TRIGGER WARNING: suicide, language, depression
Previously I noted that the first time I probably thought about suicide was at ten years old. Suicide was a huge issue for me during my abuse and it remains an issue to this day. Not every suicidal thought I have revolves around my abuse, it is also a big part of my depression. I tend to think about it a lot and see those thoughts as part of why I don’t commit suicide.
This has been a controversial issue for me and has at times caused people to want to argue with me and many people to tell me I’m “crazy”. Gotta love that. So here goes, I don’t have a problem with suicide. That doesn’t mean I think people should commit suicide but it means that I don’t think of it as a reason to call someone a coward or say they took the easy way out. It takes mountains of courage to make the decision to actually end your life. Most people don’t do this out of nowhere with no thought put into it. They think about it. And the pain of depression, especially when it gets to that point, is unbearable. It is so difficult to see anything else. Just darkness. And nothing you say or try to do will pull them out of it if it is that bad. If you haven’t seen that darkness then you have no idea what a difficult place that is. People who do go through with it have decided to no longer allow that darkness to control them and have decided that the pain is too much. Before you say, “Yeah but there is help out there.” Yes, there is help out there and I will always tell people to consider that when they are feeling that way. But sometimes that help isn’t actually helping. Not when your brain and your mind are in that much pain. When someone has cancer and they are in pain and they pass away, we say, “They are in a better place and no longer in pain.” Well just because you cannot physically see the pain of depression and suicide does not mean it isn’t there. And when someone makes the decision to put themselves out of that pain because they can’t take it anymore, they are also in a better place and no longer in pain. Saying things like, “He was a coward.” or “He took the easy way out.” or “He was selfish and only thinking of himself.” That is all actually you being selfish for wanting this person to tolerate an unbearable pain all because you don’t want to lose them. No one wants to lose someone they love. The best thing you can do is love them. Let them know they are loved. Show them that they are loved and that people care about them. Get them help, help them get help, but also understand that if all of that doesn’t prevent them from finally making that fatal decision, it is not them being selfish, cowardly or stupid. And it most certainly does not mean that all of your words of love and care meant nothing, it just means the pain of what they were going through was too much. You can disagree with me, many people do, but I know that I struggled for years with guilt for feeling suicidal or thinking about it so much but one day it clicked for me, suicide is a way out. The fact that it is an option makes me feel less trapped. For me it is easier to avoid suicide if my head is clear and I am thinking, “Hey I can hit this thing head on or fight it or I could just kill myself.” Most of the time, I’d say 99.9 percent of the time, suicide is ruled out. This is for me, I can’t speak for others but I can say that I find it disturbing when people make horrible comments about a victim of suicide.
So back to being suicidal at ten. That was the first time I ever thought about wanting to die. If I died, he couldn’t keep hurting me and I wouldn’t hurt like this. First time I really tried though was around 12 or 13. I remember we were supposed to go out on one of his goddamned boats that he was so into. Some lake. I didn’t want to go. Why would I? Spending the day with him was never my idea of a good day. But he was getting more and more angry the more I fought the idea of going and eventually my mum said something about “just go so he calms down”. That’s how it always was. Don’t upset him. Do everything so that he isn’t angry. Do anything so he was happy and it didn’t matter if you were miserable as long as he wasn’t angry and raging and acting like a motherfucking psychotic monster. So before we left I took a handful of pills from the medicine cabinet. No idea what they were. They made me tired, disoriented and just sick. I remember lying in the van on the way to the lake then wanting to lay down in the boat. They just thought I was putting on some kind of act to pretend I was sick so I could leave. Whatever.
I tried again once when I was home alone and a friend called and asked if I could come to her house. He told me no, I couldn’t go. I was probably 14. He was classic in his abuse, trying to isolate us from our friends and families. The more he could keep us away the more he could get away with. So when it came to me hanging out with my friends, it pissed him off. So he said no and I was deeply disappointed and again, took a handful of some other kind of pills and got sick. I was a failure at this suicide thing. No one took it seriously. I know at some point I would threaten it to teachers and the school nurse. They brought in some psychologist who set a razor blade or some shit in front of me and said, “Well if you want to do it so badly, here you go.” Ha. Reverse psychology. What a fucking joke. Talk about not having a clue how to deal with troubled and abused teenagers. It kills me to think that there are people out there now who would still treat a teenager like that instead of listening to what the teenager has to say.
I tried a few more times after that…scissors, pills, bashing my head off of a wall, whatever I could think of. It went unnoticed and when it did get noticed I was told I was being stupid. I.Was.Stupid. I was the one to blame. Why listen to me? No one listens to teenagers. And I think that is bullshit even today. Which is why I like teenagers so much. They have a lot to say and no one listens. That is such a big mistake.
So for years I tried and threatened and wrote poetry about dying, painted pictures in my own blood and was just treated like an angsty teenager. Do you know how many angsty teenagers would be alive today if someone had fucking listened to anything they had to say? I am one of the lucky ones. I had music and writing. I wrote it all down. I listened to Bono telling me how bad others had it. I realized I could do this, I could get the hell out of this situation and I would one day. I had pen pals and learned about other countries and people and made friends and realized that maybe I was not this ugly, fat, unlikable person he had told me I was for years. Sometimes. As helpful as all of this was, I still had to deal with the voices in my head, usually his voice (and still to this day) that tell me I’m worthless, I’m ugly, I unlovable, and his favourite thing to tell me when I did something successful in school was, “Why are you so goddamned mediocre? You’ll never be good at anything.” I hear this shit in my head every.fucking.day. Every.fucking.time.I.try.to.do.something. It doesn’t go away. But you learn to cope. You learn to live with it and eventually the voices are not as often. It still happens but now I have things I do to help. Music, writing, going to the movies, dancing around my room, crying even. Sometimes I need to talk to a friend and I need to ask, “Am I stupid?” and I need to hear them tell me I’m not. And if someone is your true friend, they will listen to that question many times and understand that maybe you need to hear this right now.
My abuser is a monster. He fucked my head up to the point where I truly felt like I could accomplish next to nothing. His psychological abuse had me worn down to the point of when dating came into the picture, that was a whole new fresh hell for me.