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Loneliness, Hopelessness, and Emptiness breeds Suicide : Suicide breeds Loneliness, Hopelessness and Emptiness
Reflecting on the Past
Many times since I was a child I have been subjected to suicide or suicidal tenancies in my personal life. I remember a s a small child and the first time that suicide touched my life was an event that I would remember for life but not fully understand until years later.
My uncle was a volunteer firefighter and we would always know when there was a call close to home or when it involved someone we knew. I was so young that I am not sure how the whole incident took place but I do know that we got a phone call and my mom and dad took off out of the house and ran across the street to a neighbors house. I remember it being dark and everyone being upset. I remember standing at the end of the driveway looking across the road seeing the aid units all hovered around the neighbors truck. I heard my uncle scream and my mom crying. I saw our neighbor slumped over the steering wheel and knew something was wrong. Later I would over hear the adults talking and found out that our neighbor had shot himself. As a small child this did not have a real effect on me but this image would come back to me some years later.
A few years later at around five or six I would have my first personal experience with suicidal tendencies from my own mother. I remember clearly her and my dad fighting as usual but something was different this time. I saw her go into the bathroom crying and shaking and then heard her call for me to come and help her. I walked into the bathroom to see she had stabbed herself with a pair of scissors. I grabbed a bunch of square napkins and cried. Still too young to understand why she did what she did. I did hear my grandparents talking later saying she had tried to commit suicide. Unfortunately this would not be the only time she had these urges to end her life and as I got older I learned what she was trying to do. I would tell myself over and over that I would never want to end my life. I never understood how a person would come to the conclusion that life was not worth living.
To be honest I couldn't tell you how many times as a child that suicide touched my family but it never seemed to affect me personally and thank God my mom never succeeded. Although she came very close years later.
One of the last time she attempted to commit suicide she literally ran her vehicle off an embankment int a tree and died on the seen only to be brought back by the paramedics. She suffered with over twenty broken bones in her back and was in a body cast for months. I was in my twenties at this time and did the unthinkable, I called the hospital and begged the doctors keep her explaining her history and that she had told me that she was going to do it again. She spent over three months in the hospital and another three months in jail before coming to live with me for six months. This time it hit too close to home but this still didn't wake me up to what was underneath these tendencies.
There was another incident involving a family member in my husbands family, where he had to go help someone who was ready to end it all and my husband was clever enough to distract the person long enough to get the weapon away and talk them down.
Years later we would befriend a neighbor who twice would take a bottle of pills and than come to my house so that I would have to call the ambulance and that hit home because my children where teenagers and they where scared and hurt.
Now after telling you all of this you think that by now I would have a clue. Not really I used to believe that people who did this did it for attention. I never connected the dots until suicide hit me straight through the heart. In fact it hit so close to home that I will not share this article with my social networks in order to prevent my family being hurt all over again.
Straight Through my Heart
April 10, 2011, my families life would change forever. I was working and my phone rang several times with a number that was familiar but I did not recognize it right away. Then my father- n- law called and asked where my husband was. I just responded at home I think. I did not give it much thought but I had an uneasy feeling about it.
I continued to work and that familiar number called again. This time I decided I should answer it and this is what I heard." Renata this is so and so Little Danny shot himself and he's not going to make it". I remember screaming and hitting the floor. Little Danny is my step-son. After several moments of crying and sitting on the floor with my co-workers panicking and trying to help I then realized I had to get home right away and tell my husband. I couldn't walk and nothing was making any sense. The nurses were working hard at getting me together when another thought crossed my mind my daughter was working right next door and I had to tell her. I was in denial and disbelief but I had a great woman look at me and say "you need to get it together right now, your husband is going to need you". They called my daughter and told her to come over right away. When she arrived I was sitting outside and she just started crying before I said a word. I finally got it out of my mouth and I will never forget the look on her face as long as I live. In a fog and a daze, we both raced home to tell my husband. I don't know how we made it I just remember driving over ninety miles an hour to get home.
We pulled into the drive seconds after my father- n- law did. We all came through the door and the evidence was on all of our faces that something was terribly wrong. My father- n- law told my husband the news and his life forever changed.
