“[…] After my sister, who was a year older, died at age 8, I thought it might have been better to take my life. I may have. If only I knew of a way to do it. Thankfully, the Internet wasn’t a thing back then or I might have googled it.
“[…] In the second, more recent scenario, fairly recently, in my adult life, I lost my job. Retrenchment. I was unable to pay my mounting bills, the bank closing in with daily calls and no apparent room to empathise with my harsh reality in a shrinking job market…”
The following Letter to the Editor, which candidly discusses two dark periods in a lady’s life, was submitted to Wired868 by Debra Johnson who says it is NOT fiction:
I recall first having suicidal thoughts at a very young age.
I was still a pre-teen in a family arrangement being raised by a stern, oppressive, punitive guardian who only pointed out bad things about me. In addition, I was not protected from sexual abuse. In one instance, my abuser, being a favoured, blue-eyed one, received more cover.
There was no safe haven, no place of trust so I had to keep all of it within and process it. I felt unloved, unworthy, and worthless.
After my sister, who was a year older, died at age 8, I thought it might have been better to take my life. I may have. If only I knew of a way to do it.
Thankfully, the Internet wasn’t a thing back then or I might have googled it…
The fact that my sis was the ‘good one’ and I was, well, the one who ‘gave trouble’ and ‘made them talk’ didn’t make things any easier. I remember someone actually telling me that I was the one who should have died because Bonnie was just so good while I, Miss Question Everything Debbie, was just sooo bad.
I felt as if I was completely alone, without options.
The other adults in my life all knew about the oppressive guardian. But they probably figured, “It can’t be THAT bad. She’ll survive. After all, didn’t we?”
They had options, had their own parents and homes. Fraulein Hitler was my home. I couldn’t escape—or so I thought—until I actually did!
Patricia Matthews will remember!
In the second, more recent scenario, fairly recently, in my adult life, I lost my job. Retrenchment. I was unable to pay my mounting bills, the bank closing in with daily calls and no apparent room to empathise with my harsh reality in a shrinking job market.
I again had thoughts of suicide, serious thoughts.
I didn’t want to bother anyone with my troubles.
But I thank God for Jesus Christ and for my beloved, who bothered to bother himself and help me navigate the troubled waters one day at a time…
Today, it might be easy for some to judge those for whom suicide seemed like the only way out.
I pray that hope and courage will never be far away from those who, for whatever reason, find themselves in a place of utter despair.
May we remember to be our brother’s keeper.
As I reflect on these two dark realities of my life, I recognise and acknowledge that they have both activated my empathetic core, made me sharply sensitive to:
- Children and the sometimes masked signs of despair or abuse.
- People who are struggling financially or just feeling inundated by the burdens of life.
I am grateful to be a survivor of these overdoses of dark despair. My pain has not been in vain.
I thank God for seeing me through each crisis and for not letting the enemy triumph over me.
I don’t know how my story will end but by the power of Almighty God in Whom I live, move and have my being, nowhere in its chapters will it read, ‘She gave up’.
You are a strong, beautiful, courageous woman. May God eternally bless you and your outreach.
There is palpable pain out there. Please continue to be the healer and the light!