I don’t know what to say when people ask me about my parents, but when it comes to my Mom, I don’t know what to say. I tell people that she looked like exactly like me – except I dye my hair brown and hers was golden blonde. I can’t tell people how I don’t remember the sound of her voice anymore or I don’t ever remember her laughing.
But I look in the mirror and I can remember her face, because it’s mine.
See, I don’t talk about my Mom, because when you tell people that your Mom is dead, they start to ask questions. They wonder how it happened. They start to apologize. But when you tell them that your Mom committed suicide, everything changes and the way that they look at you…
Well I can’t deal with that.
I don’t want anyones pity. It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with her death. But, I will never forget the night it happened. I think sometimes it was the most difficult night of my life, but then I know that isn’t true. The most difficult has been surviving everyday after.
My Mom had a reason for taking her life. Sure, it’s not one that I can fully understand, even if I understand it at all. See, her second husband beat her on a regular basis. He abused her mentally and physically. He was the cruelest son of a bitch I have ever had the displeasure of knowing.
He was an asshole and if he’s still alive somewhere – he’s still an asshole.
He took her spirit. He took her self esteem. He took her soul. So, when he was leaving her, when he told her it was over, she had nothing left inside.
It’s difficult for me to understand because at the time – I hated her for staying with him. Like I truly couldn’t stand it. I didn’t understand how she would live through that. Unfortunately hindsight is 20/20 and I only understood after I ended up in an abusive relationship. But that’s a different story.
But none of us could imagine her taking her own life.
She did her hair and put on her makeup. She picked out her favorite outfit and she took the pills. She called her real estate agent and said, “Tell my kids I love them.”
And as far as we know, those are the last words she ever spoke.
I have to believe that for my Mom, picking up that phone and calling someone was a cry for help. A testament that she wanted someone to help her. But by the time that anyone was able to make their way to her, she was too far gone.
And two days later she died, after being in a coma. We buried her her shortly after that, on her birthday.
The reason I am talking about this now? Well, today is World Suicide Prevention Day and if I can help one person with what happened to me, the impact of my mothers suicide, than I am doing something with my life.
It wasn’t until the week after my Moms death that I started to realize just how difficult life would be. Missing her and blaming myself for her death would change everything. I became lonely, isolated, and angry. I reacted to everything in the most unhealthy way I could find.
And no one in my family knew how to deal with it. They didn’t know how to save her and they didn’t know how to save me. Me acting out only made them angry.
I turned to alcohol to numb the pain. I ate myself to 360 pounds. I did everything that I could do to hurt myself, but also to hurt those around me for not finding a way to make the pain go away. Because I wanted to be saved.
But I was trapped in a nightmare.
I had dreams of her in the hospital, reaching out and telling me how I had let her down. I was overtaken by nightmares of her with tubes all over her body. I couldn’t remember anything but her swollen lifeless body and tubes stuck in every place that you could see.
And I hated her for it.
It’s funny, how hate drives you to be something that you didn’t think you could be. It robs you of your heart and soul. It takes away who you think you are and replaces it with someone that you never knew you could be.
I don’t think that my Mom realized that by taking her life, she was leaving us all with a pain that won’t ever fade. It just becomes a normal that you have to find a way to deal with. You will struggle, you will find a way to not get trapped in the madness.
You will find a way to survive.
But for me, a part of me died the day she died too. I have to live with that.
I know that in one moment of many moments of feeling alone, she broke and thought that this was her only way out. I just wish she would have known it wasn’t.
I know that she wouldn’t want to cause anyone pain and as fucked up as it will sound, I’m okay with her being gone now. I am okay with the pain that I have to live with – because I know she’s not in pain. But I would have found her the help that she needed. I would have taken on that pain for her.
And I think what she never knew or understood is that we all took it on after she was gone. I think she would never have wanted that.
I would trade my life for just five more minutes to tell her I am sorry for everything I did wrong. I would tell her that I would take on her pain. I would tell her that her grandkids need her. I would tell her that I would trade my life for her to just be here.
I’m not angry at her anymore. It took a long time, a lot of therapy, and a lot of messing up for me to understand. None of it numbs the pain, but the anger fading has made me able to live.
I live with missing her every single day and I will until the day that I die.
If you or someone you know needs help please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741. You are never alone.