This is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever written.
I played around with the title and when I first came up with the idea of writing about my experience, the title in my head was… ‘Why I’ll defend my decision to commit suicide’…but then I thought, no… that sounds like I’m going to commit suicide, when in reality it was just an attempt, then I thought, how about, ‘why I’ll defend my decision to attempt suicide’ but then that also doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t feel right because, I had, what I believed to be every intention of killing myself, I was ready, mentally, emotionally, physically but also I wasn’t.
I know bringing up this really painful part of my life is going to hurt some people, but in my healing process, I feel I’m ready to write things on paper and really try and understand myself back then, to hopefully help myself now. So I didn’t write this with any intention other than to see my words and try to understand, I don’t know if I’ll even post it…I don’t know if my friends or family are even ready to hear my story, maybe it’s too personal? Maybe I should keep it under the rug where so many issues and taboo topics are hidden; whatever I decide to do with this I know I will have made the right decision for me. DO ME PROUD KANGKANG…
I’ll start from the middle, because to be honest I’m not fully ready to discuss the beginning.
All you have to know is at 12 years old I was in a very confusing place. I was misled, in part by others, mostly by myself. I was trying hard to be something I wasn’t, I was selfish, unreasonable and so determined to be self-destructive that I didn’t realise what kind of environment I was creating around me.
I was very angry about a lot of things and had no way to release those emotions… some stuff I didn’t even realise I was feeling and I could never articulate myself in the right way so most of my frustrations came out as anger, rage and hate.
You’re probably thinking, oh but you’re just describing every pre-teen, and maybe you’re right. But at 12 years old, is it normal to hate yourself so much that you wish someone would kill you to end your suffering.
I say suffering but well and truly I lived a sheltered life, I do believe that my feelings were due to some stuff that occurred in my younger life but that’s another story. Those things added with dealing with pre-teen angst, and then the issues that continued/continues today well…it’s just a big old mess.
I’m thankful that at 23 I am able to see a little clearer but at 12 I was convinced that, that was the best life would get, and it was pretty crap so I did not want any of it.
I was experiencing issues at school, my determination with sticking to the teachings of my Lolo, missing my home (again another story for later), feeling completely alienated and if a 12 year old can be fucked up, I was the very definition.
You know that feeling when YOU KNOW something, it’s on the tip of your tongue but you can’t quite get it, so you obsess over the next few minutes for the answer? Well imagine that but for years and years till you reach a point where you wonder why you ever bothered trying.
No one knew I was living with this darkness in me and my parents assumed that my problem was just down to being an almost teenager. They had no idea what kinds of thoughts were going through my head or the pain I was experiencing, and I don’t blame them, I don’t because they tried their hardest to let us live, normal happy childhoods, if you’re doing parenting right, why would you question the sanity of your kid?
My mental state grew worse as time went on and I would behave strangely. I would be irritable and argumentative; I would act bizarrely and often would daydream about walking on the street and being murdered.
I would walk around late at night in darkness, hoping someone would kidnap me.
Is this disturbing? Am I frightening you? I want to apologize but I won’t because this is what I went through.
I was so ashamed of who I was, I was so frightened of what I would grow up to be, I was so sorry to my parents and sisters who had to claim me as their own.
I won’t go through the details of my school life… because for the most part it was happy and fun… but then there were really dark parts, 1 particularly haunting memory I have is of walking down a stair case when I bumped into someone I had a huge crush on, a group of girls and guys were behind me and I let out a loud giggle, then I felt someone pull up my skirt and when I turned around, they pushed my down the stairs.
I don’t know if I’ve ever shared that with anyone… but there we go, that’s something I experienced, and those kinds of things can really damage a person, let alone an impressionable young girl who already have to deal with the major changes happening with their body.
After a day like that one, where something similar happened, I got home and straight away got into an argument with my two sisters, followed shortly by a quite explosive argument with my mother (who by the way is now one of my biggest support system, cheerleader and best friend.)
I went upstairs to my room and cried, cried till my eyes had grown swollen and my tears had stained the bed. I cried till my heart ached and my thoughts were jumbled. I felt every name I’d been called, every wrongdoing I had done, every time I acted in a way that shamed my family, I felt my Lolo’s disappointment. I saw the way people looked at me, I felt so ashamed that I began to scratch my skin determined to scratch it off, I was under this illusion that if I could do that then eventually I’d become new, reborn, fresh… That I wouldn’t be me anymore.
