I was set to start my first year of college in late September of 2011. On August 1 of that year, I learned that a neighbor of mine, Dana, who was 3 years older than me died of a drug overdose. He was going into his senior year at the very same university that I was about to attend. My parents told my sister and I this at the dinner table and got very emotional and told us that we would always have a home with them and that they loved us (and I bitch and moan about them all the time, but they're amazing).
Anyway, the memorial service ended up being on August 20 because of autopsies and that kind of stuff. I went with my parents to be a good neighbor, but I felt really awkward about the whole thing as I hadn't really ever had to deal with death before. My sister had left to study abroad a few days prior so I didn't really know anyone there my age.
The service itself finished and everyone headed into the gym/multi-purpose room for food and that kind of stuff. There was a long line of people who would go up to the parents of Dana and pay their respects and give their sympathies. My parents and I got into this line.
It was our turn, and all I could say was "Sorry." I let my mom do most of the talking. However, Dana's mother turned to me and asked me what my plans were. I said that I was going to start school in September and just leave it at that, not really wanting to get more specific. However, she asked me where I was going to school and I had to say that I was about to start going to the very same school that her dead son was not able to graduate from.
It was a very quick moment, but I saw the past 3 weeks of stress, emotion, grief and whatever else all show on her face at once. And then she smiled at me and wished me luck. I thanked her and walked quickly to the bathroom to calm down.
It was absolutely horrifying and I just felt absolutely horrible. I hated myself for that, for causing someone to feel as terrible as I just did. I knew logically that there wasn't a lot that I could do to avoid it, but it made me realize something. I never wanted to be responsible for anything like that again. My parents love me and I love them. Same with my sister. My best friends. I don't want to do that to anybody in my life. The most proactive way to avoid that is to...not kill myself. So far so good.
I ended up getting really depressed my freshman year. I ended up meeting someone who was manipulative, abusive and passive-aggressive and lied about everything. She became obsessed with me when she realized that she "liked" me and I didn't feel the same way about her. I thought I could trust her anyway because she convinced me she was a friend. I confided in her much of what I wrote out here. Once when she got angry with me for "ignoring" her, she told our RA that I was suicidal.
She did a lot of shitty things. She lied to me, trying to get me to like her. She tried to convince me that my best friend didn't care about me and that she was the only one that did. She blame her cutting issues on me. Mind you, she was 22 and I was 18. I had no fucking clue what to do in this kind of situation. But the absolute worst thing she did, the worst thing that has ever happened to me, something that I am even hesitant to talk about with people that I love is that she went to my RA and told her that I was suicidal.
I had told her about what happened with Dana. She knew that hurting myself would be the absolute worst thing that I could ever do to myself. It would go against any and all of my own principles, which was all I had at this point. And she just completely shits on it. It took me a quite a few meetings with the RA, with the CRE (boss of the RAs) and a school counselor to them to leave me alone about it.
So yeah, that story went off on a bit of a tangent. But I've been thinking a lot about that whole situation lately. My thoughts have evolved over the past couple of years now that I'm in my last year of college. I'm still affected by it all. I'm still depressed and I still have trust issues while also feeling completely dependent on approval of others. All of that and I still feel responsible for everything that goes wrong with everyone.
Thanks for asking, OP. I guess this was kind of therapeutic to write out.