Dear people who didn’t know what to do

At 10yo, my family splintered. I was lonely; isolated. The perfect target for a paedophilic man. I was 12yo when my inner world exploded. Feelings of self-disgust, worthlessness, loneliness, guilt, shame, abandonment, betrayal, and self-hatred became my new inner world.

I was 16yo when the cracks appeared; before my inner world began to leak out. I started self-harming at 16. On my 18th birthday I tried to end my life for the first time. I could see no other way to end the pain that engulfed me. Over the next 30 years I encountered people who turned away from me because I had attempted suicide. I encountered health professionals who spoke to me in unhelpful ways – “Are you going to try something stupid like this again” (following a suicide attempt, in an effort to determine if he needed to do more than patch me up and send me on my way).

I encountered people who mocked me, ridiculed me, told me to “pull myself together”, walked away from me, looked down on me, treated me like I was intellectually impaired, used my suicidal behaviour against me. And I continued to self-harm and attempt suicide over those 30 years.

What I needed, Dear People, was for someone to look at me and speak to me like I was a human being who was in excruciating pain. What I needed, Dear People, was for someone to ask me if I was okay. What I needed, Dear People, was for someone to hold out their hand and let me know I wasn’t alone. What I needed, Dear People, was to feel safe and cared for. Not ostracism, or experts, or drugs, or hospital. Just some human compassion. It is as simple as that.

Date Published
March 21, 2022
suicidal thoughts , suicide attempt
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