Suicide Prevention

This is When It Began

In This is When It Began, this sweet girl reflects on her father and the beginning of her abuse.  It is so painful for me to read, yet I know that it is going to be healing.  As I have said before, you have to walk through the pain before you can heal.  That is exactly what she is doing.

This is When It Began

I Remember When

I remember the days when we would sit on the couch and watch tv or work on my homework together,

The days when I was the one you cared for the apple of your eye so to speak.

I remember us taking four wheeler rides through our land back when we were still a single family.

Back before the war between the parents where the kids had to chose sides

Where the kids had to learn who would do what.

Relearning Life

This was before the manipulation and the lies from both sides.

I wish we could have the same relationship as we did then.

When you were the one I cared for the most

But then it happened…

You Left.

You should have tried harder.

You should have at least fought for your family

but you gave in and moved out.

This is When it Began.

Mom found a new man.

We stayed with our grandparents most of the time.

This is where the abuse began.

The man who was suppose to be an uncle

turned out to be a child abuser.

As I stayed in silence he became your friend

and this is how it came down in the end.

You Did Nothing but Sit

You didn’t try to do anything.

Instead you said you knew people inside.

This was probably a lie.

Which is you didn’t care what had happened

or at least you didn’t care enough.

If you did, you would have done something… anything would have been enough.

Enough to Show that You Cared for Me

Anything at all would have sufficed.

Years later I still hold you at fault whether I should or not.

I just wish you had seen what was going on.

I mean there were signs.

But I Can’t Blame You for Someone Else’s Decisions

Just for yours at that was to do nothing.

Yes I’m still mad and still sad.

And I know I should forgive you for this one thing.

But I just can’t until I understand why.

Resources

If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.

ChildHelp Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Related Posts

Reflecting on This Week’s Story

My Life is Hard

Promised Suicide

Suicide Prevention

Suicide Amongst the Elderly

Suicide Amongst the Elderly

Suicide Amongst the Elderly

Suicide Amongst the Elderly a very serious problem. Although the elderly (age 65 and older) comprise about 13% of the U.S. population, they account for over 18% of all suicides.

The most common cause for elderly suicide, as for all suicides, is untreated depression. Thus, elderly depression needs to be recognized and treated.  And about one third of the seniors who are 65 or older experience depression.

Depression

Some individuals believe that depression is a normal part of being elderly, which is completely untrue. Depression is not normal for people of any age. Elderly people with depression have a chemical imbalance in their brain. And that chemical imbalance is extremely common and highly treatable.

However, it is important that an elderly person who exhibits symptoms of depression receives a thorough physical exam from a medical doctor to determine if there is a physical basis for the depression. Some physical conditions and the use of some medications may cause symptoms of depression.

The following disease and physical problems may cause symptoms of depression:

    • thyroid disorders
    • diabetes
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • multiple sclerosis
    • strokes
    • tumors
    • some viral infections

 

The following medications may cause symptoms of depression:

 

    • blood pressure medication
    • arthritis medication
    • hormones
    • steriods

Kevin Caruso has so many resources and help on his website.  My Lady struggled so badly after her first round of TIA’s and her stroke.  When her keys were taken away, it was devastating to her.  I remember that she found them and drove to my house.  There I was, homeschooling my kids, and she comes honking in my driveway.  She said she was fine and she wanted to prove that she could do it.  Well, drive she did, she came to me and then went home.  Luckily, we didn’t live far apart.

Depression Set In

Her depression set in because she knew that that part of her life was over.  Her Jerome had gone to be with Jesus and now she couldn’t drive.  My heart sank. I spent everyday with her because I loved her and I couldn’t stand to see that sadness.

Please, check on your elderly neighbors.  Take food, offer to run an errand, just sit and glean from their wisdom…it is so worth it.  My life is better because she was in it.  I adored her.  She stays a part of me everyday.  My dad went through this, as well.  I can see where they feel like a burden to other people.  Remind them that they are not a burden and that they are loved beyond measure.

Statistics

According to the AAFMT Website   “In 2002, the annual suicide rate for persons over the age of 65 was over 15 per 100,000 individuals; this number increases for those aged 75 to 84, with over 17 suicide deaths per every 100,000. The number rises even higher for those over age 85. Further, elder suicide may be under-reported by 40% or more.”

