Lifes low points

Offshoot of Jackknife’s thread about hitting life’s low points…

What was the lowest point in your life?

Mine was in 1992. I was twenty and had moved in with my then girlfriend to an abandoned house in Bellingham Washington with two of her friends. Bellingham is the coldest, rainiest, most constantly overcast part of the whole miserable cold, rainy, overcast state.

The house was abandoned because the hillside it was on was slowly washing away from decades of constant rain, and the house itself had a fifteen degree tilt to it. I could roll a baseball from one end to the other. After bieng trapped in the crooked house for nearly two weeks because of a spring storm, I found I couldn’t adjust to the normal world, for days I walked around town slightly veering at an angle.

We shared our house with a couple of raccoons who lived under the foundations, and constantly kept us awake with their noisy fighting and noisier lovemaking. We called them Archie and Edith after the bickering family from that show “All in the family”. Eventually we smoked them out with three whole boxes of sandlewood incence and chased them off with brooms.

We lived mostly on rice, beans, dried peas, the local “funky” mushrooms, and anything we could shoplift. Once we got so desperate for protein that my friends and I, ninjalike, dressed all in black and snuck over to a cemetary reflecting pond, where there lived the biggest, fattest, Wonder bread and Cheetos fed flock of geese in existance. Now, geese are fucking noisy things, so we had to hunker down and sneak around the stones and willows like this: Sneak, sneak, sneak, HONK! Crouch (Heart: Kathunk! Kathunk! Kathunk!) Sneak, sneak, HONK!..

These geese were so used to humans feeding them we could get pretty close after tossing them some Crackers. We picked out the biggest of the lot, lulled it close with a handfull of cheez-itz, pointed the bb gun point blank at its head, and fired. Now, this was not a pellet gun mind you, but one of those pathetic one-pump Daisy bb-guns that can barely knock over a half-full coke can. Needless to say it diddn’t die immiedatly. It thrashed around desperatly, flapping and hissing and honking and tossing mud around. I continued to pump the gun and (somewhat randomly) fire at it. It gave an inhuman shriek, the girls screamed and ran in random directions. I almost had a heart attack. Finally my friend Bob pulled his boot off and finished the job.

Anyway, we stuffed it in a pillowcase and ran home. None of us had ANY idea how to cook a poptart, let alone a goose. We just kind of, you know, looked at the thing thinking “Well NOW what do we do!?”. The girls wouldn’t touch it, so we dipped it in boiling water, plucked it, and using a hillarously inappropriate “Rambo” type combat knife we managed to gut and cook it in an oversized stainless steel dog dish. It actually wasn’t that bad.

Finally, after eight months I had had enough and went back home to California and enrolled in school. So I suppose there is a happy ending.

Well, can you beat that?

Well, can’t compete with that, but I can compete with the Gruesome Animal Death story. Opal, you may wanna just skip this message…

Okay. My family used to raise lots of animals for food, chickens, turkeys, goats, etc. Killing a large (25+ pounds after cleaning and gutting) turkey is a three-man job. My mother and I would each take one leg and one wing while my dad acted as hatchet-man. Mom and I would, after the cut, hold the turkey as still as possible till it bled out

Well, once, ol’ Dad had the brilliant idea of holding the turkey face-up. I tried, desperately, to dissuade him. “Dad, they kick forward,” I said, to no avail. He wanted to try it. So, Mom and I took hold, and Dad let fly with the hatchet and stepped back.

And wisely so. As I predicted, the turkey’s death throes forced it to buck forward. Without the stump to restrain its movement, it sprayed blood around like a fountain. Mom and I were both covered, head to toe, with turkey blood. Worst part were my glasses (wear contact lenses now), which were totally covered and unusable. Fortunately, that was the last turkey of the day.

Now, if anyone wants to start a thread about killing or castrating goats, I have a story or two as well.

The low point of my life:

April 1981. The funding of my job had ended January 1, and I was having no luck finding anything. (Partly because I had no idea what I wanted to do and because my true metier – personal computers – had barely been invented.) I went to a meeting for some volunteer work I was involved with. When I got back, my wife was gone. She returned at 6:00 a.m. and told me she had been with another man. Then she told me it was over between us and I should move out. Without any income, I was in no position to argue. I moved in with her grandmother (who thought she was crazy to separate). I was – to put it mildly – extremely depressed. The only thing that kept me going was a letter I got about ten days later from George Scithers of Asimov’s Science Fiction. He wanted to buy a story of mine – my first fiction sale.

Things slowly began to improve after that.

Read “Sundials” in the new issue of Aboriginal Science Fiction.

Butchering animals isn’t my favorite thing to do but not something I ever considered a low point in life.

The Turkey story reminds me of when I was a teenager and my mother asked me to dispatch a half dozen chickens. Since it was futile to try to stay clean I decided just put on gym shorts and an old white t-shirt then hose off the gore and change clothes when I was done.

I don’t have to draw a picture of what I looked like after I was done killing and plucking. Before I had a chance to clean up a friend of my dad’s pulled around back - with his daughter - who was my age - and really stuck up - and went to the same school that I did. I’ve been through worse but I would have really liked to have crawled into a hole and died just then. :wink:

Ho-kay, the low point: It was mid-1996. The following were the problems:

The comic-book company I had founded had just collapsed due to lack of effort on the part of the art staff.

I was suffering constant pain from a back injury that had caused me to lose my job at a music publication, but my doctor wouldn’t help me get on disability.

