Surviving Attempted Suicide


Suicide was something I thought about a lot as a child and young adult. I would be lying if I didn’t say it still creeps into the back of my mind and dances there with my memories. The first time I tried, I was 16 years old and had already known so much pain, fear, and degradation.

I made a noose and hung it on my closet bar. I turned the radio station up and a song came on as the rope went around my neck. It tickled a little and scratched. I was alone and scared. I didn’t want to be hurt anymore. I didn’t want to be called stupid, fat, ugly, a whore, a slut; I would never amount to anything… who would say all of that to a child? All the people I knew, kids in high school, family members, even a teacher or two used at least one of those words describing me daily. If they thought it, if they said it, it must be true.

My father and stepmother had this thing they called shock therapy where they would sit me down and my dad would scream at me, “You are stupid! You are fat! Your will never amount to anything! Do you want to grow up to be just like your mother? You deserve the bed next to her! You are so dumb you will never be anything. I have had dinner with the president! You will be lucky if you grow up to be a cashier at Kmart.” My step-mother was a psychiatric nurse. My father was a high-level executive at a Fortune 50 company. The abuse was not just verbal. I was 16 years old and experienced every kind of abuse imaginable. I am not prepared to go into all of those details.

Back to the closet, the noose, the radio, the song that was on was by the Hooters, Where Do the Children Go…. I remember the words feeling like they were penetrating my soul. I took the rope off my neck and I sat in the closet on the floor for hours alone quietly in the dark crying in the fetal position. I needed someone to hear me, hold me, love me. I was so alone and so scared. When I walked out of the closet that day I put my mask back on and pretended it never happened.

The next time I tried I was 18? or was it 19? I don’t recall. I had told a family secret to my step-mother, she told me that it was not true, and if it did happened I wanted it to because I was a slut and I was a whore. She said if I ever told my father, he would have a heart attack and die and it would be all my fault.

A few days later after being out, I came home and my bedroom was trashed. Stuffed teddy bears that I collected were hanging by belts from my ceiling with nooses around their necks. A trash can was overturned on my bed and scattered about, clothes were thrown my drawers. The words DIE C*NT were written on my mirror in bright red lipstick. I broke, I snapped, my mask fell from my face and shattered to a point I could not put it back on.

I went into the bathroom and swallowed every pill and drank from every bottle of medicine I could find I took a large knife and began hacking at my arms groggily. I was cutting from right to left. You can still see some of the scars faintly. My father came into the bathroom and found me on the floor. I so wish he would have taken me into his arms and told me he loved me and he was sorry for hurting me and that he was sorry that he let them hurt me, because I loved him, but he didn’t love me back and he didn’t take me into his arms or say those words.

My father began to scream and curse. He shouted, “Can’t you do anything right you F*cking moron? You cut up and down stupid B*tch not across.” He picked up the knife and started to slice my wrists for me up and down. He then tossed me down a spiral staircase. As drugged as I was at that point, it really hurt. I swear I hit every step and bounced from the wall to the railing the whole way down as I tumbled head first over and over. When I landed on the wood floor at the base of the stairs, my step-brother’s girlfriend asked, “Should I call an ambulance?”

My father yelled, “No! She has been enough of an embarrassment to this family!”

He then dragged me by my hair, through the house to the garage. He tossed me in the back of his silver Audi and yelled at me to not get blood on his interior, or he would “f*cking kill me!” Wasn’t that the point I thought?

I proceeded to rebel and began rubbing my bloody wrists all over the interior.

That is just a small snap shot into some of my memories, there is and was so much more.

So We Are One Voice asked me to talk about “Surviving Traumatic Events”

I lived. I survived. I woke up the next day after attempting suicide.

What I want to talk about is thriving after you have attempted suicide. I was broken. I still am broken, and it is OK to be broken. You need to come to terms with where you were and what happened. We are who we are because of our pasts and our stories. We need to embrace the good, the bad, and all of the ugliness in order to thrive.

Now that I am over 40, I look back at who I was a ½ of a life time ago. She was beautiful. She was young. She had potential. She had dreams. She was trusting, naïve, vulnerable and desperately wanted someone, anyone to love her. Yet she didn’t believe she deserved to be loved, not even from herself.

I look back at who I was, I see the blood painting my wrists like an abstract watercolor, I hear my father, screaming, yelling, cursing and I now see something so amazingly beautiful.

I see a woman that will rise up and not only empower herself but empower countless others who have endured through horrific pain and hardships. My gift has been and has always been my voice and my words. I was just never permitted to use it. Once I discovered that gift, I began to thrive.

After my suicide attempt I went through a long series of bad choices. One even included living on the streets, because it was safer on the streets than it could ever be at home; thus, it took many years to move from survival mode to thriving mode, and if I am being honest with you the reader I do still function in many ways just in survivor mode.

You need to find your gift or you purpose in life. We all have a reason to be here. What is yours? If you don’t know ask your friends or your family. What do you like about me? What strengths do you see in me? Start compiling a list of all the wonderful things about you, you will find your true purpose.