Resources

If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.

ChildHelp Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Suicide Prevention

Reflecting on This Week’s Story

Reflecting on This Week's Story

Reflecting on This Week’s Story

In Reflecting on This Week’s Story, it was another tough one to publish.  The vicious cycle that has plagued this young girl is heartbreaking.   The generational curse of addiction plays a huge role in her life.  It has not just been an issue for her and her mom.  It has been passed down from generation to generation.

The thing about generational curses is that they CAN be broken.  You can plead the blood of Jesus Christ over them and He will break them.  That was a hard concept for me to accept, personally.  For me, I just thought I was “destined” to be so many things that I had seen in my family.  That is a lie straight from the pit of hell.

God is Bigger

God is so much bigger than all the things that run through my head and this sweet girl’s head.  When I see her, I see beauty.  Not only a physical beauty but a beauty that shines from within.  Her laugh is infectious.  She is LOUD yet timid.  Loves Jesus, yet so unsure of herself.  This young lady has my heart and then some.

There is a strength about her that she has, yet it is buried under all the pain.  She wants to hide in the darkness but the Lord will not allow that, so He shines brightly on all those dark spots.  He says in His Word in Psalm 139:11-12 “If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”

Wisdom

This brilliant young lady is being so wise.  She is seeking help, reaching out, saying the hard things, and admitting her struggles.  Furthermore, she is seeking medical care from doctors, therapists, and friends who understand.  This includes counseling, medication, meditation, writing, getting rest, and trying to eat better.  All these things are amazing for her.

What I Want Her to Know

Sweet girl.  You are loved by me, your friends, your church, and your family.  I am so proud of you for simply breathing every day.  Jesus wants nothing from you.  He just wants you to turn your eyes unto the hills because that is where your strength will come from.  You are beautiful, gracious, loving, and kind.  Your life has meaning and your testimony is powerful.

Related Posts

My Life is Hard

Promised Suicide

Suicide Awareness Prevention for First Responders Resources

Suicide Prevention

My Life is Hard

Though my life is hard and i face tough issues, my God will never abandon  me. - Quotes

In My Life is Hard, this is the second part of yesterday’s post.  As you can see, mental illness can affect every ounce of your life.  Thoughts come and go like the tides of the ocean, yet she remains steadfast.  She is trying and reaching out.  Though somedays, all appears well with her, in her mind, they are not.  Please show grace and kindness to all you meet.  You do not know the battles they face.

My Life is Hard

It is a struggle for me on most days to get out of bed. To remember to make myself take my pills that are suppose to help the chemical imbalance in my brain. Aka makes me happier and more “normal”. Sometimes I feel like they work other times I feel like my old self. I let the thoughts I thought were gone back in. Once they are in I can’t get them out. I think about things that I’ve done and the way I liked the feeling. But then I think about the people I know that would be disappointed in me if I chose that path once again.

So I sit and contemplate, should I or no, I liked the pain the feeling of getting it out in a way that only I could feel I mean I wasn’t hurting anyone else was I? But no I made a promise, so I choose to sit in silence. I choose to do nothing but sit and stare into the emptiness inside of me. Most days, I try to fill the hole with anything that it will hold. I try to keep my mind occupied to keep away the thoughts of suicide.

Some Days

But then there are days when everything seems alright, the pain is still there but it’s not so debilitating. On these days life is not so bad I have the energy I can talk and reciprocate the feeling and put effort into conversating. I can express the things on my mind and try to tell them I’m not okay and need some help and not just for the day. These are the days I’m motivated, to my commitments, to my job, or do anything that involves another person. These are the days that I see my people the most. I try to explain where I’ve been and why I’ve been so distant but they know they’ve been there with me before. The days that I am ok those are the days that I feel loved and those are the days I return the love.

Few and Far Between

The good days use to be far and in between, the bad days now that’s where I lived. But now my days are starting to turn around. I’m not going to lie they’re about 50% good and 50% bad. I’m not where I want to be but I’m definitely farther than I thought I’d be. I know ill never be 100% good no one ever is. But I would like for one day the good be more than the bad.

My Goal

I know the only way to get to my goal is to work on myself and to be honest with myself. I need to be more aware of my feelings, I need to keep myself on the right path. I’ve got to decide to make the effort to get better. And I have, I take my medication when I’m supposed to and I tell the doctor when I feel like I need something new. I’m trying to go to counseling for the first time. I am honest and I try to get my feeling across. I am trying.

