I was around 7 or 8 when this happened; Mark would have been close to 10.  I don’t recall all of the circumstances surrounding this incident, but I do recall that it was summer (we were not in school) and I was feeling particularly depressed.  I had the feeling that no one in our family really cared about me.  It was probably the result of me being a middle child that occasionally got lost in the shuffle of 9 kids.

Anyway, I recall picking up an old steak knife from a set we used to have with wooden handles.  I was standing between the stove and the dishwasher in the kitchen and I put the knife up against my stomach.  Katie and Josh may have been in the kitchen as well, but I know Mark was there and was the oldest person in the room.  I said something to the effect of, “Everyone hates me.  I’m going to stab myself in the belly and kill myself and no one will care.”

I recall Mark showing some surprise on his face, but seem to recall that the way he talked me out of stabbing myself was something along the lines of, “Don’t be stupid.  Of course we care about you.  You’re just annoying sometimes.”  As he talked, he walked over to where I was and wrestled the knife out of my hands.  That was it.  My one verbalized threat of suicidal ideation curtailed by Mark.

(FYI, I don’t typically contemplate suicide.  The only other time I’ve really thought about it was just after my LDS mission when I felt I was doing everything I was supposed to be, religiously, was the most righteous I had ever been, and yet I was particularly unhappy and depressed.  If suicide was not considered a sin in Mormon thought, I think I would have more seriously considered it as I believed I was worthy to be exalted at that point in time.)

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