“TRIGGER WARNING: Suicide and self harm are mentioned. If this is a triggering subject for you, please do not read it. I wouldn’t want to trigger anyone!!
My childhood was great up until things took a turn for the worst when I was around eight years old. My dad was never a part of my life, my mom didn’t want him to be because he was not a good man. However, one day he decided that he wanted to see me and was not going to take no for an answer. So he got an attorney and took my mom to court. The court ordered me to visit him every other weekend at his home two hours away from where I lived. I was eight years old at the time.
My dad was an alcoholic and would come home from work every night drunk. He would leave me with his girlfriend during the day, who was equally as awful as he was. When he would get drunk, and even when he wasn’t, he would verbally degrade me for hours on end. Yelling at me, cursing at me, telling me he wished I didn’t exist, that I was a burden, that I made his life hell, the list goes on. I didn’t understand why he forced me to see him if he hated me so much. Honestly, I think he did it just to hurt me. As time went on, things only continued to get worse during my visits. I would cry and plead with my mom not to make me go, but she had no choice. I remember one day very vividly – I was in the car with my dad’s girlfriend on the way to their house, and I put my folders from school up on the car window. When asked why, I said “I don’t want to see the light.” My dad’s aggression when he was drunk was terrifying – so terrifying that I called 911 one night because I thought he was going to kill me. After this, the phone was taken off the hook and my cell phone was broken so that I couldn’t call anyone else, not even my mom.
One night, my dad was drunk and angry and asked me to sleep with him. I told him no, that I didn’t want to. This made him even more upset, so he grabbed me by the arm and dragged me across brick flooring into his bedroom. Thankfully, nothing happened, but it was still a moment I will never forget.
My dad ended up trying to get sole custody of me and there was a lengthy court battle. I told my mom, at nine years old, that I would run away and kill myself if my father got custody over me. My mom had actually planned on taking me out of the country if that happened. However, by the grace of God, he was not awarded custody and that was the end of my visits with him. My voice was never heard, as the judge refused to let me take the stand. I remember writing a letter to him, begging him to let me stay with my mom, but it never got opened. I remained in therapy for a long time after my visits with my dad ended.
The rest of my childhood was fairly uneventful. I think that I first developed depression around fifteen, but things didn’t start getting dangerously bad until the beginning of last year (2015). Seemingly out of nowhere, the depression I thought that I had put behind me returned at full force. My emotions were out of control and I was headed downhill, extremely fast. I was self-harming and pretty much chronically suicidal. I knew that I was only one bad day away from a suicide attempt. I used to always believe that no matter how much I thought about suicide, I would never go forward with it or attempt it. I was so, so wrong.
One night in March, I had hit rock bottom and did not believe I could survive for any longer. The pain was so bad, so overwhelming and I was living in pure hell. So I made a suicide plan and was fully intent on going forward with it, until one of my friends at work found out and demanded on taking me to the emergency room. She did, and I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for the first time that night. I thought that after this hospital stay I would feel better, that I would begin a journey of healing, but just the opposite happened. One week after being discharged, I was admitted again because my therapist believed I was suicidal. Though I did not have an immediate plan, I was definitely suicidal – I was suicidal everyday for thirteen straight months.
My third hospitalization occurred in April, after a pretty lousy suicide attempt. I was out of the hospital again in a week because I had learned how to fool my doctor into letting me leave. The real turning point was in May, May 3rd to be exact, when I had my most serious suicide attempt. I overdosed on a sleeping medication and scarred up my arm pretty badly. This time, I decided I wasn’t even going to try to fake it to get out of the hospital – I was so tired of fighting, so tired of feeling the way I did. I had given up and everyone around me knew it. At the hospital, I didn’t speak, I didn’t eat, I barely moved. I cried nonstop for about a week straight. My doctor was scared – he told me that they needed to get as aggressive as possible with my treatment or I was going to die. He literally said that, I was going to die. And he wasn’t wrong. I had absolutely no will to live. I was in the hospital for 23 days before flying out to California to begin treatment at a residential facility. I was there for one month and it did me no good. I was extremely disappointed because I had been so hopeful when I left the hospital – I thought that maybe this would be it for me. I thought I was finally going to feel better.
I was officially diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) during my fourth hospitalization in May. There was so much about myself that I didn’t understand and BPD helped me to make sense of it. Chronic suicidal ideation and suicide attempts are very common with BPD sufferers. Treating BPD is a very, very long process and requires a lot of dedication and hard work.
After returning home from California, I was feeling very empty. The treatment hadn’t worked, I wasn’t feeling any better and I still had no will to live. I didn’t know what to do anymore, so I went back to the hospital, where I stayed for two weeks. At this point, no one knew how to help me anymore. It was July and I had been hospitalized five times since March, spent a month at a residential facility, seen four different therapists, tried fifteen different medications and the list goes on. My psychiatrist at the hospital who had seen me four times before told me that, at this point, no one could stop me from killing myself. He told me that it was my choice and that I could not be saved. Regardless of his intentions, I only took this one way – an invitation to go forward with suicide.
After being discharged, I managed to stay out of the hospital until September. In September, I once again attempted suicide by overdosing on an antidepressant and cutting myself. I didn’t know how to live a life outside of the hospital. I didn’t know how to live at all. The only reason I was holding on was to protect the people who cared about me from anymore pain.
My next suicide attempt, in January, came as no surprise. This time, I took an entire bottle of antidepressants. I was admitted to the psychiatric hospital again – same story, different month. I don’t even have an explanation as to why I kept trying to end my life, over and over again, besides the fact that I just felt so terribly, all of the time. I never smiled, I never laughed, I never did anything enjoyable. I felt as though a black cloud followed me everywhere I went. I hated myself with every ounce of my being and truly believe that the world would be better off without me.
This is not something that can be fixed by ‘positive’ thinking – this is an illness that I have no control over. I would never, ever choose to live like this, not in a million years. I am always sad, even when things are going right in my life. I am always feeling unworthy of love or anything good. To this day, I do not believe that I belong here – it’s a difficult feeling to explain. I feel out of place everywhere I go.
My last and most recent suicide attempt was in February. Not many people know about what happened that night. I survived, somehow. I’m really not sure how I’ve survived five suicide attempts, but I am thankful nonetheless. As hard as living is for me, I know that life is a gift and I will never take it for granted.
What has gotten me through everything up to this point is helping others, as cheesy as that may sound. I’ve realized that by using my voice for good and speaking up about things that matter, I can help people. I absolutely love talking to people and giving advice, even if I’m not the best at actually taking advice. I believe that people need people and the journey of healing is not one that should be traveled alone. People deserve to be listened to, to be believed, to be understood. No one should have to feel alone, ever. And that is why I do my best to reach out to as many people as possible – in hopes that I can help to make them feel less alone.