Tag Archives: suicide

Breaking Point: #10

I am hosting an end-of-winter series featuring stories from the trenches of pain.  My hope is that in sharing these breaking points, we will feel less alone.  Thank you all for your bravery.  You are helping the world to heal.  

yrs. Laura

Today we have two Breaking Points.

One of desperation…

Submitted by: Victoria, in London

Sitting in the hall way of my small modern flat.  Just me.  Although the walls were bright, it was dark with no natural light.  The walls were moving in.

What were my choices, there must be choices.  Swinging my straggly hair and becoming aware of an odour I wondered when I last had a bath.  Did I need to do something?  It didn’t matter.  I could not do anything.  I would sit and wait.  And wait some more. Something would happen, it always did.

I could hear the buses in the road and was aware that life was carrying on outside.  Buses, bikes, cars, people bustling, on the way to and from the shops, the bus stop, the park, the library.  But nothing was changing.  It was still the same.  No one was coming to rescue me.  No one was going to knock on the door and solve everything.  If the phone rang I would not be able to ask for help, again.  I cannot ask.  Who would understand?

And what if I tell?  The look of pity and incredulity at my words would be the last pebble that made the earthquake begin.  And it may never stop.  Not ever and this may be the end of the world. The world which is my world which is the only world that I can know.  How am I supposed to know another person’s world, how is that possible?  Which brings me back to here.  And the walls and my bad hygiene because I have no energy to go the bathroom not 3 steps away.

Get the clothes and bury myself, pile them on myself and hide in them so that I do not exist, no one could see me if anyone was here.  Finally, I am not here I am sorted out and I am just a blouse, or a towel or a piece of fabric and no one can tell that I am in the pile of things so I can stay here forever, un noticed.

But no one is here.  And there is no one to see that I am not here.  I know that I am here and I still feel the same.

Nothing has changed, nothing is better and I cannot do this any longer.

And one of healing

Submitted by: Merris Doud

God helps us in times of need even when we want nothing more to do with Him. In my case, He used my dogs to help me through the days following the death of my daughter, Sarah.  I never blamed them, never questioned their love for Sarah or me, never felt anger towards them. They were the perfect instruments for God to use. In the split second that it took my brain to process the words “Sarah took her own life,” my world lost all meaning.  My husband, Mike, had taken the dogs to be boarded.  When I was able to move – to speak, I asked him to bring them home.  As I lay on my bed, feeling a brand of pain that I could never have imagined, the dogs ran in and excitedly jumped on the bed. They immediately sensed that something was horribly wrong and quietly settled, lightly molding their bodies against mine.   Soon they slipped into their afternoon routine, gently snoring as they napped.  They didn’t move; they didn’t speak; they didn’t cry.  They were just there, warm and alive and touching me. And it was comforting, so much more comforting than being told that Sarah’s death was God’s plan, that time would take the pain away, or that Sarah was now in a better place.

Throughout the months that followed, I moved through my days vowing never to love anyone or anything again.  The dogs were always there, either laying on the bed beside me or collapsed like speed bumps on the floor beneath my desk where I tried to work.

I begged anyone who would listen for an explanation, and it infuriated me when they shook their heads looking through me – offering nothing. I felt no such rage towards the dogs.  I asked them no questions; they gave me no answers.  I didn’t expect that from them.  They looked at me in the same way they always had – no pity in their eyes.  Nothing had changed in our relationship, no awkwardness – no impatience for me to get up and carry on.

One morning I woke up to find Maggie, the abandoned pup that Sarah had brought home, standing over me.  She cocked her head to the right then to the left. I swear she smiled as if to say, “There you are. I’ve missed you.”  And I felt something other than pain for the first time since Sarah died. Encouraged, Maggie bent over me, wagging her tailless backside with such vigor that she nearly toppled over. Then she began showering me with wonderful, wet kisses, her sweet puppy breath warm against my skin – awakening my capacity to love. Watching this action from the foot of the bed, Annie, who Sarah had rescued from an animal shelter, jumped up and joined in, happy that we were kissing again.

I believe that was when I started to heal.  Not then, but now I see that in that moment , God revealed to me that there was still joy in my world – not joy as pure as before,  for it would always be filtered through the pain of losing Sarah, but it was there, nonetheless. Both Maggie and Annie are gone now, their purpose fulfilled.  They were special dogs whose lives began as unwanted strays and ended as the esteemed channels that God used to touch me and give me a glimpse of hope.  For without hope – without love, we’re just passing time – waiting for the lights to go out.

For Annie and Maggie

I miss you guys

3 Comments

Filed under Breaking Point, My Posts

Breaking Point: #6

I am hosting an end-of-winter series featuring stories from the trenches of pain.  My hope is that in sharing these breaking points, we will feel less alone.  Thank you all for your bravery.  You are helping the world to heal.  To participate and for more info go here.

yrs. Laura

Submitted by Alison Bolshoiopera singer

The days staring at the plain white ceiling were so many that I’m surprised I didn’t go mad.  I didn’t want so much time to think about what had happened to me, and too often that white ceiling became a movie screen where horrific images flew at me, playing and replaying themselves like demons.  Because they could.  Because I couldn’t get away.

The people who came in and out didn’t help me at all with the struggle I was having.  They couldn’t.  The only part of my face that was still visible was an inch of forehead over my eyes, and my eyes themselves.  My great grandmother, at 93, came and sat on a high stool, to be able to reach.  Everyday.  At the time this great feat was unremarkable to me, though her two fingers, which she traced back and forth over the one bare inch of my forehead, brought me more comfort than any single act anyone has every done in my lifetime to make me feel better.

I couldn’t tell her.

There are days now that I wish for those cool fingers, and sometimes I wish so hard I can feel them again.  Almost.  There was a mylar balloon, which was new back then.  One of the aunts had written in black marker, “This Too Shall Pass Away” on it.  Because it floated so high, I could see it.   The weird thing about one’s first experience with mylar balloons is how long they last.  This one made it from the seventh through the eleventh surgery.  Yet instead of being a comfort, it made the strangeness of it all much deeper.  Like I was suspended in time, stuck forever with this white ceiling movie screen and this balloon, and no one was going to come and get me out of here.  Balloons only last a day or two.  This was endless weeks.  If the balloon is there though, isn’t it still the first day?  What day is it?

My mother came every day, and I dreaded it.  I wanted her so much.  I wanted her to hold me and stroke me and smile.  To tell me it was over and that we were never going back.  To comfort me.  But she couldn’t.  Instead she would walk in with a smile that never made it to her eyes, which were already crying by the third step.

“This is just terrible.  It’s just terrible.  And I’ve spoken with your father, I’ve fought with him.  He won’t come.  [sobbing]  He just won’t come.  I want you to know that this is wrong.  That he should be here.”  She would turn her back and wipe her face.  And then I would comfort her.  I would tell her that it was all right.  That I understood she tried, and that I understood he wouldn’t come.  Because I couldn’t stand to see her in so much pain.  She couldn’t tell, since she never touched my face, that the bandages around both my eyes were completely soaked, because I was crying too.  I cried because she cried, I cried because I was in so much pain.  Most of all I cried because I knew that the next time I would be dead, and that she actually expected me to go home for that next time.  I was so glad for those bandages.  Glad that she didn’t know.

After awhile she would leave, and I would feel so much worse.   I didn’t know why then.  I didn’t know that she was supposed to be comforting me, rescuing me, or that the way I twisted myself in half to comfort her was more painful than watching him, feeling him smash my face in, over and over, on my white ceiling, which became the orange carpet of my room stained red, which became the white ceiling, which became the orange carpet of my room stained red …

But this place, this blank room with the many roommates who came, healed, and left, this time out of time where I had too much time to think, gave me a gift.  The gift came after I heard the boy down the hall who I thought was in worse shape than me.   Who would start to scream at the beginning of the second hour for the morphine that he wouldn’t be given until the fourth.   I couldn’t take his screams.  They hurt me in my chest.  I asked who he was, and my nurse told me he
was a boy my age who had tried to commit suicide by jumping off a five story building.  Problem was he lived, and broke every bone in his legs multiple times.

When I finally could be upright, I asked if I could go see him.  Walking down the hall to his room was a terrible journey of nausea, of the hallway spinning even after I stopped and waited.  But I got there, and I sat with him, and I gave him my teddy bear that my brother had brought me.  It was a Gund and I really liked it.  I told him to hold onto that bear when the pain got too bad.  It turned out that he was seventeen too, and I was told later that he heard me in a way that the doctors and nurses said he didn’t hear them.

I told him he didn’t need to go back to whatever he had lived in that made him want to jump off a building.  That he could go somewhere else and be happy.  And then I realized I wasn’t just talking to him, so I went back to my room.

That night I stared at the white ceiling and I broke away from everything I knew.  I made myself look at a different movie, a movie of a happy life.  My life.  And when the demon movies came, I let them, I bought them a ticket for the seat on the train next to mine, and as soon as I could I replayed my new movie of happiness.  And somehow I knew I was never going back.

9 Comments

Filed under Breaking Point, My Posts