What if in the process the thought, the idea of suicide, begins to re-enter your mind, and trust me it will? Stop, acknowledge it, and ask for help. Talk to a friend, a family member, a counselor or call the crisis hotline. Healing, surviving, and thriving all take conscious steps forward and sometimes just a few steps back.

Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Check out my book Silence, at Barnes and Nobel or Books A Million

10 thoughts on “Surviving Attempted Suicide

  1. Mercedes,
    I don’t know you personally, however, I feel that you are a strongerindividual than you believe you are. You obviously lived through some horrific times of which no individual should experience. You are a true survivor in that you rose above the physical and verbal abuse and decided that you had something to offer to this world. You have been blessed with a beautiful family and have been gifted with the art of writing. I wish you every success this world has to offer you but above all I wish you love & peace. Mattie 📚

  2. I’ve known you for at least 9 years, finally met you 7 years ago, and we’ve stayed in touch fairly closely. I’ve always thought of you as a caring, talented, magnetic, creative, intelligent, energetic, lighthearted, and happy person. To me that is who you are, not a mask you put on. It is hard to let go of a past and step into life the way others see you now isn’t it? It is a challenge to stay in the present and handle life as we are now, not as it was handled in the past. Keep working at it – and keep reminding us about where you have been so that we can help others — and ourselves.

  3. Mercedes even though we have not met in person we talk often. I enjoyed your very first book Silence. I could identify with Cali your main character . Reading your blog I definitely can understand your pain. I was called names in school snd by strangers for being overweight . Talk zag out date rape I cannot even go there. But you and have discussed experience regarding suicide and attempts . I am so very happy that none worked. We are proof life gets better . I did have a loving family that is the difference. My brother unfortunAtely had a successful suicide. I am a psych nurse and I use my life experience when deAling with a suicidal patient .I am not a real religious person but I pray and I thank GOD for tne life and family and friends that I have.
    Looking forward to your next book in June . Hugs to you keep up the good work !

  4. Mercedes,
    This is one of the most compelling blogs that I’ve ever read! It takes a lot of courage to discuss a subject like suicide and share your personal feelings about it. During my years in the military and law enforcement I’ve known too many people that chose this option. I pray God is providing you His love and that you’re in a better place now. Please know that admired and loved by many people! I’m very proud to call you my friend!

  5. There are builders in life~ they are the ones who were tore down repeatedly~ left in the dumpster, under the rubble…. I remember the first time I heard a newstory about a baby in a dumpster, it was a life defining moment….For all the people who forget how powerful their words are, go lay in a dumpster behind a tavern on a Friday night…. I will be more careful of my choice in words with my child, I like to think I give him plenty of positive encouragement, but we are all human and have moments of frustration…. I do prefer to be a builder and encourager in this life and hope to be remembered as such. To think of ending my life adds a moment of clarity, as I do think of it~ I don’t think I need an intervention, but given the means and opportunity we could use the cement to lay a strong foundation or use it to pour into our shoes before jumping in the lake! Be encouraged to know tragedy happens to give us left behind that moment to choose foundation or shoes?

  6. Mercedes, your courage and determination inspire me. You are so strong, and growing stronger every day. You’re retelling of your attempts to commit suicide was hard to read, and I can only imagine (when I try very hard) how difficult it was to live through. I am so thankful that you were not successful. The best truly is yet to come. Your writing is a gift, and your life is a gift of exponential value. Thank you for sharing your story, thank you for being courageous, and most of all, thank you for being my friend.

  7. After having read your blog I feel like I know you more than before. My own pain usually came from what ‘wasn’t said’ as opposed to what was said, and ‘what wasn’t done’ when I needed them the most. I can’t say that I have enough of an understanding of suicide to discuss it with people, other than to say that I was always afraid that life would be too short, so it wasn’t someplace I wanted to go. I knew I was going anyway, sooner than I wanted to. That was a much stronger read than I anticipated… BRAVO Mercedes. bravo.

  8. My wife has attempted suicide many times in our 11 year marriage. She too began thinking about suicide as a young child.
    She decides every day day whether to live or die. She has had chronic pain and fatigue for 19 years. I was diagnosed in 2012 with the same illness.
    She wants to die whenever the pain is so great that no treatment makes it go away.
    We will be moving to Utah or Las Vegas soon because there are research and treatment centers for our illness. I’m hoping that we find comfort out there and enjoy whatever the Universe has in store for us.
    I will be checking out your book and following your blog posts and tweets.

    Walter Irvine blogs collections of observations and amusing stories based on real experiences, as far as you know. You may read his posts on Walt’s Inquisitive Ramble at: http:/

  9. Pingback: Do You Listen With Your Head? Heart? or Soul? | Voice of Survival of Traumatic Events

  10. Shit. Tesrs in my ryes. Onviously, your dad was SO wrong in his prediction. But I could see how a teenager would believe him. Having overcome all that, you’ve blossomed into an attractive and accomplished woman who’s also a great mom. Thanks for sharing this.

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