I didn’t immediately tell anyone about the interview with the FBI. I stayed silent about it for almost a year while the investigation was taking place.

In that time, I became an expert at suppressing reality both from my loved ones and myself. I told my family and boyfriend that I had accidentally dropped my computer, and it had broke beyond repair. After the interview, I could no longer stand being in my apartment alone, or anywhere else for that matter, so I’d sit and read at nearby coffee shops until they closed. I’d find excuses to stay late at work and bury myself in projects that were of no real urgency. I’d leave the radio on to keep me company. I knew it wasn’t a healthy way to deal with what I was going through, but it was the best way I knew to survive. The alternative of telling people seemed too painful at the time, and I felt that nobody could possibly understand, or worst, I feared I’d be ostracized by my friends and family.

Suicidal thoughts became routine. Everyday while driving to work, I’d imagine jumping from one of the downtown high-rises. I recall a friend once telling me that eight stories was the maximum height at which a person could fall and still survive. If I did decide to jump, I’d make sure it was more than eight stories just for safe measure. Suicide isn’t something you want to do half-ass; much better to get it right the first time. I had also heard somewhere that when a person dies, they sometimes shit or piss themselves, so I decided in the event of Plan B, I’d make sure to use the bathroom ahead of time. There isn’t much dignity in suicide, so they say, but I figured I’d at least maintain good hygiene.

I knew deep down I’d never have the balls to carry out any of these ridiculous fantasies, but it was comforting to know there was always that Plan B, an escape hatch, that I could fall back on if things got too difficult. Death was the only thing I felt I had any control over.

It wasn’t until I received the target letter from the Justice Department in September of 2010 that I decided to come clean.