I have been hem-hawing of what order to write my life events. I thought about starting from the time I was little and go up…I am very passionate about the topic in this post today. Let’s open the dialogue and have more awareness from all angles on suicide. Let me also state that I am not licensed in any way, if you are someone, or know someone who is relating to my story; find professional help today. Make the phone call today. I am holding you accountable, please message me below. After the phone call, return here and let’s get more familiar with each other.
In The Moment of Feeling Hopeless:
Before I go into memory lane, I’d like to acknowledge and give appreciation for all who are doing more to be of help in suicide prevention. Often times, “shame” and “blame” of who is responsible starts eating away our society. Let us uplift and inspire. Before I get to my uplift and inspire part, I’d like to share of what was going on inside of me during my struggling years. This is to bring awareness. This is to help others to know they are not alone and they do not need to feel the only way out is to end their chapter here on God’s green earth.
Due to an early event of my life, sexual abuse, (yes, strong to stomach and, yet, here I am happy and healthy, writing this article for you) I had a ripple of effect of feeling “less than”, “defective”, “unworthy”, “bad”, “gross”, and many other emotions. The mixture of these strong, ill feelings made me hate myself. I validated these emotions and saw myself for a creature not worth loving. At 9 years old I remember drinking my first alcoholic beverage and this led to many years of feeling accepted in a different social group, combined with feeling I had found my escape…. Or had I?
I had so many battles going on. Battles with friendships. Battle with religion. Battles with family members because of my deceitful choices. Then there was the largest battle, the battle with myself. One night, I had a fight with a sibling. I am a hot head and went to my parents for validation. In my perspective, I was so detested by others, so how could they have seen my perspective of the fight? How could I compare with my sibling? I went from feeling sadness to emptiness. In the emptiness I felt void of anything and remember thinking, “I’m ending this.” I knew were the menstrual pain relievers were, and I took action. Thank goodness to the highest of heavens that I am here, today.
For those who need numbers, it was a full bottle. I went to my mom and said I didn’t feel well, she asked my symptoms. A lot of aches. I truly felt God in my life because my mom knew what questions to ask. I remember both of us laying on my bed and I was becoming more light-headed. She asked if I needed some pain medicine for my aches, I replied I took some. She asked how much…. I said a whole bottle. This is where my memory starts to be short-coming. She and my step-dad whisked me to the car and we went to the hospital.
When I arrived, I saw the RN was a woman who I just babysat for. I believe it was hard for my mom to have her see me, since I recently watched her kids…but, I also believe there was a lot of love in that room. I remember the medical staff asking how many pills. I didn’t know. It was a full bottle. When they took my body readings: temperature, heart rate… they couldn’t find my heart rate…. Instantly, I had a tube down my throat and I started to purge anything in my system. I lost count after hearing they pulled 30 pills from my body. I remember the doctor telling my mom how good it was that I arrived when I did…I didn’t have another 30 minutes in me. The next hours were insane.I was told no, I can’t sleep. I had many iv’s and I hate THOSE! I had to hydrate. I had to be monitored of every “cc” of liquid, going in and coming out. My mom and stepdad were by my side for many hours. Taking turns going out in the hall to update other love ones on the phone.
By the age of 13, I knew what a hang over was. Coming out of that hospital was the worse hangover I had ever experienced. You know what? I am glad I can recall this moment. I am seeing even MORE love as I am reflecting back. My mom drove me to another city many miles away. I was exhausted, I slept almost the entire time. I went to an office with a much more education person to evaluate me. What I recall is the strong smell of popcorn, the popcorn machine with kernels everywhere, and laying down on the couch as my mom spoke with a guy. When I woke up, I was home and my mom was packing my bags. I read a letter from my sibling that I had a fight with. It had shaken my sibling. The whole time I read the letter I remember thinking, “This hadn’t anything to do with our fight…why did I do this?” Today, I can say that my 13-year-old self had given up any hope. I did not see any possibility of things going up. I think many people experience that. Not being able to feel sad, anger, that is scary. Yet, I didn’t feel scared, I felt I had made a choice. Again, so thankful I am here…let’s keep going so you can see why life always has hope.
My mom drove me to a state south of where we were living. I was going to a mental hospital. In the 90’s, this was considered a bad thing. I didn’t like the fact I was going there, and at the same time, my attitude was so turned against the people in my current life that I was open to something new. Little did my 13-year-old self know what lied within the journey ahead.
Years of therapy. Years of making mistakes. Fun mistakes. Not fun mistakes. BIG-YOU-DO-NOT-WRITE-A-BLOG-FOR-YOUR-MOM-DAD-STEPDAD-IN-LAWS-TO-READ mistakes. I also experienced beautiful moments. My hopeless moment trickled into my stepdad volunteering to search for a different job and city so I could start anew. (Sometimes I hate saying stepdad…he is my parent and very cherished.) I kept having moments of saying, “I want that to happen again!” So, I kept going. I enjoy laughter, I enjoy feeling liked, I enjoy friendships… I admit, the early years were difficult for me to like my family. I thought I would turn 18 and my life would be moving far away and changing my name and phone number. God works mysteriously. I do remember having moments of feeling thrown off of my hating game and seeing my family did love me. Boy, did my hot head go into another rage of battle…Oh, great, my family loves me. I learned to appreciate my teen years for I learned valuable lessons that other humans learn as adults.
