The perspective of suicide from the experience of one who considered it, and from the view of the bereaved
Written by Ashley M. Seymour
Have you ever been in so much pain, felt so low, been so depressed that you wanted to die? Have you ever thought about, or made plans to, take your own life? If so then you can relate to my story. Have you ever lost a close family member or friend to suicide? If you have, then you, too, can relate as I have experienced both.
Many would say that being blind from birth, and going through life in a town with few other blind people, and going to a school where you were the only “handicapped” kid would be hard. However this was the least of my problems. I was pretty much a typical small town kid, with an average middle class family. On the outside I usually looked happy and well put together, but on the inside, especially during my teenage years, I was falling apart. I won’t bore you with too many details, but basically my parents divorced when I was 3, both remarried, and mom and step dad had some issues. When I was 11, my mom took me to a psychiatrist and got me put on anti-depressants because I was becoming sad and withdrawn. When I was 12, I cut myself for the first time. I’m not even sure what made me do it, I just went into the bathroom, grabbed my step dad’s razor and......
Between the ages of 11 and 21 (which is how old I am now) I had been on at least 40 different anti-depressants and anti-psychotics, had been hospitalized for psychiatric reasons (severe depression, suicide attempts, and an eating disorder) been to numerous psychiatrists, some of which admitted they didn’t know how to treat me, and even got Electro Convulsive Therapy. There were times when I’d be ok for a while, the medicine would help a little, and then suddenly it would quit working and I would fall in to a deep depression. During the rough periods I would sometimes fall back on my eating disorder. Other times I would turn to self injury as a means of coping. But when things were at their worst, and my mind was far from clear, I would consider ending it. I even tried it several times, though I won’t go into detail as I don’t want to trigger anyone.
My parents (mom and step dad) started having a lot of problems and considered filing for divorce. I was really depressed during my senior year in high school and mom kicked me out of the house, and soon after she left to live a secret life in a hotel, the details of which I wouldn’t know until it was too late. I graduated and went off to college at a university about two hours from home. I really liked it there, but my depression and eating disorder, compounded with the stresses of college, and the constant concern for the siblings at home who had to live in the midst of the chaos, made it hard for me to focus. Even before “it” happened, I still thought that I may not survive in college.
October 16th was a Saturday, the weekend before midterms and I stayed at school to study as I had a ton of stuff to do to get ready for the following week. Even then, in the back of my mind I thought if I do bad on this term paper, or don’t pass that test I can always kill myself. I had researched it and had everything I thought I’d need. But little did I know, someone else beat me to it. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who was overwhelmed by life in general. Dad got to my dorm room at about noon, and I was so surprised to see him there. He told me the awful news, that day in my life which I’ll never forget. I was shocked, I couldn’t believe it. “No Dad! You’re lying! I’m not going back there, you can’t make me! I want to stay here, stay here where it’s safe! She’s fine, I know she is, I just talked to her a couple of days ago.” I was hysterical at this point. I didn’t want to believe it, though I new in my heart that it was true. Mom, my mom, had committed suicide, leaving behind 5 wonderful children, the youngest only in first grade. It was the most painful thing that I have ever gone through. The whole next week was a blur...... Everyone grieving, extended family that never leave you alone were everywhere, we had to buy new clothes to wear for the services. And nun of us wanted to believe it. They said that it was important for us kids to have closure, so though she was having a closed casket the family was allowed to see her. As I mentioned earlier, I am totally blind, so I couldn’t see her, so they had me touch her. I couldn’t believe it, that wasn’t my mom! My mom wasn’t all swollen up like that, her skin a strange chary red black color. She didn’t feel like my mom, she didn’t smell like my mom (in fact she smelled terrible, this indescribable sweet embalming fluid decomposing raunchy smell, that I could smell from 15 feet from the casket, even with all the flowers) She didn’t sound like my mom, my mom was always talking and this person was silent. My little brother, the one that’s only six said, “If Mommy was sick then why didn’t she just go to the doctor? ” Now how in the hell! Can you picture your baby boy, standing next to your casket saying, “I’m not ready for my mom to be killed yet.” We told him that she had gotten sick, but not that it was suicide.
In a way I could understand how she felt, why she did it, and in other ways I have no idea how she could do such a thing. I know she had problems, just like me, , but no one realized just how bad they were. When you feel that hopeless, that depressed, you think that suicide is the answer, and that it will not only relieve your suffering, but the suffering of those around you. I know, I’ve felt that bad. But when I’m thinking clearly, I know that isn’t true. Your selfish decision affects everyone that knows you, weather you want to believe it or not. I understand that she was hurting, that she saw no reason to live, that she felt it wasn’t fair that she should have to suffer in pain living a life that she hated. Maybe she felt like a bad mother, a bad wife, a bad employee, a bad person in general. Don’t get me wrong, I do understand, that’s why unlike my siblings I’m usually not angry at her for leaving us, just sad. But damn it! No matter how bad things are how in the hell can you kill yourself and leave your kids! Don’t they mean anything? They’ll still love you when no one else does, though my mom probably didn’t believe that.
Anyhow, now I know, and even though I still think about it sometimes, I know I would never take my own life. Yeah, life is tough, and mental health issues give me a distorted view of everything, but I have to fight this. I can do it. Like Gary Allen says in his song “Life Ain’t Always Beautiful” The struggles make you stronger and the changes make you wise...... So please, no matter how bad you hurt, don’t do it.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem