This is a difficult post to even attempt to write, cos it cuts right to the centre of so many of the taboos in society that are so very verboten. It is indeed something i would much rather not think about let alone discuss in an open, albeit nameless space.
When i was 16, i made a silly and not really real attempt at ending my life. Tried to cut my wrists, although the moment i saw blood i freaked out and stopped. So then took a whole packet of junior disprin. Nothing happened. I don’t think i wanted anything to happen, i just, like many 16 year olds, wanted someone to notice what i was going through, re my last post on surviving domestic violence.
This was not a desire to be dead, nor even a desire to not be living. It was, what many would call, a cry for help – except it was too much of a whisper and no one heard. This lack of feeling heard propelled me forward until i was heard finally and asked to leave the family home a year later.
When i was 25, i stood on top of a bridge over a dual carriageway and again, contemplated jumping. Neither of my children were born at this point and in many ways i felt there was very little to keep me in this cold and desolate land of the living. I was a fuck up. Didn’t know where i was going didn’t like where i had been coming from. Even less what my current present meant. I remember thinking how quick it would be. How amazing it would be to not feel that lurch in my heart of emptiness everytime i woke up, that had for years only been filled with going out, wearing my social face, being intoxicated by alcohol, drugs or sex. My world was full to the brim with noise but i felt empty and dead inside and no one could see. Because i hid it so well behind my socially constructed mask.
I didn’t do it. The thought of the accident i would probably cause and the potential lives lost and the lifelong sentence i would be giving to the person who i would be forcing to aid in my suicide attempt, made me feel a bit sick with my own self absorption. I walked away and decided to try harder to turn my life around. Pivotal point for me.
Towards the beginning of last year i came yay close again. This time, I actually thought i wanted to die – or maybe i just decided i could no longer bear the pain of living. I had gotten hold of some pills that would have done serious amounts of damage at half the dose i had intended to take. Wouldn’t have definitely killed me, maybe just left me in a vegetative state, but either way in my mind, job done. I had convinced myself that my depressed state was not only too painful for me to bear but also that it was negatively impacting upon my children. A lot of my writing around that time was about mothers with depression, one story i wrote was about a suicide attempt that hadn’t worked and left the woman with retrograde amnesia. Another about a mother who decided to leave her children and run away to India. I didn’t see it really but i think this was me building up to crisis point. Because I remember feeling distraught that my kids had seen me weeping in a corner too often. That they would essentially become my carers and be forced to grow up too quickly. As i fleshed out my story of the mother who leaves her children though, i found myself seeing how hurt children could feel, knowing their mother had left them to LIVE somewhere else. In my deluded state i thought ending my life may make them feel less responsible.
I got as close as having the first batch of pills in my mouth. I had a picture of my girls in front of me. I was crying so hard i almost swallowed the pills by accident and immediately realised that I didn’t actually want to do this. I couldn’t leave them. They loved me and my love for them was so immense that actually, no amount of pain was deeper than that. I spat them out and rinsed my mouth about 20 times.
I hope my children never have to read this. Maybe when they are adults, if blogs still exist, i may show them this…but maybe not. Maybe that is one mask i need to continue to wear. But if either of you do end up reading this. I AM SO SORRY I EVEN CONTEMPLATED IT! It is no reflection on how much i love and loved you both. Mummy was just not well. But as i hope you will see, that massive rush of love, that bought me round at the last minute is what will always keep me strong. Is why i have been able to come through it and become the person that i hope you can see is so much happier and stronger than before.
There are perhaps many people who would read this and think that i am the worst type of person for considering suicide when i have children. Utterly selfish and cruel. I think there is such pressure on mothers (more than fathers) for that aspect of their identity to come before ANYTHING else, ALWAYS. And you know what, it’s 90/10 that it does. But depression and mental illness IS NOT something that can just be switched off. It doesn’t arise from too much emo wallowing (although maybe sometimes it does), it sometimes is chemical, something hard wired incorrectly. It is sometimes (as my last 2 posts i think suggests at for me) environmental. You can never judge someone elses actions until you have heard them break them down for you in full detail. And if you still feel judgy, then I apologise, cos yea, i feel i let myself and my kids down in that instant too.