After I calmed down, I managed to gather my thoughts and I genuinely thought my moment was over, when a voice in my head said:
‘Do it… just do it, kill yourself and you won’t hurt anymore, kill yourself and you won’t hurt anyone else anymore.’
This voice, my voice kept repeating itself and I felt this heaviness on my chest, I felt like this was the only option for me. I felt like if I did this, it would be the best thing I could do for everyone, that people would be so glad that they no longer had to worry or take care of me.
In those few minutes, I thought about how my parents could finally have their perfect family with my perfect sisters. My grandparents would have their good grandchildren who would make them proud. My half brother and half sister would finally be free from one of the bastard kids they hated so much. Those people in school would finally have the freaky, nerdy girl out of their school. All I saw was how good it would be if I were gone.
And so I did it…or at least tried to.
Again there is no need to talk about what happened, during and straight after but I will talk about the consequence.
When I came home, life changed completely. I was looked after by a Filipino nurse and the news got around the Filipino community very fast. Everyone knew and once again I was ridiculed for a mistake.
I never thought about life after because I was expecting to be dead. But if I thought life was bad before the attempted suicide, it was nothing compared to life after.
My secret was finally out. I suffered from severe depression and anxiety, which worsened as a result of my experiment.
So you’re probably thinking why are you talking about this?
It’s because I feel like people are so quick to say how selfish suicide is but hardly any of those people are thinking about what kind of situation a person is in to even reach that point where they feel like the world would be better if they weren’t in it.
It’s doing a loved one a great injustice by being so ignorant to think suicide is selfish or cowardly because it takes a lot of nerve to get to that point. No, it isn’t always the right option and there are ways to overcome it but until you have lived it through your own experiences you are not qualified to make that kind of judgment.
I have experienced the tragedy of suicide in different ways and it’s not easy, but I will always defend my decision that I made as a 12 year old.
Because, that decision helped me discover things about my life, myself and those around me. It helped me regain an appreciation for life and helped open my eyes. I didn’t realise I needed help, I didn’t realise people were experiencing things like I was, I didn’t and couldn’t trust anyone but afterwards I started allowing myself to.
Yes I was betrayed by a health care professional who I trusted to keep my secret, the consequence of it being known was that I lost friendships and it affected later romantic relationships, as a kid and through my teenage years it really affected me but as an adult I feel like maybe it was a saving grace.
Why would I want people who are so judgmental and ignorant in my life? I tried to kill myself and I don’t regret it, that experience probably saved me a life of living a lie and hiding myself.
My depression was exposed and finally I was able to find someone I could talk to without feeling judged or weird.
I learnt how to battle my demons, I learnt how to trust, and I learnt how to live.
It took me many years to learn but I did and I am here today.
I’m not saying that what I did wasn’t incredibly dangerous and stupid because it probably was, but I do want people to know that it does get better, and even if you’re at that point already, it isn’t too late to come back down and find help.
Therapy and mediation never helped me, medication helped for some time but everyone is different, so you never know what may make a difference to you or someone else’s life.
Now in 2015 I look back to that day and I just want to hug 12-year-old Jessy, she had no clue that she could be living a happy and healthy life, but she didn’t have much of a chance to see that. I still have dark days, experiences that I am still struggling to overcome, I have issues with myself and find difficulty articulating myself at times, but I do now know I can talk to people, I know I’m not alone and there are ways to release those pent up emotions in a healthy and natural way.
I feel like there are so many people living in darkness and no-one really notices that, but imagine if today you decided to smile and say hello to everyone you passed on the street? That one sign of acknowledgment like ‘hey I know you’re there, I can see you and you make me smile’ could really brighten up someone’s day. It’s our obligation to support our fellow man, even if it’s in something as small as a curt hello.
There’s still so much stigma on mental illness, like you can catch it like a cold but it isn’t quite like that and it’s such a difficult thing to live with, often times the person suffering from it feel so much guilt at affecting those around them, it sure would be nice if you could support us by reminding us exactly why TODAY IS A GOOD DAY TO BE ALIVE.
Do something to make your parents proud today, your kids proud someday but most importantly, you proud everyday!
Peace and Love