As I tell you these tears are streaming down my face wishing I could wipe away the hurt that I see every day in my husband's eyes.
By this time Little Danny had been rushed to one of the best trauma centers in our state. It took my husband hours to decide what to do, but I think down deep he had a feeling that it was already too late. We finally made the trip to the hospital to see Little Danny but when we walked into the room there was nothing and he left us on April 12, 2011.
This one event will tear at our hearts forever and later I would find myself struggling more than I could ever imagine.
Life after Suicide
The next year was so awful watching my husband hurt and trying to hide my pain. The idea that I should not be hurting as much as I was because it wasn't my child kept me confused and lonely in my grieving. I tried to offer support but did not know how. I saw his heart bleeding and his mind snapping. He stayed so strong and did not allow himself to grieve in front of anyone. He hurt and I hurt and my girls hurt but we hurt all by ourselves trying to protect each other. Our family fell apart and we pulled away from each other. We could not understand why this beautiful and funny and loving man who loved both his children with all his heart could decide to leave all of us. I know that this is a question that will never be answered but I have come to my own general conclusions about suicide.
One year later I would get some unusual education that I couldn't see coming.
It Could Happen to Anyone: Including Me?
Right around a year after we lost little Danny my mind was so awfully muddled up with hurt, guilt, and pain that I started having issues with emotional stability. I don't know if it was the idea that I couldn't help my husband or my daughters or the idea that I couldn't help Little Danny. I couldn't figure out why I didn't see any of the signs. I had so much anger and disappointment with myself that I literally started to snap.
I finally made my way to the doctor to get help, which to my surprise and dismay landed me right smack in an intense outpatient program surrounded with people of all walks of life who had attempted suicide.
The first week I sat there so angry and wondering why I was in this group. I had not attempted or would ever attempt suicide. I was angry at everyone in the group. I was thinking how could you want to hurt your family like this. I sat and did not participate. Then one day a young girl of only eighteen arrived in the group and I listened to her and felt her pain. The very pain that she was describing was the pain I was feeling; loneliness, hopelessness, and emptiness.
I looked around for the first time and saw the faces of the group, we had doctors, bus drivers, health workers, mothers, fathers, and children. As I listened to them I started making the connection. I started remembering all the times in my life I had experienced suicidal tendencies and then realized I had broken my promise and I too had had those thoughts when I was a child and a few times when I was grown. I began to realize that in my darkest days and when the pain was too much I would often wonder into that place of "I'd be better off dead". I began to change my thinking and my heart began to soften. I began to let myself grieve. I began to realize that I could not help my family grieve but I had to get better in case they ever needed me. I was no use to anyone in this state of mind. I took a look into my heart and my mind to find out what kept me all those years from following through as so many had. I could only see three faces, my husband, and my girls. I will always have bad days due to a mental illness that I suffer but I now understand the feeling of loved ones who are left behind and when those bad days come around all I have to remember is sitting in that room full of people who never intended to hurt anyone but they did not want to hurt inside anymore. I now know that it could be anyone anywhere who becomes too lonely too hopeless or too empty to continue fighting.
There Is Help out There
I have included some very important links if you find yourself to be one of these people who feel like nothing will help or that you do not have anyone or anything please call or reach out there is help out there that works
Help is out there
In Memory of
Our spirits come into this world with a beautiful set of wings intended to fly us through life
Yet so fragile and easily clipped or broken
Powerful enough to heal and grow back but so often ignored
Sometimes cut off at the base, other times clipped over and over until gone
We are also granted angels with wings strong enough to carry us
Angels who come in many forms such as, daughters, sons, spouses, family or friends, maybe even total strangers
When life has clipped our wings and we find it hard to fly, we might try digging a hole and climbing in
We have choices, Hold on to our angels and let them fly with us or climb in and give up
Here's the problem with climbing in that hole and giving up, we then risk clipping the wings of our angels
We leave them damaged and broken and searching for their angels
Even with the power to heal do we want to take that risk
What if we are someone's angel we can't fly with them fro inside that hole.
poem out of
Post Trauma: Facing My Pain and Embracing Change
by Renata Kell