It’s very early morning, but I’m feeling led to venture down a certain path most people would choose not to talk about…
Suicide, Suicidal Thoughts and Suicidal Tendencies.
I get it, it’s not one of the most upbeat subjects to discuss, but not every conversation is meant to make you feel comfortable; some are meant to stir up your emotions and be thought-provoking and hopefully inspiring. Sharing our most vulnerable moments in life will likely be what other’s need to hear most.
As most of you probably have figured out by the majority of my posts, I am, in fact, a Christian. I obviously do believe in God and I was raised in a loving home. From the outside looking in, most would wonder what would cause someone with a life like me to even come close to having to deal with this subject matter. Let me say this first, Christians definitely aren’t perfect, much like everyone else. We all have our flaws and we all deal with problems and hardships differently. Being a Christian doesn’t make any if us immune to any kind of problems in life, but it can change our perspective and how we approach our own issues. We definitely fall, and many of us over and over…but we’re all on a unique path and on different maturity levels when it comes to our faith. So with that said, I’ll share my own personal experience on the topic.
As previously mentioned, I come from a loving intermediate family. Two parent household and my parents have been together for many years and still are. I grew up with two older brothers, so being feminine was never really an option 😂 I had to keep up with the boys and being rough and tumble wasn’t an option, it was necessity! 😝 We went to church on a regular basis; every Sunday and almost every Wednesday. Our small church felt more like a family than anything else. It truly was one of a kind. I also went to one elementary school, one middle school and one high school, never changing schools, so I had that stability too. I even had friends who went through each grade with me from the start. I was always close with my parents, a handful of other relatives, some teachers and I had friends…so why did I get to a point where I felt alone and misunderstood?
There’s been a few instances in my life where this topic of suicide, suicidal thoughts and tendencies has been most prominent. First I start with a middle school aged me. When we’re younger, we’re led to believe adults are rather truthful. They tell us things that will help us out and they are there to guide us in life, but not all adults are good spirited and not all have the best intentions. I don’t want to seem as if I am bad mouthing my family, but I am being honest…parts of my extended family are very harsh critics. There are some whom have always been negative and hateful, not only about other people they know but towards each other too. They magnified your “flaws” yet conveniently forget to ever acknowledge their own. I was often compared to someone else in my family, whom I love dearly. As all of us know, every person is built different. I remember as early as 8 being ridiculed for how I looked in a swim suit just swimming at my grandmother’s house. Now when I was 8 I was about 57 pound and really wasn’t a “big” person at all. At 8, I didn’t have that thought process though, I trusted that I was being fed the truth by an adult who should have loved me, but obviously did not. We would have holiday meals and even meals together after church on Sundays at times, and you’ll even be criticized for how much you put on your plate and if you get up for seconds, “you’re gonna get fatter eating that!” Yes, fattER as in you’re already fat now and more food is just going to add to your “problem”. I think of how different it would be had I been the person I am today back then; but I was still young. All of this criticism was constant and repetitive and at such a young age you foolishly start to believe the words being said about you. You now grow up believing you’re fat, ugly and you are left with zero self-esteem. Broken even before leaving elementary school. Fast forward to middle school me. Many children I know all go through that awkward stage where they’re in the middle of growing and their bodies are fluctuating and maturing and that only further aggravated the issues I already had. Siblings tease you on a regular basis, although not trying to add to your pain intentionally, they can mimic some things you’ve heard for years now and the self esteem has no chance. I don’t believe my brothers to have meant to hurt me with their words deeply, but their words stirred the echoes of the ones who did mean to. After years of hearing so many things wrong with my appearance: my weight, my skin, my teeth, my hair etc. one day (in 8th grade I believe) I felt like I had enough. I thought to myself what’s the point of being here; being alive to be the punching bag for others? It seems so trivial, but look at how bullying has come to the spotlight. Bullying happens not just at school or by classmates but by family members at get togethers or even worse, for some it happens in their own homes by their own parents. I felt alone, I felt hurt, I felt confused and I felt like a burden. I somehow convinced myself that lives around me would improve if I took my own life. We grew up having guns in our house and being around guns, and our parents always kept the guns put up. Being in middle school, you are kind of old enough to find the gun and maybe even sneak it off. Now, a gun I got a hold of may not have killed me, could have hurt me bad but who knows if the handgun would have done what I intended it to. I found it, brought it back go my room and crying I held this gun to my temple with my finger on the trigger. All these thoughts flooded my mind instantly..a mix of insults and comparisons. In one moment, I felt a tug at my heart. I felt a presence with me and my mind went to people close to me and I could see clearly how they would be affected. What if it hurt more people instead of improving their lives. In an instant, finger still on the trigger, I had this moment of clarity and I didn’t feel alone in that moment. In my heart I 110% believe it was God stopping me because He had better plans for me and my life. So after more tears, I gathered myself and snuck the gun back and never spoke of that incident. I felt ashamed.
