The Sinners and The Saints

Submitted into Contest #76 in response to: Write a story told exclusively through dialogue.... view prompt

13 comments

Sad Creative Nonfiction

Content warning: child abuse, self harm, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, gun violence

 

Eight years of med school, and a bachelor's, master's, and doctorate to show for it all. Although none of it could have prepared me for this case. This seventeen-year-old female was brought to me today with a long history of suicidal ideation, self-harm, depression, and PTSD. Currently, the patient has poor impulse control and unhealthy coping mechanisms. Patient has a family history of depression. The chief complaint today is poor coping, increased thought of suicide with a plan, and poor impulse control. Patient has had three prior unsuccessful suicide attempts including overdose and cutting. Patient speech is rapid, she has poor eye contact, stressed, and rambling, Patient appears disheveled.

 

When I saw the girl myself, my heart broke for Kelly Tristan. She was a pretty girl. Her long auburn hair hung loosely around her face. Her clothes, grey sweatpants, and a rumpled pink sweatshirt that looked like it hadn't been washed in a few days. The clothes hung off her frame. She was way too skinny for her age. Malnourishment, perhaps? 

 

Her eyes darted everywhere. I glimpsed her face. Her nose was splattered with freckles, her eyes a dark shade of green. Put the pain and fear in those eyes I will never forget. She looked like she wanted to run away from everything.

 

I walked her into my office and asked her to take a seat. She fidgeted and squirmed. "Kelly," I said as gently as I could, "Can you tell me why you are here?"

 

Kelly shuddered. She said nothing. "Kelly, I am here to help you. You don't have to end everything just to end the pain. That's why I am here. I am here for you. This place is safe and I am your friend. I can't help you unless you tell me how." Kelly looked down, and breathed, and began.

 

"I have been never been happy. My parents did meth, cocaine, heroin, opium, and alcohol. They were the drug dealers for the local gangs, that was their income. I was beaten until I dropped to the floor unconscious. My brother too. I got shoved through doors, slammed on tile, beaten with a blow drier, whipped with an electoral cord, punched, kicked, had my hair ripped out, been clawed at, and bitten. I still have the scars from when I was a toddler." 

 

Kelly rolled up her sleeves and related a long white scar on her right arm. "My mom took scissors and started slashing at me. She rolled up her left pants leg, "My dad threw a bottle at me and cut open my leg and he refused to give me bandages so I had to use my shirt. I can't hear right out of my left ear because my mom ruptured my eardrum. There were other things as well. James, my brother, and I were starved. We weren't allowed to open the fridge or even go in the kitchen. In total, we each had about three sets of clothes. There was no running water, not for us at least. We were constantly screamed at. I was nine when I began to steal for James and me. I was good at it. The beatings taught you to be sneaky. If you didn't get caught you wouldn't get beaten. Not always, but there was about a 2% chance that we wouldn't get whopped whether we had been "bad" or not. I stole clothes, food, money, medicine for the two of us. I lied about my age and got a job at a McDonald's to get more money to support us. When I was fourteen everything changed. James and I had been planning to run away. We had a route planned out, our bags packed and we were going to leave that very night. Little did we know that our parents had ratted out one of the most famous gangs, The Red Hand Mafia. They killed anyone, and it was not a quick death. Later I learned my parents had called the police on them hoping to get their money. They came to our house in the dead of night. James and I had been planning to leave at 1am when everyone was dead asleep. They raided our house. I was the only survivor. I had insisted that James crawl out the window to save himself. One member saw him and shot him. He died instantly. He was only eight. It was all my fault. I should have gone out first I should have known." 

 

She shivered, and one tear slid down her young face, and when that tear fell the silence was deafening. I did not say anything, Kelly said nothing. It felt like the silence would never end. Until Kelly raised her head looked me in the eye for the first time and continued. 

 

"I knew my parents were dead. I knew James was dead. There was this tree near my window, I slipped into it, climbed down, and ran for my life. I continued with the plan James and I had made. I had just enough money in my pocket to ride the bus as far as it could go. I was homeless for a year. What the streets do to you?" Kelly shook her head.

I decided to go into a shelter and that's when I started to hurt myself. They had dinner knives. So I did it. I didn't want to die, not yet. Until I started thinking of James and fifteen years of fear, hatred, pain, and suffering. They had asprin at the shelter. A blood thinner. I knew if I took enough I would die. I tried that two times. No luck. I took that as a sign that James didn't want me dead too. I stopped TRYING, but I still get the thoughts. "Hey, that bridge is nice and high. Go jump! Go jump in front of that car!" I started to collect myself. But all my fears didn't help. I am afraid of most people. I hate being all alone, but I hate human interaction. I never feel safe."

 

I looked at the girl, and she looked at me right back. I got up from my seat and hugged her. Slowly, the girl melted into my arms. I whispered in her ear. "You are safe. I will help you. It is not your fault, it has never been your fault."

January 10, 2021 00:17

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13 comments

Nainika Gupta
15:22 Jan 17, 2021

this.....was so well done. Goodness, it brought a tear to my eye. Thank you for sharing your story, and raising awareness, Kylie.

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Kylie Rudolf
16:12 Jan 17, 2021

Thank you! I thought this story was gonna get taken down, but I am so grateful that people actually read stories like this and recognize that these kinds of things are not normal.

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Nainika Gupta
18:28 Jan 17, 2021

yeah!! Of course :) and yah, totally agree

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Claudia Morgan
09:31 Jan 12, 2021

Oh my god. This ripped my heart out. It’s very well written. Good on your mother for running away. Thanks for raising awareness of the horrible stuff that goes on in this world. 💕

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Kylie Rudolf
15:40 Jan 12, 2021

Thank you so much!

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Yolanda Wu
23:44 Jan 10, 2021

It's so brave of you to share your mother's story, Kylie. I can't even imagine what it must have been like to go through all of that. It was certainly awful to read about someone going through so much, but you're right, this is someone's story, and it could also be someone else's, that's what stories are for, so I trust that Reedsy wouldn't it take it down. Wonderful work, Kylie.

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Kylie Rudolf
23:48 Jan 10, 2021

Thank you so much! My mother did run away at sixteen and survived through all kinds of abuse and trauma. She is the best mother I could ever ask for. I really do hope you are right, people need to know about these kinds of things and know that THEY ARE NOT NORMAL. Thank you so much!

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Kylie Rudolf
23:48 Jan 10, 2021

Thank you so much! My mother did run away at sixteen and survived through all kinds of abuse and trauma. She is the best mother I could ever ask for. I really do hope you are right, people need to know about these kinds of things and know that THEY ARE NOT NORMAL. Thank you so much!

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Yolanda Wu
23:51 Jan 10, 2021

You're welcome, Kylie, awareness and education about issues like these are so important. And I'm glad that survived through that and became an amazing mother.

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Kylie Rudolf
23:57 Jan 10, 2021

She is the number one person in my life. She survived all kinds of abuse, she survived her parents who were drug dealers, she survived poverty. On top of all that she ran away at sixteen and made something of herself. She got an education, graduated top of her class, became an ER nurse, and raised four children. Strangely, she suffered no ill effects from all of that. She does not have PTSD, she does not play victim, and she hates pity. We joke all the time that we will keep her front seat in Hell warm.

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Yolanda Wu
03:46 Jan 11, 2021

Wow! What an inspiring story, it's so great that she was able to overcome all of that, she definitely sounds incredible.

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Kylie Rudolf
04:01 Jan 11, 2021

I really enjoyed writing this because I like many people who experienced a time of loneliness and great sadness. I am good now, but I like these kinds of stories that show that there is always someone who loves and cares.

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