When I was a child, the thought of suicide never occurred to me, no matter how bad things were. Hit me, beat me, rape me, lie to me, use me, and abuse me… I always felt like there was hope; that I was here for a reason. Victor Frankyl said of concentration camp survivors that as long as they felt like they had a reason to live, they would live, but the moment they gave up hope, they died. For whatever reason, I never felt like things couldn’t get better.
Then, I met someone who introduced me to a world with no hope. It was awful. I remember sitting on my porch in the rain one night, lower than I had ever been, crying sobs that were wrenched from my guts. Life was meaningless. I had taken a wrong turn and found myself with nowhere else to go. I could not see past the pain and loneliness and darkness. I wanted to end it all. I thought about ways to do it. I would have killed myself that night, where it not for a spider.
I remember the rain was pounding on the tin roof and coming down in sheets over the edge of the porch. The sound of the rain drowned out all other sounds and a mist blew with the wind onto the most sheltered side of the porch. I sat crouched against the siding, arms wrapped around my legs, as broken as the flowers beaten into the mud by the storm. The spider was on the porch railing, spinning a web between rungs. She worked non-stop, methodically creating a pattern that time and time again was torn down by the wind. Each time part of the web was damaged, the spider simply repaired it and kept working. She worked for hours. I watched for hours. Raindrops formed on the strands and disappeared, the web stretched and moved with the wind, it broke and was fixed. The spider did not give up. Sometime before morning, she finished. Sometime before morning, I decided if she could keep going even when it seemed hopeless, so could I.