Two and a half months ago, I woke up to discover my boyfriend had committed suicide in the middle of the night while I slept next to him. I cannot begin to explain the horror I experienced that morning. For now, there are no details I will recall – it’s too traumatic – but I will share with you the beginning of my voyage to once again find happiness and hopefully peace of mind.
What happened that night was a mistake. Of course, it was what he meant to do at the time, but let me assure you he was not anywhere close to the right state of mind. After a night of partying and drug use, he was not himself. I later discovered his abuse of the synthetic drug “bath salts” and believe they played a major role in this death. Unfortunately, I will never know what was going through his head at that specific moment or if my hunch is correct.
I loved my boyfriend more than words can describe. From the moment we met, there was an instant connection. It was the end of summer, right before my fifth and final year of undergrad. I decided to move into a cooperative just off campus and was extremely excited for what lay ahead. Within days of moving in, I met him. I instantly loved his goofy attitude, the nervous quiver in his voice when he talked to me and, mostly, his affinity for glitter and rainbows.
The first night we hung out I had been for a midnight swim with many of our roommates. When we got back to the house we found some people in the basement DJing and dancing. My boyfriend was drunkenly MCing and we both started quoting that line from I Love You, Man. You know which one … “Slappin’ da baaaaass!” We fed off of each other’s silliness and I knew there was something special right away.
He wasn’t much of a drinker, but with friends in town that night, he got uncommonly drunk and I took full advantage of this, convincing him to play a few rounds of “Slap the Bag”. I started hoop dancing in our basement and I felt his eyes on me the whole time. It was such an intense infatuation from him, which I had never felt before.
When 4 a.m. rolled around I could barely keep my eyes open. My boyfriend was clearly wasted and wanted to stay with me. Being a much better drinker than him, therefore much more sober, I knew it wasn’t the right time for anything physical to happen. But he came up with one lame excuse after the other as to why he should stay in my room that night, the most convincing being, “My friend is in town! He can’t sleep on the floor! I’ll give him my bed and sleep on the floor in your room.” Finally I caved, and, of course, didn’t make him sleep on the floor.
I told him I didn’t want things to move quickly. We were roommates and had only known each other a couple weeks at most. If things went sour, I didn’t want the whole house to suffer with awkwardness between us. He was so accepting of this and didn’t even try to cuddle with me that night. I knew I had a bonafide gentleman on my hands.
Then the next morning came around. We stayed in bed till noon talking and kissing and cuddling and spilling over the edges with love. I knew right away my life would never be the same. It continued that way for days and days until summer ended and we had to actually roll out of bed before the double digits hit, but still our love was immense.
I remember three weeks after our first night together lying in bed with him and laughing because I realized I wanted to marry him. Most people wouldn’t laugh at this thought, but if you knew me, it would be humorous. Not because I never wanted to get married, no, actually quite the opposite. I often found myself infatuated with people prior to him and contemplating love and marriage with them, but this was different and I knew it.
He asked what was so funny and I said I didn’t want to tell him. I was afraid I’d scare him away. After prying and giving me puppy dog eyes with his stunning baby blues, I caved. I giggled and said, “I’m gonna marry you one day, you know that?” and nervously laughed again. He crinkled his eyebrows up at me like he was near tears and smiled more genuinely than I have ever seen someone smile.
“I knew I wanted to marry you from the first day I saw you,” he said. We didn’t spend a day apart after that.
For nine months we lived together. We moved into new rooms so we could share a private hallway and bathroom, decided to move out of state together after I graduated and made plans for the rest of our lives. There was no question, we wanted to be together forever.
My friends saw the change in me. At one point my best friend commented that despite having seen me happy in other serious relationships, she had never seen me this content before. I couldn’t argue with her. My boyfriend brought out a genuine happiness in me no one else ever had. For once, I was completely satisfied with everything in my life.
When he passed away, it was like the world as I knew it had been shattered. I trusted him completely, and his suicide was like breaking our bond of trust. We had talked about suicide before, and how selfish it was, how we could never do that to the people we loved. That’s how I know in the narrative of his death, my boyfriend was no longer present when he died. He couldn’t have done that to me had he been able to think clearly. To me, it was a drug overdose, an accident.
The anger is still there though, and the questions, the questions are the worst. Knowing that I’ll never know what he was thinking that night as I lied next him eats me up inside. All of the unanswered questions that will remain that way forever are my demons. I know it wasn’t my fault but I still find myself asking if it was something I said? Something I did? Why didn’t I know about the drug use? Why wasn’t the fact I was sleeping right there enough to stop him?
Yea, it was like my trust in him was compromised, but my trust in everything else as well. I thought I knew where I stood in life, what would happen with my life, how happy I would be forever, but it was all changed in an instant. I no longer trusted my own beliefs or thoughts. I have become afraid to trust people, things, ideas and plans because I know they can all change in a heartbeat.
I’m afraid to trust happiness. The one thing that made me truly happy was taken away from me so abruptly that I’m scared to let another happiness in. If I open myself up again it may be gone just as quickly. I don’t necessarily mean love, just happiness in general. I know getting to the point where I can enjoy my life completely again will take a long time, but I’m confident it will come. It just takes time.
Like I said, there is anger, too. I get mad at him sometimes for not telling me about his drug use. I get mad that he could do this to our family (we had a dog together, too, which we called our daughter). I get mad that he took away my happiness. I get mad that he changed all of my life plans. I get mad that he damaged my trust. Mostly, I get mad that he’s not here to share my life with.
The anger comes in brief waves though. It’s quickly followed by an immense sadness. I would do anything to have him back. Anything.