For me, the thing that’s helped me is the bond between the people I consider to be my support system. They aren’t afraid to tell me how it is and push me to do the things that I know I should do but am too afraid to do. My support people love me because they can, not because they feel obligated to. They choose to care about my life, they listen to me without making me feel guilty and they help and advise when they feel like they can.

Reaching Out

The one thing that’s helped me the most is finding people that share the same thoughts. Its easier, for me, to open up to someone that I know has been in a similar situation or the same mental disorder. We can share the things that we feel and know that we aren’t alone. We can talk about the bad days and not worry about the looks we will get. Because we both share the same struggles we can help each other through them. We can talk to each other without getting offended.

Thoughts on Mental Disorder

When you have a mental disorder it is hard to take responsibility for your actions so having that support group, those friends, and sometimes family it makes it easier when they can help remind you. You may have a harder time making the right decision because of the disorder but you are the one that makes that decision. Because for me, for the longest time, I blamed everything on everyone and then I blamed everything on my mental disorder. But now that I’m stable I can see that everything is up to me. I chose what to do and when to do it so I’m trying to make a better effort.

I am a Work in Progress

My life is hard but at least I try I’m no longer sitting in the dark contemplating my life. I may not be all sunshine and rainbows but at least I now can smile. I now hate myself a little less and I can admit that I am a work in progress. I’ll always struggle with this depression and my mental disorder. It will always be harder for me than most but now I am fighting for my life. I want to live and love. To grow into the person I was meant to be. I want to use my struggles to help others but most importantly I want to be free. Free of shame, free of guilt, and free of hate for myself.

Resources

If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.

ChildHelp Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Suicide Prevention

Promised Suicide

Promised Suicide

Suicide Prevention Provides Hope - Our Side of Suicide

**TRIGGERING POST** In the story of Promised Suicide, a young woman shares how the generational curse has affected her life.  This is, of course, a very personal story.  It is heartbreaking what she has endured and continues to endure the battle of her mind.  Tomorrow, she will talk about where she is now, in life, and how her beginning was trying to dictate her future but then…there was God.

As a child:

I always promised myself that I would never be like you,

I would never leave my family feeling unloved,

I would never drink to be drunk,

I would never medicate myself,

I would never lay in the bed for weeks at a time,

I would never do anything to harm myself.

And yet as an adult:

I’ve made everyone I love feel hated,

I’ve drank because I’m sad,

I’ve thought about taking to many of my own pills,

I’ve laid in the bed for weeks at a time,

I’ve cut and carved things into my skin.

As a child:

I didn’t realize what it was like to feel Alone, Unloved, Insignificant,

All I knew was that my mother didn’t care,

My mother hated me,

My mother didn’t want to spend time with me.

My mother hated herself,

And most of all my mother wanted to die.

As an adult:

I don’t care,

I hate myself,

I don’t want to spend time with anyone,

I wanted to die.

All because I feel Unlovable, Alone, and Insignificant.

I wonder if there is any connection between what I saw as a child and why I am the way I am.

Did I learn to handle life the way I have?

I mean it would be way easier for me to blame you.

You were the one that raised me,

Or was it the other way around.

What did you expect out of me when you let me take care of you.

Did you expect me to be normal; After all the things I’ve been through?

After flushing away the last pills you didn’t take,

After picking up the blades you tried to use to take your life away,

After scrubbing your blood off of the floor and then putting everything back in place.

But no I can’t blame this on you I chose to do it too,

I chose to pick up that knife

I chose to make the plan

I am responsible for my actions

Resources

If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.

ChildHelp Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Other Posts

Is Your Family Ready for the New School Year?

Good Information from Make School Community

Swimming Pool Safety Tips for Parents and Kids

Suicide Prevention

Suicide Awareness Prevention for First Responders Resources

Suicide Awareness Prevention for First Responders Resources

My dad is a retired police officer.  I have a sister who worked in Criminal Justice for a very long time.  Also, my husband, daughter, and son-in-law work in this field.  I have dear friends who are First Responders.  These people deserve so much respect and love.  These are some Suicide Awareness Prevention for First Responders Resources.  You can go to Police1 for more information.

