Suicide entered my life kind of the way spring enters with the change of seasons, in like a lion out like a lamb. Its grip caught hold of someone I loved and used all its power and might to try and take them from me. I did not let it win; I risked everything I am and everything I had to keep my child from utter destruction.The pain and suffering of the inner workings of her brain held her back and told her things like “she wasn’t good enough” and “things will never get better.”
Throughout her years of programs and hospitalizations, we never made it down the road of complete self-destruction until one night when I overheard the screams of a soul in turmoil.
I sprang from my bed when I heard the wails of her grief. I arrived at her bedroom door in horror as I saw her lying on the floor covered in her blood screaming for me to let her die.
There is nothing more gut-wrenching than hearing your child beg you to let her take her own life. To allow her to destroy all you worked to create. To have the pain run so deep within her that she was unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel. That there is no other way out than to remove herself entirely from this earth. It touched me in a place down deep in my being that I fear ever to go to again. A place so dark and filled with despair that even thinking about it makes my skin crawl.
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At that very moment, my heart had been ripped out of my body, and I was operating on adrenaline alone. I grabbed her and attended to her wounds as I tried to calm her inner spirit. She was inconsolable, and as the blood began to run down my arms, I whisked her to safety. That was the first time her cries for help pierced through me in her attempts for releasing a type of pain that to me was unimaginable. I could not fix this, I could not help her, but what I was planning on doing was saving her.
I was just her mother, just the person who carried her in my womb for nine months, helped her learn how to walk and talk and be who she was, but the woman she had become on the night she tried to take her life was someone I did not recognize. It was someone I had never met and at that moment, I was saving a stranger.
I had now gone to bed with suicide or the attempt of, the flirting per say of this dance we would do together over the next few weeks/months/years. We weaved in and out of each other’s life like a bad relationship that just never ends. Getting back together every few months and never knowing the next time we would see each other. When would we have our last dance together, when would it be over? Would it ever really be over? Would we always lurk just outside the line for each other? Would we forever be in each other’s life, torn between this world and the one it was so desperately trying to get us to go to? I couldn’t have it, and I couldn’t let it have her.
After way too long, the dance finally ended. We had been to every group therapy, individual therapist, psychiatrist, psychologist and hospital dealing with suicidal ideology on the east coast.
I refused to give up; I refused to take any answer other than “We will help you.”
I was fortunate enough to find an organization that would not let her fail; that stood by her side alongside me in the most alienating time in both of our lives. After what seemed like an eternity, our time together was over, and its grip was released from the soul it came to take. At some point, I realized that I had made a deal with the devil, which keeping her meant possibly taking the life and soul of someone else. It was a risk I was willing to take to save her. It was the day I stood and stared death in the face and said not today, not today.