(Content Warning: Attempted Suicide, Violence, gory description, mentions of my own problems with suicidal ideation)
FJ and I sat down tonight and drank the last of my good whisky. I had about a triple I suspect. I haven’t needed a drink like that in a long time but tonight I really did.
I need to anonymise some of this in a way I don’t often need to but where I was today and what I saw was because of work so I’m going to skip some bits of the story and just concentrate on the bits relevant to me.
I saw a schoolgirl caught up in barbed wire, hanging from a bridge. She was in her uniform. She’d tried to jump off the bridge to kill herself but got caught by the wire.
I got hyper-focussed at one point on a single small drop of blood that landed on a rail below her and near to me.
I had nothing that I was able to do through seeing her and watching others reassure her, cut through the barbed wire and get her down. I saw two teachers looking for her a little too late, one of them climbed over the parapet and hung there talking to her as she was rescued. What I was there for and what I was doing was incredibly passive and nothing to do with her.
I often sublimate what I’m feeling in the moment into actions but there was no ability to do that because it was necessary I remain passive.
As soon as I could I told people what I’d seen, I knew I had to do that but I couldn’t have told you why I needed that. In hindsight I clearly needed to offload it, to get as much of it as shared as possible
It wasn’t until FJ pointed out that of course it went straight into me because when I’d been her age I could very easily have done that, jumped from a bridge I mean. The fact I love trains so much I suspect makes that particular method unlikely. Guessing her age to be about thirteen or fourteen I would have been more likely to try and hang myself and of course there she was, hanging, albeit not by her neck, tangled in the barbed wire.
Could have been worse, could have been razor wire. Could have been worse, the barbed wire could have not been there to catch her.
There was a bit of blood on her uniform, not as much as I’d have expected but I guess she didn’t get as hurt by the wire, maybe the uniform provided a bit of cushioning. Maybe it wasn’t all as barbed as it looked from my angle. Maybe I just wasn’t close enough to see the extent of the damage.
The emergency services took forever to find us. She was down by the time the paramedics got there, the fire brigade, the police were a little quicker. And I was stood there, pretty useless, waiting just in case something I was responsible for went wrong.
I helped do some of the incident reports, a bit but not much, I was in a weird once or twice removed sort of position. Yet at the same time, the feeling of ‘could have been me’ permeated and permeated and permeated.