QOTW: Suicide

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
QOTW: Suicide
14
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 1:09pm
I'm hesitant to bring this subject up, but that tells me it's a subject that needs to be out in the open. I'm wondering what everyone's experiences have been with the subject of suicide.

Some possible questions for exploration:

Have you ever been suicidal? For how long? At which stage in your healing did you feel this way? Did you tell anyone? If you've overcome those feelings, how did you get past them?

My hope is that we'll learn something about the role suicidal feelings play in the healing journey through our collective experiences.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 1:31pm
I'm using a caution emoticon because this post could be TRIGGERING.

When I was still living in the same house as my abuser, I used to pray that God would just take me. Just make me die so that I could escape the suffering. I prayed this prayer for years. This is what being a teenager was like for me. I remember this as much as I remember high school, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc . . . It was a big part of my daily life. I never told anyone.

I got married when I was 18, and although I still had other issues (anger, mostly), the suicidal feelings went away. A few years later, I decided (for a variety of reasons) to move back in with my parents for 3 months while my dh was away with the Navy. Before that move, I felt suicidal again and fell into a deep depression. I didn't understand my feelings at the time, but one time I scratched the inside of my arms up because my pain inside was so bad.

After that, I was busy having kids and moving around with dh's career, but there were low times (usually when we were geographically close to my parents) when I felt "haunted" by dark thoughts. The best way to explain it is to compare it to a child's security blanket. When I started feeling really badly, I had that thought of escape to comfort me. It was something to think about other than the pain.

Years later, when I remembered the abuse, I became the most suicidal I'd ever been. My kids were 5 and 3, and I was in graduate school. I used to drive to school and think about driving into telephone poles. Every pole I passed, I thought of driving into it. I went on zoloft, and those feelings went away. I stayed on zoloft for 18 months. I don't think I've felt suicidal since then.

Last year, I started attending an AMAC group. We had a suicidal member one day. She was new to group, it was her first day, and her cousin who had been assaulted by the same member of the family she herself had been assaulted by had killed herself the day before. She was filled with guilt and was very suicidal. All of a sudden, we all started talking about our experiences with being suicidal. I told the group about how I used to think about driving into those telephone poles.

The experience of saying the words out loud sparked a huge realization in my mind. When my father was sexually abusing me, he worked for the phone company. His job was to climb the poles and work on the lines. I never fantasized about driving into trees or anything else. It was always telephone poles. I never realized the connection before my mouth actually said the words out loud.

I now think that the urge to drive into one of those poles was an urge belonging to one of my inner children. One of the ones from that time I was being abused. I didn't know about inner child work at that time, but if I had, I would have had a conversation with her. I think I could have talked her out of feeling that way. I think I could have comforted her.

Everyone I've met through AMAC has admitted to feeling suicidal. I suspect that most, if not all, sexual abuse victims go through some variation of these feelings. We think of suicide and feeling suicidal as such a taboo. I think our society blames the suicidal person for being unappreciative of life, when that isn't the case at all. I believe these feelings are about extreme pain, the desire for pain relief, desperation, exhaustion, our inner children "acting out," and who knows what else. Maybe future posts from you guys will add to this list. I hope so. I think this is something we need to talk about. The shame around feeling suicidal approaches the shame and secrecy around being sexually abused. As with sexual abuse, I think the only way to heal is to SPEAK!

(((hugs to all)))

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Sun, 06-08-2003 - 4:22am
I dealt with suicidal feelings in high school and college. Never got to the point to where I planned or tried anything; I just wished I didn't have to be around anymore. I would picture what my funeral would be like and how bad people would feel if I died. I heard some teacher or someone say on that subject that the person who committed suicide didn't win in that way. People would feel bad for them at their funeral and then they would move on with their lives. There was an element there of wanting to punish people who had made me feel bad.

Interestingly, I haven't felt this way in connection with my SA healing, per se. I guess because I am so grateful to have a loving husband and two children. My children are my cause, and my life work. I've had a lot of times during the last several years when I've felt inadequate and overwhelmed. I did have depression to the point of feeling suicidal for a period of time when my second child was barely toddling. I didn't realize how bad it was until one night when we had gone to the video/book store to read books with the kids. As we came out to go to our car, we had to step back onto the sidewalk because a huge truck was coming fast. For one split second the thought went through my head that all I had to do was step in front of it and it would all be over. My husband could get a better wife and my kids would be better off with a different mother. At that point I realized it was bad. I didn't know it at the time, but I was going through my "crisis stage" where my repressed memories and feelings were trying to surface, and I didn't understand what was going on.