The Moment of Being Engulfed with Hope:
I had many hopeful moments… One moment that really stands clear to me is when I was 17. I experience headaches and migraines often. More so when I was younger. Today, maybe twice a year. At 17, I was living with my dad. (He chose to move closer to help give me support as I was continuing my therapy and moving forward with life.) I was experiencing a pain that I felt was going to consume me and confine me in a squashed ball. I did something unusual that day. I am a praying gal. Always have been. However, this time, I fell to my knees and screamed. Afterwards, I was shouting. Then, my head fell forward and I sobbed. I begged God to lift this pain from my body. I had dropped out of highschool. I had a job 25 minutes away. I couldn’t feel like I could drive. The nearest person to help me was 30 minutes away. I had me. I remember asking God to take my pain and to help me to keep moving forward.
At that moment, that was the best physical state I had ever experienced. In that moment, I felt HOPE and it was filling my toes, limbs, core, up to my face with an absolute peaceful state. That gift of peace was a gift I had been longing for. It is a moment I truly treasure and another witness for me that a God existed. I had my doubts.
If you are feeling what I had felt; ask in your mind, “Who can I go to and speak to?” Trust your instincts.
If you are someone that knows someone, or has someone, experiencing this, I am sincerely requesting that you speak only uplifting words. Please leave out any sentence that involves shame. The person may not know why he, or she, feels this way. He, or she, may not want to divulge. Here is what I would do and say: First, I’d stop what I was doing and turn my body to that person. I am very physical so I might grab a hand. I’d say, “Kayla, you don’t have to walk this alone. I appreciate you trusting me with this. I may not know exactly what to do or I might not have the best words, but I will keep going along with you. What do you feel you need?” Allow the moment to be real. Maybe tears of releasing that heavy burden needs to flow. Maybe that moment needs to talk about others to be involved. Parents, grand-parents, siblings, professionals. I highly recommend a professional. If you feel secure, reach out to a community member: scout leader, church leader, someone who may have walked this path before. Any choice you do, ask, “Will this be of help? Am I showing love?” Most of all, be an advocate for professional help. It is way cool, m’kay?
What I would be cautious about, is thinking along the lines of, “This stays in our house. No one needs to know. You are tough. You got this. Grow up. Put your big boy/girl pants on.” I think these decisions can hinder growth. (Growth does have hard moments, aka, growing pains) But you can make the decision that any hardball thrown your way will make you become a better person. For YOURSELF. For others. Even when it goes public.
Let me finish my post with this:
I asked myself since 2nd grade, “Why must I experience this?” “Why me?” I truly do not like some of my life events. Sharing this post is very difficult for me, yet, I know that there are others out there feeling down. I have held it together writing this article until now. The mere thought of someone not feeling adequate, or undesirable, is too much for me. I am pro-life. I see the design of the beginning years of my life. I see that I have a loud mouth and strong will. Pair these up with my hardships and what do you have? A daughter of God who is able to help another on the hard topics.
For those who are really struggling, may I have more of your time to share with you of my joys?
A very big joy of mine was visiting my dad and swimming. He lived in Georgia and Florida for a time. That sweet air, warm sun, and water felt amazing. God’s natural drug for this gal. The outdoors can be very spiritual and very delightful!
Another joy of mine is trying out new things. Skateboarding, SNOWBOARDING, ice-blocking down a hill and eating dirt, laughing so hard in a movie theater and people hushing you, having an inside joke, I love adventure! I am missing so many moments on my adventures.
A great joy has been the friends I have met. When I dropped out of highschool, for 3 months, I made some of the best of pals I could have asked for. Oh man, did we make some memories. Then I went off to experience college. That was when I first experienced gal pals who loved me despite of my past.
One joy is finding passion in the work I do! I love to help others feel good and see themselves as the person I see them. When you find a job that provides the money and makes you feel like a rock star, THAT is something to wake up for.
A gigantic joy was meeting my husband. I tried to scare him off! When God aligned our timing to meet, I was nervous. My husband intimidated me, not because of his looks, but because he has many strengths that I did not…He is my greatest gift. I feel that God has given my husband an opening to how God views me. My husband was dealt with some of my most difficult moments and still likes me. That is COOL when you really think about it. He makes me laugh until tears come. He gives me that look and that kiss we all like to have. He listens to me. He calls me out. He is building a life with me! A girl who many feel is broken, yet, my husband sees me whole.
A long-time coming joy is family. I am healing. I have reached out to my family members, some to ask for forgiveness, others to start anew. That is something I thought I’d never want or experience, yet it is happening.
And lastly, my children. If you could see a part of yourself in a goofy, sweet, version and enjoy that moment..that is what it is like with my kids. They have more love radiating from their smiles than I could muster and contain in a sentence. My children are another gift I have because I keep going.
My life is not perfect. No such thing. My life is normal with the ups and downs. I am choosing to keep going forward, or circling back to a stubbling point until I move forward. Maybe it is fair to say, I still have moments of laying in bed and doing my best to rise strong, again. I have found it to be better when I do rise up and go forward.
I want to thank anyone who has read to this point. I thank those who are supporting my decision to reach out and be an advocate for healthy living.
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Much love from me to you!