I heard about this site, loveislouder.com, just a couple days ago and it hit me hard and hasn’t let go since. I heard about it through an Instagram post by one of my favorite actors, Ian Bohen. It has caused two pieces of art and this post in just a couple of days. I think I might get a whole series of artwork done before it lets go.
When I was a teenager, I was severely depressed. Looking back on it, I couldn’t really tell you one thing that caused that depression. We moved twice in just a couple years. My grandmother died from cancer. My other grandmother moved in with us because she had a stroke. I hit puberty hard. While there was a lot going on, there wasn’t one tragedy that stands out as this is it. This is why I was depressed. At age 15, I tried to slit my wrists. It was a desperate cry for help.
That night is one that is burned into my memory forever. I tried to call my best friend at the time, but I don’t think she realized what was going on. She didn’t stay on the phone for me to tell her. My parents had left the house and taken my siblings and grandmother with them. I had refused to go with them. I don’t even remember where they were going. I think that the only thing that saved my life that night was that the pocket knife I had was dull and I couldn’t think straight enough to go into the kitchen for a sharp knife. I remember crying and screaming at the top of my lungs. My only thought was that I wanted someone to see me, to love me. Love is what I craved.
A few weeks later, I was talking to a girl at school. I told her what I tried. To this day, I don’t remember her name or what she looked like. What I do remember is being dragged into the guidance counselor’s office. I remember my parents yelling at the principal and counselor. I remember this girl crying when I said she was lying. I remember one piece of her story. I had told her I tried to commit suicide on the one year anniversary of when she tried.
After that, there was several doctors’ visits and finally a three and a half month commitment to the Psychiatric Institute of Richmond. It was rough and I don’t know how much that three and a half months helped. The depression didn’t go away. There was no magic pill. While I didn’t try to kill myself again, I did act out in other ways. Sex became a release. Alcohol and drugs became a part of my life, though never overwhelmingly so. I kept looking for my one true love. Someone that would only love me. I didn’t understand love, but I wanted it.
Over the years, I have been in relationships, but never married. I have had two daughters, but didn’t raise them. I did not love myself, so could not truly love them. Now, I just turned 41. I live with my best friend of 21 years. We have never been and will never be lovers, but she is the love of my life. She is the most important person in my world. She loves me.
Marsha has kept me sane and helped me through all the rough parts of the last 20+ years. When my youngest daughter’s father broke up with me after three years of being engaged, only to marry our roommate 10 months later, Marsha was there for me. When my dad almost died from an aneurysm behind his left eye, Marsha was there for me. When I lost jobs, quit school due to lack of funds, Marsha was there for me. When my migraines got so bad I couldn’t work and even now when I can only work part-time, Marsha is here for me. This is love.
While depression doesn’t go away, I haven’t even thought of killing myself since the day I met Marsha. Part of that is growing up, but most of it is knowing that there is someone who loves me.