By Police1 Staff

Public safety is a difficult profession that can lead to mental health struggles – and those struggles cannot be left untreated. More police officers died by suicide than in the line of duty in 2018, as was the case the previous year and the year prior to that. A study commissioned by the Ruderman Family Foundation found that firefighters are also more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty. The following is a list of suicide prevention resources for first responders. Whether you’re on the front line and in need of immediate help, or in a leadership position looking to offer better prevention programs and help for your staff, this list should point you in the right direction.

PROGRAMS

Suicide Awareness Prevention for First Responders Resources

The following programs will directly help you or help connect you to the resources you or a loved one needs. The majority of these are tailored specifically to first responders. Also, keep in mind that many of these websites list additional resources to the ones listed in this article.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline

The lifeline provides 24/7 confidential support for those in distress or in need of help for their loved ones.

CONTACT: Call 800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Crisis Text Line

A text will connect you with a trained crisis counselor, 24/7.

CONTACT: https://www.crisistextline.org/ or text BADGE to 741741

1st Help

1st Help matches first responders with appropriate services based on a brief questionnaire, which determines what specific assistance you need (emotional, financial, religious, etc.).

CONTACT: http://www.1sthelp.net/

Safe Call Now

Safe Call Now is a 24-hour crisis referral service for those in public safety and their family members.

CONTACT: https://www.safecallnow.org/ or call 206-459-3020

First Responder Support Network

FRSN provides educational treatment programs for first responders and their families.

CONTACT: http://www.frsn.org/ or call 415-721-9789

Serve & Protect

Serve & Protect helps connect public safety professionals with trauma services.

CONTACT: https://serveprotect.org/ or call 615-373-8000 for the crisis line.

Cops Alive

Cops Alive provides resources and strategies to help cops live happy and successful lives.

CONTACT: http://www.copsalive.com/

CopLine

CopLine is a 24/7 service that will connect you to a peer support counselor.

CONTACT: http://www.copline.org/ or call 800-267-5463

Treatment Placement Specialists

This program offers treatment guidance based on the individual needs of officers.

CONTACT: https://www.treatmentplacementspecialists.com/first-responders/ or call 877-540-3935

VALOR

The Valor Officer Safety and Wellness program is a Bureau of Justice Assistance funded initiative that provides a ton of resources.  Also, online training focused on improving officer health and resilience.

CONTACT: https://www.valorforblue.org/Home


ADVOCACY

The following organizations are working to raise mental health awareness and treatment options for police officers.

Blue H.E.L.P.

Blue H.E.L.P. is an organization working to reduce mental health stigma in law enforcement.  Also, raise awareness of the problem of suicide in LE.

CONTACT: https://bluehelp.org/

Badge of Life

Badge of Life’s focus is on educating.  Furthermore, it is on training agencies on mental health.  Also, suicide prevention in law enforcement.

CONTACT: https://www.badgeoflife.org/

Related Posts

World Suicide Prevention Awareness Day

Sadness in America and the Celebration of New Year in Ethiopia

Suicide Prevention

World Suicide Prevention Awareness Day

World Suicide Prevention Awareness Day

World Suicide Prevention Awareness Day

WARNING THIS COULD BE A TRIGGERING POST:  Today, September 10, 2020, is World Suicide Prevention Awareness Day.  Content in this issue contains information on death and dying, mental illness, and mental health crisis, which some readers may find triggering. If you need support at any time, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, or the National Postpartum Depression Hotline at 1-800-PPD-MOMS.

#BEThe1To ASK

This can be a HARD thing to say.  For me, I don’t want to put that seed in their head, if it isn’t already there.  I do pray for discernment.  Simply say “How are you feeling?  Do you have anything in the home that can harm you?  Are you safe?  How can I help?  Do you feel the urge to do something unsafe to yourself.”

I always follow up with those questions with truths.  “You are loved.  I love you.  You are my treasure.  There is hope.  Value to your life.”

#BeThe1To KEEP THEM SAFE

I usually show up, if I can.  There have been many hours spent cleaning my friends up while reminding them they are loved.  I have sat at hospitals hours on end to just be present and remind them that they are loved and treasured.  This is a moment, this does not have to be their forever.  Sometimes, I have to be their voice when they are struggling to find their words.

