"O Death Where is thy Sting?" Is Suicide A Sweet Ticket Out?
Jump, Jump, Jump!!
There I was, standing near the edge of the subway platform at Chambers Street...feeling the hot muggy wind surging forward through the tunnel from the arriving train, crashing against my face. Just a few more minutes and the "A" train would be charging its way into the station...all I had to do was time it exactly right and then ever so quickly, jump off the platform right in front of the on-coming train and BAM!...that's it...it would be over for me. But then, I begin to ponder...no...no, it may not work out exactly like that....someone might get in my way, because now, all of a sudden the Chamber Street platform was starting to get crowded...it must of been the beginning of rush hour....and besides, knowing my luck, I'd end up having to shove through people, bumping into someone and possibly making them fall with me....no, I couldn't have that happening, I didn't want to kill anyone else....just myself. Then I thought, maybe I should back up a little to get a running start, so that way the impact of the train against my body would be greater ensuring my death speedily? Hmmmmnnn or should I instead just stay where I am, close to the edge and just begin to inch my feet a little closer to the ledge, so I could kind of like fall over, letting my feet slip off the platform? Yeah, I'll just stay where I'm at, that's better.
As I looked around to see who was within my vicinity, just to ensure that this would be an uncomplicated fall, I noticed how dark the tunnel looked as I peered down at the tracks leading towards it and suddenly I remembered that there was the third rail which was supposedly full of electricity...should I perhaps climb down onto the tracks and just touch the third rail? Would death come quickly or would there be a violent electrocuting pain? Naw, I"ll stick to my original plan...besides I don't want to give anyone the opportunity to try and save me....God forbid that from that happening! I remember shuddering at the very thought of continuing to live! To live through another day was simply unbearable.
Yes, I could hear the roar of the engine as it was quickly approaching and I could see the front lights of the train in full view....yes I felt happiness mixed with fear and freedom mixed with dread. I looked down once more at the tracks and then I glanced quickly from side to side to make sure it was clear of pedestrians....okay... here goes, jump, jump, jump....!!!! Out of no where, a hand grabs me around my waist and pulls me backwards, I spin around to see who it was and HA, it was my mother!! She gave me a stern look and said "back up from that platform girl before you fall WandaMarie!!" I took a gulp of air and swallowed my tongue (at least that's what it felt like) and just nodded my head in agreement...the train just whizzed by and the wind almost knocked my 145 pd frame down. Where in the world did my mother come from?! She was supposed to be at work and plus this train station is nowhere near her job!! Well before she could corner me and ask me any questions, I slipped into the crowd as everyone pushed and packed their way onto the train cars. And just to be safe that I was far away from her, I pushed and shoved my way and moved three train cars down...out of sight, out of mind.
Feeling Like There Was No Way Out...
Life at home in my parents house had its own issues... seven kids living in a household with its strict, religious rules was oppressive enough, but life at church was even more oppressive, hence the reason for wanting to simply die. My family attended a very religious, very Pentecostal church of which I absolutely loved being a part of since 9 yrs of age. My entire life revolved around my childhood church where I grew up at, my entire family went there, church was a major part of our lives.
During the time that I was dating my teenage boyfriend, we were wrongly accused of committing the damnable act of FORNICATION in a nearby park. This false accusation caused myself (not him) to be labeled the following "Here stands the whore of 125th street" (the words of my then sweet Pastor whom I still adore and hold no blame towards), words that gave permission to be treated as an outcast by the entire church. This was called "Marking" the wrong doer, commonly practiced in the early 80's by many border line controlling churches, of which an individual would undergo a public humiliation in front of the entire congregation. The level of rejection and dejection that, that event caused in my life at that time, I cannot even articulate into human words...the pain and trauma of it was so deafening and numbing, that I didn't hear the explicit names that I was being called as they hurled them at me like bricks; I didn't feel the tug on my arms as the two ushers held me in place making me stand there while the whole church engaged in what was similar to a Roman Arena of which the wild beasts were let loose to attack, maime and mangle the humans placed in the arena; I didn't get a chance to prepare my clueless smiling parents as they sat in back of the church, for what was about to happen to their sixteen year old daughter, nor did I get a chance to look over at my boyfriend as he sat at the drums, signaling to him with my eyes to come to my defense and declare my innocence...all I heard was my heart beating in my throat and all I saw was hands and arms flailing about in slow motion like things were being thrown at me....it was all a blur. That event left me feeling empty, lost and utterly rejected, questioning the very existence of God and His Love. I felt as if I had died that day standing there, that I was being spat upon by God Himself, so why not do everyone including HIM a favor and just make the death a natural reality....even if I didn't go to heaven but instead to hell.
A Miracle? No Way!
