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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

‘I’ve just been hurt’: Carly’s search for hope

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The only thing Carly Jackson remembers about her stay in a hospital following a suicide attempt earlier this year is trying to kick a nurse.

That’s it. She was reeling from an attempted overdose, ashamed of herself, trying to figure out exactly what was going on. She had just been in Edinburgh, after all, and woke up in Indianapolis.

Jackson, 19, was at Atterbury Job Corps Center when she attempted suicide. She had just failed a drug test and was only four days short of graduating from the program with her culinary license. They wanted to send her to a shelter in Columbus, but Jackson didn’t want that — not after growing up in the foster care system, transitional housing and treatment facilities.

She tried to take her life Jan. 19 while locked in an office at the front gate of the center.

Jackson was homeless on the streets of Indianapolis and bounced around to different houses when she could. She got into Wheeler Mission recently after being sexually assaulted by someone she met on a dating app.

“It’s really hard,” she said. “I’m really depressed. I feel like a walking corpse to be honest. It may not seem like it, but I do. I’m so depressed. I’m so hurt. I’ve been hurt in all the ways you can imagine.”

Jackson sees a therapist every Tuesday now and said it helps to just have someone to talk to when she’s lonely. She was reunited with her mother recently for the first time since she was 6 — when the state took her away from her parents — but they didn’t get along and didn’t stay in touch.

“I wouldn’t wish how I feel on anybody because how I feel, it’s like, I don’t care if I die,” she said. “It’s really sad because I used to be so confident.”

Some things are starting to look up, though. Thanks to a housing voucher program through Indianapolis Housing Agency, Jackson is close to getting into an apartment, the first place she’ll ever have on her own.

Like so many others in a situation like hers, Jackson said she feels misunderstood. She wishes people knew that she’s a caring person.

“I put myself in other people’s shoes all the time,” she said. “Every decision I make, whether it seems like I did or not, at the time I may not have cared about the negative outcome, but I did think about how you would feel, and I did think about the consequences before I just did it.

“I’m very smart. I’ve just been hurt. I’m broken.”

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

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