Sadly, no one took me seriously back then when I said I needed help. We were living in the same town as my in-laws, and my father in law was way against medications for depression, etc. He referred to them as "narcotics." I had told my husband that I needed help, and when he talked to his dad, his dad told him that under no circumstance should he allow me to take anything. He could counsel with me and help me to develop a "positive attitude." My husband and I had a huge fight over this. I have always believed strongly in God and relied on Him through prayer all through my life. I went to Him in prayer and said, "I know I need help. I am willing to do whatever I need to, but I am not in a position to get the help I need because I don't have the support it would require. I need you to lift this for me." And within a week it lifted. I won't say I was cured, but the depression was a LOT more mild, and became more of a cyclical thing that would come and go.

Ten years later with full insurance coverage, living in a different state and realizing it was coming back, I simply informed my husband that the next time I could feel myself spiraling, I was seeing the doctor and asking for medication, whether he liked it or not. He said he just wanted me to be happy again. Antidepressants made a huge difference for me. It was to the point before that where my sleep was being affected and I was having anxiety attacks (triggered mostly by episodes with my mother).

Now that I have been on meds and been in counseling where I am validated and safe to talk about my life, I have been able to understand what on earth has been going on with me. My whole growing up experience was high-pressure; I never could come up for air. My mother managed to ruin what should have been the happiest moments of my life. I can't count how many times I would run home from school, excited to tell her about something I accomplished, only to be screamed at the second I came through the door and have her throw something at me that I had failed to put away before leaving for school. When I got married, I didn't know if she was going to speak to me on my wedding day, even up until the night before, because she gave me three weeks of the silent treatment because we were moving out of state. The day I graduated from college she gave me as a gift a dress that was too small for me. There are a lot more instances that I could name, but I won't.

I guess I have to say that my relationship and belief in God is what has pulled me through. And he has put the right people and circumstances in my way at crucial times to give me a lifeline. Treatment has definitely made a world of difference, but I wasn't able to get that for quite a while.

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Sun, 06-08-2003 - 1:12pm
I think our mothers must have attended the same school on mothering. *sigh* (((hugs))) to you!
Avatar for vick_mp
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 5:32pm
I haven't got to read everyone else's replies which I will go back and do later becuase I'm at work and have 10 min. till I leave. I have never had thoughts of suicide. I've been through hell and don't want to live eternity there! I do love myself and know others love me and would never do anything to harm myself more than I've already been harmed. That is an issue I know I don't need therapy for. HOWEVER, I have thought of getting "revenge" and I do to use that term lightly. I've thought of killing my molester and have contemplated ways of doing it. When I get sad and angry I don't want to kill myself I want to kill the person that made me this way. I am a Christian woman and I know how wrong that is but I can't help my thoughts. Now that my sister was recently raped I have thought of killing that boy too. Yes he's only 15 but in my eyes he's a 15 year old criminal that deserves nothing but hell. I admit I have tons of anger to deal with, I know these thoughts aren't healthy and I know the consequences aren't worth it. When I feel like getting my "revenge" I remind myself of the wonderful things I have in my life now. My wonderful husband, great son, loving family ect. and try to focus on that. I then pray for God to make my evil thoughts go away. That is how I deal. All this is very hard for me because I grew up in a violent home where when someone pissed you off you held beat them bloody, tried to stab them or held a gun to their head. My dad did that to my mom, my best friends dad and I heard he even killed a man years ago by my moms family who never told me until I was old enough. I hated my dad for all he did to my mom and when he died (from natural causes, nobody killed him) I didn't shed one tear at his funeral. I felt relief, that chapter of my life was over, I was done, he was gone and to this day if I ever have a nightmare that he is coming back to kill us I wake up and realize he's dead and I don't have to worry. I haven't dreamed like that for at least a year and before that it was like 3-4 yrs. Now that I am dealing w/ this sexual assault I think I wish my dad was alive because I know he loved me and would kill this man I wouldn't have to worry about seeing him ever again. My dad was never ever mean to me, he didn't ever hit me, sexualy assault me and I never even got a spankin by him. I went everywhere w/ him and then when I was old enough to realize what he was doing to my mom I felt betrayed and hated him and the once good realation I had w/ my dad went away. I think that is why i hated him so much is because I really loved him and couldn't believe how he was to my mom. My sister on the other hand was never close to him and she took it hard when he died. She griped me out for not caring when no matter what he was still our dad and never hurt us. She didn't understand that him hurting my mom hurt me. Okay, now I'm babbling and starting to cry and I got off work 5 min. ago. I am out....
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 10:15pm
I have had thoughts of suicide. I have thought that the easiest thing to do would be to park my car on the side of the lake, watch the sun go down while washing every pill I could find down with Budweiser. To really be sure it works, leave the car running with a hose stuck in the tail pipe and around to one of the windows. But, being the chicken I am, I am too afraid it wouldn't work and I would end up totally incapacitated and still alive. And totally dependent on others to care for me, which didn't work too well the first time around.