#BeThe1To BE THERE

Did the people in the back hear this?  LISTEN WITHOUT JUDGMENT AND WITH COMPASSION AND EMPATHY.   This is NOT hard.  Just simply listen, support, encourage, and cry with them.  They don’t need you to fix it.  Honestly, they just need an ear.

#BeThe1To HELP THEM CONNECT

Know the number.  Call it for them, if they need you too.  Be the one who calls in the calvary if you need too.  Give them a list of people that can listen and help.  Pastors, family, friends, therapists and then make sure they follow through!  Go with them if they need it.

#BeThe1To FOLLOW UP

When the crisis is over, for that moment, follow up and check on them.  Once a week, send an encouraging text.  Call.  Visit.  Somehow relay that you are so thankful that they are there and the purpose that they have in this life.  God is not done with them yet!

BEThe1To  You can save a life…just by asking!!!!!!!!!!!!

World Suicide Prevention Day

Related Posts:

Stress Organizing Food Areas

Meals for a Week

Is Your Family Ready for a New School Year

Sadness in America and the Celebration of New Year in Ethiopia

Suicide Prevention

This Week’s Story

This Week's Story
Arien Smith: Abuse Recovery Advocate on Twitter: “You are not defined by your trauma. You are a whole and complete and beautiful person. #trauma #abuse #childabuse #csa… https://t.co/NhA9AZRhP8”

This Week’s Story

In This Week’s Story, my heart is heavy.  It is so … well … so many reasons.  I ache for the innocence lost.  The pain that this sweet girl still deals with.  The uncertainty of when bad days feel like they are overcoming her.  It is just hard.  Yet, there is power in her story.

I firmly believe that this WAS NOT ordained by God but allowed due to the free-will of man.  Yet, He will use her story for His glory.  She is a fighter.  Overcomer.  Warrior.  She is an amazing human being with a prayer life that is amazing and her faith has never waivered.

As sad as I am for what she went through … I am humbled by her perseverance, grace, forgiveness, and mercy.  Furthermore, her fight inspires me.  A beloved child of the King/

Resources

If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.

ChildHelp Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Related Posts

Suicide Deaths in the United States

You are Not Your Trauma

Thoughts on This Week’s Story

Before the Wrath Review and Giveaway

Suicide Prevention

Suicide Deaths in the United States

Suicide Deaths in the United States

These are some powerful visuals from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.  The statistics are based on Suicide Deaths in the United States.  Please, stop and take a look.  More people have suicidal ideations than you think.  Sadly, some of these people may be your family or friends.

 

Suicide Rates by Sex, United States 2009-2018

From 2009 to 2018, the age-adjusted suicide death rate increased from 11.76 to 14.24 per 100,000 people. From
2009 to 2018, the rate increased from 19.23 to 22.79 per 100,000 for males. Among females, the rate increased
from 4.88 in 2009 to 6.18 in 2018.

Suicides consistently outnumber homicides.

Suicide and Homicide Rates, United States 2009-2018

The homicide rate has not consistently shown the upward trend that we see with the suicide rate.

Suicide Rates at the County Level, United States 2008-2014

 

Suicide rates are generally highest in Alaska and in the western and northwestern United States, with the exception
of southern California and parts of Washington. Rural counties generally have higher rates of suicide than urban
counties.

References

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. (2020). 1999-2018 Wide
Ranging Online Data for Epidemiological Research (WONDER), Multiple Cause of Death files [Data file].
Retrieved from CDC Underlying Cause

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2008-2014, United States Smoothed Age-Adjusted Death
Rates per 100,000 Population [map]. All Injury, Suicide, All Races, All Ethnicities, Both Sexes, All Ages.
(January 2020). Retrieved from CDC

3. Rosen, L. M., Hedegaard, H., Kahn, D., & Warner, M. (2018). County-level trends in suicide rates in the
U.S., 2005–2015. American Journal of Preventive Medicine [3], 55(1), 72-79.

Related Posts:

You are Not Your Trauma

Thoughts on This Week’s Story

Suicide Prevention

You are Not Your Trauma

Suicide Prevention Month: Become A Gatekeeper of HOPE | Hope for the Warriors

Highlighting Stories of Survivors

In this story, you will read about abuse by a “boyfriend” to his girlfriend.  The phrase “You are Not Your Trauma” has stuck affected my heart so deeply.  As my heart was breaking for what this young girl has gone through, in the end…she knows Truth.  What man used for evil, He will use for His glory.  Somehow, someway, her story will give the strength to someone else to SPEAK UP and GET OUT.  Her strength and courage leaves me in awe.  I’m so proud of this young lady.

