TW/CW: Sui, Self Harm, Death
Wounds so deep they never show, they never go away,
Like moving pictures in my head, for years and years they’ve played.
This was by no means the first Linkin Park song that found a home in my CD player as a teen, a few years prior the album Hybrid Theory was in a solid rotation (thanks largely to the fact that you couldn’t turn on an alt rock station without hearing In The End). But this song held so much weight to a 13-year-old who was drowning in herself.
Writing about trauma is fucking hard, it involves opening doors we would rather leave closed, but for me, it’s writing about the aftermath that is far harder.
I’m a proud person, and I pride myself on being (or trying to be) strong and unwavering, I’d like to think I was born that way but I know it’s just a survival mechanism. Because of that pride, it’s incredibly hard for me to look back on being broken, hard to admit the ways in which I feel that I still am. But back to the song.
While I’d rather not dive too deep into my skeleton riddled closet, I will simply say that at 13, after some deeply traumatic events and a childhood riddled with emotional and physical abuse, I wanted to self-destruct. I felt, and was, incredibly alone. I would do anything to numb myself or distract my mind, from heavy drug use to self-harm. I just wanted to stop feeling… everything. The thought of death wasn’t scary to me and I often rolled the idea of suicide around my brain because that was a way out. That was peace.
On a particularly bad night, I remember listening to Meteora and though I’m certain I had heard Easier To Run before I’m not sure that I had ever really listened to the lyrics. I wept.
Sometimes I remember the darkness of my past,
Bringing back these memories I wish I didn’t have.
Crying was not something I did (crying was frowned upon by my mother when I was a child so I eventually reached a point that I just… didn’t) but this song broke me in a good way. This song put my emotions into words and helped me to not feel so alone in my brokenness, someone else wished earnestly that they didn’t have the memories they did, someone else wanted to run.
It’s not like this song magically healed me. It wasn’t the only and not even the most important song that helped me through that dark time in my life, hell it’s not even my favorite Linkin Park song. But when I heard today that Chester Bennington took his own life this memory came rushing back.
It’s a bizarre thing to me that someone who’s music helped me in my darkest times lost themselves to the same darkness. His voice pulled me from the edge and gave me a renewed urge to fight yet he lost his own battle. It’s just so surreal.
Some like to say that suicide is selfish. I think if you have that stance you’ve likely never been there, you’ve never stared at the void like that and truly felt that the only way your soul could possibly find peace is in death. It’s exhausting when the ghosts and demons of your past never let you rest, and knowing about his own traumatic childhood I can’t help but feel that those forces won in the end because he just couldn’t fight anymore, and I can’t hold that against anyone.
I hope with all my heart that he finds peace in whatever awaited him on the other side. I hope that his ghosts and demons leave him be.
And for those of us still here, still fighting, I hope you stick around. I know that sometimes the darkness seems inescapable, I know that sometimes even taking a breath is hard, I know that you feel alone and broken and unworthy and weak. I know. But please know that you are not in this alone, know that I am breathing here with you and I am so thankful for that, know that the darkness will ebb and flow, that you are strong because you are still here, that though you may be broken you are in good company. We are in this together. And though I may not know you I love you and I am rooting for you.
If you feel close to the end please reach out. And if you have friends who struggle with depression and suicidal ideation please reach out to them.
National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-8255