His Story/My Story
“Then how Spalding was in a car accident and his brain was injured and how maybe—probably, definitely, definitively—that’s why he jumped off the Staten Island Bridge, drowning on purpose.” –Eva Hagberg Fisher, “Vital Signs”
Under this passage I wrote “can confirm.” But I don’t know this because of my personal brain injury. Rather, because of the brain injury of an ex-boyfriend and his subsequent attempts at suicide.
But I commented like I knew personally because that’s what I did with his story. I made it about me. While he was lying in a coma, I was wondering how I was ever going to get out of bed again. I wrote his story like it was my tragedy. I mourned him to every available shoulder.
Then he woke up and came back to me. I decided his problems were too much for me to handle, so I left. And now his tragedy is part of my story.
He’d often call me after a suicide attempt, and I would offer empty sympathy and advice. We parted on amicable terms because his childlike mind didn’t know any better.
And when he got better, he tried to write his story, and I was mad because he didn’t include me in it.
Bridget Langdon is a second year Master’s student at Illinois State University. She is in the creative writing program with an emphasis on creative non-fiction. He stories provide entertainment through self-deprivation and/or humor. Bridget’s list of achievements is short, and her only other full length article can be found in the spring 2017 edition of Grassroots Writing Journal. Incidentally, her writing career was more successful when she was nine. She can be found on Twitter under the name @FormerAltruist.