This is a TRUE story of control, manipulation, abuse and the suicidal ideations this young lady.  She is NOT a victim.  This girl is a survivor and a child of the King.  Please be mindful, if leaving comments, that I will not tolerate judgment or hateful things said.

The Beginning

I don’t even know where to begin, so I guess I will start at the beginning. I had a very happy childhood, it was normal. Until it wasn’t. When I was about 14, almost 15, I was in a courtship with a person older than me. It seemed so innocent at the time, we were almost always supervised by my parents or his.

His Capabilities

When you are 14, you start being interested in boys and all that fun stuff. So it was nice to be noticed by someone of the opposite sex. I had no idea of what he was capable of, and I am still finding out what he was capable of to this day. I honestly don’t know when it happened but he emotionally and psychologically abused me.

He also molested me. There, I said it. It’s not something I like to talk about. There are some people in this world who are super manipulators. They can play you and get inside your head and you have no idea what hit you. That’s what this person was like. A snake. That’s a good word to use, the other ones I want to use involve curse words and I do not think that is appropriate in this context. 

Fear

I was afraid. All the time. Afraid of making him angry. Afraid of him hurting me. Afraid that one misstep would be the end. That fear came to a boiling point when he attempted to force me to kiss him by holding my face with a blanket over my head and pulling me towards him. I fought like hell, and he backed off. But that wasn’t the end. I knew that he would hurt me if I said anything.

He didn’t even have to threaten me. He had such control over my mind that I knew without him saying anything. Then the molestation happened. I do not want to disclose that. And I don’t have to. I still didn’t say anything. I remember he came to my bedroom window after everyone was asleep and told me that it was best if I didn’t tell anyone. That scared me. He scared me. 

Speaking Out

But I did eventually say something. And it didn’t end, I wanted it to end. I wanted to forget everything that happened and never remember it. Maybe if I forgot it, it would go away. No, that is not how life works. Then the police were involved, that was also terrifying. Me, a 15 year old child, being interviewed by a detective (who by the way is a wonderful person and I am forever grateful for how he helped me… but it is hard for me to talk to him now because it reminds me of what happened to me) The person went away, I only saw him a few times after that.

But it Didn’t End

Even though he was gone, it didn’t end. I remember not even knowing what I liked to do. I didn’t even know who I was anymore without him. I tried to put this whole situation behind me. I “forgave” this person, but I didn’t really. Because I did not understand the scope of the damage that he did to me.

Abuse, no matter the type, changes a person. It eats away at your brain, you get paranoid. Jumpy. Nowhere is safe. No one is safe. Trust is a prized commodity. If I bestowed my trust upon you, you better treat it with respect. Because the moment you give me a reason not to trust you, you are gone. And there is no going back.

Returning to “Normal”

When I was growing up after that incident, my childhood returned to “normal”. But I didn’t feel normal. I felt out of place. My innocence was gone. I became very hyperactive. I could not sit still, chattered nonsensically, but the nights were the worst. I felt as if I needed to constantly be doing something to avoid having to be still.. The nights were so bad.. Alone at night with my thoughts, that’s when the dark would try to creep in. 

Moving On

When I got to college, I worked 3 jobs and took a huge class load. I was so depressed. I would fake being happy. Just put a smile on my face and everything would be ok. But those dark memories that I had repressed for so long kept creeping up on me. I began to have panic attacks, pain in places I had not experienced before. These panic attacks stemmed from my trauma, but I didn’t know it. 

I got a big girl job right before I graduated college. I was over the moon, I was good at my job. I met someone, he was sweet and I gave him some of my precious trust. I thought I was “happy”. But I wasn’t. Those master manipulator traits the person that hurt me had, this person had too. He would make jokes at my expense, gaslight me, and really only cared about the physical side of our relationship..

