© Copyright 2020 by Nastassja Ocasio
Over 13 years ago, at the tender age of 19, I had it all figured out. I knew how I was going to do it, how many hearts I was going to break and how many people I was going to finally put at ease. In my heart, I was a burden, a failure; a girl who couldn’t love the right way because I didn’t try hard enough while I was being told that I was trying way too hard. Loving way too hard meant putting myself behind the backburner of my priorities and loving too little meant putting myself front and center while everything and everyone most important to me looked on from the audience. Disconnect.
It was at that very moment, four months after my 20th birthday, that the stars aligned in my favor and all it took was one phone call, one argument, one line, “Just kill yourself already,” that recoiled my body back into a state of disconnect where I decided that every single thing I had ever tried to do or thought about was going to lead up to this one moment in my life that I might never get back. I found myself tear stained and empty as I emptied my bottle of orange pills onto my desk and accounted for each one as I swallowed my hurt away. Darkness enveloped my overdose slowly and it was at that moment, I finally felt connected to the cold, black universe.
They won’t tell you that it will hurt. They won’t tell you just how fast your heart will run itself into the cage its kept in. They won’t tell you that you’re just another kid who has done something “stupid” to seek attention. And they certainly won’t tell you that you’ll survive and live to tell the story of what it’s like to die and come back and face all the confusion you left behind. They won’t tell you that. They make you believe that it’s easy and quick and painless and that you’ll be another sad story; another lesson to be learned on what not to do and what can be helped. They made me believe that I in fact really wanted to live and that what I had done was considered a call for help. I called for help and I was directed to do what I thought I should do. My heart was rather disappointed because I battled with my head on the inside who kept stating, “Well, I must’ve dialed the wrong number.” I was back to square one: disconnect.
I remember being so angry. Angry that my friend found me before it was too late, angry that I had been given another chance when I knew I didn’t deserve one, angry that I had to face everyone I hurt and everyone who felt betrayed that I couldn’t come to them with my sadness. What people didn’t seem to understand was that, at the time, this was my only solution to happiness beyond comprehension and at those very delicate moments, it’s extremely hard to fight with your brain. It was a mental toothache. The pain, so focused and unbearable, leaving it hard for you to want anything more than to rid yourself of it. You’ll do whatever it takes and sometimes, whatever it takes isn’t enough.
I was asked, “why?” more times that I could count and all I could bring myself to think was that I didn’t want to be here anymore. I didn’t want to cause myself or anyone else anymore pain. That I was just done being me, being here. I was done being a bad girlfriend, being the basis for all the hatred and anger I felt from someone I loved more than anyone else. I couldn’t live up to his expectations and to his needs. I was the reason why he paid more attention to other people than to me and the reason why he was seeing someone else I wasn’t supposed to know about. That I had driven him to hit me and yell at me and say things to me that made me feel that whatever I was going to do, would validate everything I had ever considered.
A part of me thought that all these answers to the whys would be enough, but it wasn’t. If I was going to live to see another day, I would have to come up with an entirely new reason, a lie, because opening myself up to people who had no idea as to what I was going through, was like stepping out on stage for the first time, exposed and inhibited. And in the spotlight. My whole world involved living in the shadows and I wanted to just… be there. Internally, I was languishing in some sort of provisional state because it wasn’t only a thought anymore. I tried to end my life and now I had to deal with the aftermath. I felt that I had put myself in a worse position than from the moment I left myself to break free from my demons.
I knew eventually I would break, but I held it in for as long as I could. It wasn’t until I met my psychiatrist that I spoke with anyone about the feelings that lived deep inside of me. It took a while, but we spent time throughout my weeks engulfed in my thoughts, carefully slicing through old wounds and delving deep inside new ones. We took a tour throughout my mind and body, taking a detour here and there, and making sure to hit every stop along the way. We cried, we laughed, and we listened. We listened to the frail beat of my heart and the sounds of sadness that echoed from the valves that connected them to the main center of my emotions.
Over the course of time, my thoughts of not having anything to live for slowly diminished. It wasn’t easy and it took years, but I gradually started to learn about myself then and even started to deliberate my feelings as my own and appreciate them because they were a part of me. I started to learn how to not be ashamed by them and even realized that everyone shared this common ground of sorrow and solitude and misperception. The stretch of disconnect held within me eased a bit. I still struggled with the thought of asking for help because I didn’t want to seem like a burden and I surely didn’t want anyone to think that I still harbored feelings of harm, but I managed to appreciate the amount of support I had from my family and friends and use that as a catalyst to be more open.
Four years after the incident, I met someone who took every fear that I had going into a new relationship and threw it away right in front of me. It took loving myself first, which I still mildly struggle with to this day, to be able to love someone else. I can say in all honesty that almost 14 years later, I am happy, I am loved and that I feel whole. I wish I could have told my 19-year-old self to just wait a few years and see how happy she would eventually be. I would’ve told her that she’ll grow up to be a really happy, strong and outgoing woman with a heart made to beat hard and fast and loud in the name of everything she put herself into. I would’ve told her that no one in the world could ever have that hold on her again. I’d tell her that people truly love her and that I love her. And that she is no longer disconnected in the dark.
love for reading and writing began at the tender age of 5 when I
would sit in my room and compose my own stories by recording them
into my cassette player using the pictures in my books. My parents
had given me a typewriter at a very young age and as soon as I was
able to put my thoughts into words, I wrote poems and stories almost
more than I can count. Besides writing, I am a professional cake
decorator and baker. I absolutely love my job. I also love to cook,
paint, travel, exercise, listen to music and maintain a happy and