TRIGGER ALERT ———-TRIGGER ALERT———-TRIGGER ALERT
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)