Another “Charmer”

Now this person was a real charmer, he decided to break up with me a few months before we were going to get married. I remember being so distraught… that beloved trust I had given him, was disintegrating. It tore me to my core. It took so long to be able to “get over” him. I should also mention that I don’t trust. Shocker. I know. I am very distrustful of people that I do not know, especially men. I make it a point not to be alone with men if I can help it, I do it almost subconsciously. I don’t even really think about it anymore. 

Spiraling Downward

Then I lost my job… I was so sad, so hopeless. I don’t even know why I lost that job. I had to move out of my apartment to another one. I didn’t have hardly any money after that move because it took almost all the money I had saved. My depression was at its height.

My parents had to give me money to get by. I didn’t want their money, I didn’t want to ask. But they gave it anyway. I ended up searching for jobs and couldn’t find one. I interviewed for several and nothing. I ended up going back to a part time job just so I could have some money for my rent. And that was a comfort to me, going back to something familiar.

But my panic attacks, my anxiety, my depression, was almost insurmountable. At this point, I thought there was something wrong with me. I had everything when I was a child, there was no reason for me to be this way. What is wrong with me? 

The Unexpected

I ended up finding a different job. I had to go away to training for weeks on end, only coming home for the weekends. At the time, I was dating other people. But no one that was what I was looking for. And I dated some really weird people. But at that training, I met my forever love of my life. Definitely not expected.

He is unlike any other man I have ever dated. He had no idea the mental anguish that I suffered on a daily basis. I ended up marrying that man, still with this awful job that caused me to be physically ill because I did not want to be there. I still have flashbacks to that job and the horrible things I saw there. It was a dangerous job, unexpected. 

Because I felt like I had to walk on eggshells around everyone, I was constantly on my guard (which is normal for me, but this was an actually dangerous situation) for anything to happen. And that is just not the way that anyone should live. I got another job that I have now and I am so thankful for that job. 

Getting Help

It was also at this time that my now husband encouraged me to go to counseling. And I did. But I didn’t go for the right reasons. I was fresh married, so we had a lot of getting used to each other. I was learning to trust again. And that was hard. I did tell this counselor what happened to me, but it was never the focus of what we talked about. It was helpful for the time.

I was medicated from my very first big girl job, and that seemed to help a lot. However, I was on a lot of meds.  A lot. Too much and it affected me big time. I felt like a zombie. I felt numb. It was not an easy feeling. I quit going to that counselor because I thought I was all better now. 

Panic Attacks, Flashbacks, Intrusive Thoughts

Fast forward a few months, at home. Panic attacks run rampant. It got so much worse. I would lash out at my husband and I didn’t mean to. He knew what happened to me and one day I asked him if he thought it affected me and he said it did. That struck me.

My panic attacks were so severe, that I would feel like I couldn’t move. I would scream and cry in fear. For some reason, my brain would revert back to those fearful times and make it seem like they were happening all over again, even though I knew I was safe. I would just see his face. The one that hurt me. He never left. He was always there.

I had the most intense flashbacks that I have ever had. And I realized.. I wasn’t like this before this happened to me. I wasn’t hyperactive, I wasn’t depressed, I wasn’t anxious, I didn’t deal with intrusive thoughts or compulsions. I didn’t obsess over every little thing. I didn’t have panic attacks. I realized that he caused all of this. But what was I to do? I constantly felt like I was not enough. 

Suicidal Ideations

Eventually, I went off my meds because I thought I was better… big mistake on my part. I was fine for a while, but then, I became numb. I didn’t care for the things I liked to do, I didn’t want to do anything but lay in bed all day long. My pain and my anguish was so overwhelming, I didn’t think there was a way out.

Some days I would feel everything, some days I felt nothing. I was suicidal. I didn’t want to do it, but the thoughts were there. It would sit on my brain for hours. And hours. And hours. I was in so much pain. In such a deep, dark tunnel where I thought no one could reach me. I was ashamed of what I felt. When I told my mom and my husband, I was afraid that they would be angry with me. But they weren’t. They worked out a safety plan with me. 

When Most People Think of Suicidality

They think well that person is selfish. That person is crazy. That person needs to be in an institution somewhere. I hate all of that. It is not ok, this stigma that surrounds people who have suicidal ideations. The people that are suicidal are not crazy. They are hurting. They are in a mental anguish that you will never understand.

