not even being able to see the bottom and knowing that if I don’t leap I will never live but I had never seen anyone try before. I’d seen examples of people on the ground, alive and well. I’d seen all the people who stood at the edge and then stepped away in fear, laughing that I wasn’t “fated” to be part of the elite who jump. So I sat, in humiliation that I had not even tried. I lived up to the title I was given, the reputation that preceded my birth, an ooze from the bowels of those who didn’t want me to begin with- my own parents.

And when I did something awful, I walked towards death, that sweet friend of solace that kissed my cheek each night, and instead of a warm embrace I was rejected. I’ve always been one prone to extremes and if I couldn’t rely on death to rescue me- I could no longer tolerate the in between. Mediocrity, the nothing in the middle of choice. Ether.

So I jumped because I had nothing left to lose. I chose to face my fear because I had nothing left to *choose*.

Thanks for listening.

Ruth