caliber rifle out of the gun cabinet. It was the perfect size to get out of the house unnoticed. One hollow point bullet. We lived in a rural community. The nearest rescue station was 18 minutes away and unmanned. They had to be summoned by pagers and air-horns. The closest hospital was 18 minutes away. The only persons whom at the time, my younger brother and my elderly grandfather. The community was nothing more than 10 acres of woods seperated by 20 acres of fields with a house and so on and so on.
At 4PM, there were few people home on that Friday Night...I was alone. I climbed out of a window with the rifle. I also grabbed a small Gideon's KJV bible. I walked the .25 miles into the woods and sat down next to a small tranquil creek on a discarded milk crate. I sat for about an hour trying to work up the nerve to shoot myself.
My mother left me without so much a goodbye when I was 4. She wrote me when I was 9 and told me, "You have a brother...maybe one day you can come visit us.." she replaced me. My step mother frequently bragged to me how much better my brother was. I was a sissy, loser that was invisible to the world and had no value or worth. I lived in fear, went to school with bruises and malnourished and no one said anything. I was tired and thought suicide would set me free. But I couldn't pull the trigger. After an hour, I gave up and started to walk back home...than I remembered the list and the grades.
My father, liked list. Not finishing the task on the list would illicit a violent blowback. Because I had been in the woods with a rifle for 1 hour, I sqaundered 1 hour of daylight. He would be home before six. Also, they were expecting good grades on Monday. The failed report cards were in my shirt pocket next to my suicide note.
I went and sat back down next to the small creek on the milk crate. I leafed through the bible...hoping it would inspire me. I struggled with the KJV words, also the text looked microscopic. I shut the bible and laid it on the ground. I closed my eyes and prayed this, "Dear God...send an Angel and deliver me please.." The prayer was heart felt and sincere. I imagined when I opened my eyes I would encounter a burning bush. No moment, I assumed God didn't exist or he was to busy to care for me.
I loaded the rifle and placed it 1 inch left of sternum. I simply didn't pay attention in Anatomy class and thought of the Pledge of Allegiance or I would have aimed more to the right. I pulled the trigger.
The first thing I saw was the muzzle flash before anything. Light moves faster than sound. Nothing could've prepared me for what I had done to myself. The kinetic energy made my chest feel like it was nothing more than a cracking egg. The smells were terrible. Sticky hot sweet aroma mixed with the bitter brass taste of gun powder. For a moment I couldn't see because of the camera flash "pop" light in my eyes. Forget breathing.
If you or anyone is struggling with thoughts of suicide here is what you need to know:
Life is a gift like good health. Remember the last time you were sick? You regretted taking good health for granted. Likewise, I regretted pulling the trigger and wanted to get up off the ground and have a do over. Once a bullet leaves, its gone forever. After twenty seven years...my chest still hurts from it.
Second...nothing can prepare you for it. Nothing. It would be like a dude trying to imagine what a mom goes through when she is pushing a baby out. No manner of education can express what a mom is going through unless you are pushing out a baby. This was no different. There were elements of dying a violent death through suicide I had been ignorant about. I thought I was ready for it...until the bullet hit. My body's will to live fought back. You can't turn that off anymore you can will yourself to not sweat, digest food or make urine.
As I started to bleed out, I became aware of another reality. This reality engaged me. I didn't want to die. I could barely breathe or walk. Let alone yell across the expanse of woods, fields to get help. IMO..it was an Angel that engaged me.
I went aprox 90 minutes without surgical intervention. I don't recollect a traditional NDE moments reported unless the moment of shooting myself was so traumatic much of it has been blocked by my brain to minimize the trauma. I did wake up in the ICU several days before the shuttle Challenger disaster. I struggled with ice chips let alone converse with the events on that Friday nite. While watching television I watched that crew perish. I remember thinking, "They went further than me.." They passed a veil. I knew the transition they were going through instinctively that is my only real sensation I knew was different. I didn't have this prior to the shooting. There are a few minor details but this is long. For years adults wanted to discuss with me the shooting and "boy, you came as close to being dead without being gone forever..." I couldn't talk about it. I know the surgeon had to manipulate my heart to keep it going I can almost still feel his hands on it. Or the sensation of my sternum being compressed. It wasn't until this past year I could sit down and honestly look at where I came from when I was a teenager, I broke the cycle of abuse. My children haven't the foggiest idea what it means to lay in a bed, afraid any moment someone is going to throw a door open and drag them out of the bed in the middle of the night to hit them, scream at them, throw plates of food at them or call them a F*ck up that will never amount to anything.
If you are suicidal please, seek help. Life is worth living even when its beating the snot out of you. It hasn't been easy. People have shunned me all of my life post shooting when the truth about my past came out. They told me in the hospital, you would have had better luck if you had your legs cut off or been burned in a fire than have those scars from a self-inflicted gun shot wound. Much of the horse crap we are told makes us happy, doesn't matter a hill of beans when you take your last breathe. For me, what I focused on: My thoughts were on God and i wanted to grow up and be a father. I didn't think about college or girls, cars etc...I've been called more names than should be allowed in a supposedly civilized society as a result of the shooting. Imagine being 17 years old at a pool trying to swim and there is a bullet pock mark next to your breast bone and a thoracotmy scar from left nipple to spine, "Hey kid, where did you get those scars?"
27 years of life I almost didn't live. I wouldn't have had the joy of being a dad or the simple joy of saying, "today I want to get up and just be thankful