Now onward we go into high school years. I was definitely not a “school spirit” type of person. Wasn’t part of a popular group nor did I desire to be. I was very much my own person and I wasn’t afraid to let my differences show. Still had friends, made good grades yet I fell down the same rabbit hole again. In my opinion, high schoolers are still confused on who they are as a person, but I was already there, I knew who I was and I had for a long time. You meet people who try to convince you that you would be better if you were different from how you are. I always had confidence to tell those types of people to take those conversations elsewhere because I was stronger than that. Why as a teenager do we let people we think we “love” alter our perceptions of ourselves. Our willingness and eagerness to change becomes annoying. Trust that we rarely give is suddenly freely given and then shattered into a million pieces. Previous friendships we believed we may have had before dating are betrayed and broken beyond repair. Here we are again, rejected, criticized, hurt and alone again. The story repeats itself. I let some people into my life and my heart that never deserved it. I was essentially that 8-year-old girl again, hanging on every word this person(s) said. Trying to fit into their image of what “pretty” or “beautiful” was. Little changes here and there and before you know it, you’re not yourself at all, but the person you believe you love is now more interested. That should be a red flag telling you to forget all of this, but sometimes we are simply ignorant. Persuasion and pressure, they cause you to find yourself in situations you have no way out of. You can be told “if you do this, then I believe you like me” “if you so this I probably will date you” “if you don’t do this I’ll never talk to you again”…yet, either way, you end up alone so it never really mattered. I know I am somewhat vague on this specific circumstance, maybe I will open up about it further in the future because it is something others go through as well. This situation led me to lose all care about myself and my well-being. I began being reckless and stupid. I would get sloppy drunk and find myself unable to lift my own head out of my vomit. I would once open my eyes and be laying in the middle of a road at night, anyone could had hit me and been unaware I was even in the road. I once went to climb off a 3rd floor balcony, but luckily was stopped in the process. I believe my lowest point was being so drunk and sick that I was shaking and unable to get up, so I had to crawl to the bathroom and no one would help. I remember laying there and thinking what am I doing? I was so scared and again, felt alone. All I wanted to do was call my parents to come get me, but I didn’t want to disappoint them because I had already disappointed myself enough. I prayed, CONTINUOUSLY, for God to let me survive that night; let me get out of here and I promise I’ll never drink again. To this day, I choose not to drink.
At some point in high school, I would start with the self harm. What would be categorized as “suicidal tendencies”. I started down the cutting route. It got to a point where I could walk in a room and see all the options of sharp objects I could use. I always cut in places you couldn’t see or that would be easily concealed: Bottom of the foot, palm of the hand, upper arm and hip. I used items like: seam rippers, broken pen shafts, scissors, broken cds, just whatever I could get my hands on really. Luckily, for me, it never went too far. It was many times about numbing myself. Feeling the physical pain would help me escape the emotional pain I felt at the time, thus the appeal. An escape. An easy way out. I met my now husband not long after that period of time and I credit him for opening my eyes and making me realize this could not continue.
The quote at the top of the blog represents advice I would give my younger self. There will be very dark times in most everyone’s life, but knowing that the darkness will eventually fade and the pain that’s consuming you today will ease and even subside, that information can make all the difference. Even the people you find to be the happiest and funniest, the ones who thrive on building others up and making others laugh, the ones who come from great homes…those people struggle too, in fact, they may just be some of the ones who are struggling the most. My story did not end and now I can be that light in someone else’s darkness. The beacon that leads them out of the water and onto the shore. Your story doesn’t have to end and it DOES get better. You are worth more than you believe.
Go out and speak with love. Go out of your way to let others know they are loved and cared for. Do something nice for a stranger. Ask someone if they need help, if they’re okay. You never know the profound impact one simple caring act can have. You may just restore hope in someone who believes there is none left.
My prayer for everyone today is that you have confidence in who you are on the inside and out. I pray that when you’re facing difficult times you find someone and confide in them. My hope is that you pray and know your prayers are important enough to be heard. I want all of you to acknowledge your strength, courage and importance. We all have a purpose for being alive. Each one of us has a unique gift and we can’t give up before even finding out what it is. Our gift will help so many others as well as ourselves. You are loved. You are important. You are cared for. You are seen. You are heard, even in your silence.
It does get better…that’s a promise.
Much love and God Bless