I needed to move back in with my parents, after several years on my own. I was out of money.

I had recently cheated on my girlfriend, and was consumed with guilt.

That girlfriend told me she was sick of me (for reasons other than the above) and was letting me go. She was sleeping with a friend of mine within 2 weeks. I have reason to believe she had been with him for some time before that.

I was deep in the heart of a major depression over all this, clearly. If not for mom and dad, I’d have been homeless. Probably would have thrown myself under a train if not for family support.

Since then, life is mostly better. I’ve mostly come to grips with the back injury (it still hurts but I struggle through anyway). I have a much better job than the music pub, making almost 4 times what I did at the time. I don’t miss the comics biz that much. I realize the girlfriend and I were wrong for one another. I’m about to move out of my parents’ place. The only thing I lack in my life is romance. That and fuzzy pet animals. I hope I don’t have to mix the two.

–Da Cap’n
“Playin’ solitaire 'til dawn
With a deck of fifty-one.”

Before being diagnosed as low bipolar (highs not very high but lows VERY low). I’m tough - I’m strong - figured I could manage the mood swings. I couldn’t. It just got worse and less controlable. The operative words are hopeless and helpless. Spent hours trying to figure out how to end it all - my greatest fear was that I’d bungle it and somehow survive. My kids were toddlers. The only thing that kept me alive was my knowledge of what kinds of scars might be left on my babies. (I had a friend whose father was a suicide when she was a child and 25 years later she still felt that she could have and should have prevented it.)

Got help & I’m here today. Better living through chemistry.

My best friend was an alcoholic. We used to have monumental drunken adventures before he started to lose control. He quit, relapsed, became increasingly depressed and nihilistic. On his last birthday he got drunk, talked about suicide, and reached for a loaded gun. I, along with two other close friends, took the gun away from him. During the ensuing confrontation we called the police and had him Baker acted. He was released 48 hours later, and would not speak with me. Two weeks later, he called me at 2AM. We argued. The conversation ended when he shot himself in the brain.

That happened either several years ago or last night, depending upon the whims of memory.

The best lack all conviction
The worst are full of passionate intensity.

The day I held my mother in my arms while she died.

“Only when he no longer knows what he is doing, does the painter do good
things.” --Edgar Degas

ditto… it was the end of my roots in my mind… both parents gone… and I became an orphan. I felt the lowest of low for a long time and sometimes that feeling still comes… especially at holiday times.

I am me… accept it or not.

My Grandmother was very ill, and in the hospital. The family was being gathered, knowing that she would never leave the hospital.

Because money was an issue, I was hitchiking from somewhere in the SW to Philadelphia. I called one morning, from a truckstop in just outside of Denver…and my Aunt Kathy snottily (even SMUGLY) informed me that my Grandmother had died at 4:30 that morning.

My Grandmother had been cremated by the time I got there.

I never had a chance to ‘say goodbye’.

Yes, I am a brat…and it’s hard work!!

Wow. Some of these stories made me realise just how easy my path has been so far. I mean, 26, got a lovely girlfriend, house, great job with great pay, nice car, lots of friends, great family, and enough spare time from work to enjoy all that.

The lowest point was carrying my aunts coffin to her grave together with an uncle and two nephews, when she had died of cancer in 1996 at age 49.

And, without making light of anything in this thread, I would also like to submit my $0.02 regarding Brutal Animal Mutilations.

I am driving along in my fathers car on a very stormy night. I have my drivers license for no more than two weeks at this time.
All of a sudden, I spot a rabbit out of the corner of my eye. It’s dashing through the trees alongside the road, its eyes light up by the headlights of my car. It all happens in a split second, but in retrospect it feels like forever - before I can even touch the brakes, I hear a loud thump and feel the rabbit going under the right front wheel. I stop the car, hoping that I at least killed the rabbit instantly.

I did not.

I hit the lower part of its body, basically squashing it with the front tyre. The rabbit was very much alive (albeit doomed to die, there’s no way it could have lived), and was trying to crawl out into the bushes by the mere use of its front paws. Obviously, this was not working since its entire guts were smeared out across the road for a good 3 feet stretch.

It was a gruesome sight. I then had to do the hardest thing: I walked back to the car, took the jack out of the boot, and after a moment of hesitation, put the rabbit out of its misery by two swift blows to the head with the jack. It looked even gorier then.
I had to keep myself from throwing up as I walked back to the car.

I calmed down a bit during the next 10 kilometers or so, rationalising my actions. And although I definately did the right thing, the image of me killing that rabbit with the jack still disturbs me today. Does that make any sense, for a rational guy like me ?

O, and I’m terribly sorry for writing this story in two different time tenses… damn furrenners eh :wink:


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

Low points , hmm

Growing up with an alcoholic, child and wife beating father. Who was also a child molester.

Having a grandfather who also molested children, he seemed to prefer those related to him, as did dad.

Being raped with a knife at my throat wasn’t fun.

1 hubbys suicide

Stillbirth of first child

All of this by the time I was 21.

Bad acid trip, never again !

Being betrayed by the one person I thought I could trust ('nuff said )

My Grandmothers death.

Betrayed again, by 3 people at once.

Finding out my favorite uncle has lung cancer that has spread into his brain.

Being diagnosed with hep C.

It ain’t the years, it’s the miles that gets ya !

Ayesha - Lioness

There are two solutions to every problem : the wrong one, and mine
(Thomas A. Edison)

This whole fucking year.

Yer pal,