I nearly ran home from the train station trying to beat my mom home, the time was around 4pm when I rushed into the house straight to my bedroom. Two hours had gone by when I finally got tired of waiting for the knock on my bedroom door, so I cracked the door of my bedroom listening intently for the sound of my mom's voice talking with my dad...nothing. That was strange. I looked over to their bedroom and the door was wide open, I sort of sauntered down the hall to peer into her room...nope she wasn't in her bedroom. I decided to walk to the kitchen which was opposite the living room where they usually sat and chatted about the day's events. As I slowly walked by, trying to act as normal as possible, I glanced into the living room...no momma. Well guess what, my mom didn't get home until 8:30 pm, how do I know is because I waited until she came through the door and got herself settled. Once settled I asked her why was she at the Chambers street train station today so early, my mom gave me this puzzled look and shook her head no, that she wasn't at anybody's train station, she was stuck inside the building of her job all day, she never came outside until 6:30 pm...in fact she had her lunch in the cafeteria of the building.
As she rambled on complaining about a co-worker who wouldn't stop talking to save-her-soul, so she could eat her lunch in peace... I drifted away into my thoughts, playing the day's event over and over in my head. And to this day, I don't have any explanation as to what had happened, who was it that grabbed me around my waist and pulled backwards away from the platform? I know it was my mother...I looked her right in the face, but I also know my mom was speaking the truth because she NEVER LIES about nothing to anyone....never. A miracle? Yes I believe so in the form of an angel, perhaps my Guardian Angel. I believe we all have angels assigned to us from the time of our birth, I would like to believe at least seven of them. Whatever the truth may be, that night as I laid in my bed, I made up my mind then that I was meant to live, not die.
Suicide causes immeasurable pain, suffering and loss to individuals, families and communities nationwide. On average 110 Americans die by suicide every day and the age range that it occurs most commonly is between ages 15 -24. People who have suicidal thoughts average more than 9 million in the US alone. But suicide is preventable, so its vitally important to know what to do. I realize now that I really didn't want to take my life, I just wanted to stop the pain and the hurting and most individuals that think of committing suicide has similar feelings. Thoughts of suicide is a result of overwhelming feelings that consist of self-loathing, hopelessness and isolation and a person who is suicidal doesn't see any other way of getting any relief from these feelings except through death. These are the non-negotiables that I've created to help me to never sink that low in my thinking and signs to look for in someone contemplating suicide;
- First of all, people who talk about committing suicide usually aren't going to do it. I hadn't said a word to anyone because I didn't want anyone stopping me. All conversations was taking place in my head, but you can listen out for indirect statements to indicate suicidal thoughts such as the following "You'll be sorry when I'm gone" or "I can't see any way out", no matter how causal they may say it, pay attention, this is a cry for help.
- Secondly, I wasn't crazy, psychotic or insane although this is commonly believed that people who has suicidal thoughts must simply be crazy. This is so not true, I was in emotional pain and even people who are emotional pain, grief or despairing depression aren't always suicidal.
- Your life does matter, and it needs to matter to you first and foremost. Even a person who is severely depressed has mixed feelings about killing themselves... sometimes all the way up until the very moment before committing the fatal act. but the good news is this is just a feeling and it doesn't always last forever...suicidal thoughts eventually does pass.
- Seek help! And not just from friends or family, but also seeking medical help is vitally important in addition to talking with friends and family. Remember friends and family are not medical professionals and they may not take you seriously and may just brush you off as playing or joking.
- I am of worth even if I was made to feel worthless. Do not give people power over you, by caring about what someone thinks or says about you as an individual, people's opinions of you should not matter to the level that it
- Quickly talk to someone, a counselor, a friend, get help by opening your mouth and sharing your thoughts of wanting to end your life. Talking about suicide to someone is not you telling them to go ahead and commit the act, in fact broaching the subject and talking about it openly has proven to be very helpful.
- Do not allow the actions of others to determine how your life goes nor the pitfalls of life. Take the control back and take charge of your own life from their hands and fate's hands, its still up to you...your life is not over because of something detrimental happening to you.
Choose to Live!!
Why should you die before your time? Why should you take your life based on the wrongs of what someone else does to you? How does that show them anything or harm them in anyway? It doesn't, you see that's the lie that floats around in the mind of a person contemplating suicide, those thoughts are deceptive and destructive to who....YOU and only you. You only hope that after you're dead that the person or persons that drove you to harming yourself feels guilty or bad for what was done to you, there's no guarantee of that....there's no guarantee that they will even own up to such a blame...life will just go on, but you won't be there to enjoy it.....so no there is absolutely nothing sweet about suicide because you lose out....so live my friend. ...CHOOSE TO LIVE!!