Also, I used to believe that it was a sin to commit suicide. That a person's soul would go to hell for eternity and I've spent enough time in hell already. A lot of hell that is my own making, and I wish I could just give it up. I've heard so much about people that are terminally ill ending their pain, and am beginning to wonder, mental pain is just as real as physical pain.

For a while, I felt like my kids would blame themselves if I did kill myself. They had been told often enough that they were driving me crazy, they probably would have taken that on. Teenager problems were the reason I finally did see a therapist. I knew about my issues with being molested as a child, I just kept telling myself it didn't matter. Okay, I didn't know about the issues, I just knew I had been molested and kept telling myself it didn't matter. Not the same thing. Interesting that if someone had touched my kids like I had been touched, I'd a killed them - yet I don't really feel that angry at the man that molested me. Hurt that he fooled me. Angry at myself for not knowing better. Even though my head knows I couldn't have known with out being taught - which wasn't going to happen in my family - the secret was too valuable - my heart isn't catching up. I'm not sure which bothers me more. His "petting" or my grandmother's encouraging me to allow it, or my parents total and utter ignorance. I don't know if they really didn't know or if they chose not to say anything because of the man's financial support of the household. He was filthy rich. He bought them a house. He bought me anything I wanted. I didn't want for anything that money could buy - kind of explains why money is not that important to me now. I have enough. Not rich. Not poor. Enough.

Oops, off the subject. Sometimes I daydream about being involved in an accident. I'm hurt terribly badly. Not dead and will get better. Just in the hospital in CCU and isolation and being well cared for and nobody is allowed in to see me if I don't want them to come in.

Sometimes, I would daydream about killing myself and how sorry everyone would be for ignoring me while I was here, and how bad they would miss me now. How they would wish they had treated me better. Mostly I just want to not be miserable any more.

It is interesting to actually put these thoughts out for the world to see. They're not a secret anymore.

Deb

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 12:43am
I hope that exposing the secret lifts a heaviness from your spirit! I know that being open about my experiences lifts my spirits because it diminishes my shame. Thank you for sharing so honestly!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 12:44am
I've had those thoughts, too. (((hugs))) and thanks for sharing so honestly!
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-30-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 5:29pm
I have thoughts of suicide off & on over the years. Usually I had been drinking alcohol & more than likely had an argument with my dh. My most recent time was about 3 weeks ago.

We had a wonderful day together, but had been drinking beer at our house all day. We don't do that very often but it was the weekend & our daughter was at a friends. WEll, I took something he said the wrong way. Basically, I took two pain pills, which I don't even remember what they were. I know two won't probably do anything, but I did it. Then I grabbed my pill bottle that held all the miscellaneous pills I had left from prescriptions. One night I took & put them all in one bottle. I carried that bottle out the door & walked on down the street. I've gone to bed with that bottle! There was another time that I broke a mirror & pulled the broken edge down my arm. I have a lovely scar down my wrist now!

I am coming to grips with an incident that happened years ago & think this is my self-destruction in retaliation to that event, which I feel very guilty about. (i've written about this--campus rape)

Anyway, it hasn't happened a lot but the thought that my family would be better off without me is in my mind still quite a bit.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 6:14pm
As a kid and throughout my teenage years, I thought about suicide. Like it would be okay, just to go ahead and not be on this earth anymore. It wasn't until recently, during my first visit to my therapist, that I realized that wasn't normal for a kid to think like that. (I'm not too swift when it comes to my feelings) and I think it connects to being molested and other dysfunctional issues within my family. The only thing that kept me grounded was my faith -- the thought that God wouldn't like me killing myself, as simplistic as it sounds, is what kept me on this earth. In my case I have a loving mom, and I knew if I killed myself, it would be like killing her, so how could I hurt her like that? That's why I'm here today.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 6:56pm
Please remember that this feeling will pass. In OA, we say feelings are not facts. Remember that just because you feel right now that they'd be better off without you--that doesn't mean that's true. In fact, I think I can safely say for sure they wouldn't be! Hang in there.

Does it help to know that many of us have felt this way?

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