I don’t want people to read this piece and begin to panic. I am safe and I am supported but I also want to write this piece to help others who feel like me know that they are not alone. I want to help those who don’t have the bad thoughts to understand.
I don’t think people who have never experienced these thoughts understand how hard it is to try to control unwanted thoughts in your head. By unwanted thoughts, I mean suicidal thoughts. The demons that try to take over our mind, body and soul.
Some people believe that those who commit suicide are cowardly and selfish. This is not true. Those who commit suicide truly believe that this is the only way out and believe that them being gone will be best for all those around them. Can you imagine for just a moment, being in such pain, feeling so much sadness inside, that you truly see no other way out than death? There is no hope. Just fear and confusion. The demons make it so. They make those they take control of see no way out, no end to the pain and sadness, to their situation, other than death alone. These people are not selfish. They are in fact selfless and very frightened.
I am not glorifying suicide in any way, but it happens. It is very real. The demons exist and sometimes, more often than not, they win. Sometimes suicidal people ask for help. Sometimes they are too afraid.
Through fear and shame, I have never admitted how strong these thoughts in my head are. There is a stigma attached to suicide that shouldn’t be there. It is why I am finally feeling brave enough to try and explain the demons in my head.
For me right now, the demons are back and they are stronger than before. They are looking for a fight, they are looking to win and it is hard not to let them. They are there all the time. When alone or when with others. When at home or when at work. They are always there. Always fighting me. You just don’t see them. They hide themselves well. People ask if I’m ok, I always say I’m fine. That’s how the demons trick you, you see.
A combination of things have made them creep back into my mind. This time of year is especially hard for me. I miss my siblings and my nephews greatly but I cannot have contact because of the investigation. None of them have reached out to me since the day he was arrested. That tears my heart apart.
This month is exactly two years since I reported my abuser. That is hard for me. I know the police are trying to do a good job. I know that they are being thorough. But, no closer to an end to this, I am emotionally exhausted. Knowing that in the New Year I will be going through the process of police interviews and statements once again, I am scared. I am tired. What if I am not strong enough to get through this? Having already been through a lot of interviews, I know what is to come and I am terrified.
This process is hard, really hard. It is emotional and I am experiencing feelings that I have never been allowed to feel before. They scare me, these emotions. I don’t know how to handle them. It is not just sometimes that they are here, but all the time. Every single day they tear at my heart and my soul, making it hard to breathe. A pain so intense in my chest that I cannot explain it to you, other than I feel like I am being crushed. I feel like, at any moment, something bad is going to happen. I feel like I could burst into tears at any second, for no particular reason other than I am hurting inside.
More and more memories chill my spine. They fill me with terror as nightmares and flashbacks take hold. I am there once more. That little girl. Being abused. Being raped. I feel everything. Every touch, every feeling, every emotion as if it is happening to me today. It breaks me over and over until I am no longer sure I am strong enough to keep getting back up.
I am sad. Really, really sad. And I am hurting. So very much. No-one knows the things I have lived through. Things I would not wish on my worst enemy. Memories and emotions begin to overflow.
This. This is when the demons come back. When I am at my most vulnerable. They wrap their arms around my waste and squeeze. My lungs fill with anxiety and I breathe out deeply to hide the pain. I am drowning but nobody sees me struggle.
Working longer hours due to Christmas , I am tired. I am so tired and rundown that I lack the energy that I need to fight. I know I need to fight but I feel so emotionally drained that I am not sure I can. That scares me.
The demons take control of my thoughts one by one. I am useless. I am worthless. I am not needed. I am unwanted. I am a burden. Deep down I know my brain is lying. I know the demons are fighting to have control. I try to fight them but it is hard.
They plan their ways to get rid of me. Cutting? Pills? A bridge? I do not want these thoughts. I do not want to die. I have to fight. I have to try.
Eurgh. Why won’t the demons go away. Every day…. Cutting? Pills? A bridge? Do it. Take them. Jump. The demons have control. My brain starts to give in.
