A friend of mine and I were having a discussion about the dark passenger. He said to me he thinks that it is part of my brain warring with another part of my brain- the right side versus the left, perhaps. He thought that most people have these two sides of their brain in order, but my problem comes when the two sides become two people- me, and him. The dark passenger.
I told my friend that I thought he was right about the dark passenger, and that I hadn’t been able to tell the doctors about this- and some of my other problems- because I was waiting for an appointment with a consultant psychologist so I’m currently out of the loop. This, my friends, is what happened after my appointment with the normal psychologist: she knew I needed to go to someone else higher up the ladder. At least my case is being taken seriously.
Another friend of mine told me about the name I’ve given to the suicidal voice in my head. He’d taken the name from a programme called Dexter- have you heard of it? He’s a serial killer who kills serial killers, and when the urge to kill comes over him, he describes it as the dark passenger.
I thought the name worked for me too, because it sums up how disconnected I feel when I want to kill myself. I always feel like I’m in a glass box shouting at myself when I feel suicidal. I’m locked away in my head, the fragile me that wants help and wants out of this hell, and I’m watching my body cut myself, or place a ligature round my neck. I am screaming and pounding the glass, and the dark passenger has control of my body. I’m calm, controlled and alert on the outside, but behind the glass, I’m a screaming wreck. I break the glass, but it takes longer and longer each time.
I know I have always been self destructive and I always want to try and ignore it, but I end up wanting to kill myself anyway- purely because the dark passenger tells me to.
What really sucks is that sometimes, when I’m locked away inside my head, I’m helping the dark passenger because I want to die too. We work in tandem. Like today.
Today is a bad day. I went to town to get some food for the ballet examiner who is examining my mother’s students. People stared at me, judgementally, and men stared at the dress I wore. Hell, I’d go around in baggy clothes all the time if it were cool enough. Damn this heat wave.
I completed my shopping whilst fighting the urge to run, and flinching when people got too close. I hated the feeling of being paranoid, of being stared at, of being a circus freak. I hated feeling like I was going to burst into tears at any minute, and most of all I hated the constant dialogue from the dark passenger.
“Just go and buy a blade. You know where they are. You know how much they are. You know where to cut. DO IT.”
“But I can’t. I’ve promised to give therapy a go before dying. I will let everyone down. I can’t go and get the blade because I’m already terrified to be in town alone-”
I finished off the shopping and stood, in the square, feeling terrified of all the people and terrified of the contents of my own head. I wanted to get out of there- but I wanted a blade…
The war in my brain reached fever pitch, and I snapped. I took what was left of my shattered nerves and went to the first place i knew that might sell my blades.
The blade i wanted wasn’t there, so I bought some random stuff and went to the next place. They had them, but there were too few people there for me to not look like another one of the crowd. I left with the dark passenger’s insults ringing in my ears: ” You’re a fucking coward, all you ever do is talk about the damage you can do to yourself, you are such a fucking liar…”
The third place I went to was the one. There were more people there and I picked up a couple of other things that I’d been meaning to get, so I could say if questioned why I’d been out so long.
I paid, shaking with nerves, ran outside and hid them immediately in my bag. Finally, the dark passenger was content.
“You’ve finally done what you keep saying you’ll do… Don’t screw it up.”
I went back with the contraband burning a hole in my bag.
The dark passenger is quiet now. I have the blades, and ebbing willpower.
The worst part of all this is that I keep thinking that somehow, I’m inventing all this. That this can’t be happening to me. Maybe it’s just a phase.
Then I think to myself that this isn’t something you can fake, this isn’t made up- this has been my life for a long while, and it will only continue. Of course, the dark passenger has to have his say.
“You’re a crazy fucking bitch. Always have been, always will be. And who knows it better than us two? Now, find an opportunity to use those blades you have. I’m here to watch that you get it done.”
I feel like I don’t have a choice any more.