They need love and support, not to be told they are selfish or crazy. Not to be brushed off as oh well you can’t be that depressed. I was told by some people well you don’t look depressed. You don’t have anxiety, you can’t. Look at what all you have, you can’t be depressed when you have all of this. Just exercise. That will fix it. LET GO AND LET GOD. Ughhh how I hate that phrase. 

Just Listen

Letting it go is not easy. It doesn’t work. If it worked, then I would have been “cured” a long time ago. My trauma would have just disappeared if letting go worked. But it doesn’t, so do everyone around you a favor and stop saying that. Just. Stop. Take it out of your vocabulary, Also, while you are at it, take out this one too: “God won’t give you anything that you can’t handle”.

God gives us stuff we can’t handle so He can be the one to handle it. I have had to let myself be weak so God can be the stronger one. And that is not an easy thing to do. So stop saying all these fluffy phrases because you have no idea what people around you are walking through.

Unless you are willing to walk through the fire in their place, just be there as a support. But don’t tell them everything will be fine, don’t try to fluff things up. Just be there. Just listen. Without judgement. I repeat: JUST LISTEN. 

Fast Forward

Now that my soapbox is over, fast forward to the beginning of this year. I had the realization, the a ha moment that my trauma caused all of my pain. All of my mental illness. All of it. So I made the courageous step to seek out a trauma counselor. And she is wonderful. I bonded with her immediately. She understood. She didn’t judge me like so many people have. She listens. She lets me cry, she makes observations that just make so much sense. She tells me that I need to re parent that 14 year old because she is still there. Desperate for help. She helped me with my safety plan.

I had the support of her, my mom, and my husband. I got closer to Jesus… He helped me realize that even though I was going through a dark tunnel, that he was there. He would pull me out, he was right there the whole time. And it was Jesus who really pushed me to get into trauma therapy. While it is hard to revisit those awful things that happened to me, I feel more at peace than I have ever felt before. I got back on my meds..

Good and Bad Days

I have good days, and bad days. But more good than bad. Trauma processing is something that needs to happen. Because when trauma occurs, our brains do not file those memories away the way that it is supposed to. So I have to revisit every memory and refile it properly so I won’t be as affected. It will always be there, it is a part of my story, but I no longer have to fear it. God wants all of me, even the parts that I don’t want him to have. He has brought all of those fears and all of those memories into the light so I don’t have to hide them anymore. 

Seek Help

So.. for those who are reading this that are in pain and suffering. Seek help and you will find it. You don’t have to go through life alone. If you are suffering, come talk to me. Or find someone you trust and talk to them. If you need medication to get by, then do it. Ignore the stigma behind being medicated.

There are a lot of smart people in this world that figured out that mental illness is caused by brain chemicals not being balanced. So meds are there to help you balance your chemicals. Do not beat yourself up for taking meds. Just don’t do it. I did. And it isn’t worth it. It is there for a reason, there is no need to feel ashamed about taking medication.

If you need to go to therapy, then do it. It is not easy, but don’t feel like you have to give your whole life story the first time you meet your therapist. If you don’t like them, find someone else. Get to know them, make sure they are a good fit.

You Are Not Your Trauma

Do not lose hope. Even when you think there is no hope, there is always a sliver. Know that you are not your trauma. Know that you are not your past. No matter what you have done, know that you are loved. If you think no one else loves you, come talk to me. If I am the only one, then so be it. You have someone that loves you. Your life is too precious to be taken so soon. You have a purpose in this world, you just may not have found it yet. Don’t lose hope. 

Listen Without Judgement

And for those who are reading this who are fortunate enough not to have any trauma or mental illness.. This is for you. Listen without judgement. If someone trusts you enough to talk to you about really hard shit, do not take that for granted. They are reaching out to you, take their hand and walk with them.

Don’t fluff up the situation. For Pete’s sake quit saying let go, let God. Just listen and try to put yourself in their shoes. If someone is acting strange, not like themselves, don’t ignore that. Strike up a conversation. Ask them if they are alright. They may lie, but don’t ignore the warning signs. Keep talking to them, let them know that they are loved and appreciated. Let them know that if they need someone, that you are there for them. Just listen and love. Get rid of your stigma against suicide, mental health, therapy, and medication. Educate yourselves. The more you know, the better prepared you will be. 

Resources

If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.

ChildHelp Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Related Posts

My Story Will Empower Me

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month