It seemed there were always more conferences to go to. We were always invited to attend, and we did. Speaker after speaker came to town, and speaker after speaker talked about children dying; be it a personal experience, or a Bible story they chose to illuminate. Each time I heard the stories, my feelings would be stirred even more than they already were. It was frustrating. Even Peter and Kristina noticed a trend. One day Kristina mentioned the conferences, and how each one had such a specific focus. With a touch of amazement in her voice, she said that in all the years they had been involved in the church there, and of all the conferences they had attended, not one had ever mentioned dead children before, and now all of the speakers were talking about it. She looked at me and stated, "God's trying to say something to you." He was talking all right, but I wasn't hearing anything other than more torment.
The depression had taken me even deeper, and I was at the point of hopelessness. There seemed to be no way out of the misery I was trapped in; no escape. Life seemed futile, and the pain of continuing unbearable. I began to entertain ideas of suicide. I began to drive recklessly. I would speed around the corners of
the narrow country roads, content to know that if the car went over the
edge, I would likely be killed. I didn't care. Thoughts of how I would kill myself played through my mind, although I fought to disarm them. It couldn't be something painful; I already had enough of that. The goal here was to rid my life of pain, not cause more. Then there was the problem of access. I had no gun, I had no pills, but I did have butcher knives. Images flashed through my mind of me standing in the kitchen, slashing my wrists repeatedly as I cried lornful tears of abandonment. Over and over the blade would glide across my wrists making deep, intentional cuts. But it wasn't enough. My psyche was so tormented, I would then take the knife and plunge it repeatedly into my chest, all the while silent cries which begged for help, went unspoken and unanswered.
The only thing that kept me from acting on any attempt at suicide was Mike and Rob. I could not do it to them. I knew there were many who believed suicide to be the "ultimate" sin; they weren't in the living hell I was in, so it didn't matter what they thought. All that mattered was Mike and Rob; my love for them trumped the urge to do myself in, but the temptation lingered.
Late in the spring, an opportunity arose. Peter and Kristina were going to the States for a six week vacation. We thought it would be a great opportunity for Mike to go along and see his friends for awhile, so we purchased a ticket for him. As the time drew closer for him to leave, I received news that my father was not doing well. Without a lot of discussion, everyone agreed that perhaps a trip back home might be what I needed. I thought this would be my answer, my solution. I would go home, see family and friends, and get a handle on my "head" issues, then return to Slovenia ready to go again. This was my escape, my "cure"; a place where I could shake the fog from my head and start thinking clearly again.
Mike's ticket was changed to my name, and soon the day came for us to fly to the States. Rob and Mike escorted us to the airport and we hugged and kissed good-bye, assured we would see each other again in six weeks. It was not a joyful departure, but one more of need. A desperate flight; the hope of change and help on the far horizon. Would I find relief back home? I was banking on it.