Ik heb dit in eerste stantie voor Reddit geschreven, vandaar dat het in het Engels is
Het moest er gewoon even uit, ik wist even niet meer wat ik ermee moest.
Als iemand ooit in dezelfde schoenen heeft gestaan als ik, voel je dan vrij om je ervaringen te delen.
Uiteraard heb ik niet zijn echte naam gebruikt om privacy redenen.
Voor de genen die Engels toch iets te lastig vinden maar wel mee willen lezen, hier is een samengevatte versie in het Nederlands.
Ik heb dus afgelopen zaterdag avond een vriend van een spoorlijn brug moeten halen. Hij belde me, en vertelde me dat hij het ging doen, dat hij zelf moord zou plegen. Ik ben toen meteen in actie gesprongen, hem gevonden en mee genomen in de auto.
Het was een enorm enge ervaring, niet alleen om in je eentje in het donker een spoorlijn brug op te klimmen waar een vriend van je boven aan de rand staat, maar ook omdat er nog wat geschiedenis aan vast zit.
Ik spreek deze jongen over zijn mentale gezondheid al een paar maanden nu. Hij heeft me destijds een bericht gestuurd of hij met me over dit kon praten en uiteraard zei ik dat ik er altijd voor hem zou zijn als hij iemand nodig had. Alleen neemt dat niet weg van het feit dat we nooit close waren, hij was een bekende, maar niet iemand waarvan ik zou zeggen dat hij een vriend was. Vreemd dus, dat hij met mij over zijn depressie wou praten.
In de daarop volgende weken werden de gesprekken steeds intenser. Hij bleef maar zeggen dat hij een vriendin wou, waarop ik alleen maar kon antwoorden dat hij wel iemand zou vinden uit eindelijk en nog niet de juiste persoon had gevonden.
Uiteindelijk liet hij me weten dat hij eigenlijk mij wel erg leuk vond, waar ik hem helaas op moest afwijzen. Ik heb geen gevoelens voor hem, ook wou ik hem niet aan een lijntje houden. Dat was natuurlijk even heel ongemakkelijk voor hem. De gesprekken daarna waren wat vreemd, ik kreeg er rare “vibes” van.
Het moment dat ik in het donker aan het zoeken was naar hem, realiseerde ik me opeens dat dit misschien wel opgezet zou kunnen zijn. Dat wellicht hij nu een punt had bereikt van emotie en mentale instabieliteit dat hij mij pijn wou doen. Onder het mom van “als ik je niet kan hebben, kan niemand je hebben”. Het zou namelijk niet de eerste of laatste keer zijn dat je zo’n verhaal hoort.
Dit was een heel eng moment voor mij, maar ik ben alsnog de brug op geklommen. Over het spoor gesprongen en heb het voor elkaar gekregen hem mee naar beneden te halen en met mij mee te gaan in de auto.
Ik heb diezelfde avond nog de politie ingelicht en zij hebben de volgende ochtend actie ondernomen en zijn in contact gekomen met zijn werkgever. Wat er nu precies gebeurd is, weet ik niet. Ik heb hem sinds zondag niet meer gesproken omdat ik wat afstand van de hele situatie wou nemen.
Ik wou gewoon even mijn ei kwijt. En natuurlijk is het fijn om van andere bokkers te horen hoe zij zijn omgegaan met dit soort situaties.
Citaat:So it was Saturday night, I was in my pyjamas in bed, rolled up in my blankets watching Netflix. Suddenly my phone rings, it’s Chris. I yawn and pick up the phone.
“Jane, I am so sorry, oliebol oliebol oliebol, I’m gonna do it, I’m so sorry.”
I immediately shot up out of bed, I knew exactly what this meant. You see, Chris has been depressed for a while now. I only know this because he told me, which for a long time puzzled me as we were never close in the first place. He used to come into the pub where I used to work a few years ago, he even ended up taking on my job there when I left.
A few months ago he contacted me randomly, asking if he could talk to me about something. Confused I agreed and we had a chat that same evening. He told me that he was struggling with his mental health although he couldn’t give me any specific reason for feeling the way he did. I told him that I would always be there for him if he needed someone to talk to.
And that he did, over the following months we spoke at least weekly over text. I slowly figured out that the problems he was having were personal and only present in his head, in the sense of feeling worthless and unattractive. There were ups and downs, at one point he wasn’t doing well and he messaged me if I would go to the cinema with him. I agreed and off we went, it was fine, we watched a film and both went our separate ways afterwards. He just needed someone to agree to hang out with him.
Some months go by and the conversations we had slowly started to become strange. They became repetitive, he kept saying that he would never find a girlfriend. Or maybe he just needed a ‘shag’ to make him feel better. I tried to tell him all sorts of things, that there will be someone out there for him, to not rely his happiness on other people and he just hasn’t found the right person yet.
Suddenly he hits me with “Would you like to go on a date with me?” and for a hot minute I do not know how to reply. No, I had no feelings for this guy whatsoever. I had started caring for his wellbeing over the last few months, but that was it. I kindly denied his offer and told him I was actually already seeing someone, as he kept sending me a ton of messages apologizing and saying that he shouldn’t have asked.
