Anime has saved my life. No literally, it saved me.
Once upon a time my parents were married. And they had three seemingly normal beautiful babies. I’m the oldest. I was born in 1992 when anime wasn’t as popular as is today. The main series that were out when I was growing up were Dragonball (Z), Sailor Moon, Pokemon, Tenchi Muyo, Yuu Yuu Hakusho and Inuyasha (and a bit later Fullmetal Alchemist). I loved all of these series and I would always watch Saturday morning anime/cartoons with my Dad and help my Mum make breakfast. (The only thing I could make then was pancakes lol) When my little brothers came along they joined the fun too. One big happy family. Peachy.
Things didn’t last between my parents and it was a very tragic end that lasted years. But while it was going on I just didn’t know how to deal with such a situation. On top of the bullying at school and the loneliness, I just didn’t know what to do when I would constantly come home to the smell of alcohol and sex, the constant arguing, and the tears of my little brothers. No love anywhere. I didn’t know that this pain and moment of darkness in our lives would go away. The only way that I thought I could escape this constant cycle of pain and loneliness was to die.
Dying would be a constant feeling of nothing.
To me, feeling nothing would be better than feeling the never-ending ache in my heart. It’s scary to think that, with the influence of the world, a child can come up with death as an end to pain. So after setting that as my goal, I got prepared to leave. I would cut into my arm little by little to prepare for the big cut that would end it all. Dying was painful but it got easier with each cut. And when I was upset, it got to a point where I would look forward to the pain. It became a distraction from the pain in my chest and a reminder that it will all end soon anyway.
I was 11-13 when I started cutting. I say 11-13 because those years are such a blur to me. I can only remember the really horrid moments now. Anyway, I didn’t do anything with my family or anybody. I continued to watch the shows that brought my family together once upon a time but broke away from reality. These aren’t the moments that saved me.
I was saved while I was watching Inuyasha and Fullmetal Alchemist. Even today these characters are still my favorite. It was when Sango entered the picture that I really paid close attention.
Sango was a a girl about 16-17 living in the village for demon slayers. Her family and herself being demon slayers would go out and ya’ know kill them for a living. When they got mixed up with the main antagonist, Naraku, is when things got really fucked up. Her entire family and village was slaughtered by her brother…who was being controlled by Naraku. Oh but that’s not it. She was even further deceived by Naraku. For the rest of the series, he dangles her brother in front of her face, just beyond her grasp only to be snatched away with some bitchy sarcasm.
As for Fullmetal Alchemist, Edward’s family was all he had. and it was taken away from him with alchemy and death. His father left his mother, his younger brother and him when they were toddlers. His mother died soon after. But they tried to bring her back to life with alchemy. In doing so, Edward lost his brother and his leg but could not handle being in a world without his brother so he sacrificed his arm to bind his brother’s soul to some armor. And throughout this series, Edward never failed to put his brother’s survival before his own.
So from the similarities in the characters I bet you can guess how Anime saved me. I could not leave behind my little brothers. How could I do that? Leave them alone to suffer like I did and to take the brunt of the life our parents laid out for us? I saw the determination and love these characters had for their younger siblings, I asked myself where was my love for mine? Sango never stopped searching, never stopped fighting. Edward never stopped protecting, never stopped trying to give a better life for his little brother.
I thought how could killing myself help them…It wouldn’t. So for the longest time, my reason for living has been my little brothers. I’ve always tried to take care of them and I always will.
But when I see that they don’t want to spend time with me (like at all) or say they don’t need me. Just empty promises. It hurts too much.
Short list of things they have said to me recently:
“Why are you still here?”
“Move out already…”
“I don’t care about you..”
“I don’t need you..”
My reason for being here has not changed from what I decided it would be then but has grown since then. But to hear this often along with my insecurities, anxieties, and other troubles, I sometimes get shaky in my choice not to off myself.
But hey, Anime has saved my life once. It made me focus on what was more important to me. Maybe it can do it again.
I’m staying hopeful.