Yesterday, someone saved my life. Counselor and I were walking downtown, crossing a busy street. A car came speeding around the corner into the crosswalk, and I was paying no attention. Counselor grabbed by arm and yanked me back.
“I saved your life,” he said.
“That’s okay. You can pay me back later,” I said.
It didn’t happen on purpose. I didn’t carelessly walk out into speeding traffic–we were in a crosswalk. I wasn’t even intentionally ignoring the traffic; my mind just wasn’t present enough to notice it. I wasn’t trying to kill myself, even passively.
But I didn’t want to be saved.
Wednesday, Janet called me. She was my nursing care coordinator at Riggs and took on a sort of maternal role. She left Riggs before I did, and when I left Riggs, she got back in touch. She works in Northampton, and we’ve gotten together a few times since I’ve been living here. We hadn’t talked in several months, and out of the blue she calls me, while I’m in the midst of a suicidal crisis.
I didn’t tell her about the crisis–I’m not really sure what our roles are in this relationship, so I didn’t want to cross any boundaries. But I think she knew something was off–she asked me two or three times how I was doing. She proposed getting together Friday morning, and I said yes.
I had mixed feelings on that: I can’t kill myself because I’m having coffee with Janet on Friday. She didn’t know she was saving me, but part of me still resents it a little. On the other hand, part of me has this intense desire for a mother-surrogate who cares about me without being paid to.
Being saved is such a complicated thing. Most of me, or the loudest parts of me, don’t want to be saved. Partially because they’re suicidal but partially because they believe we screwed up our life ourselves and don’t deserve to be bailed out. Others–child parts–want to be rescued and saved and taken care of. And then there’s me, skeptical about both sides of the issue.