The next day I receive a message from Chris asking if we could meet up so he can explain to me why he had asked me out the night before. I agreed and met him in our local coffee shop. He sat down across from me nervously, fiddling with his keys, barely making eye contact. I tried to carry the conversation, talking about work, gym and little unimportant things like the weather. An awkward silence fills the space between us as I study him. The way he looks uncomfortable on the chair, flipping his keys around betweens his hands.
“Don’t look at me like that.” He says suddenly.
He looks up at me and shrugs his head. “I don’t know, just don’t look at me.”
I realize that he must feel embarrassed from being rejected, and doens’t have a huge self esteem to start off with.
“Look, it’s okay to be embarrassed, but it’s just me, you know you can still talk to me. I won’t drop you just because of what happened last night.”
I try to reassure him, to talk to me. I try to still be that friend that will listen to his problems, but as I wait for him to tell me why he actually wanted to see me, he gets up, grabs his stuff, tells me he is sorry and leaves.
My phone then starts buzzing, messages flooding in from Chris. He is sorry that he left me like that, but he just couldn’t speak. That he had liked me for a while now, but that I was too good for him.
Fast forward to a week ago, we had put the awkwardness past us and I was still the listening ear that he needed. I didn’t feel quite comfortable when I saw him out and about. I don’t know why, but I just felt bad vibes eventho I had listened to him for months now. Things weren’t going well, he told me that he felt he was fighting a loosing battle. As much as I tried to tell him differently, he didn’t want to hear it.
This brings us back to last Saturday night.
“Jane, I am so sorry, oliebol oliebol oliebol, I’m gonna do it, I’m so sorry.”
“Chris, stay on the phone with me! I’m coming to get you, where are you?”
I hear him cry softly through the other end of the phone as he eventually tells me where he is. He is on a railway bridge, with a noose, ready to go.
You know when things happen, and afterwards you think “I should’ve done this differently.” ...this was one of those moments. I ran down the stairs, shoved on my housemate’s slippers on on the way out and jumped in my car. It was an intense search as I didn’t actually know where to go. The railway bridge is out of the way from the road, out in the country side. No lights, pitch black, a dying battery in my phone and an howling cold wind rushing through the trees. After abandoning my car on the side of the road I run along side a graveyard when I finally see a little light far away. I start running towards it when finally the dark shadows of a bridge take shape.
A cold shiver runs down my spine, suddenly all the puzzle pieces fall together. I always thought it was strange that he chose me to talk to, we were never that close. Maybe he used his mental health just to get to me. To give me a reason to keep talking to him.
It wouldn’t be the first time you would hear a story like this, where someone driven by strong emotions, ends the others life in the thought of “If I can’t have you, then nobody can”. Have I just walked straight into a trap? I shake my head, there’s no time for me to think like this. This isn’t about me, this is about saving someone else.
I am underneath the bridge when I get there. Chris is still standing at the top, phone in one hand, noose in the other. I start climbing up the side of the bridge, fighting my way through muddy tracks and bushes.
When I finally get to the top I am welcomed by a strong smell of alcohol. My eyes meet his, but his gaze is off. I can not put into words how scary it is to stand on top of a railway bridge at night, where trains could possibly come by. With the only light coming from the moon that shapes the outline of a mans silloutte holding a noose.
I slowly walk towards him, arms open and embrace him. I squeeze my eyes shut tightly as I wait for my faith. Will I be thrown of the bridge, or maybe have a knife sticking in my chest? A few seconds pass and I’m still breathing, I am fine. I slowly start to pull him away from the edge.
“Come on Chris, let’s go get a milkshake and we can talk about this.”
“Okay.. yeah, we’ll get a milkshake.”
It’s a silent walk back to my car, apart from the few times he stopped and said “I should go back, I should just do it.” To which I just kept dragging him down towards my car and kept convincing him to come with me.
When we finally reached car I asked him where he got the rope from to tie the noose with. Apparently he got it from the firestation where he works. I made him drop it back off on the way, as it was the firestations property. Otherwise I would’ve kept it myself, aslong as he wouldn’t have had it.
I don’t know what else to say about the rest about the rest of the night. It was weird, a very surreal experience . When I drove through the drive-tru at McDonalds with him I wondered how many people had been through the same drive-tru with someone they just pulled off a bridge.
After having spend an hour in the car park, we decided it was time to go home. I ended up dropping him off home with his parents. It wasn’t until I got home that it all started to kick in. I rang someone close to me and told him what had happened and asked for advice on what to do now. I ended up ringing my local police that same night, they wrote a report and told me they would visit him in the morning. As they believed he would be safe for the rest of the night. They said I did the right thing in contacting them.
The next day the police had gotten in contact with one of the head officers from the fire brigade and they ended up having a chat with Chris. If this had an impact on his job or position I do not know. I haven’t spoke to him much since that Saturday night. Chris messaged me on the Sunday morning, thanking me regardless of the fact that I got the police involved and said that I did save his life that night.
Thanks for reading the whole story!
Has anyone else been through similar experiences? I feel like I’m doing okay, the images flash through my head a few times a day, of us standing on top of the bridge, or the sudden fear I had as I walked down towards the bridge.