Fight. Battle. Try. I must.
I think of those I love and who love me. My husband, my friends. I think of those who care about me. My therapist, my legal advocate, other survivors. Fight damn it. Fight for all of them.
The demons tighten their grip around my waist. I find it hard to breathe as tears well up in my eyes. The scars on my body are still visible as I sink lower, creating one more scar along the way. I just want to sleep until I feel better.
Sleep will make the thoughts go away… if only for a little while.
But insomnia strikes once more. Nightmares take sleeps place and I am too scared to close my eyes. I no longer know what rest is. Laying in bed the thoughts run through my head…over and over and over. Cutting. Pills. Bridge. Do it. Take them. Jump. I am exhausted. I am afraid. I know deep down, I do not want to die. I know that much, for if I did want to then I would be dead already.
Fight. Battle. Try.
I take my meds and hope that eventually sleep will come and ease these suicidal thoughts. I am too tired to fight them. I just want to sleep for a little while…. just to make them go away.
Eventually I fall asleep and for a few hours my mind is restful. Then, from nowhere, his hands are around my throat and I cannot breathe. My hands are tied and I cannot free them. He is on top of me, he is inside of me, he is raping me. My eyes fly open and I am panicked as I realise I once again have woken from a terror. When will this stop? How much longer will he torment me? Will I ever be free?
Cutting. Pills. A bridge. Do it. Take them. Jump.
The demons have their hands around my throat and squeeze. They make it hard to take a breath. My eyes fill with tears once more. I am not sure I have the energy to fight them. It would be so easy to give in to them. To cut my wrists. To take the pills. To jump. To end it all.
Except I can’t. I can’t because deep down, I know that it will not end. I will just be passing my pain on to someone else. On to those I love and care about. I cannot do that to them.
I also know that I am likely the only one who can stop my abuser hurting others. I think of the little girl inside of me, she needs me to fight for her. She deserves justice. She deserves peace. She deserves freedom. I have to fight for her. No-one else ever has.
I think of the other children that he has hurt, and would continue to hurt, if I do not stay and tell my story. I am the only one who can protect them from him. I am the only one who’s voice is loud enough. If I leave who will fight for them? Who will tell my story? For no-one knows it except for me.
The demons are just like my abuser. They want me gone. They want me to disappear. They want to win. They don’t want me to use my voice. He wants me silenced and if I give in to the demons, he gets his way. He wins.
I have to fight. I have to try.
I tell my therapist about the demons and their suicidal ways. She helps me see that what they tell me is not true. I trust her. I believe her when she tells me I am strong enough to fight them. I can tell them that this is not how my story will end. She helps me feel brave enough to tell someone close to me. She helps me see that I can ask for help and that I do have the strength to fight.
I have to live.
It is not going to be easy. The demons will never go away but with help I can fight them. When I feel like giving up , I need to remember why I have held on for so long. This journey will be worth it in the end.
Dying doesn’t end the chance of life getting worse. It eliminates the possibility of it getting any better.
I am alive for a reason. That reason is to use my voice. To raise awareness of Abuse and Mental Illness. To give a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves. I cannot give up, no matter how hard the demons try to kill me.
If I am not here to light the way and use my voice, who knows how many others will slip into the darkness I have lived through. How many other children will be forgotten about? How many other victims will lose their way and believing they are all alone, will give in to the demons and commit suicide?
I have to fight. I have to live. I have to give them hope.
For hope is the one major weapon against suicide. The demons aren’t so strong when I have hope. I can fight them then.
So, even when I feel like I cannot go on, I have to be brave. I have to live. I have to ask for help. I have to hope that someone will fight for me when I am too weak to fight for myself. That they will help me fight to survive.
I do not want to die. I want to live.
It takes huge courage to choose to live when the demons in your mind are telling you to die.
So please. If you suspect someone is suicidal, reach out to them. You never know. You could be the one person who helps them find that courage to live.
You could save a life.
Thanks for reading.
** The image is my own **